16 Frugal Tips That Go Beyond “Lose That Latte Habit”

by Katy on February 21, 2018 · 77 comments

The following blog post first appeared over at ClarkHoward.com.

If you’re a fan of Clark Howard, you probably make a habit of scanning the internet for fresh money saving tips. Sadly, most articles offer the same tired advice such as “lose that latté habit” and “pack a work lunch from home.” As a personal finance writer, nothing annoys me more than clickbait articles that promise original content and deliver absolute zero. However, every so often I come across a frugal hack that ventures beyond the obvious.

Try these frugal tips to further your budget:éé

Scoop less:

Many of us mindlessly fill the scoop that comes with our laundry detergent, which means we end up using far more product than necessary. Instead, remove the big scoop that comes with the product and replace it with a smaller scoop. (I use the tiny scoop that comes with my knock-off Oxyclean.) If you read the small print on your laundry and dishwasher detergent, you’ll see that the larger amounts are only recommended for truly filthy loads. You can always add more if necessary, but I’ve found that a small scoop does the trick for my family’s minimally soiled laundry.

Cut it in half:

Kitchen sponges and steel wool pads are both perfect candidates to be doubled by the simple act of cutting in half. Especially the steel wool pads, as they often lose their integrity after a single use. Still in good shape after that use? Avoid rust by popping it in the freezer for later.

Choose the inconvenient parking spot:

Instead of burning fuel by circling the lot, pull into a less desirable parking spot that cuts down on your driving and adds a few extra steps into your day. Save gas while increasing your exercise? Win-win!

Be kind to your socks:

If you find that your socks wear out too quickly you may want to follow this tip. Keep your toenails clipped short and your heels soft and moisturized. Rough heels and long toenails are hard on socks, which decreases their life expectancy. Gross but true.

Fill empty space in your freezer:

An empty freezer requires more energy to stay cold, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a bundle in the frozen food aisle. Instead, take clean plastic milk jugs and and fill them 3/4 full and set into your freezer. (The water will expand as it freezes.) Screw the lids back on once frozen and enjoy the savings.

Become a stain removal scholar:

The internet is rich with stain removal advice, but I’m a fan of the hydrogen peroxide/baking soda/dawn detergent combination to remove even set in stains. I’ve scored some stained but otherwise amazing items from thrift stores that just needed this TLC to bring them back to life. Don’t give up on fabric items just because they’re stained.

Switch to LED lightbulbs:

Gone are the days when energy efficient LED bulbs cost upwards of $8 apiece. Dollar Tree sells them for a buck apiece and many utility companies offer them for free through state specific green living initiatives. I even had someone tell me that their utility company gave them out for free when paying their bill in person.

Find your local Buy Nothing group:

Buy nothing groups have sprung up all over the world, and are a great boon to those looking to step away from traditional consumerism. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end, these neighborhood specific online groups can stretch your hard earned dollars. Click on BuyNothing.org to find your local group.

Portion out less to small children:

Any parent will attest to the fact that little kids waste a lot of food. Make it a habit to serve less with the opportunity for seconds instead of portioning out full servings that inevitably get scraped into the compost.

Scope out your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore:

Habitat ReStores may have random inventory, but they may still contain the exact supplies you’re looking for. Since the cost of your paint, stain or home maintenance supplies are pennies on the dollar when compared to a traditional hardware store, you’re sure to stay on budget. Click HERE to find your closest ReStore. (Plus there’s the benefit that your money is directed towards helping those in need.)

Cut it open:

Whether it’s a tube of toothpaste, a bottle of lotion or a beauty product, chances are that you’re missing out on a significant amount of product due to the packaging design. You’d be surprised how much can cling to the sides of a bottle or tube even after it’s been turned upside down.

Check out your local library:

You already know that libraries have free books, and you’re probably already aware that they offer e-books and various digital downloads as well. But you’re likely unaware of all the additional free stuff you can source for free. From cultural passes to toys, kitchen supplies to SAT prep classes, your local libraries offer more than you know.

Track your spending:

It’s easy to ignore small regular expenditures like lunches out or pick-me-up purchases, but writing it down makes it real. Budgeting not only quantifies your spending, but gives a concrete incentive to cost cutting measures such as cooking at home or avoiding mindless impulse purchases.

