Ask the readers – What are your frugal pet peeves

As someone that is naturally frugal there are some un-frugal things that people do that drive me bananas. I get it, it’s your life and your money but frugality goes hand in hand with helping with the environment. Here are 6 of my frugal pet peeves.

Frugal Pet Peeve #1: Leaving lights on when not in the room

Mrs. T always picks on me for turning lights off in our house. If we are not in a room, I turn the lights off. It’s simple as that. I sometimes even wash dishes in the kitchen without any lights on because there’s still some daylight outside. Mrs. T often complains about not being able to see around the house because it’s too dark. In my opinion, if you are not in the room, turn the lights off to save electricity and money. What’s the point for leaving the lights on when you’re not around? So your neighbours can see all the things in your house?

Frugal Pet Peeve #2: Buying unnecessary crap

People that buy unnecessary crap for the sake of buying is a behaviour that doesn’t make any sense to me. Given that Christmas is coming up, I have been seeing more and more stores selling ugly sweaters. Seriously, people actually spend money on UGLY sweaters that they wear once or twice each year for some ugly sweater parties? What’s the logic behind that?

Frugal Pet Peeve #3: Buy things in bulk then throw them away

If you frequent Costco, you probably have seen people loading items in bulk. Buying non perishable items like toilet paper, pasta, rice, or canned food makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is buying things like apples, lettuce, mushrooms, milk, and eggs in bulk and end up having to throw them away because they go bad. The per item cost may be cheaper when buying bulk initially but certainly not when you have to throw away half of them.

Frugal Pet Peeve #4: Buy bottled water when eating out

I don’t understand people that order expensive bottled water over tap water when eating out. Unless you live in an area with bad water quality, tap water is just as good as bottled water (sometimes better!). Give your wallet a break by ordering tap water!

Frugal Pet Peeve #5: Accelerate like crazy then slam on the brakes when driving

I have seen this more and more lately when I am driving. Some drivers would accelerate very quickly, go over the speed limit, cut in and out of the traffic to get ahead, tailgate the driver in front of them, only to slam on the brakes a few minutes later because traffic isn’t going anywhere. I always get a chuckle when my car and their car end up in the same spot at the intersection.

Frugal Pet Peeve #6: Overusing AC or heat

Have you encounter someone that overuses AC in the summer such that the room is so cold he or she ends up having to wear sweaters? Or someone that overuses heat in the winter such that the room is so hot he or she ends up wearing t-shirts and shorts (or even go topless)? Talk about a complete waste of money and energy! Why do people waste energy like that? It just makes no sense to me at all. Turn off AC or heat before it gets too cold or too hot, and save yourself a buck or two.

I don’t know about you but it definitely drives me slightly insane to see someone doing any of these 6 frugal pet peeves listed above. I really think people can be more responsible with their money and be more environmentally conscious if they avoid these 6 simple actions.

Dear readers, do you have any frugal pet peeves that you want to share?

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34 thoughts on “Ask the readers – What are your frugal pet peeves”

  1. Wastefulness drives me crazy, especially when it comes to electricity and water consumption. I have friends who will let the tap run full out and hot to “rinse” the dishes before they put them in the dishwasher. Leave the lights & TVS on the the rooms when they are not being used. Another friend doesn’t recycle because it’s a bother. I’m really trying to be mindful of not wasting money, but also not wasting when it will impact the environment. I plan my grocery shopping, filling up the gas, and other errands around my son’s music classes so I’m not driving 30KM for no reason. I bought a used $7.99 coffee maker for the office and coffee on sale (big can $5.99) which means I don’t go to Tim Hortons on the way, saving money and not using disposable cups. The office has a K-cup brewer, but they are so wasteful. The coffee maker & can of coffee was less than 5 Medium coffee for the week. The can will last me a few months.

  2. Hi Tawcan,

    I have two things to talk about, and first is that people have become rasher and their driving skills are becoming worse day by day. Even if you are driving your car at the speed of 30KMPL, other drivers are becoming more aggressive on the roads which are leading to accidents. Drive within the limits, follow the traffic rules and reach home safely. Second is that thank you for sharing this information with us, and spreading about it.

