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You need money in the bank, and you’re doing what you can to make it happen. You’ve stopped eating out, cut every unnecessary expense, and have even tried a money
saving tip or two …
Yet despite your efforts, all the tips you’ve found on “how to live frugally on one income” haven’t made an impact on your savings account. And now you’re jaded over the whole failed promise of frugal living…
You’ve come to the right place. We love frugal living and, like you, we love saving money without feeling like we had to give up everything. And after saving over $11k in 10 months on one income –averaging $3,300/month- we have a pretty good idea of which of the “best frugal living tips” works and what doesn’t.
This guide is not a roadmap to being “cheap”. Instead, you’re about to get 40+ practical (and easily achievable) ways to be smart with your money so that living frugally on one income comes naturally.
Let’s dive in…
How to Live Frugally On One Income (or 2): 40+ Simple Tips to Save Money
How To Live Frugally Table Of Contents
Food is the #1 place people overspend [source], and grocery stores know it. They use every tactic in the book to lure you into spending more money than you intended. (The candy is not in the checkout aisle for your convenience, people!) Take these frugal living tips, and use them to cut costs on food.
1. Save $5 Every Time You Visit the Grocery Store
$5.00 in 5 seconds? It’s possible with the Ibotta app.
Ibotta is a free mobile app (iOS and Android) that pays you free money every single time you go grocery shopping!
Simply snap a picture of your grocery receipt and immediately, your Ibotta account updates with free money, ready for you to redeem it in the form of a free Amazon gift card, Visa gift card, your favorite restaurant’s gift card, or PayPal cash.
So, if you like free money… Download the Ibotta App here and grab a free $20 gift card just for trying it out!
Related Post: Ibotta App Review
2. The *Easiest* Money You Will Ever Save (Plus grab a $1 gift card today!)
Want to turn your debit card into a 1% cashback rewards card? Want to turn your 1% cashback credit card into a 2% cashback rewards card?
Download the Dosh App, connect your card, and start earning cash back rewards. What’s more? The Dosh App works automatically in the background at over 1,000+ locations (like Walmart)! Here’s just a peek at some the places YOU could be accumulating free cash from:
Read more about the Dosh App in our honest (and in-depth) Dosh App Review.
(2.5. Six Hacks to Save More Money)
Saving money is easy… once you know how to do it. If you’re living without the peace of mind of having lots of money in the bank, then you haven’t learned how to make saving money easy.
Our Free “Savings Account Accelerator” Workshop exercises 6 Money-Saving Hacks that not only teach you *how* to save money, but also how to save money faster than ever before. Don’t change your lifestyle to save money – use this free information to make saving money easy.
3. Your Favorite Foods Delivered To Your Door At 15% Off
Do you buy this stuff at the grocery store?
- Protein Powder
- Coffee/Keurig Pods
- Canned Beans
Why not get them delivered straight to your door… for 15% off!! If you have an Amazon Prime Account (if not, get a free 30-Day trial here), take advantage of their Subscribe-And-Save Program and save $100’s every month! Stick the food you want on next months delivery, and get everything on the list for 15% off. It’s some of the easiest money you’ll ever save.
4. Meal-Prep Delicious (and cheap!) Food.
Been thinking about meal-prepping but don’t know what to cook? Don’t waste your money on failed recipes that end up tasting horrible by day 3! Instead, Sign up for $5 meal plan and get uber cheap meal-prep recipes sent straight to your inbox every Friday!
You will be given one week’s worth of meal-prep recipes + a curated shopping list, and every meal is engineered to cost no more than $2/person!
5. Eat More Meals At Home
Save hundreds, if not thousands, every month when you get into the habit of cooking your dinners at home. It’s a much healthier option for your family, and you can exchange those $80 meals in for something way more exciting…
6. Save 50% Off Your Meal When Eating Out.
When you tired from a long day at work and have decided to forgo cooking for the night, grab a coupon/deal from Groupon! We’re talking about 50% off your entire meal! Check that deal out below:
7. Save Hundreds At the Grocery Store By Making a Shopping List?
Want to know what’s killing your grocery budget? Impulse buys! Make a shopping list, and stick to it!
Plan out your meals for the week, write down everything you need to before heading to the grocery store, and you’ll find $100+ left over in your bank account every month.
8. Drink More Water
Water is cheap. Water is healthy. Water is filling. Need I say more? Replace those over-priced juices and sodas with water. Your wallet (and body) will thank you!
9. Save $100/Month On Water
Bottled water is a crime against humanity! It costs $100/month/person to drink the recommended amount of water from a bottle! Know how much it costs to put a filter under the sink? $3/month. So no more over-priced water bottles.
10. Save The Environment (And Your Wallet!): Buy In Bulk.
Why buy pasta in a cardboard box when you can help the environment and buy it in bulk! Stock up on pantry staples by utilizing the bulk foods section at your local grocery store and let’s keep this savings train a’chuggin’!
