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Awhile back I found an extremely helpful Facebook group called Ideas for Frugal Living. I have learned so much and found so many new ideas on how to save money from the group. So, I thought I would ask everyone in the group, what was their most unique way of saving money. I was pleasantly surprised by the huge response and out of more than sixty replies, I have chosen 12 of the many unique ideas to share with you today.
- Dumpster Diving – Except where prohibited by local regulations, dumpster diving is legal in the USA. If something is in the trash obviously it is unwanted, so you might as well take it if you can use the item. I’ve never dumpster dived myself, but I have heard if you are friendly with store managers you may be able to find out when they normally throw certain outdated products away that are still good.
- Switch to Cloth – Instead of using disposable products that you have to keep buying, make the switch to using cloth instead. A few of these I had never heard of before, so I’ll share them here to give you some ideas: cloth towels, cloth napkins, reusable coffee filters, cloth bread bags, reusable bowl covers, duster cloths, handkerchiefs, cloth menstrual pads, “family cloth”, cloth baby diapers and wipes, and cloth nursing pads. Many of these are very easy to make especially if you know how to sew; click on each one for instructions or where to buy each item.
- Stop Paying for Garbage Removal – Recycle everything possible, compost any vegetable scraps, feed leftovers you won’t eat to your dog (if you have one), and take anything leftover to the dump whenever necessary. Most garbage removal services charge $40-$50 per month and it usually costs about $5 at the dump; so, if you go to the dump twice a month you will be saving at least $30 a month.
- Never Spend Silver Coins – When you use change always spend only the pennies. Put all the silver change in a jar and when it is full, use the change for something special or put it in savings. You will be amazed how fast and how much money you can save this way!
- Stay Home – This is probably the easiest way to save money, though nowadays it’s getting easier and easier to spend money from the comfort of our homes. If you stay home, you won’t have quite as much temptation to spend money on entertainment, food, other impulse buys, and fuel or transportation costs. It would be a good idea to find an inexpensive hobby or activities to do at home, when you’re not working, that way you aren’t tempted to shop online.
- Negotiate – Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a better price, especially on large purchases such as a home, vehicles, and furniture. Many times, even in department stores you may be able to get a discount on a purchase if you ask. It’s always worth a try because the worst thing that could happen would be getting “no” for an answer.
- Use a Menstrual Cup – I haven’t used one myself, though I would like to try one someday. I’ve heard there is a learning curve, but once you figure them out you can save a lot of money over time. Most cups cost around $30 and can last up to 10 years; which is definitely a good investment considering the cost of regularly buying pads or tampons.
- Heat with Wood – I grew up using a wood stove for heat; it was a fair amount of work but definitely saved my family money. Though if you are willing to pay for firewood, you won’t have to spend all the time and labor cutting and splitting the wood. However, the cost of the wood may outweigh the savings, so if you want to switch make sure to figure up the costs first. If you would rather get free firewood, many times, wood can be found for free on Craigslist, in exchange for removing it from someone’s property.
- Encourage your Children to be Independent – I found this one a bit amusing, but it is very true. Raise your children to be independent, have a desire to work, and create a life for themselves. And if you have adult children living with you, who are capable of working, insist that they provide for themselves or leave. It may be hard but it is better not to enable their dependence on others.
- Baby-Led Weaning – I weaned my first this way and my youngest is still learning to eat table food. It has saved me quite a bit of money since I don’t make or buy special baby food. I give them small amounts of table food, gradually building up to where they can eat everything. Baby-led weaning is so much easier!
- Regrow Kitchen Scraps – I haven’t tried this myself, but I have heard it is quite easy to regrow certain vegetable scraps. There is no extra cost for seeds or plants and all you have to do is root them in water and plant in some soil either in the garden or a pot.
- Shop at Ethnic Stores – In some areas you can find cheaper and higher quality food than at your local grocery store.
Over half of these ideas, I haven’t tried myself for various reasons, but I hope they are helpful for you or at least you may find them interesting. Do you do any of these things or have in the past? Let me know in the comments below.