Post by Contributing Author, Sonja Sarr of Practical Stewardship.
20 Unusual, Crazy, and Weird Ways to Save Money Part 2
I just posted 20 Unusual, Crazy, and Weird Ways to Save Money Part 1 over at my blog, Practical Stewardship. You can go there to find other strange and different ways to save money.
So today I am going to let you in on a few little secrets. Secrets of how we save money. Some of these ways to save money are unusual, some are crazy, some are weird, and some are even embarrassing…or maybe they are completely normal to you.
Anyway, each one of these ways to save in and of themselves are not a big deal. At all. Most of these ideas will just save a few pennies here, and a few pennies there. But you know what? If you are serious about saving money, you think differently than the typical person thinks. You think beyond the silly thing you are actually doing to save those pennies. What I am actually sharing is not these crazy and weird ways to save money. I am exposing my brain to the way the saver thinks.
And I guess I’ll just give away the real secret now. A saver knows that little + little + little…=a lot. That’s it. It’s like the principle I talked about in how we aggressively paid off the college debt ($16,000 in 16 months with me as a stay-at-home-mom). You get in debt one dollar at a time, and you get out of debt one dollar at a time. And it is like the principle from that book that Jonathan and I love, The Slight Edge. It’s easy to do, and it’s easy not to do. So if you keep doing the little easy things, over time you have something big. And I mean big.
And by the way, I am not saying there is no place to be generous. We believe in giving to the church. We believe in giving to people. There is just wisdom in giving, but that’s a separate story, maybe for another time.
So the following are all things that I have done at least once, but some things are what we do on a daily basis. Ready? Here we go.
- Back in college and in our early days of marriage I would stretch the Hamburger Helper and Pasta Roni with another handful of pasta. The sauce was always saucy enough to absorb another handful of pasta without affecting the dish.
- I’d add more plain white beans to baked beans.
- When having tacos I will stretch ground beef with refried beans, because ground beef is expensive I tell ya! And it’s even better when you make the refried beans yourself, because dried beans are just pennies.
- We cloth diapered our three kids.
- I use mama cloths. Some re-purposed from those cloth diapers.
- I made the homemade panty liners (tutorial here).
- I cut disposable baby wipes in half. I could never use a whole one efficiently, so this was the way to go.
- Then I started using reusable baby wipes.
- I made my own baby wipe solution.
- Then I just started using water only for the reusable baby wipes because if you can make something even easier, as a new mom, DO IT.
- I brush my teeth twice a day, but in the morning I only use water, and in the evening I use toothpaste. This started because I wanted my kids to brush their teeth on their own when they were tiny with minimal mess in the morning. Then about five years later I adopted the idea for myself.
- I clean the toilet bowl with just water a few times a week. I break out the bleach only with serious sickness in the house.
- When I need a little extra oomph, I use baking soda on my toilet bowl because baking soda is so rad.
- I use baking soda to clean the bathroom sinks and tubs too. It’s REALLY amazing. I am a baking soda believer. I hope you become one too…if you aren’t already.
- Baking soda is one of my favorite deodorants. Read here for other natural and frugal deodorant alternatives.
- I’ve mended unds (my abbreviation for underwear) a time or two in my life. I do know when to throw them away, too. 🙂
- I love using my sock rags to do cleaning. And t-shirt rags, too. They are the best. Especially the terry cloth part of a sock when you flip it inside out. I would get rid of paper towels in my house, but this is an easy place where I can show my husband love and buy the disposable paper towels for him. He uses the reusable rags, too, but there are jobs he deems as “paper towel” use only. I’m fine just throwing away those reusable rags that have done an ultimate dirty job.
- We’ve used bar soap until they are nibs. I think I’m about ready to throw these out though. Or we put them on a new big bar of soap to incorporate them.
- We use egg shells for slug bait. Although the garden needs more that just egg shells. It’s a good first line of defense.
- I wash the Styrofoam leftover boxes well, and give food/meals to others in them so they don’t have to concern themselves with returning a dish. This also keeps me from buying those disposable foil pans. Even if you can get them at the Dollar Tree, that is money you don’t have to spend.
Many of these things are stretching the dollar and saving money, often times cutting my spending in half for a particular item. None of these ideas save a whole lot of money alone, but remember that together these savings add up, and this mindset is significant. So if you are someone who struggles with managing your money well, remember that little things up, one at a time for huge savings in the end. This thought process is the key for you to get ahold of your spending.
Want some more wacko ideas? Go here to read Unusual, Crazy, and Weird Ways to Save Money Part 1 over at Practical Stewardship.
So what kind of unusual, crazy, and weird ways do you save money?