Frugal tips

Don’t Waste Food

Spending money on food you don’t eat is just like throwing dollar bills in the trash. Using up what you have can help lower your grocery bill each week.

  • Write It Down. Keep a list of the foods that go to waste each week. That can help you spot patterns in your buying habits and change those habits over time to save money. For instance, do you frequently buy salad ingredients you have to throw out because you don’t have time during the week to put your salad together? Then start making Mason jar salads on the weekend.
  • Eat Leftovers at Breakfast. You don’t have to reserve leftovers for lunch or dinner. Often, they can make a healthy and filling breakfast.
  • Use It Up. If your produce starts to go bad, don’t toss it in the garbage unless it’s genuinely rotten. You can easily freeze past-prime vegetables and fruits and use them to season stocks, make smoothies, or put in soups. For more tips, see our article on reducing food waste.

Choose Cheaper Proteins

According to the USDA, the average price for ground beef in 2019 was $3.85 per pound, while a round roast was $5.22. Bacon’s average price per pound was $5.57, while pork chops sold for $3.76 per pound. Beef and pork are expensive, especially if it takes 2 pounds or more to feed everyone in your family. You can cut your grocery costs by choosing cheaper proteins and getting creative with how you prepare them. It can help to do a direct cost comparison so you can see how much each protein costs per gram.

  • Eggs: One dozen eggs cost an average of $1.36, which is 11 cents per egg. Each egg contains 6 grams of protein. So for 12 eggs, you’re getting 72 grams of protein, which costs 0.01 cents per gram. (Source: USDA Summary of Retail Prices and Price Spreads report)
  • Ground beef: 1 pound of ground beef costs an average of $3.85, and there are 65 grams of protein per pound. That averages out to 5 cents per gram. (Source: USDA Summary of Retail Prices and Price Spreads report)
  • Canned tuna: One 12-ounce (undrained) can of tuna in water costs around $2.50 and contains 58.5 grams of protein. That averages out to 0.04 cents per gram. (Source:
  • Dried kidney beans: One 16-ounce bag of dried pinto beans costs an average of $1.79, and contains 40 grams of protein. This averages to 0.04 cents per gram. (Sources: The Bean Institute and Self Nutrition Data) As you can see, switching to less expensive proteins like eggs and beans can save you a significant amount of money each week and help you serve healthier meals to your family. And eating less meat overall can also help you save. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition found that vegetarians save an average of $746.46 each year by not eating meat.

Start Meal Planning

There are many benefits to family meal planning. It saves time, reduces trips to the store, helps you eat healthier dinners, and helps you save money on groceries because you can stock up on sale items and avoid impulse buys. Begin by making a list of your family’s favorite budget-friendly meals. For the most part, stick with old favorites like spaghetti, meatloaf, and chicken and rice. If you need some inspiration, check out Delish’s comprehensive list or use a service like eMeals. Once you have at least a week or two of meals, put them on your calendar based on your family’s schedule. Schedule quick and easy meals for busy weeknights and meals that take longer for weekends or slower days. You can also use the weekend to make freezer meals you can unthaw and cook during the week. Some budget-conscious families also pay for their groceries with cash to reduce the impulse to buy things that aren’t on their shopping lists. But you can also use grocery store-friendly credit cards.

Enjoy FREE Fun

One of the key aspects of being frugal and thrifty is trimming extra expenses. That means you look for ways to enjoy free fun overpaying for entertainment. This may seem like a foreign concept to you. But, what would happen if all movie theaters, restaurants, and meeting places closed down? A little over a month ago, you would say that would never happen. However, in 2020, that has become our reality. Learn how to enjoy free fun! And guess what? Many times you will enjoy the simplicity of having less on your schedule. Must Read: 101 Fun Things To Do With No Money


Time to do it yourself. This is one of the top thrifty living habits. You have to know how to do something yourself (and thanks to YouTube, you can watch a tutorial). You can save thousands of dollars by learning how to do it yourself. Just a key note on DIY… Look around your house and see what supplies you have before buying items for a DIY project. You probably can substitute something you have on hand. These DIY thrifty tips and tricks are great ways to save money in the long run. You must have to be willing to try. Be okay to fail. Then, learn from your mistakes and do it again.

Shop Sales & Clearance

When you need to actually buy something new, then it is best to shop sales and clearance. This thrifty habit will become second nature to you. One of the best examples is children’s clothing. The best time to buy their clothes is after the season. At this time, you would be buying the next size up. Obviously, it is best to buy used when possible. But, let’s face it, what preschooler or elementary school kid survives all of their years without holes in their pants?!?! Another time it is great to buy on clearance is for seasonal goods – holiday decor, grills, outdoor furniture, snow shovels, gift wrap, etc. This money saving tip should save you 50-80% off the sales price. That is money that you can spend on something else.

Trim the Extra Expenses

When you are thrifty, you don’t want to spend any more money than absolutely necessary. That is one of the primary characteristics of a thrifty person. You have to trim the extra expenses. For most thrifty people, living on a bare bones budget is common and ordinary for them. They are consistently looking for ways to trim their expenses even before. And for some, they enjoy the idea and process of negotiating for lower costs or finding more money saving tips. This is something that doesn’t just happen once and is done. It is a continuous process. Here are some apps to help trim expenses for you (at NO COST to you): Trim or Paribus. They are simple to set up and will automatically find ways to get you cashback. More Resources to Cut Expenses:

  • 10 Ways on How to Drastically Cut Expenses Now
  • Ultimate Guide to a Successful No Spend Challenge
  • 35 Ways You Wasted Money This Year

Start a Side Hustle

Thrifty people are always looking for ways to save money AND earn more money. It could be small extra cash with grocery cash back apps or surveys. Or it could be starting your own business. The purpose of a side hustle is to bring in extra money, so you can spend money on the things that matter to you. I started Money Bliss as a side hustle. I wanted to bring in extra income as well as being able to raise my kids and be there for them and my husband. Plus along the way, I have positively impacted thousands of people by helping them to improve their financial situation. Another side business is swing trading in the stock market. There is a learning curve, but well worth the outcome. Check out the freedom investing gives you. One of the best ways to pay off debt faster is to start side hustling to get the balance to zero as quickly as possible. Your side hustle doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be easy as offering services or space with Rover or Neighbor. Related Resources:

  • 20 Genius Ways on How to Make Money Fast
  • Best Gig Economy Jobs – 8 Quick, Easy Ways to Make Extra Cash
  • Master Blogging Workshop
  • Understand How to Find the Right Offer for the Right Person So You Can Make the Right Money

Wait to Buy

How many purchases have you regretted buying within the first 24 hours? Those impulse purchases can add up quickly. Do you know how much wasted money you had last year? Implement a 24-hour rule on buying things. To make things easier, we have a spending wish list in our free printable section. A thrifty person is very confident when they make purchases because it is something they have wanted for a long time, they know their buy price is lower than normal, and it is something they truly need. Waiting to buy is the fastest way to save money.

Buy Used

The markup on products is what helps companies make their profit. Since companies are more focused on making a profit than anything else, these costs passed on to the consumer can be a little excessive. A great thrifty tip and tricks are to buy used whenever possible. The BEST example is to buy a new car. Within the 1st year, a car depreciates by 25% and 50% within four years (source). That is a lot of wasted money. Your best bet is to buy a car that is 4-6 years old. This principle applies to most materialistic items. A thrifty person would have what they would buy used and the non-negotiable items they must buy new.