One of the Grossest Things I Do To Save Money

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Sometimes I’ll do something and then I’ll think, “Crap, I’ve totally gone off the deep end, again.” They’re usually things that fall into the Shamelessly Frugal/”did I REALLY just do that to save money?” category.

Extreme cheapskate confession:

Most recently, when my husband and I make dinner I realized that I haven’t been scraping the food that’s left on on our plates at the end of the meal into the trash but back into the main storage for the not-yet-touched food from that nights meal.

It feels so wasteful to throw that perfectly good food into the trash when it could be eaten tomorrow… so what if it’s got a few bites out of it already, right? I can see how this would be a lot grosser if there were kids involved or if there were any more than 2 people.

Help me out here, what’s the grossest thing you’ve done to save money or reduce your costs? Tell me I’m not crazy. 


28 thoughts on “One of the Grossest Things I Do To Save Money

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  1. Sara

    I get a lot of crap from my friends about it, and I've been called a crunchy granola hippie, but there are more reasons besides saving money that I do this- but I made my own pads for when that special friend is in town. They are 100% cotton, reusable, environmentally friendly, and just plain comfy. What most people don't know is that the FDA doesn't regulate the chemicals companies use to treat things of that nature, and some people, like myself, have allergies to those chemicals. It's not a huge savings at first, but it pays off in the long run!

  2. Sara

    I have a sewing machine, but this website also has a no-sew option as well.
    I love that website, not sure if you've ever heard of it! It comes in handy for sure!

    I know you can buy already made ones, but those get pretty expensive too. I was really suprised, I thought it would be gross or a hassle, but really it's not. Some of them are quite pretty!

    I have a jar that I put a little bit of water in and keep it in the bathroom (I covered it with newspaper so the husband can't see the contents), and went I'm finished with one I throw it in there. If I'm out and have to change, I keep a small cosmetics case & ziplock baggie with me. I put the old one in the baggie and hide it in the cosmetics case. No biggie :)

    In the beginning I only made a few so I had to wash them a lot, but now that I've been doing it a while I had a nice stash so I only wash them when I'm finished. Wash with detergent (homemade in my case), hang or lay flat to dry.

  3. gail

    You are not crazy; you kiss eachother, right? So long as it's just the two of you, it makes no sense to toss the leftovers. Keep on saving…and kissing.

  4. Beth

    I have a worse one!
    In an effort to make less pollution / waste, as well as save money on toilet paper, I've started using a spray bottle filled with water as a kind of "hand-held bidet" – only when doing the #1 (the #2 requires TP). It's actually quite refreshing, and is saving a heck of a lot of toilet paper!

    Green AND cheap! You're not alone. ;)

  5. Marie Vlasic

    I do that too Anna, I also take any leftovers home from restaurants, half-eaten or not…(no kids here either) FYI here's a great frugal vegetarian tip: Happy Hour at Watercourse Restaurant, (3-6 I think) I love the buffalo seitan wings, and they bring you a HUGE basket of them for $5, enough to enjoy some there, and bring the rest home (including any half-eaten ones ;-) and make a few sandwich wraps from the next day. They will happily give you extra dressing to take home, too ;-) Also, the $5 nachos are big and delicious, plenty for 2 people.

  6. Linda

    Anna, not gross at all! I did it the other night with my husband's chicken parm…he had about 4 bites left and I kept it. Next night I had a huge salad and the rest of his chicken as a side (it was yummy, too)!

  7. Stitchybritt

    That's not gross at all – it's sad that we live in a society that might think so. If you're the one who's going to eat it for lunch tomorrow, what difference does it make? Food takes a hell of a lot of water, energy and transportation to get to our tables – to then send it to landfill would be doing the environment a huge diservice.

  8. Jen

    Yesterday I found a Macdonalds bag on the wall outside a local office. Lifted it to put in a trash can and it felt heavy. Inside was an empty mcflurry carton and spoon but a full untouched veggy burger, fries, ketchup and sweet and sour sauce portions. So i took it home and ate it for dinner.

  9. Carol

    I drink a lot of wine :)…and sometimes my boyfriend and I fall asleep with half or full glasses of wine left out.

    Usually I throw these out and cringe, but I’m going to start a jar in the fridge for leftover wine, because it’s excellent for adding to soups and sauces.

  10. Martine

    It’s not crazy, and with kids it can be done too! I have a 2.5 yr old and whatever he doesn’t touch goes back in the fridge. There’s too much waste otherwise. (if he mushed it all up, then it’s a judgement call on that specific meal).

    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Okay, that’s good to know. Would you put multiple kid’s leftovers back into the same container? Is there a worry about them passing germs to one another? Or is it all okay/fair-game?

  11. Kandice

    I learned this from my depression era grandmother: I have a lidded container that lives in the freezer. Leftover bits of veggies and pasta go in there until it is full. Then I make soup for the family (never for guests, because eww.). She never wasted anything. I try to follow her example. Usually it is the leftovers from the serving container, but admittedly, not always.

      1. Kandice

        I use chicken broth (2 cans or one of the large boxed containers) and a can of diced tomatoes. I usually throw in a diced potato or two and any other raw veggies I need to eat before they go to waste.


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