Photograph via snooOG

Frugality is the mental approach we each take when considering our resource allocations. It includes time, money, convenience, and many other factors.

Welcome to r/Frugal!

Frugality is the mental approach we each take when considering our resource allocations. It includes time, money, convenience, and many other factors.

Let's all work together to keep r/Frugal on-topic, friendly, honest and helpful.

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  • Be informative. If requesting advice, explain your situation as best you can so that users have something to work with.

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  • Everyone has their own definition of frugality, and reason for being frugal.

Discuss and debate, but don't fight over it, or be condescending to those who do not share your particular view on frugality.

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  • Some recommended subreddits

    Financial r/cordcutters



















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    Other Frugals













    If you are new to R/Frugal check out our WIKI for helpful tools, answers to FAQs and links to recommended subreddits.


    4,912,601 Subscribers


    problem in spending

    I am not in such bad financial situation but I don't know whether I am frugal or what but my problem is I always want to save instead of spending for myself. I have a salary of 89K and my wife 74K soon it will be increased a bit. I dont know is it psychological, genetical, or worldwide situation. Sometimes even annoying for example sometimes that i am tired and do not cook food to bring to workplace I neglect going out to eat in break in restaurant or so. Sometimes, I really want to buy sth in malls I neglect or even shops I neglect my desire. Anybody had similar experience or is it normal?

    09:19 UTC


    Not eating out anymore

    Hi all- I have decided on an ambitious goal of not eating out anymore. Anyone else succeed in this? I want to do it due to financial and physical health reasons.

    Please share your experience. Ty!

    07:13 UTC


    What’s the best insole for everyday wear? (Ideally I’m looking for a really good quality one but at an affordable price)

    Extra detail- I’m looking for insoles I can put inside my sneakers.

    I wear Jordan’s and dunks most of the time for my everyday wear. Nothing crazy fancy like something for nurses or long shift servers/food workers, that have to keep moving like “24/7”.

    I want something that just makes sneakers more comfortable and “cloud like” to wear. The Jordan’s and dunks (or any regular sneakers) just get a bit annoying to wear for long periods of time during the day and I’d like to soften that pressure.

    Instead of buying some random insole from a pharmacy or online. I wanted to know what yall recommend or think of. I appreciate any recommendations.

    07:06 UTC


    Started to track my spending, really glad I started

    Just wanted to share that the beginning of June I started to track my spending and been really surprised by my spending. I'm just getting into the frugal lifestyle and partially it aligns with minimalism. Hoping to cut down on unnecessary spending and focus on where my money is going. Really happy to be awake now to what I have been purchasing.

    04:39 UTC


    How do you feel about refurbished products?

    I usually just automatically avoid them, but I said what the hey and tried a refurbished Toshiba portable a/c, and it's working very well. Now I'm wondering. (Flair-wise, this question seems to fall under "second hand".)

    04:11 UTC


    Does anyone else have people judge or feel like they’re judged for being frugal?

    Pretty much the title. I’m 23 and working 3 jobs to save for a house. I am not going to restaurants and I’m on essentials only. I hang out with friends, but it was to be a coffee shop, park or some place I don’t have to pay. I’ve been called a Party pooper or people won’t even bother unless it’s spending money.

    01:47 UTC


    What's the cheapest mot reliable printer with cheapest ink refills I can get?

    I need a printer for at home use for school with affordable ink refills. Black and white is fine. I don't need a scanning feature because I scan things using google docs on my phone. The most basic bitch printer is fine lol.

    23:42 UTC


    Advice/Thoughts on my Financial Plan as an 18 y/o in the Army

    Recently, ive been focused on my finances and with being an 18 y/o within the Army, I think I have many options, but wanted to get thoughts on my current plan.

