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Beware! These 19 Frugal Myths Are Actually Scams

Frugal living is more important than ever, but not all frugal tips are created equal. On a forum, someone asked what standard frugal tip is NOT worth it, in people’s opinions. Here are the top picks:

1. Making Your Own Laundry Detergent 

Handsome hipster young man holding laundry basket and detergent bottle making fish face with mouth and squinting eyes, crazy and comical.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

There are a lot of frugalistas who recommend making your own laundry detergent, soaps, etc. 

“Making your own laundry detergent. It’s only worth it to make it in large quantities, but then you have to store it somewhere.” shared one. 

“A friend makes her own detergent every 6 months, and she did the math to show how inexpensive it is. I did the math and discovered it’s cheaper when I buy detergent at Costco,” added another. 

“Exactly. I feel like if you’re buying enough raw materials to offset the costs of one-off making soap or simply breaking even, then you may as well just be doing it as a side hustle and selling it at the local farmer’s market.” added another which we really loved.

Related: How to make beauty products to sell or gift

2. Holding On To Stuff

Pile of misc items stored in an unorganized fashion in a room

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“Reusing or holding onto unnecessary stuff for later or just in case. Sell it or trash it. The clutter in your home is not worth the headache and eyesore” said one.

Related: 10+ Best Things To Sell On OfferUp that sell quickly (real quick!) 

3. Unplugging Electronics To Save on Bill

Men's hands are plugged in the power cord on the wall.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

A user shared, “unplugging things like the TV, microwave, and lamps when not in use. It saves a couple pennies a year, takes time, and wears out the outlets.”

4. Cheap Toilet Paper

girl or woman holding toilet paper is waiting to use the bathroom.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

 A Redditor shared, “cheap Toilet Paper/ Paper towels are never an economical option in my experience, as it takes more to get the job done.”

There are tonnes of people who also recommended bidet. It decreases the number of toilet paper you will use every month.  

5. Going To Multiple Stores 

Driving a car at night - pretty, young woman driving her modern car at night in a city (shallow DOF; color toned image)

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

People recommend going to different stores to buy the cheaper items on sales. However, there were many who spoke against it. 

A user shares “wasting gas driving all over town to get the best deal, i.e., groceries, etc. I used to coupon this way until I realized the amount saved was much less than the amount of money on gas wasted.”

Another user added, “going to 3+ grocery stores in a week. I have two small children, and going into any store is torture. I can do Costco one day and Aldi another, and that’s it. I’m not going to a third or fourth store to save $1.50 on blueberries.”

6. Selecting Cheap Tires 

Samara, Russia - May 18, 2019: Vintage Russian automobile Lada with tuning wheels at the city street

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

There is no way you can cheap out on safety items. It can cause a much bigger loss if you do this!

“Don’t cheap out on safety equipment or tires for your vehicle or anything related to your healthcare and personal safety” shared one. 

“Anything where your safety is involved. I’m a big DIY guy around the house, but when it came to installing a new garage door opener, I didn’t think twice about paying someone to do it. It seems like a no-brainer when dealing with a heavy metal door, springs under high tension, sharp metal, chains, etc.” shared another.  

Related: 10 People Share Where They Draw A Line At Being Frugal (#1 Is My Fav!)

7. Using Cold For Washing Clothes

Woman Doing Laundry Reaching Inside Washing Machine

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“Washing stuff on cold, I don’t get the point. I want my stuff to be cleaner, so why wouldn’t I use warm? Plus, the price is the same for cold vs. hot for me” shared a user. 

8. Avoiding Expensive Hobbies

Happy retired woman painting on canvas for fun at home

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Avoiding hobbies. Life is too short, and many hobbies are affordable” shared one. 

“And not even looking at costs, hobbies open up the doors to friends, relationships, learned skills, etc., not to mention the joy and relaxation (or rush if you’re into that) they give you” shared one more. 

“Hobbies are THE reason to be frugal in other areas. I’ll line dry in the warmer months and buy thrift clothes if it means more luxurious yarn or buying stupid things my kids love”, shared yet another. 

Related: How To Make Quick Money In One Day

9. DIY Everything You Can

Couple In New Home On Moving Day Putting Together Self Assembly Furniture

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Doing everything yourself. There is a lot to be said for paying someone to do work that you could do, but they could do better and/or faster. So I paid someone to paint my house and took my car to get the oil changed,” shared a user. 

“And saving a lot of things (boxes, cracked mugs, etc.). IDK, I see people saving items because something could be helpful down the road (that broken mug could be a pen holder! etc.). Still, I am terrified of ending up a hoarder. Also, if you have a lot of stuff to sift through, you will lose track of important papers. Get rid of stuff that you are not using” added another. 

“My husband calls this “the Aggravation Coefficient.” Sometimes it’s worth spending the money not to be aggravated 😄”, shared yet another. 

10. Capturing Water In Buckets

collecting water

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“Capturing water as the shower/bath sink is warming up for other uses. I appreciate the people that do this for environmental and financial purposes but remembering buckets, storing buckets/water between uses, making sure kids/pets don’t knock them over… It’s just way too much for our current stage of life” shared one. 

