Simple Frugal Living Tips In 2020: 25+ Easy Ideas For Anyone To Save Money
The frugal living tips below are meant to be quick, actionable wins that can help get some cash back into your wallet. But what does frugal living mean? The definition of frugal is: “economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful”.
That can essentially be boiled down to looking at using your money as best possible to drive value in your life. Frugal doesn’t need to mean cheap or carry any negative connotation.
Frugal living to many people is the practice of keeping more money in your bank account as effectively as possible so it can be used on those areas that do give you value, happiness or help reach your financial goals.
There are a handful of simple frugal living tips that don’t take much time, effort or a monetary investment. The return could be a few dollars saved or potentially hundreds each year. If you want to get some easy wins, check out these 25+ ideas anyone (or almost anyone) can apply to save money, earn a little extra money or better manage their money.
Apps To Save You Money Shopping Online
1. Swagbucks: Save Big And Get Rewards (Free $5 Welcome Bonus)
Swagbucks is one of the bigger digital rewards platforms to help you save money. They offer an extensive network of retailers to help you get cash back on online purchases, gift cards and other cost cuts.
To date they’ve paid out over $336 million to their members. The Swagbucks website, app and browser extension helps make sure you can access their services from anywhere. Plus you earn cash by taking surveys, using the Swagbucks search engine, playing games, discovering deals, buying gift cards and watching videos.
You won’t get rich or save life changing sums of money but getting cash back on money you’re already spending or earning easy rewards is a simple frugal living tip.
Sign up today and get a FREE $5 welcome offer from Swagbucks.
SIGN UP FOR SWAGBUCKS AND GET $5 FREE
2. Ebates: Online Shopping Savings (Free $10 or $5 Welcome Bonus)
Ebates is the most popular of the cash back platforms in terms of total users and familiarity in the global marketplace. The Ebates website, app and browser extension give you access to almost every major online retailer (2,500+ stores and counting).
You aren’t changing your shopping habits or spending any more money, just clicking through your Ebates account before shopping online. If you shop online frequently for groceries, household supplies, work supplies, gifts or any other reason, you can put some easy money back in your bank account with a quick click.
3. MyPoints: Great Rewards And Cash Back (Free $10 Amazon Gift Card)
MyPoints is another great solution to help you earn free cashback on your normal shopping habits. They have relationships with over 1,900 different retailers to help provide you money saving opportunities across every category.
If you sign up for all 3 of Ebates, Swagbucks and MyPoints you can easily price compare between retailers. Their discounts, cash back rates and special offers vary so a quick search on each could help save you even more. Again a simple frugal living tip just by earning rewards and savings on your normal spending habits.
Get a FREE $10 gift card with MyPoints after making your first purchase online.
SIGN UP FOR MYPOINTS AND EARN A $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD
Apps To Save You Money On Groceries
4. Ibotta: Get Cash Back On Groceries (Free $10 Welcome Bonus)
Ibotta one of the most popular cash back apps in the USA that helps members generate savings on grocery shopping. Their partner network of stores is extensive and they have new offers at all times to keep you earning cash back.
They have paid out over $438 million to their members. It takes a minute for you to add Ibotta into your normal shopping habits and it could generate you hundreds in savings and rewards in a year.
Get the Ibotta app with a FREE $10 welcome offer and start to save money from your phone right away.
DOWNLOAD THE IBOTTA APP NOW
5. Checkout 51: Another App To Save Shopping (Free $5 Welcome Bonus)
Checkout 51 is another popular solution to help you earn cash back rewards for grocery and household item purchases. They include a wide-range of product offerings all with a set cash back value and also release ongoing weekly promotions and one-off deals to help you push your earnings higher.
Browse the deals, do your normal shopping and once home, upload a photo of your receipt with your phone to earn cash back.
The benefit of having both Ibotta and Checkout 51 is the ability to compare rewards, earn different savings from both and ensure those simple frugal living wins keep rolling in with ease.
You can get $5 FREE with Checkout 51 after you upload your first 3 receipts.
GET THE CHECKOUT 51 APP TODAY
Negotiate Your Services And Expenses
6. Make Car Insurance More Affordable
Your car insurance is one of the recurring expenses that can be negotiated. Why? It’s a competitive market with companies looking to take your business from another provider to theirs.