    Currently this is how my money is broken down:

    Regular Savings: $307 Checking: $11,767

    Vanguard Roth IRA: $2,000 Roth TSP: $150

    And this is how I think I’m going to allocate it:

    — Emergency Fund —

    Redstone Better Day Savings Account - $2.5k with 5.09% APY - Gives me better APY then a HYSA and allows for super quick access since it’s connected to my checking

    HYSA - $3.5k with around 4.6% APY give or take

    (Get my 1st credit card) Redstone Starter Card - Can use in case of emergency until funds from HYSA can back me up and to build credit

    — Investments —

    Roth IRA - $5000 to start out - Add $425 added per paycheck, will hit max of $7k after 2.5 months then contribute towards Roth TSP - Currently have 100% of it in VTI

    Roth TSP - $150 - Currently putting 5% of pay for the match and it hold 100% C fund

    — Savings —

    Redstone Regular Savings - $475 - Mainly for extra savings and super short term savings that won’t build up dividends or income (like a PC fund) - If desperate then this is here for emergencies too

    Any extra money that I have that isn’t going into investments or to pay off the credit card each month will go into my regular savings to allow me to save for goals such as a Gaming PC or stuff for my room. I’m also gonna do more research into other savings accounts (like for Christmas) as other ways to save up, but more or less the few hundred extra a month will be more or less money to enjoy.

    Any and all thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated!! I do plan to do research to help maximize my income/investments, such as maybe even doing dividend investing to give me an extra source of income (might even pay for a gym membership monthly) one day, but for now that isn’t a big concern. This is more or less a starting point and over the course of many years I’ll be able to fine tune and add to my portfolio to increase my earnings.

    22:11 UTC


    What’s better a boring or busy job?

    What would you rather have, a job where there is nothing to do most of the shift and you just sit and stay on your phone or a job where you are constantly moving and have something to do? I feel like the boring job feels like time is going slower

    20:38 UTC


    One thing people don't talk about is the anxiety after getting out of financial survival mode.

    This might not be the right place for this, but...For most of my(M31) life, i have been scraping by financially and have been forced into living frugal. I have had to watch where every penny has gone for the past 10 years. The most I ever had in my savings at one point was roughly 150 on a lucky month, but most months I would play 'bill roulette' for what to pay. Recently I made a lateral job change(same industry different company) for about $3/hr more, found a more affordable living situation(house mate), and split all house bills. Since this all started, I have been able to save roughly 300+/mo. Although there is a feeling of relief knowing that I have the ability to cover most "oh shit" expenses, I am still in a constant state of anxiety thinking there is some bill I'm forgetting or that there is some pending emergency incoming. Even tho there is nothing that I can see, I am still in a constant state of 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'.

    I know that I need things like replacement clothing, some work tools, and shoes, but the thought of swiping my card even on a $50 expense fills me with anxiety nausea. Even though I could 'replace my work tools, wardrobe, and boots I still feel like I can't or if I try to make any material improvements I'm being selfish because there is a bill that is needing attention. Even when grocery shopping, when I buy a few extra things to try or as a 'guilty pleasure' I feel like shit or I put it back because "what if I really can't afford it". Even now as I'm typing this out, there is a large part of me going through my bills "knowing" that I'm missing an imaginary bill or expense. I logically know I am fine and in the clear, but my self preservation side screams at every "unneeded" expense.

    Anyways, I recently discovered many others have gone through this same feeling. It isn't offten talked about, and is offten worded as "you'll feel great once you can afford to live" instead of "you'll still have residual anxiety from many years of financial distress"... and I think it should be addressed more directly. We always hear about the relief of not having to pinch every penny, but leave out the fact that the anxiety of living that way doesn't leave quickly. What was recommended to me was to focus on self care items that I've been putting off replacing(with in reason), and to give it time. If you've made it this far thanks for allowing me to vent into the void, and if you're feeling the same, you're not alone in feeling that way. If anyone has any tips that might help, I would love to hear them. Thanks!

    20:11 UTC


    My favorite and most frugal meal delivery service.

