The fleeting pleasure of impulse spending can quickly give way to financial vulnerability when unexpected events arise. Therefore, cultivating financial awareness and eliminating unnecessary expenses is essential. By doing so, we can construct a financial safety net to weather life’s unpredictable storms.
A user asked the forum, “What is the most frugal thing you do or have done to save money?”. Here are the common responses.
SHOPPING IN GOODWILL AND THRIFT STORES
“Shop Goodwill or thrift stores first. I have a running list of things I need/want in my phone, and if I am near any of the thrift stores, I’ll pop in there and check. I have things on the list like a baseball bat, books (for me and for a classroom), used sheets (for painting), etc.”
QUESTIONING EVERY SINGLE PURCHASE
“I once challenged myself to question every single purchase and justify it to myself. It got to the point I wouldn’t get a gumball from a machine because I couldn’t justify the purchase. Don’t want to live like that, but I know I can.”
SECONDHAND FURNITURE AND CLOTHES
“All furniture is secondhand, as is 90% of my clothes. I have an 09 Prius, live in a duplex, and cook 90% of my food at home…. despite an 80k+ income. As a result, I’m able to live (well) on less than half.”
CANNING FRUITS AND BERRIES
“I have picked wild grapes, blueberries, huckleberries, strawberries, oranges, and apples to help reduce my grocery bill. I’ve used them to make jelly and used the strained pulp to make fruit leather for my kids. I’ve also canned and frozen them for future meals.”
COUPLES WORKING OPPOSITE SHIFTS
“I wouldn’t call it extreme, but we worked opposite shifts while our kids were little to avoid daycare costs.”
“My hobby is recycling scrap metal/dumpster diving. I have not had to buy light bulbs in over ten years because I find them still attached to the lamps and ceiling fans I pick up for scrap.”
REUSING CLOTHES FOR LONG YEARS
“I used clothes for like 30 years. I have a whole hierarchy of clothes: This is still okay in public, this is down to just sitting around the house, this is down to just working in the yard, and this is down to the rag bag.”
REFUSING TO TAKE DEBTS
“Refuse to take on any debts other than the house. We save cash for anything we need. It may sound pretty basic to a lot of you, but I know way too many who get the $100k+ job and are house poor with multiple $600+ car notes.”
BRINGING HOME-COOKED FOOD
“I always bring my lunch to work. I don’t go out or have anything brought in (like Uber Eats, Doordash, etc.). It saves me so much.”
“Use your local library! Nowadays, a lot of them even have phone apps available where you can borrow ebooks, comics, audiobooks, and even some TV shows and movies. Some libraries in my area offer tool rentals, free museum passes, seed banks, cheap 3D printing, and remember about cheap regular printing. Don’t buy a printer unless you need one often. Just go to the library and pay like $0.20 a page.”
“The Libby app is the best thing ever. It saved me so much in books. I put holds on new books that have just been released and can read them in a matter of a few weeks. Plus, it’s less wasteful since I’m not likely to re-read them. Libraries are amazing!’
RECYCLING WATER FOR PLANTS
“All water goes to our plants. When we refresh our cats’ water, we pour old water into our front porch garden. Same with my nightstand water pitcher. Water cost savings are minimal, but I feel better not wasting water.”
NOT OWNING A CAR
“Don’t own a car. I live in a rural area with two part-time jobs; one is WFH, and the other is within walking distance. Not having to deal with the cost of vehicle ownership makes a HUGE difference when you make $14/hour. My partner owns one, though, so we still can go places, but I can’t find a job that pays enough to make up for the difference of the increased bills to buy my own vehicle.”
“We make 99% of our meals, rarely have processed food, and rarely go out to eat.”
MAKING YOUR SUGAR WAX
“Making my own sugar wax. Costs me about .75 for a full body wax, 115$ for getting it professionally done. 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, and 1 cup of sugar boiled at medium-high until it’s an Amber color and then cooled in a glass jar. I cut my own cotton strips out of an old bed sheet and wash them after use.”
CUTTING OUT ON LAUNDRY COST
“The most extreme thing I did was while going to school abroad. A load of laundry costs over $14 USD, so I would rinse/freshen my clothes out when I was in the shower so I could get more wear between washes. Not a practice I ever did again, but it was so insanely expensive that it made sense then.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.