Taxes. Death. Tofu. Those words conjure up very scary images. But two other words that cause people to cringe are Debt Reduction. It’s so easy to get in debt but, by contrast, so very difficult to get out. There are so many websites, books and articles explaining how to save money and reduce your debt. Many of them we already know: cut coupons, eat dinner at home instead of at a restaurant, get rid of your TV cable, sell items you no longer want or need.
But while many people use these successful hints, some cheapskates have taken saving money to a whole new sport. I have heard of some unusual tactics that really make me wonder. A popular cheapskate idea is to dry and reuse your paper towels. Really? I can just picture my kitchen draped with drying paper towels all over it. Better Homes and Gardens will, I’m sure, be calling for a photo shoot. And do I really want to reuse the paper towel that I just used to wipe my dog’s muddy paws?
I’ve also heard of folks collecting their own drinking water. Well, this might work, but if you live in Texas and rely on drinking water to fall from the sky, you won’t last long! And if you choose to collect your water from a creek or river, there are probably all sorts of fascinating animal waste products in it. When you’re hospitalized for some horrible disease, you’ll wish you had spent the $0.001 per gallon on tap water!
Another favorite is to eat left-behind food at restaurants. My mother always taught me to clean my plate and to not waste food. Those are both excellent lessons to teach our children. But to eat off someone else’s food plate when they’re done? I would worry more about getting sick from eating food that’s been sitting out too long or the uncomfortable conversation that’s bound to take place with the manager of the restaurant than saving a few bucks.
Okay, guyslooking for a romantic date idea? Want to really wow her with your frugalness? Take your date to Sam’s Club or Costco and make the circuit of free samples. Now what woman wouldn’t swoon over folks in hair nets and plastic gloves and a smorgasbord of various delicacies such as pizza rolls and vitamin water? Nuff said.
If that idea doesn’t appeal to you, try unplugging everything electric when you leave the house. Appliances and other electronic items use energy when they’re plugged in even if they’re not being used. So turn it ALL off each time you leave the housecomputers, toasters, ovens, microwaves, coffeemakers, alarm clocks, TVs, game systems, radios, printers and telephones. Just reading the list is exhausting! My opinion is that there might be a better way to use those hours each day than unplugging, then plugging back in, each of your electric items. Let’s take it to a whole new level and just not have anything electric! The Amish certainly have mastered this concept over the years.
But I have to say my absolute favorite idea is to flush your toilet only once a week. While some fanatics swear by using no toilet paperand instead using soap and water or (yuck) their handssome cheapskates instead choose to flush their toilets just once a week. No matter what is in the toilet, flushing only takes place once a week. Wow, I’m thinking that might limit the amount of time visitors stay in your home. One look ator smell fromyour guest bathroom, and your visitors will undoubtedly remember that they “left the oven on,” “the dogs need to be let outside” or “their bunions are acting up.”
All this being said, being good stewards of the money that God has entrusted us with is so important. God gives us money not to hoard or to use to impress others but so that we might do good with it. One thing I have learned through the years is that when we give to God we are blessed. When I tithe money to my church, I’m not giving to the church. I’m not giving money to the pastor. I give my offering to God alone. I give for my own blessing and with a cheerful heart. Giving reminds us that we can live for a purpose greater than this world and all the temporary treasures that it offers. It helps keep everything else in perspective and allows us to chuckle at the thought of our kitchens draped with used paper towels.