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July 06, 2021

How far will you go to save money?

By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

Everybody likes to save a dollar but just where do you draw the line? Would you decorate your house by picking up the leftover flowers at a cemetery? Do you sneak in snacks when you go to the movies?

Ken and Daria Dolan used to have television shows on both CNN and CNBC where they liked to talk about the little ways to save money, as well as grand investment ideas. For them, no money-saver idea was too awkward as long as it could make a dollar scream for mercy.

Can you say the same? For instance, ask the Dolans, would you be willing to ...

  • Salvage items things like umbrellas and sweatshirts from the lost and found bins in libraries, gyms and schools?
  • Eat for free by planning trips to the various places like Costco or the LCBO that serve free nibbles and samples?
  • Skip the sandwich bags and use the liners from cereal boxes and newspaper wrappers instead?
  • Forego toilet paper, and use washable rags or newspaper as a substitute?
  • Cut napkins in half to share with family members?
  • Let a rookie acupuncturist or chiropractor practice on you?
  • Stock up on extra condiments from fast food restaurant visits?

And, if these don’t make you wonder, here’s another set of extreme savings suggestions that go that much farther, including dishing up some nutria, a rat-like rodent common to Louisiana's swamplands. 

So, how far will or have you gone to save an extra buck?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...