Frugal people often do things that others find to be a little bit weird or a little bit gross. For example, maybe you save all of your soup cans and use them to drink from instead of purchasing new cups. Some of your friends and family might raise an eyebrow about that, right? But just how far would you go to save money? Where do you draw the line?
Take a look at these 20 extreme ways that people save money to judge for yourself where that line is for you:
1. Eat road kill. “Never waste anything” is a mantra for some frugal people. Taken to the extreme, this can lead to eating road kill. You accidentally hit an animal and don’t want it to go to waste so you scrape it off of the asphalt and take it home for dinner.
2. Drink your own urine. There’s an entire alternative medicine niche called urine therapy in which people drink their own urine out of the belief that it has numerous health benefits including boosting immunity. It’s one way to save on the costs of zinc, echinacea, Vitamin C and cold medicine.
3. Make soy sauce out of human hair. Human hair is rich in protein. One company in China got caught using it to make soy sauce and passing it off as soybean oil. If they could do it, so could you.
4. Use your urine for skin care. Why pay a fortune for expensive skin care products when you can clear up acne with your own urine? Just pee on a cotton ball and rub it on your own face.
5. Use old fingernail clippings to scrub your pots and pans. Save up your fingernail clippings every time that you cut your nails. Stick a handful of them into an old pair of pantyhose. Tie it off and use this to scrub your pots and pans so that you don’t have to pay for sponges and steel scrubbers.
6. Be your own dentist. It was reported in 2009 that 1 million Brits yank out their own teeth in order to save money on dentistry.
7. Make jewelry out of your teeth. Once you’ve pulled out your own teeth, don’t waste them. Turn them into jewelry. Human teeth jewelry is actually a form of expensive haute couture but the DIY version is cheap.
9. Get your flowers from cemetery gravestones. Head to the local cemetery before a hot date and steal the flowers there to give to your sweetie.
10. Be your pet’s vet. For example, one man used dental floss and glue to stitch up his dog’s severe cut rather than paying to take him to the vet.
11. Turn dead pets into new clothes. At least one UK couple takes pet fur and turns it into clothing.That’s one way to save on buying new clothes.
12. Use human hair to make clothes. If you don’t like the idea of using pet fur to make your warm clothing then maybe you would be more comfortable using your own hair instead? Human hair is similar to fiber and can be crocheted or knitted into clothing.
13. Stop buying bleach; use your urine instead. Urine can be used in household cleaning. Just save it and use it instead of bleach. There are even some people who will use urine to bleach their teeth since it’s a lot cheaper than a bleach-based teeth whitener!
14. Power your car with human feces. After you’ve gotten comfortable with saving money by recycling your own urine then you can move on to the next level and recycle your own feces. There’s actually a company in England that is making a business out of this by modifying VW Beetles into Bio-Bugs that run on the stuff.
15. Flush the toilet only once every day or two. If you can’t bring yourself to re-use the waste in your house then maybe you can save money just by not flushing it as often. Fill the toilet as much as it can handle and flush it only every day or two to avoid wasting money on water.
16. Use fireplace ashes to clean glass. Here’s a dirty job: take the ashes out of your fireplace, dip a damp sponge into the mess and then use the sponge to clean off glass surfaces around the house. It’s a surprisingly efficient glass cleaner.
17. Buy 2-ply toilet paper, split it into 1-ply. This is one of the most popular suggestions that pops up in extreme frugality lists. It’s something that anyone can do. It effectively doubles your toilet paper supply at no cost as long as you don’t use extra length to make up for the thinness of the paper.
18. Make your own feminine hygiene products. Tear up old fabric and use it to make sanitary pads. Use old yarn to crochet your own re-usable feminine pads. Re-usable pads and menstruation cups are feminist choices that save money over the long run.
19. Have your own urban farm. Urban farms are increasingly popular as a way for people in the city to get back to nature and save money by growing their own food. However, they can get out of hand when the farmers try to raise chickens, turkeys, rabbits and pigs for food. That many animals in a small urban space usually leads to a big mess … but it does also lead to a lot of huge meals!
20. Donate blood to save money on alcohol. First you go and donate your blood. Then you hit up the local bar. The blood donation makes it easy for your body to get drunk on far fewer drinks than normal. You still get the same drunk feeling but you spend a lot less money. Can’t stomach this idea? Check out our popular ways to save money on beer.