    • I have been driving around 100 km/hr on the highway as indicated by the traffic sign and stick to the same speed. Definitely have seen dramatic improvement to my gas mileage.

  3. I absolutely hate leaving lights on and other electrical items plugged in, as I see as it flushing money down the toilet. Also, I’m a stickler for moderating usage of AC/heat. I’d rather have it a bit chilly and just use extra blankets in the house.

  4. My #1 frugal pet peeve is stuffitis. That is when people (close family members, unfortunately) spend money on stuff we don’t actually need. “It’s just a few dollars” times 50 or 100 adds up quickly…

    The worst is, I suffered from this disease earlier in my life! 🙁

    BTW, my #1 non-frugal pet peeve is when I ask someone (when greeting them in passing) how they are doing, and they answer “I’m good…” and then walk away. In my mind, I complete their answer: “… and I don’t actually care to know how you’re doing!”

    FerdiS, DivGro

  5. The light thing is one of my biggest pet peeves. My wife makes me want to own stock in the local power company. Beyond that my other frugal pet peeve is those that buy a brand new electric car because I will save them on gas rather then continue to drive their perfectly good 2 -3 year old car. You have to save a lot of gas to overcome 2 yrs of depreciation after all.

    • Funny you mentioned about eletric car. It’s the same argument for hybrid cars too. Typcially you’re better off driving your old car for a few more years, drive conservatively, than switching to an electric/hybrid car.

  6. Related to #5: Idling the car in the grocery store parking lot to wait for some other driver to leave, when there are parking spaces available further away (or in the overflow parking lot across the street). Even more amazing, I see this at Costco all the time, even though you’d think people shopping there are frugal. Or maybe not, see #3, haha.
    Save the gas and get some free exercise from walking, folks!

  7. Oh, have I got frugal pet peeves!

    One of my biggest pet peeves is the people who drive a giant truck to work everyday. You know…the jacked-up ones with the giant exhausts and giant inefficient tires. Horrible waste of the earths resources, all for the sake of someone’s’ macho ego.

    Another great peeve is my neighbors who keep their outside lights on 24/7. Even during the day. Common guys…if you’re that lazy, just get a timer!

    How about “Pho-Frugal People”….aka people who pretend to be frugal but really are not. Like the people who go out to lunch every day, but choose a cheaper meal item from the restaurant in order to “save money”. I just want to shout at them “Going out to eat everyday is not saving money!”

    “Bi-polar Frugal” people are a peeve too. Constantly oscillating between frugal and spendthrift. Or, those people who will only eat rice and beans, but then feed their dog fancy canned dog food! I guess it’s all about priorities, but stuff like that seems inconsistent and silly to me.

    Happy Holidays Tawcan!

    • Happy Holidays to you too Mr. Tako!

      Driving a giant truck to work everyday when you can easily bike or drive a smaller car makes no sense. These people usually just want to show off their giant trucks.

      Keeping lights on 24/7 it uncessary, even if you have LED lights. A timer or a ambient light sensor will solve this problem for you.

      Lol about Pho-Frugal people and bi-polar frugal. I mean make up your mind right?

  8. @Stephanie – I agree those gluten free foods are a rip off. However, some people do elimination diets and then realize that when they add gluten back into their diet, they get unpleasant symptoms. Many people have what is considered ‘gluten intolerance’. Same thing with dairy. Most of us don’t digest it well, but it is hard to tell until you try an elimination period. Anything ‘labeled’ as “gluten free”, is still usually processed food. The cheapest, and healthiest way to reduce or eliminate gluten is to cut down on pasta, bread and sweets and eat more whole foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, potatoes.

  9. I should also mention that we don’t even have an air conditioner. We live in the mid-west and it does get hot and humid for about 2-3 months, but a couple of low-noise, high-powered, $10 fans does a wonderful job that we have never had a bad night’s sleep.

  10. My pet peeve involves people and their car driving habits. I’ve seen people drive very very short distances…just WALK! These same people will drive around in the parking lot looking for the closest spot. Once again…just park a little farther and WALK. The worst is when I see people do this and they’re going to the gym. Didn’t you want to get some exercise anyway…why not WALK?

