Rich People Are Sharing Their Best Tips To Save Money, And I'm Taking Notes

·11 min read

Over the past few decades, the FIRE movement has grown increasingly popular. In case you haven't heard of it, FIRE stands for "Financial Independence, Retire Early." That means people — generally with high incomes — invest enough money that they can retire earlier than the traditional age while withdrawing about 4% of their portfolio every year.

People sitting on a beach

In order to retire so early, many people pursuing FIRE look for ways to drastically cut expenses. They often prioritize frugality so they can invest 50% or more of their incomes.

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According to a recent survey, the average household income of users in the Financial Independence subreddit is $226,000 per year. Every week, they share ways they save money in a Frugal Friday post. Here are some of the top-rated tips from this year:

1."I cut my sponges in half. I'm so used to it now that a full-size sponge feels like overkill."

u/InSalehWeTrust

A man washing dishes
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2."I've been taking DoorDash trips in the direction I'm heading for longer drives to get my wife's fancy sourdough bread. Now, I can write off my mileage, and I can usually make enough to pay for the bread and entire trip."

u/Edmeyers01

A person delivering food
10'000 Hours / Getty Images

3."I'm big on yard sales, thrifting, and flipping the things I already have, and I use that money specifically to buy clothes and shoes. I hunt for high-quality, gently-used brands priced for a steal. For my birthday next month, I have a big bag of clothes and purses, and plan to turn it all in at my favorite thrift store for store credit. I can use that for a shopping spree in the store as a gift to myself!"

u/alexitam14

A woman shopping at a thrift store
Lechatnoir / Getty Images

4."It's our one-year anniversary today. I want to make people aware of a diamond alternative called moissanite. It's lab-grown and looks just as good, if not better than the real thing. Our engagement ring stone is about 1.5 carat size, which can cost $10k-25k depending on clarity. Our moissanite ring cost about $550 and was custom made to our liking."

u/YW55

A diamond ring
Richard Smochek / Getty Images/EyeEm

5."I belong to a Planet Fitness ($10 a month, plus yearly fee). I started bringing a gym bag and showering and shaving there to cut back on my water bill."

u/P_Cil

A shower room
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6."My local produce market often sells discounted bags of fruits and veggies that are past their prime. Last week, I got a huge bag of bananas for $3. I mushed up the squishiest ones to use in banana bread, and the rest I sliced up and froze for use in smoothies. This particular market runs Friday-Sunday, so if I go on Sunday afternoon, I can usually get some great deals, as long as I'm willing to do a little work chopping and freezing afterwards."

u/PizzaFi

Bananas
Mohd Nor Azmil Abdul Rahman / Getty Images/EyeEm

7."I never buy the latest model phone or computer. This year's $1,000 phone? It will be $300 in three years, and I'll buy it new then. It will still be a huge improvement on whatever I'm replacing, so it will make me happy. Staying three years behind tech is a great way to save money."

—Anonymous

A man using his phone
Poike / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8."Weather has been over 90 degrees all week, so I have been hang drying instead of using our dryer. Cost-wise, it's probably minimal, but it makes me feel good to give less money to the utility company, and being more eco-friendly is definitely a bonus!"

u/panda_monium2

A woman sorting laundry
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9."My girlfriend has a favorite restaurant but notoriously wouldn't be able to eat her whole meal. Now, whenever we go, we share the meal and get an appetizer. This has trickled into whenever we are eating out, we typically split the meal."

u/EliteYager

People sharing a meal
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10."I got an extra trash can and put it outside, so when it rains, I collect that natural water. In my area, it doesn't rain much. I then use this water as irrigation for my backyard. Saves on the water bill a little bit."

u/royhenderson771

A garbage can collecting water
Nikhil Patil / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11."Bar soap is better than body wash. I made the switch in college to bar soap. One bottle of body wash would last me about a month and cost $3-5. I can buy eight bars of soap for the same price, and it easily lasts me six-plus months."

u/CheeezyPotatoes

A bar of soap
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12."I answer Craigslist ads to participate in surveys. Sometimes, they are Zoom focus groups, which can last an hour or two (these are usually $100-200). Sometimes, they’re $5 Amazon gift card surveys. I use the money to buy essentials like soap, kitchen supplies, toothpaste, etc."

—Anonymous

A man on his laptop
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13."I enjoy the occasional frozen beverage such as a Slurpee or Icee. Unfortunately, the prices have increased such that a Slurpee is now $2.99 plus tax in my area. I've been buying the pre-sweetened Kool-Aid and Country Time lemonade mixes on sale for $0.99-1.49 and using a bit of that with water and crushed ice in a blender so I can get 20-plus drinks per mix."

u/SEA_tide

Slurpees
Tim Sloan / AFP via Getty Images

14."Ordering groceries for pickup vs. shopping in store saves me a few hundred a month on impulse purchases. Also, I leave my husband at home when I go to Costco. He has no self-discipline at Costco!"

u/Mrshaydee

Groceries on a countertop
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15."Online shopping tip: Install a chrome extension for reverse image searching and use it before you buy anything. Sometimes, things are sold on multiple online retailers at different prices. I just switched from buying a sofa on Wayfair to Target."

u/catjuggler

A woman laying on her sofa
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16."I've started slowing my acceleration and timing my coasting better, and I've improved my MPG by almost a full three MPG."

