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9 Simple & Easy Frugal Ideas That Will Help You Save Money

9 Simple & Easy Frugal Ideas That Will Help You Save Money
Amy Baum Sep 21, 2019
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

simple frugal ideasLiving a frugal lifestyle is much easier than many people think.

You don’t have to give up on shopping and entertainment, and penny-pinching isn’t required.

There are many simple and easy frugal ideas that will help you save money.

Below you’ll find 9 different ideas for saving money, and some of them even help you make extra money.

There are plenty of simple ways to spend less or make more money. Read on to learn about easy frugal living.

1. Don’t Pay Full Price For Gift Cards

I rarely pay full price for items thanks to the resources in this post.

One thing I always save money on is gift cards.

You never have to pay full price for gift card thanks to discount websites.

These sites are run by companies that help people sell unwanted gift cards to buyers. It may sound too good to be true, but it’s completely legit.

You could pay $36 for a $40 Target gift card and save 10 percent. You could pay $18.40 for a $20 Kohl’s gift card and save 8%. These are real examples from Cardpool, one of the leading discount gift card sites.

Two of our other favorites are Raise and GiftCardGranny. We’ve even reviewed these three sites to help you learn more.

For a few more sites to check out, read 8 Websites To Make Money Selling Gift Cards Online. You’ll also find real examples of the discounts these sites offer.

2. Get Cash Back On Every Purchase

This is another one of my favorite frugal tips. We all have to spend money, so why not make money at the same time? Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to get cash back on every purchase you make.

From food to furniture, there are cash back apps and websites for everything. They are 100% free to use, and there are no strings attached. Here are some of our favorite apps and a guide for getting cash back:

  • Ibotta – Use Ibotta to for cash back on groceries, pet food, toilet paper and thousands of other essential items. Read our Ibotta review for details.
  • Trunow – With this app, you earn a percentage amount of cash back on gas station purchases. Our Trunow review offers more helpful info.
  • TopCashback – Earn cash back from online purchases at thousands of retailers. Our TopCashback review explains why this is one of our favorite cash back sites.
  • Drop – Drop lets you earn cash back on any purchase at qualifying stores. All you need to do is link your debit and credit cards to the secure app. Our Drop review can help you get started.
  • Dosh – Dosh is like Drop in many ways. This app gets you cash back on any purchase at qualifying stores by linking your card. You can find more details in our Dosh review.
  • BeFrugal – BeFrugal is another way to get cash back online. You can easily earn cash back on purchases from thousands of retailers. This site is one of my personal favorites, and you can see why in our BeFrugal review.

18 Best Easy to Use Cash Back Shopping Apps To Save Money Shopping

3. Save Money On Prescription Medications (And More)

If you take prescription medication, you know how expensive it can be. Even people with health insurance struggle to afford prescriptions.

It’s a hot news topic, and the costs continue to increase. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help save money on medication. We’ve written posts covering this topic and how you can save on healthcare in general:

  • 31 Ways to Save Money On Medications – This post is an in-depth guide for saving money on prescription and nonprescription medication. From free drug discount cards to retailers that offer free prescriptions, there are so many options. Check it out to find helpful tips, free resources, and more.
  • 21 Ways To Save Money On Healthcare Costs – Medication isn’t the only major healthcare cost. In this post, we discuss a variety of different medical expenses. You’ll discover how to save money and reduce your overall costs.
  • 7 Ways To Reduce Health Care Costs – This post focuses on saving money on prescriptions, but it also dives into saving money on medical treatments. For example, you can learn how to find affordable mental health care near you.

4. Create A Budget Using Free Apps

Budgeting seems like an obvious way to save money.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to stick to a budget without help. You can write down your expenses and whatnot, but keeping track of everything is another ballgame.

That’s why we recommend using free apps for budgeting.

These budgeting apps help you set budgets for things like groceries, entertainment, and more. They also track your spending and alert you if you exceed your budget.

You can even set saving goals and monitor your progress. These apps often give you access to free credit scores – no strings attached and no scams. Here are two very popular picks.

  • Mint – Mint is one of the most well-known budgeting websites and apps. It’s very user-friendly and helps you with your personal finance goals. It’s 100% free to use, and you can set e-mail and app alerts. Use Mint to help you stay on track with your budget.
  • Wally – Wally is very similar to Mint in many ways. It’s a savvy personal finance app that’s very easy to understand. You set different financial goals, track spending in different areas, and much more. It’s free to use and highly-rated by users and financial experts.

5. Always Check Coupons Before Shopping

I truly love couponing, but I’ll admit it sounds tedious and old-school at first. But you don’t have to collect Sunday newspapers and ads just to spend hours cutting coupons.

In this era, we have instant access to digital and printable coupons. They’re easy to find and use, so why not give it a shot? Check out some of our favorite couponing tools:

  • – is a go-to website for newbie and veteran couponers alike. This site divides coupons into different categories. You can explore by category or use the search system. They’re 100% free to print, and you’ll find plenty of name brands. Read our review to learn more.
  • Honey – Honey is a must-have browser extension for online shopping. It’s one of the most popular tools for finding promo codes. You just visit retail websites, and Honey takes action during the checkout process. Honey scans their database for any promo codes you can possibly use. Then the code that saves you the most money is instantly applied to your order. Saving money doesn’t get easier than that!

