Savings To The Extreme

Savings To The Extreme

While channel surfing the other night, I came across a program that featured people who regularly engaged in "extreme couponing."  I have to say, it was a bit fascinating to watch.  One such gentleman had a specific desk area all set with a paper cutter and two (that I could see, anyway) huge binders filled to bursting with coupons.  The show followed this same guy as he took his binders to the local supermarket where he went on to buy no less than 60 liquid hand soaps (because they were a mere thirty cents each with his coupons) and what had to be at least 100 toothbrushes (again, because the coupon made them super cheap). 

I'm always a sucker for a bargain or a bit of juicy budgeting know-how, but the show made me start thinking of extreme (crazy?) ways to save a buck.  Turns out, there are a lot of ideas on how to live the frugal life out here in cyberspace, and some of them look to be extreme indeed.  Of course, what's extreme to one may be normal to another.  One person's idea of outrageous might be having no credit cards or setting and sticking to a budget.  Here are some ideas floating around out here that some people are actually putting into practice to help save money these days.

Reuse... if you dare

I've heard and have even seen people rinse out and reuse Ziploc bags as well as straws and those plastic throw-away type cups.  Another common kitchen item that some out there rinse and reuse? Paper towels.  Oh, and don't forget to make sure your tea bags and coffee grounds are used 'til the last possible drop.  But this idea of reusing items isn't limited to just the kitchen.  How about cutting up cereal boxes for use as greeting cards?  Or better yet, next time you receive a greeting card, cut off the bottom part where the sender's signature is and create a new, totally free postcard. 

In the bathroom

There truly are some zany ideas about bathroom items out there - and it doesn't include buying a hundred toothbrushes.  Toilet paper seems to be a hot topic with many people spending time carefully splitting two-ply paper into one-ply.  (I wonder if they know they can buy one-ply?). 

For those who want a really "green" approach, consider reusable TP.  Yep, you read that right.  Simply cut up some old soft fabric or an old shirt into squares and toss into the wash when done.  Before you flush, you can pour in some pasta water, or water leftover from a bath or doing dishes.  The idea being, of course, to use less water per flush.  Or you can follow one guy's advice and just go outside.  Seriously.

And once again, there are many different kinds of normal! If these tips work for you to save a buck, more power to you!

Saving money is a good goal for all of us.  How you save that money is totally up to you.  What are some ways you save money?  And what crazy, wild and zany things have you heard of people doing to stretch and save a dollar?

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Andrea's picture

Andrea wrote:

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 14:11 Comment #: 1

The "Extreme Couponing" show made me really uncomfortable until I saw that the man you mentioned donated most of those items to charity.

I have a friend who tries to save water by using the "selective flushing" method, but that's a little extreme for me.

Newlyweds on a Budget's picture

Newlyweds on a Budget wrote:

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 15:49 Comment #: 2

I knew someone who washed out their straws and reused them. I mean, i guess that means you won't ever have to buy straws, but they're SO cheap, that i would rather spend $1 a package than risk grody food getting stuck in the straws or whatnot.
i sometimes reuse my ziploc bags because i take cereal to work every day for breakfast, and like to keep it separate from the milk until i'm ready to eat it.

i don't know, to each his own i guess, right? i personally would rather use my time and energy to save REAL money, like dollars, rather than cents.

(and aso for the stocking up, i saw one of the shows but the guy said he donated a lot to the local food bank, in which case--you go, man!)

retirebyforty's picture

retirebyforty wrote:

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:47 Comment #: 3

I am reusing the ziplock bags right now. I used it for PBJ, bagle, and a few other things this week and haven't had to rinse it out yet. I don't see any problem. :)