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I’ll do things you might consider a bit…extreme. Call me frugal, money-savvy or a cheapskate—I call myself smart! And yes, I’ll go out of my way to pick up a penny!


1. I dumpster dive for coupon inserts.


Honestly, it’s not really dumpster diving…it’s not like I’m diving into an apartment complex’s trash. I’m diving into a recycling bin and rescuing precious coupons that would have had a very sad ending otherwise!


2. I break off broccoli stems to reduce weight.


I just can’t bring myself to buy broccoli crowns without breaking off their stems. I don’t want to start a revolution, but if the sign reads “broccoli crowns,” I think it’s fair that I pay for the crowns, and the crowns only—not the stems!


3. I split the cost of Wi-Fi with my neighbor.

share wifi

Why pay full price for Wi-Fi when you can be smart about it and share the cost with your neighbors? That’s just common sense to me. Plain and simple!



4. I only go to Costco for the free samples.


Every once in a while my husband and I will go to Costco on a date. We don’t even have a Costco membership—but who needs one to get free food samples? We walk around the store, eat their free food, pretend to be interested in their products, and leave. We have dates at Whole Foods, too. I love me some free, expensive, organic cheese!


5. I rub myself with magazines.


That might have come out wrong. What I mean is that I get fragrance ads from those thick fashion magazines and rub them all over my body. That way I get to wear a different designer fragrance every day—without having to pay for it. (In case you were wondering, my magazine subscriptions are also free!)


6. I ask for ugly produce for the “chickens.”


I ask the produce guy if I can take home the ugly fruits and veggies the store plans on throwing away. I tell him they’re for my chickens. If I tell him the food is for me, he probably wouldn’t let me have it!


7. I pull Catalinas out of the wastebasket at self-checkout.


When at self-checkout, I turn my Catalina radar on and carefully choose my register according to how full the wastebasket is. I quickly stick my hand inside the trash and grab a handful of whatever papers I can. I’ve scored high-value coupons and Catalinas many times!


8. I always reuse my Ziploc bags.


It’s a waste of money to think of Ziploc bags as a one-time use product. I wash them very well and let them dry upside down on the kitchen sink spray or dish rack. Use, wash, repeat…many times! They’ll only find their way to the trash when they have holes in them. Seriously, people! What’s wrong with that?


9. I find other customers’ receipts in parking lots and shopping carts and use them to redeem rebate app offers.


This is one of my favorite ways to earn free money! I’m always looking for receipts lying around parking lots and shopping carts. Just recently, I made $3 by submitting a receipt I found under a car to Checkout 51.



10. I only go to the movies if I have a free pass.


I love watching movies at home and at the theater, but I hate having to pay for them. I’ll only go to the theater when I have a free screening pass. The same goes for Redbox. Free codes FTW!


Related: 11 Things Smart Grocery Shoppers Always Do


11. I use free gym membership trials to stay fit.



Most gyms offer a free trial week so you can experience the gym’s environment before you commit. Want a bikini bod on the cheap? Just hop from one gym to the next, staying only until the free trial period is over!


12. I ask other customers to use my loyalty card.


If the customer in front of me doesn’t have a loyalty card, I ask if they don’t mind using mine. I earn extra points, they get the sale price—it’s a win-win!


13. I water down my husband’s body wash.



My husband has a body wash problem. He feels like he has to “help” me go through our stockpile as fast as he can, just because we have so many bottles of soap. Instead of arguing about it, I just water his body wash down. Love him, though. Him and his long-lasting body wash!


14. I furnish my home for free.


When people move in and out of a house or apartment, oftentimes, a few pieces of unwanted furniture ares left behind right by the dumpster. This is the perfect opportunity to furnish your home for free! Think lightly-used vacuums, office chairs, and coffee tables.


15. I hide products so I can run home and get my coupons.


When I find a product on clearance and I don’t have a coupon for it, I’ll hide it somewhere nobody would expect. That gives me plenty of time to go home and look for printable coupons!


16. When at the movies, I grab popcorn bags out of the trash to get free refills…


Just because I get into the movies with a free pass doesn’t mean I’m going to spend my savings on snacks. Popcorn prices are absurd! Most theaters offer free drink and popcorn refills. All you have to do is get an empty bag or cup out of the trash and get your “free” free refill.


17. …Or I just bring my own snacks from home.


I refuse to pay for candy at the concession stand when I have so much free candy in my stockpile. I’ll grab a few bags and stick them in my purse, then put a bunch of stuff on top, just in case they want to check it. It works every time!


18. I only buy clearance meat.

clearance meat

Meat is expensive. Period. Meat that’s approaching the “best by” date is often reduced so it sells quickly. That’s when I come in and snatch it. As long as it’s not rotten, gray, or funky smelling, I’ll cook it or freeze it the same day, and it’s perfectly fine!



19. I rarely pay attention to the “best by” dates on my food.


Take a peek inside my pantry and you’ll find packages of Stove Top with a “best by” date of 2 years ago. Cereal? Probably six months past the date stamped on the box. By the way, I have eggs in my fridge that “expired” over a month ago. I got them for $0.25 and they’re as good as new!


20. I buy my bread at the dollar store.

bread at dollar store

We go through so much bread in our household, I can’t even imagine having to pay $3 or $4 for a single loaf. My bread is as good as yours, but better because it only costs a dollar!


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