Monday, March 11, 2013

Pinch that penny until it squeals...

I only made one New Years resolution this year (and yes, I know I said I wasn't going to, but peer pressure's a bitch) and that was to try and not waste money.  I like to think I'm doing okay with it so far, I've managed to cut a few expenses out of my budget that I didn't really need.

But if I ever get to the point where I'm acting like this woman, would one of you please shoot me and put me out of my misery?

Because as much as I'd like to not spend money I don't have to, I also don't want to become like the woman in this article who thinks it's okay to steal roles of loo paper from public toilets to save herself a buck.  Or to send her kids to school with stationery supplies pinched from places that have them out available for use to their customers.  Or to make her family sit around in the cold rather than turn the heating on.

Sweetheart, I can see where you're coming from.  It costs a lot to live in the depraved modern age.  It's practically impossible for a family to live on one income ... unless of course that income is enormous.  But is it really necessary to reuse aluminium foil?  Or wash out sandwich bags?  Or recycle a tea bag three times?

What's next, saving on electricity by running an extension cord next door?  On food by optimising your free sample collection at the supermarket?  On petrol by hitch hiking?

But the thing that this woman did that really got me was her method of going back to the store to complain about things she'd bought to get discounts.  Okay, I can see how that would be beneficial, if a bit skeezy.  But to complain, get the discount, and then return the item to the store for a full purchase credit at a later date?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's actually illegal.

I've done my share of money saving in my time.  I've taken advantage of the $3 counter meal that the pub offers in the hopes that you'll spend a fortune on their poker machines, and I'm not too proud to buy things from the dollar store if they're cheaper there.  Hell, I currently do the majority of my shopping at the supermarket where all the groceries look kind of familiar, but the names are just a little bit off.

But I can swear, with God as my witness, I will never ration toilet paper to six sheets a visit!

So, 'fess up guys.  What's the weirdest or most embarrassing thing you've done to save a buck?

59 comments:

  1. Rationing TP to six sheets a visit? That ain't going to happen here either. I will buy tons of it when it's on sale though. I joke about my Tower of Toilet Paper regularly.

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    1. I'm not opposed to buying the cheap stuff, considering what you do with it, but I'll never ration it. That's just taking things too far!

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  2. As far as I'm concerned, that's stealing. And I couldn't believe the bit about the returned bike, either. Some people are just disgusting.

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    1. Yeah, that was the bit that really got me. It's theft, plain and simple.

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  3. Well, we have washed out sandwich bags, but they are expensive and fill far too many landfills which is just not a good thing. The toilet paper thing of 'six sheets' is simply going too far, and does she stand there and monitor how many they take? Ewwww.

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  4. I'm pretty hot and cold when it comes to saving. There are situations where I'm tighter than water proof, but other times its rack city.

    I think it depends on the mood. Dunno, there's probably a deeper issue.

    I calculated that outside your warranty period the retention of value for a car is not better with a complete log book service. Things you can do yourself (or you're friends with skills) you can save a butt load of cash, and then send it to pros when real problems occur. But piece of mind and stuff, up to you.

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    1. There's probably lots of things like that. I remember when my aunt decided to keep their own savings account rather than pay for private health insurance. It worked well for them, but I'd imagine that if something really bad happened it wouldn't have been quite so good.

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  5. 6 sheets of loo paper? That's really good as we were raised on 2 sheets per visit and that's for both ends! Now I see why whenever I go into a public loo there is never any toilet paper, it's people like her doing a budget job. It's a clear case of theft to me. Warning guys: always check you have toilet paper before letting loose.

    I love a good bargain but I don't think I've ever gone that crazy, but I'll be back if I do remember something weird though. Oh, I do refuse foil (aluminum foil) because sometimes it's not had anything spill on to it, so why not. And I do know of one guy that stocks up on his toilet paper by collecting the free napkins you get when you go into McDonalds or places where they place it on the side for people to use etc, I have to warn him when he's out with me as it's embarrassing. I even threaten to have him arrested.

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    1. I have friends who do that too. I let them do their thing, but draw the line at letting them use my purse.

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  6. I must admit that, when I was an impecunious student, I would swipe toilet paper rolls from public washrooms if extra rolls were just sitting there, practically begging to be stolen. Of course, nowadays, with those huge industrial-sized rolls that most public toilets have, small individual rolls are getting more and more rare. I don't know how students get by these days.

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    1. Part of me would like to watch someone try to steal one of those humongous rolls ... or explain it when someone saw it in their house.

