Inside: Want to save more money? Learn nine important things frugal people don’t do and incorporate some of their habits into your life.

Want to save more and spend less… but can’t figure out how

Just look at your frugal friends – or frugal strangers – and do what they do (and what they don’t do).

Frugal people have figured out the habits and behaviors they need to maintain their lifestyle, avoid frivolous spending, and save lots of cash. 

And in many cases? It isn’t what frugal people do that helps them cut back on spending and save more. Instead, it’s what they don’t do.

Want to cut your budget, boost your savings, and spend more intentionally? Consider embracing some of the things that frugal people don’t do. 

things frugal people don't do

9 Things Frugal People Avoid Doing

If you want to save more money, copy some of the habits of people who are frugal. Here are nine common things they don’t do (and what they do instead).

1. Frugal people don’t pay full price.

There’s always a good deal to be found – and frugal people have mastered the art of taking advantage of sales. 

Need groceries? Instead of buying whatever comes to mind, frugal people shop the sales, building a menu around meats and veggies available at a discount.

Low on gas? Frugal people find the station with the lowest price or take advantage of discount programs, such as reward points from shopping at grocery stores. 

Frugal people know their prices and are aware of which stores carry the items they buy at the lowest prices.

And when it comes to bigger purchases – things like electronics, clothes, furniture, cars? They wait. With a little bit of patience, you’ll see that almost everything goes on sale at some point.

By planning those purchases instead of shopping impulsively, you can save some serious cash and avoid paying full price. 

Frugal people work to maximize their savings by avoiding unnecessary items and getting good deals on the things they do need. They periodically review the services and carriers they’re using to see if they can get better rates elsewhere.

life lessons from this is us

2. Frugal people don’t have a lot of subscriptions.

Back in the day, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu were a great deal – especially when you compared them against traditional cable or satellite television services.

But over the years, fees for those subscriptions have started to creep up, and more services have entered the market. Many of us have signed up for more than one.

In many cases, we’re paying for subscription services that we rarely, if ever, watch – and sometimes, we don’t even know we’re still being charged for a service until we review our bank statement.

And if they sign up for a free trial? Frugal people put reminders on their phones and cancel them before they’re charged.

Instead of subscribing to Netflix and Hulu and Disney+ and Paramount+ and Prime Video and AppleTV, just pick one or opt for free options instead.

Look at what each service has to offer, figure out which one includes the shows and movies that align with your interests, and cancel the rest. Or cancel them all and see what free resources you can find through your local library.

3. Frugal people don’t maintain a ton of memberships.

Sure, the idea of a membership might sound exclusive – and even like a good deal.

But in many cases, it’s hard to get as much value out of those memberships as you think you’re getting. And, like streaming subscriptions, it’s easy to let them go totally unused.

Frugal people usually don’t get memberships at Sam’s Club and Costco. They pick one.

And they don’t splurge on various subscription boxes, or clothes delivery services like StitchFix, or multiple fitness memberships.

Instead, they evaluate their options and make a conscious decision to commit when they’ve found a membership that will truly add value. 

Frugal people are aware of where they’re spending their money and minimize money drains to the best of their ability.

things frugal people don't do

4. Frugal people don’t eat out all the time.

Eating out at restaurants or grabbing food to go from your favorite takeout spot is tempting. The food is easy and quick. And it’s mostly effortless – you don’t have to cook, or wait, or clean up afterward.

But eating out is expensive, especially when you compare your meal at a restaurant (plus the tip) to what it costs to buy groceries and cook at home.

Frugal people view restaurants as an occasional treat, a luxury, something to look forward to once in a while – not a daily or weekly occurrence. 

By grabbing breakfast at home, packing a lunch for work, and planning dinners to prep in the evening, frugal people avoid the temptation of eating out – and keep more money in their pockets as a result.

Frugal people look for practical ways to save money while still enjoying life. They may enjoy a meal out from time to time but often use coupons, or discounts, eat lunch instead of dinner, or order off the happy hour menu to save some money.

things frugal people don't do

5. Frugal people don’t keep balances on their credit cards.

A credit card can be a great way to earn a little extra cash when used carefully.

When you use a card with a rewards program and no annual fee, you can strategically use it to earn cash back (or points) over the course of a year.

