Thursday, November 12, 2009

1001 Frugal Things to Do

Hi people,

I realised that a lot of people are really concerned about saving money and stuff. So I have scoured the internet and forums for a list of things that people do to be frugal and to save that extra bit of money. I don't do all these stuff listed here (okay, the list here does not run to 1000) but at least it gives you an idea of what others are doing to save money and how you can incorporate it into your very own spending habits. You will be amazed at some of the ideas suggested here!

1001 Ways to Save Money and Be Frugal

  • Buying food that is about to spoil. Supermarkets offer steep discounts for food that is going to expire. They are not fresh but they are definitely safe for eating!

  • Free entertainment and books at the library.

  • Cook and Eat at home

  • Eat at a friend's place

  • Unplug devices in the house that you are not using

  • Switch off all lights

  • Keep thermostat down, use blankets to stay warm

  • Dry 2 loads of clothes at once

  • Set the dryer to 10 minutes shorter than usual

  • Use the dryer with 2 dry towels. It seems to make the clothes dry faster.

  • Use formula milk + vinegar for pancakes instead of buttermilk as stated in recipes

  • Don't buy Starbucks

  • Make your own coffee and carry it around in a travel mug

  • Drink nothing but water the whole day

  • Stock up on items that are on sale.

  • Hang up clothes to dry instead of using the dryer

  • Switch off the aircon in the car

  • Don't bring money out with you.

  • Eat left overs for your next meal

  • Exercise to keep warm (for those in cold countries)

  • Use Skype instead of phoning for long distance calls

  • Cancel channels that you are not watching on cable TV

  • Use the microwave to warm up a cup of water instead of boiling an entire kettle full

  • Carpooling

  • Shop at the dollar store or those 1.99 shops

  • Buy petrol that is cheaper

  • check whether your company offers discounted rates for your mobile phone plans

  • Use those discount coupons at the store.

  • Take a shower at the gym

  • Set timers to your thermostat or airconditioner

  • Re-use your valentine day cards

  • Shower in cold water.

  • Wash your disposable utensils and re-use them

  • pack a lunch box for the kids

  • Buy and sell your own house to save on the commissions

  • Paint your own house

  • Repair your own house

  • Grow your own vegetables
  • Cut your own hair
  • Color your own hair
  • Do your own facial
  • Wash your own car
  • turn off that home-shopping channel on TV
  • Wax your own car
  • Walk to work
  • Use a fan instead of the airconditioner
  • Take a nap
  • take public transport
  • Don't upsize your meals
  • Avoid jam packed roads to save on petrol
  • Take the budget airlines
  • Accept old furniture from friends and relatives
  • Dig out old clothes to wear instead of going shopping
  • Get husband or wife to hand deliver things instead of wasting money on postage
  • Call up the diaper company for free sample diapers
  • Call up the milk company for free samples of formula milk
  • Turn the car engine off when waiting for someone

So here you have a comprehensive list of things that you can do to save money and be frugal. Any other great ideas to share? Feel free to leave a comment!


  1. Hi Financial Freedom,

    that is really funny. thanks for sharing with us.


  2. Hey FF,

    Let me add a few ways:

    1. Go to macdonald's to get your chilli and tomato sauce. Oh, while you're there, get the tissue which is free flow too.

    2. Get two ez link card. One with money and one without. Always try the one without money first, if the bus captain didn't complain, walk straight in. If he complains, use the other ez link card.

    3. Never use your own toilet. Do it outside. If you really have to, flush once per week. And with rainwater.

    4. Do check out your neighbors plants. Sometimes, they have chilli padi or pandan leaves, so you can 'borrow'. Don't buy salt/pepper and other condiments too. Always borrow from your neighborhood.

    5. Go to temple/church for your free lunch. It's buffett, so eat all you want.

    6. Get up earlier than your neighbors. Then take their newspaper. It'll save you a few dollars per day - a few hundreds per year.

  3. Hi Financial Freedom,

    Your post is very enlightening. It really got my creativity going and may I suggest that you can consider committing a crime and go to jail. As far as I know you don't have to pay any rental for the cells, and the best thing is that some of the things you've suggested (i.e. use a fan instead of the air conditioner) are already quite close to a life behind bars. Might as well go the whole hog! :)

  4. Don't focus not too much on saving but focus more on how to increase your active and passive income and moderate spending. We only live once and don't live poor and die with plenty of money not spent.

  5. Yeah man FF.

    Money is for spending not for hoarding.

    Being prudent is the key and lead a balanced lifestyle, not extreme ones. You only live once.

    Wah the list some of it is damn extreme man....

    I like La papillion's going to macdonalds to get their chilli and tomato sauce...very efficient ..haha


  6. You people are wicked! The ideas you all come up with are more crazy than those that I read on the forums.

    Macs must really love you =)

    I will consider your suggestion if I am on the brink of bankruptcy =)

    Yep, money is indeed for spending and not for hoarding. I agree with you, LP's suggestions are real wicked!

  7. Well saving is important, but there's a difference between being thrifty and being miserly.

    I once read a website which differentiated being frugal and being a cheap-skate. The line is rather thin but if you take extra effort to get free stuff and start to annoy others around you, then you know you've crossed that line!


  8. You guys better be alert if LP is around. He may use your tissue paper, borrow your mobile phone to make calls, telling you that he run of coins to buy drinks from the vending machine, etc. (Just joking. Ha Ha)

  9. Hi MW,

    Yep.. it is a thin thin line between being thrifty and miserly. Guess we have to balance it. I guess being thrifty involves buying things that you like at a high price as long as you see that there is value in it and not just saving on every single cent you can.

    For example, a person might spend alot on clothes but spend less on other things which he or she deems is not so important. That in itself is thrifty versus someone who does not want to spend money on anything.

    Yes, I will run far far away if I see him =) hahahah


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