  11. One of my pet peeves is people buying all their food gluten-free when they don’t have celiac disease. There is little medical evidence that eating gluten-free is beneficial for the lambda person. It definitely makes a difference in your wallet however, given how expensive these foods are.

    • There are people who are gluten intolerant so I understand the need for gluten-free food. Some people do become gluten-free even though they don’t have celiac disease. When they go back eating glutin, they feel the affects. But going gluten-free just because it’s a popular diet doesn’t make any sense.

  12. My peeve is over shopping at the grocery store. Buying to much causes you to throw out spoiled food which wastes money and food. We make trips to the store weekly, we need to shop better.

  13. Totally agree with the environmental reference. I was a sustainability consultant for a number of years, so I actually became a simple living advocate for environmental reasons, and found the added benefits of financial freedom, waaaaay before I even heard of the FIRE term or started reading PF/Frugal blogs.

    Frugality can also go hand in hand with health. I actually named my website Primal Prosperity, for this exact reason….

    For years, I have actually kept lights off at work, as long as there is reasonable light coming in. Co-workers always made comments on how dark it is, but that is just because they are used to ridiculous levels of illumination. False lighting during the daytime is not good for our health or circadian rhythm, so that is another reason to monitor how we use lighting. AC/Heat is another thing that is not good for our bodies in excess. It should be used just enough to sleep well and stay safe, but beyond, it should be controlled much more for optimal health. Our car culture drives me nuts, pun intended. Speeding and aggressive driving uses soooooo much more fuel. Up to 25-30% or more. I get so annoyed when people complain about the cost of a gallon of gas, but then waste so much. I got rid of my car a few years ago, and the increased walking and fresh air is wonderful.

    • Stores and companies keeping lights on at night is something I don’t get. If they can turn off the lights and all the computers, you can definitely save a lot of energy. Don’t even get me started on excessive, unnecessary, and aggressive driving. Simply makes no sense.

  14. Oh mine is for sure people who buy their lunch out every day instead of making lunch from home. It must cost $50 a week at least to eat lunch out every day, when making it from home can be as cheap as $10-$15 a week. I just make a huge batch of whatever on Sunday and that’s me set for the week.

  15. Tawcan –

    Great/hilarious article:

    -Leaving everything plugged in – toaster oven, coffee pot(s), blender, toaster separately, food processor, etc.. Not necessary!

    -Slamming on brakes is another one

    -Ridiculous traveling that doesn’t make sense (waste of time + gas)

    -At dinner – feeling unhealthy because we ordered an appetizer, a drink each, two entrees and poked at dessert. We are getting better and becomes less damage on the wallet – we split an app, we split an entree and we usually, if we want, have a little bit of ice cream at home. This reduces the damage by about $15-25.

    -Buying clothes every week – when people do this, it drives me nuts!

    Thanks Tawcan, now i’m frustrated! haha


    • Hi Lanny,

      There’s definitely no need to plug everything in, unless there’s a master switch to turn the power off completely.

      I’ve seen some crazy travels and some of them definitely don’t make sesne and simply waste of time and gas.

      For dinning out, if you don’t do it too regularly I think it’s OK to splurge once in a while. But you can certainly save by having dessert at home. 🙂

  16. #1 is also my number 1 pet peeve. The past two mornings I’ve woken up to discover Mr. Beach Life left the lights on in the living room before coming to bed. I know their LED and don’t use *that* much energy, but it also doesn’t take *that* much energy to turn them off before bed!

  17. Right on! I hate buying bottle water too. In fact, I hate buying any drinks when I’m out at a restaurant. The mark up is so huge. You can get a bottle of beer for about a buck, but you’ll pay 5-6 times that at a restaurant. I guess I’m cheap at heart.
    I hate those crazy drivers too. 🙂
    Happy holidays!

    • The mark up is pretty crazy when it comes to drinks. We got a good surprise when ordering tap water in Copenhagen while eating out. The restaurants were charging like 10 Danish Kroners per person for tap water. What a total rip off!


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