Clearly, I’m all for saving money. Managed to switch your mobile phone to a better plan? Excellent! Decided to start bringing lunch to work instead of buying it every day? Great decision!
There are thousands of ways to be frugal that allow you to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle.
At the same time, there are some people who, shall we say, take this too far.
I’m not talking about things like stealing to save money, of which I’m certainly not in favour. Instead, I’m talking about people who try to save a few bucks by doing something that just…doesn’t sit right.
Whether it’s rude or just plain gross, there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed.
I’ve already argued just why it’s better to focus on the big wins when trying to save money. At the same time, saving a bit of money here and there can also help.
But when it’s potentially something like these that could, in some cases, trigger your gag reflex – then perhaps your frugality has really gone too far.
Check out these related posts:
- The One Principle That Will Guarantee Your Financial Future
- The Definitive Guide To Getting Out Of Debt
- How To Refinance Your Student Loans In Two Minutes and Save Thousands
- 11 Incredible Ideas For You To Save Money And Save The Planet
Save money on snacks by catching and eating insects?
Firstly, I’ve eaten grasshopper tacos in Mexico and they were absolutely delicious. I’ve also eaten fried crickets in Thailand, which was…interesting.
This is not about that.
Instead, this Reddit post asked the following:
[I’ve] been spending way too much money on snacks and decided a neat way to cut down will be to find some nice enough insects and maybe set a few traps. It’s basically free food if done right and I can’t imagine it would taste too bad.
Has anyone had any experience of doing this before? Whats the most calorie dense insect to try and eat? Is it better to set traps or maybe potentially buy them in bulk (maggots from fishing shops maybe)
Just buy them in bulk as maggots?
I think my favourite part of the comments section is when someone points out: “How much are you spending on snacks? A pack of carrot sticks is less than 1 dollar and you can snack on those all week.”
To which the original poster responds:
“Yeah a pack of carrot sticks is only a dollar, but a spider from the back garden (for example) is $0. I normally just grab an apple or a banana for a snack, but why should I pay when theres potentially the option of not paying anything? Seems senseless.”
Yes. Completely senseless.
To clarify, one pound of carrots costs $0.99. That is about eight carrots. If each carrot is halved and then each piece is quartered, that’s 64 carrot sticks on which you can snack. For less than $1.00.
Or, yes, you can go and catch some spiders. But sometimes…just maybe…spending that $1.00 may be worth it.
Why buy toilet paper when you can use reusable cloths?
Let’s just say that I wish I’d taken a photo of my face when I first read about this. I suspect it looked a lot like yours did just now when you read that sub-heading.
I had high hopes. After all, the article that describes this is entitled “Stop Using Toilet Paper: Strange Ways to Save Money“. So at first I assumed that it would embrace the strange-ness of this suggestion.
Not quite. Once you read the article, you’ll see that it’s written as completely legitimate advice on how to save money.
Toilet paper makes up a decent sized chunk of many people’s household budgets. It’s not cheap. When you have a big family or people who just reel it off the roll, the costs go even higher. If you want to cut some money from your budget, there are ways to do without traditional toilet paper.
The first way is to use reusable cloths. You can use old washcloths, cut up some cloth diapers, or even buy special cloth toilet wipes. […] You keep a container next to the toilet and the used wipes are tossed in there and then washed just like cloth diapers. […] Not only is this cheaper than buying toilet paper all the time, it’s more environmentally friendly.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I am always in favour of being environmentally friendly, especially when it also saves some money.
But you can get six rolls of toilet paper for $3.99. I’m sure they’re even cheaper when bought in bulk.
I’d also question the environmental friendliness (and energy and water costs) of having to do so many extra loads of washing for these cloths.
Ultimately, however…would you really want a container of used wipes sitting in your bathroom? And which lucky soul in your household gets to do the laundry for those?
If I drew the short straw, I would be donating the $3.99 for the cost of the toilet paper quicker than you can say “reusable cloths”.
I’ll leave you with the “bonus” piece of advice from further down in the article mentioned above:
You can [also] try old newspaper or phone book pages.
