6 Odd Things I Do to Save Money

6 Odd Things I Do to Save Money - picture of woman holding piggy bank

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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.

Final Thoughts

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?

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  1. I love # 6! I used to be the opposite. Whenever I get colds or simple flus, I turn to medicines immediately. But I discovered the art of natural and home-made cures and then I’ve made a ton on savings.

  2. I just heard about the toilet one from my hubby a few days ago actually- only he heard that you could use a 20 oz soda bottle and fill it with something heavy like rocks or sand. Either way, the important thing is that it’s heavy enough to displace the water, as you mentioned. Great tips!

  3. I’m a huge fan of home haircuts! Saves so much money and isn’t that hard to do. Fortunately, we don’t have to pay for trash pick-up here, but I like the idea–very creative. We’re also epic frugal weirdos and many of our best tactics relate to not wasting anything (similar to your #3). We don’t waste food, water, clothes, gasoline, electricity, heat, etc. Thanks for the tips!

  4. I use cotton rounds to remove my makeup and put on toner, daily. Since I remove makeup once a day and put on toner twice a day, that would be 3 rounds. Instead, I cut the rounds in half, so I only use half as much! So weird, but it definitely saves!

  5. Great tips on thinking outside the box to save money. I’ve cut my hair at home for the last 15 or so years and it has saved me a good chunk of money over the time. I’ve only had to replace the clippers once, so I can’t complain having to only spend about $40 total in that time.

  6. I haven’t paid for a haircut in probably over 15 years. That’s the advantage of male pattern baldness. 🙂 I buzz my hair (or what’s left of it) every Sunday. As far as razor blades….I have an electric razor. It’s a big upfront cost, but I’ve been using it for years and years and years.

  7. I would be terrified to cut my own hair! lol! I do the cutting up unused paper to make to-do lists. I feel less bad then if I printed out something but didn’t use that paper, or was done using it for whatever reason.

  8. I tried giving Wes a home haircut recently and failed miserably. I may have to look online for some pointers!

  9. Great ideas! Instead of a brick I would suggest an old water bottle filled with completely with water and the cap back on. It should be heavy enough to sink and it’s less likely to cause issues with your toilet/plumbing.

    The other option is to simply bend the float bar in the back of the toilet down slightly. Only works if the bar is metal and not plastic. 🙂

  10. I need to try the brick thing in my older toilet (or as someone else mentioned, a bottle filled with something heavy). A good way to use less water! Although about half of my water / sewer bill is from fixed charges… a little over $20 on a $37 bill :(. But their units are in 100 gallons I think, so if I can get that lower on occasion it will still save me money. I think I figured that out that a gallon costs just under a penny, so I better use a cheap brick :).

  11. Great post! It’s another learning method about these 6 Odd Things I Do to Save Money. These things are very helpful and useful for us. I learned and many great ideas here. I liked the idea of #3 and #6. It’s very practical and easy. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. As an eye doctor, I certainly see many people who make appointments for things that are not a big deal, but I’ve also seen many people try to use homeopathic medicines for serious problems. It usually either makes it worse or causes a person to delay treatment when time can be of the essence with certain conditions. I’d warn to be cautious and seek professional help if something isn’t getting better.

  13. I have never heard of the bricks in the toilet trick, but that sounds like a great idea! I have never done a DIY haircut, probably because I ruined my hair when I was 10 and I have been traumatized ever since. Every time I go to the hairdresser, though, I wish I had the guts to cut my own hair rather than pay her.

  14. catherine says:

    I think I’ll stick to a low-flow toilet instead! I have a hairdresser cut my hair but I do my husbands.

  15. My fiancée always puts beer bottles in the toilet, and I do not mind scoffs of friends when I cheer on his compost pile…frugal weirdo match made in heaven.

  16. Great tips! I had never heard of the brick in toilet one. I am terrified to cut my own hair but I do color my own. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Do you have to dry out the coffee grinds to reuse them?

  18. My auntie cuts and colors my hair for free, so I’m obviously a huge fan of at-home hair cuts! I’ve heard of putting a jug full of water in the toilet bowl, not a brick, but I’m sure they’re essentially the same effect.

  19. It’s illegal to do the garbage thing around here, but I think it’s great to put the brick in your toilet because it’s environmentally friendly. I should say though that homeopathy is different from natural remedies – homeopathy is very specific and scientifically questionable whereas using natural remedies (which I’m all about!) is far better than traditional medicine for most things.

  20. I’ve always heard it as a 1-2 liter bottle in your toilet tank. Same idea though. We just got low flow toilets, so we’re skipping that now.

    Unfortunately, DIY haircuts wouldn’t work for me, since my style requires layers. That and I can’t cut a straight line to save my life. So there’s that. Instead, I go to a beauty school. A cut and color is $30.

  21. My favorite on this list has got to be using paper twice. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I actually paid for paper. Being an accountant, I go thought a lot of paper at work that gets tossed. Last year, I asked if I could take the paper we recycle (non-sensitive information) home – and they said yes! We keep a ream of nice clean paper around for occasional printing, but other than that it’s scraps all the way! Great list!

  22. I already do all this stuff, except for the haircuts, and toilet thing. I only get a haircut once every 3-4 months, and our toilet is so tiny displacing anymore water will prevent any flushing! You also forgot about going to the dollar store. Do you know how much you can get there? Tupperware, bar soap, hand soap, gift bags, and tissue paper!! (The holidays are right around the corner! Also great for birthdays, people don’t recognize the difference) You can also get Christmas ornaments there too. I’ve decorated my whole living room for about $20 (I got snowglobes, and nutcrackers there!). There’s tons of stuff in the dollar store (NOT family dollar, that place is a rip off. I’m talking about dollar tree, everything is a dollar!). Turning off the A/C when you’re not home, if you’re living alone “if it’s yellow…” saves some bucks. Washing your delicates while you shower, ladies wash your hair at the beginning of the shower, and clip your hair up with conditioner in it so you’re not waiting around doing nothing. COOKING AT HOME! Cut cable (if you’re a student all you really need is internet anyway). Using sandwich bread for anything that calls for bread, why buy so many varieties of bread?(hotdogs, burgers). DRIVING THE SPEED LIMIT!! Cannot stress that one enough, excessive speeding burns up gas people.

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