12 Frugal Choices That Rarely Pay Off

Do you have a frugal choice that ended up being a waste of time?

One Reddit user posed this question on the platform, and it elicited a lot of reactions from other users. He says that he used to turn off the lights in rooms after leaving them, but with such energy-efficient LED bulbs today, the savings from energy consumption are negligible (less than $1 a year). He feels that it was a frugal choice that became a waste of time.

Other Reddit users came up with their versions of frugal choices that became a waste of time. Here are some of the most interesting ones:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

young housewife cleaning on white.
Image Credit: ipag collection/Shutterstock.

It is popular but does not work for everyone, “Making homemade laundry detergent. I saved a dollar, I spent 15 minutes hand grating a Fels Naptha bar into tiny pieces, and my laundry felt slimy and smelled funny.”

Electric Bike

Close up of asian old man wearing helmet is cycling a bicycle in the park - enjoying sport or hobby living healthy.
Image Credit: aslysun/Shutterstock.

He thought he would save money but realized he was risking his life, “I bought an electric bike, but it was too dangerous to ride one in my city, so now I just have an electric bike with a flat tire, spent hundreds on Ubers until I could afford a used car.”

Driving Instead of Flying

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

Driving for 10 hours to save $100 does not seem frugal, “Driving ten hours each way instead of flying. It’d make sense if it were more than one person, but I only saved like $100, and it was stressful.”

DIY Mechanic 

Car repair mechanic fixing auto. Man working on car in garage. At home do it yourself.
Image Credit: Chris Driscoll/Shutterstock.

He had to call a professional to undo the damage he did, “Went to work on my own vehicle that wasn’t starting, thought I knew for sure it was the starter motor, changed it out myself no problem, but don’t fix the issue, and lost my chance to return it by installing it, then doubled down on a different part replacement that also didn’t work and now I’m out $250 and still had to get it towed to a shop all for what is apparently a computer glitch with the anti-theft system… oh well, good learning experience.”


Portrait of smiling, pretty, caucasian, female chef carrying fresh picked vegetables walking towards camera on a farm for farm to table at sunrise sunset.
Image Credit: Chiarascura/Shutterstock.

This is not a frugal hobby for everyone, “Having a garden. I hated having to come home from work and pull weeds in the heat. When things ripen, you have way more than you need. You have to give it away, and nobody wants it. Most people don’t cook anymore and have no use for your zucchini. I’d rather just go to the grocery store and buy produce as I need it.”

Tried Pet Grooming, It Became a Disaster

Beautiful young woman kissing and hugging shiba inu dog at street.
Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock.

Some activities are better left to professionals, “I tried to groom my dog myself, cut her, and ended up at the vet getting stitches. Tried to save 60$ and ended up spending 150…”

Buying Cheap Appliances

Angry woman gesturing and looking at camera near fresh vegetables in kitchen
Image Credit: VitalikRadko via DepositPhotos.com.

“Went through multiple dishwashers and washing machines until I realized I could get better quality appliances that cost more initially but stretched far further in terms of usage,” noted another user

Washable Reusable Diapers

baby girl is hiding under the white blanket excited to get her free baby stuff and free baby samples.
Image Credit: Zdenka Darula/Shutterstock.

“Made them from scratch. Bought expensive materials, including waterproof flannel for the outer layer. Spent hours constructing them. They. Always. Leaked. Ended up having to wash her bedding and clothes so much, it was cheaper to buy disposables,” added another


Pumping gas
Image Credit: grafoto via DepositPhotos.com.

Wasting so much to save so little did not work with one user, “Waiting 30 minutes at Costco to save $0.05/L adds up to $5 for my truck… Lol. I value my time more than $10/hr. Or driving that extra 15 minutes to a gas station to save a few cents. Not only are you wasting 30 minutes (return trip) but probably blowing 5L in fuel to get there and back.”

Thrift Table That Ended Costing More

man wearing red tshirt looking upset
Image Credit: vova130555@gmail.com via DepositPhotos.com.

Sometimes not all thrifty items save money, “I thrifted a dining table for $23, a steal, right? Well, about $225 in supplies and many hours of labor stripping, sanding, conditioning, and re-staining later, I probably could have purchased a sturdy, lovely table. That said, I’m pretty sure I have a one-of-a-kind table now!”

Hanging Clothes To Save $1 on Electricity

Baby clothes are drying on the street. Selective focus. nature.
Image Credit: Tatevosian Yana/Shutterstock.

We lived in Florida. I had this grand idea not to use the dryer and hang up all the clothes on the line outside. Hubby wasn’t happy, so we said we would see the difference In The bill. We lived check to check back then. So the bill comes in, and the big reveal…under 1.00 Saved.

Refusing to Service Car and Lost More When It Broke Down

angry man driving a vehicle without seat belt.
Image Credit: Hayk_Shalunts/shutterstock.

My sister saved money on things like brakes and tires with traction and wasted a lot of my time having me push her out of the ditch or back up the driveway, etc. Then I’d have to hear her complain about how it’s unfair that other people always get cars that work or complain that people are mean about how her car mysteriously loses grip going down hills when it’s raining.

People Who Grew Up Poor Share The 20 Ultimate “Poor” People Hacks

homeless woman.
Image Credit: kuzmaphoto/Shutterstock.

Life’s thrown us a curveball, and our bank accounts might be staging a rebellion, but fear not! We’ve got something up our sleeves- a treasure trove of tips and tricks that will have you grinning ear to ear as you outsmart the very concept of scarcity. Being broke? It’s not a limitation; it’s a canvas for creativity!

People Who Grew up Poor Share the 20 Ultimate “Poor” People Hacks

20 Of The Worst Mistakes You Can Make In Your Life

Computer stress, night office or man with crypto finance crisis, bitcoin stock market crash or NFT investment mistake..
Image Credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Life is like a roller coaster- it’s filled with exhilarating highs, nerve-wracking lows, and unexpected twists that can leave us hanging upside down. We all make mistakes along the way, right? Because at the end of the day, we are only human!

20 Of The Worst Mistakes You Can Make in Your Life 

15 Tips For Frugal Living On A Tight Budget

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

If you are looking for tips for frugal living on a tight budget, this post is for you. 

Being on a tight budget means looking for even the slightest opportunity to save money. It could be saving to clear your loans, for a bigger purchase, or even for early retirement. 

15 Tips for Frugal Living on a Tight Budget 

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

14 Frugal Living Tips To Learn From Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is interviewed after the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting held at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday, May 2, 2015.
Image Credit: Kent Sievers/Shutterstock.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest people in the world and, for a time, was the wealthiest. It might surprise you, then, to learn that Buffett is a proponent and practitioner of frugal living and always has been.

14 Frugal Living Tips To Learn From Warren Buffett 


This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.