Extreme Frugality: 56 Crazy Tips to Save Money Fast! - Rebi Simple Living (2024)

Table of Contents
What Is Extreme Frugality? Why Extreme Frugality Is Being Extremely Frugal Bad? Common Sense Frugal Ways to Save Money 1. Budget 2. Pay your bills on time 3. Cook your own food 4. Don’t use your car 5. Buy generic brands 6. Line dry your clothes 7. Use reusable items 8. Cut the cable 9. Use public library 10. Play board games 11. Invite friends over 12. Repair what you can 13. Use coupons 14. Use up leftovers 15. Do a pantry challenge 16. Do a freezer challenge 17. Buy second hand 18. Create capsule wardrobe 19. Be your own esthetician 20. Exercise at home Creative Ways to Achieve Extreme Frugality 21. Cut your own hair 22. Color your own hair 23. Wash your hair less often 24. Grow your own food 25. Cook 5 ingredient meals 26. Unplug electronic devices 27. Get a roommate 28. Live with your parents 29. Do a no-spend challenge 30. Dilute soap and detergents 31. Use every last drop of a product 32. DIY your cleaning solutions 33. Purchase almost expired food 34. Stop Drinking Alcohol 35. Reuse old paper as wrapping paper 36. Look for free stuff 37. Buy blackout curtains 38. Don’t wear makeup 39. Use up sample products Extreme Frugal Tips to Boost Your Savings 40. Stop shaving 41. Turn on heating only in extreme colds 42. No AC 43. Eat other people’s leftovers 44. Forage for food 45. Wash disposable items 46. Dumpster diving 47. Live in a tiny house 48. Live in a van 49. Drink only tap water 50. Raise your own farm animals 51. Become vegan 52. Live furniture-free 53. Fast for longer periods of time 54. Flush toilet once a day 55. Eat expired food 56. Sell everything Can Extreme Frugality Make You Rich? FAQs

Being frugal means being smart with money and saving a part of income for later. But what if you need to drastically cut your expenses in a short amount of time? Well, then you might need to dive into extreme frugality.

In this article, we bring you a list of 56 crazy tips to save more money fast.

To not overwhelm you we divided them into common sense, creative, and extreme tips, so check out the ones that apply to you! 🙂

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What Is Extreme Frugality?

Extreme frugality encompasses cutting expenses as much as possible to save more money. It forces you to look at your spending and come up with new, creative solutions not to spend any cash.

Look at it as financial minimalism. You look to spend as little as possible and simplify your finances overall.

When analyzing your spending don’t get too stuck on smaller expenses such as clothes or cosmetics.

Focus your attention on cutting expenses on the big three: housing, food, and transportation. This will bring you greater savings in the long run.

Why Extreme Frugality

There are many reasons why you should look into extreme frugality as your financial solution.

You might have a big debt you need to pay off. Or you might have lost your job or have to live on a small income. You also might be crazy enough to try it as a challenge. 🙂

Whatever your reason, be prepared to go out of your comfort zone in order to save as much money as you can by being super frugal.

An extremely frugal lifestyle will definitely keep you from spending and you will surely save money on things you didn’t even think were possible.

Is Being Extremely Frugal Bad?

Frugality by itself is a virtue. Frugal people learn how to manage their money responsibly and therefore invest in their future.

On the other hand, going to extremes is never a sustainable practice. Think about it as going on a strict diet. You are motivated for a few days before giving up because it is just not sustainable for a long time.

It is the same with extreme frugality. It is a great way to save money in dire situations, but in the long run, it is really hard to keep at.

It’s also worth mentioning that some argue that extreme frugality is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. This would categorize extreme frugality as a mental illness. If you want to learn more about this, take a look at the article on Everyday Health.

Common Sense Frugal Ways to Save Money

It is smart to be frugal and manage your money well. This way you can live more comfortably and not stress about the future.

Here are some common sense frugal ways to save money every responsible adult should be aware of.

1. Budget

Create a monthly budget and stick to it. Know how much money goes into your account and how much goes out. Analyze your finances and allocate a specific amount of money to each of your spending categories.

2. Pay your bills on time

Automate your finances. Know when each bill is due and make sure you pay them on time. You don’t want to have to pay late fees additionally.

