Bizarre Savings Ideas

Tjaden Sinclair, Certified Consumer Credit Counselor
The Village Family Service Center

Over the years, I  have asked various groups of people to give me real examples of ways to save a dollar. While the responses were overwhelming–many were quite interesting, and even extreme. I am listing the most interesting and extreme cost-savings measures here. I would not recommend all of these, and haven’t tried them out to see if they actually save money–but some of them are quite entertaining. If nothing else they may spark some cost cutting ideas of your own:

  • Reuse paper towels.
  • Recycle bath or shower water in a bucket for other household uses, like flushing the toilet. 
  • During the winter months, keep the heat down and wear extra layers of clothes and blankets inside.
  • Opt out of the municipal garbage service and haul your trash to the landfill (Be sure you would actually save money before trying this one).
  • Wash and reuse disposable paper plates. (I don’t really understand this one. Why buy paper plates just to wash them?)
  • Turn off the engine in your vehicle while waiting for a train to pass. 
  • Save unused individual  condiment packets from restaurants for later use at home. (I’m assuming, or hoping, this person was suggesting saving just the ones they were given and didn’t fill up their pockets at the condiment counter!)
  • Use old socks or underwear as rags.
  • Take in a roommate/rent a room in your home.
  • Get rid of a vehicle: reducing to a one-vehicle household. Or try to get rid of all your vehicles and rely on car-sharing/pooling, and public transportation. If you have to go out of town, rent a car. 
  • Compost trash for fertilizer for your vegetable or flower gardens.
  • Combine extra unused twist ties for other household purposes, like shoe laces. (Really!?!?!)

I’d love to hear your favorite, or most entertaining, cost-saving ideas. Please comment below.