24 Thrifty Tips for Frugal Spending – From the Readers

Recently, I ran a giveaway of the book “Be Thrifty: How To Live Better With Less” and asked those who wanted to enter to win to send their best frugal/thrifty tip in with their entry. Well, you guys certainly responded! And because the tips were so great, I wanted to assemble them in a post and make them available to all the regular readers and new visitors to the site. So without further ado, here is a collection of thrifty tips sent in by readers of My Two Dollars:

1. When you go grocery shopping, set a budget. If you fall under that budget, put the rest of the money in your savings.

2. The public library is the best value around for entertainment and info. By using interlibrary loan and downloadable audio books access to media is near unlimited.

3. While it may require more money up front, always remember you get what you pay for. Invest a few more dollars in a solid, well-made, warrantied or guaranteed, item.

4. Even if I bought something for next to nothing at the thrift store it’s not going to stay affordable if it’s dry clean only.

5. Embrace weekday meal monotony. I’m living single, so one pot of homemade soup or dish of casserole lasts me through the week. I can eat sometimes for $10 for five whole days.

6. I try to get everything I “need” through free local resources, such as freecycle and craigslist. The next step is checking garage sales, online lists and thrift stores. For many years now, I have not had to buy more than 10% of my “needs” and have saved a great deal of money.

7. Use a PDF printer to create PDFs rather than actually printing. I rarely use my inkjet printer, and have less papers around the house.

8. Let those close to you know that you like a bargain and free is even better. We are often the first call for people who are upgrading and

9. I use half the recommend amount of washing detergent.

10. My best tip is to reuse the back side of papers (school notes my kids bring home, misprints, papers coming into the home etc.)for my coupon printing.

11. My tip is what I do when I make biscuits and sausage gravy. After I make my biscuits, instead of just scraping the flour used to roll out my biscuit dough and throwing it away, I use it to thicken my gravy.

12. Friends are the best frugal tip… they can provide free entertainment, potlucks, exchange great books, exercise together, and more!

13. Take the time to take proper care of what you have. If you do proper maintenance/repairs items can last a long time.

14. Have something you need? Look it up on multiple sites to find the best deal, check out Craigslist or Freecycle, and if buying online, make sure to find which sites gives the most cash back, such as Ebates or Mr. Rebates.

15. I refill my foaming soap bottles with a squirt of liquid soap and fill the rest of the bottle with water.

16. I invested in a pressure canner, and now have soups canned up and ready to just heat and eat, which is VERY handy on those nights when there isn’t time to cook.

17. We make chili once a week and reuse it for the base to several other dishes (sauce for chicken with rice and spaghetti are two of our favorites).

18. Wear clothes twice before washing unless they have a stain or are otherwise obviously dirty. It saves the cost of water, laundry detergent, electricity for the washing machine, and allows the clothes to last longer.

19. I have not used anything but a solar clothes dryer (i.e. clothesline)for the last 16 years.

20. Rather than ask the question “Do I need it?” I try to ask the question “Can I do without it?” You can convince yourself that you “need” just about anything if you try hard enough.

21. Cut back on gift giving! Celebrate events with a meal, a phone call or a card instead of something you have to buy and the recipient has to find room for.

22. I regularly go through my stuff for things I haven’t used lately. I put the word out that I have something useful available for free, and it’s usually gone that day. I free up space in my house, less space in a landfill is used, and somebody saves some money.

23. Over the years, I have been slowly replacing plants/trees/bushes with something that produces something that is edible. I now have about 22 grape vines(wine/jelly).

24. I slice open my flattened toothpaste tubes and lotion bottles before throwing them away. (I do that too!)

Do you do any of these? Plan on trying any of them? Have anything to add to the list? Feel free to leave a comment and share with everyone!

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Comments (12)

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  1. Andy Watson says:

    Wear clothes twice before washing them? Unless it’s underwear I wear clothes until they are dirty and don’t see the sense in washing anything that isn’t dirty!

  2. Briana @ GBR says:

    These are great tips! Looking forward to all the money I can save

  3. Matt says:

    I appreciate that these are all things you can do and that it’s good not to waste anything… but does slicing open the toothpaste or using a quarter cup of flour for both rolling and thickener really make much difference? I’m thinking a few cents on each, at best.

    I’m all for being frugal, but I guess I was looking for more tips with more impact on my budget.

  4. […] 24 Thrifty Tips for Frugal Spending — The readers of My Two Dollars chime in with their best frugality tips! My Two Dollars […]

  5. Janette says:

    BTW- the book is great! I have implemented a few of the ideas in my already frugal lifestyle!. I recommend it and will probably buy a copy for my son and daughter.

  6. Also being thrifty is a mind set… Save money and “Be Happy”

  7. lucas0921 says:

    When washing your hair you really need to use two applications of shampoo to get a good lather. A bar of soap works just as well for the first application….therefore saving half of the cost of all shampoo.

  8. lucas0921 says:

    I save our old telephone books. When using paper towels to absorb grease from bacon, sausage, etc., lay out three or four pages of the telephone book, then lay only one or two sheets of paper towel over the pages from the telephone book…..does the job just fine with a fraction of usual cost.

  9. lucas0921 says:

    Always….always….use a lid when cooking anything. Everything cooks faster using less electricity or gas with less mess too, thus saving cost of cleaning supplies as well. When cooking foods that tend to boil over, always leave a good air vent.

  10. lucas0921 says:

    Buy largest size female sanitary items….cut in half they work just fine ….use with cut edge toward front.

  11. Paul says:

    When washing your hair you do NOT need to do it twice. The second lather does nothing except create a lot of bubbles and sucks the oils out of your skin. Do NOT follow the instructions on the bottle to follow up with another dose of shampoo. Total marketing to get you to use the stuff up twice as fast. In fact, google washing without shampoo. Save even MORE money.

  12. cathy says:

    I buy one really good brand of dishwashing liquid and two bottles of cheap stuff. Mix in in thirds with water. It’s thinner but you get three for one.