100 Lessons You Should Learn from Frugal People

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August 18th, 2010 in Advice, Business, Finance, Money

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By Kate Willson

These days, just about everyone is watching their finances a little closer than usual. One of the best ways to take better care of your money is to be more frugal, and you can learn how to improve your frugality from those who make it their passion. In this collection, you'll find 100 lessons from frugal people that can help you save some cash.

Saving & Spending

Cut down on your spending with the help of these lessons.

  1. 5 Lies We Tell Ourselves to Help Us Continue Spending: Use delayed gratification to rein in spending.
  2. Operation Keep the Change: Make a habit of saving your spare change.
  3. Frugal Living on $34.01 a Week: It's possible for you to live on $34.01 a week.
  4. How to Create Your Own Extended Warranty: Turn down extended warranties from the store and make your own.
  5. How Long Do I Have to Act Poor Til I'm Rich?: Think of acting poor as a way to become rich.
  6. 8 Tips on Saving Money Without Scrimping: It's possible to save money without having to scrimp.
  7. What Do You Splurge On?: Spend your money on smart splurges.
  8. Help Your children Visualize Money Management with the Four Jars Approach: Using jars, you can teach kids about managing money.
  9. Frugal Lessons from the Amish: Going Goodwilling: Shopping at Goodwill and other thrift stores can help you save money.
  10. How Low Can you Go? Cutting Back to Minimum: A great way to save money is to use less of things.
  11. Forced Frugality: Don't just be frugal because you absolutely have to.
  12. Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs: Cut these games out of your life to save money, time, and sleep.
  13. Love, Love, Loving the Library: Save money by learning to love the library.
  14. New Year's Resolution-Start Budgeting Today: Don't wait to start your budget right away.
  15. Budgeting on No Income: Make a budget, even if you don't have the income for it.
  16. My Personal Excel Budget Spreadsheet: Creating a budget spreadsheet can help you stay on track.
  17. How to Want Less: Throw away catalogs before you read them so you won't be tempted.
  18. Living the Minimalist Lifestyle-Is It Possible?: Live a simpler, cheaper life with a minimalist lifestyle.
  19. How to Live Frugally: Lessons I Learned From My Grandparents: You can save cash by living small, as in, living in a small home.
  20. 15 Products That Save Time, Money, and Space: Products like CF bulbs, water pitchers, and coupon books can save real money.
  21. There's No Quick Fix for a Downsized Income: You should get started on a downsized income before you need it.
  22. Frugal Shopping and Seasonal Sales: Stay on top of seasonal sales for frugal deals.
  23. Rebranding is Your Frugal Friend: Keep an eye out for brands offering steep discounts on rebranded items.
  24. Trade the Stuff You Don't Want…For the Stuff You Do: Instead of selling your stuff, you can swap it out.
  25. Ugh Overdraft!: Watch your bank accounts carefully to avoid unnecessary fees.
  26. The Merits of Used Clothing Translated into Japanese by a 14 Year Old: Used clothing can help you stretch your budget.
  27. Five Lessons I Learned From My Own Frugal Dad: This dad insists that you are not what you wear.
  28. Oh, Cut-Offs! How I Love You!: When clothes wear out, find another way to use them.


Squeeze your bills til they scream for mercy with these frugal tips.

  1. Fees Suck-Don't Pay Them: Save your money by avoiding fees.
  2. How to Get the Best Deal When Signing Up for Cable or Satellite TV: Negotiate a great deal on TV to save some cash.
  3. How I Went 99.9% Paperless at Home: Stay organized and save money by going paperless.
  4. Saving Hundreds of Dollars on Cell Phones by Switching to Pre-Paid: Consider whether pre-paid can help you save money on your cell phone.

Major Purchases

Use these frugal lessons when buying a car or other large purchase.

