There are so many times in your life when you may need to learn how to live more frugally on a single income.
You could have lost a job, had an unexpected illness or injury, or just want to stay at home with your kids.
Living frugally doesn’t need to be complicated or mean that you’re sacrificing having a life.
You’ll be able to afford everything you need and start living a life you can be proud of.
How to Live Frugally on One Income
Nothing about living on a single income will be easy, however, there are a few things you can do to make it easier and live with a lot less stress.
Have a Budget in Place
If there is only one section that you actually implement from this article, I really hope it’s this one. Budgeting is the single most important thing I’ve ever done for my finances and hundreds of my readers will say the same.
Having a well organized and frugal budget is an amazing way for you to learn how to live frugally on one income. If you’re going from a double income family to a single income family, it’s going to be a hard transition. And honestly, it will be even harder without a budget.
If you’re just throwing your money around willy nilly without a purpose or plan, you’re going to find a whole lot of month at the end of your money. A huge part of having a frugal budget to live on a single income is learning how to prioritize your spending.
For example, of course you’ll want to go out to dinner with some friends on a weekend, but will you have enough money to cover your savings for that month if you do? What is more important to you in the long run?
Being frugal is a lot about long-term financial choices instead of short term mistakes.
Anyway, if you’re a frequent reader of not quite an adult, you probably know how much I love budgeting and that I can talk for hours so instead I’ll direct you to some other articles that are specifically dedicated to teaching you how to budget your money effectively:
- 36 Things Frugal People Don’t Do
- Budgeting for Beginners: A 7 Step Guide
- Budgeting for Teens
- Budgeting for Students
- How to Create a Zero-Based Budget
- How to Create a 50/30/20 Budget
- How to Create a Bare Bones Budget
Have an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is one of the absolute best things you can do for your peace of mind and for your wallet. What exactly is an emergency fund?
Well, an emergency fund is a bank account where you keep money that has only one purpose, to get you through financial emergencies where you would otherwise use credit. This account will help you cover things like job loss, car repairs, or other unforeseen circumstances that wouldn’t be possible to plan for.
Pay Down Your Debts
If you have some time before you’ll be going to a single income, it may be a good time to start living off that one income, and using the second income just to pay down debt if you have them.
Let’s say your partner makes $5,000 a month and you make $3,000 a month. You plan to stop working in 6 months when you’re 6 months pregnant. Imagine putting $18,000 towards paying off your student loans, or paying down your mortgage? That would feel really great wouldn’t it?
If you’re already trying to live on a single income, it’s important to start keeping your debts low and shrinking them as soon as possible. Having debt is not going to help you save money or live frugally, it’s going to be a severe hinderance to your frugal living journey.
Here’s a couple of articles that can really help you to figure out your debt payoff strategy:
- 10 Things To Do Before You Pay Off Debt
- How to Use The Debt Snowball
- Daily Habits of Debt Free People
- Mistakes People Make When Paying off Debt
Benefits of Living on One Income
If you’re only in the planning process of starting to figure out how to live frugally on one income and you haven’t actually taken the plunge and quit your job quite yet, maybe it’s because you don’t know all the hidden benefits of living on a single income. Here are just a few of my favourites:
I’ve found that living truly frugal takes a ton of time and effort, and when you have two people working full-time it can be extremely hard to find great deals, make your own food, or to care for your children to the best of your abilities.
Living on a single income usually means that you drive around less because you want to save money on gasoline. What happens when you drive less? Well, you walk more! This means that you’ll get more exercise and feel better both physically and mentally.
- You can even be more frugal by using something like Sweatcoin to earn money while you walk!
Having one person at home can actually make your relationship stronger. This happens because one person spends their day focused on work and the other on household activities so at the end of the day you can spend that time together!
Living on a single income is going to make sure that you spend more time thinking about your priorities and planning for a future that you actually want, not just one that happens to you. Since you need to have a plan to succeed, you need to think about what you really want!
76 Ways to Live Frugally on One income
1. Have a Meal Plan
As a single income family, one of your biggest expenses (after housing of course) is going to be food. Everybody has to eat, and we all want to eat delicious meals. However, most people are really unorganized when it comes to their meals and their grocery budget.
