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12 Frugal Living Tips That Used to Work, But Are Now Useless

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In personal finance, what worked yesterday might not necessarily work today. The landscape of saving money and living frugally has shifted dramatically thanks to changes in technology, the economy, and societal norms.

In this post, we’re diving into 12 frugal living tips that were once gold mines for saving a few bucks but have now lost their luster. These outdated strategies might surprise you, or perhaps they’ll remind you of simpler times.

Either way, it’s time to update your savings playbook – so let’s look at these once-useful tips that are now obsolete.

1. Clipping Physical Coupons From Newspapers

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In the past, people eagerly waited for newspapers to clip coupons for discounts on groceries and other items – it was like a treasure hunt in the Sunday paper.

But now, with everything going digital, you can find coupons online or use apps that automatically apply discounts when you’re shopping. 

There’s no need to spend time cutting out paper coupons anymore – it’s all about clicking or tapping on your screen now.

2. Buying Cheap Incandescent Light Bulbs to Save Upfront Costs

light bulbs
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Once upon a time, buying the cheapest light bulbs, usually incandescent, seemed like a smart way to save money upfront.

But these old-school bulbs don’t last very long and use a lot of electricity. Nowadays, LED bulbs are the way to go.

Even though they cost a bit more when you buy them, they save you lots of money in the long run because they use less power and last for years.

3. Driving to Multiple Stores to Compare Prices In-Person

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Back in the day, if you wanted to get the best deal on something, you’d have to hop in your car and visit several stores, comparing prices by yourself – this took a lot of time and gas money.

Now, it’s pretty much a thing of the past. With the internet at our fingertips, we can compare prices from different stores in just a few clicks, all without leaving our house. It’s faster, easier, and definitely cheaper when it comes to saving on gas.

4. Making Long-Distance Calls at Night or on Weekends

Lady on the Phone
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There was a time when making long-distance phone calls during the day was super expensive. So, people waited until nighttime or weekends to call friends and family far away because phone companies offered lower rates then.

But now, that’s old news – with the internet and apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and others, you can make calls anytime, anywhere in the world, cheaply or for free. No more waiting until the sun goes down to chat.

5. Renting Movies from a Physical Store

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From OTT platforms to online movie rental services, how we watch movies has completely changed.

Gone are the days of physically going to a store and browsing through shelves of movies – now, we can simply stream or download our favorite films instantaneously.

This saves us time and money on gas and late fees – plus, it is more convenient, as we can watch them anytime and anywhere.

6. Using a Landline Phone for Cheaper Rates

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Once upon a time, having a landline phone at home was the norm. People believed it was cheaper to use for calling, especially for local calls, compared to mobile phones – but times have changed.

Nowadays, most people use mobile phones or internet-based services for calls, which offer much lower rates and more flexibility.

Plus, you can use them anywhere, not just at home, so sticking to a landline for cheaper rates no longer makes sense.

7. Saving Pennies in a Jar for Big Purchases

coins in the jar
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It was effective back in the day – saving up spare change in a jar to eventually buy a big-ticket item you’ve been eyeing.

But with the rise of online shopping and different types of credit cards, we can now easily make purchases without having to save up for it first.

While saving money is still important, there are more efficient ways to do so now, like setting up automatic transfers to a savings account or investing in stocks.

8. Hand Washing Dishes to Save on Electricity

Hand Washing Dishes
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A while back, many thought washing dishes by hand saved electricity compared to using a dishwasher. The idea was that dishwashers used a lot of power – but, guess what – modern dishwashers are pretty smart.

They’re designed to use less water and electricity, making them more efficient than hand washing. Plus, they save you time – so the old way of thinking that hand washing is better for saving on your electric bill doesn’t hold up with today’s technology.

9. Keeping Money Under the Mattress Instead of in a Bank

Keeping Money Under the Mattress
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Back in the days when banks were not as regulated and trustworthy as they are now, people used to keep their money hidden under their mattresses for safekeeping.

However, with the advancement of technology and safety measures in the banking industry, keeping our money in a bank account is much more secure.

We can also earn interest on our savings and access various financial services to help us manage our money better.

10. Refilling Ink Cartridges at Home

Refilling Ink Cartridges
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Another money-saving hack that has become obsolete recently is refilling ink cartridges at home. While it may seem like a cheaper alternative to buying new cartridges, it can cost more in the long run.

Not to mention the mess and damage that can occur while trying to refill them; nowadays, there are many affordable options for purchasing ink cartridges, making buying new ones more convenient and cost-effective.

11. Buying Pre-Owned Vehicles Without Checking Online Reviews

car buying
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Mouth-to-mouth recommendations used to be the main source of information when buying a pre-owned vehicle or even a new one.

But with the rise of the internet and online reviews, it’s much easier to research and compare different models, prices, and overall ratings before making a purchase.

This not only helps you make a more informed decision but also allows you to potentially save money by finding a better deal or avoiding potential issues with certain vehicles.

12. Hoarding Physical Books for Future Reading

Hoarding books
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And last but not least, another habit that has drastically changed with the rise of technology is hoarding physical books for future reading.

With e-readers and online libraries, we can now access many books without occupying any physical space in our homes.

This saves us money from constantly buying new books and helps reduce paper waste and clutter in our living spaces.

Time Has Changed Our Habits

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Time has changed our habits and ways of saving money. From tech advancements to easier access to information, we now have more options and resources available to us when it comes to managing our finances. However, some traditional money-saving habits are still relevant and necessary. So mix and match old and new methods to find the best way to save money for yourself.

21 Frugal Skills That Add Value to Every Penny Spent

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Have You ever wondered if you could save more money and still enjoy life? Well, you can! In this article, we will share 21 frugal skills that can improve your life. You will feel confident about your financial health and live a more fulfilling life.

21 Frugal Skills That Add Value to Every Penny Spent

15 Overpriced Items That Are Draining Your Wallet

empty wallet
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Humans adore quick, cost-effective purchases, but how much money do they really save over time? Which daily resources appear to save you a ton of money but actually wipe away funds? We’ve compiled a list of items that cost someone way more than anticipated upon purchase. Do you waste your money on any of these purchases?

15 Overpriced Items That Are Draining Your Wallet

16 Household Items That Are Costing You Tons in Electricity

Air Conditioning
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Out of all the household utilities, electricity causes the most headaches and one of the biggest dent in consumers’ wallets. However, electricity is a necessity that makes life comfortable since so many devices around the home require it.

16 Household Items That Are Costing You Tons in Electricity

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