Aren’t you curious if you could potentially be saving hundreds annually? The first step is reaching out to competitor insurance companies to get quotes for their services based on your insurance record. Use their website or call in directly, it will take a matter of minutes.
Take those quotes (if they’re less expensive) and reach out to your current insurance provider. More often than not they will compromise with you and adjust your rates to match the competitor. Your lifetime value to them as a customer is worth the slight change in price if it will keep you onboard.
7. Use The Trim Financial Manager App
Trim Financial Manager is an app that helps you save money on your subscriptions, bills and recurring expenses. It’s like an automated savings assistant that reviews your services to identify cost-saving opportunities.
Some examples of the free services it provides to help you save are:
- Subscription Analyzer
- Bill Negotiation
- Deal Finder
- Price Protection
Trim Financial Manager is a free tool and their users saved over $1 million in the last month. It looks to identify inconsistencies or areas of overspending based on your habits and the current trends in the market on those products or services.
It’s free, takes less than a minute and the sole purpose of the app is to help save you money. Sign for Trim today for free to review your own spending habits and subscriptions.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE TRIM APP NOW
8. Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate
Your life time value as a customer to service companies is worth tens of thousands or more when it comes to what you’ll spend in a lifetime. Giving you $10 off your cell phone bill or Internet subscription to keep you as a long-term customer is worth it to them.
Is it worth it for you? You might be able to cut costs by a couple hundred per year. This negotiation guide from Ramit Sethi includes a collection of tips on how to handle these discussions, scripts for what to say to the customer service agents and a ton more.
A quick call to any of your service providers can save you hundreds annually. You’d be surprised what you can get if you just ask. Give it a try, the worst thing that can happen is they say no and you’re in the exact same spot as before the call.
Take Advantage Of Free Services And Products
9. Use The Library To Save Money (And Gain Knowledge)
The library is an amazing resource to help you save money and continue to push your personal development, curiosity and deliver entertainment. This article outlines the 5 simple ways you can be saving by visiting your local library.
If you’re an avid reader, it’s a cost-saving opportunity to consider.
Most libraries also carry different movies, documentaries, magazines and other resources to keep you educated and entertained for free.
10. Find The Museums And Local Attractions Free Or Discounted Days
Want to explore some amazing history, art and cultural exhibits or other attractions? Check out the websites or social media accounts from museums, galleries, amusement parks, etc. to see if they have special discount days or even free hours.
Whether it’s at home or on vacation, you can save big on experiences with some simple research. Do a quick Google search and check out how you might be able to cut costs on the places or spots you can to visit.
Save Money And Get More Value From Your Bank
11. No Fee Daily Chequing Accounts
Long gone are the days of needing to pay for a traditional bank account. Whether it’s an annual account fee, transaction fees or other costs, you can avoid it. While they might seem small those $2, $5 and $19 charges add up overtime to potentially leak $1,000+ over the course of time you’re using that bank.
The world of online banking has not only created new digital solutions for consumers to save, it’s also put pressure on the big banks to compete with them. There are great no fee accounts to cover your daily banking needs. Why keep throwing away money on a service you could get for no cost?
Best of all some banks offer great bonuses and incentives to get you to switch. For example, Tangerine Bank offers new customers up to $200 in FREE cash bonus to open a no fee daily chequing account.
12. High-Interest Savings Accounts
Similar to no fee chequing accounts, there are high-interest savings accounts offering competitive interest rates at zero cost to you. Again why pay for a service that you can get access to for free?
These frugal living tips are all about compounding the small financial wins so you can use that money saved on what you value most!
The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account gives Canadians access to a 2.30% interest rate with no fees, no minimum balance and unlimited transactions. It’s a popular choice that not only generates you a great return on your short-term savings, it isn’t costing you a penny.
If you’re in the States, check out the latest offerings based on the best high-interest savings accounts Nerdwallet compiled.
Use Credit Cards To Your Advantage To Save Big
13. Do Not Carry A Balance (Or Make Your Absolute Best Efforts No To)
The interest charged by carrying a balance on your credit card is crippling to simple frugal living. Of course certain circumstance in life might force you to accrue some debt (health, family, accident, etc.) but you should be taking every step to avoid that outcome.
Credit card debt is no joke and it’s a problem plaguing so many of us. It’s too deep of a topic to handle in a frugal living tip so review this article from Credit Karma on getting out of credit card debt to start making a plan to conquer it.
