10 Over the Top Frugality Stories People Shared on the Internet

Yes, we all want to save money. However, many don’t like it when our hard-earned cash goes out to unnecessary things. Still, now and then, you hear of someone who takes it to the next level, and sometimes these things are misguided and don’t really save a lot in the end. The following ten stories were recently shared on a popular online forum and demonstrated some people’s extreme lengths to save a dollar.

1. Saving the Color on the TV

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According to one contributor, their grandparents turned down the color until it was almost black and white on their first color TV because they wanted to make it last. You can see how that sounds logical, but in reality, it’s just laughable.

2. Dumpster Diving for Coupons

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One penny pincher searched every college dumpster for coupons from newspapers so he could get free sandwiches. According to his ex-girlfriend, he got free sandwiches for a year. That’s one way to save on expenses while in school.

A coupon app is much easier, and they don’t require you to dumpster dive.

3. Reusable Greeting Cards

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Are you constantly wondering when it’s okay to throw out greeting cards and sometimes feel they waste resources? According to one individual, their family writes on post-it notes so the receiver can reuse the card as they like.

4. Taped up the Light Switches

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One of the most misguided things on the forum was people attempting to prolong the life of things, such as taping up light switches and getting people to twist in the light bulbs by hand so that the buttons wouldn’t need to be replaced. Surely, this is dangerous.

5. Frugal Husband

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This story appears in several forms on the forum — tales of someone who refused to pay for repairs and instead made his wife’s life harder.

For seven years, one poster’s great-grandma had to wash dishes in a tub and throw the dishwater out the back door because her husband refused to pay to fix the kitchen sink. They added, “Then she had it all repaired for $80 two weeks after he died.”

6. Plastic on the Couch

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This was a common practice amongst older people. However, the idea of not enjoying the couch to make it last longer seems like an odd practice today.

7. Washing Ziplock Bags


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Yes, we should all do our bit to save the environment but washing out ziplock bags might be going a bit far — depending on what’s in them. Perhaps reusable containers might be a better option.

8. Saving Electricity Extremes

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My own mother unplugs all the appliances before going to bed. The ccords have started to loosen from the plugs. So is replacing the appliances worth the supposed electricity saving that’s going on here?

Another person says, “My grandpa put 30-watt bulbs in the kitchen with a pie plate behind the bulbs to direct that bright shine down upon us all.”

9. Condiments from Restaurants

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My ex-father-in-law and his partner used to do this. As a result, her purse was always filled with sugar packets and ketchup, etc. And I see I’m not the only one with relatives like this. According to one person, their grandfather would take condiments home from the local diner.

Seeking to save money on groceries is one thing, theft is another. 

10. Drying Used Paper Towels

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This one is possibly the grossest on this list. The idea of rinsing out a dirty paper towel and drying it out for reuse is frugality at its best. One poster says, “I hang my paper towels to dry if I use them to dry my hands.” So where do the bacteria go?

35 Proven Ways to Save Money Every Month

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Many people believe it’s impossible to save money. Or, they think saving $20 or $50 a month won’t amount to much. Both are incorrect. There are many simple money-saving tips that can amount to big savings. You just have to start one, then another, to increase your savings.

Ways to Save Money Every Month

101 Ways to Make Money on the Side

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There are countless side hustle ideas you can pursue. Not everyone will be a good fit for you. Here’s an exhaustive list of options to make extra money on the side.

Ways to Make Money on the Side

How to Become Rich Quickly

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Everyone wants to become rich quickly. While not always possible, there are legitimate ways to become wealthy. Follow these methods and you’ll be on the road to riches.

How to Become Rich in 9 Simple Steps

11 Jobs That Pay $20 an Hour and Don’t Require a Degree

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A college diploma is terrific, but it’s not always necessary to earn a good living. Consult this guide to identify other ways to earn at least $20 an hour without a college degree.

11 Jobs That Pay $20 an Hour and Don’t Require a Degree

How to Create a Budget

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Budgeting isn’t difficult, but it does allow you to spend your money as you wish. If you’re new to budgeting, read our beginner’s guide to budgeting and see just how easy it is.

How to Create a Budget

This thread inspired this post.