11 Things Frugal People Just Do Not Do

Frugal people don’t do certain things for a reason. For the benefit that not doing brings to them.

I absolutely love being frugal. I love the freedom that it has brought me.

I have no mortgage, I have money in the bank and I am not shackled to a job until I am 68. How fabulous is that?

Was I born frugal? Errr, nope! And you probably weren’t either. I had to get frugal because I had no money.

I was living on welfare benefits as a teenage single mum and my money did not stretch very far. Especially as I hadn’t learned all the best frugal living tips that are out there.

We are all frugal for different reasons and we have different ways of being frugal. But some things are the same.

There are some things that frugal people don’t do, regardless of whether they are into extreme frugality or not.

Being frugal is about making the most of your money. It isn’t deprivation by any means.

It’s liberation from a consumerist society that demands you spend too much money and go into debt just because everyone else is.

When you are frugal you know you can live fabulously on a budget and on one income if you need to. Being frugal gives you freedom.

Freedom to choose how to spend your money, how much to save and what financial goals you are going to achieve.

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11 Things Frugal People Don’t Do

1.Impulse Buy (Just Because)

Impulse buys can be budget killers. And frugalistas know it.

With so much choice around you it can be very tempting to buy. Something, anything. Just because.

Frugal folk have built up their emotional defenses. They keep their financial goals in mind.

They know what they are aiming to do with their money and impulse buying isn’t it.

And they employ tactics to stop impulsive buying.

They will use the 30 day rule. They keep themselves focused on strengthening their money habits.

It is much easier to not buy impulsively if you do not put yourself in the position of being confronted with glorious and lovely things.

I choose not to go into some of the loveliest shops, precisely because they are so lovely. I’m frugal but I’m not made of stone.

And pretty things can be tempting, to even the most frugal of folk.

PINK TULIPS and 2 tea lights on white background - what frugal people don't do

2. Shop Without A Reason

Frugal people don’t do shopping for shopping’s sake. They have a budget that makes the most of their money.

It’s their money plan and ensures they control what happens. Going shopping just because you can is not part of a frugal master plan.

They have learned their money lessons well and apply them to everything they do.

Frugal folk like to spend money, on things that matter to them.

Because they know what is important to them there is no reason to mindlessly shop and they refuse to give in to lifestyle creep.

They don’t spend money every day and plan their purchases to make sure they get value for money.

This actually frees up a chunk of time. No more going to the mall as a leisure activity.

No more popping out to the store because you feel like getting something for yourself.

Being wise with your money is all in the frugal master plan.

flowers on white background with what the frugal don't do written

3. Pay Someone To Do Your Chores

In our grandparents day, everyone, apart from seriously rich folk, did their own chores.

You mowed your own lawn, did your own decorating, washed your own car.

Nowadays you could easily pay someone to do almost everything for you, even down to delivering your meal to you on a plate courtesy of meal delivery services.

But this supposed convenience comes at a high price.


Frugal folk wouldn’t dream of paying someone to do something they could do themselves.

Even if they don’t know how to do a particular job you can bet they’ll find out how to do it.

YouTube has a wealth of how-to tutorials to dive into.

Anything from doing your own car oil change to how to get the best paint finish on your walls to how to make furniture.

Frugal folk enjoy doing things for themselves as they know ti helps them to build their frugal mindset.

They get a real sense of achievement. And a glow of satisfaction when they count how much money they have saved.

Related post: 12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings

Start your frugal journey today by joining the frugal foundations framework email course

4. Throw Away Leftovers

Frugal folk don’t just not throw out leftovers, their aim is to never have any food waste.

They make use of all leftovers and you can too.

Leftovers make great lunches for the following day.

Alternatively you can freeze individual leftover portions for another meal – perfect for busy nights.

Or have a family leftover smorgasbord night. Everyone chooses a different leftover meal or dips in and has a bit of everything.

When you throw out food you are throwing out your own money. You used your precious, hard earned money to buy that food.

