Tried And Tested Life Hacks That Will Help Anyone Start Their Journey To Financial Freedom
Though living a frugal lifestyle can be incredibly rewarding, knowing where to start can be challenging. Additionally, adopting too many tips and tricks without understanding them well can complicate knowing which will make the most significant difference.
This is why we have compiled a list of frugal life hacks that people have already tried and tested in their day-to-day life. These tips help you save money, reduce waste, and live a more sustainable life without sacrificing the things you love.
Whether you are looking to cut down on your grocery bill, save money on transportation, or live a more minimalist lifestyle, these frugal life hacks are sure to impact your budget and daily routine significantly. So, let’s get started on this journey to spending less and saving more.
1. Choose fewer products rather than alternatives
One of the critical strategies for saving money is to go for fewer products rather than alternatives. This means choosing simpler, more essential products with fewer features or options rather than looking for cheaper alternatives that may not meet your needs.
For example, instead of buying a high-end, multi-functional kitchen gadget, you might opt for a simple, single-purpose tool that gets the job done. Similarly, rather than buying a wide variety of cleaning products, you could stick to a basic all-purpose cleaner.
2. Make salad dressing yourself
Salad dressing can be stored in the fridge for several days, so consider making a large batch that can last you throughout the week whenever you make some. Many delicious salad dressings can be made with a few basic ingredients.
For example, a classic vinaigrette can be made with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. You can experiment with different types of vinegar, such as balsamic, and include red wine or apple cider, or add a little sweetness with honey or maple syrup.
3. DIY sunscreen
DIYing your sunscreen can be an affordable and effective way to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. It also saves you money on expensive commercial products while ensuring the ingredients you use are safe and natural.
However, it’s important to note that homemade sunscreen may not have the same level of SPF protection as commercial products, so be sure to exercise caution and reapply often. Consider this drawback if you decide to go along with the idea of DIY sunscreen.
4. Make hummus at home
If you’re anything like us, you absolutely adore this famous Middle Eastern dip. If you’ve been finding it expensive to buy, you’re in luck because, with only a few simple ingredients and a food processor, you can create a delicious and healthy snack perfect for dipping vegetables, pita bread, or crackers.
The best part about making it at home is you can experiment with different flavor variations by adding ingredients like roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. After it’s done, we guarantee your hummus will be the biggest hit the next time you host.
5. Homemade muffins for breakfast
Making homemade muffins for breakfast is a smart and delicious way to start your day. They only require a few minutes of prep time and a few ingredients. By doing this, you can enjoy a warm and fresh breakfast without worrying about breaking the bank.
Not only are homemade muffins more affordable than store-bought options, but you can also make them as per your taste preferences. You can control the ingredients to make them healthier and tailored to your taste preferences. So, next time you crave muffins, try making some for yourself.
6. Use rags instead of buying paper kitchen napkins
Over time, buying paper napkins will add up to a significant expense. But by using rags, you can save money and avoid having to constantly purchase disposable products. Apart from cleaning up spills, rags can be used for dusting, wiping down surfaces, and more.
Paper napkins are a single-use item that majorly contributes to waste and deforestation. At a time like this, it’s important to keep in mind the consequences of purchases like this on the planet. So, to avoid waste and save money, replace paper napkins with rags.
7. Freeze eggs for future use
Freezing eggs for future use can be a convenient and practical solution for anyone who wants to extend the shelf life of eggs. Since they are used for a variety of dishes, it’s essential to learn how to preserve and thaw them when needed.
You can do this by placing them in the microwave and using the defrost setting, but be sure to stir them frequently to prevent uneven cooking. Unfortunately, eggs can be slightly rubbery or watery once thawed. So, they may not be suitable for recipes that require a specific texture.
8. Make your granola at home
Making your granola at home allows you to customize the ingredients to your liking, so you can leave out the expensive items or use less of them. For example, if almonds are too expensive, you can substitute them with a less expensive nut such as peanuts or cashews.
You can use an airtight container to store granola and enjoy it for several weeks or months instead of buying expensive pre-packaged granola every week. If you go for this option, you can save money while still enjoying a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack.