The trick? Frugal people are not only selective with their purchases, but they also pay those cards off each month.

Carrying a balance is a quick way to get hit with hefty interest charges and other unwanted fees.

Frugal people don’t charge things to their credit card unless they know they already have the money to pay for it.

They also carefully monitor their spending so they don’t wind up with any surprises at the end of the month.

make do instead of buy new

6. Frugal people don’t buy everything brand new. 

To be fair, there are some things that you want to buy new. I wouldn’t recommend shopping for used mattresses or undergarments on Facebook Marketplace.

But many things can be purchased used. Not only is buying secondhand a great way to take care of the environment by keeping stuff out of landfills, but it’s also a strategy that frugal folks leverage to save a ton of money on virtually anything.

Used items are often available at a significant discount from their brand-new, full-priced counterparts, making it an easy way to save on big and small purchases.

The trick? Be conscious of what you’re buying as there are some things to be aware of and that you don’t want to buy secondhand.

Also, don’t just take someone’s word for it when buying used – give it a thorough inspection to make sure all is well. This is important for big purchases, like used cars, but also smaller ones like used clothes.

By making sure the things you’re buying are still of good quality and in working order, you’ll ensure your money isn’t going to waste. 

You can also often get the item at less than the listing price if you ask politely. It’s worth trying.

impulse shopping

7. Frugal people don’t impulse shop. 

Some of us can’t resist the temptation to buy something when we want it. We love the instant gratification that comes with buying a new top or cute seasonal decor item for the home.

But frugal people have figured out how to resist that temptation. They don’t impulse shop.

Instead, they shop strategically. They research their purchases before they buy them to make sure they’re getting the best value and the right functionality.

They’re intentional with shopping and carefully consider their purchases before making them.

And by waiting, they make sure they only buy things they truly need – not just things that they want at the moment. 

Frugal people sometimes need to resist the urge to continue acquiring items that are cheap or free as they can end up cluttering their home with items that were ‘a good deal’ if they’re not careful.

first class flight

8. Frugal people don’t overspend.

Frugal people are able to easily decipher wants from needs. When it comes to spending money they implement various ways to avoid overspending, such as:

Don’t get pulled into trends

While trends often encourage people to spend more money (typically on items they don’t actually need), frugal folks avoid this. They don’t care about trying to keep up with the latest and greatest and choose to focus on what they already have instead.

Repair what they can

Speaking of focusing on what they have, frugal people work to repair what items they can rather than immediately replacing them.

They also think outside the box and look for ways to make do instead of buying new when possible.

Stay within budget

Frugal people create a simple budget and check in regularly to see where their money is going. They get creative in looking for additional ways to save money and stay on budget.

For categories like entertainment or travel they may use travel hacking techniques or research alternate ways to enjoy activities while also getting a great deal.

They aren’t prone to splurging, but if they do it’s done with thought and planning where the money is saved over time in order to afford it.

frugal decluttering

9. Frugal people don’t go into debt.

A good money habit that frugal people practice is avoiding debt. If they do acquire debt, it’s done so mindfully and with a plan to pay it off.

They don’t use credit to buy things they can’t afford. And they don’t get pulled into buy now pay later options.

If they get a loan for a big ticket item, like a home, it’s done with research and understanding of the loan terms. They go in with eyes wide open having read the fine print and with a clear comprehension of the potential eventualities.

Frugal people make an intentional effort to live within (or even below) their means. They make sure to keep a funded emergency account to help them avoid debt should a big need arise.

What other things do frugal people not do? Leave a comment and let me know what I’ve missed!

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  1. Always check the refurbished listings on amazon before paying full price. I often get what I need at half price. Everything from computers to a glass juicer can be found there. The returns are sold off cheap.

  2. Frugal people do not ignore the need for budgeting for retirement savings. They plan to save 10% or more of their pre-tax income in a 401k, 403b or IRA account, or post-tax income in a Roth, and make sure they’re getting any employer match they’re entitled to. Then they adjust their spending on the rest of their budget to reflect what’s left. In other words, they pay themselves for the long-term FIRST.

  3. They watch less movies in theatres. Watch only Big ones that too the Early morning / mid week shows which are have half priced ticket prices.

    Seldom they indulge in anything that is not a value for Money…

    Often use public transport.

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