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19 Habits of Fantastically Frugal People

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Frugality is all in your head, it is a mindset, and before long it will seep into your bones. By cutting costs in multiple facets, we are able to live below our means. Behold my {continuously growing} list of habits of frugal people.

19 Habits of Fantastically Frugal People

19 Habits of Frugal People

1. Aren’t Afraid Say No to Kids’ Requests

Never be afraid to tell your children “no” in the store. As a couponer, my children know that if I don’t have a coupon for it, I’m not buying it. Simple as that. This includes everything from Pop-Tarts, to the toy aisle, to electronics and video games. Even if it is not an item I would rarely get a coupon/discount on, I am not afraid to tell them to save up their allowance to make that purchase on their own.

By saving up and using their own money, they will {hopefully} learn to value their items/purchases even more.

2. Shop Around for Rates

Always, always, always shop around for the best rates – whether this is interest rates for your home, or your next vehicle purchase or even just hotel rates! Never, under any circumstances take the first offer handed to you.

The only exception to this rule is if they are offering you 0% interest for the entire term of a loan.

3. Aren’t afraid to Ask for a Discount

Frugal folks aren’t afraid to ask for discounts at any store. See a snag in that sweater that you could possibly fix yourself? Ask for a discount! You may get 10-15% off! It never hurts to ask. What are they going to say? No? Meh… oh well, at least you tried.

Did you know that you can haggle at many different retailers? Sales associates at many retailers are allowed to offer slight discounts that could add up to big savings. Getting 10% off of a $1,000 fridge is $100 savings!

Bonus: they may know about an upcoming sale that could score you even more savings.

4. Go on Cheap Dates

Why spend a fortune going out to eat at a fancy restaurant and seeing the newest movie? Why not use a coupon for dinner or make a picnic? Go to the $1 movie theater and call it date night. It is about spending time together, not spending money together.

You could even find crappy B movies on Netflix and make a pallet on the living room floor. Make it silly and romantic. It doesn’t need to be fancy if it’s just the two of you.

5. Buy In Season

By purchasing in-season fruits and vegetables, you are helping to keep costs low. Grow what you can in your own garden to save even more. You’ll notice that strawberries are super cheap around the same time every single year. Use them in smoothies, desserts and snacks during those times.

This extends to household items as well. Watch the end-of-season clearance for discounts on grills, hoses, clothing for your children and yourself. Buy for the next year/season.

6. Reuse/Re-purpose

Reuse or re-purpose everything you can. This is great not only for your pocketbook, but for the environment as well! I am always looking for containers that I can reuse, or an old shirt that I can cut up to turn into dusting rags, etc. You’d be surprised what you can turn into something useful, many times with minimal effort!

I’ve found some of my favorite furniture pieces at thrift stores or on the side of the road. Yep, I’m that lady. lol! #shameless

7. Have Emergency Funds

What happens if your car blows a tire, or if the transmission goes out? You really don’t want to have to put that on a credit card and pay interest on it, so keep a bare minimum of $500 in an emergency fund. I like to keep it at least $1,000 but if this is simply not feasible, anything is better than nothing.

Note: Make sure you keep these funds for actual emergencies.

8. Look for Alternatives

Instead of taking an uber expensive trip, why not have a stay-cation? Even taking a 2-hour road trip to Kansas City can be an mini-vacay for us. Sometimes it’s nice to just take a day or two off and run around town while the kids are in school, if only to get errands done that have been piling up. Ah, what a glamorous life we live.

9. Take the Time to Do the Math

Just like when comparing the unit price/price per ounce at the grocery store, you can apply the same logic and take the time to do the math. When buying a car, are you going to have great gas mileage or horrible gas mileage? Definitely something to think about as time goes on and the price of gas will eventually rise.

Would it be better to go with a 48 month car loan with a 5% interest rate, or a 60 month car loan with a 2.9% interest rate? If you can swing the more cost effective option, you’ll end up saving big time in the long term.

Related: 9 Easy Ways to Save Without Using Coupons

10. Take Advantage of Community Events/Resources

My small town almost always has community events. Many of times these are SUPER fun for the entire family, and FREE to boot! Do a simple internet search for your city’s calendar of events.

For example, my small town will have a kite festival this weekend, during which we will be able to build and fly our own kites – at no cost to us. Get out of the house and be productive, learn something, all without spending a single dime!

11. Frequent the Library

If you haven’t been visiting your local library, you are missing out. Simple as that. Every library will offer free events, possibly book signings, book clubs and more.

My children participated recently in a LEGO building event at our local library. They had thirty minutes to complete a LEGO project of their choosing, after which they voted on the best. How cool is that?

Also, make sure you check out the movie and video game selection. My kids can blow through a video game (or get bored with one just as easily) within a few days if I let them. Why not rent it for free?

12. Have Productive Hobbies

As a frugal gal, I find myself with hobbies that are both productive and beneficial to my life or my household as a whole.

Are you really great at painting? Do you knit or crochet to relax? It’s better than therapy to my mind, and free!

Bonus: you can work a little side hustle if you’re really great at it!

13. Don’t Spoil Children

Simply put: your children don’t NEED much. Food, drink, education and your time. Which, of course, is free. See #1 above.

14. Constantly Saving

No matter where we shop, what we are buying, where we are eating, we will always look for a discount or other way to save.

Many retailers will offer a discount for signing up for their text messages. If you’re in the store and see a sign stating as such, why not? We’ve gotten free appetizers, 10% or 25% off coupons – every penny counts and they all add up!

Tip: after redeeming your discount, you can reply “stop” to end the text messages or unsubscribe from emails if it was an email offer.

15. Buy Used

Thrift store shopping is some of my favorite kind of shopping. I’ve noticed – after years of thirfting the same stores – which locations consistently have items I am interested in, and which are competitively priced and which are not. Make a loop every so often just to scope it out. It also helps to know your high-end brand names while thrifting.

Sometimes you can find some KILLER deals on items that would normally cost $100+ new. I got a $120 pair of jeans for $3.98 at the DAV last year. Oh yes I did!

16. Buy Refurbished

About half of the electronics in our home were purchased refurbished from the manufacturer. I am honestly more comfortable buying refurbished as most times those items are certified refurbished, they must pass multiple tests from the manufacturer before being sent back out for purchase.

Save 20% – 50% or more all while {hopefully} getting a better product as well.

17. Think Long-Term Financially

I plan on retiring young. I can’t do that if I’m not planning for it while I’m still young.

18. Kill as Many Birds as Possible at Once

If I’m going to do something, I might as well squeeze every last drop out of my time and my money. This is just one of the reasons I brush my teeth while in the shower. The other reason is that it feels amazing. Ha!

This extends to running errands and making the most of your gas. Run all of your errands on the same day, and in the most efficient route as possible.

19. Let People Know What You Need

This is totally not the same thing as fishing for gifts. But, if you mention that you are looking for a deal on a 40″ TV for example, mentioning it casually in conversation to a friend or family member, chances are they will remember your comment, and keep an eye out for deals.

Just be sure to return the favor! Birds of a feather flock together. 😉

What else do you do as a habitually frugal person? Little things add up to BIG things, and yes, every single penny counts.

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: 27 Must Have Money Saving Smartphone Apps - Heart · Hook · Home
  2. If it's something I buy, but then throw out....I stop to think if I can replace it with reusable items. We switched out rags for paper towels, cloth napkins for paper, hankies for tissues, nd my newest one is reusable menstrual pads. There are a ton of videos and quite a few patterns online. You can even buy them on Amazon. This all saves us a lot of $$$.