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upworthy
Joy

People share their most ridiculous 'I paid for it, not letting it go to waste' moments

The things we do save a buck.

ask reddit thread, waste

Worth it?

The saying “waste not, want not” can be very valuable. However, as with most idioms of wisdom, it can be taken too far. Especially if it means putting up with severely unpleasant experiences simply to save a buck or two.

A person on Reddit by the username @Bull56Dozer recently asked the online community to share their own “well I paid for it, not letting it go to waste” moments and their question received a ton of responses. As it turns out, many, many humans would prefer to endure the uncomfortable (even consume the questionable) rather than potentially waste money.

A lot of the anecdotes were, perhaps unsurprisingly, food related. Considering that food inflation is at nearly 10% as of April 2022, it makes sense that people might want to milk every penny, even if that means drinking milk past the expiration date.

Plus, we do have a huge food waste issue. According to the World Food Programme, nearly one-third of all food currently produced globally is wasted each year … enough to feed 2 billion people. With those alarming statistics, I find myself choking down cereal that’s flavor is … interesting at best.

Of course, money fears could also be at play. Finances is a major source of stress for many people, if not manifesting into a full-blown phobia. Even those who are currently secure could still have been affected by growing up in poverty. As Leah Brookner, MA, MSW, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University, explained in an article for Health, the trauma of childhood poverty—even when experienced well into young adulthood—can negatively shape the way we think. Luckily, she adds that with awareness, this is a challenge that can be overcome.

Maybe by making light of some of the measures we go through in the name of frugality, we can bring in some of this awareness, while still keeping our spirits lifted. After all, when given an optimistic spin, these moments can make for some funny stories. And time spent laughing is never wasted, right?

Without further ado, here are 14 of the best responses:


1. How could Oprah lead them astray?

“The worst cake I ever had was $30 for two slices…It was my mom’s birthday and she wanted to go to this gourmet cake place that was every girl’s tea party fantasy on the inside. The cakes were even Oprah recommended which was the reason my mom knew about it. We go to eat it, and the cake is…..awful. And it’s not just, oh it’s not my taste, like the cakes just tasted bad...."

things we do to not waste money

When you have your gross cake and have to eat it too

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"...We still ate them because they were $30 but I had to buy my own frosting to get through it.” – @signaturefox2013

2. When cheapness leads to closure

“Planned a weekend away with the guy I was dating, it was for his birthday. We would go to a theme park and stay in a hotel. But in the meantime we decided to break up. We still got on that trip, cause we already booked. At first I thought it was going to be a bit awkward, but it turned out to be really fun and a nice way to close things off.” – @vonne_F

3. ...and all they got was this lousy T-shirt

“Ran a marathon where I hit the wall at 25k. The remaining 17k I was just repeating to myself that I had paid for this and I was going to get my finisher T-shirt no matter what. Absolutely miserable 2 hours.” – @donut-or-do-not

4. Did somebody order a free feline piercing?

My cat was pissed at me (I may have been egging him on) and bit my ear. In fact, he pierced my ear. My daughter cleaned it up for me and added a nice diamond-stud earring…I’m not a guy for earrings, but as long as I had a piercing, I’ll wear an earring for a little while at least…the hard part was done.” – @Southern_Snowshoe

viral ask reddit thread

Lucky it was his ear

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5. In dad's defense … should the turkey die for nothing?

“My dad burnt the thanksgiving turkey to the point were if he had left it 5 more minutes he would’ve burnt the whole house down… still forced us to eat it tho… worst thanksgiving to this day…” – @MemeVY

6. When the term "cheap date" becomes a little too literal

“Went on a date for Valentine’s Day and they offered to buy me a coffee beer at the restaurant. Horrible. I’m pretty sure they just made it with half black coffee, half stout and mixed it together in the glass. If I had purchased it myself, I would have noped out, but I managed to choke it down.” – @CONFETA

7. Mom never has to know

I decided to try making a big batch of slow-cooked shredded pork tenderloin with smashed potatoes because my parents had this huge tenderloin in their freezer that they weren't going to use. I had never cooked pork before, I'd never thawed meat before, I'd never used a slow cooker before…. What could possibly go wrong?

I severely messed it up …the pork came out tough and way, way over-seasoned with pepper, to the point that was its only flavor, and the worst part was that there was enough meat for ten work lunches, most of which I had to freeze so they wouldn't go bad. I kept forgetting to thaw them in advance, which often resulted in the potatoes still being cold in the middle after reheating because I didn't want to hold up the microwave at work.