If you really want to be successful at living on one income, you are going to need a meal plan. Having a meal plan will make your grocery shopping more streamlined and keep you from making impulse purchases that may throw off your monthly budget.
If you aren’t confident enough to create your own meal plan, you can try out $5 Meal Plan, this has seriously saved me on more than one occasion. They will send you a weekly grocery list and meal plan with inexpensive meals that your family will love. You just bring the grocery list with you on your shopping days and it makes everything easy.
2. Use Rakuten When Shopping Online
If you’re trying to live more frugally, it isn’t just about cutting out all spending. It’s about spending your money more intelligently. You’ll still need to buy things once in a while.
A great way to save is to comparison shop and do a lot of your shopping online so you can really know that you’re getting the best deal.
There are also awesome websites that can help you save even more money than ever before, like Rakuten. This is one of my favourite ways to actually make money when shopping online because Rakuten (formerly Ebates) will give you cash back for shopping at all your favourite stores.
3. Cut Out Non-Essentials
The first real step toward living more frugally is being able to look at your expenses and decide which items are non-essential and can be easily cut from your budget.
Being frugal isn’t about cutting all the way down to a bare bones budget, but you can get pretty extreme and get close. We don’t want you to feel deprived, so you can keep a few non-essential items but you should ty and cut back on eating out, convenience foods, new clothing, etc.
If you continue leaving non-essential items in your budget, you’re going to find it really hard to meet your financial goals.
Bonus Tip: Do Surveys for Extra Cash
If you’re working on a single income you may want to find really simple ways for you to make money from home. Doing surveys is an awesome way to make money from your couch while watching TV. It really can become enough money for you to buy your groceries!
4. Try an All Cash Diet
A great way to control your spending in the long run is to try and only use cash for your spending. Doing a cash envelope budgeting system is a really smart and simple way to get the job done.
There’s a weird connection we have in our brains with cash that doesn’t happen when we use credit or debit cards. We aren’t as upset when spending $100 on a credit card, compared to hanging over 5 crisp 20s.
If you switch to an all cash budget you’ll be able to stop overspending and keep more of your money.
5. Prioritize Your Goals
Personal finance really is just that, personal. It is entirely based upon your goals for your future and what you would like your money to do for you in the long run.
You can make talking about your financial goals part of your monthly budget meeting with your partner so you know you’re both on the same page and working toward being happy, together.
Figuring out your financial goals is an awesome way to keep yourself on track and stay frugal. You can even try and create a five year financial plan if you’re really serious about focusing on your future.
6. Use Coupons Online
We can’t avoid shopping entirely, especially for gifts or other things around the holidays. It’s smart to do more of your shopping online to save as much as you can.
One smart thing is to start using coupons when you’re shopping online. You can try out something like honey that will search the web for coupons on your behalf, for free! That way you aren’t clipping coupons in store and can still get the same awesome savings.
7. Walk More
Transportation is always going to be one of your biggest expenses, and it can be a hard for some people to get out and walk instead of just hopping in their car.
Walking more is one super simple way to save money by not having to pay for gas and having less repairs on your primary vehicle.
8. Learn How to Bake Bread
A great way to save money is to use some old fashion frugal living tips that would’ve come from your grandparents and their grandparents. One thing that they would’ve done is to bake their own bread!
Bread is a great option for breakfast with some eggs and lunches for sandwiches and can be made for sometimes less than $1 a loaf. The best thing? Homemade bread tastes much better than store bought.
You’ll be saving money, and staying away from all the extra ingredients and preservatives that are in store bought bread.
9. Trade Vacations for Staycations
Just because you’re trying to be frugal doesn’t mean you never get to have fun again, and taking time to relax is no different. A simple way to save money on vacation time is by planning something in your city instead of going somewhere far away to save on transportation.
It’s much less expensive to rent an airbnb instead of getting a hotel in another city, which can still give you that feeling of being far away without having you have to travel and waste gas money.
