Personal Finance Budgeting

How To Live Cheaper: 12 Clever Tips For Frugal Living

Frugal living isn't about living cheaply, it's about living more efficiently.

How to live cheaper:
  • 12 Tips And Tricks How To Live Cheaper
  • Brew Your Own Coffee At Home
  • If You Have Cable, Switch To Hulu
  • Stop Buying Bottled Water, Use A Water Filter Instead
  • Split Monthly Subscription Bills
  • Buy The Essentials In Bulk
  • Live Rent Free By House Hacking
  • Create And Use A Budget Sheet
  • Get Free Stuff
  • Use LED Light Bulbs In Your Home
  • Buy Your Own Modem, Don’t Rent One From The Cable Provider
  • Eat At Home More
  • Use Groupon

Below are some tips and ideas for how to live cheaper and live life more frugal. Who wouldn’t want to lower their cost of living if it doesn’t change their lifestyle in any way?

Frugal living isn’t about living cheaply, it’s about living more efficiently. So why overspend on things you’ll get the same results for either way? Especially when you can be using that extra money towards more useful things.

“Frugal living isn’t about living cheaply, it’s about living more efficiently.”

12 Tips And Tricks How To Live Cheaper:

#1. Brew Your Own Coffee At Home

save more money making your coffee at home

Brewing your own coffee at home costs 16¢-18¢/cup, while buying a cup at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts can cost anywhere between $1-$5.

So if you have 1 cup 5 days a week, you would save an extra $176-$1,206 a year ($17-$120 a month) just by changing that one thing.

Potential savings:

per month: $17-$120

per year: $176-$1,206

#2. If You Have Cable, Switch To Hulu

how to save money on streaming services

A report from Decision Data shows that the average US household is paying $217.42 per month for their cable package in 2019-2020.

The average US households’ cable bill now supersedes the cost of all major utilities combined ($205.50 per month), the report also finds.

Switching to Hulu Basic costs $5.99 a month and if you want Hulu Basic + Live TV, it’s $54.99 per month.

Potential savings:

per month: $211.43 (with Hulu Basic), $162.43 (with Hulu Basic + Live TV)

per year: $2,537.16 (with Hulu Basic), $1,949.16 (with Hulu Basic + Live TV)

Note: You’ll also save on installation and monthly fees. Since Hulu is a streaming service, there is no installation setup – you’ll just need to purchase an Amazon Firestick if you want to stream it on your TV. Or, you can just stream it at off your computer without the firestick.

#3. Stop Buying Bottled Water, Use A Water Filter Instead

water filter vs bottled water cost

Bottled water has about a 4000% markup, costing roughly 5¢ per bottle to manufacture.

Even if you’re buying your bottled water by the case @0.18¢ per bottle, assuming you’re drinking 3 bottles per day, you’re still spending $197.10 per year on something that is free.

You can buy a high-quality water filter with a dispenser for $32.

Frugal living means being smart, and paying a premium price for packaged water when you can get the exact same quality water through a filter, isn’t the best use of your money.

Potential savings: (*Based on 3 bottles a day and a $32 water filer)

*per month: $13.77

*per year: $165.10

#4. Split Monthly Subscription Bills

splitting the bills to save money

Just by splitting the recurring bills up by sharing the service with friends and family, you could save 30-50% on these bills, instantly.

These types of bills and services could include your phone bill, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify account, etc. Try sharing the username/password with each other.

You can track and split up bills more easily by using one of these 6 bill splitting apps.

Potential savings:

per month: 30%-50% of total bills you split

per year: 30%-50% of total bills you split

#5. Buy The Essentials In Bulk

Another helpful tip on how to live cheaper and more frugal is buying the essentials in bulk.

If you have the extra funds upfront, you can save a lot of money just by buying the essentials in bulk. Wholesale clubs like Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club are great for major wholesale discount perks.

A CBN report found that you can save as much as 83% on some items when bought in bulk.