14. Cash Back Credit Cards
A great way to make money (or save money) on every purchase you make is to use a cash back credit card. These cards generate you anywhere from 1% – 4% on your everyday purchases (and sometimes offer bonus rates up to 10% on certain categories).
These cards pay you back every month or annually for the cash back you’ve earned. It’s a simple frugal living tip to potentially put hundreds back into your wallet.
The Tangerine Money-Back Cash Back Card is a great option for Canadians. It carries no fee, offers 2% on select categories and there is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. Plus they’re offering a special 4% cash back rate for the first 3 months on new accounts.
15. Travel Rewards Credit Cards
If you’re an avid traveller and lore to explore this amazing world, travel rewards credit cards are an amazing tool. The sign up bonuses, rewards earning rates on your spending and travel perks they offer can help you travel more at a much lower cost.
There are dozens of travel rewards credit cards in the United States and Canada offering big time value. Simple frugal living tips are about saving money in other areas so you can spend smarter on what gives you the most value and happiness. If travel is that area of you…travel reward cards can unlock amazing experiences.
Take a deeper diver into tracking hacking 101 and learn about the different resources, tips and tools available.
If you’re Canadian and looking for a great travel rewards card, each of these have given great value recently:
16. Learn About Credit Card Churning On Reddit
Want to take the next steps with your travel hacking efforts? As mentioned a few times, frugal living can be about cutting back in other areas of your life so you can maximize the areas that bring you the most value.
If that’s travel for you, one of the best ways to learn about credit cards, travel rewards and saving money is Reddit.
There is a whole community of people online dedicated to reaping the rewards of credit cards. Want to learn more? Get an introduction to Reddit credit card churning and see what lessons you can apply in your life.
Simple Frugal Living Tips To Save Money On Food
17. Make A Shopping List And Stick To It
One simple frugal living tip to cut costs on food is the make a shopping list and then stick to it on your grocery shopping trip. Based on some of the offers through the discount and cash back apps like Checkout 51 and Ibotta, that can help give you ideas on what to build your list around.
You can also do a quick inventory of your pantry, fridge and freezer to see what items you still have around the house. Get supplies to make meals with the supplies you already have and fill in the other needs.
Of course you should be reactive and take advantage of any deals or offers at the store. However, going into the store with a plan in mind can help you avoid aimlessly cruising the aisles grabbing whatever catches your eye.
18. Bulk Cook And Meal Prep
Another opportunity to save money (and time) with your food is the meal prep and bulk cook. Based on the groceries you purchased, you can set aside time to prepare a handful of meals to cover your lunches at work, quick dinners once home or healthy snacks.
Why do people recommend bulk cooking and meal prep?
- Helps you avoid expensive takeout after a busy day at work knowing you have a ready-made meal at home
- Reduces time during the week you’re having the prep and worry about food – focus your time on your side hustles, family or something beneficial instead
- You built a grocery list with specific ingredients based on your plan – put it to work!
19. Clear Out That Fridge, Freezer And Pantry
You should try to clear out your food supplies once a month to help your budget stretch further. You’d be amazed at the types of meals you can make by combining a few of your remaining supplies from the fridge, freezer and pantry.
Test this frugal meal process out and see what you can come up with:
- Take everything out and put it on the counter
- Go to MyFridgeFood.com
- Plug in some logical combinations of supplies you have into their ingredients tracker. Hint: use “CRTL” + “F” to search for the items you have or you could be scrolling for a while.
- It will generate some meal ideas – edit as you see fit by altering ingredients or make note of that 1 key item you’re missing that you think would take the meal to the next level and make sure you purchase at your next grocery stop
Use Coupon And Discount Websites Or Apps
The days of clipping physical coupons are a thing of the past. You can compile offers from your grocery stores, online retailers and pretty much any store in minutes. Apps, browser extensions and websites can help ensure you never pay full price for anything.
Whether it’s earning some cash back or compiling offer codes, take advantage of these opportunities.
20. Never Pay Full Price Again
- Ebates: Ebates has over 2,500 cash back retailers and 10,000+ coupons available across the web. Sign up today to take advantage through their app, website and browser extension. Get $10 FREE on Ebates and $5 FREE on Ebates Canada.
- Swagbucks: Swagbucks also offers discounts, coupons and deals with 1,000’s of retailers online. They also have a discounted gift card store to help you generate big savings at your favourite stores. Get $5 FREE when you register at Swagbucks.
