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9 Frugal Habits That Will Boost Your Holiday Budget

Frugal Habits That Will Boost Your Holiday Budget

Between elaborate meals, gifts, parties, and everything else, the holidays are a notoriously expensive time of year! And with the holiday season just around the corner, right now is a good time to check in with your finances and recommit to frugal habits that will serve you well in the weeks and months to come.

To that end, I’ll be sharing a few simple tips regarding frugal practices you can adopt now to put yourself in a better financial position regarding future holiday spending. So without further ado, here are 9 easy ways to start being a little more frugal.

9 Quick And Easy Ways To Be More Frugal

cell phone

1. Take Care

One of the easiest ways to be more frugal is to take good care of the stuff you already own! Get protective cases for pricier gadgets like smartphones and tablets to keep them safe. And take your car in for regular maintenance in order to avoid more expensive repairs down the road.

bottled water

2. Drink Water

When you go out to eat, opt for a glass of water instead of a soda or a glass of wine. You can save quite a bit of money just by making this simple switch! And it’s a good switch for your health too. :-)

streaming tv

3. Negotiate

Call your cable, phone, and internet providers and ask if they can offer you a better price, or if there are any special offers you can take advantage of. Many customer service departments are happy to negotiate a good deal for a loyal customer!

women's denim

4. Wash Sparingly

Clothing items like jeans and sweaters don’t need to be washed as often as t-shirts and underwear. Wash these items on an “as needed” basis to save a little bit on your water bill. Your clothes will also last longer, which will save you the money it would cost to replace them!

woman on computer and cell phone

5. Choose Your Luxuries

Take a moment to list out all of your “luxury” expenses (which could include anything you don’t strictly need.) Your list could include cable TV, nail appointments, coffee shop lattes, etc. Decide which items are worth splurging on, and which might not be worth the money.

grocery list

6. Ban Impulse Buys

The next time you’re about to make an impulse buy (or any purchase you didn’t plan on making), stop! Take out your phone or a notebook and make note of what the item is and where you found it. Wait one month, then evaluate your list again. If you still really want that item, it no longer counts as an impulse and you can feel free to buy it. :-)

rack of clothes

7. The Hanger Test

Try this easy system for sorting through the clothes in your closet! Start by rehanging all the clothes in your closet so they are facing the opposite way they normally do. After you wear an item and go to hang it up again, turn it around so it faces the usual way.

At the end of one month, check out your closet. You’ll be able to clearly see what items you’re wearing and which you haven’t even touched. Take all those untouched clothes and sell them at a consignment shop for some extra cash.


8. Host A Potluck

If you are frequently going out for dinner or drinks with friends, suggest instituting a regular potluck night! Everyone can bring a dish, and you’ll have a fabulous evening with friends for much less money than a night out.

cabinet of dishes

9. Use Smaller Plates

Using smaller dinner plates can be an easy way to control portion sizes and minimize food waste! It’s okay to go back for seconds if the first portion didn’t fill you up, as long as it won’t go to waste!

What’s your best tip for saving more, spending less, or living more frugally in general?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • My husband and I are retired senior citizens. As we have aged, our appetites have greatly decreased. I now serve our meals on smaller plates.

  • My husband and I are huge on impulse buying, it’s awful, so we tried a grocery shopping app, no extra items , still get the same deals as in store, it’s great!

  • We wash in cold water and hang most of our laundry to dry rather than using the clothes dryer. Clothes last longer, and we save on electricity and natural gas.

  • I just keep driving home instead of stopping at a mall or stores after work and keep putting off shopping on weekends. Over time I find I didn’t need the things I would have bought had I stopped at these stores.

  • For years I have used cloth wipes instead of toilet paper for urine wipes, makeup removal or hankies. I cut up old tee shirts, flannel or any other absorbent clothing into 8 x 8” squares. They are kept in a basket on the back of the toilet and another basket for used cloths. I wash them the next time I wash my underwear. I also use the odd leftover pieces as rags in the kitchen to wipe up grease or other messes and then toss it. I buy about 3 large packages of toilet paper a year. Think about it….years ago there was no toilet paper. What did they do? Besides saving trees I have found I much prefer them to the feel of paper.

    • Do you end up saving lots of money, though? I would think between increased loads of laundry and bleach, you’d be spending just as much as you’d be wanting to save.

      • Re: extra laundry and bleach–I don’t do this (yet?), but there’s no extra laundry. These are fairly small cloths and many of them could go into a load of underwear and not take up much more space. Bleach is pretty cheap.

    • I have been using a separate Norwex body cloth for a year now to clean down there. It’s like a bidet. I feel cleaner and I only have to clean the cloth by rubbing it on itself and hanging to dry. The silver takes care of bacteria. I only launder it 4 times a year in a small bowl by the bathroom sink with Norwex laundry powder. It never smells.

  • Our electric supply company has lower rates on weekends, certain hours during the day. Learn them and then plan your vacuuming, laundry, other chores that use a lot of power for during the lower times. You’d be surprised at how much money you can save just switching routine times.
    I also bought a small oven (not toaster oven a Breville Smart Oven) to use for baking small items, eg baked potatoes for my husband and myself, small roasts, etc. It saves a lot of power rather than having to heat up a large oven; for dishes that require extra preparation I will do the extra work when the power is lower priced.
    Not to mention we replaced CFLs for LED bulbs including our Christmas decorations.
    When shopping if I see something I want to buy I work out the hourly cost to me to purchase that item. My husband still works part time so I figure how long he has to work for us to afford it; most cases the item isn’t worth purchasing.

  • re: ‘hanger test’…how about, instead of getting rid of the clothes you DON’T wear, get rid of the clothes you DO wear? this would have a double purpose…if, after you get rid of the clothes you wear all the time you feel that you don’t have anything to wear, why did you buy the rest of the stuff in the first place? it might make you more aware of WHY you buy the things you buy…my guess is that it’s: a) boredom, b) boredom and c) boredom. rather, purchases should be about utility and need….do you NEED a blouse in every color of the rainbow, or do you just want to have a lot of stuff? think of the money you’d have to finance the vacation you say you can’t afford!

    • This is an interesting concept. I would put them aside for a month as a trial run, though, to determine why I have so many “don’t wears”. Fit? Color? Texture? Generally unflattering?
      Thank you for posting your idea.

  • How about DON’T BUY BOTTLED WATER!!!! Not only will you save money but you won’t be adding more plastic waste to the environment. A refillable water bottle is inexpensive and easy to keep filled and with you.

    • Exactly. We have a Britta brand water pitcher ,it’s cheaper than buying bottled.,We only buy the bottled for outings., Sorry, using the cloth wipes instead of t.p.,is too yucky for me.

  • Being proactive in the preventitive scheme for the health of your teeth is also something to add to this discussion. So many people neglect their teeth, thinking they are saving money by not getting their teeth cleaned, but then they have a tooth ache from decay they neglected to take care of when it was small. and now have a bigger bill for either Extraction, Root canal/ crown or a implant should the tooth be extracted and they want to replace. Should they have had a cleaning with xrays, it would of been caught early and alot less money and pain would of occured.
    Just saying……

    • That’s fine if you can afford to do that. Some of us cannot afford to do that. I would have loved to be able to keep going to the dentist but it just was not possible. Other things had to be put above it on the list.

      • A lot of big cities have clinics you can go to if you fall into certain lower income guidelines. My mom several years ago had to have some very expensive procedure done. It was very expensive so,,our Dentist told her to go to a Dental school. It takes longer than some procedures because the instructors are making sure the students are doing it correctly. But, it sure saved my folks a bundle of money. This is back when most of my siblings and I were living at home.

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