Money Tips From Poor Folk (1/2)

I asked my Facebook friends to help me develop a list of money saving tips for middle class people from poor people, in response to all the money saving tips they’ve bestowed upon us over the years. The responses are a mixture of mirthful and morose, quite serious things they’ve actually had to do, and twists on useless advice we’ve all heard before. I’ve selected a few choice quotes for the various categories that emerged, but do read the whole thread here.

Wallet with no money inside
Sell that wallet!

Think of this as a challenge, like the Food Stamps Challenge except actually hard core. Live as if you were poor – put every scrap of money you earn over $10K a year into a long-term bond or trust where you cannot touch it. Follow the advice below. Unlike poor people who get no real benefit, if you undertook this challenge you’d have a large nest egg at the end of it. Yet somehow I imagine that the people most eager to offer “money saving” tips to others wouldn’t be interested in these.


  • Cut calories by skipping meals. Make up for lost nutrients by listening to strangers lecture you about the contents of your shopping cart. They’re just trying to help!

  • Every meal can be hot dogs. Every meal.
  • Don’t waste your money in the grocery store. Check the dumpster instead.
  • If you are using your refrigerator, you’re spending way too much money on groceries and on electricity. Only buy enough of anything that you can eat it before it turns to toxic mush on your countertop.
  • Then, fill your refrigerator with miscellaneous dust from the alley near the place where you live until it’s enough to turn carrot stubs into carrots. Then eat the carrot stubs instead of planting them.
  • Water is your friend. You can use it to replace every meal! Think of the savings!


  • Own a house? Do you not realize the ridiculous amount of money you’re sitting on? Sell!
  • Reduce your rent by taking in roommates. Anyone will do. You can’t afford to be picky if you want to keep that uninsulated studio apartment!
  • Sleeping outdoors in the fresh air is good for you, and owning only the things you can carry will make you appreciate life more. Become homeless.


  • Still have all your teeth? You’re probably going to the dentist too much! You could save dozens of dollars on annual cleanings and then use that savings for an extraction down the road.
  • Ignore that rash. It’s probably nothing. Same with that lump. And that cough that won’t go away. Just ignore them.
  • Sign up for lots and lots of medical research studies. Do them all at once. Sure, it might be dangerous to take several untested meds simultaneously, but do you really NEED a liver?
  • Also, make sure you are selling your blood. Sell all your blood.
  • Say things like “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” and then get quiet and wistful.


  • Layer your socks with holes so they cover your feet. Works with shirts too.
  • Save on maternity clothes by not buying any.
  • Wear your one pair of jeans until they wear out. You’ll save money by not being able to go anywhere.


  • Don’t buy coffee. Just harvest the dropped beans from the self-grinding station in the grocery store and run your tears over them for a cold-drip-brew.


3 thoughts on “Money Tips From Poor Folk (1/2)

  1. Learn how to make a food box stretch the from the three suggested days to 7 by convincing kids that Top Raman is a food groups and having mom and dad skip every meal except the ones the eat with their kids. Give kids that meal if they say they are still hungry


  2. I’ve actually done the hotdog thing. Not kidding. I lived in an apartment with three other people, and when the going got tough, one of my roommates let me eat her hotdogs. Living paycheck to about week and a half before my next paycheck, the going was always tough. I was so fucking broke that I’d buy enough groceries to eat perfectly fine for about a week, but since I was paid by weekly, nearly every other day, I would eat hotdogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My health was exactly as awesome as it sounds.

    PS. I used to be indifferent to hotdogs. Now, I will never eat another goddamned hotdog again.


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