r/Frugal 10d ago All-Seeing Upvote 1

What common frugal tip is NOT worth it, in your opinion? Discussion 💬

I’m sure we are all familiar with the frugal tips listed on any “frugal tips” list…such as don’t buy Starbucks, wash on cold/air dry your laundry, bar soap vs. body wash etc. What tip is NOT worth the time or savings, in your opinion? Any tips that you’re just unwilling to follow? Like turning off the water in the shower when you’re soaping up? I just can’t bring myself to do that one…

Edit: Wow! Thank you everyone for your responses! I’m really looking forward to reading through them. We made it to the front page! 🙂

Edit #2: It seems that the most common “not worth it” tips are: Shopping at a warehouse club if there isn’t one near your location, driving farther for cheaper gas, buying cheap tires/shoes/mattresses/coffee/toilet paper, washing laundry with cold water, not owning a pet or having hobbies to save money, and reusing certain disposable products such as zip lock baggies. The most controversial responses seem to be not flushing (“if it’s yellow let it mellow”) the showering tips such as turning off the water, and saving money vs. earning more money. Thank you to everyone for your responses!

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u/Mr_Fraunces 10d ago

Making your own laundry detergent. It's only worth it to make it in large quantities but then you have to store it somewhere.

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u/SmokeGSU 10d ago

Someone mentioned that in the past and I took a few minutes to do some quick math. I couldn't find how it would be more economical to make your own versus just buying the brand stuff as needed, and especially if you're needing to order some of the supplies online and have to factor in shipping costs.

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u/TragedyPornFamilyVid 9d ago

A friend makes her own detergent every 6 months. She did the math to show how inexpensive it is. I did the math and discovered it's cheaper when I buy detergent at Costco.

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u/Bananapanda123 9d ago

Costco is definitely the way to go.

The most frugal thing I’ve ever done with laundry is realize that most people use way more detergent than necessary. If you scale back to the recommended amount for the size of load you’re washing, it really stretches!

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u/Fun-Raspberry-1270 9d ago

I have had a Costco membership for like 3 yrs and have a big family I have never got anything there that I was unhappy with and I save enough money on the cash back it pays for my membership the next year.

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u/Ascholay 10d ago

I know plenty of soap makers who make their own. But that's the thing, they already make soap.

Easy to find a bar of soap to grate if you made 60 of them yesterday, plus you can formulate that soap exactly for laundry purposes. Easy to find washing soda if you need it for a different recipe or buy in bulk because you're soap making is your job. Easy to buy items on sale if you're already looking at the websites that sell the items (and sent you a discount code/flyer because you're on the mailing list to begin with)

(Before soap makers come after me, I know washing soda is a very specific ingredient that isn't in most soap recipes)

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u/SmokeGSU 10d ago

Exactly. I'm armchairing this, but I feel like if you're buying enough raw materials to offset the costs of one-off making soap, or simply breaking even, then you may as well just be doing it as a side hustle and selling it at the local farmer's market.

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u/bulelainwen 10d ago

The homemade laundry detergent is harsh on your clothes too. I’d rather buy my detergent and have my clothes last longer. Plus people use too much detergent. You only need to use 2 tablespoons.

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u/skintasachurchmouse 10d ago

It also ruins the washing machine.

Ask me how i know :/

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u/alexandercecil 9d ago

Thank you for sharing this! Homemade laundry detergent is awful for modern washing machines. Using less water is a real challenge in getting clothes clean, and the machine makers needed to make many assumptions in their design to meet water use regulations and also produce clean clothes.

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u/Stunning-Bind-8777 9d ago

and it's not a detergent technically. It's a soap, which as you mentioned, is not what the machine makers had in mind as the cleaning agent being used. If you're hand scrubbing your clothes on a washboard I'm sure it's fine, but it's not for a machine.

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u/JustaRandomOldGuy 10d ago

Like toothpaste, the commercials show three giant swirls on the toothbrush. You need an amount the size of a pea.

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u/ECrispy 10d ago

Make your own bread, yes.

Make your own flour, no.

Make your own detergent, hell no.

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u/kilinrax 10d ago

Flashbacks to the time I tried to make Tahini. Absolutely not worth the hassle

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u/cutleryjam 10d ago

Hummus? Yes! Tahini? ....no

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u/briannana13 10d ago

I use powder tide and only use 2 tablespoons as recommended by many repair techs. I was getting low in my container so I bought a new box back in august. I just opened the new box last week. I only do laundry for one person but it’s way cheaper and way less stress to just buy the detergent than try to make it and risk is not cleaning my clothes

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u/Comfortable_Day2971 9d ago

I do cloth diapers in soft water and use less than that and my diapers are clean. It always amazes me! I do think that Tide is a really good detergent but other ones you need more - I've tried other detergents for diapers and needed quite a bit more to get stuff clean but then it wouldn't rinse out.

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u/lifeuncommon 10d ago

And very harsh on your clothing, and your washing machine and plumbing.

One batch of laundry soap that everybody raves about faded all of my knits.

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u/teamlie 10d ago

I was gonna say “making your own XYZ” chemical thing. I’ve made my own soap, cologne, and laundry detergents. None of them compare to the store bought things. I don’t have the time to improve my homemade laundry recipe. And that’s the reason I’m buying from Tide in the first place- they have the resources to make a great product.

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u/Izhyf 9d ago

Things like soap are technologies that have had hundreds, if not thousands of years to perfect. Does someone honestly think they can out do that level of efficiency in their kitchen?

I doubt it.

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u/zeebyj 10d ago

Avoiding hobbies. Life is too short and many hobbies are pretty affordable.

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u/cwtguy 10d ago

And not even looking at costs, hobbies open up the doors to friends, relationships, learned skills, etc. not to mention the joy and relaxation (or rush if you're into that) they give you.

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u/kinkardine 10d ago

True the quality of life.

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u/t3a-nano 10d ago

My manager at my first software job told me the reason he hired me.

When every other candidate was asked what they do in their free time, they all said "coding projects"

I point-blank said "Dirtbiking"

Turns out he was a good ol' boy who'd like working with a well rounded dude.

That job paid better than any other job I was offered, and taught me everything I needed to know to get a 50% pay increase at my next job 2 years later.