10. Make Your Own Food
There are hundreds of recipes that you can make for things you would normally purchase at the grocery store. For example, you can make pizza dough, soup, and salad dressings.
Making all of these things at home will make sure your food is less expensive and definitely more delicious. You need to learn how to cook and grow your abilities in the kitchen if you want to be truly frugal and live on a single income.
11. Avoid Trying to Keep Up With The Joneses
We as humans are always striving to have more than we have, and to be better than everyone around us. Sometimes this can be a good attribute, and sometimes it can truly be a detriment, especially when it comes to our finances.
If you’re going to be frugal, you should avoid trying to keep up with the Joneses and have everything that everyone else has. You need to focus on yourself, and the goals that you are working toward, instead of focusing on buying bigger and better things because you want to impress people.
12. Start Accepting Hand Me Downs
When working towards being super frugal, you want to save money on just about everything. If you have kids, you need to start accepting hand me downs to really save money on their clothes.
The thing about kids is that they grow at an astronomical rate and are going to constantly grow out of their clothing so there is no reason to pay full price for something that will only last a few months.
There is a bit of a mental block that you’re going to need to get through to accept hand outs, but it can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
13. Use A Clothing Rack
Everybody needs to do laundry, and it needs to be done often, so you should be trying to cut costs wherever you can. A dryer is a huge energy sucker and can cost you a ton of money, but you can do something else!
You can use a drying rack where you put your damp clothes from the washing machine for them to dry most of the way through. You can still put them in the dryer to get rid of the wrinkles but that will cost you pennies instead of dollars.
14. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
One of the most expensive things for your home to do is to heat up water so it’s smart to try and use cold water whenever possible. You can actually do all of your laundry in cold water to save a ton of money.
There are specific laundry detergents that are good for using cold water so your clothes will be just as clean without having to heat the water before you start.
15. Use Dryer Balls
If you really want to be frugal you should try and cut out all single-use products from your budget, and dryer sheets fall into this category.
Most dryer sheets are actually causing damage to your clothes as they go through the dryer because of their rough texture and causing your clothing to wear away faster, which will cost you money in the long run.
Thankfully, you can buy a pack of reusable dryer balls that you won’t need ton throw away after just one use. They will remove static and can help cut down the drying time of your clothing without damaging them.
16. Declutter Your Home
There have been tons of people talking about the power of decluttering and how it can save them money recently, and it’s crazy true. Decluttering your home can save you money in a ton of ways.
First, when you declutter you find things that you forgot you had, meaning that you won’t need to buy them again (like bobby pins, anyone?). Also, you’ll find a ton of stuff that you don’t really need any more and you can sell it to make money.
Finally, decluttering can show you how few things you actually need to survive. We need like 10% of the things we buy, so you’ll learn to live more minimal in the future.
17. Implement No Spend Weekends
One awesome thing that people have started doing to save money is have no-spend weekends or no-spend months. This is a period of time where you spend zero dollars except for your bills and absolutely necessary expenses.
This means you don’t eat out, don’t buy groceries, don’t go shopping for anything. You can find tons of free activities to do and save a whole bunch of money in the process.
18. Unplug Things You Aren’t Using
Something that a lot of people don’t realize is that anything that is plugged in to the wall is costing you money, even if you aren’t using it. This is a phenomenon known as phantom power and can end up costing you hundreds of dollars a year.
Thankfully, there are a few options for you to stop wasting power. You can unplug things when you aren’t using them (i.e., your TV) but that can get annoying, you can also get a power bar that can be easily flicked off to stop this from happening.
19. Try A Clothing Swap
Something that is inevitable for most of us is that we are going to get sick of the clothing in our closets. It’s really common for you to hate everything that you once loved and it can make you want to stop.
A great way to freshen up your wardrobe without spending tons on brand new clothes is to do a clothing swap with similar sized friends.
You can grab a bottle of wine and some snacks and have everyone bring their clothes over, and go home with pieces from other people’s closets that they no longer love.
You can also try and buy and sell clothes on Poshmark, a reselling app to make money from your closet.