‘Til dinner do us part
It turns out that crashing weddings isn’t only for 2005 Vince Vaughn movies.
And while this money saving trick isn’t as disgusting as the previous ones (or the next one…brace yourself), it is pretty tacky. Not to mention the cost to the people actually paying for the wedding.
This article describes one such case:
I put on a suit and crashed a wedding for free food. My cousins and I had just finished a long game of football at the local park when a delicious aroma wafting over from and nearby wedding hall. We turned to face each other, gave a small nod for affirmation, then ran home to clean up and put on our best suits. Once we got into the wedding, we headed straight for the food, stuffed our faces, then got our asses the hell out of there.
I guess you could argue that at least they were remorseful or else they wouldn’t have run. But if you’re going to crash a wedding – which you absolutely shouldn’t do – at least bring a present, like these crashers who gave a “buck for luck”.
Every dollar counts, I guess?
At least those guys were not as bad as the lady in this article:
This woman dressed in blue had apparently entered the banquet hall without […] acknowledging anyone.
[…] Another guest went up to her to confirm her identity, seeing as not a single soul knows [sic] her.
[…] That was when things took a weird twist as the woman, who probably knew that the game was up, started to lose her temper and throw a tantrum. She started hitting the table and screaming really loudly at the guest saying, “Do not touch me!”
[…] When the staff tried to restrain her, she fought back and grabbed her coat to walk off. However, she also grabbed a bag of what looks [sic] like wedding biscuits and balloons before stalking off.
Just in case it needs to be said, here’s a key piece of money-saving advice: if you need to sneak in to someone’s wedding, steal some food and make a scene when you’re called out on your bad behaviour, perhaps you need to find some other ways to save money in your life.
But at least she got some biscuits and balloons, I guess?
Sharing is caring?
Don’t worry, that last section was just a brief reprieve. We’re back to the gross stuff now.
This article describes a couple who do the following to save money:
- The husband uses the suds from his wife’s hair to wash his own so they only need to buy one shampoo bottle for both of them every eight months.
- They share one razor in the shower. She shaves under her arms and then he shaves his face.
- They share one Q-tip. She will clean her ears with one end and then he cleans his ears with the other end of the same one.
- They share deodorant, with each person only allowed to do one ‘swipe’ per armpit.
- They share the same toothbrush to save money on having to buy two.
- (This is the one that got an audible ‘ew’ from me) They share the same piece of dental floss each day.
These. Are. Gross. I’m all for limiting the amount of time taken to shower and I’m not even completely against their idea for saving money on shampoo.
But the Q-tip? And the toothbrush and dental floss? Not to mention that one swipe of deodorant can hardly be enough, meaning that not only are they unhygienic, but they smell as well.
What’s worse is that they’re not even saving that much money!
- 375 cotton swabs cost $2.50. This means that if you want one per person for each day of the year, it will cost you $5.00.
- One pack of 10 razors costs $3.55. These can even last two people an entire year if you use the trick to sharpen them on your jeans.
- You can get a six pack of deodorant for $14.82 or $2.47 each. Assuming that one stick lasts one month per person, you’d be spending less than $5.00 a month for two people.
- A pack of 12 toothbrushes costs $8.91. Considering that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you replace your toothbrush approximately every three to four months, this pack could last two years for two people.
- Dental floss is less than $1.00. (The fact that this has to be pointed out is a little bit scary.)
That is, these savings amount to less than $50 per person over an entire year.
If you have to work this hard (and be this unhygienic) to save less than $1.00 a week, I’d strongly recommend finding other ways to save money.
Remember: The best way to save money is to focus on the big wins
As an example, and as covered in more detail in this article, you can save hundreds of dollars from a few quick phone calls.
Call up your bank to negotiate a better deal by (politely!) threatening to leave if they won’t reduce your interest rate or waive your fees. Just before your insurance policy is renewed, either try to negotiate with your existing policy provider or shop around for a better deal. Get rid of your gym membership.
That said, you may like the idea of including maggots on your shopping list or think that sharing a toothbrush is both frugal and romantic.
In which case…let me know so I know not to get too close.
Let me know in the comments what’s the most extreme thing that you’ve done to save money!