Ok, so there are definitely traditional ways to save money. These money saving methods are fine and well. Things like opening a savings account, paying yourself first, cutting back on overspending, these are all good things to do and they work but, let’s face it, from one crazy millennial to the next, here’s a list of 18 of the weirdest things I do to save money (I have done most of these). Here we go!
1. Dumpster Diving
What the..Yes, this is a thing. Now, give this one a chance. I’m not going to try to convince you to dumpster dive and in all fairness, I’ve never done this one, but I folks that have. To avoid the grossness of rummaging through dumpsters, head to local establishments close to closing time and ask if they can give you what they’re throwing out. Yes, eateries throw out so much food everyday. It’s a real tragedy.
There are actually apps that exist, especially overseas, that let you see what establishments are giving away free food so you can go by and grab it! No joke!
Ok, so back to the dumpster diving. Head to these places, gather up the courage and ask. I’ve been given tons of freebies by total accident at restaurant closing time, like free whole pies, freshly made (that day) tortillas, gallons of sweet tea (can you tell I live in Texas) and more. Try this one out. And, if you have extra, head to your local campus and feed a hungry college student.
2.Turn Free Samples Into a Full Meal
I just got turned onto this last month. I was watching a string of YouTube videos about this guy trying to get by with zero cash abroad, in an expensive country overseas. One of the things he did was head to the local mall, think food court, and get free samples. He got samples of deli meat, chocolates, coffee, and more. It was enough free food to make a full lunch and he did it for that purpose.
This is an interesting way to save money on food costs and eating out. Have you ever tried this one?
3. Eat Like You’re a Poor College Kid
Do you remember college? The good old days, right? Not a care in the world, but seriously living the struggle life. That was the one time in my life I lived paycheck to paycheck. Eating ramen 6 days a week, PBnJ’s, taking advantage of the free coffee and hot chocolate the library offered, using that college student discount like your life depended on it, does it bring back memories?
Adopt that way of living now and watch your grocery budget shrink big time! I’ve done this. It was rewarding to see my grocery bill shrink to double digits but not a long-term way of living for sure, especially as I’m older now, and with a family. But, a weird way to save money, I think.
I have totally done this one. You grab a drink at a fast food place with free refills, go home, then head back out to grab your free refill. Yes, this means getting back in the car or walking back to the restaurant to refill your drink. No shame in my game!
5. Catfishing Starbucks
You want to feel like a lush coffee enthusiast but lets be real, Starbucks is expensive. I mean, $4 for a coffee. You gotta do the cheap secret menu. Like the $.80 matcha tea hack that baristas are angry about.
6. Collect hotel freebies
This is totally guiltless. You stock up on the hotel freebies. The toilet paper, toiletries, coffee and tea that come with the room, the chocolates, etc. I even ask for more! My Dad totally does this. I do too and feel no shame, ha.
7. Take Vacation at Christmas
Ok listen to this one. Christmas is an expensive time, is it not? All the gifts for your family, friends, coworkers, teachers at school, the list goes on and on. So, what do you do? Avoid buying gifts by taking vacation at Christmas. A real excuse to be away and not available to buy gifts. Hehe, sneaky, right?
8. Let Yellow Mellow, For Brown Flush it Down
Self-explanatory. Save on water costs. This one works. Try it!
9. Say bye-bye to toilet paper
What? No more toilet paper, paper towels, or dish sponges. Use a rag. This might sound gross but take a towel and cut it in small pieces. Use it to wipe your hands instead of napkins or paper towels. Use it to wipe down surfaces you clean. Use it to wash dishes, dust, mop, and use it to wipe your bum. You can also use old newspapers or junk mail. At your own risk. I’ve not gone this extreme yet.
10. Unplug it all
Did you know that appliances are using electricity even when not in use? So, your TV might be turned off, your coffee maker not brewing coffee, your lamp not in use when you’re in the other room but all those appliances are using electricity if they are plugged into the outlet. So, unplug it all and save on electricity. Your welcome.
11. Say No to Birthdays
Those pesky birthday parties. Aside from being a fun adventure to enjoy with those close to you in life, they are major budget busters. Save on money and just say no.
12. DIY cleaning supplies
I love this one and have done it many times. Make cleaning products at home. You can make them lemon or vinegar based, play around with essential oils to make them smell good and you save so much. Check out these 7 squeaky clean recipes to get you started.
13. Wash Your Clothes in the Shower
Kill two birds with one stone. You gotta shower. Shower with your clothes on. Just joking, but you could totally try that too. But really, while you’re washing your body, wash your clothes too.
14. Get Dental Work Done Outside the U.S.
Mexico specifically. I had a coworker who did this and it saved her a ton. She needed a root canal. When I got mine done a few years ago it was $1,000 WITH insurance. She had a family friend in Mexico who did it for free. If you know nobody outside the country, you can still get it done super cheap.
15. Don’t Cut Your Hair
Or cut it yourself. No more expensive salon or barber shop visits. Or, go even more extreme and shave your head. I’ve read of folks doing this.
What did I do in college? I hit up YouTube and taught myself how to braid and do extensions. It cost me $80 through a family friend to get extension and trust me, that is A DEAL! Salons charge $250+ for that service. Save it by doing it yourself at home!
If you opt to grow it out, once its nicely grown out, sell it for $4,000!
16. Donate Plasma
How can you save the fastest? By increasing your income. You can earn a cool $400 by donating plasma. I never knew about this until I moved to the big city my sophomore year of college. My, then boyfriend, now husband, turned me onto this, though I never did it, I saw him do it and watched plasma centers fill with people getting paid for their blood.
17. Donate Your Eggs or Sperm
I used to see in my college paper, ads for college women donating their eggs. Women get FAR more than guys, to the tune of $3,500. It’s serious money. Think hard about this one if you’re pondering over it.
18. Become a Friend to Rent
Make $60 per hour as a professional cuddler or rent out your time with Rentafriend.
Interesting ways to save money, eh? Now, to you! Do you have some weird ways you have saved money? Comment down below so we can keep expanding on this roundup!