Unsubscribe to retail emails:

It’s easier to resist temptation if you’re never exposed to it in the first place. Every commercial email should have an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom, which not only serves to minimize shopping temptation, but also clears up your inbox.

Listen to financial podcasts for entertainment:

You probably already know that you can listen to the Clark Howard show through your computer or smartphone, but there are countless other podcasts that offer both ideas and inspiration to keep you on the financial straight and narrow. Need suggestions? You could take a listen to Pour Not Poor, NPR’s Planet Money or You Need a Budget to transform your otherwise dull commute into a lesson in financial literacy.

Put your embarrassment aside:

This tip is easier said than done. But if you can be that person who plucks reusable gift bags from the garbage at work, accepts hand me downs and finds contentedness from the simple things in life, you have the potential to save thousands of dollars throughout your life. Pride can be a significant barrier to living within your means. Set it aside, and remind yourself that you don’t need to keep up with the Joneses. 


It’s doubtful that all sixteen of these frugal tips will be new to you, but if you incorporate even a couple into your daily routine you’ll still set yourself up for savings. I’ve been writing about frugality for almost two decades, but I still come across the occasional new idea. Hopefully there’s one or two in this list to make your life and finances a little easier.

{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

FrannyandDanny February 21, 2018 at 11:53 am

I love these, it’s so nice to dig a lot deeper. Kudos to ya!


Cindy in the South I February 21, 2018 at 12:09 pm

My fav frugal tip is to sleep in a sleeping bag rated for 10 degrees, but to sleep in it inside (and put a quilt over it for good measure), so you can keep your heat down low to say 60 degrees or so. I am a bit extreme, I admit it, and many may not want to do this, but I live in a kinda sketchy, “transitional” neighborhood, in a very small town. Why? Because it is dirt cheap, even for here. Crime is everywhere anyway. I also do not have anything of value anyway, because I am too cheap to buy a tv (and refuse one when folks have offered to give me one because I do not want to spend the extra cash on electricity to run it), and I have a cheap $20 flip phone.Obviously, the latest technology at home is not important to me because I spend my day surrounded by it….shrug. I try not to turn on lights at all.


lulutoo February 21, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Wow, Cindy in the South I, your post impresses me!

And, Katy, I read your posts all the time and love them. I especially loved this one today! Thank you for all the work you put into this blog!


Katy February 21, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Thank you. It’s a labor of love.


Katy February 21, 2018 at 10:29 pm

Sounds like you could teach me a trick or two. I sleep on flannel sheets with a fleece blanket as the top sheet and a down duvet over that. We keep our heat at 58 degrees at night, and layer up during the day. Of course, I bought my actually new flannel sheets at Goodwill for only $3.75. They may be Christmas/winter theme, but no one besides my husband and myself sees them anyway.


Cindy in the South I February 22, 2018 at 5:53 am

Lol Katy….you are awesome! $3.75 for new flannel sheets and 58 degrees is spectacular!


Christine February 22, 2018 at 7:40 am

Katy, like you I have flannel sheets with Santas and Christmas trees all over them. I received them as a Christmas gift so I’m sure not complaining. And like you say, only my husband and I see them.


Jennifer February 22, 2018 at 7:51 am

We keep our heat down, too. When my kids say that they are cold. I say, ” Do you have socks on? Don’t tell me you are cold if you aren’t even wearing socks!” It’s so easy to add clothing to make yourself more comfortable. Now, in the Mississippi summers we don’t do as well. I’m too fluffy to be too hot, lol!


Jenny Young February 21, 2018 at 12:45 pm

I love these, especially the last one. It gets easier as we age for the most part. We’ve been debt free for at least a dozen years & mortgage free for 17 years so we don’t need to be so frugal anymore but I hate to waste anything. The last time I went out to lunch with a friend we both were hungry & each ordered our own appetizer. So I asked for a box for over half of my meal that I couldn’t eat. When she offered 4 fried green tomatoes I happily added them to my ‘stash’. That evening I made two small side salads & reheated the leftovers in our toaster oven (the best tool I have for preventing food waste!). An almost free meal for my husband & me with no waste.