    I know that ultimately buying sales, bulk, rice, beans, veg, rebate apps and cooking at home is the cheapest. However, I think for a lot of people finding a middle ground in our busy lives can ease some stress.

    I will say my family tried hellofresh. They liked it at first but over the months, their quality went down and they often felt like they didn't want to cook the meals to use them up when they weren't feeling that dish. It was definitely $12 or more a meal.

    Later, I had a friend who introduced me to cookunity, which I liked at first, especially their wide variety of vegan options made by chefs and delivered fresh. Often times though my meals broke open in transit. They were good about credits but it was still annoying and I was paying $13 a meal. I still used that for a bit then quit as I didn't like their selection anymore and felt their portions were rather not satisfying for what i paid.

    Anyway. Leave it to Facebook to save my laziness with cooking because I saw and ad for The Cumin Club and I was intrigued. They claimed $5 or so a meal and I gave them a fair look since I like Indian food and find it comforting and nourishing. I decided to try it though I didn't know really what the dishes were going to taste like that I was getting. They are all vegetarian with a lot of vegan options.

    The packages are dried mixes that make 1-2 servings of food depending what you pair with them like rice or protein. I find that they still taste awesome heated on the stove and I often pair mine with rice. I think you can also microwave them in a bowl. Many options to choose from. I had one called Sambar idiy last night. It exceeded my expectations in taste! A lot of the packages also have pictures of the dishes so you could sometimes get an idea of what it would be like. No messy ice bags to deal with, no food breaking open in transit, no food going bad before you feel like eating it, and like half the cost.

    To make the meals more nutritious I definitely do recommend adding 1/2 cup brown rice and 1/2 cup frozen vegetables like carrots, green beans, and peas to some of the dishes. Peas also count as a good added protein. Chickpeas may also be good in some. With that, you are looking at maybe 6-7$ for 1-2 fairly nutritious meals? Depends on your pairings and how much u spent for those I suppose. That's still half the cost of eating out, especially if you work and get lunch in a city.

    I take a picture of the package that I have for a certain day and draw a rating out of 5 on them so i know which ones I would order again since I'm not going to remember the Indian names.

    Just genuinely wanted to share something I'm enjoying that may be in some people's budget of frugal. :)

    20:06 UTC


    Wanted Thai food... so made my own!

    I've been craving Thai food over the last few days, so finally bit the bullet and decided to figure out how to cook some of my favorite dishes myself. I looked up a couple recipes before heading to the Asian grocery store and stocked up on a bunch of items I didn't have on hand (dark soy sauce, fish sauce, Thai basil, birds eye chilies, rice noodles, etc.) and also picked up ingredients for a future penang curry. All in, I spent $25 and will be able to make multiple servings of pad kee mao + curry over the next few weeks! Had I ordered from a restaurant, just one dish would have been $25+ after fees, taxes, delivery, etc.

    Also, in case anyone was interested: I swear by recipes by Woks of Life, and their pad kee mao recipe was another winner!

    20:00 UTC


    Anyone love going to the movies but hate the cost? I take my family of 4 to 8-12 movies a month for 100$

    There’s a membership call A-list through AMC that costs 25$ a month and allows you to see 3 movies a week! It’s fantastic for the AC and there’s a whole slew of added perks too. You get free upgraded sizes on food and drinks as well as refills, plus it gets everyone out of the house for a little while. It pretty much pays for itself if you go to two movies a month for what it’s worth… I gotta say my amc has the reclining chairs boy are they comfy!

    19:27 UTC


    Any suggestions for cheap window screen solutions?

    I live on the fourth floor of my apartment, and summer has been brutal. 33 straight days, so far, of 90° and above internal temp.

    My apartment has two 58x26 sliding glass windows I'd like to open, but they have no screens, and I'd rather not be dealing with bugs in addition to the heat.

    I was looking at screens online, and because of the strange size, I'd have to custom build them. I'm not about to invest hundreds of dollars into a property I don't own. Any ideas?

