52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Surround Yourself With Frugal Friends {Week 8}

At the beginning of every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.

A few of my frugal friends: Ruth from Living Well Spending Less, yours truly, Rachel from Surviving the Stores, and Ashley from Ambient Promotions.

I was being interviewed for a magazine article this afternoon and one of the questions the interviewer asked was, “What are some of your top tips for families who want to cut their budget?”

After going through the usual suggestions I give (things like setting financial goals, getting on a budget, etc.), I said, “I think it’s also important that you surround yourself with frugal friends.” While this isn’t necessarily the usual financial advice you receive, more and more, I’m beginning to believe that it’s a key factor in helping people stay motivated and on track financially.

Why You Need Frugal Friends

Think about it: if everyone you associate with it spending money pretty extravagantly and telling you that you “deserve” this, that, and the other — even if you can’t afford it — it’s going to be hard to stick with your resolve to live frugally. On the other hand, if many of your friends are living frugally and simply, if they are content and totally “get” you when talk about buying something secondhand or saving up to pay cash for things, it will be a lot easier to keep on your slow and steady journey toward debt-freedom or achieving your other financial goals.

In addition, when you hang out with frugal friends, you are inspired with new money-saving ideas, you are motivated to not give up, and you can laugh at all the crazy things you do in order to stay on budget.

It’s much more fun when you don’t go it alone. That’s why I encourage everyone who wants to live frugally to start an official Frugal Club or at least find a great gang of frugal friends that you can brown-bag your lunches with.

Some of the ways you can save money by having frugal friends:

1. You’ll Be Able to Swap Skills

Your frugal friends will more than likely be glad to barter skills and talents. It saves everyone money — and it saves you all a lot of frustration, too.

Your frugal friends might also be interested in having regular swap parties where you swap clothes or toys your kids no longer need or even items you got for free with coupons.

2. You’ll Learn New Skills and Money-Saving Tactics

Your frugal friends will teach you new money-saving skills and techniques you would have never thought of or tried on your own. Pretty much every frugal idea I know of is something I’ve learned from another frugal friend.

In addition, my frugal friends have challenged me to try things I probably wouldn’t have tried on my own — like making homemade soap!

3. You’ll Stay Inspired

Whenever you’re feeling burnt out on sticking with a budget, just call or email one of your frugal friends and she’ll be sure to listen and then remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing — and that it will be worth it.

4. You’ll Have Fun

It’s a lot more fun to save money when you’re among friends who are also committed to living frugally. Plus, they’ll laugh at your crazy thrift store experiences or used car adventures.

Don’t Have Any Frugal Friends? Don’t Despair!

If you don’t know a single frugal friend, don’t despair. Start looking for them at your local library, mom’s groups, church, thrift store, used book sale, or gardening club. You just never know where you’ll find an amazing frugal friend, but if you keep your eyes open, I promise there are some other frugal folks who live in your area!

In the mean time, read money-saving books and blogs to help you stay motivated and inspired. They aren’t the same as real-life friends, but they will still help you stay motivated. And if you have trouble finding local friends, see if you can find some good accountability partners online — maybe even people that you meet in the comments section here on MoneySavingMom.com.

Do you have frugal friends? Tell us what you’ve learned from your frugal friendships and your best tips for finding frugal friends.

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Other posts in the 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year series

