7 Ways To Hack The Frugal Lifestyle

Unusual Frugal Living Hacks

So many people live a frugal lifestyle these days.  Whether you choose to live the frugal lifestyle in order to save money and possibly retire early, or you are forced to live the frugal lifestyle due to other circumstances, there are so many ways to cut back on every day expenses.

I have seen so many lists of frugal living habits that involve only owning one car, cutting back on credit cards, etc.  These are fantastic and seem like common sense, but I wanted to dive in a little deeper and see what people down in the trenches are doing to save those nickels and dimes on an every day basis.

I know that some of you have done some of the following things and some of you will start doing some of the following things.  You may think you would never do some of the following things, but in the words of the immortal Justin Bieber, “Never say never”.  Okay, forget I just wrote that.

If you are already living the frugal lifestyle, see if you recognize some of the following hacks.  If you don’t recognize them, maybe add them to your arsenal.

1. Stash The Condiments: If you do eat out every once in a while, take your leftover packets of condiments home with you.  When you start to run low on ketchup or mustard at home, squeeze the packets into your larger container.

2. Treat Your Car Like Your Furniture: Let me start off by saying that I have never used this frugal hack, but have heard it works from friends and have seen it on the internet, so it must be true.  Take some cheap spray furniture polish and use it to wax your car.  Spray it on, use a rag to wipe it off, buff and adore the shine!

3. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Free Lemonade: My wife uses this hack every time we are anywhere we can get a free glass of water with a lemon.  Instead of ordering a soda for over $2.00, order water with lemon.  You can then squeeze the lemon into your water and add a sugar packet or two to make your own lemonade.  Granted, it is not going to be the best lemonade you have ever tasted, but it is going to be better than a glass of water and cheaper than a soda.

4. Paint Your Roof White: What does the color of your roof have to do with saving money?  Well, studies show that houses with a white roof can save up to 20% a year on air conditioning costs.  Why?   The color white helps reflect heat and reduces the need to cool down your house.  Yes, there is a cost for the paint and make sure you use roofing paint that reflects heat.

5. Freecycle: Do you want to be frugal as well as love the Earth?  Take advantage of the freecycling community.  Freecycling is when people give items that are still usable away instead of throwing them away.  This prevents them from filling up landfills.  You can find some very useful items on various websites that cater to freecycling, such as freecycling.org.

6. Put It In Deep Freeze: You know you can buy food and freeze it so it lasts longer, but did you know you can freeze batteries to make them last up to 90% longer?  This is primarily true for NiMH and Nicad batteries often used in electronics.  

If these types of batteries are stored at room temperature, they tend to “self discharge” at a few percent each day.  The alkaline batteries seem to be fine and freezing them only extends their life about 5%.  Alkaline batteries stored at room temperature only “self discharge” about 5% per year.

7. Put A Brick In The Toilet: Want to save some water every time you flush the toilet?  Sure, who doesn’t?  Put a regular rectangular shaped brick in a plastic bag, then put that into another plastic bag to make sure that no water gets into it.  Put the brick into the tank of your toilet.  This will occupy some space inside of the tank, displacing some water so it won’t use as much water to fill the tank and won’t use as much water when flushing.  Small things add up people.

How many of these do you already do and how many are you going to add to your frugal arsenal?  

If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments section.

Philosophy, A Disney Movie, and Personal Finance
  • FireHedgehog says:

    I had no idea that you could freeze batteries!
    We freeze grapes, they are perfect for cooling down a glass of wine without diluting it and they are a delicious, healthy snack on hot days too straight from the freezer.
    To make meat last even longer in the freezer, repackage it into a sandwich bag and roll it up to get the air out. This will stop it getting freezer burn.
    I always have furniture polish in the glove box for my car and even use it on the leather steering wheel and seats. Makes it smell great too!

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