8 extreme frugal living ideas you probably haven’t considered

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Extreme frugal living isn’t about cutting cable from your life or turning up the thermostat to 80 degrees in the summer.

Those are pretty easy ways to be practice frugality.

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 people overlook.


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Many people cut their lifestyle to the bare minimum during their debt free journey while doing something so crazy as donating blood plasma for an extra $400 per month.

First: Words of Caution Regarding Frugality

When you start a workout program and meal plan that’s super strict (like the Keto diet or intermittent fasting) and deprive yourself of something you’ve had access to for a long time, there’s a huge possibility of relapse.

Personal finance success, much like fitness, is a lifestyle decision. If you practice extreme frugality for a short time (just to pay off debt), you might find yourself rewarding your good behavior after the debt is paid off. Gazelle intensity is great when you’re on a high, but when the debt’s paid off, what happens to the adrenaline rush? It goes away.

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 some examples of extreme frugal living tips to help you save more money.

Extreme Frugal Living Ideas

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.

Have you heard of the new Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo? Marie offers tips on tidying and you can even make some extra cash by selling some of your unwanted junk in the decluttering process.

If you want to get started downsizing and living a simpler life, grab a copy of my free KonMari checklist for decluttering.

6. Grow your Own

What’s more organic than living off your own land? You can start a garden with a few packages of organic vegetable seeds 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 yields 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 tapwater 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, Michigan!

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 of that single purchase.

Likewise, I know women who have chicken farms and raise hens for eggs!

You’ll definitely need a deep freeze for storage, and Amazon has several options to choose from with free shipping (especially handy if you don’t have a truck)!

Adopt an Abundance Mindset and Increase your Income

I realize there are a lot of “online coaches” preaching meditation and positivity. I do think these things are very important to overcoming a frugality (scarcity) mindset. That being said, one of the best things you can do is to increase your income so that you don’t feel so scarce.

You can do this by working double shifts, overtime, and holidays. Or you can start a side hustle in your spare time. Here are 76 legit ways to make money on the side this year.

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!

This article first appeared on Perfect Hangover.