08 Aug

Written by Captain Frugal on August 8, 2008

Man holding piggy bank

Saving money is important. The economy isn’t the best today, gas prices and food are both going up, and medical costs are soaring. More people are realizing that they need to hang on to their money, but they’re not always sure how to go about doing that.  Some people do some pretty weird things to save the green.  Let’s get to the list shall we?

10. Use toilets as planters – people really do this, especially in parts of the south and more rural neighborhoods all throughout the United States. Stick that old toilet out there in the front yard, take the seat and lid off, and fill it full of dirt and cheap flowers. The neighbors will be sure to comment. Extra points if it’s that hideous olive drab color from the 70s.

9. Reusing old bathtubs as lawn “art” – yes, people do this, too. That old bathtub (clawfoot is best, but the fiberglass kind work as well) can be a planter – you can put it next to the toilet! – or you can do something really creative with it like turn it into a mosaic (spray paint works well) or use it to hold and display garden gnomes, religious statuary, or ceramic woodland creatures.

8. Turning old wine into vinegar – you might as well do something with that old wine that you’ve had lying around since that wedding you attended ten years ago. You sure can’t drink it – and you’ve probably tried, right? Well, use it for vinegar instead. You can put it into another container (barrels work especially well) and let it age. How long it takes varies, but keep checking it. It’ll get there someday…and how much vinegar do you use, anyway?

7. Reusing tin foil – surprisingly enough, a lot of people do this, and there’s really nothing wrong with it. You use foil to cover a lot of things that you cook in the oven or store in the refrigerator and it doesn’t actually get dirty or slimy or nasty, so there’s no point in throwing it away. Fold it up and put it in a drawer. You can use it again next time, provided it stayed clean. If it’s got those crunchy, brown, cheese stalactites on it from the lasagna, you might want to go ahead and throw it out. There’s lots of other ways to save money.

6. Ordering large meals on dates and eating them the rest of the week – pay attention, ladies. You’ll want to know about this one. If you go out with a guy on Saturday night (especially one you decide you don’t like very much) make sure you order a lot of food. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive thing on the menu, just make sure it’s big portions – appetizer, entrée, and desert. Eat a few bites of each and proclaim how stuffed you are. Take the rest home “for later.” You’re not lying. The rest of the week counts as “later.” If you have a couple of dates a week, you’ll save a lot of money and not have to worry about cooking anything.

5. Get free lemonade – while you’re out ordering that giant dinner that you’re going to take home and eat all week, you can drink whatever you want ’cause you’re not paying for it, but if you go out by yourself and have to pay for your own food, save some money by not getting a soda. Instead, get water (it’s free!) and ask for some lemon slices with it (also free!). Use the sweetener you find on the table (again, also free) and stir it in the water. Squeeze the lemon into it. Voila! Lemonade.

4. Keep your condiments full courtesy of your local fast-food restaurant. This one’s easy. Go to your local fast-food restaurant and get something to eat, but only do this when you normally would – most people do it occasionally, and some do it much more often than occasionally – or you won’t be saving anything. While you’re there, load up your purse, pockets, or your “to go” bag with packets of mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, and other items, like hot sauce or barbeque sauce. Keep them in your fridge to use when you need them, or open them up and refill your condiment bottles with them. Either way, you won’t have to buy any more condiments.

3. If you have a lot of people to buy gifts for around Christmas time, tell everyone you’ll be out of town over the Holidays and that you’ll be back right after New Years. You don’t have to go anywhere. Just lay low over the Holidays and buy your gifts at after-Christmas sales. You’ll save a ton of money; sometimes as much as 50 to 70%, and no one will be angry that you didn’t buy their stuff for a lot more money before Christmas. If you’re careful not to be seen around town during your ‘out of town vacation,’ no one will know the difference but you. Can you keep a secret?

2. Get more than just books at your local library – You can get a free umbrella, too. The next time you go to the library, tell them you left your black umbrella there. They always have some lying around, because people always forget them. Most of those people don’t even remember where they left them, and the people who do remember probably don’t care enough to go back and get them anyway. If they did, the umbrellas wouldn’t still be there, now would they? Take the best one of the group home with you. You’re not stealing, you’re recycling. And your “new” umbrella will last you a long time.

1. The number one strangest way that people save money? Spend less than you make! It’s a drastic idea in this day and age, sure, but it’s so crazy that it just might work!


  1. 7

    daisy hospedales
    September 10th, 2011

    i think some of it is cool..!! and funny

  2. 6

    June 8th, 2010

    6. Ordering large meals on dates and eating them the rest of the week – pay attention, ladies.

    You will be getting bumped into as we leave so that you drop your doggy bag of food , and then I will “inadvertently” step on it.
    No free rides Ladies

  3. 5

    April 8th, 2010

    A good number of these are highly stupid and it’s no wonder you can’t land a second date. You would really run a huge tab up just because you don’t see a second date happening, and then act anorexic and not eat any of the food? Give me a break, this is why more and more people like going dutch on first date meals.

  4. 4

    February 27th, 2010

    A good number of those are unethical and/or theft. I work in a restaurant, and will not bring people that much lemon without charging them for lemonade, or the lemons. Citrus is expensive when out of season. The condiment suggestion is illegal, as well as the umbrella theft. I am all for being frugal, but can we keep suggestions legal?

  5. 3

    mark tahiliani
    January 2nd, 2009

    hilarious … cheese stalactites on it from the lasagna… GREAT writing… Thanks for the post it gave me a big smile… Mark Tahiliani

  6. 2

    August 19th, 2008

    This may not be a strange way to save money but it is a good one – I’ve gone all digital and all my music is on my Ipod so I’ve got a load of CD’s (and the wife’s) lying around the house. I did a quick search on the web and found that I could try and sell them all on Ebay (hate it) or go to a site I’ve found called musicmagpie.co.uk. It’s not the best looking site but I got about £35 for about 20 old CD’s and finally got rid of an old love songs CD that was just too embarassing to keep.

  7. 1

    sir jorge
    August 15th, 2008

    that lemonade would be the WORST lemonade known to man.

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