Some people treat saving as an important discipline. Some treat it as a “whenever I can” activity. But there’s a subgroup that looks at both, spits in rage, and proceeds to treat budgeting as an extreme sport. Here are some of the most ludicrous budgeting methods that do work (barring symptoms like social exile):
Eat only food that’s on the verge of being thrown out
This isn’t the same as scavenging from a bin, but it’s just one rung up on the ladder. This method involves identifying all the stores that are obliged to throw food out at the end of the day.
The best-known names are Cold Storage and Umi Sushi, because they throw in big price cuts at the end of the day. However, plenty of bakeries do as well. The key is to look for some place fancy – an “artisanal” shop that refuses to freeze or keep food till tomorrow.
Generally, end of day discounts can range between 30 per cent, to 50 per cent.
This extreme budgeting methods involves buying only food that has incurred this discount. That means bulk buying at the end of the day – think a whole roast chicken. Then you make the food last until lunch the next day*.
Do this regularly, and you’ll shave a bunch of dollars off your food costs.
*Avoid doing it with sushi, unless you want to spend the next 12 hours with your head spewing into a toilet bowl.
- You’ll get sick of the same discount foods after a week. Sometimes literally.
- You will eventually attract stares of contempt from the store operators.
- If you’re feeding a family, your children might disown you when they grow up.
Only use public toilets, never the one at home
Keeping your toilet clean and stocked sure is a hassle. You need to buy that Dettol floor wash, those pails and mops and plungers and brushes; and you need to fix the plumbing when it breaks, buy toilet paper…the list is endless.
So some people have come up with the ultimate cheapskate solution: just never use the toilet at home.
You use the toilets in malls, hotel lobbies, the airport, just anywhere that you don’t have to maintain or clean. Some people even keep a logbook of where to find the best, high quality restrooms.
You can make one roll of toilet paper last a year! Only risk choked pipes once a century! Get away with washing the toilet just once a week! The savings are endless.
(Extreme version: don’t shower at home either. Use the facilities at Changi beach.)
- Diseases from filthy public toilets
- Having to run four blocks to the nearest mall because you’d rather hold it in, than spend a dollar on a toilet roll
- Develop an odd resentment toward visitors asking to use your otherwise untouched toilet
Cut your own hair
You think we’re joking? There’s money saving websites devoted to this.
There are any number of places you can get a cheap haircut, from Japanese cubicle barbers to the back alleys in Geylang (yes, seriously, barbers without a business license are in plenty of lorongs).
But why spend even that small sum, when you can cut your own hair? Even better, get your family of four to cut each other’s hair; then you could save as much as $40 every two or three months. That yacht is sure within reach now!
- People pointing at your hair and reminding you the Grunge look died with Kurt Cobain
- Having to use the money you saved to buy a pricey hat, if you get distracted in the process
Never buy condiments that you can get for free in restaurants / fast food outlets
Buy a bottle of chilli sauce? No way, that’s got to be $3.50 at least. If you avoid buying 10,000 bottles over the course of 20 years, why that’s enough to send your grandchildren through a diploma course! (Not factoring inflation, or any other shred of reality).
All you need to do is drop by the closest restaurant / fast food outlet, and help yourself to a few hundred packets of condiments. You can even steal the pepper and soy sauce at food courts (for eggs), if you bring your own containers to hold them at breakfast time.
The real master of the art also saves on buying paper towels, buy hoarding serviettes until the manager throws them out.
- Everything you cook starts to taste like you added sugar and soap, because that’s what crappy fast food condiments taste like
- Lifetime ban from your local fast food outlet
- Your colleagues / friends / family refuse to acknowledge they know you, whenever you’re about to leave the restaurant
When you go on holiday, save on hotels by using the airport as one
There’s a whole website beloved by people who do this. And to be fair, we’re not going to poke fun at the people who need to go abroad on emergency but have no budget (e.g. a former friend is dying, and it’s their last chance to fly over and see her). And we understand that sometimes, a 20-hour delay means sleeping at the airport.
But we sure as hell will roll our eyes at a subgroup of travellers, who use the airport all the time and on every holiday. They’re often students on a budget, or backpackers; when in a major city like Singapore or London (where accommodations are expensive), they can spend days or even weeks napping at the terminals.
They do save a ton of money though. At $200 a night for a hotel in Singapore, that’s $2,800 saved on a two-week visit. All at the small price of your human dignity.
- Neck cramps that will plague you to the end of your life
- Being thrown out by security if you’re spotted
- Wallowing in filth, because you probably won’t have many clothes / toiletries if you’re planning to do this
Article first published on Ezbuy