Don’t Let Thriftiness Become Dangerous: How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Extreme Frugality

Have you heard of dangerous frugality? Sometimes being frugal can be dangerous. Saving money is really great, but not when it comes at the expense of your health or safety. Are some of the ways you are saving money dangerous?

Legitimate Concerns

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A woman in a popular frugal online community shared her concerns a bit.

She found it unfortunate that people are loading up on processed foods instead of fruits and vegetables for the sake of frugality. “Be wealthy but not at the expense of being unhealthy. It’s a balance.”

Here is what people had to say about the subject and some helpful tips to consider.

1.  Download the App Instead of Clipping Coupons

Girl holding shopping bags with search bar.
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Using your local grocery store app allows access to discounts not available through clipping coupons alone—such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and even dairy alternatives.

One person shared, “I see stuff like sour cream and shredded mozzarella with coupons” all the time. Most grocery store apps “also have reward points so you can claim that for free veggies or just a dollar amount off your next purchase.”

2.  Frozen Veggies Over Fresh

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Frozen vegetables are routinely cheaper than fresh “and just as healthy.” There are often more uses for frozen veggies as well. For example, “add them in soups, boil them alongside pasta, toss them in a casserole, or roast/air fry them with olive oil and good seasonings.”

Related: 19 Ways To Sneak Veggies Into Every Meal 

3.  Once Upon a Time, Fast Food Was Cheap

woman fast food restaurant worker holding a burger
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When fast food was cheap and a little less accessible (I’m looking at you, Uber Eats, Door Dash, and Grubhub), eating from the value menu at carryout places was a decent idea for a single person.

However, the aftermath of the pandemic led to a spike in the cost of many essential and non-essential items. As a result, takeout restaurants have taken a hit on prices.

4.  Wealth Is Not Health

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One user recalled a few friends and a brother-in-law who decided momentarily saving money was more important than maintaining good health. However, they did explain that they grew up in poverty and that food security was an issue for them. They “spent years surviving on rice and one-dollar hot dogs,” and now some friends need surgery to repair significant organ damage. Others have adopted a healthier lifestyle.

5.  Free Condiments From Takeout Places

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It has been suggested as a tip of frugality to stock up on free condiments at carryout restaurants. Most people replied this is unhealthy because of the “already uber-processed sugary, salty foods” folks are already eating.

6.  Eating on a Budget Can Still Include Veggies

"Partial view of woman and arranged hummus in bowl, pita bread, cut vegetables, dried tomatoes and olives
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On YouTube, there are various shows about “cooking on a budget,” and many do not include veggies in their recipes. Many voiced their concern that a healthy eating content creator needs to be more sincerely eating healthy.

7.  Eating Healthy Is Not Cheap

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On average, in today’s society, it is nominally known that households in areas of poverty suffer from poorer dietary choices. “Eating healthy is not cheap,” and one user’s youngest daughter, a cashier at the local grocery store, can agree based on what she sees at her job every day.

8.  Your Journey Is Your Own

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When other people on their frugal journey post something about their experience, it is human nature to try and compare yourself to them. The primary factor to remember is that everyone’s progress is different. So every journey will be different.

9.  Meal Plans Don’t Have To Be More Than Three Days

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You do not need to minimize your shopping trips once or twice a month. Several Reddit users declared they “go shopping several times per week” to pick up food for a few days at a time. It makes each trip cost-effective, and you have a higher chance of utilizing everything you get from your purchase.

10.  Frugality and Environmental Awareness Are Hand in Hand

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Consideration for the environment falls by the wayside when being frugal is the focal point. Remember, the two work well together; when you take care of the planet, the planet takes care of you. A “fridge shelf of sauce packet” is harsh on the environment in the final scheme.

Related: 10 Eco-Friendly Tips That Will Help You Save Money

We hope you enjoyed this Reddit discussion about dangerous frugality and ways to avoid it.

This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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


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.