7 Frugal Habits Clark Howard Swears By

Clark Howard / Clark.com
Clark Howard / Clark.com

Clark Howard is a well-known consumer advocate and money expert. He hosts The Clark Howard Podcast, which has over 2 million monthly downloads. The best-selling author regularly promotes living a frugal lifestyle in order to find financial independence.

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His straightforward advice has gained the attention of countless people hoping to get out of the vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck or neverending debt. While some view his tips as extreme frugality, others see them as easy-to-follow, no-nonsense advice that can help everyday people discover financial freedom.

Here are seven frugal habits Howard swears by, according to his blog.

Also from Howard: Three saving habits that can make you rich.

Don’t Be Fooled by Fake Deals

Followers of Howard know not to be fooled by gimmicks and deals. In a recent blog post, “5 of Clark Howard’s Most Extreme Frugal Hacks,” the Clark.com staff noted that the money expert has no problem buying two cheeseburgers and putting them together if it is less expensive than buying a double cheeseburger.

He also doesn’t fall for “buy more” deals that allege to save money, giving the example of a five for $5 hamburger deal that actually would have cost him more than buying each burger individually.

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Don’t Pay For Pricey Workouts

In “5 Frugal Activities that Align with the Habits of the Wealthy,” Howard advocates foregoing expensive gym memberships or pricey workout classes. Instead, he recommends that his followers take advantage of free or low-cost workouts. A quick YouTube search can provide you with all the motivation you need to squeeze in a 30-minute workout without the financial burden.

Get More Use Out of ‘Disposable’ Products

Howard famously discussed how he would make a “disposable” razor last for up to a year after finding out from a listener that the blade would last longer by simply drying it after each use. While he now uses an electric razor, Howard would proudly talk about his long-time use of single-use or near single-use products.

Shop Around For the Best Flight Deals

One of Howard’s most talked about ways to save is by shopping around for cheap flights. He says, “I don’t pick a destination that I have to go to. I wait for a deal somewhere, buy the deal and then figure out why I want to go there.” This philosophy has allowed him to travel throughout the U.S. and around the world. To find these deals, he uses sites like Kayak Explore, which allows you to enter your budget, duration and type of trip.

When asked if he would ever stop being frugal, he admitted that his wife encouraged him to upgrade his hotel accommodations, but he refused to give up searching for deep discounts on flights. He is quoted in the blog as saying, “As far as cheapest flights, I mean, that’s who I am. I’m gonna do the cheapest flights.”

Pack Smarter

In addition to deal-finding missions, Howard also saves big when it comes to baggage fees. He tries to fly only with a carry-on to avoid checked baggage fees at the airport. He also opts for airlines that allow one free carry-on to ensure he isn’t paying extra on his trip. The author admits that on an extended trip to Europe he once wore multiple layers on the plane to keep his carry-on bag under weight.

Find Cheaper Eyewear

Without a doubt, prescription eyewear is pricey. Designer frames can cost between $200 and $400 and that’s not including lenses. Unfortunately, insurance may only cover a small percentage of these costs, leaving the average consumer paying out of pocket for their glasses.

Howard advises against this pricey payout. He recommends sourcing out more affordable eyewear through websites like ZenniOptical.com. At Zenni Optical, you can find prescription glasses starting at $6.95 with shipping under $5.00.

Use Coupons Whenever Possible

Another super-saver tip from Howard is to use coupons whenever possible. He explains that contrary to popular belief, the rich aren’t afraid to bust out coupons in order to save money. Now, it is easier than ever to score the deepest discounts at retail locations and online stores. Some websites will even do all the work for you, searching the internet for savings and automatically applying them to your cart.

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