Skip to Content

What frugal tips have you tried and then abandoned?

You guys came up with so many great reader interview questions, I couldn’t possibly fit all of them into future reader interviews.

So, I thought it would be fun to occasionally use some of them as an Ask The Readers question; that way we all can share! 

This one, from Danielle C., seemed like a fun one to start with. I’ll share my answers, and then you guys can join by sharing in the comments.

What have I tried and then abandoned? A few things!

1. Line-drying my laundry

I did give this a solid try for a year or two, and then I let it go.

A white bedsheet on a clothesline.


Well, I hated it. It was super annoying to haul all my laundry outside and then back in again. And I had no good place to line-dry clothes in the winter.

A clothesline with pastel clothes hanging on it.

Secondly, I did the calculations, and it wasn’t really saving me an impressive amount of money, even when I considered the annual savings.

So, I decided to let this practice go.

I do still hang-dry some things, but only to preserve items that don’t do well in the dryer. For instance, I air-dry sweaters, shirts with screen printing, and items with lots of elastic (such as sports bras and leggings).

2. Making my own laundry detergent

I tried several variations of homemade laundry detergent and they all were terrible. Our clothes started to smell like dirty socks after a while, so I gave up on this.

homemade laundry soap fail

Looks like detergent; does not clean like actual detergent

What good is detergent that doesn’t actually clean? I decided it’s better to pay for something that truly works.

3. Keeping my heat super low in the winter

I tried to hang in there for a number of years, keeping the heat set around 65 degrees or lower.

But no one in my family runs particularly warm, and we were pretty miserable, even with hot drinks, slippers, and plenty of clothes.

hot tea in a white mug.

I know some people manage to feel great at that temperature in the winter, but it was not working for us! 

4. Couponing (mostly)

When I was in my 20s, I did quite a lot of couponing, but I mostly gave that up a while ago.

A collection of coupons in a pile.


Two reasons:

-Coupon deals used to be better

There were more high-value coupons back in the day, AND several of my local grocery stores doubled coupons, even $1 coupons.

By combining coupons with sales, I got lots of food and toiletries for pennies; it was definitely worth my time.

But over time, coupons have become less valuable; there are so many “$1.25/3” type of coupons, and that cannot compare with a doubled $1/1 coupon.

-I didn’t have an Aldi back then

Once I discovered Aldi, couponing became significantly less important. It was hard to beat Aldi’s prices, even with sales and coupons. And shopping at Aldi was not as time-consuming as couponing.

The start of my Aldi era coincided with the decline of coupon quality, so that was pretty adventitious timing! 

I do still sometimes use coupons for freebies (like birthday coupons). Or when companies send me a $5/any purchase or $10/any purchase coupon, I will pop in and find something that’s around the price of the coupon. 

I also use online coupon codes. BUT, I do not carry a little box of coupons to the grocery store anymore!


As I look at the frugal practices I’ve abandoned, a common theme is that these practices did not feel worth my time, either because they didn’t save me much, OR because the practices made me feel particularly miserable. 

This is why the frugal choices we make (and we are always making choices!) are so personal. What’s miserable to one person could be a source of joy to another, and vice-versa.

In fact, many people adore hanging their laundry out to dry. I am just not one of those people. 😉 

How about you? What frugal tips/practices have you abandoned? 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Saturday 16th of April 2022

* Decorating birthday cakes for the kids. It`s very time consuming and, well, I'm too lazy for it. * Coupons : in Canada it never was as big as in the US, so it's never really been a thing for us * Biking to work (to save gas and parking). It`s too far (10 km) and I ended up resenting it and not wanting to bike at all after. Still not tempted too. * Cheap shoes. I bought them for years, even to work my very physical work (on my feet all day). About 8 years ago I started investing in quality shoes for myself and the kids. I'll never go back. * Cheap knock-offs. Live and learn : they are very rarely of quality and I end up having to buy another one, so....


Saturday 16th of April 2022

About line-drying: here in Italy it's been the norm forever, but recently everybody is buying a dryer. I got one too 2 years ago and wow... not only it's indispensable in winter, the results are so much better when you use it. Where I live, cotton T-shirts get so stiff when line-dried, and no amount of softener can help. I'm getting solar panels soon and trust me, when our house will be energetically independent I'll use the dryer all year round! ;-D

G from Northern Norway

Friday 15th of April 2022

So much fun reading all the comments! The things I’ve (mostly) stopped doing is thrift shopping as I tend to buy so much uneeded stuff because it’s a good deal and grocery store sales since it’s usually ultraprocessed food and I try to cut that out from our daily meals.


Thursday 14th of April 2022

1. Haven't used the library since before COVID hit. I buy books for my Kindle when they drop to $1.99. I also buy books at yard sales. 2. Stopped shopping at thrift stores. Here in the Boston area the prices at thrift stores are nearly the same - or higher - than the retail price. 3. Making laundry detergent. My husband actually made it but we found after awhile that colors were fading and whites were turning gray. 4. Stopped holding yard sales at least 8 years ago. A lot of work for little yield plus the haggling was exhausting. Now I donate on my local FB Buy Nothing group. 5. Using dried beans instead of canned. Canned beans aren't that much more expensive.


Thursday 14th of April 2022

I totally gave up on garage sales. I also gave up on hosting home parties and selling in MLM schemes. There are certain items at the store I will no longer buy the no-name version of because I don’t like it as well, although for the majority of things, no-name is fine. Cat litter. I used to buy the very cheapest clay litter, but now fork out for expensive pine straw because there’s no dust to inhale and it does an amazing job of controlling odour, plus it is soft on his little feet. I also went through a homemade detergent phase which has now ended. I think there are more but that’s all I can think of atm. It’s an interesting question to ponder!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.