Thrifty Money-Saving Hacks For Frugal Living

By Harpreet K

Frugal living does not mean you have to sacrifice your quality of life. There are plenty of ways to slash your expenses and save money without having to give up much in the form of convenience or comfort. Remember, there is no one right way to save money. By using a few tips, one can hack into a more affordable lifestyle without sacrificing too much.

For example, if you are someone who loves going out to eat, try cooking at home more often instead of wasting money on restaurants. This is just one example of a frugal living hack; there are loads more on this list. These frugal living hacks are bound to help you save more than a few bucks.

1. Dye your old backpack

There is no denying the fact that backpacks get old and worn over time. What we usually do when that happens is buy a new one. However, your bank account will take a hit. So, why not turn your old bag into a new one?

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First of all, choose a bag that has seen better days. Now, choose a dye for your bag and get your bag colored. And there you have it – an updated, cheaper version of your old backpack that will look great and feel even better!

2. Homemade jams and pickles

Making your jams and pickles is a great way to save money. These homemade items are delicious, and you can customize them to your taste. You can make any flavors of your choice, and they’re a fun way to bring some excitement into your pantry. 

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Making jams and pickles at home not only helps in saving money but will also help you to store them in bulk. So, whenever you wish to have them, they are available. Keep these in sterilized jars to make them safer and healthier.

3. Transform cribs into benches and tables

Transforming your crib into a handy bench and table is efficient and one of the best frugal living hacks. By repurposing your old crib into a bench and table, you can save space in your home while having a convenient place to sit and eat.

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Unlike other furniture pieces that take up valuable living space in your home, this simple hack can transform any area into a functional spot that can be used daily. Or, you can even place this in your garden area to give it a shabby-chic look. 

4. Don’t buy gift wrappers; make them yourself

There are many ways that old book covers and maps can be repurposed to help you save money. One such method is by using them as gift wrappers. All you need to have is some glue and a pair of scissors. 

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Whether you’re giving a gift to someone special or want to add a little extra decor to your home, these old book covers or maps are the perfect option. They are practical and stylish and can be customized to fit any personality or template. 

5. Have you heard about rent-free living?

Lots of people are looking for ways to live rent-free. There are a few ways that will allow you to live rent-free, but they all have pros and cons. This next idea comes with the responsibility of caretaking a wildlife sanctuary. 

Image courtesy: harpo02 / Reddit 

This couple has rented out a beautiful space in nature for free. In return, the tenants must take care of wildlife like forests and trees. Sounds cool, right? Like this one, there are several ways to go for a rent-free living. 

6. Make use of failed films from polaroid 

With some creativity, you can use failed Polaroid film to create a beautiful painting that showcases your budget-friendly prowess. All you need is some old camera film, creativity, a painting brush, and paint colors, and you are good to go. 

Image courtesy: pastel_lamb / Reddit

To get started, gather expired Polaroid film from cameras you no longer use or any film that did not come out the way you would have liked. While painting, be sure to use bright colors so that the painting will stand out when hung on a wall.

7. Choose reusable razors over plastic ones

There are many reasons to choose reusable razors over plastic ones when it comes to being frugal. First of all, reusable razors won’t create waste. When you use a reusable razor, you’re not simply throwing away a piece of plastic that could have been recycled. 

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You are reducing your environmental impact by reducing the amount of packaging and plastic waste created. Moreover, reusable razors cut down on the number of disposable razors you need to buy because they last longer than plastic ones. This is one of the easier money-saving hacks to implement.

8. Go for a budget wedding

There is no doubt that weddings are expensive, but with your creativity and some frugal living hacks, you can still have your dream wedding without breaking the bank. One major thing you can do to pinch pennies is choosing a cheaper venue. 

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Another crucial thing you can do at your wedding is to plan for food costs beforehand. Catering can be costly, but selecting a good caterer and negotiating prices will save you money in the long run. In fact, this tip applies to all vendors you choose for your wedding.

