Budgeting & Savings

Creative and Crazy Ways to Save More Money

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There are always ways to cut costs and save money, for those who have sufficient motivation and are willing to look for ways to get their financial houses in order. There are “no-brainer” ways to save money all over the Internet, but I think those are pretty boring, so I’m not going to discuss those money saving tips. As an alternative, I’m going to show you some super creative and crazy ways to save money that you’ve probably never even thought of. You’ll learn to stretch that dollar and make the most out of it!

Here are some CREATIVE and CRAZY ways to save more money:

Condiment Keeper – Save all of those taco sauce packets, soy sauce packets, sugar packets, ketchup packets, mustard packets, mayonnaise packets, etc. from fast-food restaurants and use them instead of buying the condiments at the grocery store. You will save money by using less, and you won’t be so wasteful with the packets like you might be with the store-bought containers. They are free, so why not grab a few extra to take home with you?

Eat Less – Eat less food at home, at restaurants, and at fast food places. You’ll lose weight, feel better about yourself, and save money just by consuming less food throughout the day. Eat a hearty breakfast with protein and lots of fiber. Then, see if you can skip lunch and just have a small budget-friendly meal for dinner.

Kick That Habit – Quit that smoking habit, become healthier and save a lot of money in the process! If you put away (every day) the amount of money you would have spent on that pack of cigarettes, you could save close to $1,800 in just one year. That makes quitting just a little more tolerable.

Give Up Happy Hour – Stop drinking alcohol for a whole month or even two months to save money. Even if you only drink when you’re out with friends or when you go out to dinner, that really adds to the final bill, and you will save money by drinking water instead. You could be spending anywhere from $50 to $200 a week on alcohol and drinking-related activities. That’s an average of $2,400 to $9,600 a year!

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All The Freebies – Who doesn’t love getting stuff for free? Freebies and samples are great for using around your house, trying out a new item before you buy it, putting together a gift basket for a present, or for donating. Sign up for as many freebies and free samples that you can!

Don’t Wash Your Hair Everyday – Some hairstylists suggest washing your hair only once a week. I went from washing my hair every day to washing it once or twice a week. My hair is so much healthier now; it’s super shiny and less dry, and I save money on shampoo and conditioner. You’ll go through a gross stage where your hair looks horrible for about a week, but stick it out. Just use a ponytail holder or a hat for that unpleasant stage.

Set A Time Limit – Shop before you have a scheduled appointment or set a stopwatch and give yourself a limited amount of time to shop. There’s less temptation when you know that you have to get in and get out quickly. Shop on your lunch break and store the groceries in the break room fridge at work. It gives you a deadline, and you’ll be less likely to make impulse purchases or really large purchases.

Thrifty People – Try to surround yourself with thrifty or frugal friends. Being friends with like-minded people is much easier than hanging out with someone who loves to shop and spend money all the time. Your “big spender” friends will influence you to spend more money, whether you realize it or not.

Disposable Items – Aluminum foil, zip-lock sandwich bags, clear plastic wrap, and other “disposable” items can all be saved, washed and reused. There’s no reason to throw away these items every single day when they could be used more than once. Since many of these are everyday items, you can save a lot of money by doing this.

Coffee Grinds – Used coffee grinds can make a great exfoliator, like a body scrub. Mix 3/4 cup coffee grounds, 1/4 cup brown sugar (or sea salt) and 1/4 cup of olive oil or sweet almond oil to form a paste. Then rub this paste all over your body while in the shower. This homemade scrub exfoliates, fights cellulite, gets rid of the bumps on the back of your arm, moisturizes, etc. Those used coffee grinds can also be used in your garden as a wonderful fertilizer.

Find A Penny OR Use An App – You know the saying “Find a penny and pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.” So start picking up those pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters that you find on the ground or ones that were left in vending machines and pay phones (if those are still around). That’s free money just lying there for someone to grab. Every time you do that, put that change in a milk jug or a water polo jug and at the end of the year count it all up and cash it in! Try using a “change saving” Smartphone App such as Acorns, Digit, Chime, or Qapital.

Shaving Cream – Make a DIY shaving cream instead of buying the expensive brand name store bought kind. Mix together 1/2 cup shampoo, 1 and 1/2 cup conditioner, 5 tablespoons of your favorite lotion, and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted) or sweet almond oil. You’ll have silky smooth legs, all while saving some money!

Vampire Load – It sounds creepy, but a vampire load is the discreet flow of energy from cords that are plugged into outlets when the devices are in standby mode or switched “off.” Unplug appliances, cell phone chargers, and all electronic devices when you’re not using them. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans have between 20-40 electronics using phantom energy right now throughout their homes. To save money…just unplug!

Holidays – Do all of your holiday gift and décor shopping after the holidays are over. Buy Father’s Day cards the day after Father’s Day for next year. Buy wrapping paper after Christmas and save it. Get that Easter basket after Easter and store it away for next year. Just don’t buy the Easter candy now and try to use it next year. Most retail stores heavily reduce their prices on seasonal items after the holiday has passed.

Vending Machines – Check all vending machines for loose or left-behind change. Make sure to check out the area around the vending machines because doing so often reveals dropped coins or forgotten change. Also, check the parking lot meter machines and car wash vacuum areas for dropped coins. Those “free” dimes, nickels, and quarters add up over time. And they could be replacing your dropped or forgotten about coins because we’ve all done that.

Cooking In Bulk And Freezing Meals – Going out for lunch every single day can add up to hundreds of dollars a month. If someone spends on average only $8 a day for a fast-food lunch, that adds up to $160 per month. In reality, daily lunch spend is probably way more than that. It’s hard to replace the convenience of not having to plan and make lunch to take to work every day. A great way to save money without the inconvenience is to make a bunch of meals and freeze them. All a money-conscious saver needs to do is spend a few hours on the weekend to cook a bunch of food. Then divide it up into meals and pack them in freezer bags for the week. Once at work, just pop them in the microwave and they’re good to go and have probably saved $100-200 a month.

If you are struggling to save money or you are trying desperately to get out of debt, then give us a call at 1-866-699-2227 or visit us online at www.advantageccs.org for free advice and credit counseling. We’ve been assisting consumers with their financial problems for over 50 years.

What other creative or crazy ideas can you come up with to save money? Share your tips or idea with us by leaving a comment below!

Author: Lauralynn Mangis
Lauralynn is the Online Marketing Specialist for AdvantageCCS. She is married and has two young daughters. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, cooking, video games, sewing, and gardening. Lauralynn has a degree in Multimedia Technologies from Pittsburgh Technical College.