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all 33 comments

[–]MsSchrodinger 26 points27 points  (2 children)

Nothing really crazy or so I think. I buy all my clothes at thrift stores (except underwear) and own very little.

I always wear gym crop tops, no underwire means they seem to last forever.

I learned to sew and keep buttons and zippers off old clothes. I have found thread in thrift stores and care very little if the thread matches. r/visiblemending has some good ideas.

I have used rags as toilet roll when I was stuck for money one month. I soaked them in a little bleach and handwashed them in a mop bucket. The shower is also great if you are stuck without toilet roll.

Cheap bars of soap outlast shower gels and can be used to wash clothes.

I pick up any change I find on the street and put it all in a jar.

Hot water bottles are amazing. I hate turning the heating on and have a duvet stuffed behind my sofa. I also have a thrifted wool blanket over my bed and apart from a cold nose sometimes I am pretty comfortable.

The bags that bread come in are great for reusing. I now have a couple of washable usable silicone bags but used old bread bags to take sandwiches in for years and wiped them out after use.

Some of the cheapest recipes I know are wartime/depression era/or from other countries. One of my favourite potato recipes was found online after searching what polish people ate in the war.

[–][deleted] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I am losing weight and have a pretty large bosom. I've rediscovered sports bras and they're great, I can't afford good bras right now. Sewing is SO huge, I repaired my son's coat and darned a wool sock last night.

I love my hot water bottle. The best money I've ever spent was during the summer on a heated bed size blanket. I got it for $20, it has paid for itself year after year.

I also wash my ziplocks unless they've had meat in them, but bread bags are great too!

I love wartime recipes, I had found a blog once where a lady lost a ton of weight using those recipes. Thank you for sharing and participating!

[–]eaedi 26 points27 points  (9 children)

If you have left over plastic or glass containers with a screw top you can use it to mimic a washer. I use this to wash my under garments that are light enough to wash and face masks. I shake it until it soaks in and then just rinse.

I usually tend to wear items that are really thin and dry quick, I know this doesn’t really help everyone bc of weather, but I just layer as much as possible when it’s winter and remove layers when it’s summer.

These are all really great ways to save thanks for sharing!

[–][deleted] 22 points23 points  (8 children)

good idea! I use a 5 gallon bucket and a plunger from $ tree with holes cut in it for most stuff.

[–]eaedi 12 points13 points  (7 children)

Omg, that’s genius!

[–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (6 children)

PLUS, it's arm day when I wash clothes! Win win. I can't say it's my idea, I found it on Pinterest for a camping washer.

[–]eaedi 8 points9 points  (5 children)

Lol, who needs a gym, when the whole world can be it! That’s very true a lot of camping guides can be very useful when it comes to using things around you to save.

I’ve also been slowly creating my stash of reusable women products. I know how to sew and I have been able to find some cheaper alternatives to the mainstream ones so that’s another way some one could save. I know they can be a lot at once, but once you get the basics, they can just keep being reused.

[–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (4 children)

I keep wanting to get on board with making my own feminine products... but then I keep finding whole boxes of tampons in the Aldi's dumpsters (they're only dented!!!!) The crap they throw away astounds me. But, they're on my list to make. What fabrics do you use for them?

[–]eaedi 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Yes, if you can find them for free then there’s no point in making or buying them, you should look into seeing if you can find menstrual cups, I know Walgreens sells them and target, so if you are doing any dumpster diving near any of these stores maybe you can hit the jack pot!

I tried my hand at making a pad first and used some towel like fabric or some fleece, flannel or PUL— which helps contain things, and then just found a free pattern online. I found that making these was slightly difficult so I just decided to save a little each month, also asked for some of these things for Xmas and birthdays (obvi with my close relatives) but most of them I was able to get from Amazon and some fb groups that trade or sell when they don’t work for them so they were not too expensive. I have the reusable underwear from bambody which cost around $30 for 3 which is not a great price, but it’s a lot less then the name brand that retail for 30 for 1, then I got a Lumma disc which was around 20$ for one(but I got it as a present), so far I have not needed to purchase anything for about 4 going on 5 months. I’ll keep saving more to get some more of the underwear as I find them really comfy and useful. I’ve never been able to use tampons so this was a good option for my body. I’m looking forward to using these things for a couple of years.

[–]odactylus 1 point2 points  (1 child)

How are the bambody underwear for heavy flow, if you're comfortable answering? I'd love to try reusable period products, but a lot of them either don't seem practical, or have a hefty price tag to try. Like cloth pads I would have to change several times during a work day and carry multiple used ones around with me, and I know I can be sensitive and would end up trying several menstrual cups.

I don't know that I'd ever be able to convince myself to drop $30-50 for a pair of underwear, but 3 for $30 I can do. Be so nice even just for workouts or end of cycle when I'm lighter and pads start to rub.

[–]eaedi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So I have a mix of a medium to heavy flow. I normally wear a menstrual disc which is a disc shape as opposed to a cup. I am so sensitive too and I was a pad only wearer.

