Top 10 Common Frugal Tips That Are Absolutely Not Worth It

Have you tried a frugal tip and found it more hassle than worthwhile? Have you ever decided to spend the money because it was not worth the “savings” you were getting? You’ve got company.

Recently someone asked a popular online frugal community what standard frugal tip is NOT worth it. Here are their top responses.

1.  No Hobbies

Most hobbies are cheap to start and maintain, and “life is too short” not to take up a hobby. One person stated it opens doors to relationships, friendships, and business networks. Don’t forget about the “learned skills” and relaxation hobbies afford you.

2.  Don’t Pay For Cleaning Services

Various Redditors agree it is good to “know what your time is worth.” However, there is nothing wrong with paying for cleaning services if it enhances your life, especially when downtime is precious.


For example, one couple who works full time deemed it feasible to pay for a house cleaning service once a month. When a team of four can do an entire weekend’s cleaning in two hours, “it’s worth every penny to me.”

3.  Making Your Own Laundry Detergent

“It’s only worth it to make your laundry detergent” if you make it in large quantities. But after you complete the detergent, the next obstacle is “finding somewhere to store” the large batch, another pointed out, but the homemade stuff is harsh on your clothes also.

4.  Unplug Appliances When Not in Use

Many believe “unplugging things like the TV, microwave, and lamps when not in use” is unnecessary and not much for saving money. Others did the math and determined it “saves a couple of pennies a year, takes a ton of time, and wears out the outlets.”

5.  Visiting Multiple Groceries Stores To Find the Value

Several users with small children stated, “going to three or more grocery stores in a week... is torture.” When shopping with little ones, it is challenging to do when you consider loading, unloading, and wrangling them up when they get loose in the store.

6.  Buying In Bulk

If you do not have a large family to provide for, buying bulk isn’t always the cheaper option. One individual declared, “the general rule of thumb I use now is that if you end up throwing any of it out, it wasn’t saving.” Cheaper by the unit is only accurate if you get the bulk item’s total value.

7.  Clipping Coupons To Save

Some think the time spent clipping coupons versus the money saved doesn’t add up; it doesn’t break even in most cases. “It just takes so much time, and most of the stores I shop at advertise some deals without a coupon,” others say. Yes, I understand for a stay-at-home spouse or a person with children but not for a two-person household.

8.  Re-Using Tea Bags

Another commented, “I’ll add more hot water to an existing cup but won’t dry it out and reuse it.” They continued with a story about their great-great-grandfather in the depression era and how he would only use one tea bag per week; he would open a new tea bag on Sunday mornings.

9.  Cut Your Dish Sponge in Half

“You’ve got to try things and see how they fit you,” one explained, but they will never cut their sponge in half. It covers less surface area, meaning it takes longer to clean. This idea is “not worth it, in my opinion.”

10.  Baking Your Own Bread

A final user reported how they disagree that making their bread is efficient due to the quantity of sandwich bread their family consumes regularly and the time it takes to make. The “bread is one dollar per loaf” at the local store.


What do you think? Did Reddit get this right, or is your favorite frugal tip on this list?

This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved.

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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.