  1. Top 10 Tips for Saving Money on a New Car: Do your research before buying a new car.
  2. How to Buy a Flat Screen TV: Think about what you really want when buying a flat screen TV.
  3. Buying a Car: How Choosing the Right Car Can Save You Money: Choose your car wisely and you'll save money for years.


You can make travel frugal, and you'll find out how here.

  1. How I Bargain on Hotel Rates: This travel writer asks for a tour and a discount, gets ready to leave, and scores on hotel rates.
  2. 50 Budget Travel Tips and Save Money on Vacations: Take connecting flights, and you'll usually get a discount on your airfare.
  3. How to Save Money on Your Summer Vacation: Share vacation rentals with friends instead of paying full price on your own.
  4. 10 Tips for a Memorable Staycation: Create a staycation to save money on traveling.
  5. CouchSurfing: The New Way to Travel?: Save money on travel by couch surfing.


Whether you're buying a home or working on it, these lessons of homeownership support a frugal lifestyle.

  1. Frugal Home Maintenance and Repair: Look for free advice in big box home improvement stores.
  2. Get New Furniture Without Getting New Furniture: Make your furniture new by repurposing items.
  3. Tools to Buy, Tools to Borrow: Instead of buying new tools, consider when it's a good time to borrow or rent.
  4. Frugal Home Repairs: Do It Yourself or Call a Professional?: Know when it's time to handle problems on your own, or when it's better to call in a professional.
  5. Our Complete Home Buying Experience: From Offers to Mortgages: Do the math before jumping in to buying a house.
  6. Pay Off Mortgage Early? Or Invest?: Consider whether you should pay off your mortgage early or not.
  7. What Percentage of Income Can You Afford for Mortgage Payments?: Know what percentage of your income that you can afford when it comes to mortgage payments.
  8. 5 Chores You Can Do Yourself to Save Money: Save cash by doing household chores yourself.

Credit Cards

Use these lessons to make your credit cards more frugal.

  1. 5 Most Common Mistakes Leading to Credit Card Debt: If you're trying to get out of credit card debt, you'll have to stop using your cards first.
  2. Credit Card Debt Reduction: Only pay what you can afford for debt settlements.
  3. Why I Collect Miles: Collect miles on your credit cards for a big payoff.
  4. Credit Card Perks: Be smart and take advantage of the perks offered by credit cards.
  5. How a Good Credit Score Can Make You Save Money on Credit Cards: Keep a good credit score, and you'll be able to save on credit cards.
  6. Suck It, Credit Card Companies!: Cancel your credit cards and say good riddance.

Health & Retirement

Whether you're young or old, you'll find knowledge in these frugal lessons.

  1. Wheeling and Dealing for Health Care: Use the power of negotiation to get a great deal on health care.
  2. IRA Consolidation: The "Super IRA" Strategy: Building a "Super IRA" may be a smart retirement strategy for you.
  3. The Dark Side of Early Retirement: Early retirement is not without its dangers.
  4. Flexible Spending Accounts Help You Save: Using a flex spending account the right way can really help save some money.


Mastering the art of negotiation is one of the most frugal things you can do.

  1. Get Sprint to Credit You for the Discount They're Taking Away: Threaten to cancel your services, and you'll be surprised what you can negotiate.
  2. Always Ask for a Discount: Never be afraid to ask for a discount.
  3. How to Ask for a Discount When You're Embarrassed to Ask: Ask about future promotions and sales to open the door to negotiations.
  4. 5 Steps for Scoring Great Deals No Matter What You're Buying: Do your research before starting negotiations.
  5. Negotiation Tips: Buy in bulk to negotiate for a better discount.
  6. Negotiation Tips for Beginners-A Real Life Example of How I Saved $150 With Just a Few Questions: Put your negotiation skills to work and save some cash.
  7. Help a Reader: Asking for a Discount: You should never be afraid to ask for a discount when negotiating.


Use these lessons to stretch your food dollar as far as it will go.

