Author Topic: (Tightwad Gazette reloaded) Dear Amy, My money-saving tip that your frugal-zealot readers might not  (Read 5188 times)

trashtalk

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Go ahead. Impress us. What's your money-saving wisdom that some Mustachians might not already be using?

DingusB

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Shave your head, save money on shampoo

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Bird In Hand

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Shave your head, save money on shampoo

Or for those of us who want to keep our hair, use cheap/free windfall apples to make homemade apple cider vinegar.  Use that in lieu of shampoo (I do this) and you'll smell like a salad. This acts as an appetite suppressant, birth control method, and I think covers one of my 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies.

socaso

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Use leftovers in a quiche or frittata. I often have small amounts of steamed or sauteed veggies leftover so this works great for me.

mm1970

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Shave your head, save money on shampoo

Or for those of us who want to keep our hair, use cheap/free windfall apples to make homemade apple cider vinegar.  Use that in lieu of shampoo (I do this) and you'll smell like a salad. This acts as an appetite suppressant, birth control method, and I think covers one of my 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies.
Oh man, I remember my kid getting head lice while I was pregnant.  Until I was able to get into the doc for a prescription med for myself, I used the recommended online method - which involved a whole lot of olive oil and a swim cap.  Followed by a vinegar rinse.  Boy did I smell like salad dressing.  For days.

moneypitfeeder

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Save cut veggie scraps (ends of carrots/onions/leeks/celery etc.) that you otherwise would compost instead of use in cooking in a container in the freezer, when full add a few spices (coriander, bay leaf, peppercorns, couple cloves) water, and make stock. Then freeze the huge batch of stock, compost the cooked scraps. Triple duty (original recipe, stock leftovers, compost additive). Just don't include cruciferous or starchy veg, they aren't great in the stock.

Bird In Hand

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Oh man, I remember my kid getting head lice while I was pregnant.  Until I was able to get into the doc for a prescription med for myself, I used the recommended online method - which involved a whole lot of olive oil and a swim cap.  Followed by a vinegar rinse.  Boy did I smell like salad dressing.  For days.

Yeah, it does take some thorough rinsing to get most of the salad smell out.  Other wise, yeah...ACV smell lingers for sure.  But it does an amazing job of conditioning hair!

AMandM

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Shave your head, save money on shampoo

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Grow a beard, save money on razors and shaving soap.

moof

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Shave your head, save money on shampoo

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Grow a beard, save money on razors and shaving soap.
Also saves ~10 minutes a day shaving.  Basically if you trim the beard weekly you get a whole extra hour a week as a bonus!

Monkey Uncle

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I'm too lazy to wash cloth napkins, but I don't want to waste paper napkins, either.  So I re-use each paper napkin until it gets gross.  Then re-fold so that the gross side is folded in and I have another clean side to use.  Repeat until no clean sides are left.  Only then do I throw the napkin away.

Same thing with paper plates.  Mostly I use real plates, but on the occasions when I do use a paper plate, I keep using it until it's gross enough to worry me.

EliteZags

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I'm too lazy to wash cloth napkins, but I don't want to waste paper napkins, either.  So I re-use each paper napkin until it gets gross.  Then re-fold so that the gross side is folded in and I have another clean side to use.  Repeat until no clean sides are left.  Only then do I throw the napkin away.


a more sanitary method I use- place used napkins in a bin and save them to use for wiping dirty/greasy messes to avoid over dirtying your cleaning towels

Indio

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One of the ideas that Amy mentioned in her book, was to cut open the full vacuum cleaner bag, empty it out and then tape or staple it back together so you could get more uses out of the same bag. I loved that idea and did it for years. Usually the bags would be reused up to 10 times and till they were too shredded to reuse again. When the motor on that vacuum burned out and I began shopping around for a new one, decided to replace it with a cansiter vacuum. My cost of ownership dropped considerably without having to purchase bags and filters. Everytime the canister is filled it is emptied into the compost pile so it keeps giving back.

EliteZags

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buy a bottle of dish foam with pump, then refill with water and 4/5 squirts of dish liquid which will last weeks

LaineyAZ

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I remember another one of her reader's tips:  Do laundry and household cleaning with cold water. 