  1. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Bake Your Own Bread (Week #1)
  2. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Make Your Own Coffee at Home (Week #2)
  3. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Cable Package {Week 3}
  4. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Order Prescription Glasses Online {Week 4}
  5. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Cleaners {Week 5}
  6. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Mixes {Week 6}
  7. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become a One-Car Family {Week 7}
  8. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Surround Yourself With Frugal Friends {Week 8}
  9. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Eliminate Disposable Products {Week 9}
  10. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Cut Your Own Hair {Week 10}
  11. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Use Cloth Diapers {Week 11}
  12. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become Best Friends With Your Freezer {Week 12}
  13. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Rent Movies for FREE {Week 13}
  14. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Ask for a Discount {Week 14}
  15. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cancel Your Gym Membership {Week 15}
  16. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Get the Best Bang for Your Buck at Yard Sales {Week 16}
  17. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Grow Some Of Your Food {Week 17}
  18. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cut Back on the Soda Pop Habit {Week 18}
  19. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Buy in Bulk {Week 19}
  20. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Price-Match at Walmart {Week 20}
  21. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Landline {Week 21}
  22. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Refinance Your Mortgage {Week 22}
  23. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Follow a Local Deal Blogger {Week 23}
  24. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Coupon Database {Week 24}
  25. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Plan a Weekly Menu {Week 25}
  26. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Strategically Use Daily Deal Sites {Week 26}
  27. 52 Different Ways to Save At Least $100 Per Year: Shop at Aldi {Week 27}
  28. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Books {Week 28)
  29. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Clothing {Week 29}
  30. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop With Cash {Week 30}
  31. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat Less Meat {Week 31}
  32. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Is this really a good deal? {Week 32}
  33. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: 3 Ways to Save on Online Orders {Week 33}
  34. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Turn Your Clutter Into Cash {Week 34}
  35. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get Organized {Week 35}
  36. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Have an All-Cash Christmas {Week 36}
  37. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Sign Up for Swagbucks {Week 37}
  38. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Cut Your Fuel Costs {Week 38}
  39. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Frequent the Library {Week 39}
  40. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Simplify Birthday Parties {Week 40}
  41. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Brown Bag It {Week 41}
  42. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Snacks {Week 42}
  43. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Programmable Thermostat {Week 43}
  44. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Limit Eating Out {Week 44}
  45. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get a Bang for Your Buck on Travel Expenses {Week 45}
  46. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Don't Pay For Pre-Made Baby Food {Week 46}
  47. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat More Beans {Week 47}
  48. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Homemade Cards {Week 48}
  49. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop At More Than One Store {Week 49}
  50. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat From the Pantry {Week 50}
  51. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Stay Home More {Week 51}
  52. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Develop Contentment {Week 52}

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Comments

  1. Carole says

    I think this is a very important point. In the book “Little Women” which was written many years ago, Meg learned she spent too much trying to keep up with richer friends. Nowadays maybe the friends aren’t richer, but they might not mind having a lot of debt.

  2. Cris says

    That is so true, especially in the way society is nowadays. You are constantly reminded of all the things you need to do or have in order to be happy. I wish I had close frugal friends like you do! I feel like I’m constantly trying to share my frugal ways with others without being asked. Haha… at least I know I’ve made a little impact on people at work because they always come tell me “you would have been proud of me if you heard the deal I got!”

      • says

        Okay, can I just say how fun it is to read through a post on Crystal’s site and check the comments and find two of my friends from different seasons of my life commenting?

        And I totally didn’t realize that you and Tiffany would know each other, but that makes sense now that I think about it! :)

        And I love you too! I hope your sweet family is doing well!

    • says

      Love you too Tiff!

      I’ve so enjoyed watching your amazing story with sweet Hazel! Hopefully we’ll get to see you guys this year (maybe at the Easter Egg Hunt?) and meet your newest addition. :)

  3. says

    I absolutely believe this is true! I love my frugal friends and we do have so much fun together! We swap coupons, ideas, meals, sitting services, books, etc. We inspire each other to try new things on this frugal path. Most of us are 100% SAHMs, while a few of us work part time outside the home. But we are all committed to keeping our family first priority and being frugal is really a necessity for all of us. :~)

    *I think we are all avid followers of your blog…so keep the ideas comin’! :~)

    • J says

      Crystal, you are my frugal friend. You absolutely pegged this one, I have been told far too many times by others that what we do to save money is not worth it to them. Well, we are not the ones that have credit card debt, struggling to stay a float (getting a bit harder in this economy) and or pay our bills on time. Just saying.

      • Bo says

        No kidding! Last week I was told by my Target cashier that my couponing was a waste of time. Meanwhile I spent 15 and got 60$ worth of items we needed. Guess it is just a mindset. First thing I thought was that he very well might be a credit card debt kind of guy. Sad.

