Twenty-five ways to live cheaply without depriving yourself.
A lot of people think that when you spend less money on something, that means that it’s not as good – but that’s not true.
There are lots of ways that you can save money in your day-to-day life and still live a full, filled happy life.
Nobody wants to look cheap, though, and that’s not what we will be going for here.
In this article, we will look at the best ways that you can save money by living on less – how to live on the cheap and still thrive.
How to Live on the Cheap and Still Thrive
In this article, we will be looking at how to live on the cheap and still thrive. It’s not about living a miserable, austere life but instead figuring out how you can save money and still live well.
Below we will look at tips for living with very little money. And some of the cheapest ways to live without actually being a cheapskate.
How to Live Cheaply
There are some things that you can do in your day-to-day life to reduce costs and make things a lot easier for yourself too.
This can range from using apps when you are shopping to using cheaper alternatives for your cable. Affordable living doesn’t have to require a ton of effort!
If you want to live cheaply, a great place to start would be to downsize your life. Start by cutting your expenses, eliminating monthly subscriptions, switching phone providers, buying used, downsizing your lifestyle, and maybe even downsizing your home.
Living Cheaply By Slashing Your Grocery Bills
Groceries can be one of the most expensive parts of your monthly budget, so reducing those costs can have a significant impact.
Don’t let your grocery bill get the best of you. This free expense tracker ensures you are always tracking how much you spend each month on food.
Not only that, but proper planning will help reduce food waste as you know exactly what the food is being used for and not buy too much at the store.
Make sure you check out these 100 frugal meals you can make on a small budget.
Form New Money Conscious Habits
We can live each day doing the same things over and over because we don’t realize that we are doing it.
What this means is that we could even be repeating bad habits over and over. The goal is to have good money habits that we can do on auto-pilot. So let’s get started!
Check out more cheap living tips:
- 50 Genius Frugal Living Tips You Should Adopt To Save Money
- 10 Epic Tips That Will Empower You To Live Mortgage Free
- 17 Cheap Birthday Party Places for Kids That Won’t Break the Bank
- The Cheapest Way To Live: 11 Cheap Alternative Housing Options
Grab Your FREE Budget Binder Today!
Start saving more money and pay off your debt with this FREE Budget Binder
How to Live Cheap: 25 Ways to Live Cheaply
1. Use Ibotta When You Shop
Using the Ibotta app when you shop is a great way to save money without impacting your life.
Ibotta is a cash back app that will save you money on the products you already buy!
The way that it works is that you select the products on the app that you will be buying from the store. After you buy the products, you upload your receipt to the app. That’s it!
We’ve used this app for a few years now, and it has saved us money on every grocery trip (see below).
You can read our personal Ibotta review here! If you want to live cheaply, you have to try this app!
2. Cut Your Bills
Cutting your bills has never been easier! Grab our free budget binder and start tracking every penny you spend!
If you want to take the work out, try a service such as BillTrim.
BillTrim helps you cut down and negotiates your bills for you – another huge time saver and something always worth doing to save money.
Stop overpaying on bills, and go check out BillTrim now!
If you are looking for a way to reduce your cell phone bill, check out Tello Mobile. They offer ridiculously low-cost phone plans with great coverage.
Tello Mobile is a great way to reduce your phone bill to a fraction of what it is now!
Related article: Cut Your Electric Bill In Half With These 20 Hacks
3. Get Paid Cash for Things you Already do Online
We love getting paid for things that we would be doing anyway because it means little effort!
That’s why we say that living cheaply doesn’t mean drastic changes or living a less enjoyable life. It can simply be making some small changes.
Such as signing up for Swagbucks to make some extra money and save money too.
There are a few ways that you can make money from using Swagbucks, such as:
- Searching the web
- Shopping online
- Watching videos
- Playing games
- Answering surveys
Our favorite ways to make money with Swagbucks that don’t have much impact on what you are already doing are searching the web and shopping online.
You can search the web using their Yahoo-powered search engine and earn points, which equals cash money.
They also offer cash back shopping available at over 1500 retailers (including places like Walmart, Amazon, Target, etc.), and you earn points for every dollar that you spend. Yes, you get paid just for buying the everyday items that you buy anyway.
Try Swagbucks today; it’s 100% free and worth your time.
Use our link to get started with Starbucks, and you’ll get a $10 welcome bonus!
You can check out our personal Swagbucks review here!
4. Don’t Pay for Cable
When you are trying to live a more cheap, simple life, one of the first things that can go is the cable! It’s so easy to spend $100 or more monthly on cable.
