People Reveal The Most Clever Ways They've Avoided Paying For Something

In a world where things are just WAY too expensive, every penny saved makes a difference. But how do you save anything when there are fees on fees on fees for seemingly everything? Loopholes, dear readers. Loopholes.

Reddit user Mackedeli asked:

What's a clever way you have avoided paying for something?

Bust out your notepads, folks. These reddit users are about to school you in the grand art of being a cheapskate - in the most clever possible ways.

A Year At The Movies

Parking permits for my university were ridiculously expensive since it was in a downtown area. I'm talking like $700 a year minimum. I only had class three days a week so it didn't make sense to pay for a semester long permit.

Right next to the university is a movie theater with it's own parking structure, parking is validated with the purchase of a movie ticket. This particular movie theater has a deal for university students on weekdays, $3 movie tickets if you show your student ID.

So instead of parking at the university lots, I would park in the theater lots, buy a $3 ticket and then just go to class. I'd get my parking ticket validated and go home. I'd estimate I spent about $250 each year doing this. After a while, I signed up for some sort of point system the theater offered that got me an insane amount of perks since as far as they knew, I was watching three movies a week at their establishment.

Essentially I saved $450 a year and got multiple free movie tickets and merch out of it.

- __justbecause

Cancellation Fees

If you try to cancel an appointment during the time in which there's a cancellation fee, ask if you can re-schedule for a later date to avoid the fee. Then once they give you the new appointment date outside of the cancellation fee required period, then ask to cancel said new appointment. Boom roasted.

- RindgeTinge17

Book Fair Brilliance


8th grade school book fair with a buy one get one free sale. I had $20 and wanted four books. Two books cost $11 each, the other two cost $8 each. With these sales they ALWAYS make the two cheaper items free so I would've ended up spending $22 which I knew I couldn't afford. So, I took the two $11 books up and paid for them so one of them was free. Then, I pretended to "discover" the two $8 books I also wanted and paid for those. I ended up with enough left over to buy myself a cool eraser on top of it all.

- Thespinelesshorseman

The Lost Ticket

When my son was about to be born, we had to stay a while at the hospital and the parking time bill racked up really quickly. Been there for 4 to 5 days so that was about 15-20$ per day ... But you only had to pay a 20$ fine to get out if you lost your ticket.

Lets say I played the "I lost my parking ticket I'm so sorry" game.

- Astrozombie29


I pay my wife a salary from my company to avoid the tax on the earnings, and the higher rate of tax that I would have to pay if the money went to me

It's legal.

- [deleted]


Entering competitions and contests used to be like a serious hobby and little income stream of mine.

Didn't pay to see a film at the cinema in years and went regularly. The phone I'm writing this on? Won it. Trip to Sydney? Thanks MTV. Concerts, DVDs, CDs, magazine subscriptions, books - heaps of random things all for free. Even won an axe once!

- Maccas75

The Internet Provider

I've been with my internet provider for like 15 years, and I have no intention of switching. But now and then their competitor in town knocks on my door and offers me a really good deal if I switch, so I call my ISP and pretend like I'm going to cancel my service and switch. They start throwing all kinds of discounts and upgrades at me, like a bald fat loser begging his GF not to leave. By the end of the call, I'm paying half price for better service.

I don't really feel bad about this scam, though. We're paying $160 a month for service Europeans get for $20. Paying $80 a month for a six-month deal is still a rip off. But oligopoly and all that.

- Thudly

Visa Gift Card Trials

Sometimes I use those visa gift cards, I use up the money and then use the empty card for any free trial you have to use a credit card for. It lasts until payment is due and then it just cancels the account.

- LilEgg0

Chuck E. Cheese


When my kids were young Chuck E. Cheese had a club you could join that offered coupons. The bonus coupon to sign up gave heavy discounts on tokens. It made it affordable to go on a regular basis. Just needed to keep signing up for new memberships. I would make a new throwaway email every week.

- DifferentialEquation

No Membership

Buying gift cards at Costco does not require a membership

Using gift cards at Costco allows you to shop there without a membership, even if your gift card is only for 5 $

Step 1: Buy a bunch of gift cards without membership for $5 each

Step 2: Shop at Costco without membership, but with at least 1 gift card

Step 3: Profit

- SEI_Dan

Airplane Snack Hack

You can use a cancelled credit card on airplanes for snacks. As long as the expiration date isn't passed. So say you cancel a card and report it stolen or whatever. Credit Card sends you a new card number. The old one wont work anymore.

However, on a plane, they cannot connect to check if a card is good. It automatically approves in their system. So you use the cancelled one. They give you food and shit. Then after you land and get off, they run the cards and it gets declined. Not worth it to them to go after you. Free food in flight.

