12 People Who Took Frugality to the Extreme

A Reddit user shared a hilarious story about how frugal their household is, triggering responses from other members who shared frugal tips considered ‘over the top.’

According to the OP, her 98-year-old grandpa tapes light switches in the up position so they do not wear out after constant use. When one wants to switch the light on, they have to twist the lightbulb until it turns on and unscrew it when turning off the light.

Other members of the Reddit community shared their experiences as well. We have sampled some of the best ones here.

1. He Refused To Spend $80 To Fix Drainage Piping for Seven Years

Views of drainage pipe near the concrete painted pillar from below.
Image Credit: Jason Finn/Shutterstock.

“My great-grandmother had to wash dishes in a tub and throw the dishwater out the back door because my great-grandfather was too cheap to fix the drain/plumbing under the sink. Great-gran had wicked forearm strength after about seven years of this. Then she had it all repaired for $80 two weeks after he died,” noted one user.

2. Repair Broken Ice Maker? No, Would Rather Buy Ice Cube Trays

Ice cube splashing in water, isolated on blue
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“Husband and I lived with a broken ice maker in our fridge’s freezer for about 14 years bc we didn’t want to pay to have it repaired. We bought some ice cube trays instead.

One day our son told us to order an ice maker (about $40) on Amazon (he looked up the model# for us). He came over and replaced the broken ice maker for us in less than 5 min,” noted another user.

3. Adjust the TV Color to Black To Make It Last Longer

shocked woman watching tv by husband with remote control
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Another user said, “When my grandparents bought their first color TV, they adjusted the color to almost black and white “to save the color so it would last”.”

4. Hot Water as Weed Killer

Attractive gardener with plants and flowerpots sitting on green grass
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A user said, “She also used her hot water from cooking or canning as a weed killer. She poured it around the edges of her porch and driveway.” 

That’s actually a great idea! Especially since weed killers can have very bad chemicals that can harm humans and animals.

5. Unplugging Everything To Save $2 per Month

black cable plugged in a white electric outlet mounted on green wall.
Image Credit: XAOC/Shutterstock.

“Nothing is plugged in at my parents’ house unless there’s a manufacturer warning to leave plugged in or it’s being used. He said he saw a significant amount of electricity being saved monthly from this. I saw the bills of before and after, and it looks like he saves about $2 a month,” added another user.

6. Want to Wash? Good, but Do Not Pick up the Soap!

Washing hands with soap to prevent germs, bacteria or viruses
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“My grandma had bar soap in a soap holder by her kitchen and bathroom sinks. You did not pick up the soap, ever. You got your hands wet and rubbed one hand on the top of the soap two or three times when you needed to wash,” added another user.

7. What a Strategy To Avoid Having Septic Tank Pumped

Interior of modern comfortable restroom.
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock.

Another user shared, “My grandpa was 95 when he passed. For at least the last 10 years of his life, he put his dirty toilet paper in the trash instead of the toilet because he didn’t want to have to get the septic tank pumped.”

8. Re-Using a Birthday Card

boy at birthday party
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A user narrated a frugal side of their rich relatives, “Here’s my story about the Jones side of my family. Scots. When they (Most Of my grandma’s 6 siblings and most of their children) give birthday cards, they write their best wishes And sign their name on a post-it note inside the card. This is so the receiver is free to easily reuse the card. They’re all in on it and find it delightfully practical.”

9. He Cut off the Top of Shoes for Toes To Stick Out

Young latin girl holding red casual shoes angry and mad screaming
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“When I was a kid, I outgrew my tennis shoes, and my dad just cut the top off so my toes could stick out. We weren’t poor, but we lived like we were. My dad was pathologically frugal,” added another user.

10. Rinsing Trash Bags and Hanging Them To Dry for Re-use

Partial view of cleaner with trash bin isolated on grey
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“I have an officially retired co-worker who still comes in to work. He rinses out all the trash bags from the entire factory and hangs them to dry to use them again. Also, empty’s out all the paper and cardboard bins to make everything extra flat and small,” said one user.

11. Walking 10 Miles at Night To Save Money Meant for Taxi

A young woman is walking on the railroad tracks.
Image Credit: Joe Besure/Shutterstock.

“My spouse walked 10 miles with her suitcase to the airport in Washington DC at midnight to save a taxi ride,” shared another user.

12. A White Button for a Tooth

Child missing front tooth
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sjhuls via DepositPhotos.com.

“My grandfathers’ brother had a set of fake teeth. When a tooth broke loose from it, he used a white button to carve another tooth to glue in,” quipped another user.

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

12 Things People Wish Had Never Existed

Mushroom Cloud of Atom Bomb exploded over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. World War 2.
Image Credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.

Throughout history, there are certain things that people deeply wish had never come into existence. These regrettable aspects of our world have caused pain, suffering, and lasting negative impacts. From inventions to events, let’s explore ten such things that continue to evoke a strong sense of longing for an alternative reality.

12 Things People Wish Had Never Existed

20 Things That Boomers Love That Are Hard for Us To Understand

Senior sporty woman smiling out of the pool with swimming goggles and cap in hand - active retiree enjoying swimming on a sunny day.
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There is a ton of stuff old people do that the younger generation doesn’t seem to wrap their heads around. However, it is a pattern, and everyone who gets old ends up doing the same things they couldn’t understand when they were young.

20 Things That Boomers Love That Are Hard for Us To Understand

19 Frugal Habits That Will Change Your Life

Portrait Of Young Man Taking Cold Shower In Bathroom,
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Committing to frugal habits will help you live a frugal lifestyle. Making frugal habits part of your everyday life could save you money in the long run.

Saving money is about creating a frugal life that allows you to save money on the things you don’t need and use them for the things you do need.

19 Frugal Habits That Will Change Your Life


This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.