    18:22 UTC


    Anywhere to buy affordable medicine for dogs?

    Anyone know affordable websites to buy pet medicine, like for fleas, dog vitamins, or for fur loss/fur patches medicine, simple allergy medicine, etc.

    18:13 UTC


    My limits of frugality just expanded today!

    So my vacuum wasn't sucking up stuff from the bottom. Hoses still sucked up. I cleaned out the hoses and filters...still nothing...I googled my vacuum cleaner brand and someone said to take off the bottom..check tĥe belt (mine was ok) and clean the bottom and that there was a small hose that could be the problem that probably needs to be cleaned!! BINGO! It was so clogged! So proud of myself as I am not a DIYer!! Yea Me!

    18:10 UTC


    Who is the cheapest home internet provider?

    So yeah. My home internet provider refuses to allow me to downgrade to a less expensive plan. I need someone else and I’m in PA. Who is your internet provider? What’s your monthly bill? Who do you think is cheapest for stand alone service? (I am not able to bundle with my cell phone service but I’m already paying so little for that i have no need to change it.) Thank you for your help!

    17:57 UTC


    Healthy on a budget?

    I am trying to eat cleaner to improve my energy and mood. I want to try out new foods like papaya and cacao and arugula, but I don’t want to break the bank. Grocery prices are ridiculous these days. A papaya is like $10……

    So to my FRUGAL AND HEALTHY people…. How do you do it???? Help appreciated!!!

    15:56 UTC


    can i get cheap frames to put SUNGLASS lenses in?

    i know people do this with prescription lenses, but I haven’t really heard of anyone doing this with sunglasses lenses. I have a pair from kohls that I love, but they were $10 and i can’t imagine the lenses offer a ton of protection from the sun. Can I upgrade the lenses and keep the frames somehow?

    15:05 UTC


    Need advice on what to do with my Emergency Fund

    Hey guys!

    I’m kinda stuck! I really need advice on what to do with my Emergency Fund. Do I put it into a HYSA and let it be? Who should I use for a HYSA?


    Do I invest my Emergency Fund into let’s say a 3 month or less CD or even a Money Market Account?

    Just kinda stuck on where to put my Emergency Fund to optimize my income long term.

    For reference, I have about $8k allocated to an Emergency Fund and I am 18 and in the Army, so I don’t need a crazy big fund. I recently opened a Roth IRA with Vanguard and have $2k in that.

    Dunno if I could put my emergency fund into Vanguards Money Market Fund or how to even go about that. Just looking for advice and guidance since I’m so new to this.

    Thank you so much!

    14:42 UTC


    I have been contemplating skincare for a while

    I have not really used skincare ever. I am male if it matters. My skin feels fine as far as I can tell. But over the years I have noticed some things.

    Dried lips all year long, cracked during winter. I use the cheapest petroleum jelly chapstick I can find. I did try beeswax chapstick for a while but stopped because it was expensive. I only use it at night because I am afraid of consuming it when eating/drinking during the day. Can't be safe right? I think the beeswax ones supposed to be edible so I might have to switch back to beeswax.

    Dried skin on fingers/hands. Cracked during winter. I assume it is because I spend all day using keyboard whether it is typing at work or gaming at home. I also do some light weight lifting so that might be damaging on my skin too. I just use the cheapest lotion I can find but I only use it at night. I sometimes use it during the day but I think it is gross that I am getting lotion all over my keyboard. Maybe I just need to clean my keyboard (but that means more money...)

    Itchy face during summer. I have an oily face. I wash my face with cold water and a microfiber towel. When showering I also wash my face with some bar soap. If I am at home I just wash it every time it gets itchy. At work I just lather on some lotion for itch relief. It is mostly the area I shave but can also be my forehead, neck and nose. My nose is itchy all year long pretty much. I just use water and handsoap to lather my face for shaving. I finally used some shaving cream the other day and it was so much better so I will switch back to shaving cream. I put some lotion on my face after shaving once in a blue moon. Is using regular lotion on face after shaving enough (assuming I remember to do it every time) or is after shave lotion a must have?

