It’s amazing how many simple adjustments can save you surprising sums of money. But what are some of the most cost-effective changes we can make? That’s what one frugal user asks in an online forum dedicated to simple changes that can cause significant differences. Commenters are happy to share their wisdom, ranging from the somewhat obvious to the surprising, but all are effective.
1. Shop Secondhand in Wealthy Neighborhoods
The rush that comes with finding something shockingly valuable at a thrift store can be found more often by shopping at thrift stores in or near wealthy neighborhoods. Wealthy folks unload their older things just like the rest of us, but sometimes those things are still worth hundreds of dollars.
Several users point out that it’s not just thrift stores where you can find valuable items secondhand; estate sales are full of high-ticket items with seriously reduced prices.
2. Use YouTube Tutorials For Everything
Almost every appliance problem and the potentially complicated household task has at least one accompanying YouTube video that can teach you how to fix it.
Many commenters swear by these YouTube videos and highlight some of their favorite YouTubers whose videos they regularly rely on for help fixing things. One person notes that the videos can help you gauge how complicated something is and whether it’s worth fixing it yourself or springing for a professional.
3. Shop the Hispanic Section at the Grocery Store
Whether it’s the “International,” “Latin,” or “Hispanic” aisle, most grocery stores have a dedicated section for Latin American food. For whatever reason, the spices in this section are often significantly less expensive than their American-branded counterparts, sometimes as much as half the price.
4. Use the Library
People suggesting you use the library in the digital age may seem strange. But even if you only listen to audiobooks or read eBooks, the library can be a great resource. Most libraries now offer online catalogs full of eBooks, audiobooks, digital music, movies, and TV online.
In the rare instance that there’s something you can’t find online or in the physical collection of your local library, all libraries participate in inter-library loans that allow you to get pretty much anything you’re looking for.
5. Halve Recommended Laundry Products
Laundry is inescapable, so any adjustments that can save you money in this area add up over time. Several commenters suggest using half the recommended amount of laundry detergents as it’s all you need to keep clothes clean and soft. Others highlight that most recommended uses are harmful to clothes because they overwash them with chemicals.
6. Read Papers for Electrical Appliances
Reading the ten-page manual for a simple-to-use appliance may seem unnecessary, but one user says it can save you serious money. Most electrical appliances include significant warranties that might come in handy a few years later.
7. Check the Unit Price
Grocery stores include unit prices on food items that clarify how much you’re spending on any product. Sometimes the bigger bag of chips isn’t as cost-effective as the smaller one, and vice versa. The accurate price is not the label price but the unit price, so checking that can ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
8. Buy Used Cars
While most of the tips in the thread are for pretty everyday things, buying a car only comes up a few times throughout one’s life, if at all. But it’s good to know that there’s a simple way to save money if you decide to buy a car: buying a used one. Used cars are far more cost-effective than their new counterparts and are also a better investment as they don’t depreciate as quickly.
9. Learn Shoe Sizes
Knowing the relationship between all the different shoe sizing conventions (men’s, women’s, and children’s) can save you a lot of money. For example, several frugal shoppers say they’ve been able to save by buying across markets, from a woman who buys children’s sizes and both men and women who buy sneakers marketed to the other gender.
10. Drink Water
“Drink water” is excellent advice in any context, but it’s also a great way to save money. Whether it’s drinking water instead of coffee, soda, or alcohol, you’ll save money. Some people are more specific and specifically suggest cutting out frequent, seemingly small purchases of soda and coffee that add up. In contrast, others note how expensive most alcohol is, but all agree that drinking water isn’t just healthy. It’s also frugal.
This thread inspired this post.