17 Frugal Efforts That Will Make You Think Twice About Saving Money

One Reddit user wanted to know frugal ways that went wrong for other people. He illustrated that he had gone to buy a fan, and everything inside that store cost over 50 euros. The fan that was on sale at 26 euros is what he settled on, and that’s where his problems began.

The fan was horrible to assemble, and it cut him while trying. He regretted not buying the nicer models that would have been more durable. 

Other Reddit users shared their own experiences about frugal ways that went wrong for them. We have sampled some of the best responses from this conversation here.

Eating Questionable Food

woman eating granola for breakfast
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One user regrets eating food that seems suspicious because they cannot bring themselves to throw it away, “Usually it’s eating questionable food that I don’t want to throw away.” Another user offers a solution to this, “I have to tell myself every time I’m about to eat leftovers that o just don’t want. “I am not a dumpster” it helps!” he says.

Crappy Fashion

Shocked woman with curly Afro hair stares bugged eyes drowned in huge pile of colorful clothing.
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One user regrets buying too many clothes he didn’t need, “Crappy fast fashion I bought. I was able to donate a lot of it, but I’m very selective now and willing to pay more for higher quality clothing.”

A/C Unit

Air Conditioning unit on building
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Regulating the temperature is not something one should be frugal with according to one user, “I recently bought an A/C window unit for $150, brand new in box. I got it for my bedroom. It’s juuuuuust not cold enough, and I realize now that I should have gotten the larger unit.”

Another user had a similar experience, “I lived on the top floor of a building with no A/C. It would get 85F/30C in my bedroom at night. I wanted to get a window unit but really didn’t want to spend the money. I bought a really bad used unit (it was not even that much cheaper). It lasted about 5 hours before dying.”

Buying Triscuits

Baked 100% whole grain wheat Triscuit crackers in boxes, various cheese flavors
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“I went to Big Lots, as I was just lucky enough to be someone who actually needed toilet paper when it became the hottest item on earth. They had Triscuits on clearance for a dime a box. I bought 30 boxes. Some still hang around like the ghost of a bad decision to they are. I took the bags out of boxes to save the space….no one here ever wants to see Triscuits again,” illustrated another user


A caucasian man shows some black truffles recently recollected in a basket..
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One user took too many truffles his body couldn’t handle anymore, “One time I went to Italy, and they sell cheaply truffle products you can cook with. I used to love truffles. By the 10th meal of putting truffles on everything, I could not eat it anymore. End up just using it when people come over, and people loved it, but I couldn’t touch it.”

Cheap Mattress

Young man choosing new orthopedic mattress in store, closeup.
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“We bought a cheap latex mattress. It wasn’t cheap for us; it was 300 euros but cheap for a mattress. 5 years later, we are looking to replace it,” said another user

Cheap Dentists

Dentist and patient in dentist office
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Dental health is expensive and cheap dentists can do more harm than good, “Cheaps dentists are the worst. But it is sooo hard to find a middle-of-the-road dentist. It seems they are either overpriced or horrible. So it is such a gamble until you find your forever dentists,” says one user.

Buying Spices in Bulk Bags

jars of spices.
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Spices also go bad if you are using them alone, “Fine when you intend to split it among a few households, but if you’re using them on your own, it’s gonna get stale before you use half of it.”

Wounded by a Fruit Peeler

Pink Plastic Fruit Peeler
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One user cut their hands while peeling fruits on a cheap fruit peeler, “Bought a cheap fruit peeler with serrated edges on it. The blades were dull, and I was peeling a wet potato that I just washed so I could save paper towels. Meanwhile, my friend was driving over to meet up for dinner. One unsightly slip later, I felt chills run along my index finger.”

Buying a Cheap Phone

Furious Lady Shouting On Smartphone.
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A tourist learned the hard way that they should have invested in a better phone, “My phone got pickpocketed on my very first day of a four-month backpacking trip in India. I’d loaded it with offline maps, music, and movies to keep me entertained on long bus trips, and I was really sad to lose it so early.

Couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on a new smartphone because it felt like it would blow my trip’s budget immediately, so I bought a really bad cheap phone. It only had enough storage for a couple of albums. It really sucked. My travel insurance ended up covering the loss of the phone, so in hindsight, I should have just bought a decent one to have less of a bad time.”

Paint Job Gone Wrong

Happy woman repairman poses with a roller and trowel against the background of pasted wallpaper and a plastered wall.
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A user spent too long painting a house when he should have hired someone else to do it, “Decided to paint my own house instead of hiring it out. I also have two small kids and a full-time job, with a long commute to boot. Guess how much I’ve gotten done?”


Attractive gardener with plants and flowerpots sitting on green grass
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Not all backyard gardens are worth the hype, as one user illustrates, “Not mine but my mom’s “frugal” (read: cheap) ways. She has an insane garden that takes over an hour to fully water. Refuses to buy a good quality hose because she wants to save money. Lo and behold, every time I get stuck watering her plants, the hose is leaking and spraying water everywhere.”

Wasting Over Two Hours To Save $7

Portrait of angry furious offended senior person with bob hairdo wear pink shirt scream in conflict isolated on blue color background.
Image Credit: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.

Another user wasted too much time because they did not want to pay for return shipping, “Didn’t want to pay the return shipping, so I figured I’d return the clothes on my route back home from class taking the bus. Public transit is awful and unreliable where I live, so I ended up adding 2 hours to my commute because some of it I had to do on foot, during which it also rained briefly. All to save $7.”

A Broken Refrigerator

Woman Looking For Food In Refrigerator
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“I bought an off-brand refrigerator because I didn’t want to spend 0 more to get one from a well-known brand. Took it home. That thing didn’t work, not even once. It was on sale as well, so I couldn’t take it back. $300 down the drain. I tried getting it fixed, but the tech said they don’t even know where to get the parts for it,” says another user.

Walked To Save Money Meant for Uber

Unidentified people jaywalk
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A user spent too long walking instead of taking a Uber only to realize the trip was meant to be free, “Once I took a trip, and when I got off the train, my hotel was only 2 miles away, so I decided to walk instead of spending money on an Uber or bus. BUT. The map said 2 miles. What it didn’t specify is that road isn’t for pedestrians, so I had to take an alternate route that doubled the walk. Keep in mind this was mid-July in the Central Valley, where it was 110° that day. I walked 4 miles carrying my carry-on bags and equipment. I’m a 90 lb 5’3 girl, if that makes it crazier. Going back home, I said hell no to walking it again. Come to find out, because of COVID; the bus was free. It was a straight route from the hotel to the train station too.”

Chip Drop

Hands holding wooden chips from eucalyptus trees as fuel for clean energy
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One person realized that not all free things lead to savings, as he illustrated in a story, “I wanted free wood chips for my garden. I thought it seemed like a good, frugal idea. I was wrong. They dumped nearly 20 yards in my driveway. Parts of my garden got buried and crushed under wood chips. The mountain of wood chips blocked my side door and use of my garage. I couldn’t even get the lawnmower over the pile to take care of my front lawn for 2 weeks. Over 15 people have answered my ads for free wood chips. And yet… There’s still a small hill of them left, and I have run out of places to hide them.”

Saved a Little Only To Spend More To Rectify the Issue

funny guy holding money
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Another had to spend significantly more because they tried cutting corners, “Saved $2 on laundry soap, spent $500 at the hospital figuring out I’m allergic to cheap laundry soap.”

12 Items Frugal People Proudly Exclude From Their Shopping List

Old Man in a hat as a cowboy.
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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

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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
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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.
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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

20 Hilariously Outdated Pieces of Boomer Advice That Leave Millennials in Stitches

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From lectures on frugality to hard work, Baby Boomer advice is never in short supply. But what happens when that wisdom doesn’t seem to fit with the experiences of a millennial? Some advice needs to be left in the past.

20 Hilariously Outdated Pieces of Boomer Advice That Leave Millennials in Stitches


This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.