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


  • +46

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

    • +74

      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

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

        • +39

          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

          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

          @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.

          • @fantombloo: Are you advocating killing all the animals to conserve water

        • -1

          @Ozbargain Lurker:

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

        • +1

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

        • +3

          @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

          @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

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

        • +1

          @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

          @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

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

      • Really, I didn't know that. Is there any way to tell? I generally wash plastic for reuse by hand with dishwashing liquid as I thought the dishwasher would damage them.

        • +1

          Yeap… look for the number inside the triangle as described by comment of @johnkimble. You’d be surprised that its found in almost all the household plastic devices.

          The point of the soap / dishwashing liquid is that, certain plastics types may / can contain harmful substances but are trapped initially and dishwasher or soap may dissolve part of the outer layer releasing them into what you store in them afterwards.

        • @John Kimble: Oh wow, bookmarked it, thanks :)

    • -1

      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

    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

      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

        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

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

      • +22

        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

        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

      Bro. Pokies? Really? :(

    • +4

      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.

      • +3

        I thought this was common knowledge

  • +88

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

    • +1

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

      • +19

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

        • +107

          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

          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

          what the hell is a TV License?

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


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

        • +3


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


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

        • +8

          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


          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

      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

      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.

      • +2

        Bought a roll of stamps last week, they are now perforated

        They're on to you xuqi

    • +1

      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

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

    • +17

      That's not stingy. It's good common sense. If it takes you four minutes to wheel the trolley back that's a rate of $30 per hour, after tax. Many people would be happy to earn that.

      • +51

        It is Stingy when he was 15km From Aldi in the first place

        • +11

          And in the middle of summer

        • +47

          @Wystri Warrick: And uphill both ways.

        • +24

          …and the wheels were permanently locked on wanting to do a right-hand turn.

        • -8

          with bikies groceries still in it

        • +20

          @slipperypete: Someone always has to ruin it

        • +1

          @Ozpit: But the rear wheels permanently locked wanting to do left turn

    • +15

      A real ozbargainer would use it for this

      • +6

        Not when there's $2 at stake.. Plenty of deposit-free coles / woolies trolleys for that sort of thing.

        • +6

          Its better to pull up with a trailer , and load 30 trolleys on and take it to the local metal scrap recycler .

          2 trips in a hours $300 later

        • +1

          Saw off the handle and get the best of both worlds

        • @barginhunter11: each one cost woolworth $300 each

        • @nikey2k27:

          I would hope no one would take me seriously.
          for a $300 trolley they could at least wheel in a straight direction !

        • [@nikey2k27](/comment/

          $300 …..i am surprised that Wollie does fit gps tracker on each one

    • +12

      SO and I sometimes take a romantic de tour in the carparks and check for trolleys with coins inside of them,usually located right next to the 'return trolley' sign.

      • +10

        Couples that check together, save together.

    • you mean to get back your $2 ^_^

    • +2

      I was in Germany when they changed over to the Euro. The shopping trolleys didn't adapt fast enough, and people were getting their shiny new Euros stuck in the trolleys. I'd tour the supermarkets with a pair of pliers and extract the stuck coins! :)

  • +76

    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

    • +1

      I'm picturing a toilet paper spindle.

  • +9

    I stopped eating lunch.

    • +125

      I sold my keyboa

      • +20

        Did you sell your on-screen keyboard as well?

    • It'd be easier for me to give up breakfast

  • +12

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

    • +27

      Thats part of your employment package.

    • +10

      It basically equates to $3 of electricity per year.

      • +6
      • +3

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

        • +6

          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


          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 ;-)

        • Ha ha!

        • +2


          I think most modern chargers use more than 3 watts?

        • +2

          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


          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.

          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

      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

    mine bitcoin at work

    • this is a good idea

    • +2

      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

    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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