Terri February 21, 2018 at 12:47 pm

These are great tips! I’m always looking for ways to squeeze more out of the budget. I would just add that some areas don’t have Buy Nothing, but tend to use FreeCycle instead or Craig’s List Free section. And along the lines of becoming a stain expert, become a repair expert. If something has a hole in it, learn to patch it. Sew buttons back on clothes when they fall off. If there’s a stain on clothing that won’t come off, put a patch over it. Repair a ripped seam. If something is too big or bulky, take it in. If something is too tight, learn to take it out or put a type of gusset in it. These kind of fixes can often be accomplished while watching a movie or tv show or listening to an audio book or podcast, so they aren’t too boring.


Katy February 21, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Good addition. My husband and I are die hard repair fans.


Vickey February 22, 2018 at 12:10 pm

Same here! And it’s such fun! I get a longer-lasting thrill out of repaired items, especially since I know I could have caved to buying new but didn’t. Every time I see the repaired item it remind me I made a better choice.


Vickey February 22, 2018 at 12:52 pm



Mary W February 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm

OMG, I am a die hard thrifty person and didn’t even think that I could add a gusset to a beautiful formal dress I thrifted at the bins. I need a floor length black formal for my graduation to KOPS status (from Taking Off Pounds Sensibly, to Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly). I found an absolutely stunning black dress, but I think it will still be a size or two too small when I reach my goal weight. It already has quite a bit of black lace on it. A black gusset on each side with a lace overlay that will work with the existing lace trim would do the trick nicely. I can probably handle it myself, but if I think it’s going to be too difficult, I have the perfect backup. My big sister is a master seamstress. 😀

Renee February 21, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Yes to giving kids smaller portions to avoid waste. We actually use full size dinner plates for us but salad plates for our 6 and 7 year old. It doesn’t take much to make their plates look full and they can always have seconds.


Jennifer February 22, 2018 at 7:45 am

I only use small jars for my kids drinks and the smallest plates I have, as I will happily refill them. Just last night, they didn’t eat all their green peas so I scooped them up and am adding them to a crockpot roast with carrots and potatoes later this afternoon. I have also found that putting their food in a bowl instead of a plate, if possible, looks like more.


MommaL February 22, 2018 at 1:12 pm

When I was a young mom and Navy wife, I would sometimes treat us to fast food, (i.e. too tired to cook night), buying 2 kids meals to split for the 3 of us. It was plenty, and they loved the treat.


FrugalStrong February 23, 2018 at 2:48 pm

I use a salad plate for myself, too. Helps keep my portions reasonable.


Mary W February 23, 2018 at 6:58 pm

I do, too. It looks like more food on a smaller plate, and most of us don’t work hard enough to need all the calories that will fit on a full sized dinner plate.


Trish February 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm

great tips – especially putting your embarrassment aside. I have a friend is the same age as me – she is currently living in her 4th new home. Her daughter remarked that she loves that ‘new house smell’. By contrast we have a shabby farmhouse and we pulled up the carpet in the second floor about 15 yrs ago but havent replaced it yet – there always seems to be an old pet peeing at random, or something like that. My friend thinks we are poor – but we don’t have any debt,and have retirement accounts. Her husband mentioned that the bank owns all their assets. They are lovely ppl and I think highly of them, but I do get the impression that they enjoy the status their practically ‘estate’ gives them.


Katy February 21, 2018 at 10:31 pm

I have a decidedly undesirable kitchen. Formica countertops and cheap white appliances, but it functions perfectly and is nice and big. Works for me!


Jennifer February 23, 2018 at 8:05 am

I had Formica, too, but mine wasn’t functioning well for me like yours is. The particle board underneath had rotted away and had to be reinforced with boards. The actual Formica had cracks in it where water could seep through. I repaired, painted, and did an epoxy layer over top, I have posted about it here before. Anyway, it costs less than new Formica, or any other treatment I could find, if you ever need to do something with yours down the road.


Canadian Girl February 21, 2018 at 2:04 pm

Excellent article Katy!


Phyllis February 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm

I left a comment on your Clark Howard. I don’t know if it helps but I thought it might. Good stuff even to the choir <3


lulutoo February 21, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Phyllis, I second your opinion: “Good stuff even for the choir!”


