112 Ways to Save Money via Consumerist

The Consumerist put this article out a few months ago but I thought it had some pretty good info, and some not so good info that I wanted to share. The article is essentially a big list of tips that came in from Consumerist readers.

Here are some of the better ones that I liked:


Don’t buy more than you can use; use everything you buy.


Make your own bread. Not only will you feel super accomplished, but your bread will taste better than anything you can buy. Seriously….store bought bread sucks….Some to my house and have some of my bread. It’ll make you slap your momma and leave home.


Cut loose that sacred cow of budgets: your cable TV. Use sites like www.hulu.com and watch shows on network websites for FREE. Sign up for www.redbox.com and get one free movie on Monday. Every week. For FREE.


Do not buy children’s clothes, especially infant clothes, first-hand unless they are a gift or some kind of special souvenir.


When possible, make instead of buying. But don’t be suckered into spending a fortune on craft tools you don’t really need. For basic home crafts like knitting, sewing, etc., you can easily get away with just a few bucks on inexpensive supplies and tools and then delight your friends and family with home-made gifts.

and some I don’t think are worth it or I think are just wrong:

TRICK PEOPLE OBSESSED WITH BRAND-NAMES (note:my wife would kill me if I did this)

My wife is all about brand-names. She wants Tide – nothing else. Tide is $12 a bottle and Purex is like $7. When we are almost out of ‘Tide’, I go buy Purex and pour it in the Tide bottle. We have had the same bottle of ‘Tide’ for about 7 months. They change packaging now and then so occasionally I still need to buy the real stuff.


I travel for business A LOT. Every month or so at minimum, and sometimes I can be gone for most of an entire month. Therefore, I’m always at hotels. Most hotels give out free soap, shampoo, and conditioner, with maybe some lotion or mouthwash if you’re lucky. I say that because I take them ALL and hoard them.


When your pen ceases to write, it probably still has a great deal of ink in it that is just stuck temporarily. instead of throwing it out, stick your pen in the microwave for 10 seconds to get that ink running again.

and a few I am not too sure about but am willing to try:


Clean your teeth with a combination of salt and baking soda. Doesn’t taste as good as toothpaste, but is much cheaper and better for your gums (my late husband was a dentist and I owe this one to him – he died at age 89 with all his teeth in his head!)


I saved a few of the cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls. I bought two yards of white cotton flannel (about $8) and cut it into paper-towel-sized squares. I did a fast zigzag stitch around the edges of each one (cutting and sewing took about two hours total) and rolled them up onto the tubes. I use them for anything you’d use a papertowel for. When they’re dirty, I wash them in hot water with bleach, dry them in the dryer without a dryer sheet (so they’ll be more absorbent) and roll them onto another tube. I’ll never buy paper towels again. Cheap, and better for the environment, I think.


My husband buys long tube socks for work. When his safety shoes’ metal toe causes holes in the toe of the sock, he asks me to serge (sew and cut) the toe section off. When they finally become short as anklets, he then uses them for rags in the garage. I’ve been doing this for him for the last 20 years.

and probably my favorite:


“If it’s not on sale, it doesn’t exist.”

I tried the toothpaste mentioned above and it seemed to work pretty good, although it tasted horrible and my wife still thought my breath smelled afterward…

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6 People have left comments on this post

» Debt NinjaNo Gravatar said: { Jun 10, 2009 - 03:06:14 }

I’m pissed. I just stuck a pen that I know is full of ink but wont write (sat in a drawer for a couple years) in the microwave and it definitely didn’t work. Im too scared to put it in for more than 10 sec. Booo
[rq=919,0,blog][/rq]People finance the darndest things

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Jun 10, 2009 - 04:06:01 }

haha, thats why that was under my NOT TRYING list. It just doesnt seem like a good idea to put a pen in there.

» AshleyNo Gravatar said: { Aug 24, 2009 - 03:08:57 }

I like the bread tip, and my fav is a super easy beer bread.

Also I haven’t had cable in about 2 years and I’m not dead yet. Who would have guessed it?!

I’d suggest a little swish of mouthwash after brushing with the baking soda/salt combo for that minty clean effect.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Hey again thanks for the tips, I certainly dont know everything and I appreciate you sharing 😉

About Cable, doesnt it feel great to know you arent paying for something you dont really need and dont really use. I mean, even the most avid TV watchers pay for time they arent actually watching TV and it is such a waste will all the other options out there, the net, redbox, etc.

And I tried the baking soda and BLEH, it was horrible tasting, I will have to try the mouthwash afterwards and give it another try.

» SquirrelersNo Gravatar said: { Feb 3, 2011 - 11:02:28 }

For whatever reason, these selections gave me a good laugh.

My favorite: the Tide refill maneuver. AWESOME! I wouldn’t have the guts to do that, but can appreciate the intent, because why waste money on a brand name detergent?

Second favorite: the line “If it’s on on sale, it doesn’t exist”. Probably not funny to most, but the extremism of it made me laugh.

Third favorite: putting a pen in a microwave to get full use of all ink. I’m with you there, not worth doing.

I do totally agree with the baby clothes comment. New, fancy baby clothes are for parents who want their kids to look like dolls. I suppose it’s a natural part of first-time parent syndrome, because I was all about brand new clothes for my oldest. With my second, I totally realized that those kids don’t even use toilets so why would they care about the newness of their clothes? Get them used hand me downs, as long as they’re clean and in good shape that’s fine for really young kids.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

My wife would kill me if she ever found out I replaced her brand with something else, in bottle, without telling her 🙂 but if she stood between me and saving some money…that may be worth the risk!

As long as the baby doesn’t tell me NOT to put it on him, it’s going on him! Muahah the power of being in charge! (or at least part of the decision-making body..)

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