Extreme frugal living isn’t about cutting cable from your life or turning up the thermostat to 80 in the summer. Those are pretty easy ways to be more frugal. Today I’m talking about the extreme things the cheapest of the cheap do to save more money. I’m not a huge fan of deprivation to the point of not being able to enjoy life, but there are some benefits to frugality that many overlook. Many people cut their lifestyle to the bare minimum while paying off debt. I want to give you something to consider before we dive in.
When you start a workout program and meal plan that’s super strict (think Keto diet) and deprive yourself of something you’ve had access to for a long time (possibly your whole life), there’s a huge possibility of relapse. Personal finance success, much like fitness, is a lifestyle decision. If you are super frugal for a short time (just to pay off debt), you might find yourself rewarding your good behavior after the debt is paid off. The last thing you want to do is to sabotage your efforts by leasing a new car or buying the boat you’ve always wanted on credit just to keep up with the Joneses. With that being said, here are seven examples of extreme frugal living tips to help you save more money.
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Extreme Frugal Living to the Nth Degree
1. Flush Toilets Once a Day
You read that right. It doesn’t matter if it’s a number one or a number two or if someone is sick with diarrhea and vomiting (sorry..had to go there). People legit only flush once a day to save money. I can’t imagine having company over under these circumstances. I mean, port-a-potties are only cleaned out every so often, so I guess it’s no different, but….YUCK!
2.Eat Expired Food
Got moldy bread or cheese problems? That’s okay! The cheapest of the cheap simply pick off the mold and eat the remaining portion. After all, if you can’t see the mold, it must not be there, right?
3.Shower Less Often
Filling the tub is a no no when you’re practicing extreme frugal living. You’ve got to take showers only and limit to once every few days (at most). Been to the gym? That time of the month? No problem! Take a sponge bath! Y’all, I’m cringing as I’m writing this, but there are people who practice this method of frugality. I will say that I only wash my hair when it starts to get greasy (once every 3-4 days) and use dry shampoo in between washes.
4.Live in an RV
Now I know a lot of people who are doing this! And I know some who’ve tried it (with kids) and just couldn’t handle being that close with no room to spread out. One of my favorite stories is from the creator of the affiliate marketing course I’m taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Her name is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, and she’s earning over $150k per month on her blog but lives in an RV and travels the world with her husband. I think I read somewhere that she and her husband spend about $3000 per month on expenses despite their millionaire status! I wrote about their affiliate marketing success story here. They are truly living the dream!
5.Sell Everything but the Kids
By hosting garage sales or selling items in your local Facebook groups and Craigslist, you can make a decent side hustle income. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in six months, it needs to go. This also helps you get a sense of organization and cleanliness in your home, which of course, results in a better quality of life. I’ve sold furniture, clothing, toys, electronics…you name it.
6.Grow your Own
What’s more organic than living off your own land? You can start a garden with some seeds and water and in no time you’ll be able to chop salads with fresh vegetables. You can even take it a step further and sell your fruits or veggies. An example of this would be planting pumpkins and in the fall, when they’re ripe, using them to bake pumpkin pies or pumpkin bread. You can either use them for your Thanksgiving meals or sell them and make a profit! You could also sell them for decor! A package of pumpkin seeds might cost a few bucks and yield 20 pumpkins weighing 50 pounds or more! Imagine what those would sell for in nice neighborhoods as decor! This is a great side hustle for kids and grown-ups alike! This is one extreme frugal living practice I can stand behind!
7.Become a Tap Water Only Household
Adopt a tap water only rule for your household. When you stop buying sugary drinks such as sodas, juices, Gatorade, you’ll not only save hundreds of dollars every year, but you’ll also become much healthier! That is…if you don’t live in Flint MI or Chatham IL!
8.Raise your Own Farm Animals
We all know hunting is a good way to supply meat in the freezer for months. You can buy a young calf and have a farmer raise it, and you can triple your investment and eat good, quality grass-fed beef for months off that single purchase. Likewise, I know women who have chicken farms and raise hens for eggs!
By adopting these extreme frugal living practices, you can hang with the cheapest of the cheap. But at what cost? There are many other ways to live frugally without sacrificing your quality of life. Now I want to hear from you! Have you tried any of these ways of living frugally? How are you making a conscious effort to save money in your everyday lifestyle? Leave a comment below!