Are you looking for ways to reduce costs and save more money?
You may be surprised at the actual expense of some items over time.
Here are some ideas for extreme ways to save money you may not have thought of before.
Extreme Ways to Save on Personal Care
Use cloth wipes or get a bidet. Instead of buying toilet paper, save some cash by switching to a reusable or cleaner solution.
Stop wearing make-up. Or try to minimize your usage so you can get by on free samples. And if you have a special event coming up, swing by a makeup counter at the mall for a free make-over.
Make your own toothpaste. If you’ve got baking soda, you’ve already got all the ingredients you need.
Don’t shower every day. Save money on water, use less shampoo and soap, and keep your skin from drying out.
Cut your own hair. Haircuts aren’t cheap. Check out YouTube to learn how to do it yourself and save the cash.
Ladies – use menstrual cups. Yes, they sound gross, but if you’re looking to save money, these beat having to keep buying disposable products.
Water down your products. Try diluting your shampoo and conditioner to use less and prevent having to replace them as often.
Sew your own clothes. Whether you’re up for sewing a complete outfit or just looking to hem your jeans, doing your own sewing can save you money.
Skip the gym membership. Take advantage of the great outdoors with free parks and trails to help you get in shape. Also, check with your local parks department to see if they have any sports leagues you can join for some extra activity.
Resole your shoes. Instead of running out to replace your shoes when the soles wear down, look for a local shoe repair shop. They may be able to repair your shoes for a fraction of the cost.
Re-gift packaging. Be careful the next time you’re opening a present and save that wrapping paper, gift bag, or gift box to reuse the next time you have a gift to wrap.
Ways to Save Money Around the House
DIY repairs and upgrades. If something breaks, look to YouTube for ways to fix it yourself instead. you could save hundreds of dollars by learning how to repair things yourself.
Use alternative energy. Check out these ways to generate your own power at home to save money on energy bills.
Collect rainwater/graywater. Use rainwater or the water from your leftover baths to water your plants and garden.
Water down your cleaning products. Diluting your cleaning solutions won’t make them less effective, but it will make them last longer.
Make your own cleaning supplies. Keep it natural by using vinegar to clean almost any surface in your home.
Make your own laundry detergent. By investing in just a few ingredients you can eliminate the cost of expensive laundry detergent.
Cut sponges and dryer sheets in half. Make your supplies last twice as long simply by cutting them in half.
Stockpile non-perishable items. Next time you spot a great deal on household items that won’t spoil, buy extra and gradually build up your own stockroom.
Reuse plastic and glass containers. From sandwich bags to pasta sauce jars, you can save money by washing and repurposing the containers you’d typically throw out.
Unplug your appliances/electronics. Just because your TV isn’t turned on doesn’t mean it’s not drawing electricity. Unplug everything you’re not using.
Turn off the thermostat. Instead of cranking up the heat or lowering the air conditioner, layer up and wear a sweater and/or jacket in the winter and open windows or use fans in the summer to keep your energy bills lower.
Use dish rags instead of paper towels. Dishcloths are cheap and durable enough for most of your needs. You can also try reusable bamboo paper towels for less waste.
Use every last bit. Cut into your bottles or use a mini spatula to make sure you get every last drop from your products.
How to Save Money on Food
Plant a garden. Growing your own herbs, spices, and veggies can save you money on groceries.
Grow your own vegetables with this seed starter kit. It's everything you need to start your garden in one easy-to-use kit.
Cook from scratch. Prepared foods are generally more expensive than their ingredients. Learning how to cook from scratch can help you meal plan and save when you grocery shop.
Buy the whole cow. Did you know you can buy a whole cow? If you like a nice steak this may be a good deal. If all you ever eat is ground beef, the cost is probably not worth the effort.
Take home leftovers. Don’t just stick to your restaurant leftovers. Check if you can take the leftovers from any parties or catering events your work may throw away. They’re probably going to just throw those leftovers away.
Save your condiments. Bring home any ketchup or sauce packets you get when you eat out.
Give up alcohol. Alcohol can be expensive. Cut back your consumption if you’re looking to save money.
Buy manager’s specials. Grocery store managers will often discount food that’s near its expiration date. Snap those deals up and either prepare them right away or freeze them for later.
Ignore expiration dates. Ok, not entirely, but consider them more of a suggestion than a hard and fast rule. If it smells funny, looks funny, or feels funny, best not to risk it.