(I personally do underwear and towels in hot water, and everything else in cold.) 

Bird In Hand

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Everytime the canister is filled it is emptied into the compost pile so it keeps giving back.

What are you using the compost for?  I would imagine much of the content in the canister is stuff you might not want to end up in compost that is used in vegetable gardening.  Little bits of plastic, nylon/polyester/propylene carpet fibers, etc.

ColoAndy

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Spit mouthwash back in to bottle to re-use (credit to Al Bundy).

ixtap

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Everytime the canister is filled it is emptied into the compost pile so it keeps giving back.

What are you using the compost for?  I would imagine much of the content in the canister is stuff you might not want to end up in compost that is used in vegetable gardening.  Little bits of plastic, nylon/polyester/propylene carpet fibers, etc.
[/quote

I was going to say, the vast majority of the volume in my canister is carpet fluff. These must be incredibly cheap carpets in our rental. I am surprised they still look as good as they do after two years.

nereo

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Shave your head, save money on shampoo

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Grow a beard, save money on razors and shaving soap.
Also saves ~10 minutes a day shaving.  Basically if you trim the beard weekly you get a whole extra hour a week as a bonus!

How can it possibly take 10 minutes to shave? Takes me about two minutes

nereo

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I shower at the gym (our local Y, where we also have daycare). I also get free coffee at any of the half-dozen or so places in my normal route that offers. Several offer free bagels or other food a couple days a month. Several businesses offer free breakfasts for cycling to work occasionally.
But being organized I save on hot water, rarely need to clean my shower, and get free breakfasts almost daily.

Dicey

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buy a bottle of dish foam with pump, then refill with water and 4/5 squirts of dish liquid which will last weeks
Ha! I found two foaming pump bottles at a thrift store for fifty cents each. I do what you do and put them in the bathrooms. I use Dawn, which gives it a lovely light blue color. I use the Method (hee!) you describe for the one I keep in the kitchen. It's amazing how little soap it takes to make a nice, thick foam. Shocking what a rip-off it is to buy it that way initially.

MissNancyPryor

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These are all great suggestions but I am still looking for one of them that is beneath what the Tightwad Gazette suggests-- they have some super gross stuff in that Gazette, things that risk health to save a nickel. 

I recall several threads on this forum dedicated to using zero soap or hygiene products of any kind which is pretty extreme, but I doubt our MMM thrifty folks were pulling spoiled meat out of a dumpster and hoping that boiling it for hours will kill the disease within. 

The Gazette gets weird with folks bragging on washing clothes in their dirty bathwater after the whole family has taken their swim and stuff like that.  Can we top that? 

Malkynn

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These are all great suggestions but I am still looking for one of them that is beneath what the Tightwad Gazette suggests-- they have some super gross stuff in that Gazette, things that risk health to save a nickel. 

I recall several threads on this forum dedicated to using zero soap or hygiene products of any kind which is pretty extreme, but I doubt our MMM thrifty folks were pulling spoiled meat out of a dumpster and hoping that boiling it for hours will kill the disease within. 

The Gazette gets weird with folks bragging on washing clothes in their dirty bathwater after the whole family has taken their swim and stuff like that.  Can we top that?

Probably not, that's really not typical of our population.

nereo

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Quote
The Gazette gets weird with folks bragging on washing clothes in their dirty bath water after the whole family has taken their swim and stuff like that.  Can we top that?

Why would we want to?  Despite what some people assume if you think this forum is about extreme frugality you are missing the point.
Over the years I’ve observed a number of posters getting called out for suggesting money-saving strategies that were illegal, immoral, unsanitary, or simply “penny-wise but pound foolish”. A few have been banned (encouraging illegal activity is against the forum rules, after all).

The goal is not to save money for the sake of not spending money, but to do our best to ensure that what we do spend our money on has a lasting, long-term positive impact on our lives.

MissNancyPryor

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I misunderstood the thread was to get ideas that were even more extreme than TG, but that is not the point.  My bad.