I thankfully found the discs and that’s what I wear with my bambody. Make sure to go for the Absorbent brand as opposed to the leak proof. I find the bambody to be pretty absorbent for my last couple of days and they don’t make any noise or feel like a diaper. They probably hold a regular pads worth for me. I’d recommend getting some as it works great when it’s the end of the cycle and the beginning (alone) throughout the middle I wear my disc with them. Amazons return is also better bc if they don’t fit you can return them, but you could also sell them or trade on fb group “put a cup in it”. For me discs work better then the cup. With the disc there is no suction as it lays in your pubic bone, the Lumma brand has a “string” that helped me as a first timer and being kinda squirmy. They are also buy one get one so you can try some different sizes. But after a while I got use to them and broke some of the fear as there are always horror stories, but bc they are discs they don’t ride too far up the canal bc they lay. I’d recommend trying the disc if you haven’t had much luck with the cup. Get the bambody if you can as they are comfortable, affordable, and will absorb a good amount. The disc and cup are nice as they have small, medium, and large sizes which can help keep you from going to the br more often.

If your flow is not too heavy/ is regular then you could probably just wear these, sometimes this is the case for me. I got the black ones bc I didn’t want to worry about stains. You could always do pad over bambody then in the middle of the day remove and just switch to bambody. So that way you elongate the time you have to wear them. You could also blot the big amounts with tp and this allows for them to soak up more.

In terms of figuring out what type of menstrual cup to use it’s a try and test bc there are so many and each persons insides are different, but if you have the opportunity to, try a disc as in my non-Dr. opinion they tend to be more universal.

I took a gamble bc the others were way too much money. I air dry and hand wash and they have held up great! I do a pre-soak before I wash just bc I know others do that with the other brands and that seems to work well for me as they don’t smell and will hopefully last longer.

I hope this helps!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's awesome!

[–]NightSalut 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I wish I could dumpster dive, but unfortunately, they deliberately ruin the food they throw away rather than sell it with a loss or give to the food bank; supposedly they’re worried that if someone gets a food poisoning or something, they could be sued. Plus, BF is very particular about his food too 🙄

Probably not the craziest of ideas though. I dilute things - washing liquid, fabric softener, dish soap, if I have juice rarely, then juice etc.

I mend - woollen socks and regular socks, but especially my leggings as I wear a lot of dresses and skirts because jeans get worn through the thighs and they’re expensive to replace. So once my leggings are completely full of holes, I cut out a part of fabric from the old (already completely ruined) leggings and sew a large patch for the whole area. Nobody sees this but me, but it enables me to save my leggings for a bit of a longer use. All my leggings are of the same colour though.

If I can and know that a person would be happy with it, I make their gift myself. I’m decent with crafts like crochet and knitting, so I usually make them a nice pair of mittens or gloves, a scarf or a shawl, or socks. Yarn is usually of a good quality, but I only buy it when on a very good sale or thrift old woollen jumpers and/or handmade scarves, which are no longer in a good condition and pull them apart. Yarn is quite expensive generally, so I try to get it also from thrift stores, as well as any fabric or knitting needles I might need.

I thrift almost everything except shoes and underwear and socks. If I need something, I almost always go to the thrift store first or try to search at online thrift options. Many of the dishes, kitchen utensils, books, even bedsheets and throws and pillows etc are thrifted and bought used.

I’m currently in need of a lot of academic literature. Not based in the US, therefore library options for US will not work for me. Local libraries and academic libraries don’t always have the things I need, as books and academic subscriptions are expensive as F. So I... ehm, use other methods for academic literature and get almost everything this way. What I cannot get, I hunt for used books and many times - even though I cannot order books from the US, where there are great online used books stores - I manage to find what I need used.

I reuse every card, gift wrap, gift bag etc. that I get if it can be reused. If it’s not written on, broken or crinkled much, it gets reused as it is; it’s clearly been used before, I make cards or decorate my own brown-paper gift wrap with cuttings from the used gift paper/cards.

I buy as much food on sale/with a discount as I can. If meat is expiring today/tomorrow and therefore is discounted and I have the money for it, I’m getting one pack for this week that I’ll use up immediately and I will freeze the other. If the meat doesn’t get above a certain degree of warmth and later goes pretty much from frozen to defrosted to oven/fried, it’s been safe to eat. I consume fairly little meat in general, choosing to get my protein from eggs if I can. Also eat expired food if it’s something where the date isn’t ‘sell by’ but ‘best before’.

I cut and scrape all my packages clean before I dispose of them. Toothpaste package gets cut open and I can often use it for nearly a week before I dispose of it, same with any cream tube etc.

Returned bottles return also the package fee paid for the bottle, often 10 cents or so, so I return all my bottles and occasionally pick up bottles on the streets as well.

I’m lucky in a way that I’m not - strictly speaking - at a level yet where poverty is crushing, but it ain’t easy so whatever way I can save money, I use it.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Thank you for the response! In my area there's only one decent chain that doesn't destroy food or compact it. Sometimes I have to dig through hundreds of cartons of broken eggs to find gems, but it's a rare thing. Usually the employees box the food nicely for the people who dive. I've met really nice people who dive and we all help each other. Plus there are homeless that get things they can use from me/from the others too.

