I’m pretty focused on being frugal and saving money wherever (and whenever) I can, then I read 11 Outrageous Things People Did To Save Money and I decided I’m not THAT frugal after all!
While I can understand putting your pee on the compost (it’s high in nitrogen), and I can understand buying your meat on the hoof because it’s not only cheaper but you also know it’s provenance, I just don’t get washing and reusing paper towels or foraging in bins at the cinema so you can get free refills to save money. Seriously, if you don’t want to pay cinema prices for snacks, go to the grocery store beforehand or bring something from home.
This list of extreme ways to save money got me thinking about the things I don’t do to save money. You can safely add basically everything that was on that list above. I haven’t seen the Extreme Cheapskates show but I’m guessing, you can probably add everything on the show, too.
7 Things I don’t do to save money
Here’s my list of relatively reasonable things that I don’t do to save money:
1. DIY Laundry Detergent – Making your own laundry detergent is possibly worth it if you have a large family and are putting a load of washing (or two) on every day. Maybe. I have made my own laundry detergent before and found the ingredients for making the washing powder weren’t that much cheaper (if at all) than buying my favourite laundry detergent when it’s on special and using a little less than is recommended so it lasts longer. My clothes are never thoroughly filthy and just need a freshen up so half the recommended scoop does the trick nicely.
2. Make My Own Tortillas – This is about valuing time more than saving money. I have made my own tortillas and they are fabulous. I love using them to dip into hummus but… they are time consuming to roll and fry. Given that fajitas and baked burritos are favourites in my house, if I made the tortillas from scratch every time we ate them, that’s all I’d be doing. Instead, I buy them from Aldi for $1.99 for a pack of 8. And, reserve cooking them from scratch for special occasions.
3. Wash Out and Reuse Ziploc Bags – I’m not sure too much needs to be said about this. If you’ve had wet food in the bag you can never guarantee that you’ve washed it all out successfully and returned the bag to pristine condition. Additionally, how do you make sure they are completely dry? Bacteria doesn’t walk, it swims… Damp plastic bags are a recipe for disaster.
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4. Not Using Shampoo (No Poo Method) – I get the theory behind it and it’s definitely a good thing staying away from all the nasty chemicals in commercial shampoo not to mention the tonnes of packaging that wont end up in landfill but, I don’t think I could get through the adjustment period without going nuts. I have long, thick, curly hair… I’m guessing the adjustment phase would be long and arduous.
5. Reusable Toilet Wipes– Apart from this one being decidedly on the gross side, I’m not sure where the real benefit is. Any advantage to the budget and environment in not buying toilet paper (after the initial investment in suitable material for the ‘reusable toilet wipes’) would surely be negated by the additional costs of washing and sanitising these cloths, wouldn’t it?
6. Save Onion and Orange Bags to Use as Pot Scourers – I read this one in The Complete Tightwad Gazette and figured the person who sent in that suggestion must eat a LOT of onions…
7. Cut Coupons – This one is dead easy. We don’t have access to coupons as such and those that do exist, I’d never buy the product in the first place. So, there’s no chance of me ever having 1000 bottles of free mouth wash cluttering up my garage.
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There are people who regularly do all these things to save money. Yes, that includes the reusable toilet wipes. They just don’t add up for me. I think there lots of shades of grey when it comes to what is really a money saving idea as well as what it means to be frugal. I don’t think I’ll be too disappointed that Extreme Cheapskates wont be knocking on my door anytime soon.
How about you? Where do you draw the line when it comes to saving money?