So for two whole weeks, I had over-seasoned, tough shredded pork and cold, under-seasoned potatoes for lunch at work. Why did I not stop this chain of events at any point or throw the food out, you may ask? Because I knew my mom would lecture me about it…and I've always been too cheap to pay for delivery.” – @RinTheLost

8. When you're a bookworm on a budget

“When I was younger not only would I compulsively finish any book I started, but I would also finish any series it was a part of.” – @tehKrakken55

However, this person did have a one-time caveat:

"I read Twilight to see what the fuss was about, and got a third of the way into whatever the hell the third book is before I looked at myself in the mirror and said 'You do not have to finish books you don't like.'"
9. Sticking to the bitter, bitter end

“I try to be very careful with my money. So I usually only get coffee from Dunkin or Starbucks as a treat to myself lol. I order the same thing every time. French vanilla cold brew with cream and no cold foam. Today for some reason, it was so bitter and terrible I could barely stand it. No cream, no French vanilla and even a bit of the coffee grounds were still floating around in there. I paid 3.50 for it …so I drank it. Lol.” – @ItchyInvestigator174

10. Yay?

Current college course. 7 and a half grand in debt for almost the rest of my life and I’m just there for the experience.” – @_Frog_Enthusiast_

11. When thriftiness leaves you feeling salty

“Overly salty peanut butter chocolate cake…..I can still feel the salt burns on my tongue after just the first slice. No amount of milk, whipped cream or fruit helped but that salt. Ate every last crumb of that cake. Took me only two weeks. It was a 6” cake.” – @GeneticExperiment626

12. Because those pants WILL come back in style!

"Most of the items of clothes in my closet unfortunately. I don’t like them so I don’t wear them but I can’t bring myself to throw them out because, well, I paid for them.” – @agentPheasant

funny things we do to save money

Hmm..what will I not be wearing today?

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13. When it affects you're health, there's a problem

Medication for my ADHD. On paper, should’ve been a great fit, but it turned me into a zombie. And I don’t say that lightly, I couldn’t tell you what happened those few months…At the time i also had undiagnosed Generalized Anxiety, which can be severely exasperated by high doses of many ADHD meds. I was taking a 35 mg does which is pretty high for ADHD meds. So when I wasn’t a zombie, I was having serve panicking attacks. The anxiety and zombification was so bad it counteracted the benefits of the medicine. Yet, I kept with it for FOUR MONTHS because they were expensive. Stupidest thing I've done. Four months I'm never getting back. Btw I got a better much lower and effective does now.” – @Agitated-Salad-894

14. Saved the happiest ending for last

My mom bought me a 1 year gym membership ( I was 16 ) I didn't want to go to the gym at all . But she told me try it out once and see what happens , I was angry at the time but I figured 'well I cant cancel it and the money's already been paid, I'll see what happens.' Here I am talking to you, 100 pounds lighter. I love my mom.” – @Mission-Pickle-2846

Pop Culture

SNL sketch about George Washington's dream for America hailed an 'instant classic'

"People will be referencing it as one of the all time best SNL skits for years.”

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

Seriously, what were our forefathers thinking with our measuring system?

Ever stop to think how bizarre it is that the United States is one of the only countries to not use the metric system? Or how it uses the word “football” to describe a sport that, unlike fútbol, barely uses the feet at all?

What must our forefathers have been thinking as they were creating this brave new world?

Wonder no further. All this and more is explored in a recent Saturday Night Live sketch that folks are hailing as an “instant classic.”

The hilarious clip takes place during the American Revolution, where George Washington rallies his troops with an impassioned speech about his future hopes for their fledgling country…all the while poking fun at America’s nonsensical measurements and language rules.

Like seriously, liters and milliliters for soda, wine and alcohol but gallons, pints, and quarters for milk and paint? And no “u” after “o” in words like “armor” and “color” but “glamour” is okay?

The inherent humor in the scene is only amplified by comedian and host Nate Bargatze’s understated, deadpan delivery of Washington. Bargatze had quite a few hits during his hosting stint—including an opening monologue that acted as a mini comedy set—but this performance takes the cake.

Watch:

All in all, people have been applauding the sketch, noting that it harkened back to what “SNL” does best, having fun with the simple things.

Here’s what folks are saying:

“This skit is an instant classic. I think people will be referencing it as one of the all time best SNL skits for years.”

“Dear SNL, whoever wrote this sketch, PLEASE let them write many many MANY more!”

“Instantly one of my favorite SNL sketches of all time!!!”

“I’m not lying when I say I have watched this sketch about 10 times and laughed just as hard every time.”

“This may be my favorite sketch ever. This is absolutely brilliant.”


There’s more where that came from. Catch even more of Bargatze’s “SNL” episode here.


This article originally appeared on 10.30.23

Pappas Pärlor's fantastic street art.

