Extreme Money Saving Ideas

During my Money Saving Budget Tips series, I shared some tips and tricks I use in my everyday life to save money and reduce costs, such as groceries. I loved giving you all some tips that you could use. However, the thing I enjoyed the most about the series was learning about the many wonderful and wacky ways you all saved your money – I was blown away by the responses, some funny and others very clever.

There were so many creative and extreme ways to save money, even if it’s just a couple of cents it all add's up in the end.

I asked this question on Facebook  ‘What extremes have you done or heard of that people go to, to save money’? I really wanted to share some of these ideas with you!

Extreme Money Saving Ideas

There were so many creative and extreme ways that my readers or people they knew did to save money, even if it’s just a couple of cents.

  • I wash out ziplock bags. – Cathy
  • Eating before they go out to eat. – Tania
  • No data on phone (not me of course!) – Lyndsey
  • I lived on only the coins in my wallet for a week, could only buy what I could afford with the coins. You become very creative. – Sarah
  • Limit take away food. Carry your own water bottles. Buy items in bulk when on special. – Carlee
  • My school friend’s nan used to wash and dry glad wrap. – Nicole
  • Buying horrible toilet paper so the kids use less! – Vanessa
  • My husband’s elderly grandparents don’t use their heater as much as they should in winter to save on their electricity bill  – Emmalee
  • I don’t have cable or satellite, just regular antenna. I also have the old flip phone no data, no internet on it – just talk and text. I can [eat] everything from my garden for the winter. There is no paper towels, we just use old towels that I turned into rags to wash things off with. – Lisa
  • My hubby uses 1 teabag all day at work. Has about 6-7 cups with it… – Tina
  • I started using lentils in place of meat occasionally. – Janis
  • We use cloth diapers/nappies. And then because they grow so quickly anyway anything else we need for the kids (furniture, clothes, books, toys) is from a thrift shop or second hand. Except underwear of course. – Sara
  • A friend once told me she’d heard of a couple who showered together (to save water etc) but also, on hair washing day would share the shampoo lather! One would lather up their hair then pass the shampoo lather on to the other one to use. – Kara
  • I used to work at a newsagency and one of our customers used to save the plastic wrap from his newspaper to use as cling wrap in the microwave! – Kate
  • Cutting dishwashing tablets in half to get 2 washes!! – Hayley
  • I heard of someone that would pull their wipers up when parking in the sun so as to protect the windscreen wiper rubber. Allegedly he would also not shut his doors properly so as to “look after” the door seals too – Renee
  • My tip for saving money is to get one of those money boxes you have to use can opener to get open and put every $5 note in it that you get, it adds up really quickly. Also one for gold coins, they add up so quickly and you don’t really miss the small change. – Yvette
  • Only shop for clothes once a year. You only need a few things and it saves you money in the long run as everything you buy coordinates and is what you need. It includes two dozen pairs of knickers….you throw the old ones out as you need. – Lindell
  • I switched to a menstrual Cup. Saves me a $40-$50 every month.- Robin
  • Community dinners! Get together with other families and have dinner together. Cheaper to feed lots from the same pot. – Robin
  • My mum sharpens her tweezers so doesn’t need to replace. – Geraldine
  • I help run a Pay It Forward FB page in my area. Haven’t had to spend much on my kids clothes and the items I get are in great condition. I am then able to pass them on. – Tenille
  • We don’t buy groceries until all the food in the house has been eaten. It saves on wasting food or expiring – Rebecca
  • Go without medication. Cut back to just one car. Shower less frequently. No extra-curricular activities for the kids, no outings, no parties, no excursions, all second hand clothes, so many ways… – Angie
  • My mum and grandma use to wash freezer bags and reuse them. I assume to save money or maybe the environment. – Erin
  • Definitely grow my own veg and make a pot of soup in slow cooker out of any leftovers, we freeze by serve in zip lock bags and have this instead of takeaway!. – Jill
  • Coupon, go on a budget, cut cable, buy items on sale. Buy quality items using sales and coupons so that last longer. – Laura

What is your best extreme money saving tip?

A few top posts from the Money Saving Budget Series

View the full series here.

There were so many creative and extreme ways to save money, even if it’s just a couple of cents it all add's up in the end.


Finance may seem like a rather grown-up and mature topic, but the value of money is something we should be teaching our kids from a young age. Teaching kids about money management is a valuable life lesson that they can take through to adulthood and when they start earning an income.


There were so many creative and extreme ways to save money, even if it’s just a couple of cents it all add's up in the end.


I have been making my own homemade cleaners for a few years now and absolutely love them. They also save me lots of money.


14 WAYS TO REDUCE FOOD COSTSThere were so many creative and extreme ways to save money, even if it’s just a couple of cents it all add's up in the end.

Groceries is one area that can get waaay out of control if you don’t set yourself limits. There are a few ways we can reduce food costs and eliminate food wastage that will keep you under your budget at the grocery store checkout.



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Farah Dyer-Steel August 25, 2017 - 9:03 PM

woah! going without medication is not something i’d lightly consider!!

JessB August 26, 2017 - 12:13 PM

Yeah, my eyebrows went up at that suggestion too!
I live in Australia, and we have a pretty great healthcare system. When I am given a prescription for something that I need, the pharmacist will often ask if I would like the generic version of the drug, which is usually cheaper- I say yes to that!
But I’d never not take medication I’ve been prescribed to save money. That seems like it’s going to cost you more in the end.

Becky August 25, 2017 - 10:43 PM

The woman who switched to the menstrual cup to save $40-$50 a month…. who spends that much money every month on tampons and pads???

Tash August 26, 2017 - 8:23 AM

Thats exactly what I though Becky!!

BlueLagoon April 6, 2018 - 1:01 PM

Lots of women do, particularly if you’re cursed with heavy menstrual flows or have long/more frequent menstruation. Then there is replacing undies if they are too soiled to save because you had an unexpected period.

It all adds up!

Alison August 29, 2017 - 12:50 PM

Use a plate or bowl to cover your food when microwaving instead of cling wrap. Saves money and single use plastic

Beryl Newton November 8, 2017 - 10:43 AM

If the meat or cooked food is starting to smell I boil it on the stove with vinegar and water

. Haven’t had food poisoning from doing this.

Linda March 23, 2018 - 1:59 PM

If ifood smells- don’t wash it. When it doubt throw it out
Esoescially if you cut back on medicine when your sick.
Eating bad food will cost you more in the long run
Just my 2 cents. ( but I need those pennies back) ?

John September 25, 2018 - 10:48 PM

These are really extreme ways to save money. Another way is you can buy second-hand goods or buy from websites which offer discounts on products.

Nemo October 19, 2018 - 1:07 AM

Angie’s suggestions make me sad for her children. So when your kids are sick you don’t buy them medication? No extra curricular activities, outings, parties or excursions? Imagine all your children’s friends going on excursions and them having to stay back. I don’t think it’s worth depriving your children of memories to save a few hundred dollars a year. I hope you change your mentality asap before it’s too late.

Ecofin LED Lightings January 15, 2021 - 7:45 PM

Great tips Katrina!
Upgrading your home/workplace lights to LED lights under the government rebates program will cut down costs on utility bills and upgrading costs.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 18, 2021 - 2:46 PM

Good suggestion. Thanks Kat


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