Extreme Frugality


When I first started out this blog, I went through a series of frugal tips. I prided myself with coming up with weekly tips on how to help people save money. I know that cutting your expenses is the first step to financial responsibility. Regardless if you are making more money, if you spend more money than you earn, you will be poor.

The only thing that I didn’t like about my series is that it was kind of boring. I know that my readers wouldn’t ever admit that, but it’s true. I’m not saying it’s not really helpful, because I do think they are helpful. If you are looking for creative ways to save money, you should look them up. In light of this realization however, I thought I would give you some more extreme forms of frugal living. In other words, this is what you get when you take Frugal to the extreme.

2nd Hand News: Instead of buying the local newspaper, wait for your fellow passengers to discard their newspaper. Why pay for something that someone else is going to leave behind in a little bit. I never buy the newspaper and will frequently get a free one on my morning train commute.

Same Cup at Fast Food: Instead of buying soda each time you go to fast food (hopefully you don’t go to fast food that often or at all), try saving your drink cup. If there are free refills, that means that you technically refill your drink when you return next time, right? 😉 While it may not be the most moral thing, people have to learn to survive on very little when their in college. We all know that water gets old and you need to spice it up a little every now and then. I know of someone who worked a shopping mall and she would save her cup from one of the restaurants in the food court – she never had to buy another drink and didn’t have to stick with water. The best of both worlds. (Don’t judge…!)

Shampoo: Instead of shampooing your hair every day, try doing it every three days. You are guaranteed to use 3x less shampoo. If you are worried about your hair smelling, there’s no need. When was the last time anyone smelled your hair?

Public Restroom: My college roommates and I always hated paying for toilet paper when we were in college. Instead of using the toilet paper at our apartment, if we tried to plan out our day and use the restroom while we were in college, we could rack up the savings. Sounds weird, but I guarantee you that I spent less money on toilet paper… It’s all about the money in the bank right (well, not necessarily, but you’re not giving up that much and you get a lot!). If you didn’t want to plan out your day, you could cut back on the use of toilet paper and save the environment as well.

Frugal doesn’t always have to be serious, but it can be. Extreme frugality means dedication to save the dough, no matter what. You don’t always have to go to the extreme, but it should give you an idea that the options are endless.

What’s your extreme frugal story?

photocredit: anyjazz65 via flickr

32 Responses to Extreme Frugality

  1. Someone from my office (they sublet an office so they are not a part of ours) comes into my office all the time and digs through my recycling bin for our old newspapers. It’s super annoying!

  2. I actually already only shampoo my hair every 3 days. I shower and condition at least every 2 days, but the shampoo was wrecking my hair. Most people think it makes you hair look greasy but I haven’t found that. Plus it’s never been healthier!

  3. I shampoo and condition my hair every other day – I can’t seem to go any longer without it being all greasy. I never even thought about using the restroom at work saving me money on toilet paper at home but I guess that’s true! Now that will always be on my mind when I go to the bathroom before heading home for the day. Thanks :p

  4. anything Extreme would not be a good idea. Too much frugality can be annoying for people close to you. But if your Budget is out of control and you are not having enough funds then every thing is fine.

    I just want to suggest – extreme frugality should not become a habit but just a survival skill

    • Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but managing your finances is always about weighing the costs and benefits. It may be extreme, but it could allow you to do extreme things that you enjoy like retire early.

  5. I can’t say I’ve ever done any of these extreme frugality strategies. Well I have been showering less while I work at home, but that’s just laziness lol. If you are willing to take it to extremes like this, I’m sure it would add up to a lot of money over time.

  6. Agree with lora kathleen on this one; I typically shampoo only every three days. If you do it for a while, your hair’s natural oils will do their job and keep you from getting gross. But don’t worry, I shower and rinse my hair at least every other day. 🙂

  7. I guess the public restroom one depends on where you live. I totally get grossed out by using public restrooms (but I guess that might be a NYC city thing?). I never remember being as grossed out when I was growing up in rural Maine.

    • Yes, I’ve heard bad things about the public restroom in the city – the hospitable bills could ruin your frugal streak. 😉

  8. I hate public restrooms, haha! I posted about ridiculous things I do to save money recently. Some of those things I do were pretty extreme.

  9. My little habits: We have a small workout room at work, so I try to get in a small run or bike every day and shower there to save water. I charge my cell phone at work at save power. I also drink their coffee, even though it is pretty bad stuff. I wouldn’t save my cup at fast food now, but I will admit to doing it in college. Even so, iced tea from powdered mix made at home is hella cheaper than soda when you want something other than water (even if you steal refills, you still overpaid for the first cup).

  10. Wow I never thought that not washing my hair is a frugal move! I only wash mine when it gets cut, simply because I don’t want to tell the person cutting my hair not to wash it!

  11. That is some extreme frugality Corey! I think one of my old roommates did the toilet paper thing. I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

    As far as the refills, I’ve noticed many restaurants saying that refills were only valid for the current visit. As long as those signs weren’t up I guess I can’t judge 🙂

  12. I know someone who doesn’t order soda or juice in restaurants or fastfoods. Usually they (a couple) just ask for service water, which is for free. Saves them a lot apparently and a healthier choice too.

  13. I already do the 2nd hand newspaper (although there are good free alternatives in the UK & France anyway) and the shampoo.

    I work away a lot and stay in many hotels, so we save even more money on shampoo, shower gel and toilet roll as I feel entitled to these items in the price I pay (very Ross Geller I know….)

  14. If you are looking for a newspaper, the local library is also a real easy way to see what is going on. They usually have subscriptions to several newspapers that you can go and read. Hotels are also an easy area to look if you want a free newspaper.

  15. I can’t brag with any of these, since, while I still like being frugal, I never took it to extremes. Money is not that important to me to accept doing anything that would make me feel uncomfortable. But good ideas, nonetheless 😀

  16. In college my friends and I all buzzed our hair. It was so short that we didn’t even use shampoo, we just used normal soap. In addition, it saved us from paying for haircuts, which cost much more than shampoo.

  17. You had me laughing on this one! Are you serious on the public bathroom piece?

    I consider myself a pretty frugal guy but I would walk a mile to AVOID having to use a public bathroom. Nothing like home turf if you catch my drift.

    TP ain’t that expensive! LOL