16 Things Frugal People Would Never Do

Being frugal is making intentional decisions about how to spend your money.  It’s understanding what it means to spend less and live more. Here are 16 things frugal people would never do.

wastebasket of money

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What does being frugal mean?

I hear this question a lot and notice that people seem to use the word being cheap and being frugal interchangeably. They assume that if you are frugal then you must be cheap.

But, this is definitely not the case. Being frugal is choosing to be smart with your money. People who are frugal understand the importance of living within their means.

They choose to spend less and live more.

pink background with white piggy bank broke open with money everywhere

16 things frugal people would never do


1. Skip budgeting their money

A frugal person knows where their money is going. They make a budget and keep track of every dollar spent. 

They understand the difference between wants vs. needs and the necessity of sticking to a budget.

2. Eat out a lot

Frugal people know how much money they can save by eating at home. But, that doesn’t mean they never eat out. It means that they will find coupons or wait until they can get a discount before heading to their favorite restaurant.

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3. Have cable

Cable is expensive and wasteful especially if you are not taking advantage of it. In addition, there are so many other options available for much less such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime just to name a few. We canceled our cable over a year ago and haven’t looked back.

4. Make impulse purchases

Being frugal means having the willpower to walk away even if you see something you may want. Especially if you know that you can’t afford it at that moment.

If you are frugal, you’ll be much more likely to go home and sleep on it.  You will wait, save for it and pay in cash.


5. Waste Food

Frugal people eat leftovers. Food costs a lot of money and they are aware of this.  They make sure to use up the food that they buy whether they have a leftover night or eat their leftovers for lunch the next day.

6. Buy name brand

Whether it’s clothing or food. A frugal person will realize that they are just paying for the name and are actually getting similar quality for a lesser price by purchasing generic items.

7. Pay full price

Frugal people shop sales, clearance racks, and thrift stores. But, most importantly they will comparison shop to make sure they are getting the best deal for their money.

grocery cart full of groceries

8. Grocery shop last minute without a list

They know that it’s a disaster waiting to happen. You walk into the store with no plan and you can quickly derail your budget because you are more prone to impulse buys.

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9. Not save any of their paychecks

A frugal person budgets their money and makes sure that they are budgeting for expenses, fun (because yes, frugal people can have fun), and savings.

10. Pay for expensive coffee on the way to work every morning

The price of a single coffee every morning can add up to hundreds of dollars in a year. Frugal people know that this is money better spent on something else. They prepare their coffee at home and bring it to work with them.

person holding a blue credit card

11. Only pay with a credit card

They realize how much more control they have over their money when they are using cash.

Walking into a store with cash guarantees that they are not going over budget and it forces them to make smart choices.

12. Don’t take advantage of cashback

They know that they are able to make their dollar stretch even further when they use sites such as Rakuten and Ibotta, which offer cash back for purchases that are going to be made anyway.


piggy bank with quote

13. Refuse to look for entertainment deals

Frugal people will search out coupons if they are going out to eat or looking to take a day trip somewhere.

They also realize that they don’t need to spend a lot of money to have fun. They look for free festivals or concerts to attend, go on hikes or spend the day at the beach.

Ideas for more frugal activities:

14. Buy the latest technology the minute it comes out

They know the price will eventually drop once the newness wears off. They just need to be patient.

15. Upgrade their phone every year

They keep their phones until they don’t work any longer. They realize that they are able to save so much money by not being locked into a contract.

16. Not having a meal plan

Frugal people know that meal planning can hundreds every month. Meal planning means fewer trips to the grocery store resulting in more money saved.

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Being frugal doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself. It means that you have decided that it’s better to live within your means. You have decided that being smart with your money is more important than trying to keep up the Jones. 

The goal is to find ways to appreciate what you have instead of always wanting better. Realizing what your priorities are will help you learn to live a more intentional life, and you begin to understand that less is more.

More frugal tips to live better with less:

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