15 Frugal Ways You Can Save Money Today
I’m all for using frugal ways and saving money each and every day! Here’s the deal, you can start with the ideas I am sharing today and add more as you think of them yourself. I have written about giving up paper and plastic products several times, but I feel inspired today to refresh our memories on how easy it is to save money. You may remember the picture below that shows my handy dandy cloth (paper) towel, holder.
I’m sure there are even more ways to save money by using cloth or reusable containers, etc. Here are some of my favorite ones. Thankfully, I’m old enough I don’t have to use those lovely menstrual pads and such, but I would use these today to save money as shown below.
1. Paper Towels
I must admit I do not like shopping at any grocery store, so it’s one less paper towel I have to purchase only to throw it away after it’s used. Please keep in mind I use paper towels for bacon to drain on and toss the greasy sheets. Once you start using cloth, it’s really hard to even walk by the paper towels at Costco.
I just think of the $$$$’s I’m saving. People may say, “what about all the water, power and soap you are using to wash the cloth items?” I get it, I really do. The trick here is to get these thin ones: Thin Diapers for Paper Towels
Please keep in mind I use regular paper towels for cooked bacon to drain the grease and toss them. Also, I have to wash my hand towels and wash clothes each week anyway, so have more to wash really doesn’t add to the cost since it’s generally one load per week.
2. Reusable Water Containers
This one is fairly simple because we just have to buy some stainless steel water jugs and refill them with our own “good water.” I use Reverse Osmosis, but you may have your own favorite water source. I’m not sure what water is really in the bottles we can buy filled at the local grocery store. I prefer stainless steel because it won’t break when the jug slips out of my hands. Here are some I like: Stainless Steel Water Jugs
3. Use Cloth Diapers
I know, I can hear some people now, “no way am I using cloth diapers.” Well, when Mark was in school we used cloth diapers and there is no way we would have had the money for disposable diapers. We also had zero student loans and most current grants were not available back in our day.
Yes, you have to flip the poop off the diaper and soak them if you want, but money is money in my bank account. We have become a disposable culture. It needs to stop. Period. You can reuse the diapers and plastic pants for years. Yes, you may have a bigger investment, to begin with, but you can use the cloth ones for years. I mean years.
Here are some that are reusable: Cloth Diapers and Plastic Pants and Awesome Cloth Diapers
I use so many tissues for my nose I decided to ditch them and now I use cloth ones. I quit buying the paper ones and now use these: Cloth Hankies
5. Toilet Paper
Okay, I must put a HUGE disclaimer here. I have made hundreds of these for an emergency, but I have not used them, yet. Here’s my post where I show how to make them. Family Cloth-Reusable Toilet Paper
6. Clothesline/More Frugal Ways
Invest in a clothesline for two reasons, one to save money and to have a way to hang up your hand washed clothes after a disaster. These are my favorite clothespins: Kevin’s Clothespins
7. Change Out Light Bulbs
This is one way we have really cut our power bill. We slowly replaced our awful fluorescent light bulbs with LED ones. Yes, they may cost more up front and they often do not last as long as the box says they will. But, in the long run, my electric bill continues to drop.
8. Cut Down On Germs
Now, this may sound crazy, but I swear by clean bathrooms, clean remote controls, clean light switches and clean phones/cell phones. Sometimes I think I am a germaphobic, isn’t that a word? Here’s the deal, if we keep things clean, we will stay well if we eat the right foods to boost our immune system. I still wish some churches had those hand sanitizer containers hanging on the wall. Just saw a report on TV that the flu season is going strong. Help prevent getting the flu by protecting against how it is passed from person to person.
9. Beans-Once A Week
If you want to cut your grocery bill, eat beans at least once a week. Yes, I still eat my bean burrito without cheese every day. Good salsa is key to me. I love beans, but I grew up eating them at least two or three times a week. I add some rice and some fresh Cilantro, tomatoes in the summer and I’m good to go with just about any meal.
10. Pasta-Once A Week
I grew up eating spaghetti at least once a week and I still love it, even without meat. Mark has a bag of frozen cooked hamburger with onions he can add to his plate. I use a frying pan with two pounds of hamburger and two white onions chopped and cook it until done. I drain the fat, if any, cool it, and freeze it in a bag. Mark can scoop out the amount he wants with his pasta meal.
11. Cook From Scratch
Everytime you stay out of the store, grocery, big box or whatever, you will save money if you plan ahead. Write down the things your family eats the most each week and watch for sales on those products. Stock up and save money. If you cook more meals from scratch you will save money in the long run.
Now that my family is down to two people, I buy case lot sales of vegetarian refried beans. Yes, I could buy the bag, but for now, the cans work great for me. I work full time on my blog and I have to cut my time in different ways. Buy what you will eat and store it, you may need it sooner than you think. Please be prepared for the unexpected.