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u/bertboxer 9d ago

i was hired years ago for an office job and the local vp was my last interview. the other interviews were all focused around the job itself but the vp asked 'what is something not job-related that you are particularly good at and enjoy?'. i told a grizzly white army vet in his 50s that i was a beatboxer and explained what beatboxing is and where it came from, he thought it was really interesting and i got the job.

the following year, the company was hosting a christmas party in atlantic city for all the east coast offices and put everyone up at a hotel. there was a dinner where spouses were invited but there was a big meeting earlier that afternoon for just the employees to present the different projects everyone had been working on. our vp had asked me the week beforehand to write a rap for him to end our office's presentation and brought me up to beatbox for him in front of a few hundred people. everyone thought it was great and i got a particularly nice christmas bonus that year

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u/maltmilkbiccy 9d ago

I know this is wholesome and shit but, if I was at a work thing and people started rapping I would need the ground to swallow me the fuck up

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u/bertboxer 9d ago

oh it was entirely tongue in cheek haha. he was a super no-nonsense sort of guy and it sounded like ben stein rapping like 90s will smith so people were cracking up. my proudest moment was that his last name rhymed with tonic so the last line was "so have a very merry christmas and a happy hanukkah from the federal team and me, ___ tonick-a".

my most well-earned christmas bonus i've ever had

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u/GupGup 9d ago

This is what I told the undergrad interns at my last job. If their resume is just, Chemistry classes, and chemistry research, and chemistry internships, and chemistry fraternity, and chemistry RSOs, they're going to be identical to every other applicant. Have something on there that's purely for your own joy and interest to be unique to the interviewer. Perform in a play, or join the ballroom dancing club, or have a minor in horticulture.

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u/thrilldigger 9d ago

SWE manager here, I'd do the same. Coding on weekends means you're probably burning yourself out. Obsessing with hiring devs who code in their free time is myopic - and promotes a toxic work atmosphere.

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u/itamer 9d ago

As a self taught developer it’s the hours I put in on useful (mostly) projects that made me employable.

I did however get the what are your interests at one interview. I had little kids at the time so I asked if they wanted to know what I had time for or what I wish I had time for.

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u/djdogood 10d ago

This. I recently made a jump in industries (human services to logistics). My boss essentially hired me because i was able to talk about fishing and paintball with him during the interview.

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u/BJntheRV 10d ago

Hobbies have probably the best roi of any expense when you really think about it.

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u/actuallycallie 9d ago

Right. I make some of my own clothes. Is it cheaper overall? No. But I got an activity to enjoy for however long it takes to make (days, weeks, depending) and when I'm done I have something (hopefully quality) to wear! Then I have the fun of saying "I made it and look it has pockets!" repeatedly 🤣

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u/BJntheRV 9d ago

It's worth it just for the pockets! 😂

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u/dmbf 10d ago

Hobbies are THE reason to be frugal in other areas. I’ll line dry in the warmer months and buy thrift clothes if it means more luxurious yarn or buying stupid shit my kids love.

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u/The_Real_Scrotus 10d ago

Ditto. The main reason I watch my spending on most things is so I don't have to watch my spending on scuba gear and RPG books.

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u/qqererer 9d ago

Scuba gear is something you don't skimp on.

This is the best chuckle I'll have today.

Even fits the trope of "Shoes, tires, mattresses, anything that separates you from the ground."

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u/PedanticBoutBaseball 9d ago

"Anything that separates you from the cold, unforgiving dangers that lurk that far under the sea" just doesn't roll of the tongue quite the same way.

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u/Boomer_Boofer 10d ago

Also, you can always make more money. Can't make more time.

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u/Chemical_Move_9951 10d ago

Especially if you are single/live alone. I will do/buy anything for that moments of happiness and simple pleasures (my hobbies).

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u/Alex_4209 10d ago

Selecting a hobby within your budget is good advice though. I do archery, which can cost very little if you stick to a recurve bow and don’t lose or break arrows regularly. $2-5 per trip to the range where I live. Skiing, on the other hand, costs a kidney and a half per season.

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u/beekaybeegirl 10d ago

All these DIY recipes for soap/chapstick/bath bombs/deodorant.

Nah y’all. Supplies have a high start up cost & then go bad faster than most people can practically use them. Just buy 1-2 bars from a farm market from a maker who cycles it enough & keeps it up enough.

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u/WomenAreFemaleWhat 9d ago

Bath bombs are usually cheaper. I went through a phase where I was making them. They are generally crazy marked up. Kind of crazy when they are so easy to make. The startup wasn't bad at all- especially if you forgo pigment. Easy to make small batches.

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u/_angry_cat_ 10d ago

This is definitely a case by case basis, but buying in bulk, especially if you don’t have a big family. I used to buy a lot of stuff in bulk because it’s “cheaper per unit,” only to find that I couldn’t finish it in time and would throw some of it out. There are a lot of things, like shelf stable or frozen products, that this doesn’t really apply to. But the general rule of thumb I use now is that if you end up throwing any of it out, it wasn’t worth the “savings.” Also, a lot of times you can only buy name brand items in bulk (at least at my local club store), which is more expensive than buying store brand at aldi or Walmart.

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u/cysgr8 10d ago

I'm with you on this one. Storing a ton of stuff actually backfires when people think they dont have a big enough house/pantry/closet/garage because of all the accumulated stuff that has also a mental drain on inventory tracking. A contributor to this is buying way more than needed (and sometimes losing interest/changing habits etc). I still have like 3 giant protein jugs I purchased on sale during a health kick that I got so sick of, now it's sitting collecting dust....

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u/birdlady404 10d ago

My family has looked at Sam's Club and Costco and almost all of the things we looked at didn't have a cheaper unit price at all, we literally wrote down the unit prices of all the things we buy on a piece of paper and compared them as we walked through the stores. I don't understand why buying in bulk isn't cheaper anymore?? What is the point of paying $100 a year when you're not even saving money??

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u/harperfairy 10d ago

I did the same thing and it’s not cheaper. I think part of the draw is for people with huge families, they don’t have to keep making grocery store trips for one or two things. It’ll last longer so it’s convenient for them

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u/Superman_Dam_Fool 9d ago

I don’t know, I’ve noticed a lot of items are a better deal. Diapers, wet wipes, cheese, cereal, bread, oatmeal, soy milk, eggs, cooking oil. We have our go to standards at Costco that save us a lot of money. I feel like I’m getting ripped off at my local grocery store.

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u/SickitWrench 10d ago

The quality of Costco shit is consistently decent when comped to other grocery chains even if the price is even

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u/Unhappy-Common 10d ago

This. It took me ages to convince my partner that aldi wasn't terrible quality stuff and that it was the same price as buying in bulk at Costco. And we didn't have to try and find space for all the items in our tiny house!

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u/LadySummersisle 10d ago

Doing everything yourself. There is a lot to be said for paying someone to do work that you could do but they could do better and/or faster. So I paid someone to paint my house and I take my car to get the oil changed.

And saving a lot of things (boxes, cracked mugs, etc.). IDK, I see people saving things because the thing could be useful down the road (that cracked mug could be a pen holder! etc) but I am terrified of ending up a hoarder. Also, if you have a lot of stuff to sift through you will lose track of important papers. Get rid of stuff that you are not using.

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u/SissyFrisco 9d ago

There is a lot to be said for paying someone to do work that you could do but they could do better and/or faster.

My husband calls this "the Aggravation Coefficient". Sometimes it's worth spending the money not to be aggravated. 😄

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u/danger_turnip 9d ago

Oooh, stealing that! We decided to pay for movers recently since we get in an argument every single time we move some furniture around ourselves. 100% worth it.

