Money expert Clark Howard loves to share new and creative ways to save on his radio show, TV and here on Clark.com. But some of the best savings strategies come from you!
Simple savings tips and tricks from Clark’s fans
We recently asked our Facebook fans to share their secrets to stretching a dollar, and we were blown away by all of the things you do to reduce your expenses and save for the future.
Here are 12 of the most popular responses, submitted by Clark’s amazing fans!
1. Use every last drop
Phyllis Britton-Davis: “I’ve actually cut containers of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, etc. when I thought it was ’empty.’ Only to find that I could easily get quite a bit more out of each. I paid for it all, so I should get to use it all!”
Editor’s note: Others suggested adding water to shampoo bottles and turning lotion bottles upside down.
2. The best (free) omelet ever!
Virginia Booker: “We went to Charleston a few years ago and this swanky hotel had a promotion that for every booking, you received a free breakfast voucher at the iconic restaurant next door ($100 value I believe). We stayed three nights in three different rooms to enjoy our three complimentary breakfasts. One of the best omelets I’ve ever had!”
Read more: These 35 hotel chains offer free breakfast
3. Go on a pantry diet
Jennifer L. Sparks: “I have been on the pantry diet. If it isn’t in the pantry I didn’t eat. I recited daily, ‘I don’t need, I don’t want and I am happy.’ I do travels in a loop and pick up items to and from work.”
4. No-spend challenge
Sandra Barron: “I like to see how many days I can go without spending a cent. I eat what I have in my pantry and fridge. No fast food at lunch. I also avoid impulse items at all times. I have actually amazed myself at how little we really NEED to get by and have saved some money.”
If you’ve ever tried a no-spend challenge, we thought you might like this picture that was uploaded to the website Imgur.com with the caption “Nothings wrong, mint.”
5. Leave your car at home
Lisa Bratton: “When I first moved to Philadelphia to attend graduate school, I had some savings, but no permanent job. I had to watch every dime so I saved train fare/gas/parking by walking or riding my bike to my temp job (one mile) and to school (three miles). I started liking both and continued even after I found work. Decades later, I still enjoy both!”
6. Keep your car for 10+ years!
Donna Newman Stogner: “We drive our cars at least 10 years. One Toyota is 11 years old and one is 10, both going strong.”
7. To flush or not to flush?
Kathleen Neuland: “Only flush the toilet every other time when I urinate.”
Interestingly, a recent story from Newser makes the case that urinating in the shower (which a lot of people apparently do) can conserve water and save money.
8. Never buy trash bags again
Frank Thomas: “I’m in the service industry. Friday is uniform day. Some guys bring in their dirty uniforms in large garbage bags. Haven’t bought garbage bags in years…”
9. Adjust your thermostat!
Diana de Azpurua: “To go home, I cut off my cable, stopped coloring my hair yikes, turned air up to 78 used a fan, ate peanut butter for 5 months! Now I can go home!!!!”
10. Fill up on free samples
Erin Curtis: “My Dad and I would go to Costco for lunch which was to eat the free samples! We also test drove a car once only to get the free tupperware gift! I have toured apartments for the free gift cards they offered as well.”
11. Save your $5 bills
Edie Hefter: “We saved every $5 bill (received as change) for 6-8 years. We only used cash for smaller purchases. Now we have enough for a trip to Australia! Of course this only works if you use cash so stay away from those debit cards.”
12. Strategically time your trips
Terri Lee Harrington: “When my husband and I got married, we waited a few months to go on our honeymoon. He was going to London on a week-long business trip, so I tagged along. Free airfare for him and paid hotel in London for a week. While he worked in the day I explored the city and we would go to shows, etc. in the evenings. We did the official honeymoon in Italy after the business was concluded with his company paying his way home.”
Read more: 33 easy ways to make extra money each month