What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to save money?
Some people will take epic steps just to save a few bucks. One of the things that has resonated with our listeners on the Clark Howard show is extending the use of your disposable razor. We’ve had people call in that have been using a 19 cent razor for over a year! One of our listeners even created a product that dries out your razor to extend its life. This penny-pinching razor madness has turned into a phenomenon and taken on a life of its own. Using one cheapo blade that costs less than a quarter for that long seems just a bit insane to me although I do love to see the passion that people have to save a few bucks though.
Extreme ways to save a few bucks
Another listener once told me they dry out their previously used coffee grounds and brew another pot with them. That’s a little crazy too, right? I mean, how far is too far to save a buck?
What about diving headfirst into a trashcan? Years ago Wendy’s advertised a special offer with Airtran Airlines. If you could collect 64 Wendy’s cups you got a free flight on Airtran to any of their domestic destinations. That was a pretty sweet promo! My buddy Travis took to the dumpsters behind Wendy’s after closing time more than once during that promotion and scored himself a few free flights. That’s kind of crazy too but a free flight is a pretty sweet reward. If I could go back in time I think I would have joined him for that crazy money saving venture. Speaking of dumpster diving, did you know that some people dumpster dive for food? It’s called Freeganism and it’s been around since the 90’s. Count me out for that one.
Oh, and I’m about to start cutting my own hair when I can gather enough courage. I know lots of people do this. But I’m nervous! Plus, haircuts only cost about $12. So am I being too cheap? I do have to look at least semi-professional (yes, even in the radio biz).
Read more: This app automates your savings for you
The craziest thing I've done to save...
But now I guess I have to reveal the craziest thing I’ve done to save money. I couldn’t come up with one ludicrous thing so I’ll name a few. I made my pregnant wife walk a couple of extra blocks to all (and there were many) of our doctor appointments to save a $5 parking fee. Too much? Maybe, but she was a great sport. I fill up a couple of water bottles before I leave work too. Every day. Is that weird? Maybe. But it is all in the name of cutting my water costs. I’ll forsake the convenience of a car and take the bus on trips whenever possible. I once got my head shaved to raise money for charity. Crazy? I thought so. You might have caught on at this point – I don’t want to screw up the hair!
A few ways frugal folks can save even more!
- Ditch your car and stick to public transportation: You can use the cash to boost your savings or pay off debt. Plus, say goodbye to monthly insurance and repair costs.
- Rent out a room in your house: Easy extra cash for the mortgage, bills or savings.
- Stick to a cash-only budget: Letting go of cash in your hand is a lot more difficult than just swiping a card.
- Don't buy anything unless you have a coupon: It's SO easy to find deals and discounts these day, so you should never really have to pay full price! And if you can't find a coupon or deal, stick to generic brands.
- Go on a spending freeze: Don't buy anything for a set period of time that you don't absolutely need (you can still buy food and pay your bills). You'll quickly figure out just how much you spend on unnecessary purchases.
- Reduce every monthly bill: Sometimes all it takes is shopping around for a better price or jus asking the company for a better rate -- your credit card company may even reduce your interest rate if you ask!
- Find cheaper alternatives: Make it your mission to always find the very best price -- from prescriptions and medical care, to groceries, party supplies and anything else.
What is the craziest thing you’ve done to save money?
Taking ketchup packets home from the fast food restaurant? Do you unplug everything before you leave the house? Do we have any dumpster divers out there? Maybe you have a no new clothes policy and only go to the thrift store for your threads. Whatever your cheapskate indulgence is, we would love to hear it. Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter!
Maybe I’ll pick up an extra odd frugal favorite to annoy my wife even more...