Katy February 21, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Ha, thank you. Not sure if it matter either, but I appreciate the effort. A+


Marybeth February 21, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Love this. I use a bunch of these. Getting over being embarrassed took me a while but now I have no problem with it. Was helping out at a church event last night and the lady running it told me to take all I wanted of the leftovers home(she knows I that I’ll take them). My friend asked if she could have some too. The organizer said no wonder we were friends (because we both eat leftovers).My family and I are eating wonderful free food for lunch and dinner. I brought some to work with me for 2 of my coworkers also. Still have plenty for tomorrow. I have gotten some great things just because I have spoken up.


Linda Gertig February 21, 2018 at 4:45 pm

If you develop a reputation as the person that will make good use of leftovers(both food and paper products at public events either for yourself or the homeless shelters and who will see to the recycling people will hand it to you directly rather than you having the chase after things before they end up in the garbage.


Mary in VA February 27, 2018 at 10:15 am

I’ve developed that reputation at my job. Our office manager first checks with me to see if something can be recycled or donated instead of just trashed. I’ve diverted plenty of 3-ring binders, office supplies, and other stuff to local thrift stores. And leftover food from office meetings?….Yes, please!


Jennifer February 21, 2018 at 11:01 pm

Thanks, Katy. Always nice to have a “Refresher Course” and to learn a few new ones. 🙂 I really enjoyed this post today. Never know what to expect from you and I love that.


A. Marie February 22, 2018 at 3:10 am

What Jennifer said about the refresher course. And I like it that all of us, including Katy, are both picking up tips and passing tips along.

My picked-up tip: The one about wear and tear on socks. Thanks, Katy. (The only problem with putting this one into practice may be that the older I get, the further away my toenails seem to get. So it’s harder to trim them.)

My passed-along tip: As I’m emptying my freezer in the winter, I fill the empty spaces with containers of soup stock (since I’m also making a lot of stocks in the winter).


Ruby February 22, 2018 at 7:53 am

I’m the only soup fan at our house, so I fill the empty spaces in the bottom of our little chest freezer with plastic cat litter jugs that have been washed and filled with clean water. These are so large that if we had a power outage, they would be able to keep the temp in the freezer safe. They also came in handy recently when our fridge was disabled for a day (waiting on a part to come in). We put our modern day ice blocks in the fridge, and everything stayed cold.


kathleen February 22, 2018 at 3:19 pm

A. Marie: this is kind of a creepy over share, but in regard to difficulty trimming toenails as we age… I lay the toenail scissors/clippers on the edge of the bathtub when I bathe. The warm water relaxes my muscles making it easier to stretch, the sides of the tub help me maneuver my feet up close enough to see, and the toenails are softer and easier to cut through after a long soak. 🙂


Vickey February 23, 2018 at 8:07 am

I take a similar approach, in that I do yoga or a stretching series, followed by a hot shower to further loosen tight muscles and joints. And then I use a bright magnifier lamp to be able to see clearly.


Mary in Maryland February 23, 2018 at 10:13 am

My husband and I cut one another’s nails as we are both near-sighted and creaky.

Ruby February 23, 2018 at 11:11 am

Mary in Maryland, I trim my husband’s toe nails for him. He’s too “unlimber” to do it easily and puts it off until he has a set of spears cutting through his socks. 😀

Jenelle February 22, 2018 at 6:25 am

I used to do this when we first got married and my hubby would only eat “brand name” food. (now he could care less). I used to save the brand name box or container and put the generic inside. For example: I would add a bag of “frutiy o’s” to the “fruit loops” box! He never knew.


Ruby February 22, 2018 at 7:47 am

My husband drank store brand cranberry juice from an OceanSpray bottle for a couple of years before I finally ‘fessed up (and the bottle label was starting to look worn). He’s been absolutely find with store brands ever since.


kathleen February 22, 2018 at 3:09 pm

Back in the late 60s or so my mom started going to Weight Watchers, and made some changes in our kitchen. She wanted pre-teen me to drink powdered milk…gasp! She gave in and kept ‘buying’ whole milk…or so I thought. One evening I helpfully pointed out that the milk carton was almost empty and we would be needing milk. The next morning the carton was full. I called her at her office to ask if she had gone to buy milk at dawn. I can still hear her self-satisfied laughter ringing in my ear!


susanna d February 23, 2018 at 6:47 am

When my son was a teenager, he thought he would die (or at least suffer terribly) if he ate food from Aldi. Not sure where he got that stupid attitude, but it was out there. Of course, his attitude never kept me from shopping at Aldi. One day, as he was eating the tomato soup I’d set out for lunch, he commented “This is why you shouldn’t buy from Aldi. Their stuff wouldn’t be nearly as good as this name brand soup.” Time for the reveal: I went out to the garage (okay, it was attached to the house so no big effort) , grabbed the Aldi tomato soup can out of the recycle bin, and placed it on the table in front of him. One of the few times I’ve ever seen my son speechless.