    Rashes around my waist. Since I work in an office blasting AC all year long I always have to wear multiple layers to work. So I sometimes get a rash around my waist probably from sweat and all the multiple layers of clothing. At home I just wipe my waist with cold water and a towel, at work just lather on some lotion for itch relief.

    Some other things I am trying/doing.

    Sleeping more, but it is hard to get to bed early.

    Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but that causes another issue frequent trips to the bathroom especially at night.

    Alternate between Collagen peptides in oatmeal/milkshakes or eating jello for some collagen supplement.

    Not sure how to fix the chronically chapped lips besides just apply it multiple times a day? Would a facial cleanser reduce my facial itchiness? Do I really need to apply lotion to my hands several times throughout the day? Would increasing collagen intake would help?

    14:18 UTC


    I'm trying to stop making impulse purchases, but I'm very confused.

    I feel like every single purchase I have made in my adult life has been on impulse. No matter how long I think about the item beforehand, the moment I actually pull the trigger is always an impulse. I have seen the advice to list everything I want to purchase out, and if I still want it after 30 days then I can buy it. I'm having trouble putting this plan into action.

    1. How do I determine which things are added to the list? If I walk into a store and see a shirt I like, but that I don't need and wouldn't normally buy, do I add that? Do I only add things that I am actively prepared to purchase in that moment? If I just list everything I have any sort of passing desire to buy, my list would be miles long, but if I only list things that I actually want and would consider buying it would be much more reasonable.
    2. There are things I have wanted for years but never purchased. I am not confident that I won't want all of the things on my list in 30 days. What do I do next month when I have a list of dozens of items that I still want?
    3. How do I handle consumables? I realized last week that I was almost out of shower gel. I added it to the list, but I ended up purchasing some this week when I ran out instead of waiting. Should I have added it to my list approximately 30 days before I ran out, or is that cheating because I don't actually want shower gel until I am out of it? How does food work? I can guess what groceries I will want to buy in a month but I buy the same things every week. Can I have duplicates of an item on the list at the same time, staggered so that I can buy more every week?
    4. How specific does the list entry need to be? If I need a black shirt to go with my work pants can I just write "black shirt"? Or do I go find a specific black shirt and write down the store, item number, size, etc.
    5. If the item sells out before my 30 days are up do I buy a similar item, or do I start over by putting a similar item on the list and waiting another 30 days? How similar would the item need to be in order to purchase it? If it is pronamel toothpaste in the cool mint flavor could I buy regular sensodyne or would it need to be another flavor of pronamel? Could I purchase the original item from a different store?
    6. Is there a loophole for items that really cannot wait? If I get called for an interview I would need to buy a blazer to wear to it. I can't wait 30 days for that. None of my old clothes fit anymore. What if I forget to add toothpaste to the list 30 days before I need more? You can't honestly expect me to stop brushing my teeth, right? Is there a way I can break the rule and just make up for it later?
    7. Is there a loophole when the item is only available for a short time? I'm specifically thinking of a sweatshirt that I think will sell out and concert tickets. Is missing out on these things the whole point of the 30 day rule?
    13:27 UTC


    Di I need to upgrade my phone?

    Do i need to upgrade my phone?

    I currently have an s10 that's about 4,5 years old.

    Screen is a bit cracked at the side. But hardly an inconvenience. Battery is ok, not great. Not really satisfied with the camera performance. Also it's been a bit laggy recently. All in all some minor inconveniences but nothing that makes my say "I need a new phone". I could still push this one for about a year, max 2 years.

    There's a deal with a local carrier to get an s24 for €500 (after cashback) and you get an a9+ tablet with it.

    I'm doubting about upgrading. I don't really NEED a new phone, nor have I ever needed a tablet (would be handy for music sheets & games though, I play a lot of hearthstone). My current s10 works mostly good enough.

