Ways I Accidentally Save Money…

“What do you put in your hair to keep it up?” – the barista asked after ordering my daily latte.

“Just hairspray! And then I twist to make the spikes.” – I excitedly retorted back, always up for a good chat about hair :)

“Awesome. I’m thinking of doing my hair like that next.”

“YES! You should!! You’ll save a bunch of money too as you can do it yourself.” – I replied back, which I think excited her more than the actual hair style, and rightfully so! Women’s hair is no joke to maintain. My wife drops $200-$300 every time, and she has to space it out more than she likes just so her frugal bones don’t snap in half!

But rocking the ‘hawk? FREE. All you need is an electric razor, mirror, pair of scissors and the aforementioned hairspray.

Once armed up with those you’re set for years to wow all future passersby 😂

Of course, I didn’t set out to save money by wearing my hair like this – I just dig it – but it’s been a nice accidental perk indeed… I reckon I’ve saved at least a couple of thousand over the past 15 years doing my hair this way, not to mention loads of time saved too since you don’t have to mess with scheduling and visiting appts every other month, etc… You just pick up the razor whenever you’re ready and knock it! Easiest hair cut ever – maybe outside of being bald ;)

This got me thinking of other ways I inadvertently save too, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far… How about you?

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My clothes

I feel like when your go-to outfit is jeans and a tee you’re doing pretty good, frugality wise. And minimalist-wise too, though again in both cases it’s pure accidental. The combo is just the most coziest/easiest to rock! And more often than not, you’ll find a number of holes in them too, all *earned* btw and not paid extra for, thank you very much 😂

I’ve also gotten better about repurposing old clothes I no longer wear anymore. Such as earlier this summer when I realized I needed some new shorts but didn’t have the time – or desire – to go shopping… Instead, I rummaged through the box of donations I had in my basement waiting to go out, and then professionally and methodically took sheers to a few pants hiding there and transformed them into shorts with a couple of snips!

And voila!

cropped shorts

Similar to the ‘hawk it’s not everyone’s style, but for this homeboy it works perfectly. And now gives me an additional back up plan for buying pants in the future too! “Jeans don’t fit as well as I’d hoped? Maybe they’d be better off as shorts! *Snip *snip *snip… DONE!”

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Food.

If I could only pick one food item to survive on, it would be peanut butter. I swear, whoever invented it needs a Nobel prize as MY GAWD is it heaven’s fruit!! I would honestly pay $100 a jar if I had to for it, but thankfully inflation hasn’t strangled it just yet, so I can enjoy my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without scaring my wallet too much.

And lately, I’ve been smearing it on another of nature’s dessert too for an afternoon snack: sliced apples! Not only does it rival the taste of chocolate or cookies [or enter any other types of junk food here], but it’s also HEALTHY so you get an additional jolt of feeling good about yourself on top of it! Cheap and tasty – highly recommend.

apples & peanut butter

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Transportation

You know those times when friends ask “should we Uber or walk?”, well I choose walking 9 times out of 10 because walks are amazing… They also happen to cost $0.00, but the joy from fresh air and scenery tops the $$ all day every day, unless it’s pouring out or 150 degrees, in which case OK – roof over my head it is!

But if I could I’d use my feet to go everywhere and not even own any cars…. We do, because of kids and where we live and responsibilities blah blah blah, but even then at least we buy used. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever owned a brand new car before?! ***checks memories*** Nope! Never! Wow…

Now that one IS more price-based for me, but it’s also a “this thing is too shiny and I don’t want to stress out about scratching it every waking moment!” type deal. I swear when I hit that fire hydrant years ago w/ my new-to-me Lexus and dented the bumper I immediately sensed a sigh of relief… At least after making sure water wasn’t going to spray all over me 😂  But basically brand new things and me don’t mix well.

walking path

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Daily wants/entertainment

And lastly, it fortunately doesn’t cost that much to keep me entertained in this world… While every now and then I do desire something that might be pricey, most of my daily “wants” are pretty cheap: trip to the coffee shop…. a new (used) book… a skate around town… a beer with my brother…

Even the coins I collect are all “used” and look like they’ve been passed around a while! No perfect and shiny ones for me – even if they are more valuable.

Maybe all this makes me “simple”, I don’t know, haha, but either way I’m glad it’s how I was made as the opposite would require more energy to maintain :)

dollar bookmark

[Frugal reading, but not so frugal bookmark! Handy when you need one though :)]

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So lots of ways I unintentionally save! Of course, I also unintentionally spend more in other areas too I’m sure that may make up for it, haha, but we’ll save that list for another day :) Let’s keep today the day of winning!!

What are some of the things you do that naturally saves you money? Are you the opposite of me with any of these above?

It’s good to embrace such natural frugalness… Temptation kills us in so many other areas of life – gotta be thankful for the stuff it can’t touch!

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14 Comments

  1. Nora August 15, 2022 at 9:04 AM

    A great way to start the week! But having been browsing in a store looking at bookmarks over the weekend, I’d just like to point out that your dollar bill IS the frugal version of what was displayed. And it has the bonus of being usable after accidentally going through the washer…..

