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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

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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

Salary

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]

Contests

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

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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

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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

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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

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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