Extreme Frugality Revealed: The Drastic Lengths People Go To Save Money

Frugality is an art. Some folks go to great lengths to save pennies, believing it all adds to massive savings over time. 

Here are the most extreme actions frugal folks take that even other savvy savers think go too far. 

Power Cords

Kitchen appliances including a toaster, blender, and coffee maker on a kitchen counter.
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They say unplugging your power cords saves money on energy consumption. One economical user went so far as to measure the power consumption of each plugged-in appliance to determine which was worth the effort of unplugging when not in use. They discovered it’s not worth the effort for most kitchen appliances, but it might be worth it for entertainment systems, phones, and computers. 

Errand Day

up close of grocery list woman is holding in a store in front of vegetable display
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Save money on gas (and maybe tolls) by piling all your errands into one day. Sure, it’s a long, exhausting day filled with the post office, dry cleaner, grocery store, and other mundane necessities of life, but the cost savings on gas might be worth it. 

Keeping it Chilly

Fingers adjusting the dial on a digital thermostat.
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Northerners fear winter, not for the snow and ice, but for the surging energy costs. If you don’t mind bundling up all winter, keep the thermostat super low to limit energy consumption. 

Every Last Drop

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Many people toss out their lotion bottles and body products once the pump stops working, but frugal folks refuse to give up the precious few drops the pump can’t get. 

They cut the bottle in half when the pump stops working to get the last few ounces. 

Never Waste Water

water pouring into a glass
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No one wants to hop immediately into a cold shower. You have to wait for the water to warm up first. The most frugal among us put a pot in the tub to catch the cold water, using it later to water their plants or make tea. 


chicken broth in a jar
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Vegetable scraps and chicken bones that most folks toss out are ideal broth ingredients. Freeze them so you’ll have everything on hand when you need to make it. 

Bread Casserole

Close up of someone slicing bread
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No one likes the crust, but frugal folks save those bread ends and use them for delicious casseroles. It’s like Thanksgiving stuffing, but you can make it with many different ingredients. 

Resuing Zip Lock

Three bags of different cooked vegetables in plastic storage bags.
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Zip Lock bags let us freeze leftovers and keep our lunches fresh. They’re also expensive and add plastic waste to the environment. 

Frugal, environmentally savvy folks wash and reuse their ziplock bags. 

Mystery Shop

happy woman holding shopping bags
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Mystery shoppers act as undercover agents, scoping out a store’s cleanliness and customer service. The shopper usually gets cool perks, like free products or even groceries. All they have to do is report on their experience while shopping. 

Tool Sharing

Women cutting cloth at a sewing machine.
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Why should everyone in the friend group and family own a circular saw, Dremel, 3D printer, and industrial sewing machine when each person will only use it a few times per year?

Some frugal folks “invest” in these expensive tools with their friends and share them like a mini-tool library. 


Small pile of white paper napkins on a wooden table.
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Why buy napkins when you can grab a few extra every time you eat out? Most places throw a ton of napkins in the takeout bag, and they never question it if you ask for a few more. 

Make it from Scratch

Man in the kitchen wearing an apron cooking. He's lifting the lid off a steaming pot to check on the dish.
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Nine times out of ten, ingredients are cheaper than pre-made items.  Super frugal folks will make giant batches of pasta sauces, breads, dough, and other staples, then freeze them for use later. 

It’s far cheaper in the long run than buying pre-made versions. 


Small collection of various bottles.
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People constantly litter without a thought. They’ll toss cans, bottles, and more to the side of the road. Those practicing extreme frugality don’t see litter; they see cold, hard cash. 

They’ll collect all the recyclables they find during their daily walks and turn them into the recycling center for profit. 

Reusing the Brine

pickles in a bowl on a table
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Why pay five dollars for a jar of pickles when you can reuse the brine and make your own at home? A cucumber only costs fifty cents to a dollar, so you can save a lot of money over time by reusing the brine in a pickle jar. 

One Meal Per Day

Woman biting into a large cheeseburger.
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With ridiculous inflation on food, many extremely frugal-minded people opt for intermittent fasting. They’ll have one big meal per day, saving money on both food costs and energy to prep the meals. 

Little Things Add Up

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The little things can add up to massive savings. Here are some less drastic small things you can do to reap massive rewards

Frugal Hacks from the Experts That Still Work

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Frugal experts are always coming up with innovative ways to save money. These frugal hacks still work!

Save Money on Basic Living Expenses

An anxious looking woman turns the pockets of her jeans inside out to show she's penniless.
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You have to live, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s how to save money on living expenses

Use the Triangle Method To Achieve Your Goals

image of a triangle with money inside and sides labeled with savings, debt repayment, and investing to represent the triangle approach to finances
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Should you save, invest, or pay off debt? Gurus have tons of different answers, but the triangle method works for everyone

Realistic Money-Saving Tips for Everyone

Happy woman holding a fanned out wad of cash in her hand.
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Need to save more money? Check out these tried and true tips that nearly anyone can implement

Source: Reddit