Fast forward a couple years, he’s away at college in a small town living in an off campus apartment, and I get an excited phone call: “Guess what? They have an Aldi in this town! I just got home from shopping there and my food cost about half of what I was paying before!”


Ruby February 23, 2018 at 11:12 am

Oh, that is SO funny!

kathleen February 23, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Love it!

Sam February 22, 2018 at 7:16 am

These ideas go along with trying to not just save money but leave a smaller footprint on waste. We all should strive for that.


Christine February 22, 2018 at 11:46 am

I was thinking the same thing Sam. This as I sit here looking at my recently washed out Baggie hanging over the sink and my empty paper towel holder (I’ve been using rags to clean up).


Marilyn February 22, 2018 at 7:29 am

All great Tips! I was glad you mentioned the one about the inconvient parking spot. I have always made it a point to park in the first spot I find at the grocery store not because it saves money but because it saves time. Looking for the perfect parking spot is just too time consuming. So this is one habit which saves both money and time.


Lisa February 22, 2018 at 12:37 pm

I’ve been telling this to my husband for YEARS. Just park, we’ll walk. He’ll drive all over the parking lot, starting with the perimeter and then moving forwards toward the entrance. I’ll see a spot, tell him, and he’ll turn in the opposite direction. It used to make me feel crazy, now I just find it funny. I think it must be some ingrained military training he’s had…secure the perimeter, then move in!


Vickey February 23, 2018 at 8:10 am

I confess, when it’s snowin’ n blowin’, I’ll look for something closer to the entrance so the groceries and I stay warm(er) and dry. I do give preference to spots where I can pull though, to save fuel by not having to back out.


One of God's February 26, 2018 at 5:33 am

Never thought of saving anything more than my peace of mind this way. Just don’t like backing up.


Mary in VA February 27, 2018 at 10:31 am

Another reason to grab a far-away spot is because I don’t like feeling rushed when I’m walking back to my car. If I have a prime spot near the entrance, it seems the minute I leave the store I’m being followed by a car that wants that spot. No one wants the far-away spot, and that’s fine with me!


Jennifer February 22, 2018 at 7:34 am

I have a huge, older freezer that was given to me from my grandparents who have since passed on. My family jokes that we could store several bodies in there. I keep it mostly full of meats, veggies, nearly expired milk, and bread. I also always store several bags of flour, sugar, and cornmeal in there to keep bugs out. Did I mention this is a HUGE freezer? I have recently started putting other things in a corner of my freezer that are just taking up space in my house to fill it instead of filling jugs with water. For example, I have 2 sets of sheets, some baby blankets, two pair of shoes, and some barbells packed in there. I figured why not just use that space for something I need to stash anyway? Plus, supposedly, freezing shoes kills the bacteria in them that can cause them to smell. I’m not sure about that one yet but I thought it was an interesting perk.


Diane C February 22, 2018 at 10:34 am

Clever, but please promise me you’re putting them in containers before storing them alongside food!


Jennifer February 22, 2018 at 12:28 pm

Lol, yes they are enclosed. But all of my food is also enclosed in containers or bags. This is in case my freezer fails, I hopefully won’t lose my dry goods to moisture or smells leaching inside. I think we are doing ok in spite of my grossness, lol. I do have to point out that at some stores, food is stored right alongside random, possibly smelly or germy, items that are at regular temperatures instead of my super frigid deep freeze. In fact, the fresh bread at my Dollar tree is near the ant killer, household cleaners, and dog food.


Jennifer February 22, 2018 at 7:36 am

Katy, I sent you an email about the trouble I am having posting comments. It’s just a lot more trouble that it used to be so I haven’t be able to to post much lately.


Ruby February 22, 2018 at 7:50 am

Love this article!

