Call me stingy.  Call me a cheapskate.  Call me whatever you like.  I LOVE to save money!  There are a million legitimate ways to save money – using less electricity, cutting coupons, and saving your spare change are just a few of them.  There are also some stingier and less traditional ways to save.  I happen to use a few of these tactics myself, and I do it with pride.  You too can be a cheapskate and save money by using these “not-so-traditional” tips.

 Cheapskate Ways to Save Money

1) Use Family Gatherings to Your Advantage

Have you ever had a family gathering result in tons of left over food?  Well, most of my family gatherings do and I always have some Tupperware containers in the car just in case.  This is especially true for Thanksgiving when leftover turkey and all the fixin’s are in bountiful supply.  Am I ashamed to be the one who’s heaping giant platefuls of food and taking them home with me? Hell no!  I hate wasting food…and that could be what happens if I didn’t help myself.  My kids and husband will basically eat anything, so why not?  Wasted food=wasted money.  I cannot think of anything more sinful than that.

2) Save Money by Regifting

Regift Tote

This is our Regift Tote. It is full.

I get lots of presents throughout the years and most of them end up regifted at some point.  Did your kids get enough books to fill a library? Regift. Get a gift card to a store you’d never set foot in? Give it to your niece. Don’t like that glove and scarf set that your grandma got you for Christmas?  Save it until next year and give it to your sister.  She may love it or hate it…but at least you didn’t have to pay for it.

3) Give Used Items

My kids have gotten many, many items for their birthdays and Christmas from garage sales or Craigslist.  Am I ashamed of this?  No. In fact, I am damn proud that I only spent a combined $100 on my kids last year for Christmas.  They got lots of stuff, loved it, and had no clue.  Actually, when my daughter was one year-old, I bought her a really nice tricycle from a garage sale for Christmas.  It was too big for her, so I put it back up in the closet until her birthday….and gave it to her again.  She had totally forgotten about it and guess what…she loved it!

4) Eat the Same Thing for Dinner a Few Days a Week

Our favorite cheapo meals are vegetarian spaghetti, scrambled eggs and toast, and pancakes with turkey bacon.  Everyone in the family loves these meals and they are seriously cheap.  I have found that eating a few of those cheap meals a week really cuts down on our grocery bill.  Are you afraid that your family will get sick of eating the same things over and over?  Well, don’t be.  My motto is “eat it or starve.”  After all, everyone needs to lower their expectations a little bit if you really want to save money.  Of course, I throw in various fresh berries or veggies to these meals to up the nutritional content, but I only use/buy what’s on sale.

5) Find Friends Who Have “Stuff”

Do you love going swimming on a hot summer day like today?  Well, it might be time to make friends with someone who has a pool.  Pools are expensive…not only in money but in time.  On top of all of the water and chemicals required, they also need to be serviced and cleaned frequently.  That’s where your new friend comes in.  He/she can do all that crap…..because it’s their pool!  The same thing goes with jetskis, motorcycles, or 4-wheelers.  Let someone else take all of the responsibility while you just enjoy the fruits of their labor.  It’s their stupidity for buying all of that crap anyways…so make sure to use it to your advantage.  Besides, you are really doing them a favor.  No one really wants to go jet skiing alone, do they?

So, now that we all feel a little bit dirty, let’s go and take a bath…a bath in all of the money that we just saved.  Wait, don’t do that.  It will ruin the money.  What you should do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your savings.  People can call you all the names they want, but we both know that a penny saved is a penny earned….you cheap bastard.