The 'Frugal Living: Waste Less, Gain More!' forum on Reddit is a goldmine for all those looking for some money-saving tips and tricks.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 1, 2022. It has since been updated.
Who among us doesn't like to get the most bang for their buck? Given all the trouble we go to earn our money, seeing it slip through our fingers is never a pleasant experience. Especially not when it goes toward unnecessary expenses or purchases that you could have definitely made for much less. The financial security that comes with conscious spending and saving habits always proves a lifesaver down the road. And speaking of saving up for a rainy day, the "Frugal Living: Waste Less, Gain More!" forum on Reddit is a goldmine for all those looking for some money-saving tips and tricks.
Here are 25 of the most popular frugal living tips shared by community members:
"For me, I never buy anything full price anymore. It may take a certain personality type to do this, but with a little preparation, and research, a deal or sale could always be found. This is especially true with online stores and the different apps, coupons, rebates, and etc you can easily find. I believe the only time I buy stuff full price is when I need the item in a hurry." — therealrayy
"Plant a vegetable garden with only high yield veggies like green beans, okra, squash, zucchini, etc. It is only necessary to purchase the seeds one time because you can harvest them from the veggies. You can then make your own baby food, eat fresh veggies with your meals, and partake in a highly stress-relieving activity. It is a win/win." — HERMANNATOR85
"Paying off your credit cards should be the number one priority considering the interest rates. Meal plans seem to help people save. When I see something I want to buy I usually try to wait a month to see if I still want it then; usually, I don't. Saves me from a lot of unnecessary purchases." — Rudysnow
"Read the back of the laundry detergent bottle/box and actually measure your dose. Then try using a little less. If you feel like your clothes aren't getting clean you can always go up again next time (keep a bucket of water by the washing machine and throw food-stained kid's clothes in as soon as possible, don't let the food dry on and stains won't really be an issue).
The same applies to shampoo, personal care, etc. Try to minimize food waste and embrace your freezer for leftovers, even small amounts that can be used for other meals. A tiny bit of leftover grated cheese can go in the baby food, or a sauce or a sandwich. You can do lots of household cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, with the added bonus of being non-toxic for curious little ones. I found that we ended up eating healthier, less processed food and had the added benefit of producing less packaging etc so it feels better for the environment too." — Caughtthegingerbeard
"Buy your clothes from thrift stores and Savers. You have to invest a bit of time into this (try to work a few stores into your routine) and go frequently. I scan through racks quickly and ignore most stuff but focus on stuff that looks like it has never been worn/has original tags still on (you'd be surprised - this can be quite common).
But don't buy junk just because it is cheap, buy only what you love and need, and buy only stuff that fits perfectly. I've also found nice coffee cups (original labels still stuck to the bottom) at Savers too. I also buy DVDs at thrift stores they can be very cheap." — ZanyDelaney
"This saved us over $12,000: Look into community college extension courses. They offer inexpensive classes in life skills that are useful to anyone (cooking, baking) and if you're a homeowner, especially those skills can add up to significant savings.
We took an electrician's course and then sat for the state certification exam. Then when it came time to replace our aging furnace and central a/c, we installed heat pumps. When it comes time to sell this place we can say all the work was done by certified electricians.
A contractor had quoted $16,000 for similar work. Our cost: $4000. The contractor tried to talk us into a payment plan so the actual savings was upwards of $20,000. Extra LPT whether or not you're a homeowner: whenever someone tries to get you into a plan with 'easy monthly payments' it's a terrible deal. Their goal is to drag out the loan and squeeze you for interest." — doublestitch
"Have a friend group that (generally) shares your frugal values. In my 20s, I had a lot of friends who spent money like they were Kardashians. Having a friend group who values free/inexpensive activities (as opposed to dropping $100 on an outing) is worth its weight in gold. Also, if you don't eat/drink much at restaurants, don't split the check evenly—pay your fair share." — crazycatlady331
"Buy nonperishable items in bulk and on sale if possible. I also do this for things I use all the time like flour/rice.
Plan meals ahead of time. Any fresh ingredients that aren't used up have another meal planned to use the. For example, I use half a head of cabbage in my stir fry so I plan another meal that uses the other half or I will forget to use it.
Replace light bulbs in low traffic areas with motion sensing light bulbs. I never worry if the utility room light was left on and it's wonderful." — AngerPancake