- darkslayer114

JC Penny - Doin' It Right

When you sign up for JCP rewards they will occasionally send you a $10 off $25 or more coupon. Can be used multiple times until it expires. I have used the same coupon once 7x in one day to get my stuff over 50% off. When you add it to whatever sales they have when the coupon is active, you can save a lot of money.

- Mr_sweet_and_awful

Kid's Cup

Places with Free refills, ask for the smallest cup possible, get a kid's cup of you have to. I'd rather save $2-3 and get up a couple times then spend the price for a Large cup.

- reefgod

Wait It Out


When my wife and I were looking to buy our first home and wanted to look into mortgages, my wife had a car-repo on her credit (from years earlier) that needed to be settled up on, so we went to the bank where the loan was originally from and sat down with an associate to see what we could do.

She pulled up the info, said what the outstanding balance was (something like $4,000) and that we could either set up a payment plan or....(as she looked around to make sure nobody could hear her and leaned toward us)....if we could wait 2-3 more months, it would come off her credit history automatically since enough time passed.

We stood up, shook her hand and thanked her, and went on our merry way.

- scottybass

Failure To Swipe

This isn't my story, but my friend told me this just a few hours ago.

He goes to a really high end university, and they're cafeteria food is super expensive, but the restaurants around are just as expensive. They just use refillable meal cards, and he has a few meals on there, but the magnetic strip on his card doesn't work, and the cashiers that work there are so miserable and careless that they never check it, they just swipe it and send him away. They don't even pay attention to their computer or anything, so he eats for free constantly. Only a few times has one of he cashiers typed in the numbers after trying and failing to swipe.

- Daliaveyani

Completely Non-Enforceable

Private car park company fine.

Turns out, unless it says "civil enforcement" on it, its completely non enforceable by standard law. What you receive is technically an invoice.

You'll get debt letters threatening to make the smallest contribution, and unless you're a repeat offender, very little chance you'll ever see court.

- tifauk

Soup and Sandwich 

When I was in hospital after having my son I'd choose one of everything from the menu and then I'd eat the soup and the sandwich and my husband would eat the main meal . He never had to go to the canteen and buy food and I only wanted the soup and sandwich.

- elgiesmelgie

Guerrilla Gardening

Instead of buying succulent plants, my friends and I have about twenty varieties of succulents between us that we propagate and give away. We propagated the parent plants from leaves we found on the ground at garden and hardware stores, and from healthy plants growing outside. We all already had containers and soil, too, so the only money spent on the now one hundred succulents produced from the original twenty is money spent on the water bill.

- EggeLegge

Wi-Fi Cell Phone

I don't pay for cell phone service. I downloaded an app that gives you a phone number. The catch is you have to have wifi so sometimes it can be a little bit of a problem but many places have free wifi these days so I can usually find a Starbucks or a store near by if I'm not at home.

- typewriter6986

The Hard Drive Hunch

I had an external hard drive stop working/loading, not sure what happened to it, but my whole life was on that drive. I took it to one of those places that can recover your data. They took my drive and said they would call me after testing to see whether they could recover the data on the drive or not. They called me back the next day and said it was an issue with the loading software and it was possible to get my files but I would have to pay $500.

In my mind I was thinking, "Well if they were able to see my files then they must have had to fix the loading software to see them?"

So I just said "Nah that's too much, I will come pick up my drive." and of course the drive worked perfectly when I got home and I paid nothing. To be honest I would've just paid them to fix it if it was reasonable (I used to do photo recovery when I worked in a photo lab and we charged $50 so I was expecting something in the range of $50-100), but $500 for that is just extortion in my opinion. If my hunch was wrong I was just going to take it to another place anyways.

- Marsuperstar

The Donut Vice


Unlimited free donuts from krispe kreme.

I literally just signed up on the app 1000 times with fake accounts. They don't even require email confirmation.

For each account I make, I get 12+ donuts. One for joining, one for my birthday (which is always conveniently on the day I sign up), 7 for reccomending 'friends' to join the app (Spoiler alert, I used more fake accounts, I don't have friends lol) and 3 more for my 3 precious children, Burp, Vorlock and Stalin.

I don't even eat most of the donuts. I just like getting free stuff. It's actually become a really bad vice I need help lol.

- Apps2000

I tend to avoid public bathrooms if I can help it. They are terrible places. Few are clean and I admit I am a bit of a clean freak. My beautiful bottom will not grace a dirty toilet seat, no thank you. I have standards.

I'm being only sort of serious. I've been in a pinch before. But have you ever seen a gas station bathroom that was utterly destroyed by the patron (or patrons) before you? It's a horrible sight. 0/10: Do not recommend.

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