Do this with things you’ll use every day so you know it won’t go to waste, like:

  • Food/water
  • Hygiene products (toothpaste, toilet paper, shower items, etc)
  • Household cleaning items (paper towels, wipes, etc)

Potential savings: (*on purchased essentials bought in bulk)

*per month: 20%-83%

*per year: 20%-83%

#6. Live Rent Free By House Hacking

live more frugal by house hacking

House hacking is when you live in one of the rooms of your house, and have the renter(s) living in your other room(s) pay your mortgage and utilities.

To do this, you must own the home. You cannot rent out a place you rent.

Potential savings: (*going off the median monthly mortgage payment ($1,100) and utility costs ($171) for U.S. homeowners, according to the American Housing Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau)

*per month: $1,271 (mortgage + utilities)

*per year: $15,252 (mortgage + utilities)

#7. Create And Use A Budget Sheet

create a budget sheet to live more frugal

This is one of the most important tips on how to live cheaper and more frugal.

There’s a reason why budget sheets are always mentioned when talking about how to save more money – it’s because they work.

Half of the budget sheet will be a list of all your expenses, the name and what it costs you monthly. This will give you a birds-eye view of where your money is going.

Tweaking your expenses is like finding the leaks; once you find the holes and patch them up, you’ll stop sinking.

  1. Calculate your total monthly income (post-tax)
  2. Calculate your total monthly expenses
  3. Subtract your expenses from your income = your cash flow

Important: When you create a monthly expense sheet, it will better help you understand where your money is going and what you can save on.

#8. Get Free Stuff

tips for living life more frugal

As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. The good news is, some “trash” is not trash at all – you just need to do a bit of digging to find them.

Check out the “free section” of Facebook Marketplace & Craigslist.

Facebook Marketplace:

Craigslist: (No direct link. The link is unique to the city you live in, so please follow steps 1 and 2.)

  1. Google “craigslist free stuff”.
  2. Click the first link in the search results.

Potential savings:

per month: varies based on retail value of free item

per year: varies based on retail value of free item

Tip: Even if it is broken or not of use anymore – if you have a knack for fixing things, this could be a good side hustle idea.

#9. Use LED Light Bulbs In Your Home

cut on spending by getting LED light bulks will save you more money and live cheaper

Switching to LED light bulbs can save a homeowner about $1,000 over a 10-year period. That’s roughly $8.33 a month.

Potential savings: (*Based over a 10-year period)

*per month: $8.33

*per year: $99.96

#10. Buy Your Own Modem, Don’t Rent One From The Cable Provider

buy your own tv modem

If you have traditional cable and want to keep it, do NOT use their modem.

Are you using the official Comcast Xfinity or Verizon Fios modem that the technicians bring during the installation setup in your home? Did you know you’re actually renting that modem from and they are charging you monthly to use and rent it from them?

Comcast Xfinity charges $14 a month and Verizon Fios charges $12 a month to rent their modems from them.

You can find a modem online for $70, a one-time purchase, and avoid the monthly rental costs altogether.

Potential savings: (*Based over a 3-year period, per modem)

*per month: $10-$12

*per year: $142-$166

#11. Eat At Home More

live cheaper by cooking at home more

Eat out less and eat at home more. If you want to live cheaper, looking at how much you spend on food is a good place to start.

The average commercially-prepared meal costs around $13, while the average home-prepped meal costs about $4. That’s an extra $9, per person, per meal, you could be saving every time you decide to get some fast-food or order in.

According to the USDA, a study by the Economic Research Service found that the average American eats an average of 4.2 commercially-prepared meals per week.

Add that to the $9 saved for every home-prepped meal, and that comes out to an extra $37.80 a week of possible savings just by eating at home.

Potential savings: (*Based on eating at home 7 days a week, per person)

*per month: $151.20

*per year: $1,814.40

Note: You save an average of $9 every time you prepare your meal at home.

#12. Use Groupon

how to save money using groupon discounts

You can often find 20%-90% discounts on Groupon.

So, if you need to buy something, make sure to check on Groupon first to see if there are any deals going on for what you’re looking for.

Potential savings:

per month: varies

per year: varies