u/braiinfried

A man driving
Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61

17."We are three weeks in on eating through all the leftovers and extras in our fridge, freezer, and pantry. Other than a couple of fresh bits and pieces, we basically spent nothing on food this month. Looks like we've hit the end of the road for full meals, but next week, we're aiming to build our meals entirely around something we already have."

u/jka8888

A cabinet of food
Julnichols / Getty Images

18."My wife and I are mainly tea drinkers but will occasionally buy a fancy coffee drink to mix things up. In the last year, our local coffee shop has gotten just too expensive. We were at about $7 per drink with tip, which felt outrageous. So, I bought a little moka pot for $30 and started making drinks at home. I can use whatever kind of milk I want (almond, oat, coconut, or dairy) and sweeten it the perfect amount. I daresay the drinks are better, and the moka pot has already paid for itself.

"I heavily disagree with sentiment of 'stop buying fancy coffee, and you'll be able to buy a house, millennials.' But in our case, it definitely helps keep us within our eating out budget each week."

u/the_lemon_lobster

A couple drinking coffee
Ivanko_brnjakovic / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19."Looking first on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for any tools I need. As a first-time homeowner, I've saved well over $1,000 already on tools and probably thousands more doing work myself."

u/EliteYager

A man using power tools
Danchooalex / Getty Images

20."We only grocery shop once every two weeks. This has the result of better planning and less waste because you are forced to eat what you purchased without the safety net of just picking up something new in a few days. There is an Aldi on my spouse's route home from work, so on the rare occasion we need milk or bread out of cycle, we can get it, but that doesn't seem to happen very often."

u/jgatcomb

A person at the grocery store
Moyo Studio / Getty Images

21."This really depends on your area, but here, people live in small spaces and often get rid of stuff for cheap or free. Just taking a walk, sometimes you can find really good stuff in great condition. You leave something you don’t need anymore on the sidewalk, and it disappears to someone else’s home in 30 minutes. I grew up in this city, and almost our entire apartment was furnished in found items or neighbor discards.

"Today, we got super lucky; my husband was out on an errand and noticed a neighbor was getting rid of a fridge! We were actively shopping for a new one, since our current fridge is breaking. This found fridge is $1,000 new. We got it for free and got to know a neighbor a little better. A daily walk is good for your body, mind, AND wallet."

u/bahala_na-

A kitchen
Bogdanhoda / Getty Images/iStockphoto

22."If you have a bakery outlet near you and normally eat bread, see what their daily sales are and consider going on those days to save money. For example, in the Pacific Northwest, the Franz Bakery outlets mark all breads with upcoming dates (within six days for most products) for $1.25 on Saturdays, which includes a lot more expensive breads. Most of the breads freeze well, too. $1.25 is an especially good deal when a loaf of bread is $2-7 in stores, especially if one likes the organic breads."

u/SEA_tide

A bread display
Sergeyryzhov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

23."I called my internet provider to tell them I was thinking of switching unless they could give me a better rate. They just gave me 35% off per month. Not a huge amount, but it's nice to trim the budget a little."

u/DoctorFI_ER

A woman on a phone call
Peopleimages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

24."Fried rice is one of my favorite meals. The flavor-to-cost ratio is off the charts. The key to excellent fried rice is to refrigerate the white rice after cooking; I refrigerate it overnight at the minimum. This helps the rice firm up and keeps it from getting mushy. I'll typically make a large batch of white rice and use it through the week. Fresh rice for sushi, fridge-aged rice for frying. My typical recipe is simple: rice, eggs, onion, and carrot with soy sauce. Yummy every time."

u/wormeee

A bowl of fried rice
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25."Greeting cards are so stupidly overpriced, I can't even handle it. Instead, I bought a GIANT box of all occasion cards that has 100 unique cards for tons of occasions and some blank ones, assorted envelopes, a box with tab organizers, and a 'card planner' for about $20 on Amazon.

"Comes out to roughly 20 cents per card, not to mention the time saved shuffling through cards at the store. I always have cards on hand for last-minute things! I've had this box for about two years now, and I still have plenty. Haven't had to buy a card in a long time!"

u/dogfoodis

A woman writing a card
Antonio Suarez Vega / Getty Images/iStockphoto

26."I started using the app Too Good To Go more often. It lets the restaurant sell food it would normally throw away at the end of shifts. Great for trying new places. You can get some great deals, and it seems to help everyone. I recently got a baker's dozen of higher quality bagels from a local shop for $3.

"It's still pretty new and regional. Active in Boston, NYC, Austin, Philly, DC, Baltimore, and San Francisco from what I’ve been able to check."

u/ringring3

Bagels
Littleny / Getty Images/iStockphoto

27."My friends and I love going out to breakfast. However, it is costly, and the markup on some things is wild. We enacted 'Frugal Breakfast,' where we take turns cooking each other breakfast at our various homes. It's amazing. Also, it's a bonus with our young children because they can just play while their parents gab. There's definitely not much for young kids to do at a regular diner except actually eat. Highly recommend."

u/loveskittles

A person cooking eggs
Gmvozd / Getty Images

28.And finally, "I haven’t ordered takeout in over two years."

u/Plain_Chacalaca

Chinese takeout
Rez-art / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Do you have any money-saving tips? LMK in the comments below!

Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.