Dicey

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These are all great suggestions but I am still looking for one of them that is beneath what the Tightwad Gazette suggests-- they have some super gross stuff in that Gazette, things that risk health to save a nickel. 

I recall several threads on this forum dedicated to using zero soap or hygiene products of any kind which is pretty extreme, but I doubt our MMM thrifty folks were pulling spoiled meat out of a dumpster and hoping that boiling it for hours will kill the disease within. 

The Gazette gets weird with folks bragging on washing clothes in their dirty bathwater after the whole family has taken their swim and stuff like that.  Can we top that?
I was a huge TWG fan when it first started and still am. Pre-FIRE, I re-read the Big Blue Book annually during my No-Spend February, which I was doing long before it was a "Thing". I still keep a copy for occasional refreshment. I honestly don't remember any of the gross stuff you describe. It may be because the overwhelming impression I derived from TWG is what enabled me to set a course for FIRE long before the term existed. It's quite likely I merely glossed over anything I thought was too gross to try, the same way I did about raising kids, as I have none. There is so much good in TWG that I would have lost had I chosen to be squicked out about a few minor points. I do remember that Amy D used the example of an apple with a single bite out of it to introduce the concept of "Selective Squeamishness". Perhaps I internalized the concept so completely that I do it automatically when I re-read her book.

Amy Dacyczyn was stunningly unafraid to march to her own drum. She invited everyone along for the ride and changed countless lives, including my own. Being non-consumerist is completely against the grain of our modern society, and Amy D was my friend in my sometimes lonely quest for Financial Independence.

One of the things that is most enduring TWG that it's not just a collection of tips, it's a way of thinking, even an overall way of life. It's master recipes that are endlessly adjustable, it's good old common sense and practicality. Last week, at the end of a book sale, I picked up a perfect condition copy of a book compiled from Yankee Magazine, called "Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs, and More". It's twenty years old and I'm finding it a slog, because it's pretty dated, boring, and irrelevant, because it's just a collection of tips. The Complete Tightwad Gazette endures, despite being plenty outdated itself, because there's an underlying network of principles that are still astoundingly relevant today.

The old phrase, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" seems to have morphed into the more modern "Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good." This totally applies to "The Complete Tightwad Gazette".

MissNancyPryor

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Fun fact, TG was on the same episode that Oprah had Your Money or Your Life authors.  I caught that episode live and thought immediately that the YMOYL topic could have taken the whole hour.   

nereo

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I misunderstood the thread was to get ideas that were even more extreme than TG, but that is not the point.  My bad.
I wasn’t trying to single out your post specifically and I am sorry if it appeared that way.  I did use the pronoun “you”, but only because it is the direct title of the blog post I linked (and one I think should be required reading for anyone who erroneously assumes this forum is about “extreme frugality”)

When you talked about washing clothes in dirty bath water and then asked if anyone could “top that” my reaction was simply “no that’s not a good idea, ,and not what this is about”.
Apologies for making it seem more personal than it was intended.

MissNancyPryor

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No offense taken-

Indio

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Everytime the canister is filled it is emptied into the compost pile so it keeps giving back.

What are you using the compost for?  I would imagine much of the content in the canister is stuff you might not want to end up in compost that is used in vegetable gardening.  Little bits of plastic, nylon/polyester/propylene carpet fibers, etc.

LOL... we don't have carpets. Only organic matter goes into the compost pile.

Dicey

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Fun fact, TG was on the same episode that Oprah had Your Money or Your Life authors.  I caught that episode live and thought immediately that the YMOYL topic could have taken the whole hour.   
Funny, YMOYL never resonated with me, beyond the concept of wasting your life's energy on things that don't matter. I didn't want to live in a rented house in Berkeley with a bunch of roommates for my entire adult life. Also, using Joe D's bond investment strategy to fund o e's lifestyle would have been disastrous in the modern era. Had he lived more than a few years post-early retirement, I'm sure his message would have changed completely.

I also didn't like that it was mostly written in Joe's D. voice and Vicky R. seemed relegated to the role of minor supporting player. I am glad to see she has published an updated version so she gets the credit she deserves. On the other hand, perhaps it had to be rewritten to make it relevant again exactly because of the investment strategies Joe espoused.

