7 Frugal Living Tips That Don’t Make You Feel Deprived

Frugality isn’t always discussed in the most positive way, but it’s changed my life for the better. Becoming more frugal has actually allowed helped me be able to spend more money on the things I find valuable. Frugal living tips can not only save you money but give you more control of your life.

Being frugal isn’t about being cheap. It’s about optimizing the money you have and using it to meet your goals and fund what’s most important to your family.

When I first learned about frugality, I had to start being frugal out of necessity. If you are on a tight budget, have debt, or have specific financial goals, being frugal can make you feel deprived or even more stressed about money. Here are some frugal living tips to help you avoid this and stretch your budget without feeling any strain.

1. Start Small

Realize that being frugal is not an all-or-nothing thing. Sometimes, people jump in too quickly and try to strip down all their expenses in an effort to save more money. This can easily make you feel deprived and overwhelmed. Instead, one of the best frugal living tips I’ve found is to start small and take it slow.

Look at your budget and identify one or two expense categories that you can work on. For me, groceries and dining out were huge expenses that I felt little control over. I start working on some practical solutions to help me become more frugal in these areas. Then, I switched to another budget category and did the same thing.

2. Free Entertainment

You don’t have to spend money to have fun. Start looking for free entertainment and events in your area or things you can do at home. Maybe you can host a game night or potluck with friends. Or, you can attend a free community movie or concert.

If you have kids, there may be tons of opportunities for free fun in your area. Check with your local park district for an event calendar. Museums, zoos, and other attractions also tend to have free admission days so be sure to mark those on your calendar. Depending on where you live, some of these places may be free to visit all the time so make sure you do your research.

3. Use Coupons and Take Advantage of Deals

When you’re living a frugal lifestyle, you don’t have to say no to things that might cost more money. Using coupons is one of the best ways to save money on the things you truly enjoy. For example, if you want to plan a date night somewhere, you can always see if they have a coupon that you can apply to cut your costs. If you’d like to take your family out to eat, consider going to a restaurant that offer deals on kids’ meals on certain nights of the week.

4. Shop Used or Borrow

If there’s something you really need or want to buy, consider seeing if you can buy the item used first. We’re able to cut down costs a lot by buying gently used clothes and furniture. I was able to almost completely furnish my new house a few years ago with items I bought from the Facebook Marketplace. This literally saved thousands of dollars that we could put toward other financial goals.

In some cases, you may be able to borrow the items you need instead of spending money on them. You can borrow things like tools, supplies, and more from friends and family if you don’t plan on using them regularly.

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5. Use a Cashback App

One of my favorite frugal living tips that helps me save more is using cashback or rebate apps. Apps like Ibotta and Fetch Rewards help you earn cashback for purchases at your favorite grocery stores along with household items. You can search the app for offers to redeem. Then, just shop as your normally would but scan your receipt into the app to earn your rebates.

If you’re looking to save money on your online purchases, Rakuten provides coupons and cashback with hundreds of retailers. That way, you can still get the products and services you like but without having to pay full price. These cash-back apps are free and easy to use so it’s perfect to add to your frugal lifestyle.

6. Improve Your Cooking Skills

If you still need more frugal living tips to help you save on dining out and grocery costs, consider setting a goal to improve your cooking skills. Knowing how to cook and bake is one of the best ways to save money on food. Most people overspend in this area either due to lack of time or not knowing how to cook well. Contrary to popular belief, there are many delicious meals you can prepare in just 15 to 20 minutes.

There are tons of videos and recipes to check out online if you want to start testing things out. You can make it a fun hobby or aim to cook something new and tasty once or twice a week to start out. Create a weekly meal plan and start cooking meals in batches so you don’t have to spend tons of time in the kitchen each night.

RELATED: How to Meal Prep on a Tight Budget

7. Travel Affordably

You can definitely still travel even if you’re trying to be frugal. Remember, frugality helps you prioritize your values while controlling spending in other areas. You may just travel a little differently as you watch your expenses. Save more money on traveling by using options like Airbnb or rewards cards that can supplement your hotel stay.

Another option is to drive instead of flying. Road trips can be much more affordable and you can pack your snacks along the way.

RELATED: 7 Easy Travel-Saving Hacks For Family Vacations

Summary: Frugal Living Tips You Can Try With Ease

Living frugally looks different for everyone. Ultimately, it’s all up to your preferences and goals. However, no one wants to feel strapped for cash all the time or like they can’t do anything they want to do with their money. These frugal living tips will help you manage your money better and still enjoy your life in the present day.

Do you live a frugal lifestyle? What are some of your favorite frugal living tips?