Never do these things if you want to be frugal.
Want to be frugal? Great! So do I! Here is a list of what NOT to do if you want to live a frugal life.
I hope it will help inspire you to make a few changes in your life….or maybe you already don’t do them all!
1. Pay Full Price
A frugal person will always look at a price and think, “how can I get this for cheaper?” They will look for ways to get a better deal by:
- Waiting for it to go on sale
- Looking for a coupon to use
- Ask for a cheaper price
- Use a cashback app after purchasing
2. Buy Something Just Because It’s On Sale
Yes, a frugal person will always look for a better price, that doesn’t mean they pay for every deal that comes their way.
Real talk here, I use to be the person that bought something just because it was on sale. I took advantage of every deal that came my way, thinking I was such a smart shopper (eye roll)….
I remember proudly telling my husband about my good buy. Our conversations use to go a little like this:
Me: “Guess how much money I saved on this shirt because it was 10% off?!?!”
Husband: “Did you need a new shirt? Were you going to buy a new shirt?”
Me: “No, but it was such a good deal, I had to buy it!”
Husband: “So, basically the store tricked you into spending $15 today.”
Sound familiar to anyone????
Now that I am frugal I know that sales and deals are often geared towards the purpose of convincing the shopper to spend money. If you need something and it goes on sale, buy it! If you don’t need anything, skip the deals!
My rule of thumb is….there will always be another sale. Always.
3. Impulse Shop
Buying items on impulse is something a frugal person would never do. They always make a plan and stick to it while shopping. Every purchase has already been thought about, planned out, and saved for.
- Related: 10 Tips to Stop Impulse Shopping
4. Throw Away Leftovers
Leftovers are always saved in a frugal household. A frugal person knows a few tricks to make these leftovers work for a new meal. They might eat it for lunch the next day or turn it into a whole new meal. I love to make tacos and then use the leftover meat for a yummy taco soup the next day.
5. Make a Big Purchase Without Comparison Shopping
Frugal shoppers know to always compare prices before making a big purchase. They research similar products and ask around for a better deal. After a few days they can make their purchase with confidence knowing they are getting the best bang for their buck.
6. Run To The Grocery Store For Just “One Thing”
When a frugal person realizes they need just one item for dinner, they don’t run to the grocery store to buy it. Instead, they figure out how to make it at home.
A few weeks ago I realized I didn’t have any enchilada sauce for the dinner I had planned. So, I took a little extra time and made my own from scratch.
How many times have you gone to the grocery store for “just one thing”, but left with 4-5 things??? I have done this WAY more times than I would like to admit, so now, I avoid any “just one thing” shopping.
7. Eat Out Regularly
Most frugal people cook at home as much as possible. Eating out only happens on occasion. When a frugal person does go out to eat it, they try to choose a place with a deal or coupon.
8. Ignore Cash Back Apps
A frugal person knows that every single penny matters. They would never toss away a receipt without first scanning it into a cashback app.
- Related: Best Cash Back Apps
9. Pay a Handyman
Why pay someone to do a job that you can easily do yourself? Frugal people will learn the skills they need to do any handy man jobs around the house. This might include changing their oil, fixing a leaky faucet, yard work, etc.
10. Buy Something You Could Make Yourself
Similar to not paying a handy man, a frugal person will learn how to make things at home, rather than buying it at the store.
11. Pay For Cable
Netflix is a frugal households best friend! They don’t want to pay for an expensive cable subscription, and instead finds cheaper ways to enjoy television. In addition to Netflix they probably enjoy Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
12. Pay Late Fees
When you are frugal you never pay a late fee, all bills are paid in full and on time.
- Related: 5 Bills You Should Negotiate
14. Buy The Newest Trend
There are always new trends that come on the market. New gadgets, phones, clothing, cars, etc. When you are frugal you realize that trends come and go and that waiting a few years to buy the new big thing will likely save you hundreds of dollars.
I can’t tell you how many times I use to buy the new clothing trend to only have it sit in my closet collecting dust a few months later. It’s so important to focus on only buying items you know you will enjoy and use for the long term.
15. Shop Without a List
Frugal people know that going to the store without a list is just flirting with a spending disaster. Shopping with a list prevents impulse shopping and overspending. It keep you accountable and focused on your shopping goal.
16. Pass Up Opportunities To Earn More Money
An opportunity to earn more money is rarely passed up by a frugal person. They are always looking for more streams of income. This might be from a side hustle, a smart investment, or working overtime.
- Related: Legit Ways To Earn Money From Home
17. Care About Brand Names
Frugal people understand that brand names simply do not matter. They focus more on value over brand. At times they might decide a brand name is worth the value, and other times it’s not.
For example: When I had young kids, I always bought name brand diapers….because it’s the only one that worked. The extra money was worth it! However, I never buy name brand medications. I’ve found the off brand works just as good!
18. Buy Everything Brand New
There are so many ways to buy used high quality products. A frugal person will look for used products before immediately buying something brand new. A few of the best things to buy used are:
- Baby Gear
I love Facebook marketplace, garage sales, and thrift stores for buying gently used items.
19. Wait to Invest
A non frugal person will put off investing, thinking there is always time later down the road to worry about investing. However, if you are frugal you understand the value of time when it comes growing your wealth. They will start investing and contributing to a retirement plan as soon as possible, and will never stop.
- Related: 3 Steps to a Long Term Savings Goal
20. Keep an Empty Freezer
A frugal freezer is always a full freezer. A frugal person will stock their freezer with good deals they find at the grocery store, bulk products and any leftovers to prevent waste. They understand how to freeze products to extend the shelf life.
21. Ignore Clearance Racks
A thrifty shopper heads straight to the clearance racks at every store. They know this is the very best place to find a good buy…..while also making sure to not fall into the trap of #2 (buying because it’s on sale).
22. Buy Something Because Their Friends Did
We have all been there! Your friend comes home with a cool new toy or gadget. They tell you alllll the reasons why you just “have to buy one“……and you believe them! What happens next? You come home with the same toy.
I know this has happened in my house (more than once, unfortunately!).
When you are frugal you know how to be excited for your friend, without feeling the need to keep up. They are content with the items they already own.
23. Go To The Store Without Consulting the Budget First
A frugal person knows exactly how much spending money they have in their budget at all times. They check the budget regularly and never buy without making sure they can afford it.
- Related: How to Make a Zero Based Budget
24. Leave Lights On In The House
Does anyone else have memories of their parents always saying, “Turn off the lights!” Just me?!?!? Frugal people always turn off lights that aren’t in use. They understand that lighting a house costs money, money they would rather use for a different purpose.
25. Throw Expensive Birthday Parties
DIY birthday parties are a frugal moms expertise. They look for simple ways to celebrate their kids, without spending a lot of money. This is done by making the birthday cake, putting together a few homemade decorations and simple games. The birthday child is given a special day to remember, without a lot of money spent.
26. Buy A Car On Credit
While the world likes to tell us that the only way to buy a vehicle is to buy it with credit, frugality tells a different story. A frugal person will wait a few extra years to save up the money to buy the vehicle that they want, or they will choose to buy something cheaper.
They know that paying cash for a car will help them financially, and that’s more important than a fancy care.
27. Throw Out Clutter
A frugal person understands that clutter can be turned into cash. Instead of throwing out unused items, they clean it up and sell it. They see the value beyond the dirt.
It’s true that a frugal life requires some sacrifices. But, from my experience, the sacrifice is so worth it! I am so grateful for this simple life I have created and the money lessons I have learned along the way.
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Let’s keep this list going! What else would you do if you were NOT frugal?