3. Cook your own food

Mealplan ahead and buy only what you need to prepare the food in the meal plan. Cook every meal you eat on your own. Don’t waste money on takeout or pre-made meals. Make foods from scratch instead of buying them. This includes bread, tortillas, soups, oatmeal, plant-based milk, coffee, etc.

4. Don’t use your car

Depending on your lifestyle, look into alternative transportation options. Walk, ride a bike, carpool, or use public transportation.

5. Buy generic brands

Don’t buy into pretty packaging. Generic brands are the same products as household names just without any branding. Plus they are much cheaper.

6. Line dry your clothes

Please don’t use an electric dryer to dry your clothes. Not only does it waste unnecessary energy, but it also wears out your clothes much faster.

7. Use reusable items

Different types of textiles come in handy in so many ways. Here are some to name a few: kitchen towels, bathroom towels, cleaning rags, cloth diapers, tissues. And you rarely have to replace them.

8. Cut the cable

With all the free entertainment online, in 2021 you really don’t need cable TV anymore. Just cut the cord. You won’t regret it.

9. Use public library

It’s surprising how few people take advantage of public libraries. They are a rich source of entertainment for the whole family. You can borrow books, magazines, music, and even movies!

10. Play board games

Another great way to have free fun is to play board games at home. Did we mention that you can also borrow them from some libraries?

11. Invite friends over

Instead of going out, next time invite your friends over. You can treat them to a nice meal or a drink and it will be the same amount of fun but much less pricey.

12. Repair what you can

Whether it be furniture, electronics, shoes, etc. first check if something can be repaired. Sometimes you can also repair it by yourself with the help of online tutorials. Older things are made to last so don’t replace them if there is no need.

13. Use coupons

Coupons can save you a lot of bucks. Use online services like Honey to check for coupons when online shopping. Don’t hesitate to also check regular catalog coupons for your favorite supermarket.

14. Use up leftovers

Never throw away good food. When there is some food left after a meal, pack it up in a container and eat it tomorrow. If you collect a lot of random pieces of leftover food throughout the week, make e.g. Friday a leftover day where you challenge yourself and your family to eat all the leftovers for lunch.

15. Do a pantry challenge

Go through your pantry regularly and check what you have. Use up the food that is about to go bad quickly. Come up with recipes that contain only the ingredients from your pantry.

16. Do a freezer challenge

Same as the pantry challenge just with the food from your freezer.

17. Buy second hand

You would be surprised how much cheaper you can get quality stuff if you buy them second-hand. By that, we don’t mean only clothes but big-ticket items like electronics, furniture, and even a car. Sometimes the second hand is as good as new and only a couple of months old.

18. Create capsule wardrobe

Create a cohesive collection of functional items in your closet. Come up with a few outfits for any occasion you might experience on a day-to-day basis. This will not only make getting ready much easier but also prevent you from unnecessary spending.

19. Be your own esthetician

Maintain your appearance at home. Do beauty treatments like pedicure, manicure, waxing, and eyebrows on your own. These are luxuries that you can save money on easily. It will just take you some time to get a hang of it.

20. Exercise at home

Invest some money into a mat, a couple of weights, and an elastic band if you want to have the choice of using some equipment. On the other hand, you can do just bodyweight exercises. Search YouTube to discover a ton of exercise videos tailored to working out at home. Also, going for a walk or running is free.

Creative Ways to Achieve Extreme Frugality

What if you are already frugal and apply all the tips above in your everyday life?

Take a look at the more creative ways to squeeze even more savings every month!

21. Cut your own hair

Lots of people tried this during the lockdown and succeeded marvelously, so why wouldn’t you? Especially if you just need a regular trim, there is not a lot of space to go wrong.

22. Color your own hair

Buy hair color in a drugstore or a supermarket, follow the instructions on the packaging, and voila! You are your own hair expert.

23. Wash your hair less often

If you have dry or curly hair it is even better for you to wash your hair less often. Try to do it only once a week and see what happens! It will save you lots on shampoo, conditioner, and water!

24. Grow your own food

Start your garden with a couple of root vegetables (they are easiest to grow) and go on from there. If you live in an apartment try to grow your own herbs. Investigate what grows well in your climate and enjoy the fruits of your labor, literally!

