Debt | Frugal Living

16 Basic Frugal People Habits Uncovered

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Frugal People Stop Making Excuses For Their Money

Are you tired of being broke all of the time?

Procrastination gets the best of us most days but when it’s about your money it’s time to put the brakes on and listen up.

Today, I’m sharing with you 16 simple ways you can become one of the frugal people like us.

We’ve been called everything under the sun when it comes to being frugal people but our lifestyle has paid off.

If you met us you’d know we don’t go around splashing money on things just because we are debt-free.

Quite the opposite actually and we still struggle like everyone else to meet our monthly budget goals.

No one is perfect.

How many of you read the fine print anytime you are about to spend money on something?

That my friends are where the layers of savings begin as well knowledge to how you might get screwed.

Yes, I’m blunt and sometimes it’s better to say it out loud than to bottle it up inside.

We as Canadians have to make sure we are tidy with our finances and understand why that matters so much.

Frugal People Can Start Saving At Any Age

Unknowingly we both started life as frugal people from a very young age because success was in our bones.

By that I mean we had those grand ideals of becoming successful in our careers so that everyone knew our names.

My wife attributes that to reading too many Teen magazines and television where I just wanted a life with lots of money.

On more than one occasion I heard from my parents, “We don’t have enough money for that”, which put me in the driver’s seat.

It sounds odd something like that coming from a 9-year-old but kids understand money faster than we give them credit.

Often times our son asks us to buy a new real (adult) vehicle (I know, strange) because he wants a new one for our family.

We have to bend down and explain to him that mommy and daddy don’t need a new vehicle nor do we have the money saved up for one.

Both Mrs. CBB and I had paper routes at the same age and that’s where our journey of saving money began.

Interesting isn’t it how a bit of responsibility with money sent us away with experience and education.

That’s what many of us lack today when it comes to our finances and to be honest, it’s pretty simple.

Frugal People Are Part Of A Society

If you’re new to Canadian Budget Binder you will soon learn that our frugal ways have allowed us debt freedom.

Living below our means is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving money and living our best life.

It was amazing because the more money we saved and put towards our debt the faster it disappeared.

That was our motivator and we sure do like to challenge ourselves as a couple.

Even with our mortgage, it was a yearly celebration for us when we dropped a chunk of cash down on the principle.

Some people who aren’t yet on board with changing their money mindset may find frugal people weird.

I’ll take that.

Value Your Money

Have you ever said, ah it’s only a few dollars?

I have but nowadays I take that few dollars and figure out how I can spend it wisely.

You see frugal people and thrifty people value savings and will take advantage of them.

It’s about getting the Best Value for your money so you can become debt-free even if you are a millionaire.

Yep, millionaires are frugal people and continue to be but in their own way to stay above where they worked hard to get.

You know as well as I that just because you have something doesn’t mean it can’t be taken away.

Anything from job loss to health issues that slip into our lives can wash away a money supply that was meant to save us in emergency situations.

The thing is we have two choices when it comes to our money.

  1. Use it and hope it works out for us at the end of the day
  2. Track it and make it work out for us at the end of the day and the rest of our lives.

Using your money means that you spend it as you see fit hoping that there’s enough to cover the bills when they are due.

Tracking your money means you know what is coming in and going out which allows you accuracy with your banking.

Frugal People Value Levels Of Savings

I’m not one to judge anyone when it comes to the way they choose to live their life.

In fact, I think if you can save money using extreme measures and it fits your needs and goals, then so be it.

I also never push our frugal ways on others although I do like to express how they have helped us become debt-free.

You might be here reading this blog post because you are struggling with debt and I congratulate you for seeking help.

Others may be here because they are long-time readers of CBB and want to learn how we continue to fair on our journey.

You may have even applied some of the money-saving tactics in your life to help save money and perhaps get organized.

No matter what we choose to do it all boils down to how we see the act as helping us to become better than where we are.

For example, we used to go grocery shopping only buying what was on sale in the flyers that week.

That’s what most frugal people would do or people who want to follow a strict grocery budget.

We took using flyer sales a bit further to continue to save money.

  • Meal planning around the flyer sales
  • Coupons around the meal plan and the flyer sales
  • Bulk cooking and baking around the meal plan, coupons and flyer sales

There’s a level to savings and frugal people continue to build that level until there’s not much more to add.

You’ll see that in extreme frugal people who will take a product and use it for its purpose and then repurpose it for something else.

From there we would add other extras to saving money at the grocery store.

  • Check the reduced food rack first before the flyer sale product and do the math (often times we would find vegetables that were on sale in the flyer on the reduced rack for a further 50% off.) There’s even an app called FlashFood where you can source 50% off groceries at local Loblaws stores. You buy it on the app and pick them up. How cool is that?
  • Always watch for reduced products throughout the store, not just the produce section.
  • Use coupon apps on top of paper coupons for more savings.
  • Our PC Financial Credit Card offers us extra PC Optimum Points when we use our card at PC Stores which we currently have over 6 million points. That’s over $6000 in free products

There are many savings levels with credit cards as long as you choose the one that meets your needs and you utilize the perks.