I’m not saying you should give up tv completely, but there are so many cheap living alternatives for you.
Hulu is a cheap option at $5.99 per month; this is with commercials. They also offer a bundle package of Hulu, Disney +, and ESPN for $12.99. Definitely, a package you can’t pass up.
Use our link below to try Hulu for a month!
Amazon Prime Video
Do you currently have an Amazon Prime account? If not, you should! I honestly can’t recommend their services enough.
Amazon Prime costs $16.99 per month, or if you want to pay for the year, it’s $139. Amazon Prime allows you access to hundreds of movies and TV shows with your Prime membership!
Now Prime Video doesn’t always have the latest and greatest movies, but they do have a large selection. This is a great alternative to some of the more expensive tv services.
Other benefits of Amazon Prime include free music, free book downloads, two-day delivery on packages, and so much more.
Use our link below a try Prime for free for 30 days. Also, if you are a college student, you get a free 6-month trial of Amazon Prime.
Other favorite cheap alternatives include Netflix, Disney +, and Discovery.
5. Get Cashback on Everyday Products
If you haven’t signed up for Rakuten yet, here is your nudge to do so!
Rakuten is a free cash back site where you can make money from your purchases online.
All you need to do is click through the Rakuten website to where you will purchase from. Rakuten will track your purchase through the link, and you will get your cash back.
Check out our Rakuten review here for more info! And make sure to use our link for a $10 welcome bonus!
Another great free app to use is the Drop app. The Drop app works similarly – you can get cash rewards from your purchases.
For every purchase that you make, you earn Drop points. You can redeem your points at popular places like Starbucks, Amazon, or Netflix.
Related article: Drop App Review: What Is The Drop App And Is It Legit?
6. Switch Banks to a Bank With a High APY
Interest rates on most accounts have dropped recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily there are still some banks that are offering a decent rate.
You are losing money if you leave your money in an account that doesn’t offer high-interest rates, such as a typical savings account. We are talking about hundreds of dollars every year!
The way this happens is due to inflation. When things get more expensive, and you aren’t earning interest on your money, you are losing money.
A bank that offers a great APY is CIT Bank!
The best way to save or make money is to make money from what you already have. Making sure that your cash is earning you interest is the best place to start.
Give CIT Bank a try! We highly have used them for some time now and highly recommend them.
Related article: The Best Bank To Save Money: Is CIT Bank Really #1
7. Hello Money Challenges
When it comes to saving money, it is always a good idea to set yourself money challenges to make things a bit more fun.
Have you ever tried a No Spend Challenge? A No-Spend weekend is when you don’t spend money all weekend. This doesn’t mean not paying your bills or essential things, but the things that are luxuries or not in the budget.
The whole point of a No-Spend Weekend isn’t to make yourself feel bad for spending but to challenge yourself and notice anything that pops up to throw you off track.
It doesn’t mean staying in the house and just sitting on the couch staring into space.
There are a ton of free activities that you can do, such as:
- Going for a walk or hike
- Baking (using ingredients you already have)
- Go on a bike ride
- Read a book
- Go to the beach
- Play board games
- Clean your car and/or house
- Do crafts with your kids
- Have a home spa day
Other fun money challenges you should try if you want to live cheaply:
- 52-Week Money Savings Challenge
- Save $1000 in Three Months
- 20 Fun Money Saving Challenges You Must Try This Year
- Try the 100 Envelope Challenge
Grab Your FREE Budget Binder Today!
Start saving more money and pay off your debt with this FREE Budget Binder
8. Buy Used Items
If you are trying to live cheaply, why not buy used?
It’s not only useful for saving you money but also better for the environment.
There are many places to buy used, such as Craigslist, Facebook groups, thrift stores, flea markets, and more.
Some items that you can buy used include things such as:
- Gardening equipment
- Home appliances
- Kids toys
- Clothes, shoes
- Sports equipment
- Home decor
- Electronic devices
Related article: How To Score Cash For The Clothes You No Longer Wear
9. Cancel Your Gym Membership
Cutting out your gym membership doesn’t mean you can’t exercise anymore – it just means getting a bit inventive.
There are many resources for free workout plans, such as Pinterest or Youtube.
Search for workout plans on Pinterest and see if any would be good for you specifically.
Also, did you know you can make money while working out? Thats right! Check out these 23 ways you can make money exercising.
10. Start A Budget
Budgeting your money is one of the best ways to save money when living with nothing! Budgeting is also one of the best ways to save money when you HAVE MONEY.
