Frugal vs. Cheap: 11 Extreme Ideas

Are you a smart shopper who wows everyone with your money-saving skills? Or do people secretly resent you for being such a tightwad?

Frugal vs. Cheap

What’s the difference between being frugal and being cheap? Frugality is about getting the best value for your money. Being cheap is spending the least amount of money possible, at any cost. Sometimes the line between the two can be blurry. Sometimes it’s as clear as day!   

You might be taking your frugality to an unhealthy extreme if you resort to these cheapskate tactics:

1. Not Wasting Food

Frugal: Bringing leftovers to lunch.

Cheap: Draining your party guests’ unfinished wine for re-use later (I swear I didn’t make that up).

2. Maximizing Free Shipping

Frugal: Taking advantage of free shipping offers.

Cheap: Breaking out online purchases into multiple orders just for the extra cardboard boxes.

3. Saving on Postage

Frugal:  Using your bank’s BillPay feature to save on postage.

Cheap: Peeling stamps off incoming mail to reuse.

4. Saving on Kitchenware

Frugal: Going for a boho chic look with mismatched flea market silverware.

Cheap: Re-washing disposable plastic utensils over and over long after they’re warped and broken. (It’s a health and safety issue!)

5. Eating with Friends

Frugal: Taking turns hosting potluck dinners with friends.

Cheap:  Splitting restaurant bills with friends, but consistently stiffing everyone on tax and tip. (You think your friends don’t notice. They do.)

6. Eating on Vacations

Frugal: Renting a hotel room with a kitchenette and prepping food to take with you instead of eating out for every meal.

Cheap: Going to every timeshare sales pitch available just for the “free breakfast.” (When you’re on vacation, your time is more valuable than a plate of runny eggs!)

7. Stocking up on Necessities

Frugal: Clipping coupons and buying toilet paper and other toiletries when they’re on sale.

Cheap: Stealing toilet paper and toiletries from work.

8. (Not) Cleaning Your Kitchen

Frugal: Making your own household cleaners.

Cheap: Diluting and re-diluting the same bottle of cleaner whenever it gets low, so you’re basically just cleaning with tap water.

9. Fixing Your Own Clothes

Frugal:  Learning to make and mend your own clothing.

Cheap: Duct-taping your shoes when they get holes in them.

10. Saving on “Like New” Electronics

Frugal: Buying refurbished or open-box electronics.

Cheap: Finding broken electronics at yard sales or dumpsters and attempting to return them to stores for a refund (yeah, that’s fraud).

11. Reducing Laundry Costs

Frugal: Line-drying your clothing to save electricity and reduce wear-and-tear on your garments.

Cheap: Adding your clothes to other people’s laundry cycles.

Do you know someone who is an extreme cheapskate? Share your experience in the comments.

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Author: Melanie

Melanie joined the BLINQ team in early 2014, inspired by the brand’s passion for helping consumers find great deals. Issues she feels strongly about include literacy, budgeting, and the difference between hyphens, en-dashes and em-dashes. P.s. Melanie doesn’t trust people who don’t appreciate that there’s a difference between nerds, geeks and dorks.

One thought on “Frugal vs. Cheap: 11 Extreme Ideas

  1. AvatarCin

    Frugal: Using the Community Area at your place of residence to watch Television and eat as permitted then cleaning up after yourself, returning items to their proper place such as chairs or other furniture, turning off lights, television and what not to save on the electric or other bills.
    Cheap: Leaving your trash for others to clean up, leaving furniture where ever because you don’t want to put it back, leaving on the television because you have to walk a few feet, never cleaning your dishes(even with water) and whatever because you feel it is your right.

    Reply

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