Oh, the avocado toast.
As the world starts to worry about a recession and impending fiscal crisis, you’re bound to see countless advice pieces about how to save money. Yeah, sure, cut back on your Starbucks and avocado toast, I guess, but that’s not the kind of stuff that really makes a dent.
We, courtesy of u/Maximum-Gas-3491 over on Reddit, compiled a list of things you may have thought were frugal but actually were not.
1. Cat litter
For me, it was realizing that the Aldi cat litter was not the best deal, as I could scoop the Walmart cat litter much more easily and it would last a lot longer. Also the Walmart brand training underwear vs. name-brand pull-ups from Costco. (Training pants vs. not using training pants is a different story…)u/Maximum-Gas-3491
2. Do the math!
Buying in bulk. I was very surprised when I figured out that sometimes you pay more per ounce! Gotta do the math. lolFresa22
3. Grow your own food
I always expect growing my own food to be more frugal than it actually is.
It can be frugal, but if you’re buying soil and fertilizer, in your specific case it probably isn’t. I enjoy doing it and I don’t let the costs get out of hand, but I definitely tend to spend more than I plan at the start of the season .SleepAgainAgain
4. DIY Laundry
Making Laundry detergent did not work for me. It was a Pita and Clothes became dingy.NotMyAltAccountToday
5. Cheaping out
Buying the cheapest toilet paper or trash bags never works out for me. With the butt napkins more gets used per wipe because it’s so thin it turns practically to powder. With trash bags the savings gets eaten up by how many times I have to double up because a bag rips.imfamousoz
6. New fridge
Keeping our old fridge. When we replaced it with a new energy efficient one our electricity bills went down so much that it paid for the cost of the fridge in two or three years.xwordmom
7. Amazon may, or may not, be the best price
I gotta say that for 99% of items, Amazon is NOT the cheapest place to get it.
Amazon used to be the cheapest, but their prices today are just meh.
eBay and AliBaba are the cheaper options, but EBay is by far wayyyy less sketchy.illegalopinion3
If you’re in a hcol area, it often still is cheapest. I shop around my local stores online for prices before any purchase on Amazon.notnotjamesfranco
8. Big warehouses
For me it’s membership warehouses. We just don’t shop that way and bought a lot of stuff we didn’t use or went bad. I know it works for a lot of people, but not for us.fridayimatwork
9. Bowl covers
Reuseable stretchy silicone bowl covers and reuseable food storage bags have been two of my biggest disappointments. Neither perform as advertised and are a nuisance to clean and dry.Snowflakey19
10. Just get the brand name
Literally no dish soap works as well as Dawn and I don’t understand itmrXbrightside91
11. Just not a great deal
Owning chickens for eggs. Lol.PBVWHUB-VKDFN
Making your own clothes. Starting costs are expensive. Certain fabric is expensive. Certain thread is expensive. It’s still cheaper than store bought if you’re like me and seem to have an expensive taste, but it’s more expensive than I thought it would be.dupattaluella
13. The healthy hobby
all my friends growing up smoked cigarettes but I thought it was a waste of money so I bought into magic cards and warhammer 40k insteadJasonAgnos
There is a grocery liquidator by my house. Their prices are amazing.
However I am much more likely to impulse buy there because you never know what they’re going to have and once it’s gone, it’s gone . My grocery spending went UP significantly when I started shopping at the “discount store”WerkQueen
15. Windows down
Rolling down the windows instead of using the ac in a car. Yes at a slow speed this saves a bit on gas but at highway speeds its more efficient to use the ac.ostangestar
16. At home manis
The amount of money I have spent trying to do my nails “professionally” at home, is embarrassing. In my defense, I could not have predicted so many things were not how they seemed…it just lead me down this rabbit hole to try a simpler better method. First with acrylic, then the gel, then the poly, then the special light, then the better drill then the different tips, then the slick whatever, then more of this & that … until…i’ve got two tool boxes full of finger nail “stuff”…I think id have a coronary if I added all that expense up, all in the name of saving 60 bucks a couple of times a year. I pretty sure that was not a frugal win. It just can’t have been.Penetrative
17. Sustainable brands
Buying clothes from sustainable brands. Those clothes are supposed to last longer but my normal clothes also last quite long. Maybe it makes a difference in 15 years or so.. I’ll just stick with treating my clothes carefully.Flowerbeesjes
Literally any couponing for stuff you weren’t already planning to buy this week. If I look through coupons, I’ll be buying name-brand crap discounted for more than store brand I usually buy. Plus, coupons mess with my impulse control (“but it’s on sale!”) and leave me with inventory I might get sick of.allthebison
Travel points on credit cards, I wished I had used a cash back card instead. Travel often for work, but doing a lot less flying now.antirazzledazzle
20. Cheap paint
When I painted my house I bought the cheapest paint I could find. It took three coats and the stuff was like water and super difficult to ‘cut in’ around the windows and bottoms of the walls above the trim. Gravity was enough make the paint run. I had to do super thin layers.
I’m currently painting a rental I own and I bought good paint. It is saving me time and ends up costing almost the same as one coat is pretty much doing the job. It’s also a night and day difference how easy it is to ‘cut in’ with.pyro_poop_12