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Thrifty people never buy these things

Thrifty people never buy these things

soumen82hazra / Shutterstock.com Those of us who are frugal know deep down in our bones that there are things we will never, ever pay for. Ever. If y

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Man gives thumbs up for bottled water
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Those of us who are frugal know deep down in our bones that there are things we will never, ever pay for.


If you have the tightwad gene, you can probably feel your skin crawling at the mere thought of throwing hard-earned cash at certain items. Here are some things that savvy spenders avoid buying at all costs.


Young man with stack of books.
Aaron Amat / Shutterstock.com

Some people – even frugal people – like new books. The romance of cracking a new book open and smelling the pages sends them into bibliophilic ecstasy.

But this is where you can simply separate careful spenders from the real hardcore tightwads. The latter will only buy a book as a last resort. The library is king for truly frugal readers. We will even use interlibrary loans if we have to.

For more information on the amazing values ​​you can find at our favorite “home away from home,” check out “Stop Buying These 11 Things That Are Free From Libraries.”

2. Bottled water

Woman drinking bottled water
sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

Bottled water is everywhere the scourge of cheap skate. Why on earth would anyone pay for something that is available for almost free? You might as well ask us for the air we breathe.

Of course, there are times when you need your H2O to go. But a small investment in a good reusable water bottle is more than worth it over the years.

3. The latest technology

People waiting in line for an iPhone
nyker / Shutterstock.com

Thrifty people never buy the latest and greatest of anything. Catch a supposedly cautious buyer in one of those long queues to buy the latest iPhone, and you can officially withdraw his or her “cheapskate license”.

Patience is a hallmark of the frugal life. Wait to buy that iPhone until the price drops far, and you’ll enjoy it just as much as those cutting-edge people – just a little later, and at a huge savings.

4. Lottery Tickets

Surprised lottery winner keeps cash
Wpadington / Shutterstock.com

Get true: No one with a shred of frugality flowing through their veins is ever going to buy a ticket to the biggest scam this side of a Vegas casino.

We reported that the chance of winning one Mega Millions lottery last year was 1 in 303 million. How bad is it? Well, you have a much better chance of:

  • Hit by lightning
  • Die in a shark attack
  • To become a millionaire

Do you have a jones to gamble? Invest money in stocks. Your chances of success are infinitely better. For more, check out “7 Keys to Stress-Free Retirement Investment.”

5. A brand new car

AboutLife / Shutterstock.com

In some ways, it is the ultimate sin in the eyes of economically minded people. You can skip buying every other wasteful thing on this list, but still smash your budget by simply succumbing to the lure of a shiny new set of wheels.

Our mantra at Money Talks News is to never buy a brand new car. We are afraid to even look at them. Instead, we avoid the siren song of the latest models by plugging our ears and going straight to the “softly used” area of ​​the dealer lot.

For more tips on how to get a great deal on a car, read “This is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car.”

6. $ 5 coffee

Woman drinking coffee
ARENA Creative / Shutterstock.com

Oh, the latte factor. Many financial experts insist you can slowly get rich by just skipping that expensive daily trip to the coffee shop.

However, this tip is lost on true frugalistas, because the idea of ​​darkening the door of our local Starbucks is a non-beginner anyway. We’ll make our coffee at home, thank you – and save a bundle.

7. Cable TV

Unhappy woman watching TV
Nicoleta Ionescu / Shutterstock.com

This is another item that separates the truly frugal souls from the wannabes. Cheapskates will never pay too much for cable TV service. Heck, some of us would not even allow TVs in the house at all.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for cheaper – even free – entertainment. For more, check out “17 streaming services that are completely free.”

8. Trade names when generic medicines are available

Generic and brand name items
Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

You walk into the grocery store and see two 16-ounce boxes of spaghetti. The Barilla costs $ 1.58 and the retail brand costs 97 cents. You grab the Barilla and throw it in your car.

Why? Out of love for all that is good and holy, why?

Thrifty buyers will almost always choose the generic over any brand name, unless the latter is for sale. Some may even accuse them of sometimes sacrificing a little quality just to save some money. (And the accusers will be right.)

In many cases, a generic product is almost indistinguishable from the brand name product, and most of the time it is cheaper. So, find a place in your heart for those store brands. To get started, look at “32 products you should always buy generically.”

9. Dry cleaning-only clothes

Dry cleaner worker
sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

They say clothes make the person, but they can also destroy the wallet.