Either way, I think we can agree that a snippet on Oprah never tells the whole story. What I love about Oprah is her ability to deliver interesting topics that inspire me to go learn more on my own. That's probably why she has stayed relevant for so long. But, I didn't have cable or even TV for many years during my quest for FIRE, so maybe I'm mistaken about her relevance, but I don't think so.

MissNancyPryor

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We are pretty far ahead of the masses on being frugal, that is for sure. 

This month I joined a FB group that is weight-loss centered.  In participating, lots of people will post pictures of their food to show recipes and smart eating.  I am STUNNED at how many dishes are on paper plates, I swear probably 70% are on disposable dish ware.  And not just small snacks-- every meal of the day is shown on paper plates.  What the hell with this?  Is this a new trend?  So wasteful both financially and in creating garbage. 

Here we are trying to find good ideas on how to reduce and re-use and it seems like there are vast numbers of people out there who can't bother to wash a plate.   

ETA-  I just did a word search on the FB group and apparently it is a huge issue.  There were over 200 comments for one person wondering WTAF on all the paper plates!  People got really angry and told the poster he was plate-shaming them and that they were just so busy, so what, they have other priorities, water is too expensive in California, who cares, they are biodegradable anyway, and if he thinks they should use real plates then he can come wash their dishes.  Holee fukkin shite.  It was noted in one comment that everyone of the over the top crazy angry replies came from someone who had no time to wash a plate but had oodles of time to cuss people out on FB. 
« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 03:19:00 PM by MissNancyPryor »

robartsd

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Everytime the canister is filled it is emptied into the compost pile so it keeps giving back.

What are you using the compost for?  I would imagine much of the content in the canister is stuff you might not want to end up in compost that is used in vegetable gardening.  Little bits of plastic, nylon/polyester/propylene carpet fibers, etc.
Tiny bits of plastics in your compost are unlikely to have any affect on plants grown in the soil; but I don't think the organics from the vacuum canister would really enhance the compost either.

GreenEggs

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To make my belts last longer I switch between lacing them right-handed and left-handed.  Normally belts tend to curve in the center, I guess because our butts pull there.  I started flipping my belts, so now they stay straight. 


I have also been turning my blue jeans inside-out before washing them so they stay blue a bit longer. 




EliteZags

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you can get paper plates for easily under 2cents each, I'd be bothered by the annoyance of eating on/from them constantly more than any cost/cleaning debate

jeninco

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To make my belts last longer I switch between lacing them right-handed and left-handed.  Normally belts tend to curve in the center, I guess because our butts pull there.  I started flipping my belts, so now they stay straight. 


I have also been turning my blue jeans inside-out before washing them so they stay blue a bit longer.

This belt idea is kind of brilliant -- both for extending the life of the belt, and for remind me to be more thoughtful about things I tend to do automatically. Thanks!

I thought you were going to suggest wearing the jeans inside out, however (I live in a house of males who genuinely believe underwear has 4 sides, so it can be worn 4 times), and that might be ... complicated.

I just wear the same two pairs for a week, so they get washed rather infrequently. However, I have a desk job...

sixwings

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Shave your head, save money on shampoo

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But then dont you spend on shaving cream? Seems like it would be a wash.

Malkynn

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Shave your head, save money on shampoo

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But then dont you spend on shaving cream? Seems like it would be a wash.

Most people I know who shave their head do so with clippers.

GreenEggs

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My head would freeze without hair.  I got a buzz on the back of my head by mistake once & it was terrible.  I even had to wear a hat inside because it was so uncomfortable. 

solon

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This is what I use to shave my head.

https://www.headblade.com/product/500003.html

Gets it real smooth. I don't use shaving cream, just the bar of soap in the shower. I save a ton of money, and it makes me look good!

Photograph 51

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I don't remember Amy writing anything about hot water bottles, which are a wonderful invention.  During winter, I put very hot water in a hot water bottle, then put the hot water bottle under the several blankets on my bed.  By doing this, I am warm until morning, even though the heat is set at 52 degrees overnight.  The only problem is getting out of bed.