Knowing how to sew is probably my most actively frugal thing. I am short and hard to fit, and have taught myself all kinds of tricks for taking up waistbands and altering tops so that the neckline is not too low. And my husband and son have benefited from us being able to buy slacks and jeans that are on deep discount but too long. A few minutes at the sewing machine, and they are good to go.


Ruby February 22, 2018 at 8:16 am

Should have added that I’m not sewing at a level of whipping up an entire wardrobe from scratch. Just basic little skills, but it adds up to a big savings over the years.


Diane C February 22, 2018 at 10:43 am

Lol, Ruby. Our beloved company just left. Just prior to their visit, I noticed part of the corner seam had opened up. Normally, I leave the dirty sheets on the bed (made, of course) when guests leave. That way, I KNOW I need to change them when company is coming. I got tired of rewashing clean sheets because they had been on the bed a long time or because I couldn’t remember if they were clean or not. This usually works great, except that DH helpfully stripped the bed this time. I used the chance to mend the sheet by hand, because I was too lazy to get the machine out of the cold garage. Now they’re good as the new they were eighteen years ago.


Jenelle February 22, 2018 at 11:23 am

I tend to only sew when my machine is out in plain site. thankfully our home has a space for me to leave it out. I do unplug it after each use so that it doesn’t suck any unnecessary electricity.


MommaL February 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm

My sewing machine story is not frugal but it is NCA: I was a young mom and tried hard to learn how to sew. After many efforts, sewing “overnight success” patterns that took me weeks and looked terrible, and snarling the thread on my machine a LOT, I donated it to an organization that taught women in a foreign country to sew for a living.
I do still replace buttons now though. 🙂


susanna d February 23, 2018 at 2:12 pm

I resisted sewing for a lot of years because on the few occasions I tried, the following would happen: The thread would tangle. I would draw blood from stabbing myself with the needle. I would swear, throw the whole mess across the room and walk away.

Eye opener for me was reading in the tightwad gazette, where someone was quoted as saying “You don’t like (frugal activity)? Who said you had to like it?”
What drove this point home even further was my mom talking about how tight money was during the great depression, and how grandma had to go to work. Mom said “The only job she could find was sewing in a factory. And you know how much your grandma hated to sew!” But I didn’t! Grandma sewed many beautiful things for me and my cousins, and cheerfully did any sewing projects that were beyond my mom’s skill set. That was such a humbling experience for me.

And while the need to hem something rarely arises for me due to all of us being on the tall side, I’m now perfectly capable of sewing on a button, mending a tear, and patching jeans – lots and lots of patching jeans.


Mary W February 23, 2018 at 7:08 pm

Thank you for this reminder. I’m not a natural seamstress – my mom could sew beautifully and my sisters both got the sewing bug, but it kind of skipped me (I was a tomboy and would rather be out with the cows). It doesn’t keep me from doing simple repairs and alterations or whipping up straight seamed curtains, although I will confess to procrastinating on those repairs. I need to tell myself your quote from the FZ and get to mending!


Val February 22, 2018 at 10:55 am

I do this with my kitchen sponges as soon as i buy them. i cut them in 1/3’s and throw it away when it gets too grimy (about once a week or a little longer depending)


Linda Gertig February 22, 2018 at 1:08 pm

I used to wash my kitchen sponges in the washer with my dish towels but now I run them in the dishwasher with a load of dishes. Then I rinse them out and run them in the microwave for one minute. I wipe out the microwave with a dish cloth and DO NOT pick up that sponge until its cool,


Bee February 23, 2018 at 2:08 pm

I also run my kitchen sponges through the dishwasher and nuke them every evening after doing the dinner dishes. It extends the life of the sponge and kills all the nasty bacteria that can grow in it.


Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early February 22, 2018 at 11:13 am

That socks tip is definitely one I’ve never heard of before! Makes sense though.

Another financial podcast you might enjoy is FIRE Drill Podcast. Gwen and J are rocking it this year.


Christine February 22, 2018 at 11:53 am

Katy, thank you again for sharing your wealth of frugal knowledge. I haven’t heard of Clark before and look forward to learning more of his frugal tips. These are great and a few I had not heard of are very useful. I got a “kick” out of the toenail and heel one but it really makes sense. Please keep putting your ideas out there for us. Invaluable lessons.