Above are many ways to save money on groceries in-store for frugal people however there’s another layer.

Frugal People Keep On Layering Savings

During the spring we begin to grow herbs and vegetables from seed to build a small garden for our family.

No matter what size your property or if you rent an apartment you can grow various herbs and vegetables.

This is that layer where you grow it from home instead of buying it at the grocery store.

You may even find people giving away free seedlings online to further boost their savings.

Lastly, if you have too much of something you’ve grown you can barter online with others who also have too much.

It’s a great way to get what you want without having to spend more money.

16 Basic Habits Of Frugal People Uncovered

There are literally hundreds of tricks and hacks that frugal people take advantage of in every budget category.

However, today I wanted to discuss with you the basic 16 that we use in our everyday life.

These are not only many of the ways that helped us pay off our debt but the habits we continue to use.

Why when we are not broke?

Just as the title suggests they become habits that tend to stick around.

Frugal People Say No

If you take one thing from this blog post today it’s to learn how to say no.

Say no to your friends, family, co-workers, salespeople and yourself.

Until you know whether or not you can afford something, say no.

Breaking your goals even for the small stuff like going out for a beer or for dinner will always set you back.

Frugal People Fix-It Themselves

I’m that guy who will try to fix something myself before calling in the professionals unless I know I can’t do it.

For instance, I can change my own tires so I don’t have to pay anyone to do that service.

Just recently I installed a new furnace for our house without having to pay someone to come in to do it.

Painting is fairly straightforward and a task I would never pay someone to do.

Just last year we were quoted over $20,000 for a new sunroom where most of the cost was labour.

Guess who’s doing it himself?

I’ll also be building a new deck for our house at a fraction of the cost especially since I’ll be leveling with different sales events, credit card perks, and discount codes online.

If there is something you can DIY yourself and save money then do it. Find the time and motivation otherwise you’re just paying someone else for something you can do.

If it’s out of your knowledge and reach then so be it but if you can honestly say that you can do it but choose not to then you pay the price.

Frugal People Pack Food

pack a lunch

Whether it’s to work, school, road trips, amusement parks, or picnics we pack a lunch for the ride.

We’ve even packed food to bring to a hotel so we could cook in our suite to save money.

It all adds up, especially when convenience costs you even more money away from home.

Frugal People Shop Thrift Stores and Sales

Depending on what we are looking for we most often check the thrift stores first and on occasion garage sales.

Clothing has been a huge budget eater for us over the years so we planned on going second-hand and it’s paid off.

Not only do we have many pieces of clothing that we bought for far less than retail but we can resell it when we’re done.

If any of you reading this has kids you know how fast they grow and seconds are the best way to suit them up.

Sharing clothes between mums or passing them down through the family is all part of saving money.

Frugal People Meal Plan

It took us years to get to the point of meal planning but now we do it every week.

If you want to stop yourself from overspending at the grocery store start meal planning.

You’ll also find you eat a healthier diet because you’re not buying junk food on a whim like you used to.

A meal plan can be 5 to 7 days or however many days you want it to be.

Base your meal plan on what you have at home already, flyer sales, and any deals you can level up with.

You’ll see the difference when you stop eating out and eat home in your bank account.

Frugal People Grow It Themselves

Gardening Savings

We don’t have a huge back yard but come Spring we will grow any herbs that we will use throughout the summer.

You’ll find herbs such as basil, parsley, chives, garlic chives, mint , and sage in pots around our garden.

In our hanging baskets, you’ll find loads of fresh strawberries growing as well as mulberries, serviceberries, and crap apples.

In other garden pots, we have green peppers and tomatoes growing since they are the two vegetables we eat the most.

This year we are also growing cucumbers which we hope works out but like anything is always a learning experience.

The dollars we saving during the growing season we can put towards buying renovation materials or back into our savings.

If you have a debt to pay off then sink the money into that debt and get rid of it faster.

Frugal People Buy In Bulk

It wasn’t until we bought a Costco Canada membership that we started to buy in bulk.

Not everyone sees the value at Costco Canada but for us, it works out great.

Since our Costco has a gas station we fill up all year which pays for our Costco membership and more.

We also do the math on anything we purchase to ensure we are getting the best prices compared to the grocery store.

You can’t go wrong with eggs, milk, cream, almond milk, water, spices, pickles, and the list goes on and on.

Even on the keto diet, my wife buys in bulk from Costco because she gets the best deals.

Just recently we applied for the Costco Canada MasterCard to level up more savings.

Frugal People Re-Use And Re-Purpose

mason jar storage

Having a child has opened our eyes to how many things we can re-use and re-purpose around the house.

