10 So-Called “Savings” Ideas That Just Don’t Add Up

Ever heard of a savings idea that just doesn’t make sense? Things that people claim are frugal, but the math just doesn’t work out?

After someone asked a frugal online community, “What do people swear is frugal and you just shake your head at?” Here are the top-voted responses.

Bundles Are Cheaper

Confused redhaired ginger curly woman holding plastic creditcard
Image Credit: yurakrasil via DepositPhotos.com.

“Bundles are cheaper.” One clarified things such as fast food bundles, cable and internet packages, and ski, amusement, and hotel packages are rarely a deal anymore. “Now all the packages do is rope you into buying more, not discount both package items.”

Dollar Stores

Dollar bills in female hands with red manicure on red background.
Image Credit: lunedi@bk.ru via DepositPhotos.com.

Do you mean $1.25 stores? That’s right, even the dollar stores no longer sell things for a dollar. It’s essential to be vigilant about each item. Sure, a can of tuna “only” costs $1.25, but the same can is only .77$ at Aldi.


So it’s not always what it appears to be. Additionally, many cleaners and bathroom toiletries are smaller, so it tricks you into believing you’re saving money that you’re not.

Buying the Larger Size

African american woman wearing casual striped dress standing holding hands to indicate large
Image Credit: Krakenimages via DepositPhotos.com.

Buying the larger size isn’t always the best deal. For example, someone explained that buying two 16oz blocks of cheese at the store was cheaper than the 32oz she had in her hand.


So she swapped it out. However, when she attempted to tip off another shopper, their response in a snotty tone was, “I don’t need two…”

Buying Things on Sale

Glamorous woman with multicolored bags posing isolated background
Image Credit: ViChizh via DepositPhotos.com.

The myth of getting a good deal, so needing to buy it because it is on sale, costs you more in the long run. For example, if you go to the mall every weekend to hit clearance racks. Instead, you waste money on items you don’t need for the sake of being “on sale.”

DIY Projects

Angry man with sledge hammer
Image Credit: photography33 via DepositPhotos.com.

The myth of doing things yourself as being a cheaper alternative hit the comment section. One joked, “The $100 I just spent on DIY supplies will save me money in the long run.” Another added the myth of growing your food being cheaper. It’s not necessarily so.

Fast Food Is Cheaper

woman fast food restaurant worker holding a burger
Image Credit: AsierRomeroCarballo via DepositPhotos.com.

While dollar menus may have helped add to the rumor, those days are long gone. Someone explained their last trip to Five Guys: “the burger was $12, fries were $9, and the drink was $3.”


Another added they could get a delicious meal at a Thai restaurant with a drink included for $10. Additionally, eating that non-nutritious food will cost you more in the long run.


Attractive gardener with plants and flowerpots sitting on green grass
Image Credit: SashaKhalabuzar via DepositPhotos.com.

As mentioned above, gardening is an expensive hobby. Although several people explained it might cost a little more, the recreation is enjoyable, and the food is fresh. However, many shared that it was not for them and that the “grow your own food to save money myth” needed to be debunked.

Buy One, Get One Free

Girl holding shopping bags with search bar.
Image Credit: bacho123456 via DepositPhotos.com.

Buy one get one free, or BOGO sales can cost more than they’re worth. Sure, if it’s an item you use frequently and costs less, it’s a deal. However, if you’re grabbing two because it’s on sale, and don’t end up using something before it spoils, you cost yourself twice as much.

Low-Quality Anything

Successful shopping. mature man looking casual in surprise with present
Image Credit: stetsik via DepositPhotos.com.

One noted that Low-quality anything costs half as much, but you must replace it ten times as often. It’s not frugal. Sometimes you have to go with what you can get but otherwise, look for quality.

Incognito Browsing

Fun tourist woman in summer casual clothes, hat, orange sunglasses with suitcase, passport
Image Credit: dmvasilenko via DepositPhotos.com

Finally, one questioned using incognito when browsing for flights. “It will not save you any money. You save money on flights by flying at less popular times and being flexible.” However, they suggested VPN’ing from another country may save you money.

The 20 Things People Used To Cheap Out On, But Now They Swear By The Expensive Versions

woman with cheese in mouth
Image Credit: avgustino via DepositPhotos.com.

When budgeting and saving money, trying to cut corners wherever possible is tempting. However, some items are worth investing in due to their better durability or quality compared to their cheaper counterparts.

The 20 Things People Used To Cheap Out On, but Now They Swear by the Expensive Versions

Frugal Living Tips From The Great Depression That Are Relevant Today

Vintage Street Peasant Boy In Flat Cap Eating Baked Beans From A Can In A Depiction Of The Great Depression
Image Credit: jorgophotography via DepositPhotos.com.

How frugal were people during The Great Depression? It was a time of hardship and uncertainty and a time when people were forced to be extremely frugal.

Money-Saving Secrets from the Great Depression: Frugal Living Tips from the Great Depression That Are Relevant Today

10 Extreme Cheapskates Tips That Are Honestly Great Tips For You To Try

Shocked young woman and handyman with open mouths looking at freezer
Image Credit: IgorVetushko via DepositPhotos.com.

Are there any extreme cheapskates tips that are reasonable? Reddit thinks so. After someone asked for examples of these hacks, they delivered this excellent list of resourceful tips.

10 Extreme Cheapskates Tips That Are Honestly Great Tips

Sorry Millennials, These 20 Skills From The 90s Are No Longer Relevant

Millennial Hipster Girl Holding an Audio Tape Cassette and a Pencil
Image Credit: nicoletaionescu via DepositPhotos.com.

The 90s saw a tremendous shift in technology, and many skills that were once essential have become irrelevant in today’s world.

Sorry Millennials, These 20 Skills From the 90s Are No Longer Relevant

Eye Rolling Intensifies: 28 Boomer Comments Gen Z and Millennials Can’t Stand

Senior beautiful couple standing together
Image Credit: Krakenimages.com via DepositPhotos.com.

Older generations love giving advice and telling younger people things. While there are plenty of life lessons to learn from older people, young people are tired of hearing some of what boomers have to say.

From OK Boomer To Eye Roll: Gen Z and Millennials Are Sick and Tired of These 28 Boomer Comments

This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved



Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.