    Reply
  2. Scott August 15, 2022 at 9:07 AM

    I can relate to the feeling of relief you got when you hit that hydrant. I bought a new (to me) car in 2020 as well. Someone hit the car (and ran) while it sat in the parking lot. The front bumper was damaged. A big part of me also felt relief. Now I didn’t have to worry about scratching it!

    I also save money on clothes. It’s just t-shirts and shorts for me. I’m over 50 and I can honestly say that I no longer remember how to tie a tie.

    Reply
    1. J. Money August 16, 2022 at 9:27 AM

      You’ve found The Good Life :)

      Reply
  3. April August 15, 2022 at 11:00 AM

    Was it you that had a post years ago about making an entire loaf of bread into ready made PBJ for the freezer? I keep meaning to do that since school is starting next week.

    Also, I think about your old Franken-Caddie more often than I should admit. How many times did it get “totaled”??

    Anyway, it’s so nice to see you back with regular posts again. Helps to keep me a bit more frugally focused, which is especially needed in these insane times of price hikes.

    Reply
    1. J. Money August 16, 2022 at 9:34 AM

      Yes!! I remember that post! It was from a friend of mine circa 2008 haha… Here it is!

      https://www.cleverdude.com/content/an-illustrated-frugal-lunch/

      The pics of the assembly line are the best 😂

      I miss Frankencaddy too :( Actually saw an old police cruiser the other day and contemplated on picking it up (it still has the old police painting on it!) but doesn’t look in great condition… Such a good feeling riding around in a hooptie though and blasting music – I don’t think I can go too much longer with this Minivan, lol…

      Glad you’re enjoying the new posts – feels good to be back amongst my people again :)

      Reply
  4. Working Mom August 15, 2022 at 11:19 AM

    I recently discovered a fun way to get my kids excited about apples + PB as a snack. Introducing–“Apple Nachos”! Slice the apples, melt abotu 1-2TBS of PB in the microwave and drizzle over the apples, then sprinkle on a few chocolate chip and shredded coconut (if you like). Delicious and uses WAY less PB than if they are scooping it up with slices.

    Accidental savings: Take advantage of company perks! I work at the offices for a restaurant chain. We get 1 free lunch/week at our local restaurant and I’m amazed at how many people DON’T take advantage of that. They also often have test food ready-to-eat or even frozen test-products to take home. I take full advantage! Just being willing to take a bulk product and separate it out into smaller usable portions when others just pass because of the packaging has scored me all kinds of meals for my family.

    We also get 2 free “uniform” shirts like polos, cardigans, dress shirts per year and a $50 credit each summer to buy more fun company clothes. I counted this week that I have 20 logoed work-appropriate shirts that I paid nothing for plus plenty of fun lounge clothes I used my credits for. Drastically reduces both $ and decision-making spent on what to wear to the office everyday.

    Reply
    1. J. Money August 16, 2022 at 9:43 AM

      Apple Nachos – GENIUS!!!!!

      I used to rock all my airline clothes for important events too since they were all suits and I remember once my dad asking me why I had all these holes around parts of the jacket where I took off the name tags or other things we had to pin there for work, lol… I thought I was being smooth (and cost effective) repurposing them, but I guess it didn’t fool everyone :)

      Reply
  5. Amanda August 15, 2022 at 11:23 AM

    One good thing to come from social anxiety? I spend very little on concert and theater tickets and the expenses associated with an active social life – dining out, drinks, transportation, party clothes, and all the “upkeep” women are expected to do. I have never paid for a professional manicure or worried about whether anyone would notice that I am wearing the same dress as the last time I attended a party.

    Reply
    1. J. Money August 16, 2022 at 9:45 AM

      Hah – this is true!! And the people you DO spend good quality time with probably aren’t the types of people who would care even if you did re-wear the same stuff all the time :)

      I remember this one guy in college wearing the same shirt every single day for an entire year as a social experiment to see if anyone noticed (even in winter! he wore it over sweatshirts and jackets haha…). He said a few did, but most never said a word…

      Reply
  6. Mr. Tako August 15, 2022 at 12:53 PM

    My favorite is “Never buy new what you can buy used.” You’d be surprised what people will get rid of. Most things only need a minor amount of repair or you just have to have the super human ability to ignore imperfections.

    Works for me!

    Reply
  7. Impersonal Finances August 18, 2022 at 12:59 PM

    I love accidentally saving money! And now I’m craving peanut butter.

    One thing I do with cable (I sadly can’t live without it) is pause my monthly Hulu subscription (which is almost $70 now!) after ever billing cycle. That way, if I go a few days or even weeks without, I’m not paying for it. This is of course after I’ve exhausted all the 7-day trials for YouTube TV, Sling, etc. I guess that’s more intentionally saving money but it feels like an accident!

    Reply
    1. J. Money August 19, 2022 at 8:39 AM

      oh i didn’t know you could do that! smart of them to offer that as i bet it keeps people around a lot longer than if the only other option was to cancel it.

      Reply

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