Advertisement

"It Has Literally Saved Me Thousands Of Dollars": 22 Frugal Tips People Swear By For 2024

Being frugal isn't just about spending less money. It's also a way of life that aims to create less waste, get more use out of possessions, and enjoy the things in life that don't come with a price tag.

If you, like me, want to be more frugal in 2024, you might want to check out these tips I found in a thread on r/Frugal. User u/Rei_Slade asked people to share their best frugal tips for the new year, and there were over 500 comments. Here are some of the top replies:

1."I shop around for my insurance every January, since it's the beginning of a new year. I also do my health checkups and major car maintenance. One year, I actually saved $200 on my insurance by switching to another company."

Person signing paperwork for a car

2."I've instituted a system where I buy things on Wednesdays. For absolute emergencies (usually related to my 18-month-old), I will make an exception. But groceries, gas, Costco, and even Amazon are all done on a Wednesday. If I think I need or want something, I wait until the next Wednesday, and by that point, I usually don't need or want it anymore."

u/missmegz1492

3."Eat down your pantry and freezer. Most people would be SHOCKED at how many meals they have just sort of sitting around. I also keep a 'scraps' bag in the freezer — onion skins, tops, carrot peels, celery tops, fennel bases, stems, etc. I toss in any herbs that are past their prime. When I am ready, I make broth with leftover bones (usually chicken, but duck and turkey work well too) and all the scrap stuff, and then, if I am short on anything (like onions, celery, etc.), I add that in as well."

An Instant Pot on a kitchen counter

4."Pick a store and get really good at using their rewards system. I just don't have the time or energy to be going to a bunch of different places. We go to Safeway and Costco — Trader Joe's maybe once a month for wine and snacks. I have had the Safeway app for years, and at this point, it gives me deals on stuff I buy. I know it is far from the 'cheapest,' but it's a clean store with a layout I am very familiar with. With the app deals, I feel like I get within striking distance of some of the cheaper places."

A woman grocery shopping
D3sign / Getty Images

5."Watch who and what you follow on social. I unfollowed a lot of influencers who were overconsuming. I love following the ones who teach you to shop your closet."

u/dcmom14

6."Really enjoying/using/repurposing what you have is a satisfying alternative both to recreational shopping and to buying stuff in general. I've been focusing more on that this past year as I go through a frugality and decluttering process, and it's honestly great."

u/agitpropgremlin

"Repairing as well — I had a backpack that had several pockets that split along the zipper seams. Actually sitting down and fixing those with some fabric and a sewing machine (though hand would work too) was particularly satisfying, so I didn't need to go out and get an alternative."

u/Balthanon

7."Check the markdown racks at your grocery. I find cheap cereal, bread, and veggies that I can prep and freeze. Go early in the morning, and meat going out of date that day is often marked down. Take it home, portion it out, and freeze it."

A shopping basket filled with food items with markdown price stickers
Solstock / Getty Images

8."Once I find an affordable, comfortable, good pair of shoes (or any clothing), I buy many multiples online when the price is right. This way, not only do you save money, but you save time by not wasting time on shopping."

u/mrgenetrey

9."I have learned to repair almost any home appliance. YouTube is a lifesaver and has literally saved me thousands of dollars. Furnace, AC, dishwasher, oven, washer, dryer, and sump pump — I have fixed them all."

u/Gibbons74

10."Make use of your local public library. They have books, DVDs, video games, puzzles, etc. All of these things are free! They often have free programs you can attend as well. Mine is hosting a free escape room this week. Some libraries also circulate unconventional things. Mine has car check engine code readers, bubble kits, binoculars, telescopes, and a ton of other things!"

people browsing for books at the library
Maskot / Getty Images

11."Join a local Buy Nothing group. Give and receive! You might have more stuff than you realize. One Lent season, I gave up buying anything unless I was actually out of the product or food. This freaked people out when I mentioned it. Yes, I could buy fresh food as needed."

"I initially thought I would run out of lotion sometime during Lent. Oh, I was so wrong. It was nearly a year before I had used up all of the various lotions in my apartment. I also journaled about my thoughts on money, shopping, and buying things. At the time, I did this challenge because a friend had commented on how much time I spent shopping. I hadn't realized how much time I spent looking at stuff. I found this to be an incredibly healing and liberating practice."

u/FifiLeBean

12."I base my grocery shopping list around what is on special each week. This week, it was whole chicken, baby potatoes, sweet corn, and some imperfectly shaped but perfectly ripe tomatoes. I combine these with items I have already stocked up on from our freezer, pantry, fridge, and vegetable garden to form our meals for the week."

u/Bunnyeatsdesign

"I looked back at my grocery budget for the last couple of years. Despite increased pricing for most stuff, my grocery budget has been pretty flat for five years.

