web analytics

Medium Sized Family uses affiliate links. If you click a link, we could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Read more.

Share or Save This

Need more frugal living ideas for your bag of tricks? Look no farther than this useful list!

Frugal living ideas. It’s one of those things I tend to love with all my heart.

And then life happens. And it pulls us away from some of those frugal ways for a while.

But time and time again, I bring myself back to frugal living.

Because it’s more than just a way to save more money. It’s the best way to simplify your life.

A couple of years ago, I put together a list of 50 frugal living tips. It’s still one of my most popular posts to this day.

(You can read those original 50 frugal living tips here.)

So it seems to be time to make another list!  Here are…

50 Frugal Living Ideas You Can Add To Your Bag of Frugal Tricks

Get ready! Here we go…

1. Stretch yourself a little.

What can you do without?  What can you use less of? 

We live in a world of complete comfort.  Remember that you’re alive! Feel the feelings!

2. Get a refund.

Don’t you hate it when you get home from the grocery store and open that pack of strawberries only to find that most of them are rotten?

Me, too.  I finally started calling the store to get a refund when this happens.

3. Use the Fetch Rewards app.

You’ll get points towards gift cards every time you get a receipt.  Click this link, use referral code PEWR4, and you can start with 2,000 points right off the bat!

4. Take care what you already have.

After all, would you rather find the money to maintain things… or to completely replace them?

5. Find a budget planner that actually works.

This planner is goal driven, which makes you more likely to follow through.

6. Ask. 

It’s amazing how many free things we’ve gotten from asking friends and family. Usually the other guy is just happy to get it out of his house!

7. Make it do. 

I headed to the store to get some huge flower pots for growing my potatoes.

While I was there, I realized I had some old Rubbermaid tubs at home that would do just fine!  Free is almost always better.

8. Use the right tape.

Gorilla tape can repair just about anything. 

I’ve used it for taping cracks in the bottom of water buckets (yes, it worked great and has held up like that for years now, believe it or not), book bindings, and so much more.

9. Join The Club

When I wrote my first 50 frugal tips post, I didn’t think club memberships were such a great deal.

Then my sister got me a membership to Sam’s Club as a Christmas gift. And I’ve changed my tune!

I would never do all my shopping there, but here’s a list of some great deals.

10. Get curious about your finances. 

How often do you check your balances? Your credit score?  You debt?

The more you know, the better things you can do.

I use Empower to track all of this easily for free.

11. Look around your house first.

I wanted one of those fancy battery storage boxes (like this), but the bottom of a cracker box worked fine.

12. Rotisserie chicken makes a cheap dinner (or two).

If you’re a member of Sam’s Club, the $5 rotisserie chicken is the must have deal whenever you go. (You can find them for pretty cheap at other stores, too!)

Serve it for an easy meal, then pluck the bones. We usually have plenty of meat left for another meal.  (Try it in this amazing white chili recipe!)

Then, use the bones to make a simple chicken stock.  I know, stock is much better if you let it boil for hours and hours.

But even if you only have a couple of hours to let it boil, don’t let perfection stand in the way.  It’ll still taste yummy.

13. How to store all that chicken stock? 

Muffin tins are the surprising answer to that problem!

Pour stock into the muffin tins and freeze them.

Once they freeze, dump them into a bag or freezer container. Later, when your recipe calls for 1/2 c of stock, take out one chunk and you’re good to go!

14. Collect spices from Aldi or the Dollar Store. 

They make anything taste better and you can get them for just $1 at a time.

15. Speaking of the Dollar Store, see if yours carries ice.

I can get a decent sized bag of ice (it’s about the size of the small bag at the gas station) for $1!

16. Kids in the kitchen

When the kids make peanut butter cookies, go behind them and scrape the rest of the peanut butter from the measuring cup for a sandwich.

I’ve also taken the last of the cinnamon they put in a small bowl and added it to my cinnamon-sugar shaker.

17. Save your huge pickle jars! 

(You can get giant jars of pickles at Sam’s Club for $5.)

You can paint the lids and add a cute label to the side. They’re perfect for flour, sugar, coffee, and other kitchen essentials.

(I use mine for lemonade powder…much prettier to look at on my counter.)

18. Watch your trash can. 

If you have to empty it frequently, that’s a sure sign that you’re using a lot of pricey packaging.

Single use items and individually wrapped snacks almost always cost a lot more than buying a bigger package and divvying it out yourself.

19. Buy button batteries on Amazon

…they’re so cheap!

I’ll admit, I used to throw away cheap things when they stopped working, because the cost of those button batteries was more than it would have cost to buy a new one. (Toys, flashlights, etc.)

But the replacement batteries cost so little these days, you’ll actually save by buying them.

20.  Amazon Prime.  

The cost keeps going up, so the Hubby and I have a serious talk every year when it’s time to renew.  But we think it’s worth it.

Aside from the free shipping (and we’ve found tons of things to be cheapest on Amazon, even regular household items like dish soap and water filters for our cistern), he loves the free books and free music. 

And I enjoy Amazon Prime video for watching things like Poldark, Downton Abbey, and even fun things that aren’t British period shows.  😉

Get a free 30 day trial here.

21.  Disappearing silverware

Silverware disappears around my house like socks in the dryer. We’ve found ourselves using disposable spoons because we never had enough for everyone.

Then I discovered that you can get silverware at Goodwill for 25 cents each. For about the price of a box of plastic spoons, I got enough real ones that I don’t have to buy the plastic anymore.

22.  Forgot to use your coupons? 

Go back inside for the coupon money.  You’ll get extra steps in, too.

23. Create a wish list. 

You can use Amazon or just write it on paper.