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u/ldskyfly 9d ago

Oil change coupons are so easy to find, it usually doesn't cost much more than buying supplies anyways

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u/Illustrious-Pen1771 10d ago

Capturing water as the shower/bath sink is warming up for other uses. I appreciate the people that do this for environmental and financial purposes but remembering buckets, storing buckets/water between uses, making sure kids/pets don't knock them over... It's just way too much for our current stage of life.

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u/VapoursAndSpleen 10d ago edited 8d ago

I have a friend who does that and her bathroom is full of buckets containing semi-opaque water. It's pretty gross.

--people keep asking me about this. She uses it to flush her toilet. If I give her any advice about anything, it pisses her off. I like her, so I let her have her weird habit. It's something like 4 buckets. She flushes her toilet with it. I don't use her bathroom. I use mine before I go there and am generally not there so long that I need to use it before I leave.

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u/m9y6 10d ago

Ok that's gross. Is she capturing used water? I do it with clean water when running before shower and it's used within same day.

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u/No_Weird2543 9d ago

I do too. It's not uncommon in drought prone areas. But I only do it if I'll use the water the same day or the next. It's actually easier to water my patio plants this way than dragging the hose around.

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u/brilliantpants 10d ago

Some off-brand products are fine, some are not worth it.

I will not compromise on toilet paper or paper towels. I wait until the good kind is on sale and stock up, or I get it at BJ’s, but I am not dealing with sub-par toilet paper.

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u/shethrewitaway 10d ago edited 9d ago

My mother’s septic sewer lines had to get pumped 30+ years ago. She’s only bought see-through single ply since then, insisting that anything thicker will mess up the tank. My husband is a Master Plumber and we splurge on nice toilet paper.

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u/Poopsie_oopsie 9d ago

Has she... Not pumped it since? Because where I live we all get our septics pumped regularly, usually every 5 years. More or less depending on usage.

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u/shethrewitaway 9d ago

Total brain fart. Sewer, not septic. Her lines got clogged.

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u/dailysunshineKO 10d ago

Off-brand ketchup & chocolate are just a waste of money

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u/AggravatingCupcake0 9d ago

My college boyfriend bought me a box of cheap chocolates from CVS one Valentine's Day. I didn't know before then that it was possible to screw up chocolate.

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u/MaoXiWinnie 10d ago

Don't lose your sanity in an attempt to be frugal

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u/trev_hawk 9d ago

This is so true when online shopping and you have a lot of options to choose from. One recent example is I was looking for an oil filter for my car. All the options on Amazon were between $5-$10. After like 5 minutes of looking through it and trying to figure out which one was the best bang for my buck, I really couldn't decide. Then I realized that I might literally only be saving a few bucks and that this is taking way too much time. So I just bought a random one and didn't worry about which is the best quality or best price. I just need decent quality at a decent price. The difference between decent and best is sometimes really small.

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u/Nice-Violinist-6395 9d ago

oh man, that’s how Amazon gets you. You’ll spend 90 minutes combing through fake reviews trying to figure out whether the $24 brand of thing or the $30 brand of thing is better, and then at some point you look up blurry eyed like “what the hell am I doing with my life”

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u/janeohmy 9d ago

Honestly, that is less of an issue about finding the best option than it is Amazon having a shitty platform

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u/staythewayzaway 10d ago

Driving further to save a few cents on gas. Kills me.

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u/cherubk 10d ago

Reusing or holding onto unnecessary stuff for later or just in case. Sell it or trash it. The clutter in your home is not worth the headache and eyesore.

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u/Melodic-You1896 10d ago Silver

Know what your time is worth. We have someone come in and help with the housework 1x day per month, just the big stuff. My partner and I both work full time, and down time is precious. What a team of four people can do in two hours would take us all weekend. It's worth every penny to me.

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u/cysgr8 10d ago

Omg I finally find someone in my area who only charges 25/hr and is trustworthy (most cleaners in my area charge 50 to 60 minimum an hr) .. I am so grateful and super nice to her because I don't want to ever lose her!

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u/jon-chin 10d ago

this. I painted 2 bedrooms on my own.

never again. I'll just pay someone to do it.

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u/LemmieAxeYouA 10d ago

Same, although I am still currently in this process (19 more minutes on my drying timer before I go apply a second coat). It's my first house and I'm doing the whole place, but I have already decided that next time it's getting hired out.

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u/well_hung_over 10d ago

This is the fairly standard cycle for new home ownership. First house, projects are new and exciting (and I'll save all this money). Next house, I'll move myself to save money, but will pay people to do the fixes I need. Next house, I'm never moving again.

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u/Oxtard69dz 10d ago

My dad is a painter and I used to work with him for about a year right out of high school. Painting isn’t too bad when you have literally all day every day to get it done, but when you work full time and are also trying to move into the same place you’re painting it quickly turns into a damn nightmare.

I’ve done this twice, at my last house and current one, and I’m never doing it again hahah

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u/MaleficentExtent1777 10d ago

It's SUCH hard work! I watched a professional paint my bathroom and living room, and he didn't even use tape. It took him about 2 hours. It would have taken me at least 2 weekends.

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u/Cadet_Stimpy 10d ago

Unpopular opinion: heavy couponing. I wouldn’t even say it has to get to the “extreme” couponing phase. It just takes so much time, and most of the stores I shop at already advertise “2 for $X” deals without a coupon requirement. Now sometimes I’ll look through ads online and see if there’s something I need on sale (usually an expensive item) and I’ll print out a coupon if I need it, but I haven’t saved enough while couponing for everyday buys. Maybe if you’re a stay at home partner/spouse or have kids it’s different, but couponing for groceries hasn’t made up for the time lost for my house of two.

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u/littleredteacupwolf 10d ago

Couponing at all didn’t really work for us, if we didn’t have to drive to four different stores, it was the things there were coupons for, we don’t use or eat.

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u/spugg0 10d ago

Absolutely. I try to shop food and stuff on sale, but more often than not are things not cheaper when you buy stuff you don't need.

Exceptions happen of course, I decided to make tomato soup one evening because the canned tomatoes that I use in the recipe was 50% off, and sometimes I've bought other smaller food items when they're heavily discounted.

In general, I try to remember "The best tip for saving money is to fold it up and put it back in your pocket".

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u/jdith123 10d ago

I’m with you. Also, coupons are often for things I wasn’t planning on buying.

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u/LurkingOakleaf 10d ago

This- coupons are always for premade foods. I hardly ever see them for fish/bill grains/vegetables, and have no interest in buying sugar/fillers/junk, even if I do “save” a dollar for it.

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u/PoorlyLitKiwi2 9d ago

My grocery store gave out 10% off your whole purchase coupons for getting vaccinated. I bought soooooo many groceries that day lol

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u/yawstoopid 9d ago edited 9d ago

Thank you! I used to be partial to watching an episode of those American extreme couponing shows because they are just insane. I could never understand these people who were spending like 27 hours a day couponing just to buy shite processed with more shite and sugar. Like they would be so proud of their hoards and all the food was just trash junk food and gatorade and something calling itself cheese that was not even in the cheese family, like wtf.