- Great Canadian Rebates: Great Canadian Rebates is a popular Canadian platform for frugal people looking to save on their everyday shopping needs. From credit card sign up bonuses to discounts with 1,000’s of coupons, Great Canadian Rebates is an easy way never pay full price in Canada. Register today and get a free sign up bonus.
Keep Learning More About Frugal Living
21. Use The Reddit Personal Finance Subs
One place you might not consider for simple frugal living tips is Reddit. Reddit personal finance subs are a great resource for improving financial literacy and having open discussions on saving money. There are dozens of great subs covering all areas of personal finance, including frugal living.
22. Review More Free Money Education Resources
If you want to keep learning about different opportunities to save money, manage your money and frugal living, there are a number of other money education resources to help you.
From blogs, books, online communities, YouTube channels and more, the ability to access great information on personal finances is truly astounding.
23. Check Out The Best Personal Finance Podcasts
Podcasts have changed the way we consume media across basically every topic imaginable. Personal finance and frugal living is no exception.
Take advantage of the best personal finance podcasts in 2019 to keep building your knowledge base and get inspired. There are dozens of amazing podcasts publishing new episodes aimed to help everyday people like you.
More Simple Frugal Living Tips To Save You Big Money
24. Unsubscribe From Email Newsletters To Avoid Temptation
Whether it’s Black Friday, Boxing Day, Valentine’s Day, Back To School, or another Holiday, it’s safe to say your inbox is being hit all year long with sales emails.
A simple frugal living tip to help you save money is to unsubscribe from these retailers email newsletters. Remove the temptation to click and browse or be hooked by their creative headlines, discounts and graphics.
25. Use The Paribus App To Monitor What You Spent And Save
Paribus is a free service that can save (and make) you money by monitoring price changes on your recent purchases.
Most stores offer a price match within a specific time period should they drop the price of an item you bought. However, tracking and keeping up to date on that can be difficult. That’s where Paribus comes in.
To date they’ve helped members save over $15 million. It’s free, easy and a simple money saving hack to put cash back in your pocket.
You can sign up today for free and let Paribus go to work for you on saving you money.
TEST OUT THE FREE PARIBUS SERVICE NOW
26. Get Your Credit Score For Free
Essentially your credit score is a indicator of your financial health or creditworthiness. It gives potential lenders (or sources of credit) an indication of the risk you might present should they decide to borrow you money.
As you look to pay down debt, take advantage of credit card offers or begin the process of getting a mortgage, understanding your credit score can help that process. A simple frugal living tip is to monitor and check it for free instead of paying money for it (or not checking it at all). Thankfully, there are some great free services to help you do that.
Borrowell – Free Credit Score For Canadians
Borrowell gives you free access to your credit score and credit reports – there’s no catch or hard pull on your credit. It’s a great tool to stay on top of your credit score, which in turn will affect your overall financial health and credit opportunities available to you as you move forward.
Borrowell is simple, secure and free. It takes 2 minutes to register your account and from there, you’ll be able to monitor and track any monthly changes in your credit score and report.
Credit Sesame – Free Credit Score For Americans
Credit Sesame gives Americans free access to their credit score and reports. Safe, secure, easy to use and full of other value and benefits. Anyone is eligible to sign up today for this free service.
No catch or hard pulls on your credit just a great tool to stay on top of your financial health and monitor your credit as you progress through your financial journey. Plus Credit Sesame members get free identity theft protection (up to $50,000 insured).
Conclusion: 25+ Simple Frugal Living Tips To Help You Save Money In 2019
The ability to save money in your everyday life through the simple frugal living tips can easily unlock you hundreds, if not thousands each year.
There are other ways to cut costs on housing, transportation and other expenses that require a deeper exploration. The tips above are meant to be quick wins and actionable items that almost anyone can explore.
A free app, change in spending habits, cash back credit card or new mindset could be the difference in reaching your financial goals.
Here are some other posts to help you save money:
- 89 Personal Finance Tips – Budget, Save, Make, Invest & Better Manage Your Money
- Great Personal Finance Tools, Services & Apps To Save Money (And Manage It)
- Building Good Money Habits – Make Your Own Money Momentum
- Free Cash Back, Money & Rewards – Best Websites, Apps & Services
- How To Eat Organic Food On A Budget: 6 Tips To Eat Healthy & Save