Without a budget, you may find that you get to the end of the month and have no money left over. Or it might show you that you never had any money to start with, meaning you need to make more!
Budgeting doesn’t mean being restrictive! If you are living on nothing, let’s make sure you are spending money on the things you need/want and not on junk.
Grab our free budget binder below, and let’s start budgeting together!
Related article: 14 Of The Best Budget Planners You’ll Obsess Over
Live Cheaply by Slashing Your Grocery Bills
11. Cut Coupons
Cutting coupons is one of the most popular ways to save money on your grocery bill.
You don’t need to spend much time on this, though. So many online sites and apps have coupons to make things easier for you.
Coupon sites to slash your grocery bills include:
- Amazon Coupons & many more
A lot of these have online coupons, but there are some that you can print out if you would prefer to do that. If you’re living cheap, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to cut down food costs.
Related article: Extreme Couponing Tips- From a Money-Saving Guru
12. Always Shop With a List
When we go food shopping, most of the time, we are led by our stomachs!
It’s important to shop with a list so that you only buy what you need, and no food will go to waste.
That doesn’t mean not eating or buying any of the food or treats that you like to eat. Just make sure that you know what you need to buy.
13. Only Drink Water
Another great way of saving money on groceries is to drink water and not waste your money on other beverages.
If you are frequently drinking and buying other drinks – such as soda and alcohol, this can have a big impact on your wallet and your stomach!
We are meant to drink a lot of water each day. An effortless way to save money on groceries is not to buy any of these other beverages. And remember, this doesn’t have to be a permanent change.
Check out my favorite water bottle that keeps your water cold for 24 hours.
14. Use $5 Meal Plan
Are you unsure about the best cheap meal ideas for your meal plan? This is where a service like the $5 Meal Plan can be useful.
The $5 Meal Plan is a meal plan and shopping list put together for you, each meal costing less than $2 per person! A new meal plan and shopping list are sent to you each week via email. This takes all the work out of meal planning. And in the end, saving you money and time.
If you are unsure how to create an affordable meal plan that will be enjoyed by your family, make sure to check this out.
15. Shop Store Brand Items
It often pays to not shop “name brand items” to save money.
It’s not commonly known that a lot of branded products are made in the same factory as other similar products – meaning they are usually the same thing!
A lot of the time, you will simply be paying extra for the brand that’s on the label rather than the product itself.
Try out the more generic products and see how you get on. There have been lots of blind taste tests, and most of the time, people pick the cheapest product! This could be a fun challenge that you do with your family.
For example, when shopping at Target, Target’s brand is usually at least a whole dollar cheaper than other items. When shopping for groceries, this saves you a lot.
16. Don’t Shop Hungry
Shopping hungry is one of the ways that you are likely to overspend on your grocery budget.
The reason is that our body and brain concentrate fully on our basic needs, so if we are hungry, all we want is food, and all sense goes out of the window!
It’s hard to stick to a list and avoid all of the temptations, especially when you are hungry and surrounded by food.
Make sure that you schedule a time to go shopping when you aren’t hungry or have a snack beforehand.
17. Using In-Store Grocery Apps
There are some in-store grocery apps that you can use in-store for that specific store.
You can use these apps to find discounts and coupons for that store. If the store has a reward card, then usually, you can add this to the app as well.
The best thing to do is to try and use them in conjunction with other coupon apps. I love using my Target Red Card and Ibotta together when I do my grocery shopping at Target.
18. Don’t Eat Out Often
Going out to eat is nice and can be kept as a treat rather than something you do most days per week.
As convenient and tasty as it is, it’s a quick way of spending a lot of your hard-earned money.
If you usually go out to eat a lot, this can be a big adjustment to get used to.
Start with writing out a list of meals that you like to eat (whether that be at home or when you are in a restaurant). Next, write these meals out on a meal plan and allocate them a day.
The next step after this will be writing down the ingredients you need to make these meals and checking what you already have.
Another thing to make sure you do is set up meal ideas for when you are tired or running late. A good tip is to freeze meals that you can quickly heat and always have something like a frozen pizza on hand.
19. Eat Meatless Meals is a Cheap Way to Live
If you are trying to live cheaply, cut meat from some of your dinner-time meals. Meat can be one of the more expensive parts of a meal, so if you can plan some meals which don’t have meat, it can be cheaper.