  4. Jill says

    I definitely agree! At work I used to get talked into going out to lunch at least 3 times per week, and I was never good at saying no. I found out there was a group at my work that goes out and runs 3 miles during lunch, so I started joining them! Now I exercise during my lunch break everyday and pack my lunch to eat at my desk afterward. Saves a LOT of money and I feel a whole lot better too :)

    • Jill says

      Oh yeah, and the whole “frugal friends” comes in because it’s a lot easier to stick to the exercise and packed lunch everyday knowing that my running group will give me a hard time if I don’t!

  5. Kimber says

    I love this! I’ve found it’s easy to post on Facebook, “I have a yummy recipe I want to try out. Anyone want to come over for a play date tomorrow?” I did it once with soft pretzels, and once with chocolate covered strawberries. Both times we had a great time and the cost was very low. I even posted recently that my kids had a new movie, and did anyone want to come eat popcorn and watch it with us? It was so fun! Even if your friends aren’t frugal or you feel embarrassed about being cheap, an approach like that isn’t weird or intimidating – just a great opportunity for everyone to get together and have fun.

    • Lana says

      We are empty nesters so we don’t do play dates but I often post early in the week that we are playing dominoes and having dessert on Saturday night and we have a great time with whoever wants to come over.

  6. says

    True.. a set of friends with same goal influence each other in great way. Sometimes we miss to find a similar set up, but there is always a way to motive oneself through self-help books.

    Also, forums and blogs are great of finding good friends.

  7. Angie says

    Yes, totally agree. Almost two years ago we moved to for my husband to get his law degree. I love the women I have met at my church but most of them live well “above” our lifestyle. I have always embraced a fairly simple lifestyle but being around these friends has been tough at times. I never feel pressured to spend money but sometimes it is just hard to relate, especially in group conversations about vacations, preschool choice, restaurants, etc.

  8. says

    This made me smile, because just this afternoon I got a phone call from a friend. She was at Kroger and she wanted to tell me she’d just scored boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $0.96/lb. She said they had a few cases of them that they were trying to get rid of before the 27th and she had told them that if she could get them down to $0.96/lb (they were originally $1.46) then she’d call all her friends and we’d take care of them. Guess whose got a bunch of cheap chicken in her freezer right now? Me! Thanks to my frugal friend (who knew I’d appreciate a good deal too). :-)

  9. Carla says

    I feel like I am the only one in my church that is frugally minded like I am. I am, out of dire necessity, but I think if I had more money my mindset would still remain the same. I could do much better, too. One person would be great in my circle of friends! My daughter who is married and I often talk of our frugal finds, recipes, etc. I am blessed with that!

    • Kimber says

      Something my friends and I do sometimes is get together and make a treat. Frugal and non-frugal people alike enjoy doing that. Something like homemade soft pretzels is inexpensive, and several people can help prepare the food, then enjoy eating it together. It makes for a very nice afternoon. Maybe you can start initiating activities like that and letting your frugal light shine. :o)

  10. says

    I agree! It’s great when you can be honest with friends and say, we’ve used our eating out budget for the month, can we just cook dinner at home? This year at Christmas I was determined not to do all the extra things… secret santas, ornament exchanges, etc. It was really nice when people were understanding!

  11. Jessica says

    I find that this can be a doubled edge sword because my frugal friends can be judgmental about some of the things I splurge on. Each of us has different priorities. I find myself justifying my spending and choice more and more, particularly since I completed my education and took a job that netted me a $13k/yr pay raise.

    One example: I recently purchased a new designer hand bag for $80 (retailed for $286). Knowing myself, unless something happens to it, I will carry it for 2+ years before I even think about a new one (it replaced one that was 2.5 years old. Frugal friends have made comments about how they just wouldn’t spend that kinda money on a bag. But then they knock my thrift store shopping for clothing.

    Does anyone else have this problem?

    • says

      Jessica, I was thinking about this earlier tonight.

      I think one of the blessings of “living like no one else”, as Dave Ramsey says, is that it can allow you to enjoy the things you really want. I think it’s great that you bought the purse you really wanted, and got it for a great price, too. We all have different wants and needs, and tastes. We don’t all spend our money on the same thing.

      I think it’s great! You just have to remember that for your friends, they might look for great clothes deals and get them for just a few dollars, while you’ll wear thrift store clothes and buy the purse instead. The hardest part is accepting one another’s differences on what items are worth buying and which ones aren’t, and still encouraging one another to be frugal.

