Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

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KlingKlang
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Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by KlingKlang » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:35 pm

Given the success of the [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies] thread, I would like to start a [Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money] thread.

My father would park his car on the street and honk the horn for me to run out and push it up the driveway by hand in order to save gas. The neighbors would come out to watch. Pulling out he would open the driver's door and push it down the driveway with his foot into the street before starting the engine.

livesoft
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by livesoft » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:42 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:35 pm
My father would park his car on the street and honk the horn for me to run out and push it up the driveway by hand in order to save gas. The neighbors would come out to watch.
I think he did that to make fun of you. "Look what my kid will do for me!"
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flamesabers
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by flamesabers » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:45 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:35 pm
My father would park his car on the street and honk the horn for me to run out and push it up the driveway by hand in order to save gas. The neighbors would come out to watch. Pulling out he would open the driver's door and push it down the driveway with his foot into the street before starting the engine.
I imagine he could've save a lot more money on gas by using public transportation or a bicycle to get around. :wink:

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Toons
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by Toons » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:46 pm

Hanging out used paper towels to "dry" for reuse :happy
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KlingKlang
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by KlingKlang » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:47 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:42 pm
KlingKlang wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:35 pm
My father would park his car on the street and honk the horn for me to run out and push it up the driveway by hand in order to save gas. The neighbors would come out to watch.
I think he did that to make fun of you. "Look what my kid will do for me!"
Honestly it was all about the money. If I wasn't home he would put it in neutral, open the driver's door, steer with his right hand, and push it up the driveway himself.

hicabob
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by hicabob » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:56 pm

My old biz partner would bring in his old socks for our assemblers to use as rags. We were raking in the $$ at the time too. It's good to have a cheapskate biz partner but he took it to an extreme.

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by aqan » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:57 pm

Stiffing the little guy.

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by runner3081 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:58 pm

Not flushing.

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FIREchief
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by FIREchief » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:07 pm

My grade school had a pay phone. Rather than spend a nickel to call mom/dad for a ride home (after some after-school or nighttime event), you would dial the number and let it ring once then hang up. Over the course of a school year, this saved about 25 cents.
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Abe
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by Abe » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:30 pm

When I was a kid, we had an old miser in town who was considered a millionaire. He would park his car under the fire hydrants when the fire department opened them to flush out the water lines. Free car wash. :beer
Slow and steady wins the race.

tedclu
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by tedclu » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:39 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:36 pm

2. Related to #1, buying a gigantic house and living in the basement. More common than you would think among certain Asian families who buy big to impress their friends but can't afford to heat or furnish the house. So stupid.
Should live on the top floor, heat rises.

Add: Use napkin, paper plates and plastic utensils from difference restaurants. Save time and water.

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:42 pm

My grandmother would make the garbage men dump the trash from the trash bags then return the empty trash bags to her to reuse.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by ClevrChico » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:45 pm

When cell phone minutes were expensive (around the year 2000), friends giving me a ride would call me and hang up to let me know they were outside.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:49 pm

Our family would send birthday cards within town to each other without using stamps. We would simply put the recipients address in the return adress spot and put our own names in the recipient spot. It would be confusing to a receiver if they weren't expecting it :)

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by njdealguy » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:57 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:07 pm
My grade school had a pay phone. Rather than spend a nickel to call mom/dad for a ride home (after some after-school or nighttime event), you would dial the number and let it ring once then hang up. Over the course of a school year, this saved about 25 cents.
Guess this worked if your parents had caller id then to know where the call is coming from!

My trick back in the day would be to initiate a "collect call" from a pay phone where a prompt would ask my name to let the receiver know who is calling and whether to accept or not. Instead of my name, I would give a 2 second message as to whether to pick me up somewhere or something else and parents would then reject the collect call, making it a free message!

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by nisiprius » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:01 pm

In the 1970s you allowed to use the actual dollar value of your state sales tax payments, as established by documentation, as a Federal income tax deduction. I knew a guy who kept his eye out for any cash register receipts that other shoppers dropped on the floor, picked them up, saved them, and deducted the sales tax amounts on them from his own income tax. Quite apart from the detail that this was... um... cheating, it was also one of the most miserly things I've ever seen anyone do.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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nisiprius
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by nisiprius » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:03 pm

njdealguy wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:57 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:07 pm
My grade school had a pay phone. Rather than spend a nickel to call mom/dad for a ride home (after some after-school or nighttime event), you would dial the number and let it ring once then hang up. Over the course of a school year, this saved about 25 cents.
Guess this worked if your parents had caller id then to know where the call is coming from!...
This wasn't rare. A lot of people used systems like that.

