Frugal Living 

Ridiculous Money Saving Ideas

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Part of the fun of setting up the Festival of Frugality is that I try to read each of the festival posts and at least hit up a few of the posts being linked to when they catch my eye, thus far I haven’t seen too many off the wall tips but every so often you see a few that really don’t make much sense!

So, for your reading enjoyment, here are some ridiculous tips and my thoughts about them. Some of these are from past festivals and some are just tips I’ve heard over the years:

  • Buying two-ply toilet paper and pulling the sheets apart – Ignoring the fact that you can just buy singple-ply toilet paper, the time it takes and the “risk” involved in using single ply is too high to make this really worth it… right?
  • Buying one entree and splitting it, buying dinner and asking for a take-out box to split it immediately – I understand that meals have gotten bigger and bigger but seriously, if you want to save money, cook for yourself!
  • Skip on insurance – Some insurance policies aren’t worth it but all those folks who argue that you don’t need the big insurances (auto, health, and homeowners/renters) are fools. Sure, if nothing catastrophic happens, you’ve saved yourself a few bucks… but if something does happen, you could be out a lot of money. The funny thing about accidents and disasters is you don’t see them coming.
  • Tip less than the customary 15% – If you get good service, why punish the server by saving a few dollars and short changing them on their duly earned money? If you want to save this money, don’t go out to eat!
  • Dumpster dive for stuff – I’ve taken a television out of the trash (it was in an apartment and someone left a TV by the garbage chute, which was fifteen feet my from my apartment, but I would still calling me fishing it out of the trash despite not having ever set foot there) but I’ve seen suggestions that you take food (and coupons and other assorted items) out of a dumpster. Dumpsters are dangerous (ever see the signs, don’t play in or around the dumpster) because people throw all their crap in their, sharp crap too, chemical crap, and you don’t really need other people’s garbage that badly. If I was a dumpster diving advocate, I’m not anymore.

Gems from Consumerist Commenters

  • BOHEMIAN: Save your bar soap slivers and putting them all in the mesh bag you get onions in. I take my old bar of soap and smash it into my new bar of soap, but saving the slivers so you can reconstitute it with other bars? That’s a little too much.
  • MAMEDENNIS: Driving 30 miles to save twenty cents – for groceries, for gas, etc. I know plenty of people who do this and it’s ridiculous! It’s not like media hasn’t smashed it into your head that gasoline is expensive not to mention your own personal time.
  • RECTILINEAR PROPAGATION: “Taking flowers from funeral homes to give to your wife.” I think the ridiculousness of this one is pretty obvious.
  • CHICAGO7: Expanding on the original splitting two-ply TP, Chicago7 has this to say – “Save on toilet paper – use your hand!”

What are some of the ridiculous frugal or money saving posts have you heard? What about some that you may use yourself that others have called ridiculous? Share share!

{ 44 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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44 Responses to “Ridiculous Money Saving Ideas”

  1. Slim Pickins says:

    The best way to save on gas is to leave the keys on the table. We are too much in the habit of jumping in the car and going to the store for whatever instead of composing a list and shopping once weekly. Instead of driving 3 mi. daily, 6 return, for coffee (a rural necessity in winter) and post office /store business, I cut back to 3 x weekly and bo’t a trailer with what I saved over 7 months.

  2. Great post…as usual!

    I used a permalink to write about it on my blog. I just can’t believe some of the comments!!!!!!!!!! LOL!


  3. MoneyFwd says:

    just FYI, this article was talked about on WFNX Boston this morning.

  4. Liz says:

    George-I think you reinvented the desert cooler.
    I also have to confess to constantly sharing meals with my husband. If either of us has a strong preference or is really hungry we will order our own. Even then we will commonly split something else like a salad or a dessert. Maybe we are cheap : ) but we definitely don’t miss out on anything by sharing.

  5. I don’t think that splitting dinners is that ridiculous. Try as I might, I just don’t possess the cooking skill to make food like restaurants do – especially without spending time. That makes cooking at home sometimes not possible.

    I usually just bring half home instead and eat it the next day. This is probably more for frugal reasons than for health reasons.

  6. Emily says:

    I guess my husband and I are fat asses, but there is no WAY that we would ever split a entre at a resturant. I eat too much and so does he and the worst thing ever is going to a resturant and not leaving full.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Cooking Accomplished! has been a great find for myself and several of my friends. The concept is simple; you go online, pick the entrees you want and the date you want to assemble them. The difference between Cooking Accomplished! and several other businesses like this in Portland, is quality! The owner is a trained chef. They have a commercial kitchen where all the ingredients are prepped by Shelley and her staff. Many of my friends, prior to joining me for meal assembly sessions at Cooking Accomplished!, admitted to serving and eating frozen or pre-cooked meals several times a week and to dining out two or three times a week. We decided since we are worried about nutritional value and using quality local ingredients we would research meal assembly as a solution to reducing time spent shopping and preparing dinners with the goal of eating healthier. The only assemble-your-own meal company that we found in Portland, that had great selections, high quality local ingredients and prepped all their food in-house is CookingAccomplished! in Lake Oswego. Since I started preparing meals at CookingAccomplished! I’ve also signed up for a couple of great cooking classes. My son attended a kids class as well and he can’t wait until the next one. Shelley has done a fantastic job of creating a quality experience!

  8. Anonymous says:

    My job requires me to travel a lot and I probably spend 8 months of a year in a hotel room. I collect all those little unused shampoo, conditioner and lotion bottles that hotels provide. Once I get home I squeez out all those in a big bottel and use it at home. I now have so much shampoo(all different variety, since different hotels offer different shampoos), conditioner, lotion, and bars of those little soap that I dont have to worry about any of the above for atleast next 5 years. I still have regular shampoo, bars of soap etc for guest.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You all are rejecting the “toilet paper splitting” frugality suggestions without any serious thought. Soo – just a little historical and cultural backround: Many civilized cultures (notably in the middle east) do not use toilet paper but rather have small hoses next to the toilet for rinsing and washing. (an added savings is that wide diameter waste lines are no longer needed making plumbing less expensive) Toilet paper is a rather recent “need” not much different than the U.S. marketing coup that has caused underarm deodorant and shaving of body hair to be nearly universal. A personal note — after a hemroidectomy operation several years ago the doctor suggested I wash rather than wipe to prevent irritation of the scar tissue. The doc said to install a bedet (a French bottom washer). It works, and the edge of the tub and a shower hose does the “dirty” work efficiently without the cost of European bathroom appliances.

  10. Ann says:

    I know a family that only flushes their toilet once a day (or less) to cut down on their water bill.

  11. superdad1 says:

    as the father of eight, 7 of which are girls i was going broke with shampoo and conditioners.
    as an alternative, bulk concentrate cut in half and discreetly poured into the “herbal floofy” bottles goes unnoticed, and if you are truly cheap carwash compound is cheaper yet!.stay tuned for my tips about cramp medication and tampons!

  12. […] Ridiculous Money Saving Ideas at Bargaineering (some of these ideas really are ridiculous!) […]

  13. mary says:

    “if it’s yellow let it mellow if it’s brown flush it down” gross unsanitary. stupid

  14. D Budd Sr says:

    In Alaska, as well as in the lower 48, there are people who only have an outhouse. So for them there is no such thing as if its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down. In an outhouse it all goes down.

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