10 Sneaky Money-Saving Tricks That Frugal Experts Keep Under Lock and Key

When too many people get in on a secret, it usually gets ruined. Great bands sell out, tourists overrun hidden locales, and foodies crowd the best mom-and-pop restaurants. 

Keep the Frugal Hacks Secret

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The same holds for the best frugal hacks. Once too many learn about them, companies wise up, charging extravagant prices for the once-cheap items. 

While scrolling through the frugal sub on Reddit, I came across a fascinating question, asking users to share the frugal hacks they fear will get ruined once too many people learn about them. 

Be sure to keep these money-saving tips secret, so we all can enjoy them for years to come!

Asian Grocery Stores

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Asian grocery stores often offer fantastic prices on staples. 

Some Redditors said most ethnic stores offer great prices. “Any ethnic-themed store (Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern) is super cheap on staples like beans, rice, and spices,” replied one user.  “Even the Hispanic section at Walmart still sells spices at a fraction of what you pay on the spice aisle,” they added. 

The initial commenter was appalled to find changes to the Asian grocer near them. “I was in the one the next town over, found they’d reorganized, labeled the aisles in English…and put up the prices by half,” they lamented. 

Restoring Old Furniture

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You can still decorate your house without spending tons of money by restoring old furniture, but many Redditors fear it will get harder and harder to find good, cheap pieces. 

“Did this for both my kids rooms. Got some solid wood furniture (3 dressers) from thrift stores for about $50 each. Painted them and replaced the hardware. They look far better than anything I could afford to buy new,” said one user. 

Others complained that this frugal hack is already on the way to ruin. “Many pieces get bought up /flipped for online stores or sellers now want the restored value of the furniture because they “know what (they) have.” stated one commenter. 


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Thrifting is already ruined, but you can still find some treasures. Some frugal Redditors fear the trend towards higher prices at the thrift store will continue as more and more people seek to save money by buying used. 

“I’m glad more people are buying second hand, but it’s killing my budget,” said one user, while another lamented the rise of for-profit thrift stores “ EcoThrift tries to find each item’s value online to set a competitive price before putting it on the floor,” they said. 

Flea Markets

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Although many flea markets have turned into stalls of commercial vendors, some still have regular people selling random junk for reduced prices. “SW MO and NW Arkansas have the best flea markets where you can find literally ANYTHING. So much fun,” said one user. 

“I’d come back with the most unconnected things ever. Scrimshaw ship engraving, Brussel sprouts, still life painting, brass watering can, antique pants. Can’t get enough,” exclaimed another. 

Military Surplus Stores

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“You used to be able to collect all sorts of gear from firearms, tents, MREs, clothes, helmets, backpacks, cases, tools, knives, etc., for super cheap.” said one user. “That’s almost all gone partly because of collectors and partly because of fewer things being surplused out. Although occasionally there are still deals to be found,” they added. 

Others said the only genuine military surplus stores are the ones near bases, while the others sell cheap knockoffs. 

Buy Nothing Groups

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“You may not always get the item, but I have gotten so many amazing things gifted to me from our local buy-nothing and other giveaway sites, said one user. 

Others said the Buy Nothing Groups are already over-saturated. “My local buy-nothing group is so popular now that you compete with 20 people for a bag of coffee beans,” complained a different user. 


Woman similing holding paper and pen to show she's artistic
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Frames are expensive when new, but one Redditor has a frugal hack to get them cheap. “I paint (oils and watercolors), so I buy framed paintings for cheap at thrift store, remove the crappy painting and use the frame for my artwork,”  they said. 

This tip may help other artists trying to make a name for themselves, but most folks don’t need frames often enough to ruin this frugal hack. 

Estate Sales

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“I got the BEST glass to drink out of years ago…. an old Milwaukee beer glass. It is in almost perfect shape… .50 cents. I haven’t seen estate sales since then.” said one user. 

With the rise of reselling businesses, finding cheap treasures at estate sales is getting harder and harder. “A huge amount of estate sales in my area have gone to an online auction. At best, you can get most things for the “resell” price,” explained another. 


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Beans are one of the best, cheap foods you can get, and most frugal Redditors hope it stays that way. “dried beans vs. canned is a whole other world. Less money for more texture, flavor, versatility,” exclaimed one user while praising the virtues of beans. 

Some said they doubt beans will get more popular and expensive. “I think it’s the fact that beans require planning. If you want beans, you can have them tomorrow, or if tomorrow is too long, it’s a few hours of fast boiling and stirring and swapping the water out,” they explained. 

Clearance Sections

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“Honestly, not too many people would even bother to look at a clearance sale in grocery stores or Walmart because of “quality” and “expiration” dates, but during these times, I’ve seen a heavy increase of many people taking advantage of clearance sale,” stated one user. 

However, they went on to describe changing trends due to increased inflation. “I used to love finding last-minute surprises on my grocery runs… Now I’m lucky if I can find anything at all.”

“I love my local Safeways clearance section because nobody uses it. I mainly use it for coffee, and it’s always the nicer brands that are in the clearance section,” offered another user. 

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We learned these staples we used to buy regularly are actually luxury items. Here are the top items everyone stopped buying because of inflation

Extreme Frugality

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People share the most drastic things they’ve done to save money

Frugal Hacks that Aren’t So Frugal

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These common myths about frugality often cost people more in the long run. 

Save Money on Basic Living Expenses

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Realistic Money-Saving Tips for Everyone

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Need to save more money? Check out these tried and true tips that nearly anyone can implement

Source: Reddit