16 Tales Of Frugal Fathers

We got over 225 comments when we asked you, “What’s the most frugal thing your dad ever did?” You guys have some really crafty pops. Your stories were humorous, heartfelt, and inspiring. I seriously got misty reading some of them. Others made me fearful for how our generation of young men will ever live up to what these heroes of frugality and grit did on a daily basis. Here are 16 of the best.

1. “My Dad would melt down the last part of the deodorant stick from multiple different deodorants to create a deodorant Frankenstein of sorts…” – PhiTauBill

2. “My dad once received used carpeting from a retail store that was closing and had to be remodeled for the future tenant. This was industrial carpeting about as thick as a mousepad, but it was free and in good condition, so he brought it home and not only did the entire basement with the carpeting, but he actually wrapped it up one wall because it was cheaper than paint or wallpaper.” – Costner

3. “I asked my father what to do when my car’s check engine light came on. His advice was, “Alright. Go down to the hardware store, and buy yourself a roll of black electrical tape. Now, tear off a piece about about the half the length of your thumb. Get inside your car and turn the engine on. Now, where you see the “check engine” light, you’re going to place that electrical tape right over the light. That’ll stop it from bothering you”. – Ahardy55

4. “We would pull old vacuum cleaners out of other people’s garbage and then rebuild them into power tools. We built a belt sander, table saw, grinder, workbench, and a few other odds and ends.” – Donke shorts

5. “We had an old 1950’s Toastmaster for years – and Dad fixed it a few times. When finally it could be fixed no more, (in the 80’s) he tossed it, and bought a new one. and another, and another. Every one of them died within 2 years, and toasted like crap. He finally found an old Toastmaster at an antique shop for not much more than a new toaster. It’s still toasting bread to this day. And now, that retro toaster look is in style!” – Cheap Sniveler

6. “Mine eats Cheerios every morning, but will only buy them when they’re on sale and then just stocks up. He keeps the boxes stacked by expiration date in the basement.” – axhandler1

7. “my dad once flipped the circuit breaker to the dryer because he felt when it was warm outside my mom should be drying the laundry on the clothesline rather than in the dryer. When she couldn’t get the dryer to work he said it was broke and he would fix it later. It magically started working again during an extended period of rain and when he started running out of clean underwear. I don’t think my mom ever fell for that one again.” – Costner

8. “Hooked up the tv to an exercise bike so that we kids had to peddle to watch our cartoons. TV lost its charm quickly and we went outside to play. Dad 1 kids 0” – WagTheDog

9. “Why buy shelving? Instead, my father took down the kitchen door and mounted it (as is) to the wall.” – Ahardy55

10. “He wanted to resod his lawn which was quite large, and despite living in an area where there were lots of sod farms, he could never find a price that he wanted to pay. He also drove quite a bit as part of his job. What he would do is look for patches of sod that had spilled off of flatbed trucks and were abandoned and take them home. A sharp turn several blocks from a big box store was a favorite hunting ground. For several months his yard looked like a jigsaw puzzle, but when he got done it looked fantastic and it was all free! …This was his crowning achievement of frugality, and he would tell people about it all the time. He even kept a copy of one of the quotes to resod that was over $300.” – loueloui

11. “My Dad’s favorite saying is “builds character.” He once made my little brother hang out of the truck’s passenger window and use a squeegee to wipe off the windshield in the rain because the wipers were broken and he didn’t want to spend money on Rain-X.” – Snip

12. “My dad made his own medicine. It consisted of castor oil and a bunch of other stuff. It worked – none of us kids ever got sick (we didn’t want to have to take the meds). I had perfect attendance all through school.” – tbax929

13. “Just after the nasty spring storms, my Dad would go buy a gallon of gasoline, and go around the neighborhood cutting up the trees that would fall down. He’d charge like 10 bucks each, which really is nothing. I always thought he was just being nice. Then in the fall, those same people whose trees he had removed in the spring, came to him to buy firewood, because wood stoves and fireplaces were popular then. He stopped selling when he got down to about 2 cords or so. He made out like a bandit, and we always had a nice toasty warm house in the New England winters.” – attackgypsy

14. “I saw him purchase a suit at Good Will for himself while purchasing new school cloths for us at retail.” – framitz

15. “He used to use hot glue on the bottoms of his running shoes to rebuild the rubber on the bottom.” – bluetech

16. “He bought a Flowbee. :(” – Firevine

What’s The Most Frugal Thing Your Dad Ever Did?

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