If it’s not for crafts or growing projects we wouldn’t have thought otherwise.

Last week I had cucumber plants that needed a pot but I didn’t have one.

I re-purposed our recycling bin that we no longer use for a cucumber growing bin and it works.

frugal gardening

About 5 months before the garden growing season I save our egg cartons to grow our seedlings in.

Any old towels that we have I use them when I work on my truck or have to clean something in the garage or basement.

Often times I ask myself if I can use something again before I recycle it.

Pinterest is an awesome way to learn millions of hacks for repurposing and reusing just about anything.

If you’re not yet signed up on Pinterest please do and your mind will be blown.

Mine was, and I love hanging out there to learn ways to save money.

Frugal People Barter or Negotiate Deals

I like to barter especially when I’m buying new or used items on spaces such as Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji.

Just recently I negotiated my first deal on EBay Canada which I thought was pretty cool.

I hadn’t realized that buyers could negotiate if the seller had opened up that platform.

Other deals I have negotiated for huge savings were when we bought our used truck in 2017 for $50,000 less than retail.

It had been used as a display model that people would take for a drive and they wanted to get rid of it for the new model.

Mind you we paid cash for the truck so that helped but even so there’s no harm in negotiating anything you buy, with-in reason.

Frugal People Swap Skills

DIY Female Plumber

If you know someone who is good at baking cakes and cookies and you make the best lasagna then swap.

We have a neighbor up the road who makes amazing cupcakes and every once in a while I help her out with a task such as mowing the lawn) and she bakes me a dozen.

If you’re a plumber and need mechanics help and you have a friend, swap skills.

Tell your buddy that you’ll help him/her if they have any future plumbing issues.

Frugal People Sell What They Don’t Use

Lots of people don’t have the patience to sell stuff instead of donating it but we make the time.

Donating is a great way to help local charities earn money for charity but we start with our savings first.

Anything we don’t sell we will donate to charity as they may have a wider buying audience.

When you’re broke or have a debt to pay it’s best to use the money to pay off your debt first.

Frugal People Level Deals

As mentioned above with groceries we also level deals when we purchase home renovation materials.

The idea around levelling is ensuring that you take advantage of all the ways you can apply savings and discount codes to get the best price.

I’m not saying it will always happen but if you plan your shopping and renovations in advance you’ll have time to source deals.

Before you pay for any order you purchase online always do a Google search for a discount code.

Even free shipping could save you upwards of $50 depending on what you are buying.

Another tip to save you some money is to take advantage of credit card balance transfers.

If you have a credit card balance that you know you will pay off why not transfer it to a credit card with less interest.

Money saved is money in your pocket even it if it takes a couple of phone calls to get the job done.

Frugal People Read the Fine Print

Scanning Code Of Practice In Canada (SCOP)

The worst part for anyone is reading the fine print whether it’s on coupons, credit card applications, or hotel reservations.

Always know where you are spending your money and ways you save money.

Don’t be shy to ask either if you don’t know the answers to any questions you may have.

Even something as simple as the Scanning Code of Practice can save you up to $10 of free stuff.

Frugal PeopleTravel During The Off-Season

I’ve travelled many places around the world and I’ve always done it on off-season and planned it myself online.

Often times we see lots of people in the travel centres that fill our malls and plazas but you’re paying the middle man.

Keep the money in your pocket and plan holidays without someone else in the middle.

It’s super easy to do and many websites guide you along through the process or you can call them or talk to a live agent.

Travelling off-season also allows you room to negotiate with hotels and other necessities because they want your business.

Consider an AirBNB when travelling instead of a hotel for added savings as hotels can get costly.

If you like to travel often find a credit card that offers travel points and rewards to lower your costs or add perks to your hotel stay.



Frugal People Live Here

No matter what anyone says or thinks just remember that your money is what keeps you going.

If someone else doesn’t agree with your way of life, who cares because they are not living it.

You may be shocked to find they earn more money than you and also have more debt than you.

Read the book, The Millionaire Next Door as it was an eyeopener for us many years ago.


Discussion: Do you consider yourself part of the Frugal People society and what do you do that people may consider weird but saves you money? Leave me your comments below.


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  1. Lol! I feel the same way about crab apples.
    As a crafter and frugal woman, I try and find a new purpose for everything. Fixing things myself also really can save money too.
    My latest best frugal thing, was taking the mushroom stems home, that would be thrown out after making stuffed mushroom caps at work. I make the best vegetarian mushroom burgers with them. (Sorry, Mrs. CBB. They aren’t keto. I fell off the keto wagon lol)

  2. The family considered me frugal when my car was written off by hail back in 2014. I took the insurance cheque, paid off the car and I am still driving it 6 years later. The pox marks don’t affect its mechanical abilities and I don’t worry to much about door dings in parking lots.

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