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u/peachbellini2 10d ago

I haven't seen it said yet, but this is a generational thing. Many of our mothers, grandmothers, and older family members (usually women who didn't work as much and did all the family shopping) relied heavily on coupons before advertising, apps, cellphones, etc made the practice obsolete. Back in the day, I'm remembering late 90s when my mom did a lot of couponing, the deals were a lot better and more abundant and you truly could save over $100 if you took about an hour before shopping to flip through the magazines and books. We had entire magazines sent to us, think like the penny saver etc., and there were many great deals on things we actually bought. Including fresh produce and meats.

Older folks will remember a time too before huge grocery stores, when the butcher, fresh produce, electronics, and housewares were all separate stores. In rural areas, grocery stores didn't really exist until the 90s. Think of like Megalo Mart in King of the Hill or Save Mart in that 70s show being major detrimental plot points. In What's Eating Gilbert Grape when Gilbert (Johnny Depp) has to go buy the cake from the superstore and it's a judgement of his moral character. Back then, if the local butcher offered a 2 for 1 deal on a pound of roast beef, that was a huge savings that could feed your family for an additional week. Nowadays these deals are advertised on the store floor for useless garbage like 3 cases of soda for the price of 2.

Sorry for the paragraph, I just feel there is far less nuance to grocery shopping than there was when I was a kid, and I'm not even that old. Fewer choices and being pigeonholed into basically one store has made things more convenient, but also more costly and wasteful than just couponing or inflation can account for.

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u/ResortBright1165 9d ago

It really doesn't help that the coupons for brand name now are the same amount as they were when my mom and grandma were couponing. 25¢ off doesn't hit the same now as it did back then

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u/dfreinc 10d ago

my mother in law's a coupon/sale shopper and is always going to a slew of stores multiple times a week.

two things to say about that.

1) she owns a huge standup freezer so she does actually make out with little waste and that's great

2) the amount of gas she uses going to all those places is probably equal to any savings she made

never seemed worth the effort to me but i get the feeling she just gets some kind of joy out of it. 🤷‍♂️

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u/AlltrackPDX 10d ago

My girlfriend uses the app for whatever store we’re in and scans every item with the barcode scanner on the app. Very handy!

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u/quecapoquesoy 9d ago

This is what I do. 30 seconds just digitally clipping things saved me like 40% at Safeway the other day. I got a bunch of things that I needed and made all my meals for around 30-40 dollars.

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u/MonaMayI 10d ago Take My Energy

Squelching any available joy for the purpose of saving less than $20. Life is for living. Keep your large expenses low (car, housing) so you can enjoy your day to day life.

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u/ItsYaBoyBeasley 10d ago

The trap to avoid is that sometimes your large expenses are disguised by the fact that the per occurrence price is cheap but the frequency is high.

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u/MonaMayI 10d ago

For sure, I have a weekly budget of spending money for things that make me happy. It’s grows and contracts depending on what my goals are.

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u/ohhgrrl 10d ago

This! We are coffee addicts and we’re spending hundreds on lattes. We saved up and bought a commercial espresso machine. Three months later we have saved enough to account for cost of the machine.

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u/[deleted] 10d ago

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u/didilkama 9d ago

My family is a 100% americano only family. When I was 8 or 9, my parents bought a $400 Breville espresso machine that Costco sold at the time. I’m almost 24 now, and I stole that Breville from them 4 years ago. It makes approximately 3 americanos per day (my sister lives with me at college) and is used nearly every day. We used to make like 6 coffees a day for everyone in my family when I was a kid. I would guess that machine has made 20,000 coffees on the low end, or $60,000 worth of espresso.

If you buy a solid machine, it’ll last for freaking ever. I think it’s worth it 100%

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u/Gustavhansa 9d ago

I make my coffee in a 'mocca' from bialetti. It cost me 30€ and the coffee is amazing. Basically does never break. Cheapest and best way to make coffee imo

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u/Tzipity 10d ago

I’m poor enough I’d probably still go out of my way for $20. But everyone definitely should have an amount like this. It edges into legitimate OCD/scrupulosity type territory when some folks make money and saving it their entire life.

Grew up with a dad like that. He was miserable and made everyone else miserable too. Money was such an overwhelming fixation for him that I grew up pretty well off but didn’t actually know it or get to enjoy it because he was stressing us kids from the earliest ages and convincing us we were always on the brink of bankruptcy and losing the house. In many respects I enjoy a meal or night out so much now- legitimately and truly poor living off disability, than I did growing up. But I really had to unlearn a lot and a life limiting/ terminal illness was also the wake up call for me. At the end of it all, having lived and experienced life will always mean far more than what is or isn’t in my bank account when I go.

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u/Riots_and_Rutabagas 9d ago

I grew up in a wild way as well. My step father was wealthy, I never really knew how much until I was a full grown adult. He was showy and liked everyone to know he had nice things to lord it over them; big house, a boat, several cars. But he was the CHEAPEST motherfucker on the face of the planet when it came to anything that mattered. We lived in a 3500sq Ft house that had a damn in ground pool/hot tub and waterfall yet in the winter I had to wear a coat INDOORS because he kept the heat at like 60 degrees. Forget that there were 3 fireplaces in the house and he was a millionaire driving the newest Porsche we never even had FOOD.

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u/DigPoke 10d ago

Squelching, good word.

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u/dukeofgonzo 10d ago

To save money on booze I only pour out a squelch each time.

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u/probably_your_wife 10d ago

You have a way to pour and measure your squelches? I just estimate them in swigs instead. Saves a step and I'm sure they are accurate!

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u/adorkablysporktastic 9d ago

Using time to save money in any way. Like, driving to 5 grocery stores to get the cheapest deals. Booking "cheap flights" but it'll take you 12 hours and 3 different planes to get to your destination, making not eating put a personality trait. Anything that causes you to sacrifice pleasure for frugality too often.

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u/Minivan1330 10d ago

Going to 3+ grocery stores in a week. I have two small children and going into any store is literal torture. I can do Costco one day and Aldi another, and that’s it. I’m not going to a third or fourth store to save $1.50 on blueberries.

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u/tvc_15 10d ago

my dad drives around to find the best prices on things- besides being a huge waste of time, it's a huge waste of gas and wears on your car. pennywise and pound foolish

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u/t3a-nano 10d ago

I think people vastly underestimate the cost of simply moving a car from place to place.

My wife was annoyed about the price of a $5 packet of peppers at one store.

I said we can go to the other store, but I'm going to burn $3 in gas getting there. Are those peppers going to be under $2?

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u/citykid2640 10d ago

I have always said this. Unless you are retired and enjoy the hunt to save at 4 different stores in a week (my parents), I’m going to argue that the average person spends more money the more stores they go to.

