10 Crazy Silly Things I Do In The Name Of Frugality

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If you click above, you just might learn more about how much I love bacon…

Let´s face it guys, I´m no frugal superstar like some of you, nor am I a mega debt payoff machine like some others of you.  I try to be moderate and take the middle path in all things in life.  However, I am working hard at paying off my debt, while adopting frugal habits–I´ve just never believed in being much of an extremist in any regard.  To each his own, okay?!  However, as I found myself squeezing the nail polish remover out of the cotton ball and back into the bottle, I laughed out loud as I realized, some things I do in the name of frugality are pretty crazy and silly.

And so, since you´re all dying to know more about me, 🙂 I invite you to put aside your judgement and laugh at my list.

10 Crazy Silly Things I Do In The Name Of Frugality

  1. I leave bottles upside down for days, sometimes weeks.  If I have a bottle of something, say lotion, shampoo, sauce, whatever–and I´m reaching the end of it´s contents, I´m not just going to squeeze the last of it out and be done with it.  No!  I will let that shampoo bottle sit upside down for the next 2-3 uses until I´m sure I´ve squeezed out every last drop.
  2. I repurpose toothbrushes.  Even before amping up my oral hygiene game, I´ve always been diligent about using new toothbrushes often.  Every 6 months, when I go to the dentist I get a new one from him, and discontinue the use of my old one.  But I don´t throw the old one away!  It goes into my cleaning supplies stash!  Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning tiny spaces and crevasses (like your razor–thanks, Junior!).
  3. I reuse disposables, like tin foil, ziplock bags, plastic containers, even tissue paper and wrapping paper.  I definitely got this one from my mom.  I used to laugh at her when I was a kid.  She´d smooth out the tin foil and fold it nicely and store it in a drawer.  Same goes for tissue paper and wrapping paper.  She´s a wiz at this.  Sometimes she even irons them to make them look extra fresh!  She always washes out ziplock bags and plastic containers, too.  Now in my adulthood I see how smart this is.  Ziplock bags are expensive!  I only ever throw them out after one use if they´ve stored raw meat, especially chicken.  But if all you´ve put in there is some bread, veggies, candy, crackers, whatever–wash those suckers out!  They´re good as new to be used again.
  4. I save sauce packets.  And seasonings and creamers and sugars, too.  And napkins!  When you eat out, and you´re given these, they´re included in the price.  Don´t throw them out!  I have a whole drawer in the fridge dedicated to sauce packets I´ve come across from fast food/Chinese food/whatever eating out we may do from time to time.  I only use ketchup sparingly, and the packets get me by beautifully.  I haven´t actually bought a ketchup bottle or napkins in many years.  And those red pepper flakes you get from Papa John´s?  They´re great for seasoning your cooking.  The parmesean blend, too!
  5. I don´t throw gym clothes out because of holes.  Remember we put aside our judgement?  Haha, okay… Now seemed like a good time to remind you. 🙂 My workout pants especially, get holes along the inner seam all the time.  No way I´m throwing out a perfectly good pair of pants because of a few little holes.  I regularly wear bike shorts under my stretchy pants to the gym so that the holes aren´t visible and voila!  Problem solved.  I taught aerobics at gyms from 2004 to 2011, and now I´m getting back into the swing of working out a lot, again.  If I threw out workout clothes every time they had a hole in them, I probably would have wasted thousands by now!  (As far as non-gym clothes go, holes usually indicate end of life for that garment, unfortunately.  Unless it’s jeans–depending on the placement of the hole, sometimes it´s mendable, or just bearable.)
  6. I don´t buy new underwear very often.  I promise this is not unhygenic, I do wash my underwear after every use!  But I usually go many years before throwing any out, and even then, I only feel really confident about it if they´re plagued with holes.  I´m really just not about throwing things away that are still useful or good (see above).
  7. I get rewards cards/frequent buyers cards/punch cards borderline obsessively.  I have a stash about two inches high, in my car, in alphabetical order, of all my frequent buyers cards.  In most cases, these kinds of rewards never expire, so who cares if I might not go back to Pinkberry for another year?  If I ever go 10 times in my life, I want my 11th one free dammit!
  8. I try to use the bathroom at work as much as possible…  So as to use it less at home and save on water and toilet paper and soap.  Ridiculous, I know.  That´s all I have to say about that one.  (I don´t ever shower at the gym, though.  I would if I really had to, but it kind of grosses me out a tiny bit, that, and I like to sit and relax after showers, and at the gym I´d feel like I had to hurry up and get dressed right away after, and I wouldn´t enjoy that very much.)
  9. I only wash my hair twice a week.  It´s true!  And guess what?  I don´t stink!  I´m not blessed with super not-oily hair (like my mom–don´t tell her I told you, but she can go a week or week and a half without washing her hair and you would never know!) but I pretty easily make it 3-4 days between washings.  My hair is pretty long so I use much more shampoo than short-haired people, so washing less frequently definitely saves me some cash.
  10. I squeeze nailpolish remover out of the cotton ball back into the bottle.  Yep.  I paint my nails myself, all the time.  I´m really very good at it 🙂 and have tons of nail polishes I´ve collected over the years in pretty colors.  Because I do my nails every 3-4 days (usually lines up with when I wash my hair, see above), you´d think I go through a lot of nail polish remover, but no!  One cotton ball is plenty to remove the polish from all ten nails, and don´t waste the excess!  Squeeze every last drop back into the bottle!  And when one polish gets old and thick, and you still love it, don´t throw it out–a few drops of nailpolish remover will thin it right out and make it good as new!  Even with all this nail polish remover it seems I´m using, buying a bottle is like a once-a-year kind of purchase.  It lasts and lasts!

