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12 “weird” ways to save money

A few months ago, I asked people on my Facebook page to share a “weird” thing they do to save money. I enjoyed reading the comments and compiled a list of some of my favorites – and some of the most shared suggestions.

1. Cut off the end

Is the tube of toothpaste or lotion running low? Cut the ends of tubes of lotion or toothpaste with scissors and you can get a lot more out of it! I do this for my face moisturizer and face wash can usually get an extra week of use from this simple hack. (You can store it in a zip-lock bag once you cut the end so it doesn’t dry out.)

2. Make your own foam soap

One way to save a lot of money on hand soap is to make your own foaming hand soap. It literally takes less than 60 seconds to make and is so much cheaper than buying foaming hand soap or hand soap! Here are the super easy details on how to make it.

3. Add water

Want to get that last bit of shampoo or dish soap or body wash or laundry detergent out? Add some water and shake and you’ll have enough for another time or two! You can also add stock or water to the pasta sauce jar and shake it so you don’t waste anything or do the same with milk in the salad dressing bottle.

4. Ask for a discount

Vanessa said, “I ask service providers (mechanics, plumbers, air conditioning repairs, etc.): ‘Is that the best thing you can do?’ They almost always take some money from the account.”

5. Think in terms of hourly wages

Whenever I consider trying a new money-saving tactic, I analyze how much money it will save me per hour.

For example, let’s say that if I make my own foam soap, it takes a minute to make and it saves me $1 from buying a container of foam soap. That’s like saving $1 per minute or $60 per hour – which is a really good hourly wage. Plus, it’s tax-free! So it’s definitely worth my time. But then again, let’s say there’s another money-saving tactic that would save me only $1.50 for 15 minutes of work. That’s like saving just $6 an hour — which, depending on your living season and bank account — may or may not be worth it.

6. Make your own cleaning products

Jerica says, “Soap, vinegar, bartender friend, and bleach cover pretty much everything I need, and are all extremely cheap.” (Check out this post for some homemade cleaner recipes.)

7. Don’t buy paper towels

Several years ago we stopped buying paper towels. It’s that simple, yet it saves a lot of money – and we don’t even notice we’re not buying or using them! (Except when we have guests and they ask for a paper towel!!)

I share more details about what we use instead of paper towels here.

8. Avoid the shops

One of the best ways to save money is to stay at home. Not only does this save on the wear and tear on your car and gas, but it also means you’re likely to spend less… well, unless you shop online instead! (If that’s tempting to you, set some good boundaries – like unsubscribing from emails or not visiting sites that tempt you to spend money you don’t have or budgeted for that purpose. !)

9. Scan your receipts

Earn a little cash back every time you buy gas or groceries or other items by scanning your receipts for GetUpside, Fetch, and CoinOut. Every time you scan a receipt, you earn points and can redeem these points for gift cards!

10. Eat from the pantry

Once a month or once every few months, challenge yourself not to go to the grocery store for a few days longer than usual and instead eat what you already have on hand. You might be amazed at how creative you can get with what you already have… and you might be able to make it longer than you think without going to the store!

11. Do not use dryer sheets

Just like we don’t use paper towels, we don’t use drying wipes either. If the thought of not buying dryer sheets just isn’t your thing, an easy way to save is by cutting them in half instead of using a full sheet per load. I’ve heard it works just as well.

12. YouTube It

Christy says, “YouTube is the real MVP though. I’ve saved thousands over the years simply by looking up the problem and learning if it’s within our skill set, rather than hiring a professional.”

What is something “weird” that you do to save money? I’d love it if you add your ideas to my list in the comments!


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