They will claim I’m wrong, they actually saved by going to Aldi/Costco/Publix/Trader Joe’s in a week, but I would go so far as to argue, gas included in the equation that one would save more money by just shopping at Publix (the most expensive option) as it would save gas and cut down on all the impulse buys.

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u/AmberEnergyTime 10d ago

I will not set my thermostat so low that I'm cold even with a blanket. Or having to wear a coat or gloves indoors. My heating bill is my biggest expense and it really stresses me out. I keep it as low as I comfortably can. But I'm not going to freeze my butt off all winter. Being cold is miserable and saps all motivation and positivity away from me.

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u/nintendojunkie17 9d ago

They say:

"Lowering your thermostat 4 degrees can save you $50 per year in energy costs!"

I hear:

"For just 14 cents a day your home can be a comfortable temperature!"

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u/CAHTA92 9d ago

I'm left my tropical country for a snowy one. Below 65 is cold af for me. I can't survive without a room heater by my side and 4 layers of clothing haha.

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u/Bone-of-Contention 10d ago edited 10d ago

DIY laundry soap. My roommate murdered our washer by gunking it up with her laundry soap. The repair guy that came out to fix our washer said that DIY laundry soap kills washers left and right. Our washer had to be replaced.

It may make sense to use it if you’re hand washing all of your clothes or using a 1940’s machine, but modern washers can’t handle soap. They need detergent.

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u/shethrewitaway 10d ago

I tried this. Despite trying several different recipes, nothing ever got clean and it left an unnoticeable film on the towels which prevented them from drying anything. I’m back to powdered Tide.

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u/RainbowBanana26 9d ago

Anything where your safety is involved. I’m a pretty big DIY guy around the house, but when it came to getting a new garage door opener installed, I didn’t think twice about paying someone to do it. When you are dealing with a heavy metal door, springs under high tension, sharp metal and chains, etc. seems like a no brainer to me

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u/GupGup 10d ago

Unplugging things like the TV, microwave, lamps when not in use. Probably saves a couple pennies a year, takes a ton of time, and wears out the outlets.

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u/one80oneday 10d ago

I have about a dozen smart plugs that turn various things off but not really to save power but to track the energy use or save the appliance (ie exercise equipment).

One annoying thing is when I visit family and they unplug my toothbrush so it doesn't have any power in the morning. I also will never understand why people unplug their phones at night. I just couldn't risk having a dead phone in an emergency especially when it might cost a dollar per year to keep it charged and it is designed to protect it's own battery.

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u/Elmosfriend 10d ago edited 9d ago

Not judging anyone who picks and chooses from frugal tips-- the whole point of frugality is to gain the ability to live a life you enjoy. Our family lives frugally so we can afford the 'luxuries' and experiences we value over others.

So: 1. I cannot reuse tea bags. 2. I toss out the small bits of soap bars that spouse stops using. [No way to recycle them in our area, he won't use the containers that consolidate the bits.] 3. If my Mom needs something but won't buy it for herself, I will buy it even if it goes on credit-- she's my Mom. 4. When I am exhausted from being a full time parent and house elf, I will buy needed items at the more expensive but closer grocery store rather than drive to Walmart. My well-being and energy are worth this infrequent sacrifice.

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u/spugg0 10d ago
  1. I cannot reuse tea bags

I thought this thought, once. But then I realized that I can get a 50 pack of bags for like $3 and I just... Nah, I ain't doing that.

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u/No_Weird2543 10d ago

I really don't want every other cup of tea to taste like vague nothing. I have some Hibiscus teabags on the other hand that are way too strong. Those get dunked quickly the first time, then longer the second.

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u/HalcyonDreams36 10d ago

Energy is a resource, too. ❤️

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u/VapoursAndSpleen 10d ago

and time, especially if you are still working.

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u/ThePeoplesChammp 10d ago

I toss out the small bits of soap bars that spouse stops using. [No way to recycle them in our area, he won't use the containers that consolidate the bits.]

Were you saving up all of the small bits to make a new bar? When i get down to the small bit, i just get a new bar and use it for one shower, then lay the small bit over the top while they are both wet. After another shower or two they will be solidly pasted together and i don't even notice it.

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u/Elmosfriend 10d ago

Sounds smart! I wish I could get spouse to do this-- he is the only soap bar user in the family. (Son and I use liquid soaps.) He grew up in a house where 'frugal' often wandered into 'cheap', so he will do as he wishes with soap as I do as I wish with tea bags.

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u/LilMissStormCloud 10d ago

Walmart in our area has been more expensive than other stores. I'm taken to getting thinks at Target but using drive up so I'm not tempted to get stuff I don't need.

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u/5six7eight 10d ago

Walmart has the best prices I've found on canned fruit. It's also not particularly convenient for me to go there regularly so I just try to stock up when I'm there. My local "local family owned" store though has gotten absolutely ridiculous with their prices in the last few years so as much as I'd like to support the local place, if I want to actually get a whole week's worth of groceries on my budget I'll be going to Kroger or Sam's.

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u/kavalejava 9d ago

Its okay to take vacations. Sometimes a staycation doesn't feel like a vacation. Going out of town once in awhile is great for your mental health.

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u/botanybae76 10d ago

Saving restaurant condiments, etc. Yeah, sure, do save what you don't use if you do get a takeout -- but if you are supplying all your home condiment needs from restaurant scavenging then the problem isn't the cost of condiments, it's how much you are eating out.

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u/thegrandpineapple 10d ago

That soy sauce “hack” a while ago was so silly. Imagine all the time spent cutting all those packets open and then the amount of waste you have after. It’s probably better to just buy a $4 thing of soy sauce or however much soy sauce costs.

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u/goblinkate 10d ago

Time is a resource more precious than money on most ocassions.

Some things I won¨t do just because of how time-consuming they are.

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u/Nice-Violinist-6395 9d ago edited 9d ago

Also, and this will be hard for some people to hear:

Sometimes the most frugal thing you can do, honestly, is work towards getting a better job. If you’re spending 6-8 hours per day trying to scrape together a few extra pennies, that time is MUCH better spent on your resume, or picking up some extra skills (learning programming, etc).

You can only make a dollar stretch so far. After that point, you gotta consider figuring out how to get more dollars. Time is money, and life is extremely short.

This isn’t some bullshit bootstrap thing, I understand situations often trap you. But I think for some types of super frugal people (like my aunt and uncle) there’s this bizarre sort of pride in having a more difficult, more frugal life than everyone else — the “poverty olympics,” as it‘s sometimes bluntly called. My uncle flat-out refused to take help from anyone, even though his kids needed dental work. He refused to fill out FAFSA paperwork so his brilliant kids could go to top-25 colleges FOR FREE, instead preaching the nobility of “how cheap community college is.” He shamed his son for going on a three-day beach honeymoon. It’s to the point where it’s honestly disgusting and flat-out irresponsible, but this prideful “frugal game obsession” is way more important to him than his family’s health or happiness.