9. Wash clothes using sodium percarbonate
Using sodium percarbonate to clean your washcloths helps to remove dirt, stains, and bacteria, leaving them fresh and clean. It’s also an effective and affordable way to extend the life of your clothes and keep them looking and smelling like new.
You can adjust the amount of sodium percarbonate depending on the number of clothes and the level of dirt and stains. It’s also advisable to use hot water for the solution and rinse to help dissolve the detergent and remove bacteria and germs.
10. Get yourself a tea pitcher
Instead of buying pre-packaged iced tea from the store, you can easily make it at home with a tea pitcher. Simply brew your favorite tea bags or loose-leaf tea in hot water, let it cool, and pour it into the pitcher with ice. You can add sweeteners to customize your tea to your liking.
Did you know that using loose-leaf tea can be more cost-effective than pre-packaged tea bags since you typically get more servings? Well, now you do. Plus, this kind of tea often has a higher quality and better taste than ordinary tea bags.
11. Choose a home meal over a restaurant meal
Choosing a home-cooked meal over a restaurant meal can be a healthier option. Restaurant meals are often high in calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Cooking at home allows you to control portion sizes and choose healthier cooking methods, such as grilling, baking, or steaming.
Preparing your own meals is also more cost-effective compared to dining out. Eating at restaurants can quickly add up to overspending, especially if you factor in drinks, appetizers, and desserts. So, though it may not always be convenient, cooking saves you money.
12. Prepare cold brew coffee and oat milk at home
Cold brew coffee and oat milk can be expensive when purchased from coffee shops or grocery stores, but making them at home is easy and cost-effective. So, if you can prepare both of these breakfast essentials at home, why go to a store?
In addition to allowing you to control the ingredients, making these treats also enables you to choose high-quality coffee beans and organic rolled oats, which can be cheaper when purchased in bulk. So, we recommend you make cold coffee at home.
13. Stop buying concentrated floor mopping solution
When it comes to cleaning floors, many people turn to concentrated mopping solutions. However, these solutions can be expensive and often have harsh chemicals that harm your health and the environment. Frankly, we don’t understand why people choose them over and over again.
A better alternative is using the Tide laundry solution you get for your clothes to mop your floors. Tide laundry solution is a versatile and cost-effective alternative to concentrated floor mopping solutions. It is safe for use on hardwood floors and provides excellent cleaning power.
14. Make a Swiffer pad using a flannel sheet
Swiffer pads are a popular cleaning tool used to clean floors in homes and offices. Though they are effective at picking up dust, dirt, and other debris from hardwood floors, they can be expensive to buy and wasteful to use.
One solution to this problem is to make Swiffer pads using flannel sheets at home. These are an excellent choice for making cleaning pads because they are absorbent and can be washed and reused multiple times. Hence, you won’t need to buy floor cleaning pads as often as you previously did.
15. Don’t buy costly mayo from the store
Mayonnaise is a versatile condiment that adds flavor to sandwiches, salads, and dips. We understand that buying it from the supermarket is convenient and offers you a lot of variety, but trust us when we say homemade is better. You can prepare some yourself whenever you want to.
It only takes a handful of ingredients and a couple of minutes to make delicious and healthy mayo that you can use in a variety of dishes. Just think of how much tastier your lunch sandwiches will be once you try this!
16. Try homemade yogurt
Yogurt is a popular dairy product beloved by people of all ages. While plain yogurt is a healthy and nutritious choice, it can be boring to eat on its own. So, adding different flavors and toppings to create a personalized treat is one way to make your yogurt more interesting.
Fresh or frozen fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, mango, or peaches work very well as flavors. Simply chop the fruit into small pieces and mix it into the yogurt. Then add a small amount of maple syrup or honey to sweeten it to your liking, and serve it chilled.
17. Switch to a self-made dishwasher liquid
Many commercial dishwasher detergents contain harsh chemicals and come in single-use plastic packaging, making them both costly and environmentally damaging. Fortunately, all you need to make your very own dishwasher detergent is washing soda, borax, citric acid, salt, and voila!
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, i.e., the washing soda, borax, citric acid, and salt. Next, add 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture to your dishwasher’s detergent compartment. As usual, if you want it to have a sweet scent, add your favorite essential oils and mix.
