How to Save Money When You’re Already Frugal

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If you’re already frugal and still having trouble living within your means, you may be looking for other ways to save money.

1. Ensure you are eliminating all unnecessary expenses

Frugal people already tend to eliminate all unnecessary expenses, but there could be a few hidden expenses that go under the radar.

Once you comb through your bank account to find all the monthly expenses that you’re paying, you’ll want to check a few other avenues to be sure you’re getting everything. Here are some places to look:

  • Look back further than 30 days in your bank account for subscriptions that come out quarterly or annually
  • Any hidden fees associated with your monthly expenses (convenience fees, for example)

I’ve got a post dedicated to ways you can cut your budget back even further to ensure you are eliminating all unnecessary expenses here.

And, if you’re looking for other avenues where you could be wasting money, check out this in-depth post about areas you may not be thinking about and wasting money.

2. Try going meatless a couple of days a week

We were skeptical to try meatless meals for the simple reason that we were worried we wouldn’t get enough protein (and return to the kitchen for more food!).

As it turns out, there are several foods you can include in your vegetarian and vegan meals that are comparable to the protein in meat:

Meatless optionAmountGrams of protein
Tofu0.5 cup21g
Lentils0.5 cup12g
Seitan3 ounces15-21g
Tempeh1 cup31g
Nutritional yeast2 tsp3g
Quinoa1 cup8g
Chia seeds3.5 ounces16.5g
Great Northern Beans0.5 cup9.7g
Edamame0.5 cup5.6g
Chickpeas0.5 cup6.3g
List of higher protein meatless options

3. Grow your own produce

I know growing your own produce can sound intimidating, but it is extremely easy to do! We currently have bell peppers and chives growing outside. I water once or twice a day, depending on if we’ve been getting rain, try to keep them fertilized, and that’s it. I currently have about 10 peppers growing and a bush of chives.

If you don’t have a yard to dedicate to growing your own produce, try container gardening by buying a few containers (or even 5-gallon buckets from the hardware store!) and planting in those.

You can even grow produce indoors by either using a hydroponics system or using indoor grow lights.

4. Cook from scratch

It does take more work, but the benefits of cooking from scratch versus buying boxed dinners far outweigh the work.

For one, you are able to choose your own ingredients. You decide if you’re using quality products or not. Second, in most cases, you are saving money by cooking from scratch instead of using a premade mix of some sort.

I say “in most cases” because there are times when you will have to buy a few staples for a dish that might make it cost more money. But the amount you can save coupled with you knowing the ingredients makes it a better option in my opinion!

This is coming from someone who only enjoys baking and does not enjoy cooking. But I still find a way to cook from scratch whenever possible because of those two reasons.

Here’s a post dedicated to saving money at the grocery store, in case you want to lower your grocery bill even further.

5. See if you can lower your premiums

Once every quarter or so, it’s a good idea to do some price comparisons in the market. Namely, take a look at your auto and home insurance policies, as well as your cell phone policy.

You’ll want to check to see if there are any fees associated with canceling an existing policy and weigh that against the cost savings.

You could also see if you can change your existing plans (not just insurance and cell phone) to save some money.

We just did this with our auto insurance and ended up saving about $200/year by making the switch!

6. Use curbside to shop

According to this LendingTree survey of over 1,000 consumers, as many as 45% of respondents said that they overspend at the grocery store at least some of the time.

31% said they almost always overspend.

Infographic showing statistics of overspending
Infographic showing statistics of overspending

It’s incredibly easy to overspend at the grocery store. You see something that looks good or may make your life easier and you grab it.

You go to the store on an empty stomach and pick up an extra $50 in groceries.

You see a bunch of convenience foods and throw them in your cart.

By using a curbside service instead of going into the store, you are cutting down those temptations. You simply search for and add the items you need and pick them up without stepping foot in the store.

7. Have a yard sale

A yard sale is a GREAT way to bring in some extra cash when things are tight!

Go through the house and find things that you don’t use anymore. It’s not only a great way to bring in extra money, but it also reduces the clutter around your house. Win-win!

If you’re not the type that likes to have a physical yard sale, there are ways to sell your things online instead.

Apps like VarageSale, Craigslist, NextDoor, FaceBook Marketplace, Mercari, and OfferUp are all great platforms to sell your unused household items!

Here’s a post dedicated to platforms you can sell your clothes you no longer need and bring in some extra cash.

8. Go on dates for less than $20

Dates can be incredibly expensive, but they’re not necessarily something you want to eliminate from a budget (especially if you’re still in the dating pool!).

Fortunately, there are ways to have great dates without the big price tag.

Here are a few ideas for less expensive date ideas:

  • Hop on a ferry – they’re typically free!
  • Geocaching
  • Have a picnic in the park – bonus points if you can plan it around a free event happening at the park too

For a longer list of less expensive date ideas, check out this post on great date ideas for under $20.

9. Take better care of yourself – for free!

It’s very important to practice self-care and take care of your mental self. The problem is that it can be hard to do that while trying to save money.

I have a full breakdown of different ways to indulge in self-care for free here, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a vision board to get yourself inspired
  • Watch a familiar TV show
  • Hop on an outdoor swing

It’s easy to get burned out when you are trying to cut back on things you spend money on. So it’s extra important to find some self-care ideas that work for you and keep your mental game strong.

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