20 Things People Accidentally Started Doing That Saved Them Money

Published 1 year ago

There is nothing that seems to run out faster than money. Even when you feel like you’re not spending a lot, it tends to add up and before you know it that daily coffee or take-out lunch has drained your wallet. 

We all have things we want to save up for. So wouldn’t it be great if that actually happened almost seemingly by accident? The ‘Frugal’ community members shared their stories of such happy accidents where a minor unintentional change in their habits led to saving cash. And they were happy to share their own enlightening experiences on the minor expenses that could be cut back on to save money in the long run. 

More info: Reddit

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Image source: _samiracle

I started using a menstrual cup.

Originally I was researching organic tampons bc I was worried about TSS and the environment so that ultimately led me to reusable period products.

I haven’t bought tampons/pads since 2018 which has saved me hundreds of dollars and I’ve dramatically cut down the amount of waste I produce from my menstrual cycle!


Image source: HamboneJone, RODNAE Productions

Quit smoking for health reasons, a pack a day is $7. Ended up saving around $220 dollars a month. Started ordering grocery pickup, because I’m lazy and hate going in the store. Turns out I not only save money but I lost weight. Because I actually eat better and I’m not impulse buying anything I don’t need.


Image source: StillMind2010, Andrea Piacquadio

I learned how to fix things.

Yeah, grew up wanting to tinker and mess around with stuff, but it’s only been recently that I’m realizing just how much money I’ve saved by doing my own repairs. Fixing phones, small appliances, computers, broken s**t around the house, etc.

I even recently saved a family member over $100 for replacing a broken screen on their phone :)

Caveat: I did have to invest in tools/supplies initially and over time. But they’ve easily paid for themselves by now.


Image source: regulator401, Ted & Dani Percival

Installing a bidet


Image source: hellgamatic, Nicola Barts

I started making vanilla syrup for my coffee because I couldn’t find it in stock at any local stores in 2020, I typically had been going through a $5 bottle every week. It doesn’t seem like much, but pennies for sugar and cheap artificial vanilla compared to $260 a year is a change I’m really glad I made.


Image source: jjenofalltrades, Gustavo Fring

I bought clippers for my cat when our mobile groomer shut down in 2020 and I haven’t paid for pet grooming since. Almost everything I’ve ever done to be healthier or more environmentally responsible has saved money as a side effect.


Image source: anon, Karolina Grabowska

I started cutting my own hair and doing my own nails because I don’t like random people in my personal space and hate small talk. It was a one time purchase of proper scissors and one of those uv sets from Amazon. Less than one trip to the nail salon. Now I can do these things whenever I want without waiting for an appointment or having to drive anywhere. It’s also a bonus because now I can easily convince my tween daughter to sit and talk to me about her life for an hour while I do her nails. I also got to make sure it wasn’t a strong UV light and we always use sunscreen on our hands as a pre treatment.


Image source: ThePeoplesChammp, Antoni Shkraba

Buying a new (used) car. Was really just tired of my car being in the shop all of the time. Bought a new car which resulted in a slightly higher monthly payment at the time, but was pleasantly surprised when my insurance cost was basically cut in half. Of course there were maintenance savings as well, but that wasn’t really my main goal.


Image source: jewels4diamonds, cottonbro studio

Riding a bike.


Image source: kaizenkitten, cottonbro studio

I cut cable when I moved overseas – never missed it. Barely watched any streaming outside of youtube. So when I came back I just got internet only. I used to have some streaming channels, but I’ve cut almost all of those too… I find it’s not that I really want to watch a show or movie that often, I just want background noise while I surf.

Also I dropped my Audible subscription – I used to listen to a lot of nonfiction books which were more expensive as a book than the monthly sub – but these days I just listen to podcasts mostly.


This is a weird one, but help out your neighbors and be friendly. I babysat a little bit for free for one of mine who ended up working for Proctor & Gamble. They apparently give employees giant boxes of stuff sometimes. I have a 3-year supply of toothbrushes, Dawn dish soap, Venus razors, and Tide. She was just like, please get all this out of my house, I already took enough for my whole family. Results may vary.

Image source: Affectionate_Star_43


Image source: starfish_80, Mateusz Dach

Limiting contact and then going no contact with my ultra conservative, bigoted, toxic family. No birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, wedding gifts, graduation gifts, anniversary gifts, mother’s day and father’s day gifts, baby shower gifts, travel expenses, and no therapy bills for the depression they created.


Image source: 2723brad2723, EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA

Brewing my own coffee at home and quitting smoking.


Image source: NibblesMcGiblet, Katerina Holmes

I started bringing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to work for lunch when my car was in the shop and I couldn’t drive somewhere to grab food on my lunch hour. It wasn’t until a few months of this went by that I realized that $200-240ish per month of my income had been going to pay off my credit card that I bring to work with me every day, which I had not been using to buy lunches for awhile. I was like “huh, I have money leftover, did I pay all my bills or forget one or what??”

It was so common to spend about $10-12ish a day on Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Burger King, or whatever, and it never felt like much but it was really adding up. Pb&j is so cheap and easy, I should’ve been doing this all along.


Image source: Jackmoved

My library loans out ps5, Xbox series, and switch games. I’ve probably saved over $1000 never buying a single player game anymore. I also get to test out mutliplayer games before I commit to buying.


Image source: MrMuf, La Miko

Spending a bit more on quality shoes. More upfront cost but lasts longer so less replacing


Image source: mama_bearz, Sue Thompson

Started using Lysol concentrate at the beginning of the pandemic because I couldn’t find the spray bottles.

A bottle of concentrate will last a year+ and is only $5


Image source: espyrae2468, Norma Mortenson

Broke up with ex – he was really into ordering food delivery often and I am more likely to be happy cooking at home. We would alternate paying and not to say I didn’t enjoy the meals, I’m just more inclined to find something at home given the option. And when I do order out I usually pick it up myself which ends up a lot cheaper than some of the delivery services. He was very into delivery


Image source: curtludwig, phiraphon srithakae

We got a dedicated freezer so we could have more food on hand. Turns out when I know that I’ve got $1000 worth of food in the freezer I don’t eat out as much “Holy c**p, that’s a lot of money stored in that freezer!”

Also we’re able to take advantage of sales at the grocery store. Around Easter we’ll buy a BUNCH of ham at pennies a pound. At Thanksgiving I’ll buy 2 extra turkeys and break them down for eating later. It’s hard to do a whole turkey, it’s easy to do a turkey breast or legs or thighs. Again super cheap at the right time of year.


Image source: selinakyle45, Karolina Grabowska

I started trying to live lower waste. The following switches have saved me money in the long run:

* paper napkins → cloth napkins
* paper towels → rags, washable sponges, dish towels
* tampons/pads → menstrual disc/period underwear
* toilet paper → bidet + less TP
* tin foil/parchment paper/plastic wrap→ glass storage containers, silicone baking mats, beeswrap/vegan wax wrap
* ziploc bags → stasher bags/jars/Pyrex containers
* liquid detergent → powdered detergent
* liquid shampoo/conditioner/body wash → bars
* liquid hand soap → bar soap
* canned soda/bubbly water → sodastream
* clay cat litter → compostable pine pellet cat litter
* trash bags → bagless/washable bin liners/using packaging like dog food bags for bin liners

Other things:

* joining a buy nothing group
* eating less/stop eating animal products
* buying used/refurbished/secondhand
* learning how to store vegetables properly
* growing my own herbs


Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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budget tips, financial tips, money tips, save money, saving tips, savings
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