25. Cook 5 ingredient meals

The simpler, the cheaper. You don’t have to be a chef to cook simple meals. Just take a look at your favorite dishes and see what ingredients you can leave out. Your digestion will thank you.

26. Unplug electronic devices

Don’t forget to unplug your electronic devices when you are not using them. Even if they are turned off they still use a small amount of electric energy.

27. Get a roommate

Look into renting portions of your home out for income. Downsize and get a roommate for a room you are not using. Their rent can supplement a part of your income or you can use it to pay for utilities.

28. Live with your parents

A more extreme way to cut expenses on housing. If you have the option to live with your parents for some time it is a great way to save a huge chunk of your income.

29. Do a no-spend challenge

In a no-spend challenge, you decide not to spend money on anything non-essential for a certain period of time. You can do it for just a day to a whole year!

10 Tips to Crush Your No Spend Challenge and Save More Money

30. Dilute soap and detergents

Add water to extend the life of your liquid products. If you don’t go overboard, this won’t affect their effectiveness.

31. Use every last drop of a product

Cut open your hand creme, shampoo, or conditioner bottles. There is still a ton of product left in the bottom which doesn’t get used. You paid for it, use it till the last drop.

32. DIY your cleaning solutions

Making cleaning solutions is really simple and cheap. All you need is white vinegar or baking soda and water. If you are feeling bougie you can try this 3-ingredient multipurpose spray.

33. Purchase almost expired food

Always check the foods that are discounted because their expiration date is due soon. You just might find something you need for that week. But don’t buy the food that you won’t use soon.

34. Stop Drinking Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages cost a pretty penny, so decide to stop drinking them. It will not only spare your wallet, but also your liver will be thankful.

35. Reuse old paper as wrapping paper

Get creative and use your paper grocery bags or old newspapers as wrapping paper next time you buy gifts. You will be surprised how many people will get inspired by this!

36. Look for free stuff

People give away a lot of stuff they no longer need for free. Next time you need something for your home take a look on Craigslist or Marketplace if somebody is giving it away.

37. Buy blackout curtains

Use blackout curtains to keep the light out and preserve the heat in your home. This way you can handle extreme temperatures more economically.

38. Don’t wear makeup

If you feel up for it, try to not wear makeup on a regular basis. You can still keep your old makeup for special occasions, but this will prevent you from buying new ones.

39. Use up sample products

Don’t hesitate to take free samples at the shopping malls and hotels. It is also good to take a look at all the promotional stuff you can get for free come election time or the launch of a new product. Also, check if your company offers some free merch for their employees.

Extreme Frugal Tips to Boost Your Savings

This wouldn’t be an article about extreme frugality if we don’t offer you some extreme frugal tips. Just be careful not to get too caught in these, because they will significantly lower the quality of your life.

These are extreme ways to cut expenses and are not meant to be used for longer periods of time.

We advise using extreme frugality only if you find yourself in a financially vulnerable situation, such as unemployment or debt.

40. Stop shaving

Let your hair grow and stop buying single-use razors.

41. Turn on heating only in extreme colds

Postpone turning on heating until you can no longer endure the cold. Wear a lot of layers of thick clothes and use blankets to keep warm.

42. No AC

Similar to the previous one, try to endure the heat without turning on the AC. If you can’t, use a ventilator instead of the AC, it consumes a lot less energy.

43. Eat other people’s leftovers

Check with your family or neighbors if they have some leftover food they are about to throw away and ask to take it.

44. Forage for food

Learn about what foods you can forage. Take walks through a nearby park or forest and look for edible plants or mushrooms.

45. Wash disposable items

Just because they are advertised as single-use doesn’t mean you have to use them only one time. Wash ziploc bags, plastic containers, straws, disposable cutlery, etc. to get more use from them.

46. Dumpster diving

Dumpster diving is salvaging unused items from large commercial and residential garbage bins. You can find so many useful items by doing this, just make sure it is not illegal in your area.

47. Live in a tiny house

Downsizing your home can bring you the biggest savings. Tiny Life reports that 55% of people who live in tiny houses have more savings in the bank than the average American. Also, 68% have no mortgage compared to the 29.3% of all US homeowners.

