Wednesday, July 24

14 Things Frugal People Would NEVER Buy

If you adhere to our “frugal cult”, then you must have it deeply ingrained in your bones that there are some things out there that you would never pay for. Not in a million years. Well, if you want to improve your life and finances in a clever, efficient way, then you’ll have to avoid buying things that you don’t really need.

Spending just for the sake of spending isn’t fashionable anymore: we’ve been through enough financial crises to know better than that. So let’s dive into this subject and talk about all those items that sensible spenders wouldn’t buy in a million years!

Photo by Branislav Nenin from Shutterstock


I know I started with the most difficult thing on the list, but better now than later. Also, keep in mind that some things are ESSENTIAL to you, so if not getting a pet damages your well-being, you can be frugal with other things. Now, back to pets.

Even if they are the purest and most beautiful creatures on this planet, they are truly budget busters. I remember hearing from a financial pro that the easiest way to get rich is to never let anything into your home that you are responsible for (feeding, taking care of). If you ask me, this goes for kids, pets, and lazy husbands.

Professional car wash

It’s absolutely true that at times, we HAVE to pay for a car wash. For instance, you won’t wash the car all by yourself right in the middle of the winter, or on a cold day when you need to get the road salt off your vehicle as fast as possible.

However, most frugal people are simply too tight-fisted to indulge themselves in paying higher fees for something that can be easily done at home. It depends on you which way you prefer, but now you know what the most frugal option is.

Impulse items placed in the checkout lane

True penny pinchers know that if they so much as dream about getting that snickers bar in the checkout line, all the lights will start flashing, sirens will wail, and the next thing they know, the Frugal Police will bust into the store and strip them of all those money-wasting snacks.

Saving more money means making mindful decisions, and mindful decisions imply being more careful with what you want and what you actually need. As a general rule, buying on impulse is nothing but a thrifty person’s No. 1 sin.

huge homes frugal
Photo by Justin_Krug from Shutterstock

Huge homes

Home prices have drastically increased in the last couple of years in most states. If you currently own a property, then you must be sitting on quite a windfall, so to speak. Now, you must be thinking: if people have more money thanks to their oversized houses, why shouldn’t I join the club?

Well, a truly thrifty person will try to protect himself/herself from the possible financial downside of everything. Anyone who lived to see the effects of the Great Recession already knows that higher home prices can instantly fall with the speed of light.

It all comes down to those unpredictable market conditions. And guess what? The majority of home prices seem to be dropping as mortgage rates are rising.

Brand names

When you’re out grocery shopping, you see two 16-ounce boxes of spaghetti. If you pay attention, you’ll see that Barilla costs $1.99, while the store brand is $1.30. But you still get the Barilla. Have you ever wondered why?

Because let me tell you something: thrifty shoppers will instantly choose the generic over any other brand name unless the latter one is on discount. Of course, some might say that frugal folks are willing to sacrifice quality for a buck, but in reality, there’s no difference between brand names and store ones.

Dry-clean-only clothes

Even if they always remind us that clothes make the person, they can also destroy the wallet. Clothes that need to be taken to the dry cleaners require a lot of money, but they also waste a lot of gas and time. Not to mention that dry cleaning requires using chemical solvents instead of detergent and water.

Now, it depends on who you ask: some might say that you can hand-wash those clothes in your bathroom sink (and I tend to agree with them), while others will recommend you stick to machine-washable clothes.

Soda at restaurants

If you think that frugal people are superheroes with a big fat silver $ emblazoned on their costume, I’d like to think it’s true, but it’s not (at least I didn’t get the memo). We love saving money, yes, but we’re also humans, and sometimes, we give in to the same old spendthrift temptations as others.

For instance, I am as frugal as it gets, but when it comes to going out, I’ll have MY Martini. However, I will later look for other ways to limit the financial damage. If you’re wondering who’s the most frugal person at the next dinner party, look for the guy who ordered a filet mignon with a glass of water.

Cable TV

Hear me out: This doesn’t mean that I’m trying to suggest that you give up on watching TV and reading books (although you’ll soon find out that books are ALSO on this list). But why would you overpay for cable TV, when you can watch it for free?

There are a TON of free streaming services that you have access to, and they won’t cost you a dime. Isn’t it way better than paying the same amount of money every month for…nothing?

Photo by Manu Padilla from Shutterstock

$5 coffee

Here’s another thing: so many financial experts would tell you right now that you can easily get wealthier if you skip the expensive daily trip to your favorite coffee shop. At the same time, if you’re anything like me and Martini, you still have one or two pleasures in this life that you must protect at all costs.

If that’s the case, then I have a great suggestion for you: invest in a GOOD coffee pod machine, and you’ll have top-quality coffee every morning, at home. Don’t worry: it’s still cheaper than daily Starbucks.

A new car

It’s safe to say that this is by far the biggest sin in the eyes of frugal folks. It doesn’t even matter if you skip all the cappuccinos and the Martinis in the world – if you end up buying a brand new car that you don’t even need that much, it’s all for nothing. We strongly believe that you shouldn’t buy a brand new car, especially since cars are the only thing that the minute you buy, their value decreases.

Lottery tickets

No frugal individual ever would ever consider buying a ticket to the greatest scam: the Vegas casino. Did you know that the odds of winning a billion-dollar Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million? It might sound appealing, but it’s not. It’s the death of any wealth you struggled so hard to build.

The latest technology gadgets

Frugal folks aren’t interested in the latest and the greatest. They want something that’s practical, affordable, and works. So in this club, you won’t have a partner to discuss the latest iPhone with.

Bottled water

Why would you pay for bottled water, when water is the only thing that’s supposed to be available and free? What’s next? Paying for the air you breathe? No, thank you!


If you love reading, that’s absolutely great. For some, nothing compares to the romance of opening a new book and smelling that particular scent of…fresh pages. But that’s where you’ll truly differentiate a cautious spender from a true hardcore frugal person. When you’re a penny pincher, you buy books as a last resort, and then you go to the library and read them FOR FREE.

If you’re interested in the journey of a frugal shopper, then you might want to try reading this, too: 7 Most Affordable Vacations in the US

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