We all have those little things we would love to splurge on throughout the year. Sometimes it feels almost as good to click it into a wish list as it does to buy it!

Then if someone wants to get you something special for a birthday, Christmas, or other occasion… now you can give them a true answer for something you’ll really enjoy.

24. Popcorn makes a cheap snack!

Get a popcorn maker like this one. You can flavor it so many different ways.

And it’s good for you.  (You know, if you hold the butter and take it easy on the salt…)

25. Make your own popcorn toppings

Better yet, make your own toppings for homemade popcorn!  My kids loved these sprinkles, but man, they’re expensive.

So I found a recipe for kettle corn topping that’s just as good.  You can also easily just sprinkle some parmesan cheese and garlic powder over it for a different flavor.

26. Save your jars

Speaking of parmesan cheese, save those green lidded jars!  They come in handy for so many things. I decided to put my kettle corn topping in one. 🙂

27. Get a fun hobby.

There are millions of things you can learn to do that cost little to nothing.

28. Check YouTube for “how to paint” videos.

Acrylic paints are 50 cents at Walmart and all you really need are the primary colors plus white and black. 

You can paint anything from rocks to paper to cereal boxes and more.

29. Rearrange your furniture for a fun new look that costs nothing.

30. Free Samples

Sign up for free samples like this all year long. Many of them make great stocking stuffers!  Or you can create a care package as a fun gift for a college student, house warming gift, retirees, or so many other ideas.

31. Eat leftovers.

Those yummy sub sandwiches? Just chopped up the leftover meat I had in the fridge.

Here are more ideas to convince everyone that leftovers are delicious.

32. Last minute dinner ideas.

Keep this list of last minute dinners handy to avoid pizza delivery on tough nights.

33. Freezer Cooking

Try your hand at freezer cooking. You’ll have food on hand for crazy nights (or when you’re too sick to cook).

34. Mark your calendar to cancel free trials.

35. Dumb Phone

Try a Gabb phone. We lovingly call it a “dumb phone” since it doesn’t access the internet. Use this link to get an extra $10 this affordable phone.  (Service is just $20 per month!)

So far we’ve used it for the kids, but I often dream of switching back to a less addictive phone. And you can’t beat the price.

36. Attitude of gratitude

Start a gratitude journal. You can get them for cheap! Or just use a notebook you already have.

Making yourself write down 3-5 things you are truly grateful for each day will change the way you look at everything. And that will make your wishes and wants cut back dramatically!

37. Encourage your kids to get a job.

Here’s a list of part time jobs for teens.  (Why not have them start paying for some of their own stuff?)

38. Sign up for HP Instant Ink. 

My friend told me to do this ages ago and I was too dumb to listen.

(Like a lot of other people, we’ve found that the generic ink doesn’t work in most printers anymore, sadly.)

But I finally came to my senses. Now, instead of regularly buying expensive ink (between blogging, home schooling, and my Hubby’s work, we use a lot), we get ink sent to use automatically when we run out. And even by paying monthly, it’s cheaper than regularly buying cartridges.

Use this link to get a free month to try it out!

39. Your library isn’t just for books anymore.

Weird things you can find at my local library (aside from the obvious including movies, ebooks, and audio books): escape rooms, notary services, and access to Consumer Reports without cost!

At some libraries, you can even check out passes to your local museum centers.

Check and see what your local library offers.

40. Homeschool cheaper.

My favorite site for helping young readers is thisreadingmama.com.

You wouldn’t believe the amazing resources she offers for free! You can find a ton of stuff on Teachers Pay Teachers, too.

41. Cheap or free home makeover.

Sometimes all it takes to feel good is a little home makeover.  It doesn’t have to cost much to make a big change. 

Here are some cheap weekend projects for better organization.


42. Flowers or plants make the house feel nicer. 

Bring in some flowers from the yard. You can even make tree branches feel festive!

My Kroger always has super cheap flowers on clearance, and I find that they have plenty of life left.

43. Call an insurance broker. 

I couldn’t believe how much money ours saved us on insurance when we added a teen driver. 

44. Use photos as a decoration.

I have a funny pic of my kids that I printed and put up in our bathroom.

I find deals at CVS Photo all the time. And you can get free same day pickup.

45. Grow more. 

Veggies, meat animals, whatever. One up what you already have been growing.

Here are our favorite ways to grow a vegetable garden on the cheap.

46. Get a “guy”.

There are some repairs that are tough to make yourself.

Our roof, for instance, has a very steep pitch. My husband prefers to buy roof service than to do it himself.

Luckily, we have a friend who flips houses. So we asked him who he uses.

And now we have a “guy” who does that work for a fraction of the price of anyone you can google.

(Think house repairs and car repairs…and ask around now before it’s an emergency.)

47. Join a supportive group.

Join the Medium Sized Family super active, amazingly supportive Frugal Living Group on Facebook. It will make a huge difference in your frugal life, I promise.

How to finance a car. What no one tells you about loans.

48.  Do whatever it takes to drop that second car payment. 

Or, do whatever it takes to get rid of all of them!

Cars are so expensive, especially for something that doesn’t last all that long.

49. Be different.

When we had baby #6, everyone assumed we’d get a huge van. Instead, we found a Honda Odyssey with a jump seat.

Yes, even though we have 3 tall teenage boys. How often will those big boys be along for car rides anyway? (Less and less, especially since one has his license.)

50. Choose a good, used car.

We finally got out of the cycle of constant car payments by buying that 12 year old Odyssey. It cost less than $10,000 and should run for many more years.

These frugal living ideas will change your life in the best way.

Keep up with all the best frugal living tips when you join the email list. You’ll also get a free printable 30 Day Money Challenge to kick off your new frugal lifestyle:

Which tip will you start with?