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Bad Ways To Save Money Like Feeding a Family of 6 For a Buck

Bad Ways To Save Money Like Feeding a Family of 6 For a Buck

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You meant to tell me that there are bad ways to be thrifty and save money? Reality TV was the big thing for a while and even though I turned down my shot to be on Extreme Couponing, I got sucked into watching that tightwad show: Extreme Cheapskates. It was full of all sorts of things from dumpster diving behind grocery stores to saying you are living rent-free as you are sponging off your mom or grandma. (sigh) People who cook their lasagna in the dishwasher, and I was disgusted at the one who took roadkill, cooked it, and served it. There really are bad ways to save money.

bad ways to save money

Finding new ways to save money on almost anything you buy is almost like getting a raise. Maybe it’s even better. When you save twenty dollars on a coat you get to keep the whole twenty dollars. When you make twenty dollars more on your paycheck, you lose five dollars or more of it to taxes. Finding ways to save money can go too far, though. In a recent newsletter on how to save money, one contributor suggested getting free flowers for weddings by picking up the leftover flowers at a cemetery. She didn’t say how you can tell which are “leftovers.”

Bad Ways To Be Thrifty And Save Money


I thought I was cheap! The following are gleaned from real suggestions on ways to save money sent into “frugality” websites and newsletters. Some cheapskates don’t seem to notice that an extra hour at work might put them further ahead than many hours of penny-pinching.

Let’s face it, there is a fine line between frugal and thrifty vs cheap and tacky. Some of these are downright tacky and stun me to think that they are actually teaching their kids the same thing.

Bad Ways To Be Thrifty and Save Money – Don’t Try These At Home

Seriously, these are beyond tacky if you ask me – the dinner for a family of six for just a buck, or should I say half a buck, floored me.

Packing the Packets

A mother confessed that she makes her kids stuff their pockets with the free ketchup, salt, and other condiment packets every time they were in a fast-food restaurant. Oh, if only that were all, but no. She has the kids squeeze the contents of the packets into regular jars of ketchup and mustard too. She says she hasn’t bought these condiments in years. Pride is found in strange places.

Quick Car Wash

One creative penny pincher found a way to save money on car washes. He washes his entire car using the squeegee at the gas station. Hmm… I wonder if he takes the toilet paper rolls home from their restrooms too.

Bad ways to save money – a Free Salad

This might be a little harder to come by in the post-Covid world but a hot “Disney” tip was to order a burger and then build yourself a free salad at the toppings bar with the lettuce, onions, tomatoes, etc. I actually saw it in action on our last trip! Needless to say, I was stunned as I watched her pull out a single-serve salad dressing from her bag and go to town on it. She got those from McDonald’s – always asked in the drive-through.

Stay Dry in the Rain

Would you like a free umbrella? One man suggests getting one at the lost and found department of any large public library. You just tell them you lost a black umbrella. They will almost certainly have several, from which you can pick the best one and claim it as your own. What if they have no black umbrellas? I guess we’ll have to wait for this guy to publish a “lost umbrella color frequency chart,” in order to know which color to try for the next day.

Bad ways to save money? Dial It In

Several contributors to these newsletters know how to save on their long-distance phone bills. The most common suggestion is to call people long-distance when you know they won’t be home and leave a message for them. Then they pay for it when they return your call. I suppose if your timing is off, and they answer when you call, you can quickly hang up on them and try again later.

Dinner for a Family of Six For a Buck

This one really tops the cake and will be available again soon, once a lot of the COVID crowd-sized restrictions are scaled back. It stunned me – to be honest. You start by going to your local dollar store and picking up a condolence or sympathy card. Now here is the thing, I know that the Dollar Tree actually has a section where you can get TWO cards for a buck so this just dropped to a fifty-cent investment.

Then you simply scan the obituaries for local funerals that offer a meal or mention a meal after the service. Most do – so it was simply a matter of picking which people sounded the most active in their community and would have the largest crowd. The point being is that you would go, basically crashing the funeral, handing over a sympathy card that was signed with only first names, and then digging into the buffet spread.

People die every day so this one family did this FIVE TIMES A WEEK.

No wonder they could afford a few trips to Disney a year!

Just no.

I don’t recommend any of these as ways to even the most frugal person. Apart from the ethical issues with some of them, they can be lumped in along with washing and re-using plastic wrap – a time-wasting frugality. On the other hand, they are fun to read, and I suppose we could view such measures as cheap entertainment as well. Perhaps you can turn off the lights to save money on electricity and tell the kids it’s a game of hide-and-seek, or train your dog to beg from the neighbors so you don’t have to feed him.

I wonder how many people actually pay for magazines and newsletters that tell us ways to save money? Do these magazines advise that readers go to the library to read them, or stand reading them in the aisle at the bookstore for an hour? Those are some sure ways to save money!

A great way to save money

Want good ideas on how to save money?

Of course, any of our posts on How to Save Money are a good place to start, but Hands down, we call this the “Frugal Bible” – The Tightwad Gazettte.

In a newsletter published from May 1990 to December 1996 as well as in three enormously successful books, Amy Dacyczyn established herself as the expert of economy. Now The Complete Tightwad Gazette brings together all of her best ideas and thriftiest thinking into one volume, along with new articles never published before in book format. Dacyczyn describes this collection as “the book I wish I’d had when I began my adult life.” Packed with humor, creativity, and insight, The Complete Tightwad Gazette includes hundreds of tips for anyone looking to save money or get out of debt, such as:

Travel for tightwads • How to transform old blue jeans into potholders and quilts • Ten painless ways to save $100 this year • Picture-framing for pennies • A comparison of painting versus re-siding your house • Halloween costumes from scrounged materials • Thrifty window treatments • Ways to dry up dry-cleaning costs • Inexpensive gifts • Creative fundraisers for kids • Slashing your electric bill • Frugal fix-its • Cutting the cost of college • Moving for less • Saving on groceries • Gift-wrapping for tightwads • Furniture-fusion fundamentals • Cheap breakfast cereals • Avoiding credit card debt • Using items you were about to throw away (milk jugs, plastic meat trays, and more!) • Recipes galore, from penny-pinching pizza to toaster pastries • And much much more.

Of course, some of the ideas are out of date with the price breakdowns, but the concepts are still rock solid. You will get a lot of great ideas out of this book – and probably wear it out, like I am close to doing.

Want to know how to eat for free at restaurants?

What do YOU like to do to save money?

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