20 Things Frugal People Don’t Do
Wouldn’t it be great if saving money were easy? If there were ways that living a frugal life didn’t feel like a chore?
Actually, there really are ways to enjoy being frugal. And, no, none of them will require you to live in a tent in the middle of the woods.
But first, let’s talk about frugality. I see that word being thrown around an awful lot. Truthfully, I like being called “frugal” a whole lot more than being called “that cheapskate over there” (although it’s true).
What is frugality?
In a nutshell, frugality is making smart money decisions. That can be as simple as skipping the Starbucks every day, or as extravagant as selling your house to live debt free in a tiny house you built.
If you’re there thinking that I’m going to tell you that the things frugal people don’t do are going to be painful, unattainable, and just ridiculous, you’re wrong. Life is hard enough. Saving money shouldn’t be.
Listen up: It’s really not impossible. Here is a great place to start living frugally and saving money.
20 Things Frugal People Don’t Do
Shop without a reason.
Having a plan for every penny. Don’t look for ways to have your money control you. Control your money!
Window shop with your wallet.
Anthropologie has amazing stuff so does Pottery Barn Barn. I’ll admit, I see their displays ads and I just sigh. BUT. I will never enter either one of those buildings with my wallet in my possession. I will window for ideas on how to decorate house but I will leave my wallet at home. Pinterest is full of great ideas anyway!
You don’t have to shop thrift, but there are always coupons and cash back everywhere! If you do any shopping online, you should never ever pay for shipping and you should always check to see if there are coupon codes (and always get Ebates cash back).
Before you go out to a restaurant, check online for free desserts, appetizers, entrees, and more.
Related resource: Best Money Saving Apps You Need
This goes back to having a plan for every penny. Getting rid of the temptation to just run out and see something shiny and throw money at it. Don’t do it it’s bad.
Go out to eat without a coupon.
There are coupons everywhere. You might have to do some looking, but you can definitely find coupons for basically wherever you want to go to eat.
Pay for cosmetic stuff.
Getting your roots touched up, manicures pedicures etc. Anything like that that is completely superficial, is almost completely unnecessary. If you really need to go and get your hair or nails done, there are always coupons! Groupon usually has some really great deals too!
Pay someone else to do something that you can do it yourself.
Like painting your walls. You can do it. Trust me. If I can do it, you can do it.
Throw something out without trying to make money off of it.
If you have an old couch or old TV or an old bookshelf, always tried to sell it on Craigslist or at a yard sale before just throwing it out. Even if it’s junk junked, I would be willing to bet you money that somebody would pay $5 for a completely destroyed dresser.
No cable for us means saving more than $120 a month. Netflix and Hulu are the way to go! Even without cable, you never need to miss out on TV.
Related resource: How to Get Rid of Cable and Still Watch TV
Buy bottled water.
It’s unnecessary. If you think about it this way comma you need to drink 8 to 10 cups of water each day. Which means 45 water bottles each day. Per person.
So in a family of four, you’re looking at between 16 and 20 water bottles a day!
Just go and get a water filter. This is the one that I use and I absolutely love it. It filters out everything from chlorine to lead. Not to mention it’s better for the environment! I have a refillable water bottle that I take with me everywhere.
Related resource: This is the water bottle that I’ve had for years and it’s still going strong!
Buy the newest technology.
Here’s what I mean. When the Xbox one came out it was $750 for just the basic model. Right now, the same Xbox One is $250 and it comes with 4 games and 2 controllers.
Whether it’s phones, laptops, tablets, or any other of the “latest and greatest technology,” the price will drop in just a few weeks or months. Hold out for that $200 or more price drop and reap the benefits.
Related resource: 6 Special Things I Always Keep In My Budget
Buy something just because it is on sale.
Of course, everything goes on sale eventually. But you know what, it could be 90% off but if you don’t need it… it’s still just a waste of money.
Throw out leftovers.
Sorry kids, you didn’t finish your dinner? Congratulations, kids, it’s lunch or dinner for tomorrow. If there is food left after a meal, you can save it in the fridge for a ready-to-eat meal the next day.
If you’re sick of the same meal, put it in the freezer for another time. You can even make your own freezer dinners by using a paper plate and sectioning everything off using tin foil or you can get reusable boxes that can easily be stacked and microwaved.
Related resource: The easiest meal plan for $5 dinners that are delicious.
Have empty freezers.
This is one of those weird things that frugal people don’t do. It saves energy, which saves money, to fill the freezer so there’s no empty space. Freezing meals and leftovers means that there’s less waste and it helps you later on when you’re looking for something to make for dinner.
Related resource: Here’s an amazing FREE freezer meal workshop just for you!
Overlook clearance racks.
If you do go shopping, the clearance rack should be your first stop. You might find something that you really want at clearance price.
Plus a lot of places include the clearance items in their coupon programs. I know that Kohl’s has a Rewards program that gives you Kohl’s cash to spend and it always includes their clearance items.
Related resource: My favorite place to buy high-end clothes at consignment prices.
Pay for expensive coffee every day.
Just make the coffee yourself. It saves time and money.
Plus, there’s no magic ingredient that goes into coffee at Starbucks. It’s the same coffee that you grind and brew in the bag that you can buy from them.
In fact, you can make almost everything on the Starbucks menu right in your own home.
Skip a credit card payment.
When you skip a credit card payment, you now not only have to pay a late fee, but you have to still pay interest and you haven’t changed the credit card payment. You want to make sure that you get out from underneath of any credit card debt that you have. The last thing you want to do is keep adding to your debt.
Always make your credit card payments. Even if it’s the minimum monthly payment (for the time being), always make it.
Related resource: 5 Ways to Get Your Debt Snowball Rolling Today
Pay for late fees.
If you can’t afford to make a payment, you really can’t afford to have to make a payment and a late fee. Make sure that you pay all of your bills on time.
Related resource: How We Lived Well on $17,000 as a Family of Four
Go to the store without cash back apps.
Going food shopping without Ibotta or without Walmart’s Savings Catcher is like throwing money down the drain. All you have to do is to take a picture of your receipt and you’ll get cash back.
Related resource: Here are the best money saving apps to keep on your phone!
Spend money instead of time.
Quality time with friends with kids with your spouse is so much more important than spending a ton of money.
Related resource: 30+ Real Ways to Earn Money From Home
None of these things that frugal people don’t do are extreme. You don’t need to wait around for years and years to see the results from these small but very important actions.
In reality, you can start right now and see the results from your new frugality right away. I promise you, you can do it!
Related budgeting and frugality resources:
- 10 Habits of Highly Frugal People
- How to Save for the Newly Frugal
- How We Lived Well on $17,000 as a Family of Four
- 6 Steps to Drastically Reduce Your Grocery Budget
- Money Saving Hacks from an Extreme Cheapskate
- 100+ Dollar Store Home Decor Ideas
- How to Save Money When You’re Broke
- Budgeting Books You NEED to Read
- How to Save Money When You Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck
What’s the one thing you don’t do in order to save money?
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(PS - NONE of them have to do with sales!)
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