“I have a friend who does that, and her bathroom is full of buckets containing semi-opaque water, and it’s pretty gross” added another. 

“…people keep asking me about this. She uses it to flush her toilet. If I give her any advice about anything, it pisses her off. I like her, so I let her have her weird habit. It’s something like 4 buckets. She flushes her toilet with it. I don’t use her bathroom. I use mine before I go there and am generally not there so long that I need to use it before I leave” shared yet another. 

“I do too. It’s common in drought-prone areas. But I only do it if I use the water the same day or the next. It’s easier to water my patio plants this way than to drag the hose around.” added yet another. 

Related: 25 Best Weekend Jobs From Home – Earn $1000+ Mo!

11. Drive Farther To Save On Gas

Driving a car at night - pretty, young woman driving her modern car at night in a city (shallow DOF; color toned image)

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Driving further to save a few cents on gas. Kills me.” adds one. 

“I used to get on a friend of mine for driving 8 miles to save 5-10 cents per gallon, usually on less than 10 gallons. 16 miles round-trip is easily a gallon in his car. So he spent roughly $3 on gas to save at most $1 on gas.” explained one. 

12. Heaving Couponing


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“Unpopular opinion: heavy couponing. I wouldn’t say it has to get to the “extreme” couponing phase. It takes so much time, and most stores I shop at already advertise “2 for $X” deals without a coupon requirement. Sometimes I’ll look through ads online and see if I need something on sale (usually an expensive item). If required, I’ll print out a coupon, but I need to save more while couponing for everyday buys. If you’re a stay-at-home partner/spouse or have kids, it’s different, but couponing for groceries hasn’t made up for the time lost for my house of two” shared a user.  

“Couponing didn’t really work for us; if we didn’t have to drive to four different stores, it was the things there were coupons for that we don’t use or eat” added another. 

“I’m with you. Also, coupons are often for things I wasn’t planning on buying.” said another. 

Related: From Saving Bread Bags to Reusing Tinfoil: 16 Bizarre Frugal Habits We Inherited From Our Parents

13, Avoiding Vacation

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“It’s okay to take vacations. Sometimes a staycation feels like something other than a vacation. Going out of town occasionally is excellent for your mental health” added a user. 

14. Saving Restaraunt condiments

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“Saving restaurant condiments, etc. Yeah, sure, do save what you don’t use if you get a takeout — but if you are supplying all your home condiment needs from restaurant scavenging, then the problem isn’t the cost of condiments; it’s how much you are eating out” explained one. 

Related: 10 Tips That Go Against All Frugal Advice, But Is Still Frugal For Some

15. Cutting Your Own Hair

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“…cutting your own hair. It’s more complicated than YouTube makes it seem. Everyone I know who doesn’t do a buzz cut/ shave their head has messed up their hair badly and had to pay for a haircut to fix it after or is just in denial about their awful-looking haircut” explained one. 

That said, this isn’t true for many. There are people happy with cutting their own hair. 

16. Avoiding Credit

Close-up Of A Businessman's Hand Avoiding Credit Card Over White Background

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 “Avoid credit at all costs and pay with cash only. The most significant part of getting wealthy is knowing how to utilize credit.” said one. 

“Agreed! Another benefit is that when I use a credit card, I automatically have data on my spending – nearly all credit card makers categorize purchases automatically (into groceries vs. restaurant vs. utilities, etc.) and have customizable graphs and other visual aids. You can further codify purchases to your own made-up categories, like “drunk purchases,” “happy I bought,” “regret buying,” or “shopping with friends” vs. “shopping alone.” explained one more.  

17. Cheap Apartments For Rent

Bangkok, Thailand - poor residential architecture. Cheap apartment balconies.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Cheap rent/mortgage in a moldy/dusty old home. It can cause significant health problems to the point of not being worth it, especially If you can afford otherwise. Direct environment matters more than people realize” added a Redditor. 

Related: 4 Little Known Benefits of a High Credit Score In The U.S

18. Not Having Pets

Baby Girl In Summer Dress Sitting In Field Petting Family Dog

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Not having pets. It’s worth the food and vet bills to have animal companionship. A house is not a home without a cat; my dog brings me endless joy” added one. 

“Yeah, agree. Cats aren’t that expensive unless they have significant medical issues. (Which, to be fair, is a big “unless.”)” shared another user. 

19. Not Buying Books 

Books on the table. No labels, blank spine.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Not buying books. I know some people recommend going to the library. Still, in my case, it costs more to travel to the library in my city (I don’t have a car, and the stress of the commute is not worth it. I might be tempted to eat out, which adds to my expenses” shared a user. 

“Maybe it is just me, but I prefer to buy new and used books – they are all worth it for my mental health, entertainment, and the satisfaction/happiness of collecting and owning actual books” shared another. 

 We hope you enjoy this Reddit discussion on what common frugal tip is NOT worth it. Do read 25 People Share The Most Desperate Thing They Did For Money

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.