16 “Classic” Frugal Tips That Just Don’t Apply Anymore

Not all frugal tips apply to everyone. What seems to work for one person may not necessarily work for another. This means the classical umbrella frugal tips people keep giving others may not work across the board. Here are examples of such classical frugal tips that do not seem to apply anymore.

Knitting and Crocheting

Portrait of senior woman sitting outdoor and knitting red scarf.
Image Credit: Halfpoint/Shutterstock.

Knitting, crocheting, weaving, and sewing were once great time-killing hobbies, but nowadays, the price of yarn has made it impossible to keep enjoying these fine arts.


young asian woman hold smart phone show quick response coupon code on shopping street.
Image Credit: lzf/Shutterstock.

Couponing may work for some people, but it is worthless to others. 

In some areas, couponing is worthless. No store doubles coupons or allows multiple coupons stacking on the same item. Most coupons these days do not save anything. For instance, buying 5 cans of Campbell’s soup to save 50 cents (total, not each) is a complete waste of time and energy. 

Black Friday Deals

Man shopping online using laptop on couch at home, closeup. Black Friday Sale
Image Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

Why wait to buy things on Black Friday when everything goes on sale constantly throughout the year? You can find deals at other times of the year, although it’s so much easier for black Friday. But waiting for a whole year to buy something you want to save a few bucks may not be a very frugal move.

Banks You Deal With Will Give You Better Rates

Husband and wife discussing investment plans with financial advisor
Image Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock.

There is this common misconception that the bank you normally deal with can give you a better rate because they value your business. Small regional banks will do this, but it might take a lot of money to achieve better rates because you’re basically a large investor in their business at that point. The more money you deposit, the higher the interest you get.

Buying an Old Car for $500

An irritated young man driving a vehicle is expressing his road rage..
Image Credit: ARENA Creative/Shutterstock.

Do not buy an old beater car just to save some money. A $500 car is in the scrap heap nowadays. Focus on buying a reliable car as opposed to an old beater car. You can get a good second-hand vehicle at $4k in some areas, but you have to be really careful and know how to spot the warning signs of an imminent breakdown.

“Don’t Use a Credit Card”

Upset woman in stress holds bank card and talks on phone.
Image Credit: megaflopp via DepositPhotos.com.

Instead of being advised to use your card responsibly, people are advised not to use their credit cards. Credit cards can be expensive if you do not pay them off as scheduled. However, you could get money back if you pay off the card early, and you also build a good credit rating. You can redeem the points you have earned back from purchasing using the card.

“Renting So You Can Buy”

San Francisco travel tourists couple looking at houses landscape banner.
Image Credit: Maridav/Shutterstock.

This phrase implies renting a cheaper apartment than you could nominally afford, moving out of your parent’s place early, and renting in the city while rising up the pay ladder.  It used to make sense then, but it does not do so now. 

Staying In Cheap Hostels

Smiling middle aged woman with suitcase opening electronic lock in hotel
Image Credit: NatashaFedorova via DepositPhotos.com.

This used to be great advice for people who moved to new cities and wanted to save money. Nowadays, the price has tripled, and cheap hostels are no longer available.

Don’t Spend More Than a Third of Your Salary on Housing

Young couple moving in new home.Couple is having fun with cardboard boxes in new house at moving day.
Image Credit: Ivanko80/Shutterstock.

These underlying assumptions about expenses have not adequately addressed the explosion of housing costs. People living in poverty cannot afford to save anything, and they find almost everything they earn to have a roof over their heads.

Shopping Around for Cheaper Gas

Pumping gas
Image Credit: grafoto via DepositPhotos.com.

Traveling well out of the way to save a few pennies may not be very frugal. Some people travel 15 miles to another station because it is 3 cents cheaper than the one close to where they live.

Shopping at Thrift Stores Is No Longer Cheap

Women shopping in thrift store.
Image Credit: Image Source Trading Ltd/Shutterstock.

It is no longer cheaper to shop at thrift stores. Resellers are targeting these stores to get the best merchandise for resale at a profit. This has pushed the prices of clothing and other merchandise up at these stores. 

Fast Food Meals Are Unhealthy and Expensive

Excited hungry pretty girl eats fast food, cheap burger, holds a cheeseburger and soda, open mouth.
Image Credit: Georgi Fadejev/Shutterstock.

Fast food meals, while unhealthy, were always a frugal option. Not anymore. Everything is expensive. People are spending $8 at fast food outlets on one meal.

Making Your Own Laundry Detergent

Young couple doing laundry View from the inside of washing machine.
Image Credit: emprise via DepositPhotos.com.

Making your own detergent is overrated. The cost of materials and labor you spend and eventually end up making an inferior product is not frugal. You may not be able to get the right ratio for mixing these chemicals and the end product may not be what you desire.

Turning off Lights When You Leave a Room

woman changing lightbulb on ceiling.
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.

Being super stringent with “turning off the lights when you leave a room!” Assuming you aren’t using old incandescent bulbs, all the modern LEDs use negligible power that will save you very little in the long run.

Buying In Bulk Doesn’t Guarantee Savings

man buying products in bulk
Image Credit: photography33 via DepositPhotos.com.

The larger packages of things like cereal often cost more per ounce. It varies from item to item, but the stores are counting on you buying the bigger package, assuming you’ll save money. Most of that product ends up in a landfill.

Conserving Water To Save on the Water Bill

Ice cube splashing in water, isolated on blue
Image Credit: VadimVasenin via DepositPhotos.com.

In some neighborhoods, you get charged a flat rate for water you consume. There is not much difference between what you pay as flat fees for spending all the water you want and spending almost nothing.

12 Frugal Hacks That Make All The Difference

Portrait Of A Mature Woman Smiling.
Image Credit: Nadino/Shutterstock.

A Reddit user who started the frugal journey with his wife a couple of years ago wanted to know the frugal hacks people had that made all the difference.

According to the OP, shopping grocery sales every week and planning their meals helped cut their bill from $250 to $100 per week. Other users shared their stories about frugal hacks they had that made some difference in their lives. Here are some of the best ones.

12 Frugal Hacks That Make All The Difference 

12 Items Frugal People Proudly Exclude From Their Shopping List

Old Man in a hat as a cowboy.
Image Credit: Thomas Mucha/Shutterstock.

Frugal people are known to spend their money wisely. They live within their means and don’t spend a lot of money. According to a thread on Quora, here are some common things frugal people never buy.

12 Items Frugal People Proudly Exclude from Their Shopping List

23 Side Hustles You Never Considered That Make More Than Your 9 to 5

woman warrior. woman holding sword
Image Credit: Avrora-Andrey via DepositPhotos.com.

Have you ever wanted to make a lot of money from a side hustle and quit your 9 to 5? You may know about the typical side hustles, but I bet you never even heard of these lucrative side hustles!

23 Side Hustles You Never Considered That Make More Than Your 9 to 5

9 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually a Waste of Time and Money

woman laying under knitted blanket
Image Credit: serezniy via DepositPhotos.com.

Not everything is frugal! I am sure you have read articles and tips that promote frugal living and give some ideas that are just not frugal! These frugal myths float around and sometimes even cost people a lot of money!

9 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually a Waste of Time and Money

10 Stupid Scams People Won’t Stop Falling For

Doctor in corruption concept with being offered bribe.
Image Credit: Elnur/Shutterstock.

It seems like every day there is a new scam popping up, promising to make you rich or solve all of your problems. Yet, despite the prevalence of scams and the numerous warnings about them, people still fall for them.

10 Stupid Scams People Won’t Stop Falling For