Do you feel like you’ve slashed your spending as much as possible and there’s nothing left to save?
Does advice like cut the cord, stop eating out, and adjust your thermostat ring a bit hollow?
If you’re already super frugal, you may be ready to try some more extreme frugal living tips.
Here are 13 ideas to have you practicing extreme frugality and saving money fast.
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1 – Cut Your Own Hair
In 2016 the average cost of a woman’s haircut was $45. If you’re getting monthly haircuts, that’s over $500 a year! And that’s not even factoring in any special treatments or coloring you may get.
If you’re looking to get extremely frugal, cutting your own hair is a great place to start.
2 – Start a Garden
According to a recent study, US consumers waste close to a pound of food a day! Almost 40% of that is fruits and vegetables.
Depending on the season and whether you’re buying organic, that could be a good chunk of your food budget you’re literally throwing away.
To avoid the expense of wasted produce, try growing your own.
Your local library may be a great resource for getting started. Ours has pamphlets and flyers detailing what plants thrive in our climate and when the best time to plant them is.
They even have donated seeds so you can get started completely free!
3 – Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
If you have a big family or clothes that need frequent washing this try making your own laundry detergent.
In addition to saving you some money, making your own laundry detergent will help you avoid harmful chemicals and dyes as well.
4 – Line Dry Your Clothes
Do you know how much energy you’re using each time you run the dryer?
Depending on your dryer’s wattage, how long it takes to dry your clothes, and how many loads you’re drying, you could be spending anywhere from $100-$300 a year in extra energy costs.
You can eliminate this cost altogether by line drying your clothes outside. Plus they’ll last longer and smell fresher!
5 – Use Cloth Diapers
The average cost of disposable diapers over a 2 year period ranges from $2000-3000.
Even if you opt to go with the priciest cloth diapers, you’ll cut that expense in half.
Cloth diapers may have a larger upfront cost, but you’ll eliminate the recurring expense of disposable diapers.
If you plan to have multiple kids, going cloth from the start will save you even more money in the long run.
6 – Get a Bidet
According to Scientific American, Americans are using over 36 billion rolls of toilet paper a year.
I’m not sure how big the rolls they’re using are but assuming you use one or two per week that adds up to between $50 and $100 a year.
Not a crazy high expense, but even accounting for the cost of a new bidet system, you’ll save money with the switch.
7 – Use Wool Dryer Balls
If you opt-out of line drying your clothes, you can still save some money by using wool dryer balls instead of chemically-laden dryer sheets.
Not only are wool dryer balls a reusable resource, but they can cut down on your drying time significantly. That’s another way to lower your energy bill!
Wool dryer balls also eliminate the need for fabric softener so you can cut that cost too.
8 – Make Your Own Bread
A quick scan of our bread aisle reveals prices for a loaf range from $2-5.
Using this recipe for artisan bread you’ll spend closer to 30 cents per loaf.
The downside to making your own bread is that you’ll likely eat more of it, and much quicker since it tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff.
But even accounting for increased consumption, you’d have to eat over 4 times as much of your homemade bread to match the cost of the store-bought loaf.
9 – Make Your Gifts
Instead of being a Scrooge and opting out of gift-giving when it comes to special occasions, go the DIY route and make something yourself.
Pinterest is your best friend when it comes to generating ideas.
Keep it simple and focus on sentimental or experience type gifts if you’re not super crafty.
And if you are a crafting genius, just make sure you don’t end up spending more on supplies than you would have on a gift.
10 – Unplug Everything
Unplugging your appliances and electronics when you’re not using them could save you hundreds of dollars a year in wasted electricity costs.
Depending on how tech-filled your home is, the effort may seem to outweigh the benefits. But by investing in some power strips you can simply flip a few switches to get it done.
11 – Ditch the Smart Phone
If you’re addicted to checking in to Facebook or posting to Instagram, this tip might be too extreme for you, but if you’re serious about practicing extreme frugality you could save a fortune simply by ditching your smartphone.
It may be surprising to learn, but you can still get flip phones. And at a fraction of the cost.
In addition to cheaper hardware, you’ll save on the cost of your plan since you won’t need the data portion.
You’ll likely enjoy more quality time with those around you as well since you won’t have a need to check your phone every 30 seconds.
12 – Ride a Bike
If you want to radically reduce your expenses, trading your car in for a bike is one of the fastest ways to do it.
The high expense of transportation probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but being willing to dump your car and ride a bike is definitely the mark of extreme frugality.
The cost of gas fluctuates daily so this chart may be a bit outdated, but at its cheapest, filling your tank costs over $400 a year. Depending on where you live it could be thousands of dollars.
If you have a car payment that’s even more you’re shelling out each month.
Making the switch from a car to a bike could save you thousands of dollars a year!
13 – Get a Roommate
Housing is most people’s largest expense, so consider finding a roommate to help you slash it.
With just a single roommate you could potentially cut your housing bill in half. The more roommates you can have, the more you can save.
If you own your house, look into renting out your space on Airbnb as well.
Depending on your location, you may be able to command a higher rate without the hassles involved with finding a roommate.
How Many of These Would You Do?
I have to admit, extreme frugality is not my thing. But there are a few of these I’ve either done or would consider trying.
It’s also nice knowing there are still options to save money even if you think you’ve exhausted them all.
Leave me a comment or drop me a line if you have other unorthodox or extreme frugality tips to share!
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