We’ve all done something a little unorthodox in order to pinch pennies here and there. Whether it’s hiding your wallet from yourself, using the same paper lunch bag every day, or posting an ad on Craigslist for a carpool, we’ve been there. We feel you.
We asked women from all over the US what they’ve done in the past to limit their spending, and their answers may surprise you. And even if they don't, you'll definitely get a laugh.
1. “I filled all of my kitchen cabinets with toilet paper.”
When Jill Caponera from Los Angeles wanted to save a few dollars, she took her spending to Costco.
“[Thirty] rolls of toilet paper at Costco is $15, which is basically a no-brainer. But when you live in a 500-square-foot apartment, there’s only so many places to store bathroom items. My kitchen cabinets are stuffed sky-high with toilet paper, but hey, I’m saving money in the long run!”
2. “I cut down my own Christmas tree — in my backyard.”
Patricia Bubash wanted her children to have a real Christmas tree, but was worried she couldn’t afford it.
“We had just returned from church when I decided the cedar tree in our backyard, looked just right... It was [in the] mid 70's and I had on a short swing dress, jacket, and, of course, in the style of the day, to-the-calf shiny black patent boots. I found a hatchet in the garage, forsaken by the former man of the house, and swung.”
3. “I took home every hotel soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion.”
We’ve all taken our fair share of hotel bathroom amenities, but Christine Deussen from NYC may have set a world record. For 16 years, Christine “did not buy a single bottle of shampoo, etc., again until just this year.” Impressive!
4. “While I was in college, I collected cans and bottles and deposited them for money.”
Amanda Kenney was not only making extra money, but was being environmentally cautious.
“I would ask kids to give me them after parties, pull them out of trash cans and off the side of the road and was able to save more than $400... Afterward, I told one of the people I took party collections from. They laughed and said ‘Oh, I thought you were just really into recycling!’”
5. “I walked roughly 7 miles home from work.”
Anne Szustek Talbot said she was forced to walk home when she was working “a very low-paying journalism job and waiting for my paycheck the next day,” making her unable to afford transporation. She continued: “When I got to my home neighborhood, I cashed in a coupon at White Castle I received for filling out an online survey and had a dinner of sliders for a dollar.”
6. “I cut my hair off to save money.”
Denise Wimbish started saving money by eliminating the expense of hair salons. “I was spending a couple hundred dollars a month on my hair [in hair products and maintenance]. When I cut it off, I went from couple hundred to about $40 a month. Not only did I save money, but I saved so much time. That was an extra bonus,” she said.