Do you need to cut your household expenditure, reduce your debt and save a heap of money? Extreme frugality can help.
If cancelling your subscription services and turning down your thermostat hasn’t made enough of an impact on your outgoings, it’s time to give extreme frugality a go.
Extreme frugality tips
The following extreme frugal living tips take frugal living to the next level to save more money.
Don’t try and adopt all of these changes at once. Pick a few and start living your new frugal lifestyle.
Cut your own hair
In America, the average price of a men’s haircut is $40, and the average price of a women’s haircut is $66. That means that if you spend money on haircuts every month, it could cost you $480-$792 a year.
Why not experiment with cutting your own hair and save some money in the process?
Watch some online tutorials and practice simpler styles such as your husband’s hair.
Repair your own clothes
If you’re looking for extreme money saving ideas, mending your clothes instead of buying them is a great place to start.
All you need is some basic know-how, a needle and thread.
Repairing your clothes will extend the life of your outfits, saving you a ton of cash in the long term.
Use cloth diapers
If you have young children, you’ll know that disposable diapers contribute to a significant proportion of your monthly grocery bill.
By using single use diapers, you’re literally throwing money away.
Whilst you will initially pay more for cloth diapers, you will get rid of the recurring cost of disposable diapers.
Shower less often
Showers use water and electricity which both cost money, so taking fewer showers is an instant way to cut your bills and save money.
If you still want your daily shower, try timed showers instead.
Children will enjoy making it into a game by finishing before the timer goes off.
Reduce or ditch the shampoo
Experts believe that using shampoo too much is not good for your hair.
As shampoo costs money, start by reducing how much you use or mixing it with water to make it last longer.
Really frugal people stop using shampoo altogether to save money.
Around the house
Frugal decluttering involves going through your whole house and selling everything you don’t need.
Aside from earning some extra dollars, having a sort out will make you appreciate the true value of the items you have in your home.
Having an organized space to live in also helps with your mindset and has been proven to stop bad spending habits.
If you need to save money on your water bill, collecting rainwater is an effective way to do it.
- Rainwater can be used for lots of things around the home and garden including:
- Drinking and cooking.
- Bathing and laundry.
- Watering lawns and plants.
- Washing vehicles and equipment.
- Water for wildlife and pets.
Make your own laundry detergent
If you have a big family, laundry will be a daily chore in your house. But you don’t have to spend a small fortune on laundry detergent.
To make your own, all you need is washing soda and OxiClean. If you like your laundry to have a scent, add some lavender or tea tree essential oil.
Clean your house using items you’ve already got
Store cupboard staples do a great job of keeping your house clean, without the hefty price tag of branded products. Natural cleaners are also kinder to the environment which is an extra bonus.
Here are the items in your cupboard that double up as a cleaner:
- Baking soda.
- White vinegar.
- Liquid dish soap.
- Vodka/rubbing alcohol.
Use old shirts and t-shirts for cleaning rags
Everyone has some old clothes lying around that are not good enough for wearing or donating.
Cutting them up into rags is environmentally friendly compared to throwing them away and will also save you money on buying cleaning cloths.
All you need are a pair of scissors to cut around the edge of the neck and the seams.
Use them to clean kitchen surfaces or for household appliances such as the fridge and washing machine.
Start a garden
The United States wastes more food than any other country in the world: nearly 40 million tons every year.
When money is tight, growing your own food is both nutritional and rewarding.
Salad leaves, climbing beans, fruit and vegetables are some of the highest value crops that you will save the most money compared to buying in a grocery store.
Make your own bread
Not only does homemade bread smell and taste amazing, it also costs a fraction of the price of a store-bought loaf.
A loaf of white bread costs approximately $1.54 at the grocery store, compared to around $0.78 for a homemade loaf – which is less than half the price.
Eat food past its use by and best before dates
Some foods such as eggs, bread, canned goods and pasta can be safely eaten past the use by date.
Just because the packaging recommends a date, doesn’t mean it should go in the bin.
Some foods such as meat, soft cheeses and fish should definitely be thrown away after their expired date.
Spending some time collecting coupons is a smart way to save money on your monthly food bill. You can find coupons in lots of places, including:
- Your mailbox – sent directly from stores that you have a loyalty card for.
- Weekly adverts in the papers.
- Grocery store websites.
- Grocery store apps.
Walk or cycle
Walking and cycling are both completely free methods of transport and are great ways to keep fit.
Use public transport
If you can’t walk or cycle, using public transport should be your next option.
Learn to drive more economically
By making a few simple changes to the way you drive can dramatically reduce your fuel bill. Try these tips next time you make a journey in your car:
- Make sure your tire pressures are correct. Under or over inflated tires will make your engine work harder, using more fuel.
- Remove any extra weight in your trunk before driving.
- Switch off the air-con.
- Accelerate gently and don’t brake harshly.
- Don’t coast – it doesn’t save fuel in modern cars in the same way it did in old fashioned cars.
If you want to take the path to extreme frugality, sharing lifts with co-workers can save you a lot of money on your fuel and parking costs.
Make your own gifts
Homemade, useful items make the best gifts. Store-bought gifts are more expensive because they take into account the time and packaging cost of that item.
If you eliminate these factors you can save a lot of money.
Consider giving homemade a go this year and see how much money you can save.
Buy second hand
Make the dollars you have go further by only buying second hand. The best items to buy second-hand are:
- Baby items.
- Kitchen gadgets and utensils.
The best thing about buying used items is that you can often negotiate the price, grabbing yourself a bargain.
Start living more frugally
With our frugal living tips and ideas, you can stop living paycheck to paycheck and start saving more money and decrease your debt. What’s more, super frugal living is really easy to start. Why not begin right now?For more budgeting and saving advice, take a look at our collection of personal finance articles.