People use a variety of money-, time-, and energy-saving strategies, which may vary in their effectiveness and applicability. A user asked the forum, What’s a frugal tip that drives you crazy because it doesn’t work for you? Here are the typical responses. 


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“Googling coupons! Love the concept, but the ones I find are always fake & unusable!”


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“Cheap shampoo. My hair looks bad with that stuff, and I get sores on my head.”


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“Winter is -20C to -40C. Ain’t no way I’m exercising outside in the winter. My pet peeve is telling me to shop at Costco because it’s cheaper. I live alone, so the portions of fresh things are just too big. The membership and driving to a separate store don’t save me any money.”


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“Gardening. If you don’t have anything to garden with, it’s a little pricey.

Also, if you don’t have the knowledge, trial, and error is costly, money and time. In-season produces bought at the farmers market is such a low cost that I can’t seem to bring myself to garden.”


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“That 50/30/20 is a valid budgeting strategy. No one talks about what to do when your debt payments are 50% of your take-home income.”


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“Gym membership is a great value. It cost me a little over a dollar a day. I get access to a pool, locker room, shower, bathroom, all the machines, all the weights, an indoor basketball court, and other people to play basketball with, and I can bring a guest with me any time.

As long as I am able to use it regularly, a gym membership is one of the last expenses I’m willing to cut.”


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“For me, it’s got roommates and living somewhere cheaper. I have PTSD from an old roommate pulling a knife on me, another ex-roommate suing me, and I’m also a massive introvert. Home is my happy place. I don’t drink or go to bars, my hobbies are very low cost, and so I spend more of my paycheck on housing costs than others might, solely for peace of mind.

At the end of the day, money isn’t everything and quality of life is important. Being frugal means not spending money frivolously, but ensuring peace of mind and comfort isn’t frivolous.”


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“I’m in Texas; no way I’m turning this AC down or working out outside. I will pay those bills if it means I don’t have to live in this swamp humidity.”


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“Pay with cash. I don’t mean making sure you have the money in the bank for big purchases but literally having bills on you at all times and only buying things with cash rather than a card.

People who preach this say you spend less when you have to part with physical money, but I have found that to be the opposite with me.”


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“One tip that doesn’t really work for me is to stop using delivery services and buy my groceries at different stores based on coupons etc.

I buy the same stuff weekly from the same online-only store that offers free delivery for purchases at just about my standard base weekly shop cost, and the few dollars I may save more buying at physical stores with coupons, etc., is just not worth the time and hassle I would have to spend getting everything home myself.”


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“Anything concerning energy and being uncomfortable. Yes, I can always put a sweatshirt on. Yes. I can always take my clothes off.

But no a/c meant I couldn’t comfortably cook. Turning the heat off or down in the winter meant arthritis flare-ups, and I was miserable, cranky, and hated life. Either means poor quality sleep. Anything that involves changing skincare or hair care. I have a lot of sensitivities, and while I’ve tried all of the cheap brands, I always end up going back to the stuff that works and doesn’t make me miserable.

Meal prep. I don’t get how people do this. I’ve yet to see a TikTok demonstration that looks like it would be good for every single day.” 


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“Unplug appliances when you aren’t using them because they draw a tiny amount of power. So spend a whole bunch of time running around my house so I can save less than a dollar per year.”


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“I hate it when people say, “if you save ten bucks a day/week/etc., you’ll have X amount by the end of the year!” Like bro, I’m living paycheck to paycheck; if I don’t run out of money after rent, that’s a major victory for me.”


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“Homemade washing powder. Just no.”


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“I have a lot of allergies and intolerances. I can’t eat cheap food. Most of it contains some soy product — soybean oil, soy flour, soy lecithin. I would be just as happy to eat store-brand white bread, but I have to spend four times as much to get the fancy brioche that doesn’t contain soy. Of course, I could make my own bread at home, but I just want a dang sandwich, not a part-time job.

And try to find a salad dressing that doesn’t have a soybean oil base — I have found one brand, and it’s in the refrigerated part of the produce section, so you can guess how expensive it is. Vegetable oil and vegetable shortening are made with soybean oil, so I have to buy the more expensive canola oil. There is literally one brand of ice cream I can eat without breaking out in hives or crapping my pants.

And because of those allergies and intolerances, I also have to spend money on dairy relief (lactose enzyme) pills and anti-diarrhea pills, and antihistamines. Groceries wouldn’t be so expensive if I could eat food like a normal person.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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