12. Make Bread
I know a lot of people have gluten issues, but if I didn’t make bread my grocery bill would be crazy high. Plus, I have made bread for so many years, I’m fussy about bread. I love my white bread, whole wheat bread, and cinnamon rolls to name a few. How To Make Bread by Linda
13. Plant a Garden
Now’s the time to prep your garden spot. If you don’t have a place to put pots to grow some vegetables or fruits, see if your city has a community farm where you can participate.
14. Pay Extra On Your Mortgage
As you may know, I used to do mortgages and I owned my own company for about 15 years. I will be writing about mortgages very soon, but one thing I want to say today is this, pay more than your regular payment so the extra will be applied to the outstanding principal amount. Be sure and label it “extra principal.” Set up your house payment to come out of your account as close to the 1st of the month as you can. You will save interest, lots of interest, over the years.
15. Pay Extra Towards Your Car Payment
If you can afford to pay cash for a car, you rock. For those who can’t pay cash, pay extra towards the principal on your loan. If your payment is $325.00, pay $350.00, or whatever you can afford to be applied to the principal. You will have your car paid off sooner than expected and pay a whole lot less interest.
These are just a few frugal ways to save money. I know tough times are coming ahead, please be prepared for what our economy may do in the future. We must be prepared.
Copyright picture: AdobeStock_10520601 by Andy Dean
24 thoughts on “15 Frugal Ways You Can Save Money Today”
I tried your idea for cloth toilet paper and have sunset, gone to a portable personal spray bottle. It saves paper and the work of cleaning the cloth wipes!
Hi, Debbie, that’s a great idea! I had the squirt bottle ready, but a spray bottle is a better idea! You rock! Thank you!!! Linda
Great ideas, thank you, Linda! We just had to take on a car payment for the first time in almost five years, and the interest rate is unbelievable. I know I need to pay extra each month, but it can be so hard to find it in the budget. I’m really working on my grocery costs this month to see if I can save money there.
Hi Cindy, I totally understand. We still only have one car. I do not have kids at home but it works okay. I totally get it. When the interest rate is really low that’s okay, make the basic payment. I do not know how families are feeding themselves. I grew up on beans, pasta, and some stuff I wouldn’t have fed my family. But my mom did what she could and I’m still alive and healthy. I raised my family with beans, rice, pasta and we canned all our fruits and vegetables. Groceries are so out of site!! I agree with you working on finding ways to save on groceries. May God bless you, you can do it. Linda
So many great ideas! I am 63 years old. My parent were married in 1933, during the Great Depression, so their mindset trickled down to me.
Hubby & I live in a single family (46 year old )home in Oregon. I have had a clothes line since 1980. We use it often.
Laundry: last year, we took a 5 month RV trip and we had our laundry equipment with us! A hand cranked barrel shaped device from Laundry Alternative & a small electric spinner. Hubby & I made a good team. Took less time than finding & sitting around a laundry mat. And less $$$$! I figured that we paid for the equipment during that 4.5 month period. We could line dry in our RV shower.
Cooking: I’m a home cook as well. Recently focusing more on meal planning and setting up pre-prepped Freezer crockpot or Instant Pot Meals.
My step-daughter, Granddaughter(adult/married & mother & foster mom) & I get together about every 3 months for a Cooking Extravaganza! We having a planning session in advance to decide what freezer meals to work on. Then Cooking day we each end up with 10 or 12 prepped meals for freezer.
Mortgages: I agree with paying more to principal. I do want to mention, some folks get hung up on refinancing into a 15 year mortgage. But- because our the age difference between hubby and me, not so practical. So, we have 30 year mortgage. But ran an amortization schedule for 15 years and pay extra, (as though it was a 15 year note) that way, if a spouse dies – it doesn’t leave the surviving spouse with a financial hardship. Or if there were a big medical issue & expenses… we can go back to the “regular” payment for awhile.
Thank you for your insight and great ideas!
Hi Laura, thank for mentioning that about making your mortgage a 30 year one but paying extra when you can. It’s critical to keep the payment as low as we can in case we lose our spouse. Mark and I have talked about this. I LOVE cooking preparation idea! When I lived closer to my daughters we did the same thing. Where I live, most people eat out. We do not. I do have a friend that uses coupons for lunches! We buy one get one free and split the cost. It gets us out of the house once a week. I love reading about your laundry spinner in the RV! I’m impressed. I do not want to waste time or money in the laundromat! You rock! Linda
I have the “Household Essentials 17145-1 Retractable Clothesline 5-Line Dryer | Indoor or Outdoor Use | Hang Wet or Dry Laundry” carried by Amazon. It’s a fabulous piece of equipment! I’ve used it since 2009 between two buildings, but I can see it being used inside a garage better, where the clothes would be out of the dust and pollen of our area. I love that when it’s not in use, it retracts out of the way. Few people even know it’s there. I’ve also tried to get away from the paper products and plastic trash bags. Our area still uses plastic bags for groceries, so they have become my small trash liners. Anything to save a little here and there.
