These 10 People Did the Unthinkable to Save Money: “Pretty sure I was drinking lead and rust”

What’s the wildest thing you’ve done to save money while broke? After reading through some of the responses to this question, my heart hurt a little. My mind went to top ramen for lunch and dinner, but I was wrong. Someone admitted to mixing ketchup packets with boiling water to make soup. Here are what others said. 

1. Poor Man’s Dinner

An unfortunate number of people knew what a poor man’s dinner was: to go to bed. It’s sadly the number-one-voted response. Additionally, someone suggested, “Taking a deep breath for lunch was my go-to.”

Please check your local food bank if you find yourself needing food. I realize not everything is black and white, but please at least use that resource. My mom volunteered in one, and they want you to come in.

2. Drinking Unfiltered Tap Water

Drinking unfiltered tap water is on this list, and people had mixed responses. So naturally, some showed their ignorance by assuming the person didn’t live in America before they volunteered, that they lived in low-income housing in New Jersey, and that many places in the states don’t have clean water. They clarified, “Pretty sure I was drinking lead and rust.”

3. Using a Gas Stove to Heat Apartment

A renter explained they had a 500-square-foot apartment that they heated with a gas stove because the gas was included in their rent. DO NOT DO THIS! I don’t know if anyone doesn’t know this, but that releases harmful carbon monoxide into your home, and you can die from the poisoning.

Sadly, others shared similar stories of heating their homes unsafely. One person shared that they learned from a homeless person to fill their sleeping bag with newspapers for heated insulation, while others confirmed it worked. 

4. One Bedroom For the Whole Family

One man confessed that he rented a room to his friend and then slept in a solo bedroom with his wife and three children to save money while they were broke. However, they expressed they are debt free with multiple businesses thirteen years later.

5. Living In Darkness

Several people in the thread admitted to turning everything off and living in darkness to avoid high energy bills. One explained they used their computer but nothing else to light their room and provide entertainment while never tuning anything else on.

6. Bacon Grease Candles

One man explained that he discovered how to make bacon grease candles for light after having his electricity turned off. He elaborated that while they burned longer than real candles, they, unfortunately, did not make the house smell like bacon.

7. Living In Car for Savings

An unfortunate number of people admitted to saving money for housing by living in their vehicles. Many noted time frames of a month, four months, six months, and eight months. One described it as “worth it” now that he had made the down payment on a home.

8. Dumpster Diving

dumpster diving
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Many users in the thread confessed to dumpster diving, and one clarified they weren’t homeless. They expressed that restaurants and bakeries have to throw out perfectly edible food and how much money they saved on groceries by eating out of dumpsters.

9. Withdrawing Paychecks Immediately

Racing to the ATM at midnight to withdraw all of your paychecks before creditors can access the funds was the story for many. It involved only paying the bills to keep water and lights while dealing with an overdrafted account in a vicious cycle of doing this for seven months.

Popular Reading: 47 Surprising Ways to Make an Extra $1000 a Month

10. All You Can Eat Buffet

Finally, someone advised that to save money and not starve to death; he would go to the buffet right before four for late lunch/early dinner. Then, they would eat as much as possible over a couple of hours to remain full until the same time the following day.

Okay, I’m going to say it. None of these sound like solid plans, and I am sorry for anyone going through similar circumstances. Again, DO NOT take these as valid life pro tips for saving money while you are broke. We are not recommending, only reporting. DO NOT use a gas oven to heat your home. 

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