11. Save $10+ And Cut Your Own Fruit
While getting pre-chopped fruits is ultra-convenient, it’s also ultra-expensive. Instead, buy your fruits whole, take 10 minutes to chop them yourself, and voila!
You’ve just earned yourself a free trip to Starbucks.
12. Reinvent Leftovers
Do you hate eating leftovers? Why not reinvent them into a completely new meal! Get creative so no food goes to waste. And while you’re at it, invest in some good quality Tupperware (look at those reviews!) so that your leftovers stay fresh and tasty for days!
Also See: How To Live On Less Money- 41 Tips
13. Prevention Is Always Cheaper Than A Cure. (Eat Healthy and Save $20K!)
Eat healthy and exercise! If you commit to a healthy lifestyle now, you will save $1000’s in hospital costs down the road! Besides, eating healthy while living frugally on one income can be easy!
Check out all of our tips to eat healthy on a budget here!
14. Keurig Coffee Made Cheap
I hate to break it to you, but drinking coffee from a Keurig is not as cost effective as brewing a pot the old fashion way. But I know, we all love our Keurigs so use these two tips to make your coffee extremely cheap.
- Use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save store to save 15% on every coffee pod
- Buy reusable pods and filters so you can brew any ground coffee with your Keurig
15. Clip Coupons 100X Faster
Hate clipping coupons? Why not get the smartphone alternative. Download your local grocery store’s App and have every available coupon on your smartphone, ready for you to redeem!
Related Post: Ibotta vs Ebates- Can you use both?
Just because you’re living frugally on one income doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with your hard-earned money. Especially when you know how NOT to pay full price for anything. But if you want to make the most of every paycheck, make sure you learn to budget. It’s the only way to have as much fun with your money as you responsibly can.
16. Get Paid to Shop at Your Favorite Clothing Stores Online
Need a one-stop-shop to stay updated on your favorite retailer’s coupon codes and current sales? AND get paid FREE CASH for shopping? Then you need Ebates.
Say you’re buying a new pair of jeans online from Express. Don’t pay full price! Use Ebates and get 2.5% back on your entire purchase. But the savings don’t end there. Ebates shows there’s an additional 20% off is available when you sign up for Express emails. Then Boom! You just saved 22.5% on your purchase thanks to Ebates.
Related Post: Honest Ebates Review– How To Save Even More With Ebates
17. Pop Some Tags At The Thrift Shop
Thrift stores are a gold mine for “Like New” and “Brand New” clothing items at 50-90% off! Mosey through your local thrift stores and start racking up those deals instead of “spendin’ $50 on a Gucci T-shirt”.
OR If you don’t want to waste hours sifting through bins full of flannel zebra jammies… Check out my next tip
18. Pop Some Tags (online)
Get Thrifty from the comfort of your couch with Poshmark! Search your favorite brand (Ex: Madewell Cardigan), grab your size, and capitalize on the deal of a century (then you too can be struttin’ and flossin’ and savin’ your money).
Sign up for a free Poshmark account (and make sure you type in the Invite Code: “budgetingcouple” to get a $5 credit! )
19. Make Room For More Clothes
Now that you’re a thrifting expert… why not sell your own? You didn’t ware that tank once last summer… SELL IT!
And use that money to update your wardrobe for the season!
20. All Hail The Sales Rack
Wanna know what happens when a store gets a fresh shipment of new clothes? The clothes that were just on display get shoved to the sales rack (for your bargain loving convenience)!
Start your shopping on the sales rack, and get more clothes for your money.
This section is your one stop shop for easily saving money on all those miscellaneous costs (you tend to forget about).
21. Rack Up Free Gift Cards for *Guilt Free* Shopping
Do you spend money on a credit and/or debit card? Want to earn free gift cards to continue spending *exactly* as you always do?
The Drop App is a free mobile app that hands out free gift cards for simply swiping your card (like normal) at their cash-black locations.
- No scanning receipts
- No need to open the app
- No need to buy “weird/random items” just to earn gift cards
After you download the app, and link a credit OR debit card, you can start racking up points on autopilot!
The average Drop user gets their 1st free gift card within the first month of downloading the app!
UPDATE 12/01/19: Drop just provided our readers with a FREE $5 Gift Card Promo Code! Here’s how to claim it:
- Step #1. Download the Free Drop App with our link here
- Step #2. Enter our Promo Code: BudgetingCouple to be eligible for the $5 Gift Card
- Step #3. Link your favorite debit or credit card to the app
- Step #4. Collect your $5 Gift Card! (and treat yourself to a Starbucks on us)
22. Save 15% On Toiletries AND Have Them Delivered To Your Door (and other necessities)
“Oh no, I’ve run out of toilet paper,” is not something you’ll ever have say again once you’ve stuck TP and all your other toiletry needs (toothpaste, floss, soap, you name it), onto your Amazon Subscribe and Save account.