20. Stop Eating Out
Eating out is a really simple way to really ruin your budget, especially if you’re just living on a single income. Paying for even just one person to eat out costs more than an entire meal at home, so it’s important to cook at home as often as possible.
The first step to doing this is having a well-stocked pantry that can be used to make simple and consistent meals without breaking the bank.
21. Get Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
One thing that we can’t really stop using is electricity and lights in our homes. It’s pretty hard to live entirely in the dark, trust me, I’ve tried.
22. Find Free Activities
As humans we are really social creatures and we can’t just sit around and do nothing all day just to save money. We need to see our friends and go on dates with our partners, but there are awesome free activities you can do and free date ideas to go on.
You can keep a list of your favourite free things to do on your fridge or in your phone so you always have an idea instead of just defaulting to dinner or drinks.
23. Cancel Monthly Subscriptions
It seems like almost every service has been turned into a monthly subscription these days and those costs can really add up quickly if you let them.
Between streaming services, clothing subscriptions, and food delivery, monthly subscriptions are taking over and are here to stay.
When purchasing these types of services you should make sure they have a simple cancellation policy so you aren’t fighting them to cancel, and aren’t on a year long contract. You don’t want to be stuck with $100+ per month in just subscriptions when you’re living off one income.
24. Track Every Penny
When you’re spending money all the time without tracking your expenses your budget will be absolutely out of control. You need to know and understand where your money is going and why you’re putting it there if you’re trying to really be frugal.
You can use something like the highlighter budgeting method to track your expenses so you can see things visually and really see how you’re doing.
Tracking your expenses can help you work towards certain goals and put your money where it can work for you instead of you just working for it.
25. Get Your Partner on Board
Since you’re trying to live frugally on a single income you really should make sure that your partner is on board with everything you’re trying to do.
Money is a big reason why relationships end and why people break up, so it’s so vital that you understand each other and the perspectives that you guys have that may be different.
The first thing you should do is have some important money conversations with your partner. These include things like debt, kids, and where you’re going to live.
Then, once you’ve had these conversations you need to make sure that you’re having at least monthly budget meetings to make sure that you’re working on the same page.
26. Plan Your Errand Days to Save Gas
A lot of the time people are running an errand every single day and wasting a ton of gasoline in the process. It’s time to start planning them so you can stop wasting so much money on driving.
If you have 5 errands to run and two are on one side of town, and 3 are on the other, you can plan two errand days to make sure it all gets done without having to drive all around town every single day.
27. Use Containers Instead of Plastic
A lot of the easy ways to become more frugal are actually awesome for the environment as well. When we use plastic bags (i.e., Ziploc bags) to store items or transport snacks, we are throwing money away every time we use them.
You can easily grab a pack of small tupperware containers that will be reusable and let you stop throwing money away.
28. Make DIY Gifts
When we are gift giving, a lot of people think that they need to spend a lot of money on a gift to make sure that person knows you love them. However, the truth about gift giving is that it’s the thought that counts.
You can save a ton of money by making your own gifts and using these awesome DIY gift ideas. You could do things like homemade candles, a framed photo of your favourite memory together, or handmade cards. It’ll be awesome, promise.
29. Always Try to Buy Used
One of the basics of being frugal is cutting down costs on items that are necessary, especially by purchasing things used instead of buying brand new.
When you buy house things used from websites like Craiglist, you can save hundreds of dollars and get something that (most of the time) will work just as well as something brand new.
30. Pack a Lunch for Work or School
One of the biggest items in your budget is going to be food, and there’s nothing you can do since we all need to eat. However, there are some awesome ways to save money by planning and packing food.
If you know that you’re the type who purchases your lunch for work each day you should really start planning for this to stop. You don’t need to spend $10+ when you can bring some food from home!
31. Cut Your Own Hair
Living on a single income can often mean that you need to cut out some of the luxuries of regular life. Getting hair cuts can be really expensive, especially if you need to get them often.
Thankfully, a simple google search will find tons of videos and articles of how to cut your own hair, just like this one!
32. Use Public Transportation
Having a car is a really expensive purchase and it doesn’t just stop there. Driving everywhere means you need to pay for insurance, gas, and maintenance, and who knows what else.