For even more great couponing resources, read 14 Best Places To Get Coupons and 25 Companies That Will Send You Free Coupons.

6. Take Online Surveys In Your Free Time

If you don’t want to commit to an online job, you may want to take online surveys instead. You can take surveys on your phone while you watch Netflix, do laundry, wait for the bus – you get the idea.

When you’re bored or have time to kill, you simply open a survey app or website. Log on, pick a survey, complete it, and get paid.

It may sound too good to be true, but paid online surveys are the real day. It’s not going to make you rich, and survey questions can be repetitive.

But many people make hundreds of dollars per month taking surveys. You can use as many websites and apps as you want. That means there’s always a paid survey waiting for you.

Millions of people use Swagbucks, which is one of our top picks. The same is true for Pinecone Research and Survey Junkie – popular sites with good reputations.

For dozens of legit surveys, check out our posts about the best sites and apps:

7. Reduce Your Home Entertainment Costs

Home entertainment is extremely popular in this day and age. Over 132 million people have Netflix accounts, and that’s just one example.

From movies to music, many people have several at-home entertainment expenses. The monthly costs seem low, but they add up quickly. Here are some frugal tips for saving money on Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and more:

  • Choose a different streaming plan – Check out the different plans and see if a more affordable one suits your needs. For example, the Netflix monthly basic plan is $9, the standard plan costs $13, and the premium plan costs $16. A Hulu account with no advertisements costs $11.99 per month, but an account with ads is only $5.99. Going from Netflix premium to standard saves you $36 per year. Changing Hulu plans saves you $72 per year. Overall, you are saving $108 per year.
  • Look for student discounts – If you’re a student, there are plenty of discounts available. You typically need your school ID or a school e-mail address to verify your student status.  Amazon Student gives you a 50% discount on Amazon Prime. This includes their streaming services. Prime is normally $119 per year, but the student offer means you’ll pay $59 per year. With this discount, you’ll save $60 per year.
  • Use free trials and free services – Many streaming services offer a free 30-day trial. If you want to try out a new one, see if they offer a trial. Shudder, a horror movie website, is one great example. Spotify, a major music streaming service, also offers a free trial. To get the most out of free trials, try one per month instead of all at once.

Additionally, check out our post 9 Ways to Watch Free TV and Movies Online (or Cheaply). You’ll find even more ways to cut down on entertainment costs. Why pay more when you can enjoy yourself for less?

8. Work Online (No Minimum Hours + No Experience Needed)

Do you have a few extra hours per week but can’t commit to a traditional part-time job? In this era, online jobs are more popular than ever.

That means there are plenty of legit work from home positions to choose from. Consider picking up an online job, and contribute your earnings to a savings account.

Don’t worry if you’ve never worked online before – that’s perfectly fine. Many of these jobs don’t require any experience.

You don’t even have to commit to set hours. You simply use your spare time working online. Here are some popular gigs:

  • Rev – Do you want to a job that’s simple? Then consider becoming a Rev transcriptionist. All you need to do is listen to audio and video and transcribe it into text. You work whenever you want to, and as little or as much as you want to. Payments are sent to you weekly through PayPal. Rev transcriptionists earn an average of $245 per month.
  • TranscribeMe – TranscribeMe is another top work-from-home transcription website. They don’t require any previous experience, and there aren’t set hours you work. Just log onto the platform and work whenever you feel like it. The average TranscribeMe transcriptionist earns $250 per month.
  • iWriter – Have you ever wanted to get paid to write? Then consider starting by working for content websites like iWriter. You just need good English spelling and grammar skills. No other experience is necessary. Brand new writers (Standard Level) earn $2.14 per 500-word post. The more you write, the more you get paid – up to $25.35 per 500-word post.
  • Textbroker – Textbroker is one of the most well-known content mill websites. They hire writers without experience, but you do have to submit a very short sample. Textbroker provides a keyword, and you simply write about it. Then you’re assigned a rating of Level 2 ($3.50 per 500-word post) to Level 5 ($25.00 per 500-word post).
  • iTalki – Are you a native English speaker with a webcam and reliable Internet connection? Then you can sign up as an English tutor through iTalki. iTalki is a very unique platform where you tutor international students, but you don’t need to speak a second language. You simply chat with students to help them improve their conversational English. You set your own pay rate, and reports show that iTalki tutors earn $5 to $40 per hour.

For more online jobs that don’t require experience, check out these Frugal For Less Posts:

9. Take Your Lunch To Work

Buying a value menu meal for lunch each day seems like a frugal choice. It’s pretty convenient as well, but the costs of fast food really add up.

The average American spends $1,175 per year on takeout – yikes! Needless to say, that’s not exactly frugal and typically not very healthy.

Spend a few minutes each evening prepping your lunch for the next day. You can even experiment with replicating your favorite deli sandwiches or pasta salad.

Instead of spending $5 on a meal, put that money toward your grocery budget. Make this a habit and you could save $1,200 over one year.

Final Thoughts

With these nine easy frugal ideas, you can easily save money in many ways. It doesn’t matter if you want to cut costs overall or earn cash for a savings account. With so many different options, you’ll find something that works for you.

If you want to learn more about saving money, you’re on the right website. Check out some of our recent money saving posts to learn more:

Amy Baum


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