8 Things Even I Wouldn’t Do To Save Money
I’m a cheapskate. There’s no way around it. I will do almost anything to save money. The key word there is “almost.”
There will always be a new way that someone has found to push the envelope and to save a ton of money. And that’s fantastic! It’s what we use the internet for, right? To share our experiences and learn (and watch funny cat videos)?
But even for a
cheapskate frugalista *hairflip*, there are some things that I would NEVER do to save some money.
I wouldn’t do this for 3 reasons:
- Our discount grocer doesn’t accept coupons, but the prices are still better than with-coupon-deals at a normal grocery store.
- I don’t buy the products that are on sale with coupons to begin with, so even if I’m getting pizza rolls for $1 instead of $5, we don’t get them, so it’s a waste of money. If I DO grocery shop with coupons, it’s using apps on my phone, read more HERE.
- “Ain’t NOBODY got time for dat!” I’ve seen Extreme Couponing on TV. There are women who spend their whole days, literally 8 or more hours a day, couponing. And for what? A lifetime supply of hand soap? No thanks. I’d like to put my skills to better use.
First off, it’s just wrong. So don’t do it. Even if you think to yourself “what’s the harm in just taking one…” Stop right there. If you’re thinking “I don’t have the cash but I really need this…” honey, if you don’t have the cash for whatever it is, you sure don’t have the cash to pay the huge fine for theft, or for someone to bail you out of jail.
Ditching the TP
Ever hear of “family cloth”? It’s the nice way of saying that “we use cloth rags instead of toilet paper.” I spend my whole day waiting to clean up someone’s poop. I don’t feel like dealing with any more poo. I’ll fork over the $15 every 4 months at Costco.
Throwing out my dryer
Can we all take a minute to thank God for the invention of the washer and dryer?! I use my washer and dryer a lot. And I’ll line dry cloth diapers and some of my sons’ small clothes. But when it comes to my husband’s heavy denim work pants… they’re going in the dryer! Plus, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on doing your laundry. The dryer stays in my house.
Buying some things used
I’m an avid second-hand shopper. But there are some things that even I won’t buy after someone else has used them.
- Makeup– There are lots of diseases that are spread through skin contact. Call me paranoid, but It’s not worth the risk to get makeup after someone else has used it.
- Car seats– This one is a little iffy. There’s concern that the seat may be expired (yes, apparently it can happen), or may have been in a car accident. In either case, the car seat shouldn’t be used anymore. If I know the person selling it, or I can talk to the seller directly at a yard sale, I’m alright buying a seat that a child outgrew.
- Mattresses– There are things that happen on mattresses that should not be shared with other people. That’s all I’ll say about that. Plus, bed bugs, bed wetters… you never know.
- Underwear– Some people are ok getting bras, underwear, and socks used, but it’s always made me uncomfortable. This is the only type of clothing that I always buy new.
Compromising on cleanliness
Obviously, the answer to saving money on cleaning and personal hygiene is to just stop cleaning! But since that’s just unreasonable, the next best thing is to get the cheaper stuff, right?
I can’t, and won’t, buy a cheaper alternative for any kind of cleaning just because it’s cheaper. The old saying, “you get what you pay for,” has never been truer when it comes to store-brand or off-brand products for cleaning.
- Laundry detergent– I make my own with ingredients from companies that I trust. It works better than any other detergent that I’ve bought.
- Stain fighter– Hydrogen peroxide works just as well as bleach and it’s $.88 at Walmart.
- Dishwasher detergent– I buy mine from Costco (which I love!), and I use homemade alternatives to expensive drying agents or shine producers (is that even a thing?).
- Toothpaste– You can make your own with stuff in your kitchen. And never buy off-brand toothpaste; I have a friend who did and needed to get veneers because of it.
- All purpose cleaner– I like to get this concentrated cleaner instead of going out to get all-purpose cleaner all the time. You can also just fill a spray bottle halfway with white vinegar and the rest with warm water.
Skipping the tip
We hardly go out, and when we do, there’s usually a coupon or a deal that cuts our bill in half (oh yes, it can happen). But just because I saved a whole bunch of money doesn’t make it ok for me to stiff the server!
I worked in food service and I know plenty of people who have as well. I know that they make next to nothing in hourly pay and rely almost completely on tips to get through the month. Here’s my rule of thumb when going out: if you can’t afford to tip (and tip well), don’t go out. Always tip 20% or more on the cost of the original bill (before the coupons and deals).
Sweating or freezing to death
Can I get another Alleluia for temperature controlled environments?! I’m not going to freeze or sweat my family out of the house to save some money. I
I will keep my thermostat at 68 in the winter and 72 in the summer, as those are the two most optimal temperatures according to the electric company. And I will invest in energy efficient curtains that help keep the internal temperature regulated. And in spring and fall the windows will stay open as long as humanly possible. But I’m not going to go without air conditioning in the summer, or without heat in the winter!
Saving money is fantastic. I’m very happy being a frugalista! But it’s really important to know that there are lines that even I won’t cross when it comes to saving money. If you are just starting out pinching pennies, make sure you don’t go overboard and cross over the lines and limits that you’ve made for yourself. But most importantly, keep your eye on the prize! Whether your goal is building a savings account, getting out of debt, saving up for a special purchase, or something else, never forget why you’re saving!
What won’t you do to save some money?