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7 Things Frugal People Never Pay For

7 Things Frugal People Never Pay For

Recently, I asked on my Facebook Page for people to finish this sentence: “Frugal people never pay for _________.” Here were 7 things people said over and over again that I wholeheartedly agree with:

1. Magazines

I get so many magazines for free that I never need to pay for subscriptions. (Want to get free magazine subscriptions? Read my post on How to Get Magazines for Free.)

magazines on table

2. Books

Why pay for books when you can check them out from the library, download free ebooks, and download free audiobooks from Libby.

Tip: Read my post on How I Listen to Audiobooks for Free. Also, check out my post on 8 Ways to Get Books for Free.

colgate toothpaste

3. Toothpaste

It’s been a long time since I’ve paid for toothpaste. By combining coupons with sales, I can almost always get more toothpaste than we ever need — for free!

4. Interest

While I don’t have a credit card and have never had one, if you do have one, I recommend paying it off in full every single month so that you never pay interest.

cut up credit cards

5. Starbucks

I love earning Swagbucks points and cashing them in for free Starbucks gift cards. You can also earn free Starbucks gift cards from Shopkick.

6. Cable

There are so many great alternatives to paying for cable TV that are much less expensive — Amazon Prime movies and shows, Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and more!

(Need some motivation to get rid of cable? Check out this post on how one of my readers saves $700 on cable and how they still watch great TV.)

baseball game on television

7. Brand New Cars

We never, ever buy brand-new cars because they devalue by such a high percentage in the first year. Instead, we try to buy used cars that are in fantastic shape with low mileage that are only a few years old.

What would you add to this list? What do you never pay for? What do you think a frugal person should never pay for?

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36 Comments

  • Convenience packaged foods. I think I read this in Miserly Moms a million years ago.

    • That’s a good one — unless you can get it a lot cheaper than you can make it by combining coupons with sales! 🙂

      • Mary says:

        We have free book swap stands…looks like a bird nesting box on a pole. We are also fortunate in having a mobile library visit once a week. Country Australia…we’re half an hour drive from the next bigget town and 2 hours from a city.

  • Amy K. Medeiros says:

    I agree with all of these except books. We love books and while we don’t buy them often, I do enjoy owning them and being able to lend, re-read, underline/take notes, etc. I also know that studies show we tend to remember much more of what we read in a physical book than on an e-reader. I do use my Kindle at times, but I am very much in support of physical books. They also don’t tend to be a huge expense though.

    • I’m a big fan of physical books, too! Did you see the link to my post on 8 Ways to Get Books for Free or Almost Free? That’s how I get most of my books!

      • Amy K. Medeiros says:

        Nice! I’ll need to check out that post.

        • Mary says:

          We have free book swap stands…looks like a bird nesting box on a pole. We are also fortunate in having a mobile library visit once a week. Country Australia…we’re half an hour drive from the next bigget town and 2 hours from a city.

      • Donna says:

        Dvds cds and video games we actually borrow from library if they have it. Otherwise it needs to be a birthday or Christmas present.

      • Desiree says:

        Also ThriftBooks. I’ve gotten several books in good condition for $3-4 easily.

    • Alea says:

      I too think books are worth buying. My main reason is that my kids are voracious readers and I dont want them to read some of what’s available at the library. It’s hard to find appropriate options at their reading levels. Also, libraries don’t often have books with Christian themes. We check out most of our books, but I’ve loosened the purse strings on buying for these reasons.

    • Margery says:

      I agree! Plus, we homeschool, so yeah, we buy books, used if possible.

    • Joan says:

      I go to Good Will and Salvation Army for books. I get books that cost over $25 fir a dollar. At Good Will they have sales all the time. Four books for a dollar (includes any book, soft or hard cover) and recently had such a large influx of books they were all 10 books for a dollar.

  • Katie says:

    There’s ONE magazine I pay for (because its perspective is unique and highly valuable to me), but I often ask for and receive it as a birthday present. <3 (WORLD Magazine, and yes, I know the podcast is free, but if I have the physical magazine lying on the coffee table, it sparks conversations with my kids that are worth WAY more than the price of a subscription.)

