Inside: Try these practical ways to save money while still enjoying life. You can have fun while saving money.

Do you ever feel stuck between wanting to save money and feeling like you only live once?

The good news is you don’t always have to choose between the two. There are many ways to save money while still enjoying life.

Living within your means can require a bit more thought and creativity, but with intentional effort, you can find ways to save while doing the experiences you like.

Continue reading for 15 practical frugal living tips that will help you to spend less money while still having fun in the process.

save money while still enjoying life

Saving Money While Still Enjoying Life

Let’s start by acknowledging that buying stuff won’t make you happy (at least not for the long term). Your enjoyment in life is not dependent on how much you spend.

With that said, there are things that many people like to do that cost money. Experiences are valuable and help to create lasting memories.

Thankfully, there are ways to save money while living simply. Stay on top of your finances by saving on the essentials and budgeting for the non-essentials. Look for opportunities to save more so you can have fun without breaking the bank.

In certain seasons of life, frugality may need to be the focus over enjoyment. Living within your means can be quite a challenge at times.

But hopefully, by diligently working to save more now, you can have a bit more for the non-essentials in the future.

man holding grocery bag in kitchen

15 Practical Ways to Save Money While Still Enjoying Life

There are many ways to save money while still enjoying life. Here are fifteen ideas to help you get started.

Practical Ways to Save Money: Groceries

With the rising cost of food, it’s become even more important to be aware of ways you can save on your groceries. Here are a couple of ideas to consider.

1. Shop the sales

Planning your meals for the week based on the items that are on sale at your local grocery store is a great way to save money. Consider buying extra of the sale items that you know your family will use and that have a good shelf life.

Using the store app to download coupons can add up to quite a bit of additional savings as well.

If shopping in-store means that you end up bringing home far more than you planned, then try pick-up instead. Personally, this doesn’t work as well for me as I want to add up my costs, select my produce, and choose substitute items if needed but for others, it’s a great option.

2. Look for liquidation stores

In my area, we’ve had more options become available for purchasing groceries at a discount. Stores like Grocery Outlet and other smaller independent places have begun selling the overages from grocery stores, Walmart, and Target.

Check what grocery liquidation stores are available in your area and check to see if they have extra discounts on certain days or rewards programs to help save you even more money.

family eating at a restaurant

Practical Ways to Save Money: Dining Out (or In)

Food has gotten a lot more expensive in the past few years. Use these tips to save on the days you need a break from cooking.

3. Split a meal & check for specials

If you want to eat dinner in a restaurant with your spouse, consider splitting a meal and opting for water to save more money.

Eating earlier will often mean there are additional selections you can choose from for a reduced price.

4. Look for family meal deals

If you’re going out to eat with the family, look for restaurants that offer kids-eat-free and check what night of the week that is.

Another great option is family meal deals. You can save a lot buying a deal versus buying individual items for each family member. They can require a bit of flexibility though as the options are often a bit limited. Our favorite place to get these is Panera.

Signing up for rewards programs at some restaurants is another way to get discounts too.

5. Opt for takeout

Choosing to pick up takeout instead of eating in the restaurant can help to reduce your costs as well.

When you opt not to buy drinks and don’t have additional tips for service to pay for your total bill can end up being substantially smaller.

6. Buy prepared food

If you need a night off of cooking, but restaurant food is over your budget, check out the prepared food section in Costco or your local grocery store.

We like the street tacos from Costco and it ends up being much less expensive than eating a similar thing from a local fast food place.

Prepared pizzas and salads are another great option as well and since you’re buying it from a grocery store, you don’t have to worry about paying extra for tips.

save money while still enjoying life

Practical Ways to Save Money: Coffee

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Whether you like to drink it at home or enjoy an occasional coffee on the go, here are a couple of ways to save more money while still enjoying life (and coffee).

7. Look for discounts

Often tips on saving money will immediately suggest making all of your coffee at home (and we will get to that), but sometimes it is nice to sit in a local coffee shop and enjoy a drink someone else made.

And there are ways to do that for less money. Look for coupons, discounts in apps, and punch cards to help you save. I also found a local chain that was offering gift cards for half off near the holidays. I purchased one that will last me for the year so I’ll be saving 50% off every drink I get.

Check to see how you can save at your local shops. It can help if you aren’t loyal to only one chain.

8. Make your own

Drinking coffee on the go occasionally is fine (presuming you’re able to budget for it), but you will save a lot of money by not making it an everyday occurrence.

Thankfully, there are ways to make great coffee in the comfort of your own home and it costs a lot less money.

My favorite way is by using an Aeropress, which drastically reduces the bitterness in coffee. Add to that some good quality beans (we often buy ours from a local roaster that sells their beans at our local Costco) and your favorite creamer (if you’re like me and like some coffee with your creamer) and you’ve got a great drink for much less than six dollars each.

save money while still enjoying life

Practical Ways to Save on Entertainment & Travel

Who said saving money can’t be fun? Use these ideas to save on entertainment and travel.

9. Look for free community options in your area

A great way to save money while still enjoying life is to become a tourist in your own town. Look for special events in your area that you can go to for free.

Check your city’s website for upcoming festivals and events to see what interests you. Have fun while spending time with people in your local community.

10. Search discount sites

Another way to save on entertainment is by looking at discount sites like Groupon. It’s a great way to discover new places while paying less in the process.

They often change up their offerings so keep checking back for new activities.

11. Go local

If you’ve been wanting to take a vacation, but need to do it on the cheap, look for places to go within driving distance of your home. Many of our vacations have been within a few hours of where we live.

We save by not flying and don’t spend too much on gas as it’s not a long trek. That also enables us to pack our own food which saves more money too.

12. Look for additional travel discounts

If you do a lot of traveling, there are plenty of travel hacks out there to save yourself more money.

Since we don’t travel a ton, we opt for simpler ways to save. Comparing hotel prices on various sites, looking for promo codes, and joining free loyalty programs are a great way to save some money.

If you’re interested in staying at an Airbnb you can politely reach out to the potential host to see if they’re offering any lower rates.

Traveling midweek or in the off-season can save you a substantial amount of money too. When owners have vacancies to fill they’re more likely to offer you a deal.

make do instead of buy new

Practical Ways to Save When Buying Almost Anything

Here are a few more tips on saving money when you’re getting ready to buy just about anything.

13. Wait to purchase

A key way to be more intentional with shopping is to wait to make a purchase. Allow yourself some time so that you can think clearly rather than making an emotional decision.

Also checking if that item is within your budget and asking yourself if it is a want or a need can provide additional clarity.

14. Compare prices

If you do opt to purchase something, take a few minutes to research prices first. Some stores offer price matching too. Is this an item you could buy secondhand? That can save you a lot as well.

Comparing prices for items you buy and things you need like insurance and internet service can help slow the money drains from your finances.

15. Work with what you’ve got

Before you buy consider how you might be able to make do instead of buy new. Do you have something you could upcycle or repurpose?

Or maybe what you have is broken and you could repair instead of replace it. Trying to work with what you have before buying something new will save you more money.

frugal decluttering

Final Thoughts on Practical Ways to Save Money While Still Enjoying Life

There are a variety of ways to save money while still enjoying life, but it’s important to consider your mindset.

Remember that happiness doesn’t come from spending and that comparison is the thief of joy.

Instead, focus on controlling what you can and take the time to notice and appreciate the simple joys in life. They don’t have to cost you a thing.

What are your favorite ways to save money while still enjoying life? Share them in the comments section below.

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