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  7. Oh and as a P.S. -- in Canada, our nickel has a beaver on it, so one of our expressions for thriftiness is to say that we "squeeze a nickel so hard that the beaver shits." Nice, eh?

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  8. As a perpetually broke college kid I never bought condiments, always pilfering mustard, mayo, ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc from fast food places I frequented. I didn't feel bad because I bought meals there and knew they make a buck off me. Same with paper napkins. And to this day I never pass up a freebie ball point pen. I used to collect match books, but with fewer people smoking these days (yea!) not many places still give them out. I have taken advantage of several "Living Social" and "Groupon" deals, but I don't think that's the kind of "cheap" you're talking about.

    S

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    1. I did the same thing in college. Also, my parents had a Costco membership, I used it to eat free samples which served as my lunches many a day.

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    2. My brother used to work in a fast food place when we were share housing and he used to bring home these enormous tubs of BBQ and tomato sauce. They always went off long before we could finish them.

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  9. Never mind the 6 sheets of loo paper - I won't use anything less than 2 ply. Anyway - I always feel very embarrassed when dear mum-in-law takes all the free salt / pepper / tomato sauce packets / sugar / serviettes from restaurants

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    1. I don't mind using the cheap stuff, but I'll never ration it!

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  10. OMGosh not only are YOU hilarious, but your commenters almost have you matched! So glad I follow you - I laugh out loud when I read here and yours is the only place where that happens!

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  11. Based on the other comments, I guess we're not so crazy in my house. My husband will buy toilet paper on sale and squeeze it into any cupboard he can find, even if we have about 75 rolls already! I think the worst I've done is stealing condiments to keep handy for picnics.

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    1. Toilet paper hoarding seems to be quite popular. Perhaps I should start.

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  12. I tend to make non-messy sandwiches and re-use the sandwich bag until the crumbs collected in the bottom go manky and I have to throw it away. But that's as much about being eco-friendly as it is about penny-pinching.

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    1. And that's fair. Saving the planet is definitely a reasonable excuse.

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  13. My hubby will reuse his sandwich bags if they are still clean. I don't mind him doing that. We also save aluminum foil, only if it's clean. I do shop at Super Wal-mart and a grocery store where I have to bag my groceries, but I save big bucks! And the food has been approved by hubby and son. :) I do stock up on canned goods and laundry detergent if it's on sale....no toilet paper, takes up too much space. LOL
    I love thrift stores and I have found name brand t-shirts for .99 and they are $20 or more new. My son thinks it's great and wears them with pride. :) I hope he's learning from me. :)

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    1. I'll stock up on toiletries whenever they're half price or lower. I figure I'll have to buy them eventually anyway, and they don't spoil.

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  14. I wash out and reuse sandwich bags and aluminum foil. I will reuse a tea bag if it still has juice in it. I drive cars from the 80s (because I don't want a car payment--and luckily I know several mechanics) and I shop at a dizzying array of thrift stores.
    I buy toilet paper in bulk 30 roll bags and I hoard it like a squirrel. When it gets down around 15 rolls I start to feel nervous....
    However, I am just as likely to turn around and blow a bunch of money on a ridiculously-priced concert ticket or an elaborate Halloween costume.
    You gotta have SOME fun in life ;)

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    1. Ah, but the reason you can blow all that cash is cause you saved it on the other things :)

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  15. If it weren't for things like stealing public toilet paper and her stretching of the return policy, I would have said that she was environmentally conscious.
    The worst thing I do is take the kleenex, which is three-ply, and separate them to use each piece. What!?! One booger and I'm supposed to use an entire three-ply tissue? Nonsense.

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    1. If its an ecological choice then I can't really argue ... at least not without looking like an awful person.

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  16. I couldn't open "like this woman"--can you send me another link, please?

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    1. Never mind--it finally opened. That woman is simply a thief!!

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  17. She's like a modern day Fagin and to get her kids in on the act, is irresponsible. (says the woman who writes about smoking crack)

    Spawn and I are ridiculously poor at the moment but I'll be damned if I'm gonna allow him to sit watching the TV in the freezing cold, or go to school with stuff stolen from various outlets.

    The woman is just a miser and a thief to boot. But I admit that I do re-use tin foil. That shit is expensive. :)

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  18. Overall we need to do what we can to keep more money in our purses but going to extremes is a bit extreme. I've seen shows with recycling and people use tea bags many times, yuck! They wash plastic bags, reuse plastic wrap, divide their toilet paper into two so they only use 1 ply, they really go to extremes and I think that's when they need to worry. Things can get unhygienic, unhealthy, dangerous and wrong. Sure, save on as much as you can but toilet paper is not something to skimp on. Neither is some food.