If people understood how many unnecessary toxic chemicals were in their food, and body products, I am sure that more people would cook from scratch and make their own body products. Avocado oil and baking soda makes a good facial scrub. Handmade soap can be made to whatever needs you have (I have dry skin). Home ground wheat makes a delicious and nutritious bread.
Unless there is a long term blackout, I refuse to give up toilet paper, though.
Hi Janet, this is so funny, my friend mentioned the same thing today about toilet paper. She is going to buy a few cases ASAP! LOL! I love freshly ground whole wheat bread, I’m hoping to teach a few neighbors how to make it soon. Great comment, Linda
Cloth diapers. I can remember when, if you were flush enough, you would be able to afford home cloth diaper delivery, at least for the first couple months of your babies existence. After that you did your own cloth diapers. There was no such thing as paper diapers!!
Hi Mensa, I hear you on this one! I know I had a few neighbors who had diaper service, Mark was in school, there was no way we could afford that. I washed sooooo many diapers and never thought anything about it. It was a way of life. I do remember when my youngest who was born in 1977, paper diapers came out. They were so bad and so expensive. I don’t understand why using cloth diapers is such a big deal. It’s called laundry and saving money. Great comment, Linda
Kroger in our area have paper bags at checkout.
You have to ask for them to be used.
Hi Pat, I use paper bags too at a store called Harmons. I also have reusable bags that I sometimes forget to bring into the store. Great tip! Linda
Christmas 2017 for my daughter and son-in-law: homemade cloth handkerchiefs; reusable produce bags.
When my favorite first grandson was born 6 1/2 years ago, my daughter and I got together with my serger and a pile of soft cloth. We made 3-4 dozen cloth wipes so she would not need to purchase baby wipes. She still uses them and she has 3 children now!
A few years ago, I made paper towel replacement cloths for my daughter as well. She still uses those.
When I go to the grocery store, before I purchase things, I try to analyze the “waste” – packaging, etc. I have a habit of tapping things in jars to make sure they are glass not plastic. I can reuse glass but the plastic is a total waste as far as I am concerned.
I am concerned not only with frugality but also with the environmental impact of things like paper and plastic products.
Hi Leanne, AMEN on the environment!! Yes, stop the paper products, one step at a time. You and your family are my heroes today! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! You rock! Linda
I’ve been thinking about making cloth diapers for my daughter. The big issue is that she is 33 years old and I wonder what I should use for the diaper, the liner and a protective outer shell to keep her clothes and bed dry. Any ideas?
Hi Kathy, I think this is a critical issue. We have a lot of neighbors that use depends. Okay, I found some on Amazon. I put in Reusable Adult Diapers. They have plastic pants with hooks, snaps and pull on types. I could figure out a cloth diaper to make but it’s the plastic outerwear, that would be tricky for me. They seem expensive. You could look at them and see if any of them make sense to purchase. They have teen sizes to XXL men and women sizes. I know you can buy diaper fabric at JoAnn’s, if you could buy one cloth diaper online and trace it, you could sew them or serge them. Ask a neighbor to serge them if you do not have a serger. I want to know how to make these now. Great comment, there is a huge need for these. Thank you, Linda
Living in central Florida I hang my clothes to dry all year round. Don’t own a clothes dryer. I also grow a vegetable garden year round. Dehydrate fruits and vegetables for long term storage. Don’t have cable or internet. No landline telephone. Make my own laundry detergent. Take my lunch to work every day. Meal prep when I have time. So many ways to save time and money. People just don’t sit still long enough to think.
I never throw away old t-shirts. They get cut up to be used for dish clothes, dust rags, reusable handicapped.
Hi Kenna, you are so right and smart to save old t-shirts!! There are so many ways to use them. Good job, Linda
I do a lot of the things you mentioned. For those who like to make their own soaps , washing powders, etc. Here’s a tip to save even more. The baking soda you pay 1$ per pound for at the store can be bought at your local feed store. Sodium bicarbonate 50 lb. bag for about 10$ I make my own cleaners, toothpaste, laundry soap etc. Toilet paper I buy off Amazon commercial rolls case 60$ a lot cheaper than store.
Hi Teresa, great comment, we all learn from each other. I love hearing about the Sodium Bicarbonate 50 lb. at our local feed stores. Yay!! I’m going to start having a monthly shipment of toilet paper from Amazon. I stay out of the stores and save money. I love your comment! Linda
Old T-shirt’s can be cut up to be tarn. A yarn that can be woven or knit to make other wonderful things. I recently went to a last chance goodwill to buy just that! Used T-shirts to make tarn. We have two such goodwill’s that you pay by the lb. for super cheap buys here in Portland Oregon.
Thanks for your wonderful ideas!
Hi Kim, this is so crazy, I have seen rag rugs and I LOVE them. I had never thought of t-shirts for making woven or knit items. Great comment! Linda