If you want to stop spending so much money on transportation, you can use public transportation in many cities (i.e., buses, subways, streetcars). Cities will have monthly passes you can purchase to have constant access to transportation without having to worry about bringing change.
33. Refinish Old Furniture
There are a lot of times where we are sitting in our homes and searching for new furniture to make our homes cuter. The problem is that furniture is extremely expensive, like why is a small cabinet $500?
If you have some wood furniture, you can actually flip that furniture to something that you actually love instead of throwing it away and buying something new.
After college, I really needed money and started flipping furniture for money and really saw how beautiful furniture can be if you do this.
34. Cut Cable
According to Vox, most people don’t have cable anymore and the ones that do are really only paying for it because it’s bundled with their internet. Isn’t that silly? Companies are almost forcing you to pay for cable when you really don’t need it.
Based on everyone we’ve talked to, cable doesn’t really get watched much even when people do have it. They’ll watch things like prime video, or Netflix instead and end up paying for both. You can definitely save money on a single income by cutting cable.
35. If It’s Broken, Youtube It
Every single thing in your home is going to break at one point or another, and if you’re really trying to save money you can try and learn to fix things yourself!
There is a youtube video online for just about every single problem you can encounter in your home, from a clogged drain, to a broken toaster. You can find the solution online to do it yourself instead of paying for a repair person to come out.
36. Cut Back on Single Use Products
It seems as though there is a total shift away from single use products for environmental reasons, but it’s also awesome for your wallet. Buying things like single use straws or plastic bags is expensive and unnecessary.
37. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
The types of products we use to clean our homes are so expensive and really for no good reason. They’re also filled with bad chemicals that are definitely not the best for us, so it’s worth it to try and make your own.
38. Make Your Own Soap
We really aren’t able to stop using toiletries and things like soap since we don’t want to smell bad, even if we want to save the money. However, you can make your own soap and save money without having to spend $5 on a low quality bar of soap.
The best part? You can add whatever scents that you really like so you can really enjoy what you’re using on your body.
39. Sell Things You Don’t Need
Something that’s become a real trend is minimalism, and making your space less cluttered with things that aren’t necessary. If you take the time to declutter and get your house in order you can find so many things that you can sell for cash to make living on a single income easier.
If it’s old clothes, you can sell them on Poshmark. If it’s old nicknacks or furniture, you can use Facebook Marketplace to sell them. Facebook is awesome because it will be someone local meaning you can get it off your hands quickly without having to pay shipping like you would by selling it on eBay.
40. Look for Support
Sometimes being on a single income and trying to be more frugal can be really lonely. The people in your life aren’t going to always understand why you have to say no and may feel like you don’t care about them anymore.
You really need to try and find support from people who are like-minded and may understand some of the things you’re trying to do and can give you ideas for things that you never thought about. You can even just search frugal inside Facebook and find so many helpful groups.
41. Cut Out Bad Habits
A lot of us have really bad habits (like smoking or drinking too much, etc.) that can cost us hundreds of dollars a month and can really hinder our abilities to save money.
Trying to cut out some of these bad habits before you’re living on a single income is genius, because you probably won’t have enough money to cover the cost in the future. Imagine if you quit your vice and put all of that money into a savings account instead!
42. Try Extreme Couponing
Extreme couponing may not be for everyone, but there are people out there who are able to get $1,000 worth of groceries for like $20. I find this absolutely fascinating and there’s an entire television show on TLC about the topic.
A lot of grocery chains let you double up on coupons and even use them on sale items allowing you to get expensive things for just pennies. It’s awesome!
43. Cook in Bulk and Freeze
We all have those nights where we just don’t have time to cook a full meal and are so tempted to just go and grab fast food because it’s easy. This is not going to be helpful to you in a frugal home.
One of the best solutions to this problem is making freezer meals that you prepare ahead and just throw in the oven while you’re running around doing laundry and wrangling your family.
44. Try Cheap Date Nights
Going out on dates with your partner doesn’t need to mean that you’re spending over $100 on a single meal. If you’re living on one income that can be extremely hard to make work.
