15+ Frugal Ways We Save Money That Might Be Too Extreme For You!

We all have ways that we try to save money on every day items.  Here are some of the ways that we save money around here.  You might do all of the same things.  You might already do one or two things on this list and not others.  Or, all of these things might be more extreme than how you choose to save money.   We all have things that we are willing to save or splurge on.  The things below, I choose to save on so that we can spend our money on other things.  Most of these things aren't as bad as some things I've seen on Extreme Cheapskates, but they might be up there!

  1. Contacts -- I wear my disposable contacts for 1 month instead of the suggested 2 weeks.  Our health insurance only pays for a doctor's appointment every 2 years, so I extend my contact wear longer to make it through the 24 month period.  Most eye doctors would warn against this, but my eye doctor says that my eyes tolerate it fine.  Always listen to your eye doctor.  
  2. Eye Glasses-- I buy my eyeglasses from Zinni optical online.  Two years ago, I was able to get 6 pairs of eyeglasses for around $72 and that included shipping.  The hardest part of the whole process was trying to figure out my pupillary distance.  I don't know if I did mine right, but I can see great with my glasses.  They will double check your prescription with your eye doctor, so you need to order within a year of your last eye doctor's appointment.
  3.  Cell Phone Service -- I know most of you wouldn't even know what to do without your smartphone!  I know I get strange looks when people realize that I still have a small "dumb" phone, BUT I've only had to spend $70 in the past 16 months for my cell phone.  I pay as I go with Page Plus Cellular.  I've been very happy with the service.  With T-Mobile, I was never able to get a signal in my house.  With Page Plus, I have a signal every time.  If you really have to have a smartphone, they offer plans for smartphones too.  UPDATE:  I have switched to a smartphone through PagePlus, but it's time for a new one.  I think I spent $70 in my current one, but it's acting all wacky.  I've had it almost 2 years now.  I will just replace it with another inexpensive one.  I pay $29.95/month now for service.  
  4. Haircuts -- I go to the cheap hair salon.  I know some people have horror stories about hair cuts that they've gotten at cheap hair salons, but I've been pretty lucky so far.  I never would have thought I'd go to a hair salon where the haircuts were around $15, but it's worked for me so far. Sometimes, we even get lucky and get haircuts when they're having their $5.99 haircut sale!
  5. Hair Color -- Before I decided to go gray, I colored my own hair.  It probably only cost me around $5 per month.  I got my hair color from Sally's.  My mom and my sister were both cosmetologists, and used to do my hair when I still lived at home.  I just continued the practice myself once I moved up here.  Since going gray, it now costs me nothing!  Best decision I ever made.
  6.  Lunches -- My kids pack their lunch for school.  This actually accomplishes two things. . . . it saves us money and it allows me to see what nutrition they're getting.
  7. Car buying -- We drive our cars until they die.  Seriously.  Our van is almost on it's last legs.  We keep fixing the small things that pop up.  Update:  Still driving the van.  
  8. Car Maintenance -- My hubby fixes everything on our vehicles that he can by himself.  If he doesn't know how to do something, he learns how to do it online.  There are YouTube videos for everything.  In the past year he's replaced the muffler, spark plugs, oil pan and something next to the wheels that helps control steering--for the life of me, I can't remember what it's called right now!  When the check engine light comes on, the auto parts store can do a diagnostic test to see what's wrong so that you can fix it.
  9. Cable, Phone, TV, Etc. -- Although we're not willing to give up cable, we only have basic cable.  We don't have any premium channels or a DVR.  I wish we could get our cable bundle cheaper, but I'm not willing to give up my landline phone.  Yes!  We still have a landline!  I just feel better having it with the kids and being so far away from home.  It's nice to have a phone we don't have to remember to charge.   UPDATE:  We gave up the cable AND the home phone.  The first year, we paid $25 for internet. Now it's up to $35.  We use Netflix and Hulu to watch programs and during football season, we use Sling to watch some of the college games on ESPN.  We have an antenna for local stations.
  10. Wine --- I buy wine that costs around $3 per bottle.  Every store has it's own label of cheap wine that they carry, including the drug stores.  The cheap wine prices vary from $2.99 per bottle at Giant Eagle to around $4.29 at CVS, Walgreens and Aldi.  If I buy in bulk~~a case of wine~~I get an extra 10% case discount.
  11. Craft Beer -- We occasionally make our own beer and wine from kits. My hubby does it as a fun hobby, but it also saves money if you want any kind of craft beer.  
  12. Fitness -- I work out at home.  Several years ago I bought some different videos that have props, etc.  For example, I have a pilates DVD that came with a big elastic band.  I have a video that came with a weighted bar.  I also have a video that has a weighted ball.   For a small amount of money up front, I have all kinds of different workouts I can do at home.
  13. Old School Viewing Machines -- We still have a VCR.  Yes, you read that right.  We still have a VCR.  How does that save us money?  Most things on VHS are a LOT cheaper than DVD or BlueRay.  It's possible to find workout videos on Half.com on VHS.  Plus, if you garage sale, a lot of people sell old VHS movies for really cheap.
  14. Use the Dryer Heat -- In the Winter time, we have a vent that we add to our dryer that allows the hot air from the dryer to flow into the laundry room instead of being vented out of the house.  In the Summertime, you cover it so that it does NOT warm up your house.  You can find them at stores like Home Depot.
  15. Thrift Stores -- We buy Future Fashionista's school clothes at Salvation Army on their half off day.  The clothes at our store are always in really good shape, some of them are new with tags. They are always "new" to her.   Luckily, she's not at a point yet where she has to have what everyone else has. She's pretty creative, so I don't know if she'll be that way anyway.
  16. Bread Outlet -- Occasionally, we shop at the bread outlet store and freeze bread.  The store isn't that close anymore, so we don't make it very often.
  17. Bartering -- My hubby barters and trades for things that he wants.  If he has something that he doesn't want any more, he'll list it on Craig's List and try to find something that he does want.
  18. Laundry Soap --- We make our own laundry soap and hand soap. UPDATE:  Don't make hand soap anymore.  Didn't have much success with it.  We do make our own laundry soap.
If I think of other things, I'll be back to update!  

What are some creative, frugal ways that you save money?

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Motivation Monday
Small Victories Sunday

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  1. I have a dumb phone too! Ha! I like the dryer idea to heat up your laundry room in the winter. I grew up with a dad who was very frugal, and we didn't have any kind of cooling in our house until I was a senior in high school!

    1. And you lived! LOL It's amazing the things that we or our parents did to be frugal and we all survived just fine, right? Glad to hear I'm not the only one with a little dumb phone! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  2. We survived fine with a dumb phone ... only until it heaved its final breath did we have to ditch it! Thanks for sharing ... many people just get used to having stuff/doing things a certain way that it's difficult to get out of that "rut"!

    1. Yes, I think you're right. We do get used to certain things, don't we?

  3. We have a vcr too. My husband fixes our cars too because he is a mechanic.

    1. Must be nice to have a mechanic!! My hubby does what he can. He's pretty handy in other ways, too. I got pretty lucky! I don't think I ever want to be without a VCR. That sounds silly, doesn't it? Thanks for stopping by Gail!

  4. There are a lot of things that we may do to save money that others may find extreme! We do what we have to! Thank you for sharing this at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

    1. You're right. We all do what we can do! Thanks for hosting the SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!


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