And there you have it, folks.  Sure, there are countless frugal life hacks I don´t employ (I still drive a car, I don´t unplug every single thing every time I leave the house, I still own a cellphone, etc) but these are a few that come naturally to me, even though I know they´re silly!

Do you have any funny/weird/ridiculous/absurd/outrageous frugal tendencies?  Tell me all about it, and we´ll be weird together!

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21 thoughts on “10 Crazy Silly Things I Do In The Name Of Frugality

  1. I do the same thing with bottles. I’ve even cut them open! I will get every last drop out of a bottle of shampoo or conditioner 🙂
    You have some great tricks here, Chela!

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  2. Most of those aren’t silly. I’ve been saving sauce packets for years. I also reuse ziploc bags as well.

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    • That’s good to hear! I think maybe here in the PFblog community these might not be so outrageous, but to the outside world I know I look a little nutso. Hahaha I definitely always get looks at Christmas when I unwrap presents so carefully so as to be able to reuse the paper. 🙂

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  3. Shoot! I can’t think of anything, you know, because I’m so normal and all. 😛

    Great list! I do #4 & #6, I’m pretty un-frugal about a lot of things. I change our toothbrushes once a month, even though the indicator colors on the toothbrushes haven’t faded yet. I wish I could find toothbrushes with just white bristles. That’s all there used to be before these fancy weird colored toothbrushes came out. Someone tell me, where does that dye go? Hmmm???

    I showed “Junior” his reference. He was on his way to a job interview, but looks forward to reading these hacks when he gets home! Love your increased postings lately. They’ve been SOOOO good, too! 🙂

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  4. I also use the bathroom at work and I try not to wash my hair every day. Actually, I do a lot of these things, but I was pretty sure I was weird for the bathroom thing. At least I have good company!

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  5. I’ve been known to take my electronics (phone, ipad) to work in order to charge them there and save on electricity at home 🙂 I also only wash my hair a couple times a week, but that’s not frugality (you’d know that if you saw how much I paid for shampoo, sigh) but rather just that it works better for my hair. I’m inconsistent about it, but I sometimes do reuse foil, ziplocs, etc.

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    • Oh my gosh how had I never thought of that? I’m totally going to start charging stuff by day at work! Great idea! I used to use expensive shampoo too, but now I just can’t stomach the cost. I miss it though :-/

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  6. Most of those aren’t all that weird. I start leaving bottles upside down as soon as they start doing that dry heave that means it’s getting low.

    And I’ve talked about how much extra toilet paper we use since we’re both home all day. And it’s not just TP. Don’t forget about the cost of water coming into the tank, and the sewer cost of each flush. If I worked outside the house, I’d definitely take advantage of someone else paying for my small bladder.

    Also, our butter drawer in the fridge door is actually stuffed full of ketchup packets. We eat way too much fast food, and we almost always have ketchup left over. I can’t bear to waste them. Plus it’s handy when the place skimps.

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  7. Pingback: A Day in the Life! | SmashOdyssey

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