With supply chain issues and inflation sticking around longer than we expected, it couldn’t hurt to look for ways to do more with less. Setting a budget is a good starting point, but sticking to it can be a challenge. Here, we’re looking at titles to help you live more frugally, while also being more eco-friendly and sustainable in the process.
For speedy advice and frugal living inspiration, flip through this handy guide. Even a 15-minute read provides plenty of simple ideas around making your own household essentials, finding low- to no-cost activities for the family, and being frugal without feeling like a cheapskate.
Another quick read offers tips on how to drop your costs every month. Things like conserving energy at home might sound boring, but dropping your utility bill can make a big difference in your bottom line, especially if you’ve already cut out most discretionary spending. While many of her ideas might not be revolutionary, the reminder to start implementing them is just the nudge we all need.
If you love a good project rather than simply shutting off lights or buying less, check out this massive volume of cheap living tips. It’s a great way to feel more empowered and get excited about spending less and saving more. From travel and beauty to food shopping and party hosting, there are many practical tips to make frugal living feel more like a game or fun challenge and less like a burden.
As author Chavich explains in her introduction, 40% of food is wasted in North America. That’s not only a major waste in terms of food, but it’s also a waste of money. Her cookbook focuses on how to avoid the waste by being smarter about storing food, transforming leftovers, and even rethinking ‘best-by’ dates on certain foods. If you know your food budget is the biggest expense to tackle, start with this book.
Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things: 2,317 Ways to Save Money and Time by the Editors of Reader's Digest
Another great way to game-ify a budgeting challenge while also decluttering your house is this fun book from Reader’s Digest, which shares 2,317 uses for common household staples. For example, shaving cream can remove stains from a carpet as effectively as a special carpet cleaner. And beer can actually polish your gold jewelry. Also, if you struggle with decluttering, this book can help you repurpose random household items that are just collecting dust.
If your major spend is on beauty supplies, consider shifting to a more natural DIY option for everything from lip balm to facial scrubs to bath bombs. Not only will you be using high-quality ingredients, you’ll also save cash. De Clercq shares recipes that duplicate some of the pricier favorites from big brands, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out on posh beauty staples.
The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A Guide to Spending Less While Enjoying Everything More by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb
As authors Raser-Rowland and Grubb point out, it’s much easier to live happily and stress-free when you’re not worried about consumer debt. This book is designed for living on the cheap without sacrificing any of your favorite moments in life.
If you love the idea of leading a simpler life, Little House Living is a great guide and fun semi-memoir from the woman behind the Little House Living blog. Alink went from being the kind of person who couldn’t manage to make spaghetti from a box to full-on homesteading. If you’re open to making things from scratch, this is a great book to start with. It doesn’t make frugal living seem hard, it makes it seem like an adventure that will actually lead to a more fulfilled life.
Not everyone wants to move to the country and embrace a life of homesteading, and Flanders gets that. (No pet chickens for her!) Not only did she stop shopping, she also got rid of most of her possessions — all while continuing to live a vibrant travel-packed life in the city, and with a more modern style of living. It’s a great reminder that you don’t have to move out of urban environments to embrace frugal living.