You know what they say: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. That can be especially true for financial habits. People shared the strangest frugal habits they learned from their parents that they couldn’t shake in adulthood.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Lights Out
One commenter says they still compulsively shut off all of their lights that aren’t in use. “Even though with today’s LED bulbs, the energy consumption is so miniscule it doesn’t even register on any modern voltage meter, nor will it make any dent on my energy bill.”
2: Neverending Bags
One commenter says as long as they’ve been alive, they’ve had a plastic bag, thanks to their parents. “Under the sink or in my pantry, filled with other plastic bags. There is no way I will ever use them all. Yet I continue to save every plastic bag that makes its way into my home.”
3: Save Waste
“Don’t throw it away; it can be used later” is a saying drilled into one commenter’s mind growing up. It’s had a lasting impression. “Throwing stuff out gives me so much anxiety, but I don’t want to be a hoarder.”
4: Diamond in the Rough
You know what they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. “I am constantly giving every pile of junk on the side of the road an ocular pat down for anything good…even when walking/driving around on vacation,” one commenter says.
5: Foiled Again
“Anybody else still reuse aluminum foil?” one commenter asks. They continue, “How about putting a little water in the ketchup bottle (or any condiment really) to get every last bit? Thanks, depression-era parents!”
6: Not Chuckin’ Wood
Thanks to their parents, one commenter still saves wood scraps from every project. “My workroom is full of odd shapes of wood, big and small, thick and thin, different types – all in the hope that ‘someday’ I will need a particular piece of wood, and I will have it handy.”
7: Sudsy Savings
“I cut kitchen sponges in thirds,” one commenter says it helps them go the distance. “They get pretty gross immediately, so less waste. They move from countertop cleaning to the sink, then when gross, we use it on the toilet and then throw it away. My son automatically does this too, now.”
8: Save Your Napkins
One commenter says their car’s glove compartment stays stacked with extra drive-through napkins. “Because you never know when you’ll need one for a spill or an emergency tissue.”
9: Think Before You Buy
It took ages for one commenter to realize that buying a half gallon of milk is a better deal, even if the gallon of milk is a little less expensive. “The impulse to buy in bulk runs strongly in my family, and I still have to remind myself that just because the grocery item is 50% off does not mean I should buy 10 of them.”
10: The More the Merrier
One commenter said they’re still saving cereal boxes because of their parent. “My mom is a preschool teacher, so having spare cardboard for crafts makes sense. I am an office drone, so I have no idea why I need 30+ flattened Cheerio boxes.”
11: Soup’s On
“My boyfriend thinks it’s ridiculous I keep veggie scraps and chicken bones in a freezer bag for soup,” one commenter says. “He calls it ‘scrap soup’ or ‘garbage soup,’ yet he loves it every time.”
12: Screw It
One person says they save extra screws, nuts, bolts, etc., just in case they need it. “My father is like that. I’m trying to stop since I have boxes of new screws and live within walking distance from a big hardware store. They still come in handy, though.”
13: Fit Check
One commenter never dropped the habit of changing from outside clothes to home clothes as soon as they got home. “What are home clothes? They are comfortable and retired ex-outside clothes,” they explained. “This is to preserve the life of the outside clothes for as long as possible, despite being able to afford new lounging comfortable clothes whenever.”
14: Discounts Galore
More doesn’t always mean better. One person is stuck buying excessive food just because it’s on sale. “I’m in my late 20s and make GOOD money compared to many my age. I have no reason to do this, but I simply can’t stop.”
15: Giving Things New Life
One person said they wash and reuse ziplock bags and other plastics to save a few bucks. They also said they throw a bucket in the shower to gather for watering plants.
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