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u/skullyott 9d ago

I had a coworker once whose entire personality was built around ways to scrimp and save every penny. She once went to a bookstore on her lunch break and didnt buy the books she wanted because they were, and i quote, $5 cheaper on amazon. (This was the early aughts so she would have had to pay for shipping, AND she’d driven there and back to the store!) my other colleague and i were like ‘uh… ok…?’ When her daughter was invited to the prom she called EVERY parent she knew to hunt down a dress they could borrow. Literally every single conversation at lunch she woukd interject ‘you could do it cheaper if you did this’, like substituting preseasoned croutons for a fresh baguette seasoned yourself in a recipe. It was infuriating and no one liked to get trapped ina conversation w her. The kicker? She lived in one of the wealthiest suburbs in the entire state. Top two. Her kids went to the literal best public schools in the entire state. The town was entirely peopled by old and new money. Theres no affordable housing in this city. She had the money to buy her daughter an (affordable!) prom dress and just would not do so. If i was her daughter i would have been beyond mortified. I know you cant compare yourself to others but i have no doubt other kids were rolling up to prom in designer duds and limos. And she had to sit and listen to her mom ask other moms on the phone for a loaner, instead of cracking open her wallet for one special occasion. Like. .. i love saving money. But you know what i like more? Enjoying my life while im living it

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u/Illustrious_Link_798 10d ago

This one is kind of silly but I just cut my kitchen sponge in half for the first time and I will not do that again. Less surface area = longer to clean. Not worth in my opinion.

But you’ve got to try things and see how they fit you.

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u/birdlady404 10d ago

I'm obsessed with scrub daddys and scrub mommys which are like $3 per sponge, it's not frugal at all but I find that I clean things more often and more thoroughly than when I buy cheap sponges in a multi pack. So I'm happy spending the extra few dollars every month or so if it improves my life

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u/roxiclavi 10d ago

Scrub daddies last so long and work so well

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u/wtf_is_this_news 10d ago

The scotch brite pads last longer for me. I don’t get how people’s scrub daddies are lasting so long.

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u/xakeridi 9d ago

I agree. I feel the scrub daddies disintegrate too quickly.

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u/birdlady404 10d ago

I absolutely destroy my scrub mommies from using them but they last way longer than a cheap sponge! Plus they're pink and cute so that's a plus too

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u/pendletonskyforce 10d ago

I splurged and bought two when they were on sale. I feel ridiculous typing that.

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u/Bone-of-Contention 10d ago

I switched to crochet scrubbies and they’re a lifesaver. My grandma makes them and I’ve had some of them for 3+ years. The color has faded but they still scrub great. You can throw them in the dishwasher or with towels in the laundry. Nothing gets love bugs off my car like the scrubbies.

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u/botanybae76 10d ago

I love, love my knit scrubbies! Combined with a silicone pot scraper I need nothing else to get out the worst gunk. I make them out of 100% cotton yarn so when they do finally meet their end of life I can just toss them in the compost pile.

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u/Portabellamush 9d ago

There’s a local sheep farm where I’m from and the matriarch does these beautiful, luxurious gift boxes of handcrafted milk soap, milk lotion, tallow balm, wool socks… anyway, my dad has started gifting them regularly to the family and I don’t want to tell him those hand crocheted washcloths are the best pot scrubbers I’ve ever owned lol.

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u/bloodncoffee 10d ago

Cheap Toilet Paper/ Paper towels are never a frugal option in my experience, as it takes more to get the job done.

Wasting gas driving all over town to get the best deal, i.e. groceries, etc. I used to coupon this way until I realized the amount saved was much less than the amount of money on gas wasted.

Anything that causes undue mental stress in my opinion, is not worth saving a few bucks.

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u/Subject_Yellow_3251 10d ago edited 10d ago

Honestly, baking my own bread. My bread is $1/loaf at Aldi and we go through bread like crazy. It’s not as cost efficient for us and takes more of my time. I do bake a lot of other things homemade though, just don’t find bread worth it.

ETA: I’m talking strictly sandwich bread. I do make my own buns, rolls, sourdough, biscuits, pizza dough, etc.

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u/Safe-Barnacle 10d ago

Where I live even cheap bread is at least $4 a loaf, so it's worth it for me to make bread at home that only costs 90 cents. We only go through two loaves a week and I've got a great recipes that takes less than 2 hours from start to finish, so for me it's not much of a hassle to pop out a loaf (heh) after work.

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u/kadje 10d ago edited 9d ago

Same. I make a no-knead sandwich bread with quick yeast, and it takes me 15 minutes to make the dough, I let it rise overnight, in the morning preheat the oven while it rises for another hour in the bread pan, bake it for 30 minutes. There's very little time involved, and only four ingredients – flour, water, instant yeast, salt. I live alone, and only use about a loaf a week. So I make the dough on Sunday night, throw it in the oven on Monday morning, and I'm good for the week.

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u/Hot-Amphibian9776 10d ago

I agree although I’ve recently taken up bread making as a hobby lol. Might not be as time efficient but I do enjoy it, and I think it tastes better than store bought.

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u/Anodyne_interests 10d ago

I don't think making sandwich loaf bread makes much sense. I think the most value in baking bread is from baking fresh bread for meals. Making some garlic knots or focaccia or pita or something like that for dinner is much better than the alternatives that you can buy at the grocery store.

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u/Minimum-Departure 10d ago

have you puchased frozen baguettes? they taste surprisingly good

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u/DeadDollKitty 9d ago

Not so much a general frugal tip but there's a local chain of grocery stores near me that sells half a pound of sliced cheese for like, $1.30. While amazingly cheap it tastes like plastic. Worse than plastic. It isnt worth it.

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u/MrLionOtterBearClown 9d ago

-cutting your own hair. It’s harder than YouTube makes it seem. Everyone I know who doesn’t do a buzz cut/ shave their head has fucked up their hair badly and had to pay for a haircut to fix it after or is just in denial about their awful looking haircut.

-boots fallacy applies to a lot of stuff. E.g., an expensive pair of boots will last a long time/ potentially forever if you treat them right and occasionally spend a small amount on maintenance. A pair half the price will only last a few seasons so you have to replace them and even though they’re cheaper, you end up paying more for shittier boots long-term.

-liquor. Might not feel like there’s a huge difference in quality/ taste when you’re drinking something that’s 40% alcohol, and you don’t need expensive liquor, there are plenty of great $20 bottles out there, but the $10 bottles are just not worth how how awful you’re going to feel the next day

-DIYing anything you need to be a licensed professional to do for someone else/ don’t have experience in. Haircuts, writing your will, plumbing, tree removal, most major home repairs

-spirit airlines

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u/Distributor127 10d ago edited 10d ago

The cold/hot laundry temp is secondary to high efficiency vs old style to me. We had a brand new high efficiency washer and it didn't seem to get the clothes clean no matter what. It was always broke too. Besides that, I don't do coupons. If I put time into them, I could just work an extra hour. One hour of OT would probably make me more money

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u/mbrace256 9d ago

Food, our household has the means to purchase fancy eggs, organic milk and grassfed beef. And we do.

