"We Have Saved Thousands": People Are Sharing Their Tried-And-True Frugal Hacks For Spending Less Cash

"We Have Saved Thousands": People Are Sharing Their Tried-And-True Frugal Hacks For Spending Less Cash

Recently, I rounded up some money-saving frugal tips that people say really work. In the comments, members of the BuzzFeed Community shared even more solid ideas that I simply had to share. Here's what they had to say:

1."I always shop at the dollar store first, before the grocery store. They have really good products and many name brands, and they cost a fraction of the price at the grocery store."

Woman holding a wallet with two $1 bills in it
Catherine Mcqueen / Getty Images

2."I grow micro plants and herbs in my kitchen when veggies are expensive in winter. I invested in a plant table, which also allows me to start my own seedlings for the garden."


3."I buy food through the Flashfood app. It's like a manager's special rack in app form. The food is expiring soon or is discontinued but still good. I usually buy whatever meat they have and freeze it until I use it. It's saved me quite a bit."


4."Cloth diapers if you have or are planning on having a baby. We got all our clothes handed down from our wealthier friends, LOL. Everyone says kids are so expensive, but we have never actually shopped for clothes, and we have saved thousands by not buying diapers."

Man holding a baby while hanging laundry on a clothesline
Pollyana Ventura / Getty Images

5."I adopted this policy not long ago. I have to calculate how many meals I can create from a meat cut or seafood when deciding whether to buy it. I don't buy it when there's only enough for one meal, no matter how much I crave it. Very tough at the start, but it's gotten easier since."


6."I stopped using fabric softener. After researching, I discovered it's actually bad for your skin and your clothes. Saves me about $300 a year. It turns out it's just an overhyped and unnecessary product."


"Same! I have wool dryer balls now."


7."I do grocery delivery, mainly out of necessity, since I live in a city and don't have a car, but it's cut down on my grocery bill because I only buy what is on my list and don't do any impulse buying. I pay $60 a year for 'free' delivery. Without that membership, each delivery was about $7, so it's definitely paid for itself. I know grocery delivery isn't available for all, but if you're able to do it, I highly recommend it."

Woman unpacking groceries from a delivery box in a kitchen
Oscar Wong / Getty Images

8."I make a batch of homemade dog food each week and freeze half. There are good recipes online. This saves a wee bit, and the doggies are healthier."


"This is very smart, provided you're using a vet-approved recipe! (Many homemade pet food recipes don't have all the trace nutrients that pets need, so you have to be careful that you don't accidentally cause expensive health problems down the line.)"


9."Just asking myself, Do I reallllly NEED that item? Most of the time, I don’t, so nowadays, rather than racing out to pick it up, I stay home and think about how I’ve saved money, gasoline, air quality, and a little bit of my planet by not going and getting it. To say nothing of reducing my own anxiety levels!"


"My big questions are, Do I have space for it? Do I have time to enjoy it? If an object is coming into this house, it needs a 'spot,' and that spot can't just be a pile.

"The exceptions are things I use for research (I occasionally teach and lecture on historic clothing) and needful hobby items."


10."Unplugging things not in use is a huge one! It's estimated that 10%–15% of the average American's electric bill is stuff that’s plugged in but not in use, aka vampire energy."

Woman unplugging an appliance from a wall outlet


Cristinairanzo / Getty Images

11."I buy all wrapping paper, gift bags, and other gift-wrapping items from the dollar store or HomeGoods. So much more affordable."


12."I make my own salad dressing. I make exactly as much as I need, and there are fewer bottles in my fridge. I have control over the quality, and it's always fresh. I can change it up with spices."


13."During the pandemic, I got in the habit of ordering everything I needed from Amazon the moment I thought of it. I felt so embarrassed by the daily parade of packages. I now buy things one day a week."

Person standing at open door with delivered packages
Masafumi_nakanishi / Getty Images

14."Yes to Poshmark! I sometimes like ThredUp, but Poshmark is great when you’re looking for something more specific. I love that if I want a few things, I can do the 'bundle' option from one seller for a discount. The app is very user-friendly, too. I highly recommend it for people who like secondhand but don’t always want to go to thrift stores."


15."On payday, I put away for savings in an instant- or easy-access savings account. I spent a bit of time working out how much of my paycheck goes on regular bills and expenses and then set up a standing order to put most of the rest into an instant-access savings account the day after payday."

"I find I spend less on impulse buys because there's less in my account, but if I have a big or unexpected expense, I can easily move money back out of savings to cover it using online banking.

"Before I started doing that, I'd find myself spending my whole pay every month and relying on a credit card even for big costs I knew were coming up (e.g., car insurance)."


16."My husband and I decided not to buy any food (other than fresh foods, like vegetables and fruits) until we emptied most of our freezer. We're still working on it. We put together some unusual meals but are saving money each week. And we've begun the process of removing meat and poultry from our diet, which will save more money as time goes along."

Person's hand opening a refrigerator stocked with eggs and vegetables, implying budget-friendly meal planning

17."Start to see trash as your money. You pay for everything in your garbage, whether it’s landfill bound, recycling, or even compost."


18."Facebook Buy Nothing groups are a lifesaver! I’ve been able to get a table and chairs for my dining room, a large dresser, snowboard boots for my daughter, lots of home decor, and several houseplants, all for free."


"My first grandchild was born in July 2023. I found 85% of the items she needed on the FB Buy Nothing pages. I am talking big items. One was a beautiful wooden crib with a changing table attached. The mattress alone would have been about $200 if bought new."


19."Learn how to shop sales — 30% off is a better deal than 'buy one, get one 50% off,' but not as good as BOGO free. If you want to and have the capability, I suggest coupon and rebate apps on top of store rewards."

Person using smartphone, standing near a "SALE" sign, reflecting mobile shopping and promotions

20."I keep a small cooler in my car. I know I’m going to get hungry when I’m out running errands or shopping. So I stock the cooler before I leave home with things I want to snack on while I’m out driving around. I make sure some of it is fun stuff so I don’t feel the urge to stop for treats. This saves me from stopping at fast-food places and really keeps my splurges down."


What's something that's helped you spend less or save more? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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