Want to see some truly terrible money saving tips? Suspend your disbelief for 10 minutes and read on…
I spend an awful lot of time browsing the web looking at what’s going on in the money industry. I work hard to produce quality money saving advice and tips but sometimes I come across so-called advice that really beggars belief.
Save Money On Food
Tip1: Reduce the amount of food you eat
Ok, here’s the first stupid frugal tip I came across (this will blow your socks off): if you want to save money on food you should eat less. Really? Seriously? Could my lack of a decent holiday slush fund really be caused by eating too much? Yes, we all know the dangers of too much food but, seriously, what does the author of this expect us to do? Eat corn and caterpillars for the rest of our lives?
If you want to take your culinary cost cutting regime to the next level you might want to consider eating dog food. This tip probably started off as a joke but, at one point, some forums were comparing costs and shelf life of tinned vs dried dog food.
Cutting The Cost Of Running A Car
Tip 2. Sell your pride and joy and buy something more economical
When you look out of your window, what do you see? A brand new Bentley? A Jaguar XK Coupe? A BMW? If it’s one of these three, or something similar, you’ve just found the next target for you cost cutting exercise. To you this might seem insane but MSN were actually suggesting that readers give up their BMW’s and buy something more economical (like a Subaru). Hahahaha!
I understand the mathematics behind running a car. So do you. If someone suggested you sell up your pride and joy in order to save £123.97 per year would you do it? I doubt a saving this small, spread over a year, will have anyone rushing to buy a Smart car.
Going On Holiday At Christmas
Tip 3. Avoid buying expensive presents by telling your family you’ll be on holiday
‘Ah, but James, Christmas holidays are more expensive’, I hear you say. I agree. But this isn’t about going on holiday. It’s about telling lies to your friends and family. The basic idea goes a little like this: buying Christmas presents can get really expensive. Save your money and tell your nearest and dearest that you’re going on holiday during the festivities. Kerching – you’re quids in.
But you’ve just lied to your family. On top of that, you also need to spend two weeks holed up in your living room with nothing but Songs of Praise and Doctor Who for company. Is it really worth the pain just to save a little money?
Expensive Goods Are Out
Tip 4. Don’t buy expensive stuff when cheap goods will do
When it comes to truly useless money saving tips, this one comes a close second to eating less food. The argument goes something like this: if you spend less money on expensive goods and buy cheaper products you’ll have more money to spend. So, forget your Fray Bentos pies and by some of Tesco’s own and, in no time at all, you’ll be living the dream.
The only problem is that a lot of the supermarket own labels taste like crap. There’s a reason why it’s cheap – because it’s made of the cheapest ingredients.
Stop Getting Your Coffee Shop Fix
Tip 5. Avoid expensive coffee shops and make your own
Did you know that buying a coffee from Costa, Starbucks, etc actually costs more than making it yourself? One piece of advice I found suggests that shoppers don’t actually know that it costs more to buy ready-made beverages than it does to brew your own. So girls and boys, if you really want to cut the cost of buying a round of coffee’s make sure you pack a brew kit in your purse of manbag.
Personally, I really do believe that most people know a Starbucks costs more than making your own coffee. Admittedly, I did cover this in a previous post about how coffee shop employees emptied my bank account but without the patronising tone adopted by some.
Stop Driving During Peak Times
Tip 6. Leave work earlier to avoid getting stuck in jams
How many hours do you sit in traffic jams every month? 5? 6? More? But you love it, don’t you? There’s nothing better than wiling the hours in your car as it slowly soaks up the sun rays and steams the salmon sandwich you made for lunch. Right? But did you know how much money you’re wasting as your car engines idles as you wait for the 7 mile tailback to clear? Neither do I but it must be a lot.
Yep, another blindingly stupid piece of money saving advice. As if many of us can really avoid rush hour traffic. Ok, you could go to work 3 hours early just to beat the schoolrun madness but will your boss really let you leave work 3 hours earlier every day?
Make Stuff Out Of Herbs
Tip 7. Make your own herbal remedies and beauty products
Fact: Matthew Hopkins used to burn witches. Fact: some countries still believe in witchcraft and take a dim view of what you and Tiddles get up to during the full moon. So, with those points in mind you might want to hold off on making your own herbal remedies and face packs. Sure, it might be fun but if it came down to looking 5 years younger or being burned at the stake I know which I’d choose.
Ok, very tongue in cheek but some websites actually suggest making your herbal remedies and environmentally friendly beauty products. Forget the fact that companies spend years getting it right to make sure that organic faces pack won’t melt your skin – it’s also hard work. Too much for most of us.
Sleeping In Airports
Tip 8. Cut your holiday costs by sleeping in an airport
You’ve planned the perfect holiday for you and your amour. Your flights to Rome cost you the princely sum of £48 for return tickets. But you want to save more. 3 nights in even a relatively cheap hotel at the heart of the former Roman empire will cost you a few hundred pounds. There’s no way you’re going to pay that. The moths in your wallet can sleep easy for another few days.
Believe it, or not, there’s even a website that lists the best airports to stay in. www.sleepinginairports.net lists thousands of desirable locations to lay your head and even has a ratings system.
Reuse Sandwich Bags
Tip 9. Save even more money on your packed lunches by reusing wrappers
Ok, so far, two of the stupidest suggestions we’ve seen are to eat and spend less on food. This next one really takes the biscuit: reuse your sandwich bags. No, your ears aren’t deceiving you. Ever time you recycle your food bags you’ll save yourself a whopping 1/16th of a penny! To put this into perspective, over the course of your working life you’ll save about £7.62.
I know there’s some merit in this idea. After all, we do throw too much away. But the financial savings are tiny. Also, if you’re not careful, you run the risk of contracting botulism (or some other nasty bug).
9 useless money saving tips. Got more? Follow me on Twitter and send me your ideas.