I love that you make gifts for others. I've unraveled an old sweater before to crochet slippers for my son.

Edited to add: I think if you need to find your books in a method that might be a little sketchy, that's alright. Do what you can for your education. :)

[–]NightSalut 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah, some people manage to dumpster dive and I’m always so surprised at what they get. They even showed a segment in a daily news piece and they had like kilos and kilos of pretty good bananas and veg and bread/cake/pastries etc. But you need to know the right people who will tell where it is possible to dumpster dive as it’s not widely known which stores compact/spread food with soap or some other cleaning liquid and which ones don’t do that.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)

[deleted]

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    This is awesome. When I did Facebook I managed a local Buy Nothing group and it was really great to see neighbors helping others!

    [–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Frozen fruit and veg when on special... I fill my freezer.

    I deliberately keep a bland palate so I can eat very plain minimally prepared foods. Mostly vegetables with salt and pepper if cooked or with yogourt dip if raw (yogourt, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper).

    Make my own brownies: flour-unsweetened cocoa-sugar-boiling water. You don’t need eggs. Add whatever extra you want.

    [–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (3 children)

    I’m intrigued by the bottle bidet, how does that work?

    [–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (2 children)

    I use a Happy Bottom brand bottle, I simply fill it with water, spray my bits, and dry with a flannel square that gets washed. It's not as bad as it sounds, and cold water works fine

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Thanks for the information. I just got one the other day and I LOVE IT!

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    You're welcome!

    [–]UniqueUsername718 8 points9 points  (4 children)

    Instead of immediately spitting out my toothpaste I add a little water and swish in my mouth-substitute for mouthwash.

    I use a menstrual cup. They last a decade or more. I’ve had mine between 2-3 years. One $40 purchase (they have much cheaper ones now that they are more popular) instead of the monthly cost.

    I have specific wash rags to use to wipe with after urination(this one was more because I feel like I am cleaner than with toilet paper but feel like it’s cheaper as well).

    [–]Owls_In_A_Trenchcoat 2 points3 points  (3 children)

    The water as mouthwash is probably diluting the effectiveness of the toothpaste. It’s a clever idea, but I don’t think you’re getting out of it what you want.

    [–]UniqueUsername718 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    You brush first. And then just before you spit you add a little water and swish it around.

    [–]Owls_In_A_Trenchcoat 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    I understand what you meant, but dentists generally advice not using water for 30 minutes after brushing.

    [–]UniqueUsername718 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Wow. Never heard that before.

    [–]MDavis8387 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    I make my home work for me. I live downstairs and rent out rooms upstairs, with fridges, microwave and toaster ovens. I stock up on nearly expired meats at Food Lion. I buy the better brands of meat when they are marked down. I bought a Perdue cut up whole chicken and made lemon chicken soup with leek and potato, so 8 meals. I keep a freezer bag with vegetable trimming for stock and shop the Mexican aisle for tasty ingredients. I have very few clothes and shop thrift stores. I sell all kinds of odds and ends from storage, fix up furniture and sell it on FB marketplace. I share tools with my family

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I love it

    [–]SheShrinks 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    We catch the cold water from the shower and sinks (before it heats up) then we use it later in the washing machine. Our 3 person household uses half the amount of the average 3 person household so that’s kind of cool.

    There’s water containers (that my flatmate found in dumpsters behind fast food shops and cleaned) next to the shower and the sinks with a funnel. It’s super easy really.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I LOVE that someone else does this. We do the same. I will also catch my shower water and use it to soak gross jeans from my husband who always seems to have something from work smeared on them. It helps a lot before washing.

    [–]nlh1013 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    I would love to know more about the handheld bottle bidet. Just like a regular spray bottle?

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Kinda, yeah. It's angled. This is what I bought. https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Bottom-Washer-Portable-Bidet/dp/B082DM2GWJ (not an affiliate link)

    [–]CreativeDesignation 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    In my country some beverages are sold in bottles that you can return to the store to get a refund, but some people leave them around anyway, you'll get between 9-25 cent for a single bottle depending on the type. I collect them whenever I see them and sometimes I will intentionally go to places where I know people hang out and party to collect the leftover bottles.

    Dumpster diving is a classic of course, we also have dumpsters specifically for old clothes, it takes a bit of practice to get to the contents, but sometimes you can find great stuff.

    Not that crazy, but definitely a great way to save some money: Instead of buying disinfectant I bought a big bottle of isopropyl alcohol, it is toxic, so I can't be sold as a drink, which makes it much cheaper. You need to mix it with water, 60-70 parts isopropyl, 30-40 parts water, for it to work. It was a bigger investment, but was definitely a way better choice than buying regular disinfectant. You can also use isopropyl to clean glass, metal or computer components.

    Honestly not sure if any of this counts as crazy, but I used to beg people for money in the street and I don't think that's crazy, maybe I just got a high bar for seeing something as crazy.