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
- 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.
- 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!).
- 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.
- 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!
- 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
littleholes. 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.)
- 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).
- 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!
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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!