Extreme ways to save money might sound a little wonky to most people, but if you are looking to save some cash, read on.  If you’ve already tried some of the more standard money-saving strategies, then you may want to put your discipline and willpower to the test. Think of saving money the same way you would an athletic activity like running: you could start slowly by trying a 5K race, or you could truly push yourself by training for a marathon.

In this article, we’ll share some of the most extreme ways to save money.  As a disclaimer, these tactics aren’t for everyone, and you never want to compromise your health or safety in an effort to save money.

Make your own personal care products


Have you ever stopped to think about how much money you’re spending on items like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, skin care products, and more? Marketing will have us believe that we need to buy products with exotic ingredients and beautiful packaging. However, the homemade versions of commonly-used products can be just as, if not more, effective as the store-bought item. Now, this is not one of the most extreme ways to save money and you may just enjoy it.  For example, you can make shampoo from castile soap, oil, and essential oils.  You can even make moisturizer from mayonnaise, a common pantry ingredient.

Use less water


Did you know you can reduce the amount of water your toilet uses when you flush? This is not the most extreme ways to save money and something simple any homeowner might consider doing.  All you have to do is place either a water-filled jar or something else heavy like a brick in the back of your toilet.  Presto, your water bill just went down.  With everyone home 24/7 right now, you will definitely notice a drop in your bill.

Make your own toothpaste


Toothpaste can be expensive.  Especially if you use any of the “special” toothpastes with whitener etc.  Lucky for you,  toothpaste is one of the easiest things to make.  Here is a simple recipe.

  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp peppermint extract or essential oil
  • water

Mix all the ingredients together and water little by little until you reach your desired consistency.  You can store the toothpaste in a glass container.

Don’t throw away condiment packets


This may sound like one of the more extreme ways to save money, but it works and it helps cut food waste too.  Whenever you get take-out or hit the drive thru, there are usually extra packets of condiments left over.  Most people probably throw those away but wait.  You can easily add those ketchup packets to your ketchup bottle or an empty container.

Use a ball of foil for the dryer


Dryer sheets are expensive and if you are doing laundry for more people than just yourself, you know how fast you run through a box.  Save yourself some cash by making a foil ball to soften your clothes.  You will need about 2-3 aluminum balls per load. Each ball should be about two-to-three inches in diameter.

Use as many free samples as possible


We think this falls low on the “extreme ways to save money” spectrum.  I mean, who doesn’t love something for free?  Did you know that many companies give away free samples of their products? For example, if you’re a woman who enjoys using makeup occasionally, then you may benefit from visiting cosmetics stores and asking for free samples, which you can use whenever you feel like applying makeup. Not only will this tactic help you save money on expensive cosmetics, but it will also help you keep your makeup routine fresh, fun, and varied. In addition, you can also find samples of products like vitamins, cleaning products, snack foods, and more.

Practice recycling


Recycling is always in, so we hope you don’t think these tips are too “extreme”.  When you’re fully committed to recycling, then you are making an active effort to recycle as many things in your home as possible. For example, instead of throwing away your plastic grocery bags, you can reuse them as trash receptacles instead of buying new trash bags. Try to get creative with your recycling efforts. Before you throw something in the trash, ask yourself, “Can I reuse this in an innovative way?” You may be surprised by how many things you can recycle.

Loosen your interpretation of food labels


Expiration dates, sell by dates and best buy dates have various meanings.  Before you start throwing stuff out, learn the meaning of these labels.  You will help cut down on food waste while saving on money.

  • “Sell by” dates tell the store when they should start taking items off the shelves.  These dates are usually found on meats and other perishables.
  • “Best if used by” dates are meant to indicate when the item will be at its best flavor and quality.  These dates do not indicate safety.
  • “Use by” dates are determined by the manufacturer and help indicate when they think the item will start deteriorating in quality and flavor.

Don’t shy away from the meat on clearance


Just because meat is on clearance does not mean it is bad to eat.  This is a great grocery hack that will save you money.  Call your store’s meat department and find out when they plan on marking their meat down.  Whatever you buy, you can freeze.

Grow your own food


In an effort to save money and be more sustainable, people are learning how to grow their own fruits and vegetables. For some, this may seem like an extreme way to save money but it is becoming more and more popular. The good news is that you don’t need a large plot of land in order to start growing food. In fact, you can grow a few delicious items in containers or pots; beans, beets, chard, kale, lettuce, onions, and more.

Which of these extreme methods of saving sounds the most doable for you? Are you ready to take your saving efforts to a new level?