Don’t waste it, eat it.

Did you know we waste up to 30% of the food we buy? As a frugalista I find that statistic so shocking.

If your grocery bill is $300 a month, you are effectively wasting $90 every month through food waste. Don’t do it!

Eat your leftovers.

5. Buy Bottled Water

Never mind the impact to the environment of the masses of discarded water bottles.

Frugal folk are not prepared to pay for something they can easily get at home for (basically) free.

If you are a fan of drinking water every day (and why wouldn’t you when it’s great for your health) then use a reusable water bottle.

It will keep your water much colder than a plastic bottle will.

It’s environmentally friendly and will save you money very quickly with regular use.

pale blue desktop with boss lady notebook and various stationery

6. Pay For Late Fees

Bills have to be paid at some point so why delay and pay late fees? Is frugal folk’s way of thinking.

When you don’t have money to splash around the last thing you want to do is spend some of it on late fees because you didn’t get organized.

And even if you do have plenty of spare cash why would you want to waste any of it?

Frugal folk have all their bills automated; insurances, utility bills, mortgage or rent. Even annual payments can be automated.

Tie this in with never having an overdraft and your finances will be in great shape.

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7. Buy The Newest Technology

Technology moves at such a fast pace now that it feels like as soon as you buy something it is technically out of date.

Take a step back from this, like frugal folk have, and consider this.

You buy a piece of technology, say a new television.

You buy a particular model because it does what you want it to and it’s within your budget.

If a newer version comes out, does that stop your own model working or doing what you want it to do? No.

Same goes for the latest phones. Don’t fall for upgrading your phone every year.

Use your electrical items until they are broke and need another one.

Our TV is now 12 years old. It’s not 3D nor is it HD.

But you know what, I can watch every program I want on it, so I guess I’ll just keep it until I can’t do that.

When you do need a new item, think carefully about the model you buy.

Do you need the latest version? Buying a slightly older version could save you hundreds.

child sitting in front of television

8. Borrow Money

Borrowing money is seemingly part of every day life now as is being broke.

But it doesn’t have to be that way and frugal folk prove this.

When you borrow money you invariably pay interest. And the longer you borrow money for, the more interest you pay.

Have you ever looked at mortgages and the total repayment amount?

I used the mortgage calculator at moneysupermarket.com and was shocked at the figures.

A £250,000 mortgage repayable over 25 years at an interest rate of 3.5% = total repayment of £378,262. That’s 151% total interest payable.

And that’s on a lowish interest rate (for the UK). Think how much interest you pay for a 5 year car finance at 10%?

Frugal people don’t do or pay interest if at all possible. They have done their sums.

They know how much interest can destroy your wealth, it’s like throwing money away.

Instead they will be happy living within their means and save up to buy the things they really need and want.

They will pay cash or use their debit card.

Mortgages being the exception, as realistically who can buy a house for cash these days?

They live by the mantra:

If you haven’t got the cash for it, you can’t afford it

9. Focus On Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Throwing away things that are not pure trash is not the frugal way.

There are many things you might own or buy that once finished with could be used in an alternative way if you focus your mind.

Frugal folk know this and are often environmentally conscientious preferring to re-purpose things instead of throwing them in the trash.

Frugal folk focus on the 3R’s. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Note that recycling is last.

Better to not buy in the first place (reduce) or re-purpose something (reuse) than recycle it.

If frugal folk can’t make use of something they have they will donate or sell on to someone who can.

Charities and thrift stores are always wanting good quality items whether that’s clothes, toys, books or furniture.

Indeed frugal folk will try very hard to buy their new to them items by virtue of these stores.

That way their belongings all start at the Reuse phase.

And of course saving a ton of money in the process.

Related posts: How To Go Green When You Live A Thrifty Lifestyle

50 Frugal Habits That Are Also Eco Friendly

green piggy bank among grass and coins

10. Live Another Person’s Life

Frugal folk know what they need to do to make the most of their money. They know what rich people do and try to do the same.