9. Night in, over a night out

You tend to spend more money than expected when you have many nights outs. This is because you spend a little bit of money on many different things, and the bill becomes astronomical. Perhaps try a night in next time. Planning a night in can be relaxing and budget-friendly. 

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You can always plan a perfect movie date or a dinner date at home. This way, you will save your ticket expenditure and, in place of that, order a good meal from your favorite restaurant. To save more, you can even prepare a meal at home. 

10. Modify your stained dress

Looking through your closet and coming across a stained dress that is just not looking quite right might make you want to buy a brand new dress. However, the new dress will cost you more, and you will end up ruining your budget.

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So, here’s what you can do to save money. Try to modify the stained part of the dress. You can either go for beads or lace to cover it. Besides this, you can also completely transform the dress by making another top or dress out of the material. 

11. Compare brand prices before buying goods

Yet another way to save money on items you purchase is to compare brand prices before making a purchase. Doing this will allow you to get the best deal possible without sacrificing quality. Many stores offer discounts, so take advantage of these deals.

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This practice can go for both clothing and grocery shopping. When you shop for outfits, go for online comparison. Different websites sell the same product for different prices. Alternatively, you could go into a physical store and see if they have any deals on an outfit you shortlisted. 

12. Use old clothes to make rugs

Rugs can warm up rooms and give them a decorative touch. Whether you need a new carpet or want to update an old one, using old clothes to make a rug is a perfect way to cut the cost of buying from the store and get a unique piece of decor.

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First, gather a pile of old clothes that you no longer need. Make sure the fabrics are of different colors and types. Cut the clothes into small squares or rectangles, and overlap the pieces slightly to form a textured surface. Put the pieces together, and it’s done. 

13. Don’t throw away food; give it to someone in need

One of the best things you can do for yourself and those in need is not to throw food away but instead give it to someone who needs it. For instance, this farm owner gave away the fruit he couldn’t sell.

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Another great way to help others in need is by gathering unused items laying around your home and donating them to charity. The objects could include things like clothes, furniture, or books. This way, your donations will go towards a good cause while also helping you clear out some clutter.

14. Use shipping pallets for furniture

Shipping pallets make great bed braces and tables! They’re strong, lightweight, and easily stackable. This makes them a perfect choice for minimalist living. You can use them to create makeshift desks and shelving or as extra support when lying in bed.

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Shipping pallets make a great alternative to traditional furniture. In addition, they are available in different sizes and shapes, so you will for sure find the one that fits your needs. So, get those creative juices flowing, and you are bound to create something amazing with shipping pallets. 

15. Learn some sewing techniques

This girl created a two-fit outfit using her boyfriend’s oversized shirt. The outfit is even better than she could have gotten online or from the mall. By doing so, she saved money and upcycled something that would have remained forgotten at the back of the closet.

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If you are skilled in sewing, you are likely saving a lot of money and time. Usually, when we need to adjust a dress, we would have to visit the tailor. Having some basic sewing skills can save you this hassle.

16. Turn your dog’s shredded toy into a new one

If you’re a pet owner, you know how much dogs love to tear apart their toys. However, there’s no need to waste money replacing them every time they shred one. You can quickly turn a shredded toy into a brand-new one.

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You’ll need to collect pieces of the shredded toy and keep them in hot water to get rid of all the dirt. Next, spread some petroleum jelly on one side of each piece. This will help hold the fabric together while you sew it back together. Start sewing, and you are good to go. 

17. Replace paper towels with cotton towels 

If you wish to save a little extra on your grocery bill, replacing paper towels with cotton towels is a great way to do it. Not only will you be reducing waste, but you’ll also be improving your overall frugal living situation.

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Moreover, cotton towels are cheaper than paper towels because they last longer and don’t create any environmental damage. So, if you want to legitimately reduce your spending without sacrificing the convenience of having paper towels, cotton towels are a great alternative.

