Whenever I tell someone about my money-conscious lifestyle, I always make a point to explain the difference between being frugal and being cheap out of fear of being called the latter. On the day to day, I strive to make purchases on quality items for great deals. But here’s the deal, sometimes I’m downright stingy.
Before I got married, I would never buy Kleenex because why buy tissues when you’ve already got toilet paper? That would simply be a waste of money. Ty may have changed my ways on that one, but there are still plenty of things I’ll never pay for.
16 Things I’m Way Too Cheap to Pay For
1. Candy at the Movie Theater
This one I learned from my mother. We barely ever went to the movies growing up (helloooo, there was Blockbuster!) and when we did, we most certainly did not hit up the concession stand. Today, I’ll maybe splurge for some movie theater popcorn, but I’ll admit it: I’m one of those who sneaks my own candy in. Call it what you like, but there’s no way in heck I am going to pay $5 for a box of M&M’s.
2. Bottled Water
Paying for bottled water kills me. If you’ve ever seen me in real life, you’ve probably seen a reusable water bottle attached to my hip. It’s the way to go! One of my biggest tips for saving money when flying is bringing your own empty bottle through airport security so that you don’t have to pay up the wazoo once you’re trapped on the other side. I have no shame in filling up my bottle in a public restroom! (Although luckily most airports now have those fancy water fountains with the bottle station.)
3. Extra Toppings
Yes, I know that guacamole is extra at Chipotle and guess what? I’m never going to get it, even though I’m an avocado fanatic. Extra toppings on pizza? Forget about it. Adding on nuts to my ice cream sundae? No thank you.
4. The Whole Bunch of Bananas
Seriously, I’m the person who tears off the single banana from the bunch and leaves it on the shelf to fend for itself. But hey, I know that Ty and I eat 6 bananas a week so gosh darnit, I’m only going to pay for 6 bananas!
5. Nice Wine
I keep trying to convince myself to upgrade my wine… BUT I JUST CAN’T. If wine is more than $6 a bottle, I start to cringe. Anything over $10 and I’m running in the other direction. I feel that once I can easily spend $15 on wine, I’ll have reached true adulthood, which means I’m probably never growing up.
6. Fabric Softener
What’s fabric softener even for? Like seriously, I have no idea. I’ve never once bought it in my life and I probably never will, unless someone can convince me of its powers and how it’s worth my mula.
7. Shaving Gel
As a young pre-teen who was learning to shave her legs, I loved picking out shaving gel. I usually opted for the Raspberry Rain Skintimate in the hot pink can. But then I got old and went to college and had to pay for my own shaving gel and quickly learned that the stuff isn’t even necessary. C’mon, hasn’t anyone heard of conditioner? I already use it for the hair on my head so why not double its purpose and use it for the hair on my legs too? I’ve been doing this ever since.
8. Toothbrushes and Floss
Isn’t that what the dentist is for? I’m already paying hundreds of dollars a year for the guy, so the least he can do is throw in some extra dental supplies. Plus, to be honest, the brands the dentist gives me are way fancier than the ones I’d actually buy for myself. The free toothbrushes are totally worth the trip to get my teeth cleaned.
I seriously can’t believe people still pay for cable! When we signed up for out current internet, it was only $10 extra a month for cable. But we all know that that doesn’t include the taxes and fees and by the time it’s all said and done, that would be at least $150 a year for something that I haven’t had for 3 years and quite frankly don’t even miss. I’d much rather spend my dollars on Netflix for $8.22 a month.
Related: 11 Binge-Worthy Series on Netflix
10. ATM Fees
I dedicated an entire post to how I don’t pay for ATM fees because that’s how passionate I am about keeping my $2.50 I’d otherwise be charged for taking out cash. Ty and I even recently switched from US Bank to Capital One 360 to save ourselves from even more banking fees. I prefer spending my money on something that I’ll actually get to use!
11. Luggage Fees
I would rather pack my entire life in one backpack than pay $30 to check a bag. In fact, Ty and I are going to Africa for three months with only two carry-ons – that’s how against luggage fees I am! Plus in all honestly, I think most people over-pack anyway and traveling with too much stuff can be such a burden. Less stuff = more fun.
Related: 15 Tips for Traveling on a Budget
12. Travel Sized Products
$1 for 1.7 ounces of shampoo is ridiculous! Especially when you consider the fact that my big 12 ounce bottle usually costs no more than $3. I’d much rather pay $1 for an empty 3 ounce bottle that I can then refill over and over with my regular sized product. Better yet, I love getting free samples from Sample Source and reusing those bottles that I paid absolutely nothing for.
13. Magazines and Books
I don’t know if I’ve ever bought a magazine because I just can’t fathom spending $5 for pictures of celebrities and gossip columns that I can get for free on the internet. Instead, I opt for the leftover copies from my friends or just read them while I’m at the dentist’s office collecting my free toothbrushes and floss. Books are another thing I don’t buy either – that’s what the library is for!
14. Hallmark Cards
Uggggggggh. Why do cards cost as much as gifts these days? $.99 is my cap price for paying for a card and you better believe Hallmark doesn’t sell any of those. But do you know who does? Trader Joe’s! They seriously have the cutest cards that cost less than a buck. Totally worth stocking up on.
I refuse to pay for shipping. Sure, I may found a promo code online for $5 off my purchase, but when shipping comes out to $7.99, I just can’t do it.
16. Amazon Prime
My go-to way around paying for shipping is to order from Amazon. But I cannot get myself to actually pay for Amazon Prime. Maybe I’m playing the system, but between Ty and I we have about 8 different email addresses so you better believe that they’ve all been used to sign up for a free Amazon Prime trial. I have yet to actually pay for a membership.
P.S. When I was in college, I got a 6-month Amazon Student Prime membership completely free by signing up with my .edu email address. If you’re a student, you can signup here!
What are you way too cheap to pay for?
Join the newsletter
Learn how to spend less and live more with the Crafty Coin newsletter.
Get my latest posts and tips sent to your inbox!