10 Times Being Frugal Crosses Over Into Cheapskate Territory

Frugal or cheap? Sometimes being frugal crosses into cheapskate territory.

Are there frugal practices you think are too much hassle for the savings or just too self-denying of pleasure? You’ve got company. After someone asked a popular online frugal community for examples, they responded.

1. Denying Yourself

One explained that being frugal was about getting the most benefit and enjoyment they could for their money. ““Frugality isn’t a reason to deny me things I want if I can afford them.”


Instead, they try to be mindful of spending on things they value and not on a lot of the regular stuff people spend on that doesn’t bring them joy.

2. Single Ply Toilet Paper

Did you know some people honestly prefer single-ply sandpaper? Oh, excuse me, I mean toilet paper. It’s true. However, more don’t than do, and it’s a common theme running in this frugal community that single-ply toilet paper is cheapskate territory.

3. Reusable Toilet Paper

Okay, suddenly, one-ply isn’t sounding too terrible. Another “cheapskate” approach to wiping one’s bum is using reusable toilet paper known as “a family cloth.” One user confessed, “The name family cloth makes me want to projectile vomit everywhere.”

4. Disadvantages To Other People

One frugal person suggested that once you cross the line into causing disadvantages for others with your frugality, you’ve crossed the line to a cheapskate.


For example, taking two dozen napkins from a dispenser because they’re “free.” Or stealing rolls of toilet paper from work.

5. Cleanliness Supplies

For one, they confessed never compromising when it comes to cleanliness. “I won’t be rationing shampoo or conditioner or not running the dishwasher to save money.” They continued those material things you can limit and adjust, but they refuse to budge on things that revolve around hygiene and cleanliness.

6. Driving Across Town for Gas

Driving to the other side of town to save $ .05 on gas because it is the lowest price has its drawbacks. For example, the time and gas it takes to do that may cost you more in the long run.

7. Sitting in the Dark

“There’s a line between being frugal and being a miser.” This user warned, “do not cross that line.” For example, turning the lights off when you leave is frugal. On the other hand, leaving the lights off when you’re home because dark is cheap is miserly.

8. When the Value of the Time Commitment for the Savings Is Too Great

“Too much frugal is when the value of the time commitment for the savings is too great.” For example, if something is going to take ten minutes and saves $100, that is a no-brainer. However, if it takes an hour and saves $5, that wastes your time and life.

9. Asking People for Free Things

Asking people for free things can cross the line into a cheapskate. One person in the community volunteered they were uncomfortable with it. When people hint towards wanting something, for example, asking about something you used to have and saying things like “give it to me if you don’t need it.”

10. Condiment Packets and Sauces

Hoarding individual condiments and sauce packets made the list of being more cheapskate than frugal. Many people in the thread confessed that they would hold onto ones that are extras in the bag. But filling their pockets with salt packets and ketchup was deemed cheapskate behavior and not frugal.


We hope you enjoyed this Reddit discussion about when frugality crosses the line into being a cheapskate.

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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.