18. Make a more substantial rake using the old one

Everyone knows that you might have to fork out more money for a good quality rake if you buy one at the mall. However, little did you know that you can make a strong rake yourself at home. Your wallet will thank you for it.

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All you need is a broken or old hockey stick and an old rake. Just attach the hockey stick and the front spikey part of the old rake. Once done, you will have a strong rake. You will also have repurposed that hockey stick that has been in the garage for ages.

19. Make spice shelves using old bed slats

When spending as per a planned budget, it might be better to make your spice shelves using old bed slats rather than buying them from a store. This method is a fun way to stay creative while adding some personality to your kitchen decor.

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With these shelves, you can store your spices neatly in one place without searching through boxes and jars at the back of a messy cabinet. Just measure your space before starting so you don’t end up with a shelf that doesn’t fit the space.

20. Your trash could be someone’s treasure

Thrift shopping is not a new concept. These days, almost everyone has gone thrift shopping at least once. There’s a certain thrill involved in stumbling upon an old, forgotten piece of furniture or finding a treasure trove of junk in someone’s attic.

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The bookshelf in the picture above is the perfect example of the age-old saying, “your trash could be someone’s treasure.” The person made the shelf using recycled thrift store speakers. The bookshelf is much better than the one he could have bought from the mall. 

21. Wooden pathway using old wood

There’s nothing like a charming wooden pathway to add character and charm to your property. However, it is best to find inexpensive and easy ways to create this look. So, here is an idea to use old wood for your pathway.

Image courtesy: Reddit / Rogue_Mongoose

Old wood is durable and can last for many years. Plus, it’s an excellent choice for a pathway as it’s organic and natural, making it more appealing to the eye. So, you don’t have to worry about spending much on your wooden path.

22. Strip the old electricity wires to get copper wire

Stripping old electric wires and removing the copper wire inside of them can help you save some extra money. This is an easy way to get your hands on some clean copper wiring without even having to leave the house.

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If your electricity wire meter is the older kind with lead wires, you can use a lead-free striping kit to remove the old cables. For wires with rubber-insulated metal wires, you can use a scalpel or razor blade to cut through the insulation and expose the copper wiring underneath. 

23. Grow your green onion & chives

The interesting thing about green onions and chives is that they grow exponentially quickly and can be regrown once they have roots. The regrowth ability of these vegetables will help you save money. You don’t have to go to a vegetable shop whenever you want a new plant.

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All you need to do is take out the roots of the onion and place them in water until they grow again. It will take approximately 6-7 days for them to regrow. Alternatively, you can also place the roots directly in the soil.

24. Fix your staircase with rocks

We all know that frugal living requires resourceful thinking and creativity. However, who knew that you could save money by fixing your staircase with rocks? This unique hack will not only be budget friendly for you but will also make your place look absolutely beautiful. 

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Find some large rocks the same size and shape as the stairs in your staircase. Then, use adhesive to attach the rocks to the stairs. Once you’re done, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind staircase that will impress everyone who sees it.

25. Beautify the kitchen yourself

You can do a lot more than you expect with adhesive paper. You can do anything from creating custom artwork to enhancing your walls or shelves. Moreover, this paper is not difficult to use, and you can do all of this by yourself. 

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You can find adhesive paper at most craft stores. Best of all, it’s usually much cheaper than hiring someone else to achieve the same look. Just cut out the shapes or designs you want and apply them to your walls.

26. Reuse cards every year to create memories

A lady and her best friend have been sending the same birthday card for the past 35 years. This is true “friendship goals.” They have created a lot of memories on a single card without spending money on new cards that end up in the bin.  

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Reusing the old cards every year can also help you keep all of your favorite memories in one place. You won’t have to dig through piles of cards to find a note that might be special to you. So, try this with your best friends. 

27. Make use of Craigslist 

For those who are not aware of Craigslist, it is a site where people can list paid and free advertisements for products and services. There’s a massive selection of items available at great prices, so you’ll find something that suits your needs.

