saving money

What silly things do you do to save money?

I recently started watching the show Extreme Cheapskates, and I have to say, I’m a combination of amused and mildly horrified at what some of these people do.

I am all for saving money wherever you can. But reusing paper towels? (Why not just buy dish cloths? You can reuse those, too (a lot more effectively).) Not flushing the toilet to save money on water? (Ew, ew, ew!) Going around tables at a restaurant and eating the scraps that strangers left on their plates? (Also “Ew, ew, ew!”)

There’s frugality, and then there’s…well, they call the show “extreme” for a reason.

My own “extremes”

But, after watching these people go to disgusting measures to save what probably amounts to a few cents, I’ve found myself noticing the “silly” things I do to save a little here and there:

  • I will squeeze the life out of a toothpaste tube to make sure I get every last tooth brushing I possibly can from it.
  • I take my foot off the gas a good distance away from a stop sign or red light and let my car coast to a stop rather than wasting like a few feet of extra gas. (I got that one from The Hubby.)
  • I save every rubber band and twist tie that ever comes into our house. I’m not exactly sure why, but it seems like something always needs to be banded or tied. (And some day, if the Zombie apocalypse hits, I expect to be able to use them to MacGyver my way out of many different situations.) 🙂
  • I reuse paper in my printer at home. If we’re just printing off something we’ll only use once, like directions to somewhere, it doesn’t matter if it’s on the back of something else we printed before. I hate throwing out a whole sheet of paper unless I’ve used both sides.
  • I reuse my tea bags. I don’t like super-strong tea, and you can get 2 to 3 good mugs of tea out of one bag if you don’t steep it for too long.

I know none of these are worthy of a TLC documentary, but still, it’s funny to think that I’ll do these things and yet I think nothing of “wasting” money in other ways. (I can’t clean up gross messes with a dish cloth, no matter how much better for the environment I know it is. I just want to mop it up with a paper towel and toss it!)

What weird little “extremes” do you go to to save a few cents?





photo credit:  justinhenry

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    • That’s actually a really good idea! I think I’ll have to try that myself! I always have random ends left over…like a couple white bread, a rye, a wheat…I bet they’d make really yummy breadcrumbs all mixed together.

  • + I also squeeze every last drop out of the toothpaste tube, as well as shampoo, lotion, etc!

    + When going to the movies I catch the matinee showing at a cheaper price, or I wait for the movie I want to see to come out at our local discount theater and go to the movies for $3.50!

    + I often eat a meal, or at least a snack, before going to the movies so I less tempted to buy unhealthy expensive snacks at the theater.

    + I split every restaurant meal in half and save it for later, or I split a plate with my husband. It’s healthier and cheaper!

    + I ride my bicycle or scooter to save money on fuel and reduce emissions!

    + I spot clean or hand wash dry clean only items to get a few more wears before dry cleaning.

    + I shop at the thrift store to supplement my wardrobe and save a few bucks. It’s also great because I often find high-end like-new items at a huge discount!

    + I watch TV free on Hulu instead of paying for cable. I get to watch TV on my schedule, with fewer commercials, and I save money.

    I’m not sure how “extreme” my examples are because they are normal to me but there may be plenty of people out there that don’t do any of these things and that’s normal to them.

    Have a grateful day!


  • Em,
    I never, ever go out to lunch at work. I brown bag or, in an emergency, there are always protein bars in my desk drawer.

    I plan my driving route for errands so that I can save time and gasoline by never doubling back.

    • I’m going to have to try the driving route plan. I already try to bundle my errands so I can get several over in one trip, but I never thought about the mileage of the route itself. Very smart!

  • I love this one and do it every month. I buy 4 giftcards at Walmart @ $75 (or your reasonable grocery budget) and that is my grocery allowance per week. Even if have to stop for a couple of unforeseen items during the week, it has worked great for years. Also, I put the snacks and treats in the top part of the buggy and if the bottom of the buggy equals my allotted budget, then the treats don’t get bought! It really works!

    • Those are both really smart methods! I especially love the top/bottom of the grocery cart idea. I should trying that myself!

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