Clothes that need to be dry-cleaned not only require you to pay for that service, but also to waste gas – and the most precious of commodities, time – to have your clothes serviced.

Dry cleaning uses chemical solvents – instead of soap and water – to clean your clothes. Some people say you could rather wash those clothes at home by hand. We say you should stick to machine washable garments.

10. Drinks at restaurants

Woman having a drink in a restaurant
leungchopan / Shutterstock.com

Thrifty people are not superheroes dressed in costumes with a silver “$”. While they like to save money, they occasionally succumb to the same extravagant temptations as everyone else.

But the cheapskate “sixth sense” never really disappears. When frugal people break and spend, they are still looking for ways to limit the financial damage.

Wondering who the frugal person at your dinner party is? It’s the guy or girl who just ordered filet mignon, but also asked for a glass of free water.

11. Large houses

Suburban McMansion
rSnapshotPhotos / Shutterstock.com

House prices are rising in many parts of the country. If you’ve been buying new diggers for the past few years, you’re probably sitting on a nice windfall, at least on paper.

So, if people are getting rich from their big homes, why not join the crowd and buy a McMansion of your own?

To be frugal means to protect yourself from the financial disadvantage of things. Anyone who has lived through the Great Recession knows that rising house prices could fall to earth with frightening speed if market conditions change.

A large house also means:

  • A bigger connection
  • Higher tax
  • More expensive insurance
  • Bigger – and more expensive – repair and maintenance bills
  • Veteran Homeowners Insurance Premiums
  • Balloon utility bills

As we reported, owning a home is not the money maker people think it is. Thrifty people know this.

12. Impulse items in the payroll

Candy in the grocery store
Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

Cheapskates just know that if they so daydream about grabbing that pack of chewing gum in the checkout, lights will flicker, sirens will cry and the frugal police will step in to strip them of their penny-pinch bona fides.

Saving money is about not fooling yourself into suddenly missing out on a “desire” being a “need”. Buying something on impulse is a frugal person’s cardinal sin.

13. Professional car washes and detail

Man who was a car
Nejron Foto / Shutterstock.com

Maybe there are times when we all have to pay for a car wash – like in the middle of winter, when it’s cold, but you need to get the road salt off your vehicle’s exterior.

But most frugal people are far too stiff to get soaked by paying high fees for something they can do cheaply themselves.

14. Pets

Cat and dog
New Africa / Shutterstock.com

This is perhaps the most painful item on our list, especially for those of us who would rather spend a day with a dog than with most people. (Did I really say that out loud?)

But there is no turning back: Pets are budget busters. I once heard a financial pro say that the best way to get rich is to never invite something into your home for which you are responsible to feed. This excludes two of the best things in life: children and pets.

Sorry, Rover.

15. Paper towels

Couple buys paper towels
Caftor / Shutterstock.com

Every time I tear off a paper towel – even from the half skin type that has become fashionable – a small part of my pen-pinching soul dies. Washable, reusable cloth towels are obviously the better, more economical way to go.

The fact that I refused to embrace this obvious truth shows I still have work to do if I am ever going to claim my place among the world’s great super-scrimpers.

If you can not bear the thought of parting from the paper towel, at least check out Donna Freedman, contributor to Money Talks News,’s inspiring dissertation “How I Hold a Roll of Paper Towels All Year.”

Extensive Warranties

Smarmy salesperson
pathdoc / Shutterstock.com

You know it’s coming: Once you buy an electronic item or similar product, the salesperson gives you that o-so-sincere smile and asks, “Do you want to buy our extended warranty with it?”

No not now. Not ever.

Extensive warranties are almost always a boondoggle. They make a lot of money for those who sell them – $ 40 billion just a few years ago. But everyone from Consumer Reports to Northwestern University agrees that the only thing guaranteed with a comprehensive warranty is that you will be flown.

17. Luxury holidays

Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

We’ve been through some tough times recently, from the COVID-19 pandemic to runaway inflation. Everyone deserved a break.

So, maybe you’re thinking of booking a trip to a lovely five star resort in some exotic location.

That’s good. It’s just not the kind of thing thrifty people do.

Every dollar you save now brings you a little closer to financial independence. If you are just starting out with the savings process, spending thousands of dollars on a vacation can be a wealth explosion. Later, when you have money to burn, spending several thousand dollars to spoil yourself will hardly put a dent in your overall budget.

Spend now and later regret it, or save now and enjoy it later. The choice is yours. Nice savings!

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