9 Simple Things You Can Do Every Day To Stretch a Buck

Written by |

Looking for some quick and easy ways to stretch the money in your life? Check out these ideas.

Try These 9 Ideas To Keep More Money in Your Wallet

Use Junk Mail as Scratch Paper

Ever need a piece of paper just to jot something down quickly? Don’t use expensive paper from your printer.

Instead, take your junk mail every day and open some of the envelopes all the way. That way you’ll always have scratch paper around when you need it.


Never Throw Out a Half-Full Garbage Bag

Make sure your garbage bags are full before you toss them out. If they’re not, go around the house and empty all the wastebaskets into your main garbage bag.

You’ll cut down on the number of bags you use and save money by not having to buy them so often.

Cut Everything in Half — Literally

You can cut many common household items in half to get twice the life out of them — just like this sponge:


Try it with napkins, paper towels, dryer sheets and anything else that you think may work!

Reuse Paper Bags

If you have children in school or camp and you have to pack lunch for them, write this reminder on the bag: “Bring bag back home.”


paper bags

When one member of Team Clark tried this with his two children, both actually brought the bags home. But only one was clean enough for reuse the next day. The other was too crumpled and food-stained to salvage. One’s better than zero, though!

Turn Off the Lights and Use Natural Sunlight

It may sound old-fashioned, but it’s true. When not in use, turn off the juice!

Here are more ways to save money on your utilities.

Collect Your Pocket Change and Cash It in Once or Twice a Month

If you don’t take coins out of your pockets, they can pose a laundry hazard. They can puncture a hole in the drum of the washer or dryer, and that’ll cost you.

Instead, get a simple container and collect those coins.

coins spilled out on table

Then take them to a free coin-counting machine and get some paper money back in your life. It’s like found money!

If You Have To Eat Out, Buy a Partially Used Gift Card

A lot of personal finance articles focus on how you should skip the expensive latte, brown-bag your lunch and so on. All great ideas, right? But sometimes, you just want to eat out.

Turns out you can have your cake — or coffee or sandwich or burrito — and eat it too.


an assortment of gift cards

CardCash.com is just one of many websites where you can buy secondhand gift cards for less than face value. For example, here are a few deals we found on CardCash in June 2021:

  • Applebee’s: save up to 9.1%
  • The Cheesecake Factory: save up to 7%
  • Michaels: save up to 28%

Check with the website seller for the protection policy before you buy a card. Most will guarantee the card will work for 45-90 days or your money back.

Freeze Your Credit Cards and Go Cash Only for a Week

Freezing your plastic will help you stretch a buck because you’ll be more mindful of the way you spend. Research shows there’s something tangible about cash in hand that makes us spend it more sparingly than we do when we use plastic.

freeze your credit card

If you do this for a couple of weeks and like the results, why not consider making it permanent and going to a cash-only envelope system?

Dry Your Razor

Shaving is an equal opportunity kind of thing: Almost all adults can blow a lot of money on expensive razors.

But if you dry your razor as money expert Clark Howard does, you’ll extend the life of the blade and get much more use out of it. That’s because razor blades degrade much faster when they’re left wet.

So be sure to blot your razor dry on a towel after use or maybe use a hairdryer to dry it for a minute.

Clark himself is famous for taking a 17-cent disposable razor that he uses every day and making it last for 12 months by using the blotting method!


More Money-Saving Resources From Clark.com:

Welcome bonuses can be a great way to boost the value of a credit card. Best Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses for 2023 - Team Clark spent hours reviewing the market for credit card sign-up bonuses and evaluated them according to the guidelines for usage set by money expert Clark Howard. Clark believes credit cards with exorbitant annual fees are a bad idea for most…
Team Clark's cell phone expert ranks the best cell phone plans and deals. Best Cell Phone Plans in 2023: The Cheapest Plan for Every Need - Team Clark ranks the best cell phone plans and deals! See our favorites for unlimited data, families and cheap plans starting at $10/month.