I consider myself to be pretty frugal. I follow blogs that teach me how to super-coupon and how to live frugally. Like really frugally. Tips range from washing out your Ziploc bags to reusing toilet paper to letting your dishes pile up in the sink all day as you wash your hands and run the water for other activities, which in turn, will "clean" your dishes. So I thought, why don't I come up with my own list of ways to save money? Consider this the upper echelon of saving money...or maybe the lower, depending on your perspective.
- Reduce the frequency of showers or just don't take them at all. This is a no-brainer. Obviously, this will save you money on water, heat, soap, shampoo, etc.
- Exercise at home. Not only does this save you big money in gym fees, but on deodorant as well. You won't need it if you stay home. And since you're not showering, you won't want to go to the gym anyway...or anywhere else for that matter.
- But, if you do go out, on your way home, stop at your local gas station to use the bathroom. Save on toilet paper, water, and soap. Bonus Tip: Bring a washcloth and towel and give yourself a sponge bath.
- And while you're out, possibly splurging at McDonald's or Starbucks, don't go home empty-handed. Gather as many ketchup and sugar packets, straws, plasticware and napkins as you can.
- Reduce flushings. Simply follow the old saying: If it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down.
- Drink from your rain barrel. You'll probably need to strain and boil the water, unless you're adventurous and don't mind a little giardia. Then, to that I say, “Bottoms up!”
- Send your kids to Vacation Bible School. VBS = (Practically) Free babysitting. Bonus: They provide snacks you don't have to pay for. VBS happens all over the place, so if you time it right, you can have your kid in a different VBS every week of the summer!
- Scavenge. Visit a restaurant of your choice and have a seat. Order a water (with a lemon so they think you're a real paying customer). You'll be amazed at how much food is left on people's plates. Talk about smorgasbord! Don't forget your doggy-bag, preferably the size of a pillow case, because you'll need something to scrape all that wonderful food into. Do this regularly and you'll never have to buy food again. To avoid being recognized, I recommend visiting different eating establishments, rotating about every year or so to allow for employee turn-over.
- Buy a bee bee gun. I know this is a big expense, but consider it an investment. See all those squirrels in your backyard? Dinner. Not only will this save your well-planned vegetable garden from destruction, but will also put meat on the table. Save the furry tails to make a lovely stole or furry muffler for winter. And don't forget the bones. Boil them up in a pot of water with a few vegetables and herbs from your garden and voila! Homemade squirrel stock.
- Dumpster dive. I know that some people frown on this. Maybe because of the rotting food, potentially sharp objects, and rats. But, gosh, what a jackpot! Sky's the limit in a dumpster. Someone else's trash can truly be your treasure. Don't just focus on the the larger furniture items. Dig in! You can find dishes, clothes, stuffed animals for the kids. The possibilities are endless. Bring the family and kill two birds with one stone: Family time and household shopping.
So those are my 10 Sure-Fire Ways to Save Money. Let me know which one you're gonna try out first. What are your favorite money saving tips?