The Frugal Tips That Are Too Good to Share: Keep Them Secret and Save Big

I recently scrolled the internet’s front page when I saw this question, “What’s a frugal tip you’re afraid will be ruined by too many people?” Here are the top-voted responses.

1. Thrifting

One user said, “Thrifting. Those stores are catching on, and it’s not as easy to find buried treasure anymore.’’

Another added, “Agree, I’m glad more people are buying secondhand, but it’s killing my budget.’’

2. Restoring Old Furniture

One commenter mentioned, “Restoring old furniture. Many pieces get bought up /flipped for online stores or sellers now want the restored value of the furniture because they “know what (they) have.’’

Another one commented, ‘’My mom restores and repairs old furniture, and there is a huge amount of people who come in thinking their seventy-year-old wood piece of furniture is a priceless antique get pretty annoyed when my mom points out stuff like manufacturing brands, or a maker who started forty years ago.’’

3. Estate Sales

A Redditor said, “Estate sales. All my coolest shit comes from dead people.’’

Another commented, “A huge amount of estate sales in my area have gone to an online auction. At best you can get most things for the “resell” price.’’

4. Cheaper Cuts of Meat 

Redditor Ascholay said, “Cheaper cuts of meat aren’t so cheap anymore. Chicken wings, flank steak…… chicken thighs seem to be creeping up through the years.’’

Another Redditor commented, ‘’Yeah, the rise of cooking shows, popular YouTube cooks, and online forums have made cooking the cheaper/tougher cuts of meat more accessible to the general public. What were once regional specialties (like tri-tip or picanha) are now in demand everywhere.’’

5. Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook

Redditor JustMeOttawa said, ‘’Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook. You may not always get the item but I have gotten so many amazing things gifted to me from our local buy nothing and other giveaway sites. I also regift items I no longer need to these sites so it helps with both being frugal and decluttering. There are some people that do try to grab anything and everything and resell but at least on our local group if it is discovered they are reselling free items, they get banned.’’

6. Flea Markets

Redditor antisara said, ‘’Stay away from my wild flea markets that are all cash and require haggling.’’

Several users in the thread acknowledged this since they probably have a flea market nearby as well. 

7. Asian Grocers

Redditor DollChiaki said, ‘’Asian grocers. I was in the one the next town over, found they’d reorganized, labeled the aisles in English…and put up the prices by half. Next thing you know they’ll turn off the Cpop and quit carrying pink dishwashing gloves.’’

Another Redditor added, ‘’Was looking for this. Any ethnic themed store (Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern) is super cheap on staples like beans, rice, and spices. Even the Hispanic section at Walmart still sells spices at a fraction of what you pay on the spice aisle.’’

8. Military Surplus

Redditor halo45601 said, ‘’Military surplus. You used to be able to collect all sorts of gear from firearms, tents, MREs, clothes, helmets, backpacks, cases, tools, knives, etc for super cheap. That’s almost all gone partly because of collectors and partly because of fewer things being surplused out. Although occasionally there are still deals to be found.’’

Another Redditor commented, ‘’A lot of these were never actually the products commissioned by government armies. A lot of people like the idea that products are “military grade”, or look military-ish, and buy those products, thinking they’re actually from the military.

A lot of “surplus” that was actually military were from defect batches.

Just an FYI to anyone who pokes around to beware.’’

9. Columbia Sportswear Warranties

User herkalurk mentioned, ‘’Columbia sportswear warranties. Columbia offers a lifetime warranty on all their products. If it rips or tears you can send it into them and they will either repair it or get you a new one. While their products are not the cheapest for a cost they are sturdy and they stand by their warranty. 

“My wife had a coat that had a problem they couldn’t fix it and they had no more in stock so they literally sent her a coupon to their store for the MSRP of that coat. She’s bought other shorts and the things from that store with it and a couple times she’s had to send those in and they were just as nice and simply replace the product without problem. Hopefully they wouldn’t reduce the availability or thoroughness of their warranty if everybody knew about it and actually held them to it.’’

Another Redditor commented, ‘’So does North Face. My son used a NF backpack for several years. A seam ripped and a zipper broke during that time. I returned the backpack to North Face and they repaired it for free and sent it back to me both times.

“Finally, part of the material began wearing through and it could not be repaired. NF sent me a gift certificate for $75 which is more than I paid for the backpack in the first place.’’

10. Libraries

Redditor uselessfoster said, ‘’Libraries. I mean, I think libraries are dope and they always want more people because that usually justifies more funding and grants, but if I applied the ol’ “what if everyone did this?” the waitlists for books would be even longer and authors would make even less money. Storytime would be a crowded chaotic mess, to say nothing of the wait time for games, toys and all the other great stuff libraries carry now.

“I’d be happy if there was a library on every block and as many librarians as school teachers, but if I think of things I really enjoy that could get more crowded, libraries are up there.’’

Another commented, ‘’There used to be mobile libraries called the bookmobile, I wish this would come back.’’

Did these Redditors make you think of something you are thankful for because it isn’t discovered by the masses yet? 

This article was produced and syndicated by Radical FIRE.