30+ ways for simple thrifty living

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I am not a fan of the term frugal living. I think over the years, people feel frugal means deprived. Instead, we are going to coin a new phrase and get folks excited about saving money again. What is simple thrifty living and how can it help you living a simple life?

Saving money is a large part of homesteading successfully and my goal is to help you find unique and easy ways to keep as much money in your pocket as I can.

What is simple thrifty living

Simple thrifty living is a refreshing take on frugal living, one that doesn’t involve feeling deprived or restricted. The goal of living this way is not just about saving money, but it’s also about finding creative and practical ways to make do with what you have without having to rely on the stores for help.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s important to take a step back and look at how you are living. To embrace a simple approach to each day allowing you save money and feel more fulfilled.

How can you live a simple and thrifty life?

Living thrifty is all about being self reliant. Using what you have as well as the skills you know to do more on your own without looking for help outside. It also encourages you to repurpose things around you so they can be used in other ways.

If you want to live a simple life as well, then cutting back on the things you have is a great place to start.

Decluttering the excess so you have room to keep the things you need and use put away will give you a neater home that is less stressful to be in.

When you partner the two together, simple living and being thrifty, you will reduce the chaos and stress giving you more time to sit, reflect, and relax.

a woman drinking coffee looking out a window near to her dog

Simple Thrifty Living Tips

Let’s look at ways you can simplify and be thrifty in and around your home.

#1. Reduce, reuse, and recycle

Before heading to the store or online to buy, try to repurpose or fix what you have. This not only saves money but also reduces waste. Sometimes what you think is broken needs an update or a new part. Pull out the manual or call customer support for help before you replace.

#2. Cook at home

Eating out can be expensive and often leads to eating more food than we normal would. Cooking at home not only saves money but also allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes.

If you love the food at your favorite restaurant, look online for a copy cat recipe. More often than not you will find your favorite dish that you can now replicate at home.

#3. Embrace second-hand

Many items can be found at thrift stores, garage sales, or online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace for a fraction of the retail price.

You can purchase clothes to wear, outdoor gear, gifts that you can repurpose for others, even furniture.

an older couple shopping at a yard sale a great simple thrifty living tip.

SLCG Pro Tip: Not a fan of buying online? Set up a swap with friends or family members! Invite 5-10 people over asking them to bring 10 or more items in a certain category. Lay everything out and let your guests go shopping. This is a fun way to build community as well as save on purchases.

#4. Buy in bulk

Purchasing items you use often in bulk can save money in the long run. Things like toilet paper, flour, rice are all good items to buy in bulk. Be sure to have containers to keep perishables in so they last and stay fresh.

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#5. Grow your own food

Whether it’s a small herb garden, a container garden in your kitchen, or a full-fledged vegetable patch, growing your own food can save money on the foods you eat. Be sure to follow the tips for what to grow and the best way to grow it for your area.

More Food Growing Help:

a tomato plant and zucchini plant growing in black bags

#6. Walk, bike, or take the bus

Not only is using public transportation or walking/biking better for the environment, it also saves money on gas and car maintenance. If public transportation is not an option, set up a car pool with friends or coworkers.

#7. Practice minimalism

Decluttering and simplifying your possessions not only creates a more peaceful living space, but can also save money by reducing unnecessary purchases. Get rid of things you do not need or use and free up space in your home.

READ: How to Declutter Your Home Room by Room

#8. DIY projects

Instead of hiring someone to do home repairs or improvements, try learning some basic DIY skills and tackle them yourself.

You can find “how to” videos on just about anything online via YouTube. You will want to be sure you are not voiding the warranty by fixing things yourself.

man working under a sink making repairs

#9. Utilize free resources

Take advantage of free community events, libraries, and online resources for books, movies, music, and more. Sign up for local Facebook pages in your area so you can be alerted to events. These events are a great place to meet new people and make valuable connections.

#10. Don’t buy on impulse

Before making a purchase, take some time to think about whether you really need it or if it’s just a spur-of-the-moment desire. Impulse buys can add up quickly and eat into your budget. Instead, make a list of items you truly need along with the estimated cost. Work to save the money before you invest giving yourself time to decide if you really do need or want the item.

#11. Use coupons and loyalty programs

Take advantage of coupons and loyalty programs offered by stores to save money on groceries and other household items. Sign up for Ibotta or Rakuten online and use the points you earn to buy gift cards.

#12. meals ahead of time

By planning out your meals for the week, you can avoid buying unnecessary items at the grocery store and also reduce food waste. You can also double up recipes that you know your family loves and freeze to use on busy nights.

Another tip is to incorporate a Leftover Friday. Pull out all leftovers from the week and make a buffet style dinner.

More Meal Tips:

#13. Buy generic brands

In many cases, generic brands offer the same quality as name brand products at a lower cost although not always.

Try a few generic products to see if the taste is consistent. Know what you like and what you family likes and makes changes where you can.

#14. Negotiate prices

Haggling prices is only done at car lots. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for better prices, especially when buying big-ticket items like furniture or appliances. You might be surprised to know that even big stores like Walmart will haggle prices.

I was able to talk down the price of a table at Home Goods store by $5. Not much but every bit counts!

