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10 Frugal Habits of the Rich and Famous

You’ll be surprised how these wealthy celebrities stretch their dollars

Why Be Frugal?

En español | If you were wealthy beyond your wildest dreams, would you still pinch pennies? You might be surprised by the frugal habits that some of the world’s richest people still incorporate into their daily lives. Then again, maybe that behavior is part of the reason they’re so wealthy in the first place.

James Brey

Drive a Safe, Practical Car

Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris has a four-year, $2.2 million contract and still drives his 1991 Mazda nicknamed “Bentley,” which he reportedly purchased for $2 from his pastor when he was a student at Florida Atlantic University.

John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Don’t Go Anywhere With Money in Your Pocket Looking for Something to Buy

That’s the advice T. Boone Pickens’ grandmother gave him, and it’s advice he still lives by today. The oil tycoon, who is worth nearly $1 billion, could easily afford an impulse purchase or two. He told Politico in a 2011 interview: “I don’t go cheap on anything, but I’m not a shopper. If I want something, I look at it, decide what it is, but it will usually be the best product. I’ve got a pair of loafers that I still wear that I got in 1957.”

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Keep Clipping Those Coupons

Think clipping coupons is only for us everyday penny pinchers? Think again. A bunch of famous people take their coupon clipping seriously — no matter how big their bank accounts — including, from left, Hilary Swank, Lady Gaga (not pictured), Kristen Bell and Carrie Underwood.

Tony Barson/FilmMagic via Getty Images; Kristin Callahan/Alamy; Gary Gershoff/WireImage via Getty Images

Live on (WAY) Less Than You Earn

When Jay Leno recently retired from more than 20 years of hosting the Tonight show, he shared a little secret: He never spent any of what he earned from the show ($15 million annually in the final years), but instead continued to live off income from his standup comedy act. “When I was a kid, I had two jobs,” wrote Leno in Parade magazine. “I worked at a Ford dealership and at a McDonald’s. I’d spend the money from one job and save the money from the other. That’s still the way I am now.”

Stacie McChesney/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Dress Fashionably Frugal

Some of Hollywood’s leading ladies are known for turning up their noses at pricey designer fashions and instead donning more budget-conscious apparel, even for special events. In recent years, both Helen Hunt (pictured) and Penelope Cruz looked stunning at the Oscars in gowns from fast-fashion retailer H&M, but that’s still haute couture compared with the charcoal turtleneck from the Gap that Sharon Stone wore to the awards program back in 1996.

Michael Owen Baker/AP; Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Don’t Spoil Your Kids

The list of business tycoons who plan to leave only a portion of their estates to their kids includes, from left, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Ted Turner (not pictured). Buffett says, “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.”

left: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images; right: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Remember What’s Really Important

Actor Rob Lowe says, “I’m willing to spend money to create memories for my kids and our times together. If it’s a trip or taking advantage of an opportunity, I will do whatever it takes. In terms of actual things, I’m not one of those guys that collects Vipers or Shelby Cobras, or has a rare book collection.”

WireImage/Getty Images

Cook More at Home

Their kitchens may be the Taj Mahal compared with ours, but a surprising number of celebrities prefer to cook at home rather than dine out at five-star eateries or hire a personal chef. From left, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Emma Stone enjoy getting together for baking parties at each other’s homes.

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic via Getty Images; Fred Duval/FilmMagic via Getty Images; Evan Agostini/AP

When in Doubt, Let Your Wife Control the Money

Bobby Keys, the legendary saxophone player for the Rolling Stones and many other groups, said of his younger years, “If I needed money, I just had to go to the accountant and say I need some money, then he’d give me a box of money and I’d go away and spend it and I’d run out and then go back and get more.” But things have changed. When asked in 2012 how he handles money he said, “It’s a real simple system: I give everything I make to my wife, Holly, and she lets me have what she thinks I need.”

CHAD BATKA/The New York Times/Redux

Drink Cheap Wine … and Die Broke

It may not be boxed wine, but Chuck Feeney, cofounder of Duty Free Shoppers Group, always chooses the second-cheapest wine from the list. A biography about Feeney, The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing, chronicles Feeney’s goal of giving away his fortune to charity before he dies. A 2012 New York Times article estimated he has already given away about $6 billion and was working on getting rid of the last $1.5 billion by 2016.

David Cantwell/Forbes Collection/Corbis Outline

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