    • Teresa says

      I think we all go through this sometimes. I had a friend who was having a hard time because some of her other friends kept posting pictures of all these great vacations they had been on. What she failed to realize is that she splurged in other areas of her life that were more important to her. Each of us has different things that we value. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of that. I would not buy the same things as other people but I did choose to spend more for our house because I wanted to live in an area where I felt safe and had good schools. I then had to cut in other areas to compensate. Just take what your friends have said as a reminder to make sure you don’t do the same thing if they choose something different than we would.

  12. says

    Even if you don’t have friends who are local who are frugally minded, you may be able to find others online. I made a great friend because of Frugal Friday (which Crystal hosted years back). I had read her blog a few times and she had read my website, and emailed me with a question. We ended up becoming good friends, and she has been a great blessing to me.

    Now that I’ve added a blog to my website, I’ve often read reader’s comments about how happy they are to read what others are doing each week to save money, because it gives them ideas and encourages them, and they don’t always have that kind of encouragement locally. Everyone shares what she has done to save money, and all of us, myself included, are learning from one another.

    So, even if you don’t know anyone near you who isn’t interested in living frugally, you can find others online (blogs and frugal forums), who can rejoice with you in your frugality and encourage you with new ideas!

    • Charity says

      I agree with this! I don’t really have any friends in person, neither does my husband. We just don’t know people that live the lifestyle we do and we’re still new to the area we live in. Finding like minded women and families via the Internet has been a tremendous encouragement to me! (I kinda this of you and Crystal of friends even though I may never meet you in person, and you don’t know me from Adam!)

      • Kimber says

        Charity – I talk about Money Saving Mom and The Prudent Homemaker in casual conversation with my husband, just like I would if I actually knew them. :o) I admire both bloggers and the choices they make, and they are both very encouraging to me. I think it’s great to have people we can look up to online!

  13. ksenia says

    Absolutely true! Also, our “happy go lucky” friends who we love often invite us to do things that cost a significant amount of money. We hate turning them down all the time because we want to maintain their friendship and love hanging out with them.

  14. Katm says

    I do sometimes get the WOW you would be proud of me by my coworkers I saved by doing this or trying that. We work in retail they do not use coupons, so I took them, put them on the breakroom table so they could cut and take what they wanted. They would not help themselves. Took our local ads with matched and cut coupons, still no. They can not be bothered. So I stopped. Well my husband lost his job after 30 years. He had a great wage, and all the benifits. His plant closed, the only job he had ever had, he had worked up to a sup. He was out of work 3 months he took a job at $10 an hour for the insurance. Guess what? We are doing good no doing GREAT. We have always lived below are wages. We own 2 homes our cars and have savings and so much more yet they whine and gripe what they don’t have except bills. I do so very much enjoy my few frugal friends.

  15. Jennifer brown says

    I have only a few people I talk to on a normal basis and what I would consider to be friends. None of which are frugal. We go to a large church, but it is in a richer town, and everyone seems to be friends with each other and have no room for newbies (even though we have been members for over a year). I wish there was a place to meet frugal minded people online. I would love to have atleast 1 email frugal minded friend.

    My email is jrb1012 @ gmail.com. Without spaces, if anyone would like a new penpal friend.

    • Katy says

      Family, too. Only you cant choose them. My husband’s family, especially his parents, always encourage buying what we want. My mother-in-law literally scoffs at me when I say I can save $ by hanging out the laundry.

      • Charity says

        My mother in law is the same way! I stay at home with our four littles (soon to be five) and she is constantly telling me I need to get a job. Not sure what she thinks I’m doing all day, but, oh well. I just smile each time she says it because clearly she just doesn’t “get it”.

  16. Meredith says

    I would love to have more frugal friends. My husband and I are simpletons but my family members are far from it. Since that is who I associate with mostly, that’s who I am around. Since they have high income jobs, I am always in the pristine home, eating out at a nice restaurant, and being encouraged to buy something because I deserve it. We are at the point where we can do things for ourselves, but I am still a stay at home mom and we still need to be frugal. I just have to always pick and choose my money battles. A frugal circle would be great. I would love some ideas on how to deal with these issues.

