Cloth Rags as Toilet Paper
Some peoples consider themselves cheap and will do anything they can to save a few cents. Some people, on the other hand, go way beyond being cheap. Frugality is a great thing if you’re trying to save money, but extreme frugality can sometimes lead to strange, seemingly abnormal habits.
For instance, some people willfully choose to use washable cloth rags or wipes instead of toilet paper. Why? Because cloth rags can be used multiple times whereas toilet paper needs to be disposed of as soon as it’s used.
In addition to cloth rags instead of toilet paper, some people choose to use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones, claiming that it’s cheaper to wash a cloth diaper. While this was obviously a method used in previous generations, modernity has allowed for disposable diapers to make things easier. Of course, they might be more expensive, so it’s a personal decision to go with disposable or the more frugal option of cloth diapers.
Dumpster Diving for Food
Another example of extreme frugality is picking through the trash or a dumpster for food. Now, hopefully people who choose this option are only going after boxes or cans that are unopened. Though, it wouldn’t be surprising for someone to go dumpster diving for unused or uneaten fruits and vegetables that have been thrown out.
Sharing a Toothbrush
On one online forum, someone suggests sharing a toothbrush between everyone in a household. This is definitely an extreme case of frugality. If you have five people in your household and they each brush their teeth twice a day, that’s one toothbrush getting used ten times a day. That’s a lot of germs to be traveling around. Considering toothbrushes can be as cheap as $1, someone practicing this must be extremely frugal.
Alternate Ways of Brushing Your Teeth
The same forum linked above has another extreme frugality example: not brushing your teeth. Instead, one user suggests cutting up plastic bags and putting them over your teeth before you eat. Now, this is incredibly extreme – and not only that, it’s poor dental health. You might not be getting plaque buildup or food caught between your teeth, and you might not be harming your teeth with too much sugar or bad foods, but you’re also harming your teeth by not brushing them. You might be saving money on a toothbrush or toothpaste, but you’ll probably end up spending a lot of money at the dentist sometime down the road.
Once again, the forum above suggests that showering less is a great way to save money. And the suggestions aren’t just to not shower every day, but to hold off on showering for half a week. Some people have even been known to take one shower a week in order to save money on electricity and water. Unless you live somewhere with an extreme water deficiency, this might not be a great idea. You can get away with not showering every day, but going too long without washing will lead to poor hygiene.
Use a Porter Potty
While some extremely frugal people might suggest forgoing buying or using a toilet in their house to go to the bathroom outside, some take one less extreme step and opt for using a porter potty instead. A porter potty means less money spent on electricity and water, but it also means you’re left with the problem of getting rid of the refuse. It might save some money, but is it really worth it?
Getting Free Samples Instead of Buying
Many supermarkets, wholesale stores, or department stores often offer free samples. This can range from free food samples at a place like Costco or BJ’s to free makeup samples at a place like Macy’s or Sephora. Some people choose to go back day after day for the free food or free makeup application instead of buying the product. If you want to make this part of your daily routine, that’s fine, but that’s a lot of time and energy for something that might not be too expensive. After all, is spending $10 on lotion or $20 on a weekly trip to the grocery store really more inexpensive than stopping every day to pick up free (and small) food samples or to reapply some makeup?
Some people choose to save the water after their shower to do their laundry or to take another bath. While this might conserve water and save you some money on your monthly water bill, someone doing this has to make sure that the water is actually clean before reusing. Saving water to reuse it later is great, but not if the water is still going to be dirty.
Not Washing Clothes
Many of us have worn a specific piece of clothing a couple of times before washing it, but some extremely frugal people choose to go weeks (or months) without rewashing clothes, sheets, or towels. It’s one thing to wear a pair of jeans two or three times, but another to wear them constantly for a month before washing.
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Photo: Flickr: Tax Credits