You can save money on just about everything. Believe me, I’ve tried – and succeeded. Digital and paper coupons can help cut grocery costs, adjusting your thermostat can save on home energy, and even bundling monthly services like smartphone, Internet, and satellite TV can net you lower monthly rates. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re in credit card debt, behind on retirement savings, or struggling with your monthly budget, don’t be shy about getting a little bizarre with your money-saving moves. Check out the following six odd things I do to save money.
1) DIY Haircuts
If you have a simple hairstyle, this can work well. Invest in a set of sharp scissors or shears and cut your hair on your own. If you’re currently paying for a $15 haircut every month, that’s $180 in annual savings after making the transition.
2) Bricks in the Toilet
Ready for a weird one? Put bricks in your toilet tank. They lessen the amount of water needed during a flush, resulting in a lower water bill. Just wrap them in foil so no debris gets into your pipes.
3) Reuse Everything Possible
You can easily get two cups of tea out of one bag, and multiple cups of coffee from one set of grounds. You can also reuse aluminum foil to clean your outdoor grill, sharpen scissors, and cover dishes of leftovers, as long as you wash it. Printed documents you no longer need can be cut into squares and used for to-do lists or quick notes. Or, simply flip the pages over, put them back into your printer, and print on the other side.
4) Take Garbage to Work
Although you might need permission from your employer, taking your garbage to work can definitely save you money. Recycle your vegetable and fruit refuse as compost in your garden. Take paper, plastic, and glass items to your recycling center to cut down on the amount of actual garbage you produce, and deposit whatever is left each morning in the dumpster behind your office. I saved $300 recently from opting out of my county’s refuse pickup service.
5) Reuse Disposable Razor Blades
Think disposable razor blades are truly designed for one-time use? Sharpen them on blue jeans and they can last for months. I’ve used so-called disposable blades for years and have stretched out their shelf life far beyond what you’d expect.
6) Practice Homeopathy
Whenever you feel yourself getting sick, don’t automatically run to the doctor. Instead, try homeopathic treatments and natural cold remedies at home. Breathing in the steam from boiled water with crushed fresh garlic can assist with congestion, and a quick shot of flaxseed oil can ward off the symptoms of hay fever and other seasonal allergies. Research the Internet for other homeopathic remedies the next time you’re feeling under the weather.
If you’re worried about how you might come off in the eyes of your friends and family by using the above tactics, consider this: Through my out-of-the-box money-saving moves, I’ve been able to reduce my expenses and earn a sustainable living simply by working from home. That alone has changed some of the more quizzical comments into envious ones. Remember to balance your cost savings against any commentary you may receive – in the end, what matters more?
Do you know of any odd things you can do to save money?