Some examples of meatless meals that you could cook could be things like:
- Chickpea curry
- Pasta bake
- Bean burgers
- Butternut squash mac ‘n’ cheese
- Veggie tacos
- Quinoa enchiladas
- Quinoa chili
- Homemade ramen
- Burrito bowls
- Zucchini mushroom pasta
If you are tempted to use a meat substitute for a meal that you usually have, this may end up being just as expensive or more so. Looking at vegetarian options is your best bet here.
Also, be sure to check out these cheap foods!
Related article: 85 Frugal Meals You Can Make Even On A Small Budget
Form New Cheap Living Money Habits
When it comes to making changes to your life to live on the cheap and still thrive, there are a lot of new habits that you may have to start.
Starting new habits and adjusting or stopping previous habits isn’t really easy, but it is worth it.
There are some new money habits that you can form to help you live a happy lifestyle on a budget.
20. Be Intentional With Your Spending
The most crucial point that we want to make is that living cheaply doesn’t mean that you can’t ever spend any money. It does, however, mean being more intentional with your spending.
Go through your spending for previous months. See if there is any spending that’s been going on that you aren’t happy with.
Sit down with your partner, if you have one, and make a plan for your money together. What do you want to spend your money on, and what do you not want to spend it on?
21. Don’t Use Credit Cards
Avoiding debt is essential if you want to live a simple life and live cheaply. It’s hard to do that with credit card payments hanging over you.
When you have a budget in place and are preparing for future expenses, you will hopefully not need to use a credit card. And if/when you do, you’ll have the money to pay off your credit card each and every month.
22. Simplify Your Life
Simplifying your life doesn’t have to be hard. There are both small and big changes you can make to simplify your life. Here are some simple ways to simplify your life!
Small changes include:
- Decluttering your home
- Gain control of your life
- Cut out toxic people
- Don’t buy things you don’t need
Bigger changes include:
- Downsize your home
- Become a one-vehicle household
23. Make More Money
Let’s face it, none of us like to live on nothing. And if you do, the best way to get out of that situation is by making more money!
Starting a side hustle is a good way to get started with this. A side hustle is a way that you make extra money, usually on the side of your regular job.
An excellent place to start is by selling items in your own home. This is good because you don’t have to spend any money to get started, and you will be decluttering your house.
Having fewer items in your home also means having more space and less stuff to clean.
Clean your items, take decent photos, and then upload them onto sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to get started.
Other easy ways to make money include:
- Walking dogs with Rover
- Sell printables on Etsy
- Rent out unused space in your home with Airbnb
- Start a blog, see how we made $22,000 in one month with our blog
- Rent out your RV with RVshare
- Try out freelance writing
- For babysitting, start with Care.com
- Check out these 37 side hustles for moms
- Take and sell pictures from your phone
- Make money exercising
Related article: 20 Best Things To Sell On Etsy To Save Money
24. Downsize Your Home
We often look at the small expenses that we can cut, but maybe we should start looking at the more significant ones. After all, these will make the most impact on your budget.
It sounds drastic, but downsizing your home can save you a lot of money and will drastically decrease your bills every month.
Look at how much is left on the term of your mortgage and ask yourself these questions. How long is it going to take you to pay it off? How much would you save each month with a smaller mortgage?
Your mortgage loan aside, maintaining a smaller home is always more affordable.
Related article: 10 Epic Tips That Will Empower You To Live Mortgage Free
25. How To Live On Nothing: Find Free Entertainment
Another area that can get crazy with costs is paying for entertainment. And I’m not just talking about going out with friends. School sports and after-school activities are expensive.
Here are some ways to cut down on these expenses.
Examples of this could be:
- Instead of going out to a bar for a drink with friends, invite them over for a round of drinks.
- Instead of going out to a restaurant, cook a lovely homemade meal for your loved ones. You could even do a potluck.
- Instead of going out to a sports game, gather together and watch it at one of your friend’s homes.
- Instead of going to the movies, watch a movie at home and make homemade popcorn.
These are just a few examples. You still get to experience “the fun,” just in a more affordable way.
How To Live Cheap – Final Thoughts
Living cheap isn’t about feeling deprived. It’s about living more intentionally and valuing your time and money. Cheap living can help you be happier, healthier, and more productive.
Give it a try! You may be surprised at how great you feel when you live cheaply.
FAQ – Living Cheaply
– Create a budget
– Cut expenses
– Minimize housing costs
– Find ways to save on utilities
– Meal plan
– Prioritize essential spending
– Find a cheaper home
– Pay down debt
– Cut costs
– Have an emergency fund
What are your best tips for living cheaply? Let us know in the comments below.
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