Bricks in the toilet, frugal foolishness and an upsell tale.

1. 6 Odd Things I do to Save Money

Club Thrifty — This blogger says he’s done just about everything to save money — and we’re not talking coupon cutting and fiddling with the thermostat. The most mundane one was cutting your own hair to save money. He says,  “If you have a simple hairstyle, this can work well.” I don’t have much hair left but I’m not cutting my own.

But then he brings in the bricks — for the toilet. Put them in the toilet tank and “They lessen the amount of water needed during a flush, resulting in a lower water bill.” And he tells you to wrap them in foil to keep from gumming up your pipes. I’m guessing the flush may not be as efficient with bricks in the toilet.

He also suggests bringing your garbage to work with you so you don’t have to pay for trash pickup. He admits, “you might need permission from your employer.” Points for thinking outside the box, but maybe he should read the next one…

2. When Being Frugal Backfires

Retire by 40 — Note to the guy who cuts his own hair — most frugal fanatics don’t like to admit when they go over the top. This blogger bares her frugal soul to the audience. That’s cool, because being frugal can cross the line into obsession. For example: She thought wearing a coat to bed in the middle of a Portland winter to save money was okay. Her boyfriend disagreed.

Then there is the humorous episode of “being too cheap to eat.” She goes out with friends for some “cocktails and laughs” — but no food. She remembers, “So, I keep drinking, but because I’m being too cheap to buy food, I end up getting stupidly drunk.” Her logical conclusion: Sometimes it’s better to spend the money.

3. What I Saw at Jiffy Lube Yesterday Made Me Shake My Head

Frugal Rules — This frugal-minded blogger watched a fellow consumer do something not so frugal — fall for an upsell. This consumer failed a car inspection because of bad wipers, and the tech sold him wiper blades at triple the cost of Walmart’s.

Instead of just paying for an inspection, this consumer also ended up “buying $40 wiper blades just to pass.” The blogger admits that it would take time to get the new blades elsewhere, but there was a Walmart and an auto parts store across the street. He then explains how to avoid upsells.

4. How “Fixed” are They? Ways to Save on Your Fixed Expenses

Color Me Frugal — Fixed expenses occur every month, like your rent or mortgage payment. But this blogger found out that fixed expenses “are only truly ‘fixed’ when you forget about them.” She says you should take the time to “question” these expenses to see if they’ve changed.

She recently discovered by accident that one of her fixed expenses (the monthly trash pick up fee) was supposed to be lower. While talking to the provider about another problem, she realized the provider lowered their prices to stay in line with the competition, “but they never bothered to notify us.” After a few more phone calls, her bill went down from $33 to $18 a month. She’s got suggestions of other expenses you might be able to lower.

5. Malls are Closing! Let’s Rejoice!

Fit is the New Poor — While on Facebook this blogger noticed that the mall she used to visit as a teenager is closing. She admits that, “while I mourn more for the nostalgia of it all, I am secretly rejoicing because a mall is being torn down.” Why is she rejoicing? She thinks there “is a shift in American’s attitudes for boredom shopping.”

Nothing to do? You hit the mall, spend money you don’t have, rack up more credit card debt. This is also commonly known as “impulse buying.” But she says millennials don’t care about malls because they can find more stuff and better prices online. Hence the rejoicing.

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Brian Bienkowski

Brian Bienkowski


Bienkowski is a contributing writer and is the face of's 'By the Numbers' videos.

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Article last modified on November 22, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Around the Web: Weird Ways To Save Money - AMP.