In fact, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that many rich folk are also frugal folk.

To be frugal and love living within your means you need to be sure of yourself. Frugal folk aren’t trying to keep up with the Joneses.

They know that what you see when you look at someone and their supposed wealth is not necessarily the whole story.

They know that many folk who seem to have money, do in fact actually have a ton of debt.

That’s not money, that’s tomorrows earnings already spent. And frugal folk are not prepared to do that.

They save today so they can spend tomorrow without fear of debt.

To fully embrace being frugal you need to let go of the fear of missing out (FOMO).

Don’t look at others and think you should have the same. Look to your budget, your money and make your decisions from there.

Related posts:

Money Lessons You Need To Know But Didn’t Get Taught

How To Manage Money As A Couple: 9 (Successful) Strategies

11. Spend Money Every Day

It’s so easy to spend money multiple times a day if you are not careful. Coffee, lunch, snacks, newspaper, a spot of online shopping.

All things that eat into your money and stop you being as frugal as you want to be.

Frugal folk are fans of not spending money. They love no spend days and don’t even need to focus on these as they come so naturally them.

Nor do they spend a ton at the weekend either preferring to spend time rather than money.

There are so many free things you can do at the weekend that frugal folk do instead of the expensive things.

They like to take on no spend challenges because, well why not? They can be fun and a challenge.

When they do spend money they are deliberate about it and plan accordingly.

They use the 30 day rule for big ticket items, making sure they really do need that item and that it fits in with their life plan.

woman working on her bed with laptop, coffee cup and fluffy pen

The Things Frugal People Don’t Do

There are a ton of things that frugal people don’t do, but these are the key ones.

Be like frugal folk, stop doing these things and watch your savings grow.

Why spend on things like late fees and interest when, with a bit or organizing, you can pay nothing?

There are many wonderful ways being frugal can change your life, these are just the start!

You might also want to know about what habits frugal people have. Deeply ingrained habits that they swear by.

For more help in saving money like frugal folk do, grab your copy of the Money Saving Mini Bundle today.

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Last Updated on 4th April 2023 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

6 thoughts on “11 Things Frugal People Just Do Not Do”

  1. I was with you on all of those but the bottled water. First if you don’t have a week’s water stored to get you through a local or national disaster you aren’t being prepared. And bottled water is the cheapest, long shelf life way to do that. Plus if you are a hiker bottled water is the lightest and most convenient way to carry it in a day pack. Camelbacks are yuck to me. Sure, 95% of the time we use refillable water bottles, but sometimes the purchased throw aways are the better option.

    • Hi Steveark. I agree you need to store some water for disaster prep and as a hiker I always have water on me. But it’s tap water in a refillable bottle. Not store bought water. I do agree though that just sometimes you can get caught out and water must be purchased, but boy does it hurt when you do! And I am totally with you on camelbacks – they make me shudder!

  2. Great tips, Tuppenny.

    A few more things I could think of:

    – They never buy anything that’s not the best deal around.
    – They don’t trust a single source for the price of anything – they compare.
    – They don’t buy anything online without using a cashback site.

    • Hi Aman! You are absolutely right about those 3 – The internet has made life so much easier and more money saving for the truly frugal now hasn’t it? Thanks for stopping by.

  3. This is a great list. Late fees still get me sometimes. What can I say I’m a library addict and sometimes I just forget? But I also look at it like little donations. But I can for sure be better at it. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for this awesome post. I hope it inspired more people to be a bit more frugal and also less wasteful!

    • Hi Caitlyn! Confession – I got hit with a credit card interest payment just this week. OK, it was only £1.83 but still! That will teach me not to have everything automated fully – I usually pay it off manually throughout the month so don’t wait until the end of the month – I obviously skipped a whole month somehow! Library books are so easy to forget to return, you have so long to read them that an extra week soon happens. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


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