YouTube is currently the second largest search engine worldwide, ranked just below Google. It may be best known for cute cat videos and embarrassing viral bloopers, but if you’re looking for information on practically any subject, it’s safe to assume there’s a channel for it.
The trick with YouTube is finding worthwhile content. If you search “cheap makeup,” you’ll end up with 616,000 videos, which may or may not be what you’re looking for. One thing I’ve learned is that when you’re looking for information on a general topic, such as frugal lifestyle, it’s helpful to search by channel. You can then narrow down your options by diving deeper into the channels with the most followers or the niche subject you’re most interested in.
After a lot of YouTube searching, I discovered the following lifestyle-focused YouTube channels that should be on every frugal person’s subscribe list. Some of them are “how to” style channels, while others chronicle their own adventures for living a low-cost life.
Best Frugal Lifestyle Channels on YouTube
1. The Frugal Chef
Food pretty much tops my list of things I love, but eating healthy can cost a lot if you’re not careful. The Frugal Chef is a YouTube channel dedicated to helping you eat well without going broke. The channel is filled with cooking tips and easy recipes from Mary Ann, who teaches you to cook at home, with playlists for healthy meals, quick and easy recipes, and gluten-free cooking. There’s even a series of Spanish-language videos for non-English speakers.
I like to fancy myself a decent cook, but I’ll admit I make things up as I go. I really enjoyed watching the videos with tips for cooking quinoa like pasta and roasting garlic – two things I’d never tried before.
2. Pretty Frugal Living
When you’re looking for ways to “pretty up” your life on the cheap, turn to Amrita at Pretty Frugal Living. She offers great tips on everything from making inexpensive home decor, to making your own household cleaners. As an Indian-Canadian, Amrita also has an entire playlist dedicated to Indian-inspired cooking, where she uses spices such as cardamom and cumin to create frugal and delicious recipes.
Amrita’s videos are short, sweet, pretty, and to the point. I especially love her everyday frugal living tip video, where she shares an easy way to assess the value of any purchase to help you make better buying decisions.
3. The Frugal Crafter
If you’re into crafting, then you need to follow The Frugal Crafter. Lindsay Weirich has more than 700 videos on everything from painting to stamping and jewelry making to home decor. I was particularly taken with her video on making your own dog shampoo. Not only was the recipe quick and easy, the way she put it together would make it an awesome gift for any dog lovers in your life.
4. The Frugal Gardener
Do you think you can’t grow tropical produce because of the climate you live in? Think again. The Frugal Gardener lives in the northeastern United States, but her channel is dedicated to growing foods common to warmer or tropical climates, such as papaya, avocado, pineapple, and kiwi.
One thing that’s different about this YouTube channel is that The Frugal Gardener is essentially experimenting herself, so you can watch her videos to see how her projects are faring. For instance, when she experiments with growing ginger in containers, she shows off her six-month results – the ginger has grown and is usable, but it’s production is small and fairly limited given the length of time it took to grow.
In addition to her own adventures in planting and harvesting fruits and veggies, The Frugal Gardener also provides videos on cheap gardening projects, such as making plant ID markers and using biodegradable newspaper containers. Overall, it’s a good resource for the gardener who wants to see how other people’s projects go before undertaking their own.
5. The Frugal Stylist
If designer duds aren’t in your budget, you can learn to make the most from consignment shopping with help from The Frugal Stylist. Jana Coke teaches you how to dress for your figure, how to find great deals when consignment and budget shopping, and how to maintain the clothes you own. If you’re a guy, don’t worry – she also has a playlist specifically for The Stylish Man.
I personally appreciated her video on alternative ways to dry clean clothes at home, since I’m loathe to take clothing to the cleaners. And since I’m not the most feminine dresser, I also appreciated the video on how to gradually dress more feminine.