    Also, while I've found that some of the free / inexpensive avenues are not actually free or inexpensive in our area, I *HAVE* found that it's always a good idea to check for the unexpected! 🙂

  • Angela says:

    Water. I always carry a 20 oz Yeti with ice and refill at the water fountain. It’s better for your wallet and much better for the environment.

  • Margery says:

    Late fees! Keep on top Of you bills, and never pay late fees.

    Water. As stated above. Just use your own room disable containers and save all that plastic, too.

  • Jill says:

    We live out in the country and we don’t have access to cable or internet, so unfortunately to have TV we have to pay for a satellite subscription (Direct TV). They are always raising the price (we pay around $80/mo), so when they do my husband calls the company and negotiates a lower price. If we want internet, we would have to get it through a satellite company, such as Hughes Net and we know people that haven’t had much luck with it. We have tried an antenna, but we can only get a handful of channels. If anyone has any other suggestions for getting TV cheaper, I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Margaret says:

      If you get direct tv you should be able to get internet through them. Just internet. You would have the same reception as you have now. THEN cancel the tv subscription and only pay for internet. After that you get the tv channels through the internet on your tv. Hulu, YouTube tv (my favorite, and it stores shows and movies in the cloud), Bravo, whatever you want. Most modern TVs have the apps built right in, but you can also download them. Look into it. It’s VERY affordable, even if you have to purchase something like a fire stick if you have an older tv. It’s worth it and the picture is very clear. It was a hard decision because cable is soooo easy. But you get used to the additional steps quickly. Just do it. You will be happy. Enjoy!

    • Leah says:

      We have the same problem…we have our home phone and internet bundled (Verizon). Where we are we need to have a landline.

  • Lyndsay says:

    I do agree about not buying my books (adult books/cookbooks) and checking them out from the library, but with the kids I am fully supportive of having a library. There was actually a study I just saw that showed how kids benefitted from growing up with a library in their home of 80-350 books. I try and ask for these as gifts or find them at thrift stores.

    The other thing I try not to buy are organizational containers. Sometimes I breakdown and get some, but 90% of the time I try and use boxes I already have from food purchases or other packages.

    A great list to think about!

  • Mary says:

    Books are available at library sales. My daughter, a teacher, has a library in her classroom. She also hits yard sales and thrift stores. She has a half hour of D.E.A.R. time (drop everything and read). Her students love it and it is creating good reading habits.

  • Elise says:

    I moved out of my parents’ place this year and they asked me if I was going to get cable and were surprised when I said no! Paying $45 for a Chromecast and $16 a month for YouTube Premium is a way better set up for me than paying over $100 for cable every month. There’s so many options now I honestly don’t know why anyone pays for cable anymore!

  • miki s taylor says:

    Hi ,
    I look forward to your newsletter each morning.!
    I have one idea about ” Books”
    I have always used the library ,or thrift stores for my books .
    I was quite frugal about my needs always putting my children ‘s needs first .
    I had a mom who did the same for me …except for the weekly readers . I remember circling the ones I wanted and My mom would always get them for me.
    My mother and father struggled for everything they had . Yet the books were never a issue . If I promised to read them ,I was granted them.

    I kept this tradition up and have readers & grand readers now.
    I have found it a great way to find relevance with my grand children ,reading books they like and discussing .

    The other thing I wanted to mention is just a personal thing for me .I feel if I read a favorite author for free all the time I should purchase books from them as well .Everyone has to make a living and so I support my authors too.

    Thanks !!

  • Radical FIRE says:

    That’s an amazing list and so true lol! I’ve never paid for a new car, cable, books, books, interest, or anything along those lines. The only thing is that I pay for toothpaste, need to step up my game there. I’m from the Netherlands, where couponing is encouraged for all shops

    I really agree that you should not pay for cable, it’s not worth what you pay for it. Especially today when you have services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, they provide much better value for the money you spend!

  • Carol Lacey says:

    Water. You have it at home! By a stainless steel bottle and fill it at night.
    Convenience foods. Home cooking is so much better! And better for you.
    Coffee. Brew your own at home and take it with you.

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