What Is The Stingiest Thing You Have Ever Done to Save Money?

I recently bought a power bank for travel but what I am doing now is charging the power bank at work so that I dont have to use my electricity at home to charge our mobiles and ipads.

I also turn off the gas booster to my solar hot water on sunny days so all my hot water is free…..when the sun is out.

What do you do to save $$

WOW, Thank you all for replying. I didn't expect such a response.
What a community!
Some great ideas and some funny comments too.
Thank You

Comments

  • +46 votes

    We have washed those red cups from Costco so we can use them again :|

    • +74 votes

      That's a sensible use of resources and conservation of the natural environment. So much disposable stuff can be reused - just chuck it in the dishwasher with all the other stuff.

      • +60 votes

        I think he meant so he can get free refills again…

      • -23 votes

        Yes but we're here on OzBargain, where the environment and our impact on it is of little to no concern. Saving money is, no matter how selfish and destructive it may be.

        Sadly.

        • +39 votes

          I get free water included in my rent.
          Maybe I can get a hydro generator and run the bath tap 24/7 to generate free power.

        • +3 votes

          Can't think of any examples where being cheap would be significantly more destructive to the environment. Most ozbargainers have a sense of morals, we don't like it when people abuse the goodwill of others. e.g if a store gives something for a free as a promotion which is one per person, we don't approve of people being greedy and abusing the promotions by trying to get it multiple times.

        • +4 votes

          @Ozbargain Lurker: eating animal products is your single largest toll on fresh water both in terms of consumption and pollution. The generator would consume and pollute less. Google "water in hamburger" if you want to know more.

        • -1 vote

          @Ozbargain Lurker:

          They're fairly silent on using vpns to access content and dodgy microsoft keys….

        • +1 vote

          @thevofa: Yes but how is eating animal products anything to do with being cheap?

        • +3 votes

          @Ozbargain Lurker: it need not be - but look at the food related deals on ozb and decide yourself what they're most often about.

        • +6 votes

          @idonotknowwhy: as a landlord who has to include water as part of rent as it isn't separately metered in the apartment block… Please don't. All you'll do is up the overall cost - which will be reflected in the rents for everyone within the block into the future.

          But i'll give you some serious points for ingenuity and thinking outside the box!

        • +3 votes

          @idonotknowwhy: They did the maths here https://what-if.xkcd.com/91/. Basically it's not worth it.

        • +1 vote

          @matthewperk: Don't worry, my wife wouldn't let me do it anyway. She doesn't even want me running the dishwasher / washing machine daily due to the environment cost (even though the water is free and I kick them off just after 11pm to get the off-peak power).

          The comment I replied to just got me thinking, if the goal is purely "make as much money as possible without breaking the law", and no other constraints, what would I do?

          Luckily she doesn't know how much coal-based power my mining rigs use :)

        • +1 vote

          @not a bot: lol. That's a really inefficient way of doing it though. You'd need to attach it directly to the tap.

          You can buy a "Hydroelectric Generator Faucet Induction Generator" for about $10 from some of those Chinese shops which always sell Xiaomi products to ozbargainers.
          Looks like you could get ROI within a few of months.

        •  

          @not a bot:
          Someone rang DrKarl with a similar idea. Putting turbines in the feed pipes of a house, working off mains pressure. As many would know, there's no free power. The idea was politely shot down.

        •  

          @YogaPants:
          Why is that? I can see it not being much power, but why would it not work?

        •  

          @kiitos: It turns pressure into power. Reduces pressure. Cost of boosting pressure to allow for it defeats the purpose.

    • +14 votes

      Beware though, not all plastic types are suitable for reuse, specially if you wash them with soap or dishwashing liquids.

    • -1 vote

      I sometimes find a torn off coloured spa/sauna band at the pool and then just wrap it round my wrist… so nice getting that free sauna at the end of a hard day!

  • +40 votes

    I took home coffee pods, raw sugar and tea bags from my hotel room during my 5 day stay at the Darling hotel in Pyrmont. It ended up just $10 worth of tea and coffee.

    Just to get my revenge after losing $200 at the pokies…

    • +11 votes

      we did the same at the marina bay sands hotel. we stayed in a suite so as well as coffee pods we got some high quality pens and bathroom stuff as well

      • +2 votes

        Mbs stocked awesome tea. Not avail in au.

        •  

          TWG? Can get from Djs food court

        •  

          @gavt:

          really? Nice. Will be def grabbing some soon.

          I didn't know DJs still existed, or that people still went there.

    • -1 vote

      Also tissues and facial tissues and when I pass the maids cart grab a few pens.

      • +22 votes

        I dunno about taking things from carts man. I'm all for taking everything they give you but actually taking stuff without asking feels more like stealing.

      • +1 vote

        bottle water for free on maids cart

    •  

      I call up every night of a hotel stay and ask for more refills of different things on different nights.

    • +12 votes

      Bro. Pokies? Really? :(

    • +4 votes

      Pro Tip -put the tea bags & coffee in your bag as soon as you arrive. Each day you stay Housekeeping will top up all the freebies. Repeat daily until you leave with a great stash.

  • +88 votes

    Unglued a used but pristine postage stamp from a letter and used it again.

    • +1 vote

      I've always wondered why they don't put a line through it to indicate it's been used

      • +19 votes

        They do but they quite often miss them, especially on small parcels.

