Frugal living is a hot topic as everyone tries to stretch their dollars as far as possible, but many frugal tips cause frustration without delivering any real money saving.
There is nothing worse than trying to save money by doing something different, only to find it doesn’t work. Worse when it ends up costing you money.
You work hard for your money and with so many bills to pay and calls upon your money, you need to know how to save money. And how not to save money.
Below are my picks for the top three frugal living tips to avoid at all costs.
Why? Because I’ve tried them and strongly suggest you don’t bother.
I’ve tried many different ways to save money, seriously, if I thought it might save me money I would do it, I was that broke many years ago.
I learned the hard way, over many years ,what does work and more importantly what doesn’t work.
Find out why these thrifty tips are not something you want to be doing and why.
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1. Frugal Living Folly: Water the Hand Soap
Many people dispense too much hand soap (especially kids!), so you feel like you are forever buying more to ensure you don’t run out. Never mind the unnecessary extra cost.
Thrifty tipsters often suggest adding water to the container as a quick fix. This tip has never worked for me. The soap and water just do not stay mixed!
Some pumps dispense regular soap, and others dispense a watery mess that often sprays the counter, floor, and me. How is that frugal living?
Many of the soap bottles have a long neck that causes even one pump to dispense too much soap for your needs.
Soap bars are much cheaper than liquid soap and last longer so that’s a frugal living tip you might want to consider.
However even I prefer liquid soap and I am known for being into extreme frugal living, so I totally understand why you would prefer a soap dispenser.
If using liquid soap then invest in a good, solid soap dispenser with a shorter neck.
You can also wrap clear rubber bands around the neck to keep it from dispensing too much soap.
Also, consider buying liquid soap in bulk,
You may also like:
50 Frugal Green Habits To Support Sustainable Living
How To Go Green When You Live A Thrifty Lifestyle
2. Frugal Living Mistake: D.I.Y. Restaurant Lemonade
Have you heard of do-it-yourself restaurant lemonade?
You combine complimentary lemon wedges, ice water, and sugar or artificial sweetener packets to make lemonade right at the table.
Sounds lovely right? Refreshing, natural and easy.
Wrong! It’s hard enough to dissolve sugar in a glass of iced tea, never mind making this lemonade recipe.
- How are you supposed to make lemonade that tastes good?
- How many lemon wedges would it take to get a good lemonade flavor?
- Do you start over when you want a refill?
Enjoying a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon juice or even a bit of lemon juice and sugar is reasonable.
But making homemade lemonade is as tacky and silly as loading your pockets with complimentary toothpicks. Who actually uses toothpicks in a restuarant?
Practice frugal living in other ways, such as taking advantage of coupons, Groupons, or restaurant specials.
These posts will help you live frugally:
15 Best Frugal Living Tips From The Great Depression To Use Today
18 Frugal Home Must Haves To Save Money
How To Be Frugal: 200+ Best Frugal Living Tips To Save Money
3. Frugal Living Blunder: D.I.Y. Bath and Beauty Products
Homemade spa products may seem like a thrifty, thoughtful gift, but that depends on the recipe source.
I have seen YouTube videos and bloggers casually advising people to slap together spa products using materials such as vegetable oil and cooking extracts.
(Cooking extracts and essential oils are not interchangeable. Would you flavor your food with perfume?)
Common kitchen ingredients may be affordable, but they are not necessarily safe or ideal for skincare.
It is important to choose safe materials that will help skin look and feel its best. Wasting your time and materials on dangerous gifts is not frugal living.
Making homemade bath products can be a thrifty way to save money, but you really want to take the time to find a safe, reliable recipe.
Homemade lip balm and make your own soaps are easy, frugal starter projects.
Frugal living is not about being embarrassed, depriving yourself, or always choosing the do-it-yourself option.
Frugal living means being conscious about how you use your time and money. Be sensible and consider the benefits of your money saving endeavors.
The best way to dive deep into frugal living is to read up on how others have done it. Books on frugal living where the author has clearly lived and breathed it are great for helping you understand what to do and how others have done it.
Best books to help you live frugally and save money
These books will help you learn more about frugal living and saving money. Packed with actionable advice and creative ways to save money.
The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle
My number 1 all time favorite book that has SO MANY helpful tips that stand the test of time.
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money
My favorite book that helped me build my money mindset.
Six Dollar Family: From Six Dollars to Six Figures
The best tips from a family who went from totally broke to six figures.
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
A very calming book that helps you (re)focus on what stuff is important in your life.
For more help in building your frugal muscles why not sign up for the Frugal Foundations email course?
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Last Updated on 4th April 2023 by Emma