Image courtesy: RealMoneyRobert / Reddit 

The picture above is of a chicken coop made free of cost with materials from Craigslist. This person made what he wanted to make without even spending a penny. So, if you would like to do the same and save money, check out Craigslist. 

28. Get berries from the fields

Want to have berries without spending much money? You can go and get your berries and vegetables from the fields directly. Bypassing the middleman can help you save a lot of money, and it’s a great way to get fresher produce.

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You can also find fruit-picking fields in many areas that let you pick your fruit and take them home with you. This hack can primarily be used in the case of berries, which are expensive food items. Try this hack, and thank us later. 

29. Wrap big tool kits using a tarp

One frugal living hack is to wrap big tool kits in a tarp. This is a great way to protect your tools from the elements. Work tools are not cheap, so it is essential to always keep them in good condition.

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To start, take your big tool kit and lay it out on a tarp. Then, cut the tarp into a piece that is large enough to cover the kit. Once you’ve done that, wrap the tarp around the kit and secure it with duct tape or zip ties. 

30. Make your own veggie garden

There are tons of benefits to growing your vegetables. You are sure to get fresh, nutritious produce, which will save you money in the long run. All you need is a good space and seeds for the vegetables you wish to grow. 

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Doing this may seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of vegetables that are easy to grow and don’t need to be constantly tended to. Moreover, you’ll know exactly what’s going into your food and can be sure that it’s organic.

31. Cut sponges into two

We all use sponges for cleaning purposes; however, they tend to need replacing very often. You can save a lot of money by buying one sponge and cutting it into two. By cutting the sponge in half, you can also use each side for a different purpose. 

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For instance, one side can be used for cleaning dishes while the other can be used for scrubbing the bath. This hack proves that you do not have to spend a lot of time on money-saving tricks. Some are super simple but can have a big impact.

32. Use zip locks to store green veggies

Using zip locks to store veggies is another effective way to save money and extend the shelf life of your product. Pop your veggies in a zip-lock bag, and they’ll stay fresh for days. Keep your veggies in the fridge or freezer, and you’re good to go whenever hunger strikes!

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You can also pack a bunch of smoothie ingredients in one pack, so all you have to do in the morning is dump the pre-cut and pre-packaged fruit into your blender. This is another easy storage hack that doesn’t take much time to do.

33. Use kids’ toys in Pinata

If you have any old toys that your kids don’t use anymore, don’t chuck them out. You can use them for another frugal living hack. For example, did you know you can use old toys in a pinata for your kid’s birthday party? 

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To make a Pinata filled with kids’ toys, simply fill a paper mache figure with the old toys. Easy! This is a great way to keep your child entertained while removing unwanted toys. Just make sure there are no toys that could do damage if they fall out of the Pinata.

34. Consume homemade bread

Homemade bread is often cheaper than store-bought bread. Homemade bread can also be healthier since you can control the ingredients that go into it. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to bake bread at home.

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First, make sure you have the proper equipment. Second, use quality ingredients. And third, be patient. The process of making bread takes time, but it’s well worth it in the end. So, now you don’t have to buy expensive bread from the store. 

35. Dice and chop fruits at home

Chopping and dicing your fruits and veggies can actually save you some money. However, you must make sure to chop your produce while it is still fresh. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s pretty easy once you get into the habit of doing it. 

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Chopped veggies and fruit cost more when you buy them from the store. While the convenience is great, you can get that same convenience by chopping your veggies all at once. You can store the chopped fruit and veggies in containers in your fridge or even freeze them for later use.

36. Give your old boots a new look 

Using oil on boots is an easy and inexpensive way to make them look new again. In addition, doing this will help protect them from the elements and extend their lifespan. All you need is a bit of oil and a cloth.

Image courtesy: Starving_Poet / Reddit 

First, rub the oil into the boots with the cloth. Then, let the boots dry overnight. The next day, buff the boots with a second cloth to bring out their shine. However, make sure you don’t apply oil on brand-new boots. 