Back then people didn't get all that many calls, and there weren't many telemarketers and single-ring calls were rare. So a single ring at the right time was reasonably unambiguous. Also, at that time, you had a direct copper analog connection, and there was a reliable one-to-one relationship, if the caller heard one ring, the called phone had, in fact, rung once.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by lazydavid » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:11 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:07 pm
My grade school had a pay phone. Rather than spend a nickel to call mom/dad for a ride home (after some after-school or nighttime event), you would dial the number and let it ring once then hang up. Over the course of a school year, this saved about 25 cents.
Lol I used to do this all the time. Only I'd make a collect call--dial 0 and then the number if memory serves. An auto-attendant then asks for your name, which was "comegetme". Parents would push 2 to decline the call and we were all set.

But in my day it was a quarter per call that I saved, rather than over the entire year.
njdealguy wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:57 pm
My trick back in the day would be to initiate a "collect call" from a pay phone where a prompt would ask my name to let the receiver know who is calling and whether to accept or not. Instead of my name, I would give a 2 second message as to whether to pick me up somewhere or something else and parents would then reject the collect call, making it a free message!
Guess I wasn't the only one! Though for most of the time I used this trick, you had nowhere near 2 seconds, more like a quarter to a half second. Hence my abbreviated name.

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Nicolas
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by Nicolas » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:13 pm

1. J. Paul Getty arrived at an art museum only to see at the entrance that tickets were a buck cheaper starting at noon. He checked his watch and said to his companion, "Lets take a walk!"

2. J. Paul Getty installed a pay phone in his English country manor for his guests to use.

3. J. Paul Getty refused to pay the ransom for his kidnapped grandson. After the kidnappers sent him an ear he negotiated the ransom down and paid the maximum amount that was tax deductible and the rest he loaned to his son at 4% interest.

3. Me: Walk around the house every few hours and turn off the lights in all the unoccupied rooms (I still do that).
Last edited by Nicolas on Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:57 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Nicolas
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by Nicolas » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:18 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:35 pm
Given the success of the [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies] thread, I would like to start a [Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money] thread.

My father would park his car on the street and honk the horn for me to run out and push it up the driveway by hand in order to save gas. The neighbors would come out to watch. Pulling out he would open the driver's door and push it down the driveway with his foot into the street before starting the engine.
Is that a picture of you pushing your father's car in your avatar?

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by likegarden » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:35 pm

In the 1970s our local plant of that international conglomerate got a new vice-president. His first act was to forbid calls to the town from the plant because it would cost 7 cents each. People had to drive to town to do important private business and lose working time when before they simply could call . From our office we had to walk 10-15 minutes to a lab inside the plant to check on things, because that lab had an outside phone number.

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by stoptothink » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:35 pm

I went through a period of my life, immediately following my divorce, where I did some things which many here probably would not believe. Not completely to save money, but it was certainly a factor (differences in financial ideologies was almost the sole cause of divorce). My total cost of living for a few years was well under <$10k/yr (this was just a handful of years ago) as a PhD student in a major metropolitan area. I've lived for extended periods of time without power or water (by choice) and did some pretty extreme things to remain car-less. I was really finding my way and getting to know myself after a traumatic event. I am still extremely frugal, a few of the things mentioned in this thread I kind of do, but definitely not to the extreme that I was during that period of my life.

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by blueblock » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:38 pm

When I was a kid, a frugal aunt who boasted that after she blew her nose on a Kleenex, she'd use the same tissue to remove her Ponds cold cream at bedtime, and then, finally, wipe her patent leather shoes with same to nourish the finish.

I kid you not.

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GerryL
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by GerryL » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:46 pm

My mother -- a child of the depression -- would hang up tea bags (like Lipton or Red Rose) and then use them again.

We often used the ring-twice and hang up to prompt a call from home. No caller ID in those days. Later used it as a signal to my mom that I was about to call. She was in the midst of a divorce and often didn't want to talk to anyone else.