"I'm guessing this is the reason why. Instead of getting the same thing and the costs increase, I just get whatever item is on sale, and the sale price is usually the same even though the item has changed."

u/paintchips_beef

13."Learn to cook legumes well. It’s much cheaper than eating meat all the time."

A pot of chickpeas simmering on the stove
Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derma / Getty Images

14."If you're thinking about buying a new appliance (like an air fryer or a slow cooker), check the local thrift stores and garage/yard sales first. You can sometimes pick up an expensive appliance for just a few dollars. 'Used' often means they tried it once and didn't use it after that. I've gotten a brand-new air fryer still in the original box for $5."

u/TheFairyingForest

"Facebook Marketplace is a nice spot for slightly used appliances."

u/k-c-jones

15."Spend a few dollars at the thrift store (or whatever store) and buy some washcloths or rags for cleaning spills, wiping your mouth, whatever. Stop buying paper towels. I have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars at this point by literally just switching. You can also just cut up some old T-shirts or towels that you have. Better for the environment and better for your wallet."

"The only paper napkins we have in the house are from the kids' birthday parties that were themed. And we do sometimes take napkins from fast food, restaurants, or to-go places."

u/halosworld

16."Never buy treats at full price. Obviously, the most frugal thing to do is not to eat out at all, but if you want to incorporate the occasional treat into your lifestyle — date night, etc. — just don't do it at full price. Use local discount coupon books, go to the Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day, get the birthday club freebies on your birthday, and use fast-food app discounts. Our local burger place has a two-for-one special that comes up every six weeks or so. We don't always use it, but now that we know it exists, paying full price seems so obnoxious that we never do!"

A couple having a date night at home
Dimensions / Getty Images

17."Reminder to call your cable and cellular providers to make sure you’re on the best plan for your budget."

u/dehudson99

"Or switch companies altogether. Once you're out of the introductory pricing, there's no reason to stay if you can switch to a competitor for a lower price. Then, after a year, you are again a new customer, so you can go back to the old company for the intro price. This applies mainly to internet service. You could also switch the account to a spouse's or roommate's name and qualify for a new account somehow and get the intro pricing."

u/kdub114

18."I've been really happy about buying returned items on Amazon. Earlier this year, I got a nice Coleman pop-up cabin tent for $80, originally $200. I just ordered a vacuum for $48, originally $110. If it's only returned and not used, why the hell not?!?! I find them on the same page as the item but under other sellers, or something like that."

u/electricladyyy

"You can also look specifically in Amazon Warehouse and Amazon Outlet. I've found really good prices looking at the overstocked items in the outlet."

u/butterflysister24

19."Get a rice cooker. Get a slow cooker or pressure cooker. They will stop you from eating out purely because of their convenience."

person scooping cooked rice out of their rice cooker
Stefan Tomic / Getty Images

20."If you’re a sucker for fast food, make sure you have options at home that are easy and good. My go-to is Trader Joe’s freezer section. At ANY time, I can have decent orange chicken, chicken teriyaki, Indian food, chicken wontons, or a variety of other options. Yes, they are more expensive than making them from scratch. But they are easy, fast, and delicious, and in the throes of my hungry cravings, I will actually choose them."

u/fiftycamelsworth

21."ALWAYS say, ‘Can I buy this later?’ I find that procrastinating on purchases greatly reduces impulse purchases. Also, taking my time helps me shop around and get the ONE item that actually solves the problem — and not end up with a graveyard of crap that didn’t solve it."

u/fiftycamelsworth

22.And finally: "All of these are good ideas, but the best (and I mean absolute best) advice for being frugal is having or finding a partner who has the same financial goals. You simply cannot and will not be able to save and be frugal if your partner does not have the same mindset. My wife and I look at our budget radically. Do we need every item? Do we really need a second car? Keep this in mind when you’re dating — good luck in the new year, penny-pinching friends."

A couple going over their finances together
Hiraman / Getty Images

Is there anything you would add? Share your favorite frugal tips in the comments!

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.