    Blech!

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    1. I just wonder if they ever really sat down and worked out what they were saving. I can't imagine it's worth the effort.

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  19. My lovely grandmother always wiped over her aluminium foil and even her glad-wrap for re-use. They weren't poor; she was just careful about waste.

    I was actually applauding this woman's determination to not get into debt - until she ruined it by being dishonest. I have no problem whatever with thriftiness, but stealing? Nooo..

    I'm with you on the toilet paper.. in a manner of speaking :)

    We save a lot of money by buying in bulk. With 7 children, it makes a lot of sense to buy flour, rice, milk powder, etc. in sacks - which it's not hard to do if you have a bit of storage space. We fill and seal some tins, then have smaller containers for the kitchen.

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    1. I do the while buying in bulk and storing it away too. It's certainly cheaper.

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  20. Drat. I must be boring, I can't lay claim to doing anything 'weird' or 'embarrassing' to
    save a buck but, between you and me Kellie, I'm a bloody buncher (not a folder) and proud of it, so conserving LOO paper is not on my list of saving a buck!!! And what?? people actually buy 1 ply?? seriously? :)
    ;)

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    1. Ah yes, the eternal battle between bunchers and folders.

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  21. My mother's a cashier at a local grocery store, and women like that just piss her off. Because they don't just complain about the discount. They also berate the cashier, the manager, the store staff, etc, in the process. This woman's just garbage.

    I save a ton of money by keeping all of my appliances unplugged when I'm not using them (microwave, printer, computer, etc), using those weird curly light bulbs that use a ton less energy, and I cook all of my own food instead of going out. It seems like a decent alternative to stealing public toilet paper and pilfering office supplies, or "stealing" in layman's terms.

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    1. I really should try the whole unplugging thing some time and see if it makes a difference to my electricity bill.

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  22. That woman is an idiot, I bet she'll steal your extension cord idea too. I cook my own food always and have been known to shop at a dollar store or two, but that's about it. And never to the 6 sheets of tp. The cat eats more than that haha

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    1. Let's hope she never hears the extension cord one!

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  23. I once gave up cable to save some dough but then I began missing my shows lol.

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    1. I considered downgrading my internet access, then I realised I was taking things too far. Limiting my downloads? Unthinkable!

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  24. Haha... I've totally stolen loo roll the day before payday! xx

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    1. Hey, if it's a "steal a loaf of bread" kind of a situation, I totally endorse it. No one should have to go without toot roll! But somehow I don't think that's the case with this woman.

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  25. I will never scrimp on loo paper. I may buy a package at the dollar store in a pinch, but that's about as far as that goes. As for other stuff, if I can't go without for a few days or even a week or so- until I can afford to splurge again, do I really need it That badly? I should hope not.

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  26. I like to steal money from banks for buying things. It's a great way to save your own money.

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  27. I once watched a show called Extreme Cheapskates. There was a woman who refused to go in her toilet. She'd go in a bucket and throw it outside... And she'd also get food out of dumpsters.

    I lost a bit of my faith in humanity that day.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  28. This is really interesting to think about! I agree about the lady who buys things, complains, then returns later to buy them with store credit....that's pretty bad!!! The things people do to save a buck...wow! This post really opened my eyes haha.

    XOXO
    Ashley
    ashleyspassionforfashion.blogspot.com

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  29. I'm not a great cheapskate. I really don't care. I will pay more for groceries if it means convenience. On the other hand, we really aren't a "vacation taking" family. I guess we like where we live and our jobs so we don't feel a need to escape--very often.;)So we save a lot of money which makes me not care about pinching pennies on the small stuff. :)

    Also, I gave you a shout out over at my blog. I think you ROCK! :) xoxo

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  30. Because the drive thru at the fast food places have screwed up my order a million and one times, I never let them know when they've given us extra fries or an extra sandwich. I figure it's for all those times I've been down the road and discovered they hadn't given us the fries or right sandwiches. :p

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  31. I am very frugal, but never pass up on the ketchup packets at the drive through. Ever.

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  32. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm following here too.

    Aloha,
    Erica
    www.waytothesea.com

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  33. Had to come over and say your comment on my betta passing was laugh out loud funny. I was right! That guy just wouldn't go down. So funny. Thanks for making my morning, and god rest our bettas. xo

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