Most of us have heard of the 10% rule regarding saving money, but you're more likely to stick with something if you make it fun. Finding crazy things to do along with money-saving challenges can make saving money easier than ever. Being financially savvy and living a frugal lifestyle is not only something to be proud of; it can set you up for financial success.
My mom was famous for being frugal and finding odd ways to save money. Having three kids makes you learn how to spend your money wisely. Things like buying clothing secondhand, buying groceries at discount grocery stores, and repurposing leftovers were just a few things she did to save money for vacations and such.
If she hadn't been so frugal, we wouldn't have had so many fun experiences. Saving money wherever you can will help you build up your savings accounts for more important things.
35 Crazy things to do to save!
1. Sell empty toilet paper rolls
You may scratch your head at this one, but people actually buy empty toilet paper rolls. They are used for crafts and other projects, and you can sell them on eBay. So, rather than tossing those empty rolls in the trash, box them up and make some money.
2. Sell your eggs
We're not talking chicken eggs here, but your actual female reproductive eggs. It's not an easy process, and you have to qualify to become an egg donor, but the average compensation ranges from $5,000-$10,000. This is one of the most extreme crazy things to do to save money, but a high-paying one at that. If you have frozen your eggs this may also be an option.
3. Get paid for plasma
This is a great crazy thing to do to make money if you're not afraid of needles. The average payout for a plasma donation is around $50. It's recommended to donate every 28 days, but some companies allow you to donate more often than that.
4. Make your own soap
5. Rent out your car
Move over Air B&B; now folks are renting out their cars for money. Some people earn a couple of hundred dollars a month renting their vehicle on Turo. This is perfect for anyone working from home.
6. Live in a bus
This can be one of the coolest crazy things to do to cut expenses. Skoolies are old-school buses that have been transformed into tiny homes or recreational vehicles. You can own your home and travel the country while saving money.
7. Cans for cash
Recycling is terrific for the environment, but you can also get some cash back for your good deed. Set up recycling bins at your friend's and family's houses too, and sell aluminum cans for cash.
8. Skip Christmas
You've heard of a budget-friendly Christmas, but you could save a ton by skipping it altogether. A weekend getaway can even be cheaper than spending tons on gifts. It doesn't mean you're a scrooge; you're just preventing credit card debt from guilty purchases.
9. Unplug your appliances
Did you know that some appliances still draw energy even when they aren't in use? They are known as "energy vampires," and they cost you money. Simply unplugging appliances can save $100-$200 a year. These days there are also energy-efficient appliances you can invest in. These appliances use less energy without decreasing performance. Not that you should go out and buy one now, but it's something to keep in mind when it's time to replace your old appliances.
10. Save money at the movies
I have to confess that I started saving money at the movies as a teenager. There is a 500% markup on those tasty treats! A drink and a box of candy will most likely cost over $10. I always carried larger purses, so I opted to bring a can of diet coke and a bag of candy from the Dollar Store. Skip the popcorn and save that hard-earned cash instead.
11. Cancel cable
I saved over $1,000 in a year by canceling cable. The average cable bill costs more than other utility bills, and it's an unnecessary expense. There are alternatives you can use to slash your entertainment bill and save money.
12. Cut the air conditioning
You can save up to 10% a year on your electric bill by reducing your thermostat by 7-10 degrees. Of course, it's possible to save more by cutting it off completely on days that aren't unbearably hot. Open the windows, turn on the fan, and make this one of those crazy things to do to save money.
13. Stop using paper towels
You can save a bit of cash by going green and ditching paper towels. Use a reusable sponge or cloth instead of throwing away money on paper towels. If you still can't quite cut them out, then at least opt for a cheaper brand.
14. Grab up condiments
Rather than tossing those extra condiments from your to-go order, start saving them, so you don't have to buy them as often. You can even grab a few extra when you eat in to take with you. Stocking up on condiments is one of the simplest crazy things to do to save money.
15. Save on gas
Living with intention can reduce frivolous spending. You can save on gas by running all of your errands on the same day if possible. The less you drive, the more money goes into your piggy bank instead of your gas tank.
16. Reuse plastic bags
Save money and the planet by reusing your plastic bags. You wouldn't believe all the fun ways you can reuse plastic bags! Use them for crafts, storage, and replace expensive trash bags too.
