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Thinking Outside the Box to Save Money

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Times are still tight.  Yeah, the government says the recession was officially over about two years ago but this version of reality has not quite spread to my household or those of most folks I know.  Most of us still need to save money and most have probably already done the obvious stuff such as cutting back on eating, medical, not heating/cooling your house, and other easy-to-do activities.  The next step is to try tactics that are a bit out of the ordinary.  Here are some ideas I gleaned from the Net that seemed plausible if not a bit far-fetched.

To save on cat litter teach your cat to use the toilet.  Seriously, people actually do this though I don't know if they are motivated by saving money or simply enjoy seriously annoying their cat.  You can watch this to learn how to train your cat to use the potty.

Permanent Makeup.  Rather than spent an average $15,000 on makeup over your lifespan, why not get some of your makeup applied permanently?  Movie stars do it (though not always with great results).  For a mere $200 to $800 you can throw away some of your makeup and save time in the morning as a bonus.

Paint your roof white.  The white paint will reflect light and, thus, heat.  I'm not sure how often you would have to repaint it and I am short on the science details but it is suppose to lower your cooling bill.  for an article by an author who did so and also discusses the science behind the notion.

REALLY downsize your home.  Move into one of these homes you see online once in a while that seem to be about the size of a large walk-in closet.  Some of these homes are only 80SF (think big living room).  with tips from a guy who does live in a home that small. Prices run from as low as $20,000.  covers all aspects of this sort of tiny living.

Take a Navy Shower-  This is supposed to use about 10 gallons of water instead of the more typical 60 gallons.  This is not a cold shower but you only use water when you need it.  Turn the shower on to get your body and hair wet and then turn it off.  Get clean.  Turn the water on just long enough to rinse.  Yer done.  You can get Navy Shower heads that have a lever to turn the water on and off at the shower head.  I didn't do the math on this one but if my two sons and I did this that would be 54,570 gallons of water per year that would not have to be heated (well, the hot water portion wouldn't need it) or paid for.  That has to be some serious money and you save water as well.

Use a clothesline.  This is unusual not in the sense that doesn't occur to folks but in that I don't see them anymore.  I am not for hanging all of my clothes outside but I have started hanging up my blue jeans.  My dryer seems to use an entire paycheck in electricity to dry five pairs of jeans.  I hung a sturdy vinyl line across my small townhouse yard.  I've only done this since the early summer but they will still dry in the winter by freezing and then the ice will sublimate to vapor.

Get a free umbrella.  Go to your local library and tell them you think you left your black umbrella there the last time it rained.  They will show the huge collection of umbrellas they have in their lost-and-found.  Pick out a very nice one for yourself.  Yeah, I know, morally questionable but are these people really going to come back for their umbrellas?

Don't buy soda at restaurants.  Instead, ask for water with a wedge (or two) of lemon.  Squeeze the lemon, add some sugar, and you will have something that approximates lemonade.

Go Dumpster Diving.  I know, I know. I said think outside the box not in it.  But a lot of people actually do this and make money and find stuff that they can use.  Here is wiki on how to do it well.

This modest collection of  ideas is a good start but I am sure you have some great ideas as well.  Please post your method for saving money in the comments below.

erick99 posted Sep 24, 2012

Interesting ideas. I've read some articles on the micro house idea and there have been many people extremely happy after they did it. No mortgage, very low expenses and high quality of life.

bbattag (rep: 7k) posted Sep 24, 2012


None will work for me......sorry.

encorez (rep: 10k) posted Sep 24, 2012


I have permanent eyeliner and it does saves you some money and a lot of time to get ready in the mornings, the bad thing is that after a while you get used to it, and you feel like you have no makeup on, and you'll start using it again, well that's my case.. Lol

heyimdennise (rep: 7.9k) posted Sep 24, 2012


One more to get through college and then one of those skinny houses might be a good idea. I'm actually going to try hanging a few things outside to see how that goes.

MaryRolle (rep: 23) posted Sep 24, 2012


Dumpster diving actually sounds cool in a gross way. I could see me and some friends from school doing this.

Jameson99 (rep: 19) posted Sep 24, 2012


^ best way to get good boxes....

encorez (rep: 10k) posted Sep 24, 2012


I really should have tried to train my cats to use the toilet! Litter boxes STINK! Great list! :)

rockinnrolla (rep: 180k) posted Sep 24, 2012


Great Box Thanks

wpintegration (new user) posted Sep 25, 2012