48. Live in a van

You might have some upfront cost of buying an RV and getting it ready for the road, but after that, your costs of living are just food and gas. For some, it is a good way to pay off debt fast.

49. Drink only tap water

Drink only what’s free. You don’t really need anything else than water. Just make sure that the tap water from your area is actually drinkable.

50. Raise your own farm animals

Meat can cost a lot of money. Some decide to go vegetarian or vegan to save money, but if you don’t want to give up eating meat and dairy you can raise your own farm animals.

51. Become vegan

On the contrary to the previous tip, you can opt-out from eating any animal products. Plant-based groceries are much cheaper than meat and dairy.

52. Live furniture-free

For some living a life with no furniture is a valid option. You own little to no things and sleep on the floor. Imagine that!

53. Fast for longer periods of time

Some give up food for longer periods of time. This unfortunately is a reality for people who can’t afford to have three meals a day, but please don’t practice this if you don’t have to.

54. Flush toilet once a day

Well, yes, this is also an actual money-saving tip. Save on water and flush your toilet only once a day.

55. Eat expired food

Pick out mold and gross parts of the food and eat around it.

56. Sell everything

Become an extreme minimalist and live with only a specific number of items you set for yourself. Downsize as much as you can and earn money from selling everything you own.

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Can Extreme Frugality Make You Rich?

At the end of the day, there is only so much you can cut from your budget. You can only save so much and to become rich you need to increase your income.

Practicing extreme frugality means trading comfort for saving. You do everything by yourself and this takes much of your time. You can achieve abundance more easily if you focus more on raising your earnings.

Common sense frugality and an abundance mindset are a winning combination to wealth.

Put your focus into saving on the big expenses and having a higher income. This will result in a lifelong comfortable living and wealth.

Have you tried any of these tips? Let us know in the comments!

Did you enjoy this post? Know someone else who might like it? Please take a moment to share on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. Thank you!

Posted By: Rebecca · In: Frugal Finances

Extreme Frugality: 56 Crazy Tips to Save Money Fast! - Rebi Simple Living (2024)


How do you live extremely frugally? ›

12 Tips for Frugal Living
  1. Choose quality over quantity. ...
  2. Prioritize value over price. ...
  3. Use credit wisely. ...
  4. Declutter regularly. ...
  5. Use a budget to guide your spending. ...
  6. Know the difference between wants and needs. ...
  7. Be a savvy consumer. ...
  8. Prioritize your values.
Oct 17, 2023

How can I live very cheaply? ›

I should note that I do most, but not all, of these tips.
  1. Go with one car. Many families have two or more cars. ...
  2. Go with a smaller house. ...
  3. Go with a smaller car. ...
  4. Rent rather than own. ...
  5. Look for used first. ...
  6. Eat out less. ...
  7. Eat out frugally. ...
  8. Brown bag it to work.

How do you live a frugal and simple life? ›

So, we put together our 15 favorite frugal tips to live by that are also super simple and easy for anyone to use.
  1. Tip 1: Differentiate between Luxury Spending vs Necessary Expenses. ...
  2. Tip 2: Make Cuts in Your Spending. ...
  3. Tip 3: Cap Your Spending. ...
  4. Tip 4: Keep Receipts and Track Spending. ...
  5. Tip 5: Think Twice Before You Buy.
Jan 19, 2024

How to be super thrifty and frugal? ›

50 frugal money-saving tips
  1. Plan meals.
  2. Choose cheaper recipes.
  3. Make a shopping list.
  4. Don't shop when you're hungry.
  5. Visit cheaper supermarkets.
  6. Buy supermarket own-label products.
  7. Eat less meat.
  8. Buy in bulk – but only if you'll use it.

How to live like a cheapskate? ›

7 Secrets of the Frugal Lifestyle
  1. Live below your means. ...
  2. Meticulously budget your spending. ...
  3. Take on secured debt sparingly. ...
  4. Participate in serious tax sheltering. ...
  5. Launch a disciplined investment plan. ...
  6. Get help from a sharp fee-only financial advisor. ...
  7. Work hard—ideally in your own business. ...
  8. More from Everyday Cheapskate.

