Ultimate Frugality – Ten New Ways For You To Save Money.

1. Re-use spaghetti jars as storage or planters. I use them to hold nails and screws, pens and pencils, small hard candy. I also have built little planters out of them to hold bamboo stalks. Plus, they are free after you eat the sauce, so it’s real frugal.

2. Try line-drying a load of laundry. I started doing this a little while ago…I would pick one load a week and dry it hanging in our bathroom. I don’t really do it for the savings of $.75 each week, but rather in my tiny project of trying to reduce energy usage. But if you can line dry one load of laundry a week, you can save energy and water (if you own your own home), or $.75 if you use a laundromat!

3. Use both sides of a piece of paper. I know it sound silly, but when you use only one side of a sheet of paper, you are wasting the other side! Most of the things we all print we either A. never show to anyone or B. throw away a few days later. So why not flip the paper over and use the other side? The other alternative is to take a stack of once-printed paper and cut it into four pieces. Then take all these pieces, make a pile, and staple it in the corner. Voila! Instant mini notepad.

4. You know all those old candles you have laying around? The ones that are all half burnt and ready for the trash? What if you melted them all down and made new ones? All it takes is a double-boiler type of set-up and you can have liquid candle wax and brand new candles in no time.

5. Buy your prescriptions by mail. When you get a prescription from your doctor, ask for a multiple month supply. Then check with your insurance plan as to what mail-order prescription company(ies) you are allowed to use. You can save a lot by doing this, especially if you are on a lot of medicine!

6. Use microfiber cloths instead of paper towels for cleaning. Sure, paper towels are not expensive, but you do have to keep buying them week after week. But instead you could spend a few bucks for some reusable microfiber cloths and not have to buy new ones but every year or two. Besides, it helps keep paper towels out of the trash!

7. Subscribe to your local Freecycle group. You never know what you may find that someone else is giving away for free. I have given away one bicycle, moving boxes and unopened cat food in our local group!

8. Make your own laundry detergent. It’s not hard and it’s very cheap…like less than $.15 per load. Combine 1/2 Cup Washing Soda, 1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap and a 1/2 Cup Borax. Done!

9. Buy cooking herbs in bulk at a local natural food store instead of at the grocery store. Spend $.50 cents for a refill of what you need instead of $4.00 for a new bottle.

10. Stop shaving and grow a beard. I cannot believe how long my razors last now that I only shave under my chin twice a week. Sure, I look like a serial killer and my wife won’t kiss me, but really…isn’t it all good in the name of frugality? 😉

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Comments (12)

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  1. Nice post Ted Kaczynski! 🙂

    But seriously, these are some good frugal living tips. I personally do a couple of them and in particularly, I do the ‘use both sides of paper’. I do this all the time when printing out stuff I will just read and recycle anyways.

  2. david says:

    Hey, who you calling Ted? 😉 It’s incredibly wasteful to not use both sides of the paper!

  3. What a great list! Buying cooking herbs in bulk is a HUGE savings, especially if you’re cooking something that requires an herb that you normally don’t have on hand. You can buy only the amount you’ll use, instead of spending $5 for a whole jar!

  4. david says:

    Thanks Lynnae, glad you liked it!

  5. Ellen says:

    I like your last tip–very funny! My husband is a firm believer in it, and I have to admit I do like him scruffy. (Well, okay, I like when he shaves, too…can you tell we’re still newlyweds? *g*)

    The spaghetti jars are really good as grease receptacles, too. plus that way I don’t have to wash them too terribly carefully, because they’re just going in the trash once they’re full anyway, eh?

    The idea of ordering prescriptions by mail is intriguing, I’ve never heard of that before.

    Thanks for these ideas!

  6. rambkowalczyk says:

    One downside to frugality and some of your tips is clutter. If one isn’t careful, one can have a whole bunch of jars, wax, and paper collecting dust.

    I do subscribe to our local freecycle group and not only have gotten a couple of items for nothing but have also gotten rid of stuff that was perfectly usable but just collecting dust in my home.

    Concerning the laundry detergent–What is washing soda? Is it something that can be bought in a local grocery store? Grated Fels Naptha soap–is this an item readily available? Borax, I am familiar with having used it to make Goop.
    Does this detergent make a lot of suds. I have a front load washer and excess suds can be a problem.

  7. david says:

    Hi Ellen…we have been married 2 years yesterday and my wife still prefers me scruffy, so it might never go away for you guys! 🙂

    And rambkowalczyk, true, it can lead to clutter. Luckily I almost have OCD (or do have) and there is no clutter in our house. Both ingredients are available in most grocery stores, they are usually on a bottom shelf gathering dust. It should not make excess suds, no.

  8. Ellen says:

    Well, happy anniversary! 😀

  9. david says:

    Thanks! 🙂

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  12. vh says:

    You can attach a microfiber cloth to a Swiffer gadget. Works MUCH better than the paper Swiffer wipes you’re supposed to buy to go with the gadget, and you can wash the cloth, instead of adding some more trash to the landfill.

    I take computer printouts that I’m done with, flip them over, stack them in a pile, and clip the pile together with a clothespin. Voila! Instant notepad! Never buy another yellow pad.

    Hanging the laundry came back to me (as an old bat, I spent my childhood helping my mother hang up the laundry…there was no such thing as a “clothes dryer”) during a moment of laziness. The darn dryer buzzes every ten minutes, and I got tired of dropping what I was doing (usually something unannoying) to trudge out to the garage and rescue the clothes from the dryer before they turned into a wad of wrinkles. One day I thought…what the heck! Betcha about 90% of these things would dry just fine if you gave them a shake, hung ’em up on a clothes hanger, and let them dry in the garage.

    Hot dang! It worked. They came out just fine, and the whole afternoon was QUIET! Not only that, but at the time I had a lot of linen & cotton that had to be ironed (since then have gotten rid of that stuff, as part of the general Laziness Project). Air drying them leaves them just slightly stiff, so they iron up nice and crisp, almost as if you had put in a tiny bit of starch. Some clothes, however, didn’t need pressing at all.

    Next, I strung some clothesline rope (not easy to find these days) from the patio rafters. Now I could hang the sheets. The neighbors can’t see them (believe it or not, some people REALLY resent laundry hanging out, and around here homeowner’s associations forbid it), but they get the benefit of drying in the open air…and they smell soooo good when you put them on the bed!

    And not once do you get buzzed at by the dryer.