        • +107 votes

          Supposedly, AU post use cancel ink which only shows up under certain light. They likely do sampling every so often— but they might end up sending it back to the sender.

          Reminds me of a trick my nephew & I used when I was in the US. Send without a stamp, put the destination as the sender- so they'd return for lack of postage.

          It DID work! We were about 10 or 12- lol.

        • +7 votes

          I reckon that’s a story the government tells people to scare them into paying for more stamps. Like those “detector vans” with big plastic dishes on their roofs that could supposedly detect if you have an unlicensed TV running, but really it’s just to scare gullible people into paying for a tv license.

        • +8 votes

          @AustriaBargain:
          what the hell is a TV License?

        •  

          back in our grandparents day you used to need a tv license to legally watch tv.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_licence#Australia

          I’m too young to know if we ever had detector vans scaring people into paying their radio or tv license.

        • +3 votes

          @AustriaBargain:

          You still need a TV licence even today if you live in the UK.

          https://www.gov.uk/tv-licence

          but they give you a 67% discount on the annual fee if you only have black and white. Bargain.

        • +8 votes

          I spent two years in the UK and at first I didn't want one because it seemed ridiculous that they could detect us in a tower of 100 apartments. But the paranoia ate away at my partner until it reached the point where it was worth paying for a colour TV license just to put their mind at ease.

          The entire time all I could think about is the episode of The Young Ones where he eats the TV after panicking when the TV inspector knocks on the door.

        • +3 votes

          @AustriaBargain:

          Haha. When we were over there, I also bought a PS3, so if push ever came to shove, we'd just say we just have the TV for video games (yes, there's a big of paranoia there to have to think of an excuse).

    • +4 votes

      I do this for every unfranked stamp I receive (not that there are too many letters coming and going nowadays). Franked is rarer than unfranked.

    • +29 votes

      I've got $100+ worth of $2, $1, and 50c unmarked stamps, that I've removed from parcel over the years sitting on my desk at work.

      Never sent a letter in my life but I can't stop myself removing them from parcel/letters I receive.

    • +1 vote

      Oh yeah I do this heaps, I've got like 10+ stamps now. Definite money saver. Although need to post more letters to use them all sigh

    •  

      Went next level when forms were sent to be filled in. Unsealed envelope carefully, filled in all necessary documents, returned in the same envelope and resealed then wrote wrong address return to sender. It got returned to the sender safely and only sender paid for the postage fee once.

  • +132 votes

    I wheeled an aldi trolley all the way back to aldi for $2

  • +76 votes

    Why don't you take a UPS into work to charge up. You'd be able to run a small TV from it for a few hours saving about 10c. May as well buy some large containers and take some water home as well (carrying all that weight you'd no longer need a gym membership). Also don't forget to save your old toilet paper rolls for refilling from the larger ones at work

  • +9 votes

    I stopped eating lunch.

  • +12 votes

    I charge my phone and tablet at work everyday that's not stingy is it?

    • +27 votes

      Thats part of your employment package.

    • +10 votes

      It basically equates to $3 of electricity per year.

      • +3 votes

        Per device….Ozbargainers have like 30 phones, tablets, wifi dongles, DS consoles, and other miscellaneous devices.

        • +6 votes

          A charger uses 3 watts.

          Let's assume 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 46 weeks a year (1,840 hours)

          3 Watts x hours = 5,520 = 5.520 kilowatts

          X electricity tariff of 25c per kWh = $1.38 per device per year.

        • +5 votes

          @Dozingquinn:

          So tempted to set up a little charge desk at work with about a dozen devices and take a picture to post here as a joke. I like my job too much to risk it ;-)

        • +2 votes

          @Dozingquinn:

          I think most modern chargers use more than 3 watts?

        • +2 votes

          You appear to be correct. They can go up to 30W. I would assume they use 30W when charging, before clocking down once charged. I will investigate with a meter.

        • +3 votes

          @Dozingquinn:

          Just multiply amps by volts for output. 2.4V * 12A = 28.8A so 30W is pretty right. But of course they're not 100% efficient.

          68%-80% efficient, up to somewhere around 43W while actually charging for the most power hungry chargers. Those ones tend to charge the phone in much less than 3 hours.
          http://www.righto.com/2012/10/a-dozen-usb-chargers-in-lab-ap...

          You're still talking a few dollars a year. But $1.38 is probably a tad low.

          At an hour a day let's say 40Whr * 5 days * 48 weeks = 9600 Whr
          Peak usage is more like 35c than 25c
          9.6kW * 0.35 = $3.36
          Still under $5….heck if you used it 2hrs a day, it's still under $7/yr.

          If your employee was setting up to charge multiple devices I'd be more concerned at lost efficiency of the employee than stolen electricity.

    • +5 votes

      Smart. That also saves wear and tear on your home wall sockets, which’ll save you more precious cents and is a no brainer if you don’t value your time and plan on living forever.

  • +61 votes

    mine bitcoin at work

    •  

      this is a good idea

    • +2 votes

      Funnily enough I thought about that earlier this morning…
      Then I remembered that my work PC is a pile of trash that is already frustratingly slow to use…

      •  

        I built a rig and connected to a wifi dongle and left it in a storage room for about 15 months.
        Mined a lot, I should’ve held onto it rather than mine and then sell.

  • +19 votes

    I bought a trolley lock chain for $20 from some German shopping trolley supplier and a eBay coin hacker tool. I've liberated well over $20 worth of coins from abandoned trolleys with those tools.

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