18. Use popsicle molds rather than buying popsicles
If you’re a fan of icy treats, you may notice that you spend a lot of money on popsicles, especially during the warmer months. However, making your popsicles at home can be an easy and cost-effective way to enjoy this refreshing treat while reducing waste.
Using popsicle molds allows you to control the ingredients that go into the popsicle and customize the flavors and sweetness to your liking. You can use fresh fruit, juice, yogurt, and other ingredients to create unique and delicious popsicles that are much healthier and less expensive than store-bought varieties.
19. How about homemade soap bars?
Making soap at home saves you money while creating a personalized product tailored to your skin’s needs. Luckily, it’s also simple to make. Homemade soap bars also make great gifts and can be customized with different scents and additives to suit the recipient’s preferences.
You will need basic ingredients such as lye, water, and oils to start. You can choose different oils, such as coconut, olive, or shea butter, to customize your soap according to your preferences. Don’t be shocked when people start asking where you got it once they catch a whiff of how good it smells!
20. Don’t buy sandwich bread from the market
There are many different types of bread, and everyone has their preference. To make simple sandwich bread, look for a recipe that uses essential ingredients such as flour, yeast, salt, and water. While you can always make it by hand, using a bread machine or stand mixer saves you time and effort.
These machines will mix, knead, and do all the heavy lifting for you, so all you have to do is shape the dough and bake it. Once you have a basic recipe, you can customize your bread by adding herbs, spices, or other ingredients such as grated cheese or chopped nuts.
21. Go for home-grown veggies
If you’re new to vegetable gardening, start with easy-to-grow vegetables such as lettuce, radishes, or beans. These crops mature fast and require minimal maintenance. Additionally, different plants have different planting times, so do some research on when to plant each crop in your area.
It’s also essential to keep a close eye on pests such as aphids, slugs, and caterpillars and use organic methods to control them if necessary. When they are ready to be harvested, you can use them in your dishes, which saves you money and keeps you and your family healthy.
22. Use hydrogen peroxide as a bathroom cleaner
Hydrogen peroxide is an extremely versatile and inexpensive cleaning solution that can clean many areas of your home, including the bathroom. It’s a natural disinfectant and stain remover that’s cheaper and safer to use instead of a regular bathroom cleaner.
To use hydrogen peroxide as a bathroom cleaner, combine equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide in a bottle and spray it on the grout. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then scrub with a brush and rinse with water. Now, you have a clean toilet!
23. Replace pads & tampons with a menstrual cup
One primary reason to switch to a menstrual cup is that it is reusable and can last several years with proper care. This means that they produce less waste and are actually cheaper since you don’t need to buy more every time Aunt Flo pays you a visit.
Also equally important is that you can wear them for up to 12 hours. They are also easy to clean and store, and you can carry them discreetly in a small bag or pouch. Frankly, the convenience they offer is unmatched.
24. Say no to toilet paper
Using water to clean yourself after using the bathroom can be more hygienic than using toilet paper, as it gets rid of bacteria and germs from your skin. This, in turn, helps to prevent issues like infections, irritation, and more.
There are several alternatives to using toilet paper. One is using a bidet or a handheld sprayer, which allows you to use water to clean yourself after using the bathroom. Another option is using cloth wipes, which can be washed and reused.
25. Use orange peels & cloves as an air freshener
Are you tired of the air fresheners you have been getting from the store? Well, orange peels and cloves might just be your two new favorite things. Both these items have a pleasant aroma that helps to neutralize unpleasant odors, making your space feel a lot more inviting and welcoming.
To make an air freshener, place a saucepan filled with water on the stove and add a handful of orange peels and a tablespoon or two of whole cloves to the pot. Boil the water under low heat and let the mixture simmer. As it does, it will release fragrant steam that freshens the air.
26. Opt for homemade dry shampoo
Homemade dry shampoo is an excellent alternative to commercial dry shampoos. Aside from being more friendly to your scalp, it also allows you to add whatever ingredients work best for your hair since we all know that everyone’s hair responds differently to different products.
Start by mixing cornstarch, arrowroot powder, and baking soda in a bowl. For fragrance, use essential oils because as much as we love homemade products, they don’t always have the best scent when they are done! Also, remember to actually wash your hair with water regularly since dry shampoo on its own isn’t enough.
27. Get reusable air filters
Reusable air filters are a great frugal hack that can save you money on maintenance costs for HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Instead of using disposable air filters that need to be replaced every few months, you can invest in a reusable air filter that can be cleaned and reused for years.
Reusable air filters are made of high-quality materials that can trap smaller particles and pollutants, which leads to better air quality in your home. For people who are prone to allergies triggered by things like dust, this is a lifesaver.
28. Use baking soda to remove dye stains
If you want to remove a dye stain from your clothes without spending money on expensive stain removers, use baking soda. To make this cost-effective stain remover, mix a small amount of baking soda with vinegar until it forms a thick paste.
Apply the paste to the dye stain, ensuring that it’s covered entirely. For the best results, you need to be patient since the paste needs to sit for about half an hour. If it’s a tough stain, you can leave it on for a while longer before scrubbing it gently with an old brush.
29. Make use of home spices for taco seasoning
Taco seasoning is a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine and can add flavor to various dishes, including tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. While store-bought taco seasoning packets are readily available, they can be expensive and often contain preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Fortunately, you can make your taco seasoning at home using a combination of spices in your pantry. The best part about this is that get to customize the seasoning however you like; for instance, you can use more cayenne pepper or chili if you like it hot!
30. Use cloth napkins instead of regular paper napkins
While the upfront cost of buying a set of cloth napkins may be higher than that of buying a pack of paper napkins, cloth napkins can be more cost-effective. These napkins are actually more durable and longer-lasting than paper napkins.
Apart from this, they are also versatile and can be used for numerous purposes beyond just wiping your mouth. In a pinch, they can be used as coasters, placemats, and even makeshift potholders. So, next time you’re out shopping for napkins, consider cloth napkins.
31. Use cloth wipes & diapers for babies
Some babies may have a reaction to the chemicals in disposable wipes and diapers, causing skin irritation or rashes. The best solution for this is to use cloth wipes and diapers, which are made from natural fibers and are friendlier, especially to babies’ skin.
Choosing to use cloth wipes and diapers can also support small businesses, such as local cloth diaper companies, which often make high-quality, eco-friendly products. It’s undoubtedly the best way to reduce your environmental impact, save money, and support local businesses.
32. Switch to a cheaper protein source
Switching from meat is a trend that has gained popularity in recent years, and it is easy to see why that is the case. First and foremost, meat is often expensive, especially compared to other protein sources like beans, lentils, and tofu.
Another reason why people are keen on finding other sources of protein is for health reasons. While meat can be a great source of protein, it can also be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which places you at a higher risk of heart disease and other health issues.
33. Replace name-brand items with store brand
Replacing name-brand items with store-brand products is a strategy many people use to save money on grocery bills. Though store-brand products are often cheaper than their name-brand counterparts, some of them can be just as good in quality if you give them a chance.
Using store-brand items can be an excellent way to experiment with new products without breaking the bank. Many stores offer a wide range, including organic and specialty items. By trying out these products, you can discover new favorites without having to pay a premium price.
34. Make chicken stock in your kitchen
Buying chicken stock from the store can be convenient, but it can also be expensive and sometimes disappointing when it comes to flavor. Fortunately, making chicken stock at home is an easy and frugal hack that can save you money.
Homemade chicken stock contains more protein and fewer additives. Additionally, making it yourself allows you to control the sodium content, which is important for people watching their salt intake. So, why spend money to buy it when it can be made at home?
35. Use books to bring your laptop to your eye level
Working from home has become the new norm for most of the world in the past few years. Though it’s ultimately a better option, setting up your workstation can be a bit tricky. Instead of buying monitor stands, you can use boxes and books to set up your machines.
Simply gather a few books of roughly the same height and size and stack them on top of each other, ensuring they won’t topple over. Once done, place your laptop on top of the books and adjust the height of the stack as needed.
36. Try some homemade kimchi, kombucha
In addition to being cheaper, making these two items at home allows you to customize the flavors and adjust the ingredients to your liking. Kimchi and kombucha are immensely popular thanks to their health benefits, so knowing how to make them yourself is a huge flex!
