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June 24, 2021

What's the grossest thing you've done to save money?

It used to be that doing gross, desperate, unthinkable things to save a buck was reserved only for penny-pinching students.

Squeezing ketchup packets into a bottle. Using paper towels as coffee filters. That kind of thing.

But come on, this is 2010. Not only have we just endured the greatest financial pullback of the last 80 years, but the Internet age has made making or saving cash a common – and often anonymous – enterprise.

For instance, let’s say you can play Beethoven’s 7th in farts with your armpit. Or you can fold a dollar bill into a butterfly. Or you can paint your flabby gut to look like John Goodman and rap Roseanne  lines out of your belly button. There’s a site for that.

On forums like Fiverr.com, users can post whatever services, tasks or random acts they can perform and sell them for $5. Other Fiverr surfers check up on your weird posts, see if your bizarre talent or offer warrants their five bucks and “buy” it off you. And people actually do this.

Or maybe, in your state of fiscal disarray, you’ve taken to selling your body in the least sexual way possible. Brand tattooing – having a company’s logo or slogan tatted on your body – is a well-known custom now. And so is “body mining,” the act of selling your blood/plasma/sperm/hair for quick cash.

Few all-natural entrepreneurs have made quite the splash a U.K. mom did earlier this month, when it was revealed by the Daily Mail she’d been selling her breast milk for $22 a bottle.

What’s weirder? That, or the fact the 26-year-old actually had a number of customers forking it over for 4 oz. containers of the stuff?

In any case, creativity is the greatest attribute of man, so it’s worth celebrating the odd, perhaps disgusting things we’ve done to help our finances.

So whether it’s stealing toilet paper from restaurants, re-using other people’s Laundromat dryer sheets or making that last piece of dental floss last four or five days, we ask:

What’s the weirdest/grossest/sickest thing you’ve ever done to save a buck?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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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...

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...