Go vegan (lite). Cutting back on meat and dairy in your diet can save you some cash and help you eat healthier. Beans are cheap, filling, and a great source of protein.
Buy in bulk. Usually, you can save money by buying items in larger quantities. Depending on the item, you can break down the package into smaller portions and freeze or store it for later use.
Make meal plans. Avoid wasted or spoiled ingredients and the impulse to grab fast food by meal planning one to two weeks in advance.
Take on a pantry challenge. Skip the grocery store for a week and use up what you’ve got in your pantry instead.
Price match other grocery stores. Many stores will price match their competitors letting you save some extra money.
Save Money on Entertainment
Stop going out. Movie nights, game nights, and pot-lucks are great ways to entertain yourself at home to save money.
Watch free movies and TV. Grab yourself a Roku or Amazon Fire device and start streaming movies and TV shows for free. Peacock, Crackle, and Vudu are just a few of the free streaming services available.
Listen to free music. Apart from your traditional radio, you can stream your favorite songs for free with Spotify or Pandora. Also, consider Freegal which only requires a library card to use.
Attend free concerts and events. Check with your local newspaper for any locally sponsored concerts or events. Ours are usually in the summer but include everything from outdoor concerts and movie screenings to parades and celebrations for holidays.
Take advantage of free wifi. Save money and keep your data usage low by using your library or other venue’s free wifi. Just make sure to use a VPN to protect your privacy and security.
Find free museum days. Check with your library and local museums to see if they offer and promotional days with free admission. Sometimes your library will also have passes you can reserve.
Have a date lunch instead of a date night. If you’re going out to eat with your special someone, hitting up a matinee and enjoying the lunch special will cost less than enjoying the same experience a few hours later.
Ditch your smartphone. By switching to a “stupid” cellphone you can save not only on the device itself but also eliminate the cost of data from your mobile phone service plan.
Ways to Save Money on Transportation
Walk or ride a bike. Cars are expensive. From the initial purchase price to the maintenance costs and the price of gas, you’re looking at thousands of dollars you could save by riding a bike or walking instead.
Use public transportation. If walking or biking isn’t an option, public transportation is still cheaper than a car.
Conserve your gas. If you do drive, do it strategically. Combine your trips and plan your routes to save on your gas usage.
Move closer to work or school. Commuting can be an expensive proposition. If you’re able to live within walking or biking distance of work or school you can eliminate the need for a car.
Carpool. When moving isn’t an option, see if there’s anyone else you work with that can share the expense of commuting.
Other Extreme Ways to Save Money
Stop spending money. It may sound flippant, but what you don’t spend, you can save. Try a no-spend challenge to save money fast.
Make gifts. DIY gifts can be both good for your wallet and your relationships. People love and appreciate things that are made especially for them.
Rise and set with the sun. Wake up at sunrise and go to sleep at sunset to save money on energy costs.
Use discounted gift cards for all your purchases. You can typically save 5-20% just by grabbing a discounted gift card from Raise before you do your shopping. Also, check Costco and Target for deals on gift cards.
Downsize your house. Buying a smaller home usually results in a lower mortgage payment but reducing your space can also reduce your energy usage.
Dumpster dive. It may sound gross but if you’re looking for extreme ways to save, dumpster diving may result in some hidden gems. The cost of cleaning up whatever you find is a fraction of what something would cost new.
Rent out a room. If you’ve got a spare bedroom, consider renting it out or listing it on Airbnb to save some money.
Negotiate everything. It never hurts to ask for a discount. You may be surprised what offers you can get.
Borrow from your neighbor. Instead of buying every tool or gadget you think you need, check to see if you can borrow it from one of your neighbors.
Barter services. Trade or share goods and services with your neighbors. Babysit or run errands in exchange for a free haircut.
Use credit cards for every purchase. By using a cash back rewards credit card for all your purchases you can earn hundreds of dollars each year. Just make sure you’re paying off your credit cards every month.
While the frequent purchase of fast food may be an obvious place to look for savings, things like toilet paper and Ziploc plastic bags that add up over time may be one of the reasons you’re struggling to save money.
By becoming more frugal and adopting a recycle and reuse attitude you’ll find saving money easier in the long run.
Use the extreme money saving ideas above to find some extra cash in your budget today.