You can definitely find free or cheap date night ideas that don’t involve spending a bunch of money or trying to impress each other. You can go on walks, watch movies, or go to an outdoor concert.
45. Try a Spending Freeze
If you’re always finding yourself spending too much money on stuff that is entirely unnecessary, you may want to test out doing a spending freeze.
This is when you choose a specific amount of time to not spend any money (except for bills) so you can grow a savings account. You can even go big and do a no spend year like in this Youtube video.
46. Try a Capsule Wardrobe
Doing a capsule wardrobe is an awesome way to downsize your closet while still having awesome outfits to wear where you’ll still look fabulous. This is when you can get your closet down to under 50 items that all match and can go together to create infinite possibilities.
This is awesome because you can invest in nicer pieces that will last you years instead of continuously buying fast fashion and wasting your money on stuff you don’t love.
47. Pack Ahead for Road Trips
When you go on a road trip you can often spend $100+ on just snacks to keep yourself happy at different stops and fast food restaurants. It’s so easy to spend so much money on junk food that is going to leave you feeling sickly and not enjoying yourself when you arrive!
You can plan ahead and have healthy snacks for a road trip that will save you so much money, especially if you have kids.
48. Use Cloth Diapers
When you have a baby, one of the most expensive and consistent things you’ll have to buy is diapers. That’s the worst, especially since they are a single use item.
A good solution to save money is to start using cloth diapers instead of disposables. Babies are going to poo and pee a ton, so it’s a great place to cut costs but you need to be prepared to get up close and personal with poo.
49. Stockpile Staple Foods
Having a food stockpile is a really great way to make sure your family is never going to go hungry. You can have things that aren’t going to go bad in your pantry so that if money is low you can still throw something together for dinner.
You can even buy things when they’re extremely inexpensive that you know you’re going to need (i.e., toilet paper) and store them in your home.
50. Build an Emergency Fund
One of the best things you can do for your finances and your mental health is to build an emergency fund. This is a bank account where you keep 3 to 6 months of expenses for when things may go wrong.
Living on a single income is extremely stressful and if you have no money saved you’ll find it extremely hard to cover unexpected emergencies. Imagine if the single earner in the family loses their job, without an emergency fund you’ll end up putting everything on a credit card!
51. Don’t Use Credit Cards
When you’re trying to be frugal you need to realize that frugality is not spending money on things you don’t need, which means you shouldn’t need to use credit cards. You should have the cash in hand for purchases, or else you may find yourself in a hole you can’t get out of.
Some people are able to use credit cards intelligently and gain the points but pay them off, but if you aren’t that person you should probably avoid them at all costs.
52. Eat Less Meat
When you’re grocery shopping, the most expensive thing in your cart most of the time is going to be your meat and poultry. These are extreme budget killers and can really make your go over budget easily on your groceries.
A really good place to start is to try a Meatless Monday and slowly cut back your meat consumption to see how much money it could save you.
53. Pay Down Your Debts
When you have debt, you end up spending hundreds of dollars a year in interest payments that aren’t giving you anything in return. It can really eat into your budget and make things more difficult when you’re living on a single income.
You can start paying off debt and planning for your future that will help and make it much easier to live frugally. You can check out some of these articles to learn how to pay off debt:
- Things to Do Before You Pay off Debt
- Pay off Debt Using the Debt Snowball
- How to Pay off Debt When You’re Broke
54. Build a Frugal Pantry
Having a frugal pantry is going to get you through the times when money is tight and you aren’t able to make lavish meals filled with interesting flavours. You can learn all about building a frugal pantry here!
55. Downsize to One Vehicle
If you’re really serious about switching it up and cutting it down to a single income you may want to consider downsizing to only one vehicle.
When you have two cars in your household that means two car payments, two insurance payments, twice the amount of gas, and tons of maintenance. All of this can really add up and get to a crazy point.
There are tons of ways for you to make having a single car to work. Some families will have the at home partner drive the other to work and keep the car on days that they need it, and that can really work to help you save.