These items will be delivered straight to your front door AND you’ll save 15%! Check out Amazon Subscribe and Save, and start saving 15% on the necessities!
23. Save $100+/Month By Checking For Deals
Don’t just throw an item into your cart without figuring out how to get it for as cheap as possible.
Grocery shopping? Check Ibotta for any cash back deals.
Keep more money in your pocket and earn free gift cards while shopping!
24. Free Starbucks Anyone?
Why not make it a rule to only treat yourself to Starbucks when it’s free? Yeah, you can do that! And don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to rack up free Starbucks gift cards like:
- Increase your cash back rewards on your debit/credit card with the Dosh App (And grab this Free $1 Starbucks gift card for signing up here)
- Do your regular online shopping (Ebates will pay you)
- Get cash back grocery shopping with Ibotta (Free $20 added to your account from using our link)
- Get cash back when online shopping with Ebates (Free $10 added to your account using this link)
25. YouTube Is Your New Handy Man
When something breaks, look it up on YouTube! When living frugally on one income, it’s always good to know what can be fixed yourself and what truly needs a professional.
26. Save $20 at the Drug Store
Yea, Ibotta is the MVP when it comes to saving on groceries. But did you know they also dish out free cash for drug store shopping trip too!
27. Prepaid Cell Service
You’re overpaying for your cell phone plan. Call up your cell phone provider, right now, and ask them about their “Prepaid” options.
Or, check out a highly rated “cheap” cell phone company like Mint Mobile!
Mint Mobile’s prices are phenomenal starting at $15/month for unlimited talk & text, 4G LTE high speed Data, and nationwide coverage. Plus, they offer a generous 7-Day Risk Free Money Back Guarantee if you aren’t happy with their service!
28. DIY Home Improvement
DIY projects are your best friend when trying to live frugally on one income. Search through Pinterest for budget friendly and DIY renovation inspiration when updating your house!
And while you’re already on Pinterest, go ahead and give us a follow 🙂
29. Insulate Your Walls
Want to save $100s-$1000s on your electric/gas bill? Insulate your walls! This one-time price will save you tenfold.
You’ve been tricked. Living frugally does NOT mean never getting to travel. Once you have your budget set up, you’ll know the most you can responsibly spend on vacations (just another perk to budgeting). But if you want to make your dollar stretch even further on vacation… read on.
Related Post: How To *Easily Build Your Travel Savings: Have A Stress-Free/Debt-Free Vacay
30. Stay In A House Not A Hotel (+ $40 credit)
Leave that 1 bed/1 bath hotel room in your rear view mirror and instead enjoy the comforts of having an entire house (kitchen included) all to yourself when you book with Airbnb.
You’re going to live much more comfortably AND saving $100s if not $1,000s in room costs!!
Sign up for a free Airbnb account today and grab a $40 credit towards your next vacation!!
31. Find The Cheapest Flights (Without Hidden Fees)
Only use trusted flight checkers when deal hunting for plane tickets. (Unless you like paying hidden fees…) Here’s a few we’ve come to trust:
- Kiwi– Cheap flights plus guaranteed flight protection from flight delays, cancellations, and schedule changes!
- Momondo– Get comparisons between all airlines AND other travel websites!
- Skyscanner– A leader in travel price comparison!
32. All-Inclusive Hotels Are Frugal Friendly
This may seem like an oxymoron, but all-inclusive resorts can align perfectly with a frugal living lifestyle (even on one income). Especially when you’re booking them with Groupon! For just $99/night (the average cost of a hotel room), you can live in luxery with the all inclusive package. Get your room plus:
- Free Meals At- Buffets, Cafes, Poolside, Steak Houses
- Free Room Service
- Free Drinks by the pool
- Free Scuba lessons
- Free Nightclub entrance (plus drinks)
- Free Golf
- Free VIP Pools
All included in that $99/night fee! Find your next stress-free, all-inclusive vacation spot with Groupon here!
33. Drop the Hidden Hotel Fees.
Just like with flights, steer clear of those hidden-fee-ridden hotel price checkers! (if you like keeping money in your pocket). A couple of our favorites:
34. Cash Back On Travel Costs Is Available
There are FREE money making opportunities on just about every vacation expense: flights, rental cars, hotel stays, vacation packages, and more!
Just check out the “travel section” on both Ebates and Ibotta. And for an added bonus, make sure you grab a FREE $30 just for signing up for free accounts using our links! Here’s $10 for trying EBATES! And Here’s $20 for trying Ibotta.
35. Everything Is 2% Off!
Use Credit cards! They are the easiest ways to save money for traveling while living frugally. But be wary: you should only start using credit cards once you are in complete control of your finances.
No need to get yourself into unnecessary credit card debt. If you want 2% off everything, make sure you get on a budget first to keep yourself from accidently spending more than you earn.
Want to know which card would save YOU and you’re family the most?
> Check out the best cash-back credit cards of 2019 here (we use and LOVE #7)