It’s an expensive world, but at some point, we must say enough is enough. I’m not drinking the same water as my dog to save money.
Okay, frugality tips aren’t always that ridiculous, but some of them are pushing it. These are the top ten frugal tips people have deemed going too far.
1. Baking Your Own Bread
An avid baker confesses they believe baking their own sandwich bread is not worth their time and the little money they might save. Bread is admittedly cheap — their local Aldi sells an entire loaf for just $1, and their family goes through it like water.
Though they grant it’s worth it to bake other bread products from scratch, like rolls, pizza, biscuits, and sourdough, they think the time and effort invested into sandwich bread isn’t worth the meager savings in the end.
2. Getting Cheap Haircuts (As a Woman)
One woman says that haircuts in a midrange salon make a world of difference twice a year than if she goes to Great Clips for a hair bargain.
However, other commenters think it depends on your hair type and style. A second person replies that women with curly and short hair have particular needs compared to long and straight hair.
Others insist paying more than $20 for a simple trim isn’t worth it. As someone who has cut their own hair ever since a traumatizing mishap in a salon in sixth grade, I will never go back, so use your judgment on this one.
3. Not Having Pets
One person controversially claims that having pets is worth the food and vet bills they come along with in exchange for the companionship they provide. I don’t disagree that pets are worth the money, but this comment is missing the forest for the trees.
Pets are a huge financial responsibility, and if you can’t afford an emergency vet visit, you can’t afford to have a pet. In that sense, pets are like a luxury. You shouldn’t gamble with their lives if you can’t afford to care for them.
4. Repurposing Stored Water
An individual who has witnessed people storing buckets of water in the shower and bath as it is heating up for other purposes admits it rubs them the wrong way.
While they understand its supposed environmental and financial purpose, they can’t imagine how people deal with the inconvenience of remembering and storing buckets and avoiding knocking them over.
A second commenter agrees, sharing that they have a friend who stores sketchy-looking water, filling their bathroom with buckets. It grosses them out so much they avoid using her bathroom entirely. Yeah, I draw the line at compromised sanitation.
5. Driving to a Further Gas Station To Save a Few Cents on Gas
Okay, I have never understood why people do this, but then again, I always pull into the nearest gas station without much thought. A car owner says they don’t believe it’s worth driving further to save a few cents on gas.
Many others agree, with one person pointing out that this often involves turning off a road, merging back into the road through a red light, and doing it all over again to use the gas station on the opposite side of the road.
I’ll just take the more expensive gas! However, one person’s comment convinced me Costco is a worthwhile wait. Their local Costo is 20 cents cheaper than the surrounding gas stations, and they get 5% cash back when paying with their credit card.
6. Hoarding Everything in Case You Need It Later
One individual is fed up with holding onto unnecessary objects around their home on the off chance they might find a use for them later.
Someone else explains how they determine whether or not something is worth keeping. Their rule of thumb is to keep things that are difficult to let go of or expensive. Then, any stored things that aren’t used in a reasonable timeframe get tossed. They insist that broken, worn-out, or duplicated items should be discarded.
7. Growing Your Own Food
Gardening is often posed as a solution to the lofty expense of purchasing food, but according to one user, it’s expensive to get into. A gardener warns that getting into gardening for frugality reasons is a losing game, and it’s better treated as a hobby.
Another person says it comes down to picking and choosing your crops wisely. They advise that herbs are a cost-effective crop to grow if you use many of them, as they run high costs at the store and are easy to grow.
However, fruits and vegetables that are quite cheap at the store (cucumbers) aren’t worth the trouble. Others chime in, adding that gardening can also improve the taste of your dishes, while some say it can take lots of work and years of your life to recover your investment.
8. Buying Lower Quality Products To Save Money
Should you spend more money on high-quality products or always go for the cheapest option and make do? One person said, “I don’t like buying cheaply made things to save a few bucks. I own fewer high-quality things that I actually like.”
However, others disagree, claiming it’s a valid frugal strategy to buy cheap most of the time and only buy quality products when it’s something you want to last.
9. Not Viewing Time as a Valuable Resource
A woman named Kate says there are many frugal hacks she won’t try because they’re too time-consuming. Time, she argues, is a more precious resource than money.
I completely agree, and the subsequent comment expanded on this beautifully. They explain, “sometimes the most frugal thing you can do, honestly, is work towards getting a better job.” It’s a harsh reality, but no matter how much penny-scraping you do, if you don’t make any money, it will be a daily struggle to make ends meet. Your time would be better spent investing in skills to get a higher-paid job or a raise.
10. Reusing Ziploc Bags
A Ziploc bag user confesses, “I’m not reusing Ziploc bags. No.” I sympathize. Sure, there are instances where it’s appropriate to reuse a Ziploc bag if it stored dry goods like nuts, but if you’re reusing a slimy, dirty Ziploc bag, you have more significant problems than money.
A voice of reason replies that even pricier reusable bags aren’t worth it and that using meal prep containers is more practical.
This thread inspired this post.
This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved.