Literally anything a smartphone (or any other computing device) does uses power. Disabling apps and services that you don't need, and restricting permissions for those you do need to only what is necessary, will always save battery power.
The tricks are knowing what you need and don't need, knowing what permissions apps need and don't need, and not breaking anything. This is something you have to work out for yourself because it all depends on what you, the user, requires and prefers. Once you have that sorted out, proceed from there to make the phone run how you want it to.
I have my 7t battery-optimized to the point that I can get 10 hours SoT if I push it to the edge of a charge. But that comes at the cost of some functionality, which just happens to be functionality that I, personally, do not need. But that doesn't mean my optimizations are right for you. What I consider "lean and mean," you might consider "bare-bones and boring."
One piece of advice: Don't be in a hurry to uninstall anything. Try disabling first. It's not rocket surgery to reinstall something if you find you needed it, but enabling it is a lot easier.
As for the "Force stop" button, the fact that it's not grayed out doesn't necessarily mean the app is running.