Things you only know if you're extremely frugal

Read the list below and see how many frugal things you are already doing or what new ways you can add to your already frugal lifestyle.

You shop out of need, not as a hobby. You often spend hours comparing prices to get the best deal, whether it’s on supermarket shelves or online. There isn’t a long-term reward in spending money on shopping; however, there is a long-term reward when it comes to saving money.

Read more: Save money and the environment with these eco habits

You look for the cheaper version. When you’re in charge of organising social events you make sure they’re of the cheaper variety, such as a BYOB picnic in the park, rather than a slap-up dinner. The same goes for when you’re looking for a new hobby; finding a hobby that is inexpensive or free is easy if you are open to the possibilities.

You look for deals and use coupons. You’ve joined every coupon, discount code and meal deal mailing list in existence and more often than not the places you shop in have coupons waiting to be used.

You use sales and coupons to stock up the pantry and freezer, you certainly get a thrill when you find an amazing deal that’ll save you money now and in the future.

And you always check your receipts for errors.

You don’t mind buying used things. It becomes easy to purchase used items when you realize how much mark-up gets added to brand new things. You probably already know the people who work at your local op shop, and they keep an eye out for things they know you’ll love.

You use old items in creative ways. Clothing can be altered and fixed or used as rags when they are way past their prime. Used dryer sheets are great for polishing chrome and scrubbing soap scum. Wine corks are saved to be chopped up and added to moisture-retaining mulch.

You’re way ahead of the sustainability trend, your abstemious lifestyle has been helping the environment for years.

Read more: Reuse these ‘disposable’ items and save

You plan meals and eat at home. Instead of grabbing something fast while you’re out running errands, you remember to eat before you leave the house.

Frugal people tend to plan their meals, grocery shop from a list and cook and eat at home. You likely have a stash of snacks in your bag or car in case the hunger hits when you’re out and about and don’t want to go through a drive-through.

A takeaway tastes so much better when you only treat yourself every few months instead of indulging on a weekly basis.

You like to check your bank balance. While some people are scared to peek at their bank balance, you love logging on to look at yours. It’s probably gone up since the last time you checked thanks to your lucrative side hustle or savvy saving tactics.

You clear out the fridge. Determined not to waste any food, you’re a master at whipping up delicious dishes from the weirdest combination of ingredients. Frugal people also make enough food to get two meals out of one. You probably also make your own compost from kitchen scraps.

You’ve got drawers overflowing with things ready to be reused. Jiffy bags, ribbons, bows and only slightly creased wrapping paper that you’ve salvaged from deliveries and gifts, ready to be reused.

Read more: How to save on household spending

You trade services with friends. Maybe you swap pet sitting services with friends. Or you’re willing to drive neighbours to the airport if they return the favour when you’re off on your holiday.

Trading services is free and rewarding at the same time, you’re helping others while saving money.

You judge other people for their lavish lifestyles. It’s not envy, though, you just can’t help imagining how much interest they would have made if they’d squirrelled that money away in an ISA instead of splurging on luxury goods.

You learn from your mistakes. Frugal people aren’t perfect; you’ve likely splurged a little too much at some point but learned your lesson. If you find you’re consistently going over your budget, you either need to revaluate the budget or examine your spending habits.

You’re a dab hand at DIY. Most frugal people would rather spend their time doing something than spending their hard-earned cash on paying someone else for the service.

It’s likely you already know how to do those easy home repairs such as replacing a washer in the tap.

You wouldn’t have it any other way. You may have to contend with naysayers every so often, but you get a kick out of bargain hunting and knowing your finances are always in order. For you, frugality is fun.

How frugal are you? How many of these do you already do? Share any points we haven’t thought of in the comments section below.

– With PA

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