There is a lot of pressure these days to have it all; flash cars, designer clothes, the newest brand of make-up.
However, by shopping mindfully, using up what we have, and utilising free or cheap activities, we can still have an excellent quality of life, for less.
In this article, I will be covering 46 tips for frugal living in the UK to help you save money, while living a simple and stress free life. Who wants to keep up with the Jones’ anyway?!
Let’s get into the list…
Frugal Living UK: 46 Tips to Save More
Frugal Home Life
- Regularly check for electronic household items left plugged in or on standby, unplugging any you are not using to reduce your energy bill.
- Invest in draft blockers to keep your rooms warmer, or make your own. For a simple solution, fill a long sock with rice and tie off the end for an easy DIY version.
- Buy cosy blankets and store them close to your sofa, to avoid reaching for the thermostat
- Try making your own affordable, eco-friendly cleaning products; a really simple one to get you started is a basic cleaning spray (1/2 cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of water and a fragrance of your choice – essential oils or spare lemon rind both work depending on what you have to hand)
- Utilise your freezer to the max! Almost all food and drink can be frozen. Make the most of these frugal food hacks to reduce food waste and shop smarter.
- Arrange a swap club with your friends and family, and exchange items (this idea is particularly great for families with children who are forever growing out of their clothes or toys!)
- Invest in radiator heat reflectors to reduce heat loss and keep your home warmer during the winter months (or DIY your own using tin foil!)
- Save energy by measuring out the water in your mug(s) before pouring into the kettle rather than guessing, and boiling too much water
- Use a timer and set to 4 minutes when showering to use less water. Place your timer inside the bathroom but outside the shower, so you need to get out to reset the timer!
- Turn down your thermostat by 1 degree and see if you feel a difference. This will reduce your heating bill, and you may not notice a change.
- Turn off your hob a few minutes earlier when cooking and let the residual heat continue to cook your food
- Look for Little Free Libraries in your area for free books, or if you are feeling crafty, make your own for your local community to enjoy (plus you get first dibs on books)
- Make the most of free trials. Films, books, food; I have probably tried them all. Just remember to cancel, or pay the price!
- Ditch the gym membership and take advantage of free exercise classes on YouTube, participate in your local Parkrun or download the Couch to 5K app.
- Look out for a local walking or yoga group via Meet Up
- Set up a book exchange
- Look out for free booze offers and save money on drinks
- Buy 99p Kindle books or try the Libby app for free reads
- Sign up to be a seat filler to see theatre or TV show filmings for free
- Check out your local council or library website for free community events and activities
- Set up a Facebook or Whatsapp group for your local area, road or building, to give away or swap items you no longer need. This will benefit the community, and you might pick up a few freebies too!
- Sign up to apps which offer free food and take full advantage
- Buy items out of season, as they are least likely to be in demand, and therefore sold at some of the cheapest prices – e.g look out for fans and garden furniture in the cooler months, Christmas decorations in January, and electric blankets or heaters during the summer for instance
- Sign up to freebies via Sopost offers, which can be spotted on Facebook or shared by money saving instagrammers who post freebies to their stories. Follow my instagram account for deals and freebies
- Source secondhand furniture on Gumtree and Facebook marketplace for free
- Find the cheap charity shops (£1 Charity shops exist!)
- Womble receipts (a term for collecting discarded receipts!) and load them to your receipt scanning apps for cash
- Agree a birthday gift budget or suggest ditching gifts to spend quality time with loved ones instead
- Split the cost of more expensive items that are only used occasionally; lawn mowers, carpet cleaners, jet washers etc. could be bought and shared within a family, taking turns in using the items and splitting the costs.
- Borrow occasion wear from friends. How many times are you going to wear a fascinator realistically?! Lend your outfits or accessories to friends too, and cut down the cost per wear of your fancier items
- Take on a spending challenge such as a Low Buy Year with the mission to use up what you have. You will probably be surprised at what you already own
- Find free tap water using app Refill – find free tap water on the go at over 30,000 places across the UK. Never buy a bottle of water out again!
- Car share on your way to work and cut down on your petrol usage. Did you know you can rent your car out to those in your local community to make some extra cash, too?
- Offer to product test items via testing sites; some of the best include Tesco Panels, Home Tester Club, etc.
- Learn how to do simple repairs or DIY tasks yourself. Tutorials to learn how to fix your bike, to wallpaper and paint your home, to sew holes in your clothes and more, all can be found on Youtube
- Get a beauty treatment for free. La Mer are currently offfering 15 minute facial treatments, completely free
- Join the Glamour beauty club for free make up samples
- Take turns in hosting your friends for dinner instead of going out
- Practice mending your clothes instead of throwing them away, or look into visible mending
- Sign up to mailing lists to get birthday freebies
- Don’t automatically renew your phone contract. Look into your options, sim deals tend to be cheaper (I currently pay £6.12 per month!)
- Get creative with your wardrobe and try the Shop your Closet Challenge instead of buying new
- Shop secondhand on apps such as Vinted, Depop etc for pre-worn clothes. Search for bundles, particularly for children’s clothing
- Join a house sitting site and stay at properties across the UK for cheap
- Buy a gel nail kit (or share with a friend) and paint your own nails.
- Sign up to loyalty apps and cards to claim freebies and gain points when you spend (as long as you aren’t tempted to spend purely to gain points)
Frugal Living UK: 46 Tips to Save More
It’s so easy to feel the need to ‘keep up’, but who are you really trying to impress? These tips for frugal living in the UK will help you save money in your day to day life, without sacrifice.
Frugality isn’t about suffering and giving up everything that brings you joy; it’s about maintaining a good quality of life, while making sensible spending decisions.
Let me know of any frugal living hacks I might have missed in the comments!