56. Shop at the Thrift Store
Thrift shopping is an incredible way to save money and still get incredible items. If something has made it to a thrift store that doesn’t mean it’s ugly or that it’s outdated.
There are hundreds of awesome items at thrift stores where you can find really cute items for a fraction of the price. There are even online thrift stores like ThredUp that can save you a ton.
57. Buy Snacks in Bulk
Everybody loves a great snack, especially me. Purchasing snack foods when you’re out of the house can get really expensive, especially if you have kids.
When you’re buying small packs of your favourite snacks as a convenience food you’ll end up spending a whole bunch of money that you can easily save by purchasing your favourite snacks in bulk.
For example, you can get something like almonds, pretzels, or trail mix at a store like Costco and use small tupperware containers to bring them with you in a bag or your purse.
58. Get a Deep Freezer
One old fashion frugal living hack that we can all learn from our older family members is the use of a deep freezer. They cost around $100 a year to own which is inexpensive if you can save money by not eating out and having food cooked in bulk.
You can stock up on frozen foods that come up for sale, have crockpot dinners that are made once a month, and buy meat that’s on sale!
59. Try Bartering or Trading for Services
Another really awesome old fashion tip for frugal living is to try and barter for services. This may sound super old school but it really can work.
It may not be as easy with strangers because they may not be able to trust you, however, it’s a valid method to use with talented friends and family.
Let’s say your brother is a plumber, you can ask him to come fix your broken sink and you will babysit for him two Friday’s in a row. It’s a simple trade and can workout in your favour.
60. Stock Up When Things Are on Sale
There are so many items that you can easily stock up on when things are on sale, like rice, beans, canned veggies, and more.
You can even get to a point where you can figure out the days when certain things go on sale at your local supermarket and really start stocking up on necessities.
61. Eat Seasonal Foods
Since we have just about every fruit and vegetable at our finger tips all year at a grocery store it can sometimes be easy to forget that foods have a season and are less expensive at that time.
Eating foods that are in season is an awesome way to get higher quality fruits and vegetables while also being able to save on your groceries.
For example, if you purchase a watermelon when it’s in season it’ll be $4 for a large watermelon. However, when they are out of season you can pay upwards of $5 for a small watermelon that won’t even be that great!
62. Downsize Your Home
A really big reason why so many families in North America are struggling to save money is because they are living in too large of a home which means they are house poor.
There are families out there who are two parents and two children, but they have a five bedroom home.
There are extra bedrooms that are definitely not necessary and these people often end up being house poor and are never truly able to catch up with their finances.
If you’re trying to live frugally you should try and downsize your home and start living in a more modest situation. There’s no shame in that game.
63. Say No More
One thing that most people really need to start learning is how to say no more often. People often say yes to invites that they don’t actually want to attend just so they don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.
This makes people spend hundreds of dollars a year on events they don’t want to attend, so it’s important that you learn to say no.
People are going to understand more than you think they will. Your friends who care about you will understand, and will still love you either way.
64. Adjust Your Thermostat
If you’re trying to be a truly frugal household, you’re going to need to put on sweaters and turn down your thermostat.
Heating up a house in the winter can be extremely expensive, especially if it’s an older home and is prone to having a draft.
You can really be more frugal by putting on sweaters in the winter and taking off sweaters in the summer.
65. Get Cash Back on Groceries
We all need to purchase groceries all the time, it’s one of few things that we are unable to avoid since we have all gotta eat.
There are awesome apps that you can use to get cash back on your groceries like checkout 51 that is available on your phone!
66. Spend Time, Not Money
One of the biggest non-essential spending categories in a lot of people’s budgets seems to be entertainment for them and their families.
A lot of families end up spending money on events instead of just focusing on spending time with their friends and family.
If you’re trying to be frugal, you can try and invite friends over for a movie night instead of going out for an expensive dinner!
67. Ask for Practical Gifts
One thing that wastes not only your money, but the money of your loved ones is getting gifts you don’t love. That’s why I’m a huge fan of always asking for practical gifts.
If you need a new blender or a hand mixer, why not ask for one? You need socks? Ask for them!