  1. How to Avoid the Restaurant to Save Money: Enjoy a home cooked meal instead of restaurant food to save some cash.
  2. Eating on $1.00 a Day: It may be possible for you to eat on $1.00 a day.
  3. Freeze Your Garden Produce Now and You'll Be Thanking Yourself Later: Take advantage of your garden produce and save it for later.
  4. Home Preservation and Pressure Canning: Preserve bulk buys or garden harvests with canning and more.
  5. Eat Well, Lose Weight, and Save Some Money: Eat fresher foods to improve your weight and save money.
  6. The 72 Hour Emergency Food Pantry: Prepare an emergency stash of food that can last 72 hours.
  7. Ground Beef: Shock and Awe: Take advantage of sales and stock up whenever you can.
  8. How Freezer Cooking Saves Me Money: Cook in batches and save them in your freezer to save time, money, and energy.
  9. Free Water Filtration Methods: Filter your water for free instead of paying for it.
  10. Homemade Herb Blends: You can make cheap, fresh, and fast herbal blends at home.
  11. 25 Ways I Save Money: Avoid vending machines to save money.
  12. Five Frugal Lessons from My Parents: Cook more food than you need, so you'll always have leftovers and don't have to worry about eating out when you're hungry.
  13. How to Harvest Growing Herbs: Get the most out of your herbs by harvesting them properly.
  14. A Beginner's Guide to Beans, Plus 42 Bean Recipes: Stretch your food budget by making the most of beans.
  15. Making Breadcrumbs: Instead of throwing out old ends, turn them into breadcrumbs.
  16. Buying Generic to Save Costs: You can save a considerable amount of money by purchasing generic items instead of brand name ones.
  17. Saving on Dining Out Expenses: Look for discount books to save when you're dining out.
  18. Favorite Frugal Dinners: Create a few go-to frugal dinners that you can enjoy regularly.
  19. 5 Ways to Preserve Zucchini: Make the most of your overflowing zucchini crop by preserving it.


Make gifts frugal and fun with the help of these lessons.

  1. A Gift of White Gardenias: A Frugal Lesson: Being friendly can yield gifts and friendship.
  2. Creative Ways to Give Cash Gifts: Put cash gifts in a book or box for fun.
  3. How to Deal With and Stop Bad Gifts: Deal with bad gifts by turning them in to something you really want.
  4. Frugal Gifts for New Parents and New Babies: If you've got lots of friends and family having babies, give gifts that are both frugal and functional.

Going Green

These lessons will save your money as well as the environment.

  1. 12 Green and Frugal Lessons From My Mom: Use cloth for everything instead of disposable paper.
  2. 9 Tips on Staying Cool Without an Air Conditioner: Chill out by staying calm and drinking cool water regularly.
  3. Frugal and Green: Use energy saving appliances that will cut down on your electricity expenses and conserve energy.
  4. One Man's Trash: Instead of throwing items away, recycle or sell them.
  5. Ways to Keep Cool (Without Cranking Up the AC): Keeping curtains and blinds closed during the heat of the day can keep your home cool.
  6. Top 7 Energy Saving Tips for This Summer: Plug your air leaks and change filters to make the most of your heating and cooling.
  7. Improve Your Water Heater Efficiency and Save $125 a Year: You can save money by improving your water heater efficiency.
  8. More Bang for Your Electricity Buck: Use fans instead of air conditioning to see a difference in your utility bills.
  9. 6 Ways to Conserve Water and Save Money This Summer: Use a rain barrel to save money.
  10. Stay Cool When Saving Money on the Electric Bill: With a programmable thermostat, you can save money on your electricity bill.


Make DIY work for frugality using these helpful lessons.

  1. Do It Yourself: Why Your Time Is Not Worth As Much As You Think: Your time may not be worth very much-and you can save even more money with DIY projects.
  2. DIY Projects to Save Money: Should You Take Them On?: Before you go DIY, find out if you can really handle the project or not.

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