12 “Frugal Living Tips” That Are Actually Making You Poorer

Everyone seems to have an opinion of how to be frugal, and they do not hesitate to air them.

But as one Reddit user noted, not all frugal advice is solid. And yet many people seem to keep repeating these wrong pieces of advice perpetually. The user asked the Reddit community to highlight the kind of wrong frugal advice they found being repeated occasionally. We have sampled some of the best responses from this conversation.

Thrift Stores Do Not Always Stock Quality Stuff

Women shopping in thrift store.
Image Credit: Image Source Trading Ltd/Shutterstock.

One user debunked the belief that people can find quality cheap clothing whenever they visit the thrift store.

“Like I’ve heard that thrift stores are a good place to buy quality clothing for cheap,” he said, “and that things are cheaper on Black Friday.”

In the same breath, another person supports these stores saying, “I’ve gotten insane amounts of quality clothing cheap at the thrift store. That’s more about where you are than anything. Some thrift stores suck, some are amazing.”

Do Not Use Credit Cards

Upset woman in stress holds bank card and talks on phone.
Image Credit: megaflopp via DepositPhotos.com.

A user argues that using a credit card is the easiest way to get a great credit score, and yet many people advise others to use cash to avoid interest payments. “Don’t use credit cards; use cash for everything.” – easy way to not have a great credit score when you need a loan. Use the cards and pay it off monthly,” said the user

DIY Instead of Outsourcing

Repairman with tools
Image Credit: pressmaster via DepositPhotos.com.

According to one user, some DIY projects can save money. However, most require expensive tools, skills, and time that could be put to better use. “DIY. Not everyone has thousands of dollars worth of equipment around and the skills to build something cheap. People reusing plastic containers for food. No, that is not designed to be reused for ten years,” he said.

Being Frugal With Money vs. Time

Young handsome man holding bunch of dollars banknotes
Image Credit: krakenimages.com via DepositPhotos.com.

A user noted that people do not account for time when they try to be frugal. He said that time was more expensive than money and people should account for time. The user notes, “Yes, I can clean my own house, mow my own lawn, fix whatever is broken, but all of that takes time to do it, and it won’t be as good as some who does it for a living. You can always make more money, so be frugal with time than money.”

Black Friday and Boxing Day Deals

Man shopping online using laptop on couch at home, closeup. Black Friday Sale
Image Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

Many people look forward to buying products during Black Friday and Boxing Day because they think prices are discounted during this period. However, another person has a different opinion saying “”Black Friday, Boxing Day, etc., are all scams, and spending no money is the frugal option.” He adds, “ There is some truth to this, but people miss it entirely. Using these kinds of sales for big purchases if the price is better or comparable to the recent price history of the item. Last year alone, I got a new microwave for %50/$150 off, let alone cutting my cellphone and internet bills in half. In the past, I got much-needed furniture, other appliances, and general household items I really needed on these sales.”

Make Own Cleaning Products

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

Making your own cleaning products is a waste of time because detergent is cheap, and these products may not clean up as well as commercial ones do; according to another user, “Making your own laundry detergent. It’s performative frugality and a tremendous waste of time. Powdered detergent is cheap.”

Another person added, “Cleaning products. Sometimes baking soda and vinegar doesn’t cut it. Save your body soreness, frustration, and wasted time. Buy yourself some soft scrub!”


Coupon Purchase Order Discount Concept.
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.

Some people love collecting coupons as they believe it saves them money. One user, however, argues that this is a trick used by some stores to sell their low-quality merchandise, “Clip grocery store name brand coupons to save money. Except most of the things that have manufacturer’s coupons are high-markup processed foods. Often another brand was a better buy than the coupon item. Sometimes a different size of the same product by the same manufacturer that didn’t qualify for the discount was a better buy.”

Another user says some stores use coupons to trap buyers, “Coupons. There are exceptions, obviously, but most of them require you to buy multiple of brand-name items. You’re often better off buying the generic and skipping the coupon.”

Buy In Bulk

man buying products in bulk
Image Credit: photography33 via DepositPhotos.com.

One user says that sometimes buying retail items can cost less than buying in bulk. He offers an example saying, “I’ve seen countless items at the grocery store where buying a 24 pack vs. 6 costs more per unit rather than less.”

Another user shares this sentiment: “Buy in bulk and break it down. If you’re not going to use it, don’t buy it. Yes, you can save money if you go through it, but if you’re not going to use it, you just wasted the extra money.”

Shopping Around for Big Purchases

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

According to one user, people do not take time to shop around when they are making a big purchase, and this makes them lose money in the process. He gives an example of one of his friends who didn’t follow his own principles, “I have a friend who posts Dave Ramsey quotes all the time. They purchased a new vehicle in our small town dealership first place they looked. I call around and usually save at minimum 3k, if not more. 3k savings for a 3-hour drive isn’t bad.”

Buy Cheap Printers

Employee using modern printer in office, closeup
Image Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

There is a person who wondered why someone would buy a printer for a lot of money only for it to go redundant some years later while they could spend just a little money to print their stuff, “People still parrot the “buy a cheap laser printer from Brother” talking point like it’s 2005. You don’t need a printer at all, just go to a copy shop and spend the 30 cents the one time in a decade you’ll actually need to print something.”

Do Not Go to the Gym

Happy healthy young African American woman working out in a gym with a pair of dumbbells.
Image Credit: Myvisuals/Shutterstock.

Some people offer alternative ways to keep healthy, urging people to stop spending money on gym subscriptions. However, other users do not see it that way, with one saying, “Money spent on gym memberships/health/wellness stuff is money wasted. True if you don’t use it. However, the average minor heart attack costs approximately 700k dollars. I spend about 20$ each time I go to a group exercise class that I really enjoy. Even if the class only reduces the risk of a heart attack by a few percent, the math works out that I could go to the class every day for the next 9 years before the risk-adjusted cost of a heart attack is cheaper than paying for the class. Again, you have to actually use it for it to be worth it.”

12 Items Frugal People Proudly Exclude From Their Shopping List

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

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

woman warrior. woman holding sword
Image Credit: Avrora-Andrey via DepositPhotos.com.

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
Image Credit: serezniy via DepositPhotos.com.

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.
Image Credit: Elnur/Shutterstock.

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

Hipster style bearded man.
Image Credit: Lemon Tree Images/Shutterstock.

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.