Is being a cheapskate a disorder? ›

The American Psychiatric Association defines frugality as a symptom of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) when someone “adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others.” Extreme frugality is an amplified version of that, and it often involves viewing spending as a bad thing no matter how much ...

What is the cheapest state to live in? ›

  • Mississippi. #1 in Cost of Living. #48 in Best States Overall. ...
  • Alabama. #2 in Cost of Living. #44 in Best States Overall. ...
  • Kentucky. #3 in Cost of Living. ...
  • Arkansas. #4 in Cost of Living. ...
  • Iowa. #5 in Cost of Living. ...
  • New Mexico. #6 in Cost of Living. ...
  • South Dakota. #7 in Cost of Living. ...
  • Oklahoma. #8 in Cost of Living.

What is the cheapest place to live in? ›

Most Affordable Places to Live in the U.S. in 2023-2024
  • Hickory, NC.
  • Youngstown, OH.
  • Huntington, WV & Ashland, KY-OH.
  • Fort Wayne, IN.
  • Beaumont, TX.
  • Peoria, IL.

How to afford to live without working? ›

Let's take a look at some of the more popular ways to live without a traditional job:
  1. Open a High Yield Savings Account.
  2. Invest in the Stock Market.
  3. Freelancing.
  4. Pet Sitting.
  5. Make Rental Income.
  6. Travel Blogging.
  7. Sell Media Assets.
  8. Rent Your Car on Turo.
Jan 30, 2024

How to be frugal like a millionaire? ›

7 Unexpected Habits Of A Frugal Millionaire
  1. 1) They understand it's not about what you make, it's about what you SAVE. ...
  2. 2) They don't have a high income. ...
  3. 3) They don't believe in “getting rich quick” ...
  4. 4) Ignore the Joneses. ...
  5. 5) Live below their means. ...
  6. 6) Spend money on experiences and not things. ...
  7. 7) They avoid debt.

What's the best example of frugal living? ›

What are some tips for being frugal?
  • Create a budget and stick to it. Being frugal begins with this tip. ...
  • Shop around for the best deals. Buy what you need from the first store you see, but don't just go to the first one you see. ...
  • Buy used instead of new. ...
  • Make your own stuff. ...
  • Repurpose and recycle. ...
  • Be patient.
Aug 22, 2023

How to live on next to nothing? ›

Replenish perishables such as milk and bread as needed but try to cope by eating down everything already in your cupboard, fridge, and home.
  1. Another way to do this is to not go shopping one week a month. ...
  2. Use coupons and discounts to reduce food costs. ...
  3. Drink tap water.

How to be frugal in 2024? ›

9 Frugal Money Habits To Start Using Now as 2024 Approaches, According to Experts
  1. Create a Budget Now. ...
  2. Focus On Only What You Need. ...
  3. Track Your Spending. ...
  4. Maximize Savings Through Smart Home Investments. ...
  5. Buy Used Before You Buy New. ...
  6. Prepare Food at Home. ...
  7. Start a Home Garden.
Dec 19, 2023

Can a frugal person be generous? ›

Indeed, frugality means that, when I'm inclined to be generous with money, I can be, whether that means a bigger tip to a driver or waiter I feel has earned it, or a donation to an organization whose work I support.

How can I live frugally and retire early? ›

10 Ways to Live Frugally in Retirement
  1. Stick to a Budget. ...
  2. Plan for Healthcare Costs. ...
  3. Cut Your Housing Costs. ...
  4. Pay Yourself. ...
  5. Move to a Lower Cost Area. ...
  6. Forgo Eating Out. ...
  7. Hire a Financial Advisor. ...
  8. Reassess Your Insurance Needs.
Sep 6, 2023

Why do rich people live frugally? ›

Advantages of Frugal Living

Increased savings: By spending less on non-essentials, you can save a significant amount of money over time. Reduced financial stress: Frugal habits help in avoiding debt and living within your means, leading to less financial anxiety.

Is frugal living worth it? ›

Living a frugal lifestyle not only helps you save money, but it can also help you establish healthier habits over time. For example, when you start to become mindful with your spending, chances are you'll be cooking more meals at home instead of eating out all the time.

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