Photo Credit: Daniel Oines (flickr.com)
People try to save money in some of the freaking weirdest ways. I stumbled upon TLC’s show Extreme Cheapskates one day while back at my parents’ house (because, remember, your girl here does not pay for cable) and was literally disgusted by some of the lengths to which people went to save a few extra dollars. I like padding my bank account as much as the next guy, but there is no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that you will find me diving in dumpsters for clothes. Or re-using dental floss. Or not using toilet paper. Want some more examples of what individuals on the show did to save some moolah?
- One man would freeze (yes, actually freeze) cash so that his wife would have to thaw the money out before she could spend it.
- Another guy would keep the tags on clothes (that he would wear for months) so that he could still return them.
- One woman peed in a jar that she kept by her toilet. Yep, she didn’t want to waste the toilet water.
- Sticking to weird bathroom habits, another woman would plug the drain while taking a shower so that clothes could be washed in the leftover shower water.
I know, some of these make me want to throw up, too. But while some of these “methods” are a tad bit extreme, I think we each tend to do some crazy s*@t to save dollars here and there. So here is a list of some of the weirdest things I’ve done to save money. Don’t judge.
1) Tap My Veins
In most cases, giving blood doesn’t increase the cash in your pocket; however, on certain occasions when supply is running low, the Indiana Blood Center will offer a $10 gift card for any blood donation scheduled on a specific day. Not a ton of cash, but, hey, if I can get $10 off gas, I’m going to do it. This year alone, I’ve received gift cards on 2 of the 4 occasions that I’ve gone (one for Target and one for Lowe’s). So not only am I doing a good deed AND getting free Oreos, but I’m also lowering my bills. Not too shabby!
Want to get in on these perks, too? Create an account at www.donorpoint.org and email notifications will be sent when these deals are being offered.
2) Make the Most of My Kitchenware
My typical breakfast usually consists of yogurt + granola and half of an English muffin. And while I will shove my yogurt bowl into the dishwasher every morning, I tend to leave the English muffin plate out to re-use the next day. I just don’t see the point in unnecessarily filling up the dishwasher when the plate isn’t really that dirty. I do the same thing with my glasses of water. I’ll re-use the same glass for two or three days because all I’ve had is water sitting in it. Gross? Maybe. But you have to build up that immune system somehow. And I don’t have to run the dishwasher as much. Double bonus.
3) 6-Month Cuts
Men, you may not know this, but a typical haircut in Indy can cost around $40, not including tip. Tack on some highlights, and you’re looking at over $100 easily. Crazy, right? I think so, too. Thus, I usually only get my haircut twice a year. Yes, I have a ton of split ends by the time I’m ready for it to be trimmed, but it also saves me $100-$200 in straight cash. I can live with some split ends for that.
4) Generic Tampons
Just don’t do it. Don’t. Do. It.
5) Road Trip with a Stranger
This past summer, one of my high school friends who lives in Denver invited me to go on a camping trip out in Colorado over the 4th of July weekend. I really (REALLY) wanted to go, but I had already been to Arizona and Hilton Head on vacation earlier in the year, so my travel funds were pretty low. The solution? Driving back to Indy with one of his friends instead of spending money on a return flight. Now, before this trip I had never met this person – he could have been a serial killer for all I knew. Or worse, socially awkward. But I figured if he’s friends with my friend, he couldn’t be too bad, right?
Luckily everything worked out (he was a cop and cool as s*@t), but I still sit here and wonder why I ever thought that was a good idea. Not a very Brittney thing to do, but it did save me about $200. And let’s be real, saving money is a very Brittney thing to do.
6) Look like a Hobo at Macy’s
If you see me at the mall or toting around Nordstrom Rack, I will probably look like I just rolled out of bed (or more likely just came from the gym, which I probably did). Why? Because when I look like crap while trying clothes on, I am WAY less likely to buy them. I figure if something looks good on me when I’m semi-sweaty and rocking a frizzed-out ponytail, then it must be a good piece and buy-worthy. Everything else can be put back on the racks. Surprisingly, this works really well – and has probably saved me from depleting my bank account for items that I would hate two months after buying them.
Alright, that is it (for now). What are some of the weirdest things you’ve done to save money? Would love to hear them…because, honestly, I just want to make sure I’m not the only one who does stuff like this.