37. Collect cans & make money

How about cleaning your area, saving the environment, and earning money simultaneously? Sound good? Well, you can do that by collecting empty cans and making some money selling them. Also, it is a great way to recycle and help the environment.

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Once you have your collection of cans, you can then start looking for ways to sell them. The best option is to take them to your local recycling center, where you will be paid based on the weight of the cans. 

38. Weight your chicken always

Chicken is typically sold by the pound, so checking the chicken’s weight before purchasing it can save money on your total bill. By checking the weight, you can make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. So, try this hack next time.

Image courtesy: rust_in_pieces / Reddit

The weight of chicken is always mentioned on its packet. However, what is on the packet may not always be the true weight of the produce. If you wish to save money, make a habit of weighing your foodstuff before buying. 

39. DIY backsplash

A simple and inexpensive way to update your kitchen is to consider a DIY backsplash. There are lots of ways to make your own DIY backsplash. You can create something spectacular by using self-adhesive tiles or mosaic sheets or painting directly onto the wall. 

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You must first decide on the material you want to use for your backsplash. Tile is a popular option, but you can also use stainless steel, glass, or wood. Once you’ve selected your material, gather the tools and supplies, and start working. 

40. Choose clothes pegs over chip clips

Clothes pegs are a tried and tested way of keeping chip packets closed. Clothes pegs are usually cheaper than plastic chip clips. When you have a choice, always try to go for wooden pegs instead of plastic pegs. It is always better to use as little plastic as possible.

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Clothes pegs are also much more versatile than chip clips. You can use them for different things beyond just sealing bags of chips. Since they are so affordable, you can also buy more pegs than chip clips. If you are feeling extra ambitious, you can even try to make them at home.

41. Use your iced tea bottles

If you spend a lot on iced tea, an effortless way to save cash is to start making your iced tea at home. Bottled store-bought iced tea can be expensive, and it’s often not as delicious as freshly brewed iced tea.

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Making your iced tea is easy and allows you to control the quality and strength of the flavor. Just remember to buy or use old jars for this homemade iced tea. With this hack, you can enjoy your beverage while saving cash.

42. Get one paint tube squeezer 

Paint tube squeezers are devices that fit over the end of a paint tube and allow you to squeeze the paint out without having to cut the tube open. Using this tube squeezer will prevent you from wasting your toothpaste. 

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Paint tube squeezers are affordable, and they’re worth the investment. Plus, they’re super easy to use—simply squeeze the handle, and the paint will be squeezed out of the tube. A tube squeezer is one of the most ingenious devices ever made.

43. By abandoned food items

Now, when we say abandoned, we don’t mean that literally. There are a few supermarkets that sell miss-shapen vegetables and fruits for a lesser price. This is an excellent way to get the produce you need while still saving money.

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Supermarkets have aesthetic requirements for their fruit and vegetables. Some produce doesn’t meet the aesthetic requirements. This means they’re sold at a fraction of the price. Even though they might be a little wonky, the veggies still taste the same. Save yourself some money and buy ugly produce.

44. Reupholster an old chair

What frugal living hack have you been putting off? For many of us, it’s reupholstering an old chair. We procrastinate for all sorts of reasons—we don’t want to spend the money, we don’t have the time, or we’re worried we’ll ruin it. 

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However, reupholstering an old chair is a great frugal living hack! It can help you stay within your budget, and it’s a fun project that can be done on the weekend. You can make your chair or sofa look precisely how you want it. 

45. Use leftover pie crust for cinnamon sugar cookies

Anyone who has made a pie before will tell you that there’s always a bit of dough left over. Don’t let it go to waste—use it to make some delicious cinnamon sugar cookies. These cookies are super easy to make. Your family will love you for making these.

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To make cinnamon sugar cookies, just roll out the dough, cut out some shapes, and sprinkle on some sugar and cinnamon. Place the cookies in the oven to bake for about 10 minutes, and you will have some delicious cookies that everyone will adore!