50 [Somewhat Crazy] Ways to be More Frugal

A few days ago I was skimming a post in one of the Facebook groups that I belong to. The question posed was “What frugal things do you do that your friends consider crazy?” As I read a few of the comments, I got to thinking – with few exceptions, we do just about everything that was listed – so we must be crazy frugal after all!

From the comments and from our own brainstorming exercise, Angie and I compiled a list of 50 somewhat crazy ways to be more frugal. They are in no particular order. We put an asterisk (*) by the ones we currently do or have done in the past. How many do you do? What did we miss that should be added to the list?

  1. Split or share meals at restaurants*
  2. Drink water at restaurants instead of purchasing a drink*
  3. Use family cloth instead of toilet paper
  4. Stop wearing make-up*
  5. Learn how to give haircuts at home*
  6. Re-use baggies (Ziploc, plastic grocery bags, bread bags, etc.)*
  7. Shower less often*
  8. Reuse bath towels for several days*
  9. Shred newspaper to use as cat litter
  10. Make your own cleaners and laundry soap*
  11. Use a wool dryer ball instead of dryer sheets*
  12. Wear clothes for multiple days*
  13. Hand wash dishes*
  14. Borrow books, movies, and music from your local library*
  15. Dumpster dive*
  16. Hang clothes outside to dry
  17. Buy clothing and household goods from thrift stores (or garage sales)*
  18. Take extra condiments and/or napkins from fast food restaurants*
  19. Raise the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and lower it to 68 degrees in the winter*
  20. Open windows and use fans (when possible)*
  21. Couchsurf or tent camp (for vacations)*
  22. Use only prepaid, no-contract cell phones*
  23. Cut cable*
  24. Use newspaper or color-print ads for wrapping paper*
  25. Use the backside of printed pages for scrap paper/post-it notes*
  26. Refill ink cartridges*
  27. Recycle birthday and/or Christmas cards into holiday postcards*
  28. Pick up change*
  29. Skip using deodorant or shampoo
  30. Walk, bike, take the bus or carpool
  31. Cook at home*
  32. Grow your own food*
  33. Compost*
  34. Use coupons*
  35. Drive a used car*
  36. Use cloth menstrual pads or a menstrual cup
  37. Use the internet at free wi-fi spots*
  38. Use cloth diapers
  39. Make your own toothpaste*
  40. Wear mismatched socks and gloves (ones that have lost their mates)
  41. Reuse tea bags or coffee grounds
  42. Pay cash for all purchases
  43. Take your lunch to work*
  44. Exercise at home (bonus points for using canned goods as hand weights)*
  45. Eat less meat*
  46. Shop the day-old rack for discounted breads and pastries*
  47. Barter with or borrow from your neighbor*
  48. Glean untended fruit trees or gardens in your neighborhood*
  49. Take water and snacks with you whenever you leave the house*
  50. Use the ice machine at hotels to refill water bottles or small coolers on road trips (even when you didn’t stay at the hotel)*
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