Vickey February 22, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Wow, Katy, thanks for the link to the SistersShopping site! It was reassuring to read that any soap should do, since I haven’t yet found a Dawn version that doesn’t cause an allergic reaction. Looking forward to trying the formulas with my trusty Sal Suds.
We re-use plastic water bottles to fill in spaces as the freezer empties. They’ll fit into smaller nooks and crannies, are easy to lift in and out, and are easier to thaw and use for drinking if emergency water is needed. We’re also working on replacing them with thrifted BPA-free stainless steel bottles.


tia February 22, 2018 at 3:01 pm

It is amazing how little we all need to live and live quite well. I stopped my internet and got rid of a super expensive cell provider. My Prime account hasn’t expired so I hot spot my cheap unlimited data phone to watch Prime on my tv. I have antenna tv which is free. I’m sure I could do without it all but friends and family want me to keep my phone. I could live in a tiny house and that is my next goal, not one of those super expensive ones you see on the internet but something cheap. My closet would make a good size bedroom. lol. Utility bills would be very cheap, insurance cheap, and property taxes CHEAP. I’m really curious how low can I go.
Hanging up clothes instead of a dryer makes them last longer, washing with soap nuts is cheaper and dosen’t pollute, I can pretty much hand sew as well as with a machine and it’s cheaper and smaller storage space. Eating less and non processed food costs less and Im not popping buttons and seams so saves clothes too. When I get home from work or outings I hang up my good clothes and put on my “can’t hurt these clothes” to the keep other clothes in good shape longer. I used to pick up found money but now I leave it for others. I found I save more and more money by cutting out what I consume, less and less.


tia February 22, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Oh and hair…there are tons of videos about how to cut your hair. I wanted a short cut and use a 4 inch ruler and cut my hair that length all over my head. There are simple cuts for long hair too.
Diluted apple cider vinegar makes a great detangler. And if you need conditioner why put on huge globs only to wash it down the drain? Put a tiny amount on after washing, work it in and leave it on.


tonya parham February 24, 2018 at 10:29 am

soap nuts are the best things EVER! Changed my life!

Those and the wool dryer balls with essential oils!


Christine February 24, 2018 at 2:11 pm

What are soap nuts and where can I get them?


ouvickie February 23, 2018 at 7:50 am

Great list!
-I can attest to saving money with a smaller laundry scoop. I use the small one from the Dollar Tree Oxy-clean too. It works out great, since I buy the large bag of FOCA powder (bio-degradable). Since there’s just two of us at home, my bag of laundry powder usually lasts me 6 months or more.
-I use conditioner or shampoo to shave my legs. The emollients in them guard against nicks and you need very little of it to shave your legs.
-I made a bird feeder from a net bag that fruit comes in at the grocer. I use sunflower seeds, so it’s perfect.
-You can use the clear top off a spindle of blank CDs or DVDs as a container for hair scrunchies or whatever you need easy access to.
Thanks for the great list, Katy, it’s good to learn new ideas!


Mia February 23, 2018 at 10:57 am

How do you make a bird feeder from a net bag?


Christine February 23, 2018 at 3:31 pm

I had to laugh over you using shampoo or conditioner to shave your legs. This is something I have always done but when my now 33 year old daughter was a teen she endlessly complained about not having shaving gel for her legs. Cut to when she was in her twenties as a single mom of two small kids with a tight budget when she exclaimed to me: “Mom, I found out conditioner works just as well as shaving gel!” Go figure.


Deb in SD February 23, 2018 at 5:03 pm

I’m pretty frugal, but frequently find ideas that I hadn’t thought of before on this site. Thanks to Katy, and to all who post comments, for sharing.


tonya parham February 24, 2018 at 10:26 am

I think too, it’s always good to remember that frugal and not consumeristic is very different than “cheap” and that sometimes in doing things “cheap” we end up spending more money in the long run.

These are good reminders!


Samantha March 25, 2021 at 6:58 am

Thank you for sharing 16 Frugal Tips. I am not cheap, but I am wise when it comes to spending money.


Coral Clarke October 28, 2023 at 5:24 pm

A baby/ small child has a stomach about the size of its fist!No wonder food is wasted, and eating to match hunger is less likely to happen! Google “ daily nutritional requirements, and assess the size of family portions! Proteins are expensive, and we often eat well in excess of nutritional needs. Resize gradually to avoid stress, cutting thinner, or cutting on the diagonal, makes less look like more!


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