This actually started when there were shortages due to the pandemic and it didn’t feel right buying the last of the items WIC and food stamps cover.

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u/musclebarbie22 10d ago

Getting cheap haircuts (woman). I get my hair cut maybe twice a year, and you can tell when it was done at a midrange salon vs. a Great Clips

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u/brick_howse 10d ago

This definitely depends on your hairstyle/type. I have long straight hair and cut it myself. Definitely not worth paying to have it done. Short or curly hair is another story…

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u/awsfhie2 9d ago

I hate Dave Ramsey but the absolute worst advice in his program is "If you can't pay off your current car in 6 months, sell it and buy a beater car you can afford to buy in cash." That is HORRENDOUS advice, 1. because the current used car market is insane, but more importantly 2. the upkeep on a beater car could run you close to as much as your monthly payment of the original car, with the monthly payment having the advantage because it is a fixed, planned expense.

Edit: word

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u/adventureswithpeach 9d ago

Also, in this car market, would you rather pay way too much for a beater or have something reliable with a warranty and that you can drive into the ground? I chose the latter.

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u/WanderingDelinquent 9d ago

Not only that, but if it’s your only car and you rely on it to get to and from work, a beater car is a huge hazard and a potential unplanned financial expense. Don’t go into massive debt to get a car way nicer than you need, but there’s a reason some things cost more than others.

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u/Bassracerx 9d ago

“Always buy a used car” You have to really know what your looking for to find a quality used car and even then you could still potentially get burned. The days of buying a $4,000 corolla and driving it for 12 years are no longer. If you can afford a new car.. in reason (non luxury , fairly basic) it could be better financially in the long run. Not saying used cars are bad just be very careful what you buy

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u/Patrick_curiousity 9d ago

Don’t cheap out on safety equipment or tires for your vehicle or anything related to your healthcare and personal safety.

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u/Pushing59 10d ago

Cold water washing extends the life of most clothes and linens. I don't do it to save on water heater costs.

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u/qqererer 10d ago

Filling a bucket with water till the shower heats up.

Unplugging devices that use less than 2 watts on standby.

Freaking bout lights being left on, when they're all LED (I still switch them off, but don't freak out if it gets forgotten.)

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u/nicoal123 10d ago

Splitting two-ply toilet paper into two single-ply rolls. That one just made me laugh. I mean, you're still going to use the same amount regardless.

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u/ASongofIceand 9d ago

Hol up. Do you mean people are buying two-ply, unrolling and separating each ply, and then rerolling each ply back onto its own tube?

Please tell me I have misunderstood...

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u/nicoal123 9d ago

Yes, you have it right. Just imagine the time wasted.

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u/peterjswift 9d ago

I think there are two big types of frugal:

  1. Frugal because money is so limited you have to stretch each penny as far as possible, and likely money is your scarcest resource.

  2. Frugal because you are trying to maximize the value of your resources. Money might not be your scarcest resource - it could be time or energy.

There are a lot of opportunities for #2 that are not options for #2.

One that is probably controversial here is purchasing cars and only purchasing used (or even avoiding leases). All my life I've heard that you should NEVER BUY A NEW CAR because they lose value the second you drive them off the lot!

Most of my life I've done that. I've purchased relatively old cars in decent shape, driven them until they're pretty much dead, and then repeat.

On my last car, which was a 2006 suv purchased in 2016, I started thinking it was probably a goner in 2019, and by Spring 2020 decided to replace it. I took the cost of the car + all the work (beyond routine maintenance) that we had put into it, and came up with a total cost of ownership. I divided that by the number of years we owned it, and calculated that our TCO for that vehicle was around $4000 / year give or take. It was worth pretty much scrap when we replaced it (it needed a new transmission and barely made it to the dealership for the meager trade in value we achieved).

A brand new version of a similar SUV cost around $35,000. It came with a 20,000 mile bumper-bumper warranty, and an 8 year/100,000 mile power train warranty (and free emissions/inspections/tire rotations for life, and 3 years of free oil changes). If we owned this car for 10 years, as long as we put less than $5000 into it, we'd be ahead as far as TCO goes. The major difference is that we'd have a nice, new, reliable car during that time...and after 10 years, the vehicle could conceivably be sold for $12-15k.

Obviously for this to be "frugal" - you'd need to be able to pay in cash, or wrap any interest into the TCO calculations too. I happened to qualify for a 0% interest loan, and in a high-inflation environment, this was a great deal!

So - don't take off the "buy a new car" option entirely off the table as a "not frugal" scenario.

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u/LCDpowpow 9d ago

Don’t be frugal with the things that separate your body from the ground: shoes, tires and mattresses.

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u/OutspokenPerson 10d ago

Driving to different stores to save $1

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u/SianniBoo 10d ago

Controversial possibly but I disagree with the ‘big’ shop once a month. If I pop in every other day(it’s near the school run) or every few days then I tend to get something fresher or almost always reduced for dinner plus whatever we’ve run out of. Plus knowing I’ll be there again soon makes it quick too and no impulse buys. I’m too bad at sticking to a meal plan when the use by dates muck it all up and I end up putting things in the freezer to save them and getting all annoyed and fed up and end up doing a crappy air fryer dinner of frozen chips and nuggets or something.

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u/DetN8 9d ago

This works great when combined with the "only buy what you can carry" technique.

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u/patchoulipaw 10d ago

I don't like buying cheaply made things to save a few bucks. I own fewer, high quality things that I actually like.

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u/TaTa0830 10d ago

Sewing your own stuff is not always efficient. Once I was at the fabric store, didn’t look at the prices. Grabbed a blended fabric, I thought. Get to the register, $90 for maybe two yards. I almost fainted but it had already been cut. Yes, I know you can buy cheaper fabric but you can also buy cheap curtains, throw pillow, etc.

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u/BrashPop 10d ago

Most public fabric stores are an absolute scam - unless you have a wholesaler in your area, you’ll be stuck paying up to 5X/m for stuff.

I went to Fabricland a month ago to price out batting to repair an old blanket - their batting was $40/m. At 2.5m, I would have been paying almost $100 to repair a 30 year old blanket that probably cost $40 to buy new!

Went to the wholesalers the next day, their batting is $7/m. And don’t even get me started on the lycra mark-up. I’ve seen retailers sell it for $80/m - the wholesalers sells it for $3.99!

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u/TaTa0830 9d ago

OK I’m feeling dumb right now because I didn’t know wholesale fabric was a thing and I’ve been sewing for years. I’ll have to see if there are any near me.