To get started, you will have to get a few basic ingredients and supplies. You’ll need Napa cabbage, Korean chili paste, garlic, ginger, scallions, and other seasonings for kimchi. For kombucha, get some tea, sugar, and a SCOBY before you begin the process.
37. Make croutons at home
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t buy croutons from the store. For one, they can be expensive and often contain preservatives and additives. But the good news is that making them at home is easy, cost-effective, and allows you to control the quality and ingredients.
As with most tasty treats, store-bought croutons are not always the best, especially if you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, you can experiment with different types of bread, herbs, and spices at home to get the perfect snack!
38. Wherever you go, take your lunch along
Eating out can be expensive, especially if you do it every day. If you do that daily, just calculate how much money it all comes to in a month, and you’ll be shocked. By making lunch at home, you can choose ingredients that are affordable and still enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal.
It also helps you maintain a balanced diet and avoid the constant temptation to indulge in unhealthy fast food. Moreover, by packing your lunch to work, you can enjoy a satisfying meal customized to your preferences without breaking the bank.
39. Store vegetable scraps for broth
Whenever you cook with vegetables, save the scraps instead of throwing them away. This includes the ends and peels of onions, carrots, celery, and other vegetables, as well as the skins of potatoes. If you cook a lot, we’re certain you get a lot of these every day.
Once you have collected enough vegetable scraps, store them in a container or a freezer bag and put them in the freezer until you are ready to make broth. Freezing the scraps will prevent them from spoiling and keep them fresh for longer.
40. You can make vanilla extract yourself
Making vanilla extract at home is a fun and easy project that can yield high-quality results. With only a handful of simple ingredients, you can create a delicious and aromatic extract that can be used in different kinds of recipes.
Using this extract, you can make so much, from baked goods to savory dishes. Additionally, you can gift it to people who love cooking and baking. With a little time and work, you can create a high-quality vanilla extract that is both delicious and cost-effective.
41. Mix water with your soap to make it last longer
Mixing water with soap makes it last longer and ensures you get more use out of each purchase. This is a simple trick to help reduce your overall consumption of soap and save some money. Isn’t this a great, simple, and affordable hack?
However, it’s important to note that diluting your soap with water may reduce its lather and cleaning power. If your diluted soap isn’t cleaning as well as you would like, you may need to add more soap to the mixture or switch to a different brand.
42. Try delicious homemade blackberry jam
Homemade blackberry jam is a delicious and frugal way to enjoy the sweetness and flavor of fresh blackberries all year round. It can be spread on toast, biscuits, scones, and several other snacks. Since we know they are many fans of blackberry jam out there, this will be quite helpful.
To start, wash and drain the blackberries and place them in a large pot. Next, add sugar, lemon juice, and salt to a pot over some heat, and keep stirring as you combine them. After a while, reduce the heat but keep stirring until it is done, then let it cool.
43. Go for homemade cream cheese
To make cream cheese, heat milk, and cream on medium heat, stirring until it reaches 180°F. Next, remove the pot from the gas and stir in some lemon juice and salt. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until you notice that it has thickened.
Once done, line a strainer with cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. Next, pour the mixture into the strainer and let it drain for 1-2 hours until it reaches your desired consistency. Finally, transfer the cream cheese to a container and store it in the fridge.
44. Use self-made spice paste
Homemade spice paste can be used in a variety of recipes, such as curries, stews, marinades, and more. To make some, combine onions, garlic, and ginger in a food processor or blender. Blend until you get a smooth paste, and then heat some oil in a large vessel over medium heat.
Add the paste and let it simmer for a few minutes as you stir. Add some ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves to the skillet. Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is thick and fragrant. Finish off by seasoning with salt to taste.
45. You can sew makeup remover/ cotton pads
Sewing your makeup remover or cotton pads is an excellent way to save money and reduce waste. Disposable makeup remover pads and cotton balls add up in cost over time, and they are also not eco-friendly. So, consider the option of switching to self-made cotton pads.
Homemade makeup remover pads can be washed and reused. You can also make them into a size and shape that you prefer. By sewing makeup remover pads, you also reduce waste while enjoying a convenient and effective way to remove makeup.