The ultimate act of frugality is to cut your spending on a particular category to zero. For many who enjoy living frugally, “free” is their favorite word. Despite the old saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”, there are definitely plenty of things you can get without spending a single penny.
Get Free Vegetables by Regrowing Scraps
Most people throw away the bits they cut off vegetables. Some go a little further and compost them, giving them free soil to use in their gardens. But it’s actually possible to take those scraps, and, with a little care, grow whole new vegetables that you can eat.
Obviously, you have to get some vegetables in the first place, but by regrowing them, you don’t need to buy them repeatedly.
The steps will vary for each plant, but typically, you will need to preserve the end where the roots are. This usually is the bit you cut off and throw away, but instead of putting it in the bin, you can place it in a little bit of water.
Spring (green) onions are a great example of this. A small shot glass, a sunny window, and a drop of water are all you need to regrow an onion. You don’t even need to plant it in soil.
Some other veggies are a little more complicated. Carrots, potatoes, and some herbs need to be planted in soil, while celery needs to start in water, before being transferred to soil.
Play Games for Free
Video gaming can be expensive. A console will set you back several hundred dollars, while most new games will cost an additional 60 bucks. Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy great quality video games without forking out any cash.
Many publishers are moving away from the traditional model of charging you upfront developing for free-to-play games where you can (optionally) pay for upgrades and extra features instead.
While the game developers would prefer you used these microtransaction features, you are under no obligation to do so. This means you can play many great titles, including Call of Duty, Mario Kart, and Fortnite for free.
There are free-to-play versions of games in just about every genre. It’s even possible to play casino games for free by using bonuses, although once your bonus runs out, you’ll have to spend real money.
Don’t Pay for Furniture, Upcycle for Free
A new sofa can set you back more than $1,000, an eye-watering sum of money. Tables, wardrobes, and beds can all command similar amounts too.
But with a bit of work, you can find second-hand furniture that’s being given away for free. Sites like Craigslist, Gumtree, and even Facebook can often be used to find people who are giving away old furniture.
Many online users give away big items like this because they’re moving house or have bought something new to replace it with. For them, the cost of having it removed is too high, while others don’t want to spend ages trying to sell it. Therefore, giving it away for free is the easier option.
If you’re taking furniture for free, you may need to put in a little work to restore it, either by cleaning it, repainting it, or patching up some holes. Nonetheless, with a little creativity, you can create a stylish piece that looks a lot more expensive than the $0 you paid for it.
It’s also possible to fashion other items into furniture. Turning pallets into sofas, tables and other furniture is a popular method.
Watch Movies and TV for Free
Cable is expensive. Many Americans pay more than $1000 a year for their TV packages, which is an undeniably sizable sum. Streaming services like Netflix have become much cheaper alternatives, costing around 10% of an average cable bill, and offering a range of licensed and original content including TV shows, movies, and even some live sport.
While cutting your TV bills by 90% is a great step, it’s possible to take this to the extreme, and get your content for free.
In the US, most streaming platforms offer a free trial of either 7 days or a month. Usually, there’s no obligation to start paying for the service after the trial. So you can cancel it, sign up for a different service, and enjoy their content for free during the trial.
If you do enough of these back to back, and throw in free streaming services like YouTube and Twitch, you could have several months of free TV, movies and live sport.