For years I have refused to pay for caller ID. I simply let it ring twice then go to a message indicating that calls are being screened, so talk to the machine. Anyone who knows me knows to start talking. Thus I am never bothered by scammers and telemarketers.

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:51 pm

Coffee grinds - use it once for the strongest brew, re-use the grinds for a more mellower (read: weaker brew) brew, finally use finished grinds to fertilize the garden soil.

Tea bags - use it once, use it again, use finished tea bags over your tired eyes to soothe them and firm up the skin.

Egg shells - cheap form of calcium for garden soil amendment or used to supplement chicken flocks feed. :wink:
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SeaToTheBay
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by SeaToTheBay » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:52 pm

When I worked in budgeting for a megacorp, my boss started an official contest to see which office floor could use the fewest paper towels in the bathroom, and the winning floor would get a pizza party. Aside from the pizza likely costing more than whatever paper towels were saved, I shuddered at the thought of these incentives causing people to not wash their hands at all.
njdealguy wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:57 pm
My trick back in the day would be to initiate a "collect call" from a pay phone where a prompt would ask my name to let the receiver know who is calling and whether to accept or not. Instead of my name, I would give a 2 second message as to whether to pick me up somewhere or something else and parents would then reject the collect call, making it a free message!
I remember seeing a commercial many years ago where to save money, a new father at the hospital initiated a collect call and said, "Wehadababyitsaboy." Hilarious.
nisiprius wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:01 pm
In the 1970s you allowed to use the actual dollar value of your state sales tax payments, as established by documentation, as a Federal income tax deduction. I knew a guy who kept his eye out for any cash register receipts that other shoppers dropped on the floor, picked them up, saved them, and deducted the sales tax amounts on them from his own income tax. Quite apart from the detail that this was... um... cheating, it was also one of the most miserly things I've ever seen anyone do.
Legality aside, this is actually a pretty effective way to save money! Say you get a receipt where the customer spent $100, and sales tax was $8. If your tax bracket is 25%, that's like finding $2! 8-)

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by Easy Rhino » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:54 pm

My favorite cheap thing to occasionally do - which I probably learned from bogleheads - is to open up leftover fast food ketchup packets and squeeze them into the ketchup bottle at home.

TravelforFun
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by TravelforFun » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:56 pm

Go the gym to take showers.

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by Atilla » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:59 pm

In college the few times I drove my car to class, I'd park illegally in an apartment parking lot, throw a piece of paper over the VIN number on the dash, remove my plates and park the car in a place it was a b!t** to tow away with the front wheels locked all the way left or right. Back then they ticketed & threatened to tow, but didn't do the boot thing.

Got away with it every time and saved paying for parking in a downtown ramp.

And for a year I went without a phone because it was $25/month. This was well before the cellphone days and no one had a way to get in touch with me without sending a letter or stopping by.
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:03 pm

Brother
- Hasn't set up voicemail on his Tracphone, never answers, just looks at the caller ID. Calls cost money!<br/>
- Heats his studio apartment with candles in the winter. The little tea lite candles from Ikea are very inexpensive

Dad
- Uses coffee grounds twice

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CAsage
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by CAsage » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:11 pm

My depression era Dad (God bless him) would make me and my sibling combine our little school supply purchases at the cashier to save the penny that we might have wasted due to rounding on sales tax - drove me nuts because of course then we had to split out the cost. He tried to convince me to use fewer sheets of toilet paper! And he would (this is gross) pour the leftover (?) salad dressing at the bottom of his salad bowl back into the bottle to save it - Good Seasons Italian, made from the mix. And he absolutely never allowed my Mom to waste money on eating out (they NEVER ate out) or new furniture (it was good enough for his Mom...) or a dryer. That was the very first thing she bought when she divorced him - a dryer.
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by malabargold » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:27 pm

Re-using dental floss

MrNewEngland
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by MrNewEngland » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:37 pm

I just sold my house and moved into my 650 sq ft condo I bought when I was 25 to get my housing payment down.

It was all I could afford when I was 25 but now I concider it really cheap / inexpensive.

ttjt_99
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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by ttjt_99 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:46 pm

Using both sides of a piece of toilet paper.

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Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:06 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (several posts related to personal hygiene are below acceptable threshold). See: Personal Consumer Issues
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