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u/makaidnwne2424 9d ago

Not getting movers. The number of friends I have who are willing to blow a disk for a free slice of pizza is not what it was when I was 20. It’s so much easier to just hire movers and be done with it.

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u/5footTen 9d ago

Recommending people do things that require extraordinary effort for minimal payoff. Example, Survey Sites that pay you $10 for 3 months of work. You could pick up cans and make money faster than that.

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u/Environmental_Log344 9d ago

Dental cleanings should be twice a year. You can't fake it by only getting a cleaning once a year or by skipping it.

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u/StingRayFins 9d ago

"avoid credit at all costs and pay with cash only"

The biggest part to getting wealthy is knowing how to utilize credit.

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u/Candid-Arugula-3875 10d ago edited 10d ago

Cheap metal or plastic costume jewelry. It’s often nice and flashy because materials used to make it were cheap enough to make the pieces big and elaborate, but eventually it becomes discolored and you start losing those fake “stones” etc. I used to spend like $80+ a trip on Claire’s jewelry as a teen. For all the money I spent i could have bought a nice few sterling pieces. I wouldn’t be averse to buying a cute inexpensive piece at like a yard sale or from an indie artisan, but fast fashion to me just all around sucks.

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u/xqqq_me 9d ago

Hiring a housekeeper saved my marriage. It's a lot cheaper than a divorce.

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u/goldenhourbaby 10d ago edited 10d ago Heartwarming

Labor.

I’m don’t go to the cheaper salon that buses in vulnerable immigrants from several states away; I patronize businesses in which the people doing the work for me are appropriately compensated.

I refuse to offset my savings onto the backs of other workers, and I sleep well knowing anyone who helps me in a professional context is compensated fairly for their time and skill.

Same goes for tipping! I’d rather eat out less often and tip really well than be cheap with the people in my community.

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u/New_Builder8597 10d ago

Gardening is pretty expensive to start up.

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u/5six7eight 10d ago

If you're gardening specifically as a frugal way to eat, you're probably losing. Gardening as a hobby that also produces edible food though is pretty frugal. Most hobbies have a range of startup costs much like gardening, and many don't produce useful consumable items like gardening does.

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u/Other-Scholar 10d ago

I think it works for high cost, low effort items like tomatoes.

I stuck a few tomato plants right in the ground last year and ended up with 600+ tomatoes over the course of the season. All it cost me was time and water. The plants themselves were under $50.

What would 600 tomatoes cost at the grocery store?

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u/Trollselektor 9d ago

Its just a tomato, what could it cost? $10?

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u/BingoRingo2 10d ago

Gardening is a hobby, if you absolutely want to save money then it becomes a chore.

I enjoy it and I do save a ton of money but it takes years to recover the money invested in my cedar raised beds, the quality mix of earth and compost, the composters to make your own, etc. And if you buy plants instead of starting from seeds you're always going to be in the red.

Then you need to plant with the intent of eating fresh vegetables and fruits but also have surplus you can transform, freeze or can (and for canning a ton of tomatoes gives you 2-3 jars of salsa or spaghetti sauce that you could otherwise get on sale for $2).

That said I love it and won't stop even if I may only at best get even.

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u/gard3nwitch 10d ago

It doesn't have to be super expensive (that really depends on your situation, though), but if you don't enjoy it, then it's probably not worth it. It can save you some money, but that's in exchange for your time, energy, and attention.

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u/birdlady404 10d ago

Absolutely it is!! I grew some potatoes by putting some budding potatoes in a pot with soil that I already had, and I swear that's one of the only truly frugal ways to plant things. Making am outdoor garden can be hundreds of dollars

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u/whitefire89 10d ago edited 10d ago

I am very picky about what I garden because of that. If you use a lot of fresh herbs, it can be worth it, because they are expensive to buy, but easy to grow and take care of. If you are talking about something like cucumbers, which you can buy cheap, then I don't see it worth the time, money, and effort.

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u/-No_Im_Neo_Matrix_4- 10d ago

In a typical season, I can grow 70+ cucs in 3x3 space, though. Saves me a trip to the store, but mostly I do it because it brings me a lot of joy.

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u/BrashPop 10d ago

Cucumbers are also one of those garden items that are absolutely unwieldy for the average beginner. They will get OUT OF CONTROL quickly. The vines are covered in scratchy hairs, and so are cucumbers off the vine. They require a lot of work to tack up properly and go from 0 to 60 in no time flat, so you better be prepared to spend time every day harvesting cucumbers, and inevitably missing several of them in the vines that you won’t find until the leaves fall late season to reveal the biggest, yellowest, ugliest cukes you’ve ever seen!

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u/Legendary_Hercules 10d ago

The main issue is that if you leave one to yellow, the plant will stop producing new cucumbers. So you need to avoid that if you want a productive plant.

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u/Far_Cardiologist_261 9d ago

Side hustles. They take up too much time and never produce the returns the article about frugality promises.

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u/Maximum-Gas-3491 9d ago

Especially surveys! Pennies for an hour of work. Forget it

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u/Jhey45 10d ago edited 10d ago

Downloading fast food apps to save money. You absolutely will save up front and get good deals. Your health and there for your wallet will pay 10x for it more down the line.

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u/spookynutboi 10d ago

yeah unless you have insane self control, those apps just advertise to you, all it does it make it harder to ignore getting

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u/ButtMassager 9d ago

It's easy enough to turn off notifications. I don't eat much fast food, but when I do it's always thru the app.

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u/Eveningangel 9d ago

Backyard farming.

Set up and maintenance is expensive. High amounts of hard physical labor are required to make it productive. You are limited to what your climate can grow.

Don't do chickens to save money. Chickens are good kitchen scrap composters, cute dinosaur yard pets, and need all the clean water, food, vet care and predator protected living space that pets require. Dogs, cats, racoons, hawks, coyote, fox, skunk, weasel, eagle, ect all like chicken dinners. To produce daily eggs in winter you need to adjust to expensive food and special lighting. Chickens are yard pets, not a budget food source.

If you have one family member who can not work for wages but is physically able to do the daily labor of building and maintaining a backyard farm, cool. If you want to grow a few raised beds of tomatoes, herbs, greens and squash, good for you. Plant some fruit trees and berry bushes/vines for seasonal treats (the blossoms in the spring make good photos should you ever sell your home.) But keep it a fun hobby that won't put your family on the path to malnutrition if caterpillars eat your kale and a dog digs up your corn rows to get to the compost you buried.

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u/bigbbypddingsnatchr 10d ago Take My Energy

I'm not reusing Ziplock bags. No.

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u/mleam 10d ago

Even the higher-priced ones that are marketed as reusable aren't worth it. My son got them for his lunches at work. He got 4 or 5 good uses out of them, then had to throw them out.

He switched to meal prep containers.

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u/lilgreengoddess 10d ago

Cheap rent/mortgage in a shitty moldy/dusty old home. Can cause significant health problems to the point of not being worth it especially If you can afford otherwise. Direct environment matters more than people realize

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