If you’re looking for realistic, everyday ways to save money, look no further than Hip2Save. The website and YouTube channel is run by mother of three, Collin Morgan. Morgan puts together fun and engaging videos that help you connect with her real-life systems for saving. Her videos welcome you into her world, opening you to her home and shopping habits, and making money-saving feel more doable.
I especially love how Collin “keeps it real” and records her real-life couponing excursions at major retailers like Target and Walmart. She also offers weekly videos highlighting her favorite deals, and provides easy tips to save money on school supplies, office supplies, and school lunches.
I spent a lot of time watching the videos on Hip2Save, and I can’t resist sharing a couple of my favorites. First, Collin’s video on saving money at Whole Foods was amazing. She had so many great tips for saving, but she also had some insider’s info on extra services you can receive at Whole Foods. For instance, if you’re unfamiliar with how a particular fruit or vegetable tastes, you can ask a produce clerk to let you sample it before you buy. Also, you can buy a whole chicken and ask the meat department to cut it up and wrap it for you to take home. This can save you money and time, since whole chickens are often less expensive than pieced chicken, and you don’t have to worry about slicing and dicing the meat once you get home.
7. Frugal Fitness TV
My background is in fitness, so I can truthfully say that just about any fitness-focused YouTube channel is going to be fairly frugal. If the instructor is certified and is leading you through workouts you can do at home, then you’re automatically saving money on gym memberships and personal training. The problem is that not everyone really knows how to make the most of at-home fitness with a frugal approach.
Mike Scheimer from Frugal Fitness TV dedicates his entire channel to getting and staying fit while on a budget. He offers extensive exercise tutorials, workouts, and nutrition tips that anyone can do at home with a minimum amount of equipment. The one thing that really sets his channel apart from other YouTube fitness channels are his “frugal fit tips.” These short videos provide the savvy consumer with ways to save money on gym memberships, workout clothes, and healthy foods.
Affordable family travel is a challenge for most – the costs of travel expenses, hotels, and group excursions can add up fast. On CheapFamilyTravel, you can watch and witness the real-life adventures of a family of six as they hit up popular locations across the United States.
While the videos don’t focus on inexpensive travel tips themselves, the family introduces viewers to a range of inexpensive locations, some of their favorites being Huntington Dog Beach in California, and the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado. The videos are narrated by the family’s four kids, introducing viewers to the locations they visit plus interesting facts and what about the location made it fun.
TheFrugaliciousShow includes tips and experiences from several different frugal women as they work to save money in their households. Since the focus is on women, you can find videos with tips on saving money on makeup, fashion, and entertaining, but also more general-interest topics, such as scoring deals on car repairs, technology, and travel.
Since I’m a novice at hosting parties, I was particularly interested in the quick video on hosting a holiday party for under $100. Granted, it didn’t include the cost of decorations, but was a great starting place for inexpensive food, drinks, and activities.
10. The Frugal Filmmaker
The Frugal Filmmaker may not be a YouTube channel for everyone, but it’s a great resource if you’re interested in videography of any kind – particularly for actual film production. Scott Eggleston, the owner of the channel breaks down tips for making DIY lighting, camera rigs, and audio. He has playlists titled “The $10 Budget” and “The $1 Budget” where he provides viewers with extremely low-cost product finds and production tips. If you’re interested in improving video quality without spending lots of money on cameras, lighting, or sound, Scott’s channel is the resource for you.
During my search for frugal YouTubers, I concentrated most of my energy on channels with a large following. Generally speaking, the cream rises to the top, and the best vloggers gain the biggest following. That said, you shouldn’t write off a smaller channel just because its subscriber base isn’t in the hundreds of thousands, or even the hundreds. Some channels with excellent content and personality are new, or simply haven’t gained extensive traction. If you find a video you enjoy, and the channel doesn’t have a big following yet, show some support and go ahead and subscribe, especially if the vlogger focuses on a topic you’re interested in.
Are there any frugal lifestyle YouTube channels you love? Which ones do you follow regularly?