#15. Take advantage of discounts

Many stores offer discounts for students, seniors, or members of organizations such as AARP or AAA. They also may have a member card that is free to sign up for but gives you access to coupons and other discounts.

Check online for any discounts or stop at the customer service desk and ask.

a woman sitting on a couch looking on her phone

#16. Cut back on expensive habits

Regularly spending money on activities like buying coffee or going to the movies can add up quickly. Consider cutting back on these expenses and finding more affordable ways to have fun and relax.

Visit your local library to rent for free books, games, even movies. Some libraries may also offer free online courses, family events, or kids activities like Lego building days.

#17. Find a side hustle

If you have the time and energy, consider finding a part-time job or freelance work to bring in some extra income. Turn what you love into a money maker.

A few ideas are:

  • Dog sitting or walking
  • Baking
  • Prepping meals
  • Babysitting
  • Organizing
  • Gardening
  • Driving older folks or the Amish
  • Transcribing notes
  • Bookkeeping
  • Home care
  • Housecleaning

#18. Prioritize saving

Make sure to prioritize saving money every month, even if it’s just a small amount. Over time, your savings will add up and provide a safety net for unexpected expenses like repairs or car medical.

Use online resources such as Smarty Pig and setup automatic deposits. Even $20 a month adds up to $240 at the end of a year.

#19. Stay informed about sales and deals

Keep an eye out for sales, deals, and promotions at your favorite stores. Sign up for email newsletters or follow them on social media to stay updated.

Be careful not to go overboard with this tip. You don’t want to find yourself spending too much time looking for deals. Keep your list to just 4-5 stores that you frequently visit.

#20. Seek financial advice

If you’re struggling with managing your finances, consider seeking help from a trusted financial advisor or counselor. They can provide personalized advice and strategies to help you reach your financial goals.

Additionally, there are many free resources available online for budgeting, saving, and investing tips. Look for free online seminars to attend.

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#21. Find free entertainment

Instead of spending money on expensive activities or events, look for free entertainment options in your community such as parks, museums, or local festivals.

Pack a picnic lunch and go hiking on a new trail or have a family game night with homemade pizza.

Visit a playground with your kids or look for horse shoe pits to play at. You might be surprised at how many free options there are to enjoy.

#22. Avoid unnecessary debt

While some forms of debt may be necessary (such as student loans or a mortgage), try to avoid taking on unnecessary debt. This includes high-interest credit cards or financing purchases that you could save up for instead.

Use this tip to cut down on impulse purchases. Wait 24 hours before purchasing anything over a certain dollar amount. This one tip was a game-changer for our family and saved us significant money on unnecessary buys.

Another tip is to save up for purchases so you are ready if you do decide to buy. You can do this with a savings account or by starting a money envelope system.

a money envelope binder with bills inside for savings

#23. Shop smarter

Before making a purchase, do your research and compare prices at different stores or online. Consider buying secondhand items or using coupons to save money.

Post on Facebook for what you are looking to purchase to see if anyone has one they are willing to sell. Use #ISO (in search of) so people know your post is a request.

#24. Help things last longer

I love ways to get more use out of the things I use routinely in my home. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Add water to fabric softener at a ratio of 1:1 to double the time it lasts.
  2. Use less than what is suggested in the instructions. This works for shampoo, detergent, and cleaners.
  3. Invest in reusable options such as wool dryer balls or cloth napkins.

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#25. Learn to say no

It’s important to learn how to say no to things that are not within your budget or financial goals. Yes, it’s true that this can be difficult at times, but prioritizing your financial well-being is not only important but it’s also a great way to put yourself and your family finances first.

#26. Continuously educate yourself

Learn new DIY skills that can save you money. Make your own soap, cheese, baking mixes, candles, or cleaning supplies.

You might be amazed at what a good cleaner white vinegar and baking soda are. Check out these 15 DIY Cleaners for Your Home.

#27. Make it instead of buying it

Make the foods you usually buy, like granola, cakes, biscuits, cookies, or bread. Not only will you save money but you will give yourself a much healthier option.

#28. Keep track of your progress

Regularly review your budget and track your spending, savings, and investments. This will help you stay on track and make adjustments as needed.

Have a monthly finance meeting with your partner to be sure you are still in line with your goals. If you are older, set up a legacy drawer to ensure your family is prepared.

#29. Have no spend events

Incorporate a no spend weekend to turn saving money into a challenging game. Have a family meeting to encourage everyone’s participation.

Have a reward that everyone will enjoy. Game night, pajama Saturday, staying up a hour later are all great incentives.

#30. Live healthy

Do your best to eat right, exercise to keep up your mobility, practice calming techniques to combat stress, and regularly visit your doctor for checkups.

Being healthy is much cheaper than getting help when you are sick or injured.

#31. Celebrate your successes

As you work towards your financial goals, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements. This will help motivate you to continue making smart financial choices and stay on the path towards financial stability.

Remember, good financial health is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep going and celebrate your progress along the way.

Simple thrifty living is not just about saving money or cutting back on expenses. It’s a mindset and lifestyle that prioritizes financial stability and long-term goals.

By following these tips, and focusing on your own skills, resources, and homestead supplies you can work to be more self-reliant on your home rather than dependent on big box stores.

More Simple Living Inspiration:

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