You can even ask for things like Costco sized toilet paper, paper towels, and so much more.
68. Try Minimalism
We live in a world that is seriously focused on consumption and getting as much stuff as you can as quickly as you can.
A great way to be more frugal is to try out a minimalist lifestyle. It’s an amazing way to live more consciously and spend less money on things that don’t actually matter to you.
69. Compare Prices
If you’re purchasing anything that costs more than $20, it’s incredibly important to start comparing prices to make sure that you’re getting the absolute best deal.
You can do a lot of price comparisons online too to make sure that you’re doing awesome things with your money.
Pro Tip: There’s a service called Paribus that can connect to your email and online receipts and actually give you cash back if the price drops within a certain period so you know you are getting a good deal.
70. Use Swagbucks to Earn Cash
Swagbucks is an awesome way to earn free money by watching videos, browsing the web, and doing simple surveys.
You can redeem swagbucks for cash or gift cards and it’s a simple and fun way to earn a bit of money on the side!
71. Re-gift Unwanted Items
Over the years I’ve noticed that regifting has gotten a bad reputation, and I totally understand why. It does seem like a pretty rude thing to do, however, there is no point in keeping a bunch of stuff that you just don’t want or need.
Regifting unwanted presents can free up space in your home and save you money on purchasing gifts. Please just make sure you don’t give it to the same person who gave it to you.
72. Pay All Bills on Time and In Full
Not only is paying all of your bills on time a great way to organize your budget and be a true adult, but it’s also a great way to save money.
If you aren’t paying your bills on time and in full, chances are you’re paying the occasional late fee which can add up to a hefty amount of money by the end of the year.
If you’re truly trying to be frugal, it’s a great idea to make sure you’re always paying your bills before they’re due.
73. Pay Bills Online
Paying your bills through the mail is just overall a poor idea, it may seem simple, but there is a high chance that the cash or cheque you put in those envelopes could go missing. Meaning that you’ll pay late fees in addition to having to pay the bill twice.
You can actually get discounts with a lot of companies when you’re paying your bills online too, which is helpful!
74. Buy Gifts Early
There is nothing worse than realizing you have a birthday or other holiday happening and needing to get a last minute gift. No matter what, things like Christmas and birthdays are going to come.
If you really want to be frugal you should buy your gifts days if not weeks in advance so you aren’t paying a premium because there’s certain things you didn’t plan for or a sale you may have missed.
75. Switch to A No Fee Bank
One of the least frugal things you can do is paying bank fees each month. Before I started this blog I was paying $15 a month just to use my own money, how silly? Then I discovered the awesome Canadian bank Tangerine that I now use and I’ve never paid them penny.
If you’re Canadian, I highly suggest you check out Tangerine and use the orange code 50681730S1 to get $50 FREE when you deposit your first $100.
Anyway, there is no point to paying over $10 a month to a bank that already makes millions each year. No matter where you are, you can find a seriously awesome free online bank!
76. Use The Library
There are a lot of people out there who love to read books (including me) but books are one of the most expensive things you can purchase, especially since you’ll only ever read them once.
Having a local library card is an awesome way to stop spending money on books and get access to titles you never would have read otherwise. Plus, a lot of larger libraries have online books you can download onto your phone or kindle to help save the environment.
77. Only Buy Things on Sale
If you’re trying to thrive in a single income household, you should really learn some patience and only buy things that are on sale. Everything eventually goes on sale if you’re willing to wait.
There’s no reason to pay full price for something that you don’t need immediately that may be on sale in a few days or weeks.
78. Rethink Wants vs Needs
A big issue for many people when it comes to personal finances is that they can’t differentiate between the things they want and the things they actually need.
This leads to purchasing things they don’t need and having their things control them. Take some time to really think about your wants vs your needs and you’ll be well on. your way to being a frugal human!
Well, that was one long article. If you made it this far, thank you and congrats haha. I really hope this post could help you to learn how to live frugally on one income and give you some great ideas for how you can save money in really simple ways.
Anything I may have missed? Let me know in the comments.