17. Scope parking lots for loose change
My dad would pick up pennies walking through parking lots. I thought it was hilarious, and he would say every penny leads to a dollar. There is definitely truth behind this theory. Every bit of loose change is more money than you had before. Keep a piggy bank or something in your car and scope parking lots for loose change whenever your out.
18. Dumpster dive
Dumpster diving is definitely one of the most extreme and crazy things to do to save money. However, I had a friend that would dive the dumpsters at retailers such as T.J. Max and find brand new items in the trash! She would collect these items and sell them to pawn shops or online to make money. It's insane the stuff people will throw away.
19. Repurpose leftovers
American's waste over a 1/3 of their food every year. Prevent waste and save on your grocery bill by repurposing leftovers. Taking last night's dinner and recreating it with rice, beans, or other budget-friendly items can save money and make a delicious meal.
20. Clean with vinegar
Cleaning supplies can get expensive. Buy white-vinegar to clean your appliances, bathroom, and other household items. It can be used for personal care too! The best part - it's chemical-free and cleans amazingly well!
21. Potty train your cat
Not sure if this is the best idea as a cat owner, but some have decided to opt-out of expensive kitty litter and actually potty train their cat. This is by far one of the craziest things to do to save money.
22. Paint your roof
Painting your roof white reflects heat rather than absorb it, which results in lower energy bills. It's also believed that a lighter-colored roof reflects sunlight back into the atmosphere, which may reduce global warming.
23. Freeze your credit cards
Do you have trouble impulse shopping? If so, freezing your credit cards is one of the crazy things to do to prevent spending. We aren't talking about placing a freeze on them but literally freezing them in water. Some people will put their credit cards in a plastic bag, fill them with water, and put it in the freezer. This keeps them from being easily accessed, which can help curb your spending.
24. Live in a tiny house
How much room do we really need anyway? Tiny homes are going mainstream and with good reason. Downsizing your home means you pay less in utilities, mortgage payments, and store less stuff. Some people own their homes free and clear which is true financial security.
25. Meatless Monday
There are many yummy recipes that are meatless. Save money by eating no meat one day a week and opting for cheaper meals instead. Beans and legumes are great meat alternatives that contain protein and fiber.
26. Stop wasting water
Leaky faucets and malfunctioning toilets aren't the only way we're wasting water. Think of how much water is going down the drain simply waiting for it to get warm for your shower. Letting the water run from the faucet while you do dishes or clean can cause a lot of wasted water. Prevent water waste by filling up pitchers and buckets to use that water for plants, cleaning, or drinking instead.
27. Repurpose jars
Glass jars can be repurposed for many uses. You can clean them out and use them as drinking glasses, storing items, or for craft projects. Like toilet paper rolls, you can sell empty jars on eBay for money.
28. Snack on food samples
My sister-in-law does this with her siblings. They head to Costco and snack on food samples instead of eating out for lunch. It's a fun way to dine out without spending money.
29. Get a roommate
30. Look out for free stuff
Refurnish your home for free by searching Craiglist and your neighborhood. People give away furniture all the time; all you have to do is go get it. Sometimes you can find stuff by your neighbors' garbage cans with free signs on them. Sometimes you can find clothes, books, and other items too.
31. Heat half your house
My partner and I did this a lot when we were both working full-time. Since we weren't home most of the day, we would cut the heat off in most of the rooms and shut the doors to save on our electricity bill.
32. Eat ramen noodles for lunch
Okay, it's not one of the healthiest crazy things to do, but it's a cheap lunch idea. A 24-pack of ramen noodles costs under $6 which averages to a quarter a pack. You can eat lunch every day for almost a month for under $6!
33. Discount days at Salvation Army
When I was little, my mom and I would go to the $1 day at Salvation Army. All clothing was only $1 per item! Check with your local Salvation Army for discount days to save on clothing and more.
34. Try a no-spend challenge
One of the best ways to save money is trying a no-spend challenge. This is when you don't spend any money on anything other than bills and necessities. Start with a no-spend week, then work your way up to a month and if you're feeling really ambitious, try an entire year!
35. Walk or bike to work
Walking or biking to work is a super frugal and healthy way to save money. Even going one-way walking or biking will save gas money. You can walk there and hitch a ride with a co-worker home if the weather is bad.
You can save money by doing a few crazy good things!
Applying some or all of these ideas can help you save money to bulk up your emergency fund or even begin investing. Living a frugal lifestyle can set you free from massive debt and help prevent you from busting your budget. Check out more fun ways to save with our extreme frugal hacks!