12 Brilliant Frugal Hacks We Learned From Reddit
Cutting back on spending? You might be doing it all wrong.
Reusing things around the house is a great way to save money, but people on the r/Frugal subreddit have shared ingenious everyday hacks that really caught our attention.
From reusing old cereal bags to giving coat hanger clips a second life, these frugal tips are bound to make your pennies stretch further.
12 Amazing Frugal Hacks From Reddit to Help You Save Money
Ready to waste less and gain more? Here are some of our favorite finds from Reddit.
1. Saving Money on Running Gear? Love It
Trying to save money on the best running shoes is already a challenge. It’s easy to spend money on unnecessary gear too, like say, a fancy elastic armband to hold your house key.
Just look at this no-brainer free solution instead.
Another frugal way to keep your key safe on a run?
Undo one of your shoelaces and pull it out of the top hole. Then thread your key onto it, rethread the lace and tuck the key into the center of the shoe where the laces criss cross.
The key will lay flat under and in-between the crisscrossed laces. It won’t cost you a cent and there’s zero chance of losing your key.
2. Cut Down on Food Waste by Making a Menu
Visualizing the meals you’ll make with your groceries can help you reduce food waste and save money.
If you’re meal planning on a budget, try shopping for specific recipes and purchasing versatile ingredients you can use in a variety of meals.
One mom on Reddit noted how creating menus makes it easier for her kids to choose what they want to eat.
“They’re much more willing to eat what I cook now that I’ve done it this way and the menu helps me remember my meal ideas so things don’t get wasted as often,” wrote lilly_kilgore.
3. Keep Losing Your Bag Clips? Check Out This Ingenious $0 Solution
Binder clips can also serve double duty as chip clips.
Or if you’re willing to splurge, you can usually find a six pack of bag clips at the dollar store.
4. Brilliant Ways to Store Food for Bulk Item Meal Prep
Trying to save money by cooking in bulk and freezing the rest?
Meal prep can save you big bucks, but constantly using Ziploc freezer bags isn’t great for the environment or your wallet. (Though you can always rinse them out and reuse them.)
Your grandparents were on to something when they refused to throw out Country Crock and Cool Whip containers.
You can use vinegar or baking soda to get stubborn smells out of used containers so your leftovers stay fresh and odor-free.
Other thrifty Redditors suggested buying Tupperware from garage sales and thrift stores and saving plastic take-out boxes.
5. This Person Got Luggage From Goodwill for $15
Buying old luggage may not sound appealing, but with a little elbow grease, you can clean suitcases up like new in no time.
How to Clean Fabric Luggage:
- Mix about ¼ cup of liquid laundry detergent and 2 tablespoons of baking soda in warm water and scrub the luggage in your tub. (Trick: If you have a handle attachment on your shower head, turn it on high to work as a sprayer.)
- Blot any stains with old towels. Use stain remover if necessary.
- Air dry the luggage outside in the sun.
6. Use the Freebie Alerts App to Score $0 Finds
Don’t you hate missing out on those great free Facebook Marketplace items? They always seem to have 35 replies in nine minutes, but if you can score the deal, the savings can be outrageous.
Turns out, there’s an app for that.
The Freebie Alerts app automatically pulls free item listings from some of the biggest online marketplaces including Facebook, Nextdoor, OfferUp and TrashNothing.
Enter your zip code and the app will monitor those sites for deals in your area — and send you a notification when a new item is posted.
You can also narrow your search results by saving certain keywords. Freebie Alerts will show you when an item was posted and its distance from your zip code.
7. Get Thrifty and Save Money on Outdoor Planters
This budget-friendly landscaping idea literally turns trash into treasure — or at least some homegrown veggies.
When this Redditor’s city switched over to new universal robotic arm garbage bins, his old cans became obsolete.
He decided to convert his bins into planters for his onions. He used a pair of shears to cut the plastic.
Considering planters like this can go for $20 or more at home improvement stores, we consider this frugal hack a serious win.
8. Enjoy Your Outdoor Space Without All the Glare
Ever try to enjoy the nice weather on your deck or patio but can’t see your screen?
An outdoor screen shade for your laptop can go for $50+ on Amazon. This frugal hack, meanwhile, costs $0. Plus there’s no assembly or tools required.
9. A Practical Bathroom Accessory You Can Find for $0 Outside
As the Redditor of this post put it: “Find a flat rock that is big and rough enough to grip the soap. Apply felts underneath if you fear scratches on your surface and that’s it.”
Simple but effective!
10. Plant Old Veggies for a Cheap Garden
The r/Frugal thread is full of savvy savers who use old produce like sprouted potatoes, ginger root and green onions to grow their own vegetable gardens.
As one Redditor put it: “If you’ve got a pot, or better yet, some garden space, plant them. That way they’ll grow, flower and reseed, so you won’t need to ever buy (those vegetables) again.”
As food prices keep rising, the idea of gardening to save money is starting to grow on us.
11. Give Your Cereal Bags a Second Life
We never thought to use empty cereal bags to store food but this post is making us reconsider.
After washing and drying the bags, simply store leftovers and seal it with freezer tape.
You can also shake food inside the bags to coat them in breadcrumbs or spices.
Finally, as a non-food frugal use, use empty cereal bags to clean out the litter box.
12. Dig Out Those Broken Fans From the Garage
This is one of the coolest repurpose projects we found on Reddit. It’s easy to make, though the original poster said it took them a few hours to assemble.
Thankfully, they made this step-by-step tutorial so you can create your own.
Don’t have multiple fans laying around? Many people throw them out, so keep your eyes peeled on trash day.
Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.