    Because I've been saving €10/month on a separate "phone account" I have the money to upgrade. Been doing this since buying the s10.

    Is it worth it to upgrade? Or should I keep using my s10?

    11:59 UTC


    How do you afford clothes

    I’m frugal as hell, it also helps that I’m broke. I haven’t purchased new clothes since pre COVID era of society.

    I hate the idea of paying $30-$50 for an item of clothing. In fact I just hate spending money.

    What should I do besides the obvious thrifting. I have also considered buying from blank-design apparel wholesalers. Any other ideas are much appreciated.

    Edit: Walmart is not on option. I live in Australia. Only have maybe 2 Costco locations near me (30 minute drive) but unsure if they live up to the name they’ve created in the US.

    08:02 UTC


    Electric Kettle vs Electric Water Boiler? How much less efficient is it to use a water boiler?

    Hello, I'm looking for a deskside water boiler / kettle. Boiler would be a little more convenient since, I could fill it once a day and not think about it. Does anyone know how much more would it cost me in electricity in using it for 2L with boiler vs kettle? I'm willing to pay for a fancier that more efficient if it's gonna last a long time. I drink around 1.5-2L (0.5gal.) of water a day.

    05:49 UTC


    Should I meal plan?

    Hi, I'm trying to save money. Won't do it if it's a waste. But today, my mom and I spent $75 on takeout. And also my dad spent $35 on fast food today too. This was lunch and dinner for three. It's come to my attention that this is way too much.

    Personally, food has kind of lost it's taste to me. I don't feel a particular desire to eat food except maybe once a day and when I do I don't get a whole lot of joy from it. I don't mind eating the same thing for lunch and dinner every day for a week. So should I meal plan?

    If yes, what meal plans do I pick/are the cheapest? My mom doesn't mind either. My dad does, but he'll be fine.

    03:57 UTC


    What are the best ways to replicate the vibe or feel of a restaurant at home?

    like not dishes or flavors or anything necessarily, but more the luxurious feel, i'm sitting here and eating a meal and everything is fine sort of feeling. when i eat at home, normally even if i really like what i cooked, i still feel like i'm...eating at home. it feels more like subsistence rather than enjoyable or relaxing.

    00:49 UTC


    Window A/C vs. Central?

    Hey! So we bought a house in October. It's an older home (title date says 1930's due to a fire at the court house but it's suspected to be 1900-1910's) and sat vacant for over a decade. Now that the summer heat + humidity here in Missouri has really started rolling in, we realized how bad our central A/C unit was. Turns out, the entire thing (inside and outside units) needs to be replaced, which is a MASSIVE expense.

    But my husband and I were talking... We already needed to get a couple window A/C units for our kids' bedrooms upstairs because it always gets ungodly hot up there; the A/C doesn't go to the upstairs AT ALL, like it's not even connected to those vents. And we are homebodies, who mainly hang out in our rooms. We don't care if the kitchen, dining room, bathrooms, etc. are hot, and this is a big house (over 2500 sq. ft.).

    What if we just got a third window unit for our own bedroom, and just used those windows units in the bedrooms alone? Would that be cheaper than running a central unit for the entirety of the house when we only use a small portion of the house most of the time? We're debating if we even wanna bother with the expense and headache of having the entire system replaced, at all, going forward.

    00:32 UTC


    Cereal Box Life Hack

    I finally figured out a solution to my cereal going stale before I finish the box--

    When I open a new box, I remove the bag containing the cereal. Then I place a gallon-sized storage bag in its place and pour the cereal from the original bag to the new one. Seal the bag, close the box, and now I actually finish my cereal!

    23:31 UTC


    Ceiling Fans

    Do you run a ceiling fan when you’re not in the room? Or is it a waste of energy? Currently, I do not. But I still feel like it would help my A/C work less?

    22:33 UTC

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