Frugality is about more than clipping coupons. Being frugal is about aiming to get the most value from life’s resources, including stretching your budget to its fullest potential.
In working toward achieving that value, frugal people tend to adopt a wide range of daily habits. Here are eight things frugal people do to enable them to get as much value as possible from their money, time and energy.
- Frugal people don’t shy away from store brands.
- Frugal people avoid making purchases for pleasure.
- Frugal people avoid waste.
- Frugal people plan ahead.
- Frugal people shop for used items first.
- Frugal people find leisure in low-cost activities.
- Frugal people buy based on utility and reliability.
- Frugal people try to repair broken items.
Frugal People Don’t Shy Away From Store Brands
At the store, many shoppers turn first to a brand-name item with which they’re familiar. Frugal people usually select the store brand or generic brand first, trying it out to see if it does the job and sticking with it if it works. Most of the time, the store brand is similar to a name brand, so this practice ends up saving frugal folks money on lots of purchases.
Frugal People Avoid Making Purchases for Pleasure
That doesn’t mean they avoid momentary pleasures such as a warm cup of coffee in the morning. It means that when they seek those pleasures, frugal people actively work to find ways to capture what’s enjoyable while keeping the cost as low as possible. Why go to Starbucks and pay five times as much when you can make a solid cup of coffee at home?
Frugal People Avoid Waste
Frugal people put a tiny amount of toothpaste on their toothbrushes, enough to get the job done but not so much that they’re spitting out most of the paste. A frugal person uses just enough soap in the shower to get clean and feel refreshed, not so that most washes down the drain. A frugal person takes a doggy bag home from a restaurant rather than leaving behind uneaten food. They instinctively try to avoid situations where something goes down the drain or hits the garbage can.
Frugal People Plan Ahead
Rather than thinking about what they’ll need just today or this week, frugal people consider what they’ll use in the next month or year. This often leads them to stock up during big sales of nonperishable goods, such as toilet paper and dry beans, rather than buying things when the urgent need arises. They’ll notice that there are only four rolls of toilet paper left and add that to their list for the warehouse club instead of waiting until they’re almost out, making an emergency trip to the local corner store and paying three times as much per roll.
Frugal People Shop for Used Items First
When frugal people need an article of clothing, small kitchen appliance, some plates or even something fun like a video game, they’ll look for used sources for those items first. Their instinct is to check out secondhand shops and online buy, sell or trade groups first before heading to big retailers when they have a need.
Frugal People Find Leisure in Low-Cost Activities
When frugal people need time to relax, they find things to do that don’t involve pulling out the credit card. They’d prefer to read a book over shopping at a book store. They’d prefer to go on a hike instead of visiting REI. Relaxation for frugal people isn’t found through retail therapy. They seek it elsewhere.
Frugal People Buy Based on Utility and Reliability
They usually aim to impress others with their personality and character since those are what will end up building lasting relationships. Rather than buying things that will attract attention and momentarily impress someone, they buy items for utility, reliability and personal use.
Frugal People Try to Repair Broken Items
A broken toaster is an excuse to get out a screwdriver and see what’s wrong, not an excuse to replace it. A plumbing issue is something to try to fix on their own (with some help from YouTube) before calling a plumber. Quite often, the problems are simple, and a bit of common sense can put that item back in working order, saving the cost of a specialist or a replacement item.
Being frugal isn’t just about making your own household supplies. It’s an approach to life that’s expressed through daily habits and routines that aim to get as much out of life as possible without needlessly spending money. The habits that result from that approach can help everyone keep a little more green in their pocket.