Extreme Frugal Ideas: Do You Flush?

Is there such a thing as being too frugal? Sure, we all look for ways to cut costs, but how far will you go to save a buck?

I’ll admit that I have some money-saving habits that may be construed as strange: I cut steel wool scrub pads in half to make them last longer since they tend to rust quickly and reuse tin foil and plastic ziploc bags (if they’ve been hardly used). These are my extremes. I also use coupons to save money and keep our thermostat at a chilly 63 degrees most days.

But here are some frugal ideas that some might balk at:


Catching cold water in a bucket as you wait for the shower to heat up.
The water can then be used to wash dishes or  water plants. Not a bad idea, actually.

Reuse paper towels.
This was a favorite of my grandmother’s. She’d wipe down the sink with one after cleaning it, then leave the towel to dry and be used again.

Make your own deodorant.
This tip is being used by Matt Jabs over at Debt Free Adventure. He “makes” a natural deodorant using just isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and a spray bottle. Fill bottle, spray armpits. I’ll admit, I am tempted to try this out — on a non-work day.

Make your own toothpaste.
This one is pretty simple — just make a paste of baking soda and water. But with coupons and a good sale, you can get your usual Crest or Colgate toothpaste for free.

Cut down on flushing the toilet. Self-explanatory. But I advocate usage of this tip only for Number 1: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.” You’ll be saving on water usage.

Make your own yogurt. Frugaltips.org says that with a yogurt maker, some yogurt culture and a container of nonfat yogurt to start, you can start to grow — um, make — your own.

Shun technology. You don’t need to go completely Amish, but you could easily save a few hundred dollars a month by canceling cable TV and/or not using a cell phone.

Ditch your car. Ride a bike or a small motorscooter to get you from point A to point B. This tip is also environmentally friendly.

Cut your own hair. Okay, this sounds dangerous. It’s probably best for guys who rock crew cuts or Bic their heads. Women might want to stick to trimming their bangs.

Where do you draw the line when it comes to frugality?

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