    • Sherri says

      I think you said it yourself- pick and choose your battles. Someone can encourage you to buy things, but they can’t make you do it. You can so no to pricey restaurants. We did- and the family survived. FIL celebrated his b-day at a restaurant, which cost us $85 to attend. It was his 80th, so we chose to go along despite the cost. Two months later MIL decided she wanted to go out to eat for her birthday. Her restaurant choice was slightly more expensive, so we said no, but offered to help pay for her meal. Then someone changed the restaurant so it would be cheaper- to the same one that FIL’s dinner was at! We still said no, visited her earlier in the day with a card and a pie, and she enjoyed it. Other family members also did not attend. MIL got over it.

  17. Amanda says

    I know this is not really related but I have to share this!! So as I am reading this when my 2 year old son gets all excited saying “That’s mommy’s book!” as he points to the binding of the money saving mom’s budget book in the picture above. I just think it is funny that he could point it out like that! Your book is great, I guess he has seen me reading it a few times!

  18. Stephanie says

    It is also great because it gives you people to hang out with. We very rarely go out because between the cost of doing something and hiring a babysitter, it just is too much money, but we often (Most weekends) have friends over for a simple dinner (homemade pizza and salad is common) and play games or visit.

  19. says

    I completely agree on this. Frugal friends will want to get together and catch up over some nice homemade lattes at the park, not go out to for dinner and drinks! It’s hard to say no and sit at home when your non-frugal friends are out having a blast. I love swapping frugal tips and sharing coupons. I’m hoping to get together my own frugal club this summer!

  20. says

    This is so true. I have some great friends that are quite a bit older than me and have a lot more money. I definitely find myself getting into the trap of enjoying their type of vacations, meals out, etc. It’s really easy to completely blow the budget with just a few meals out. I need to get better about distinguishing between what I really need, and peer pressure.

  21. Christie says

    Every year, our home school support group has a “Frugal Tips” night. All the moms come prepared to share their best tips for saving money and living frugally– tips from the expected ‘use coupons’ and ‘get rid of cable’ to recipes for homemade cleaning supplies and baked goods to ideas for different phone options. Some years, a few of us also save up the free (samples or free after coupon) items from our stockpiles, and each mom gets a bag of goodies to take home! We have found that it’s a great way to encourage one another to keep going!

  22. says

    If Crystal thinks I’m frugal it must be true! We can ignore the fact that I just asked my husband if I could go ahead and buy that expensive mixer that I’ve had my eye on ;)

  23. says

    Hey!! I thought I spotted Ruth in the photo. I’ve been following her for sometime now on youtube, watching her publix videos. I don’t even have a Publix nearby. lol I just like how she shops in the store and explains the use of coupons. Great post!

  24. says

    This totally is in alignment with what my sister in law and I have done. Even though we live a thousand miles apart, we motivate each other to use coupons and live thriftier. We even started a blog together to keep us on track and document our successes and failures. Thanks for the motivation!

  25. Kara says

    I love this post. I have been trying so hard to make friends in my new town. It has been hard just meeting people because my church is small and there aren’t many people mine and my husband’s age. Plus, living frugally makes it difficult to join lots of activities since many are expensive. I’ve tried to find some clubs or something to join in my area, but it is just hard! Also, not having children limits this as well. I have found many groups that meet often like at the library and things, but they all involved bringing your children. I wish there was a forum or something that wasn’t creepy to meet friends haha I don’t even live in a small town, so I am thankful for that because I can’t imagine how difficult that would be. I am going to keep on trying and hopefully after reading this post I will just see more and more frugal friends to make :) I always feel like after I read something it pops up everywhere so I will pray that happens here too! haha

  26. Jill says

    This is so true! We have an issue of family get togethers being expensive bc my husbands side of the family always wants to go out to eat for family bdays etc. the most recent invitation would likely end up costing us $150 (a small gift for each bday person, an expensive meal for each my husband and I (the place they chose is very pricey) ) and a babysitter for our young children. Thankfully we won’t be able to go bc my husband has to work, but any suggestions on dealing w that would be appreciated. We hate to be party poopers all the time!

    • says

      I wish you’d been there to make it into the picture the day we took this. Somehow I don’t think I made it home with one single picture of you. :(