Tales from the cheap side


Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the cheapest of them all?

That’s the question my buddy Joel Larsgaard of SaveOutsidetheBox.com posed to you in one of his recent blog posts.

Not surprisingly, many of you were willing to share your cheapo tales. The most common response we heard by far was that you’ve made your own laundry detergent. But several other responses borderd on urban legend status — namely, folks who reuse condoms to save a buck!

“People will do a lot of ‘crazy’ things to save money when they’re poor. I have friends who are freegans as well. Some people are so poor that they reuse disposable diapers, condoms, etc. I have seen it all,” Faith wrote on Clark’s Facebook page. “My mother is a technician for Sears/A&E and has found people washing their condoms in washing machines on the east side of Cleveland. No joke.”

But our favorite single response was much more tame. A fellow named Travis has an approach to saving money that sounds like he lived through the Great Depression:

“I’ve picked up bungie cords (and dozens of other things) on the side of the highway, retreaded sneakers with an old wheelbarrow tire; welded the edge of lawnmower blades so there was enough steel to resharpen them (makes them hard to balance); replaced my air conditioner/furnace with a free one that had a bad furnace and burned wood for heat for several winters; made dozens of repairs with baling wire — including the bumper on my wife’s car; strapped a small board to a cellphone to keep it together; carried a gas can and only put in enough to get to the next place I was going because my tank had a leak; lined my charcoal grill with scrap sheet metal after it rusted out; saved used nails…”

So, how do you save money?

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