Anyone who grew up in the late '80s and early '90s—Gen X, I’m looking at you—grew up in a world that was dominated by 8-bit graphics. Back in the day, computers and video game systems had a limited amount of processing power so the graphics had to be simple.

That meant the heroes that we played with such as Mario from Super Mario Brothers or Link from The Legend of Zelda, had to be super simple looking and we had to fill in the rest with our imaginations.

Video graphics have come a long way over the past 30-plus years, but people still love the old designs because it takes them back to a simpler time. This has led to an 8-bit movement where people use their creativity to make art within the confines of the limited medium.

Some people also use the limited 8-bit soundscape to create music that’s reminiscent of the old games. Sure, computer game music may be much more sophisticated these days, but is there anything better than the soundtrack to the original Tetris? Would Super Mario Brothers be the same with a sophisticated soundtrack? I think not.


Swedish artist Johan Karlgren, who goes by the name Pappas Pärlor, creates pixelated 8-bit-looking art and then inserts it into everyday scenes. The interesting thing is that his 8-bit art isn’t done with computer graphics, but Perler beads.

Perler beads are small, plastic beads that one places on a grid, and when the picture is done, they are melted with a household clothing iron. The beads are a fun hobby for kids who love to see the melting beads ooze their way into a fully-formed picture.

Although they weren’t originally intended to make 8-bit art, because the beads are placed on a grid when they melt together the designs look like they came straight out of a Nintendo Entertainment System.

Karlgren recreates iconic images from comics, cartoons, video games and movies with the beads and then adds them to the scenarios, turning the mundane into the whimsical.

What’s Karlgren’s big inspiration? “Anything that makes me feel something,” he told Bored Panda. “It could be anything from childhood memories to politics or people doing awesome stuff that I wanna interpret.”

For Karlgren, his work is the byproduct of having a good time. “I don’t really choose what to create. My work is sprung from playing, and I’ll try to go with the ideas that come up in my head,” he said.

One of the hallmarks of Karlgen’s work is taking drab places such as a parking lot or other types of urban infrastructure and livening them up with the addition of one of his Perler bead creations. "It's something that makes me happy, and hopefully other people [when] seeing it as well," he told Newsweek.

Karlgren is a father of four and started posting his creations on Instagram back in April 2014. Since then, his fun, old-school designs have earned him more than 144,000 followers. Here are some of his coolest, and funniest 8-bit designs.


8-Bit Joker
Raiders of the Lost Fence Knob
Mario Kart: Snow Speeders
"Here's 8-Bit Johnny!"
The Man of Steel
That Creep Can Roll
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man
Anthony Adams Rubbing Hands Meme


"I Said God Damn!"

"Take My Money!"
Darth's Day Off


"Go Ahead, Make My Day."


Mini Bernie


Tony Montana


The Homer Meme


This article originally appeared on 02.25.22

Sustainability

Scientists tested 3 popular bottled water brands for nanoplastics using new tech, and yikes

The results were alarming—an average of 240,000 nanoplastics per 1 liter bottle—but what does it mean for our health?

Suzy Hazelwood/Canva

Columbia University researchers tested bottled water for nanoplastics and found hundreds of thousands of them.

Evian, Fiji, Voss, SmartWater, Aquafina, Dasani—it's impressive how many brands we have for something humans have been consuming for millennia. Despite years of studies showing that bottled water is no safer to drink than tap water, Americans are more consuming more bottled water than ever, to the tune of billions of dollars in bottled water sales.

People cite convenience and taste in addition to perceived safety for reasons they prefer bottle to tap, but the fear factor surrounding tap water is still a driving force. It doesn't help when emergencies like floods cause tap water contamination or when investigations reveal issues with lead pipes in some communities, but municipal water supplies are tested regularly, and in the vast majority of the U.S., you can safely grab a glass of water from a tap.

And now, a new study on nanoplastics found in three popular bottled water brands is throwing more data into the bottled vs. tap water choice.

Researchers from Columbia University used a new laser-guided technology to detect nanoplastics that had previously evaded detection due to their miniscule size. The new technology can detect, count and analyze and chemical structure of nanoparticles, and they found seven different major types of plastic: polyamide, polypropylene, polyethylene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate.

In contrast to a 2018 study that found around 300 plastic particles in an average liter of bottled water, the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January of 2024 found 240,000 nanoplastic particles per liter bottle on average between the three brands studied. (The name of the brands were not indicated in the study.)

As opposed to microplastics, nanoplastics are too small to be seen by microscope. Their size is exactly why experts are concerned about them, as they are small enough to invade human cells and potentially disrupt cellular processes.

“Micro and nanoplastics have been found in the human placenta at this point. They’ve been found in human lung tissues. They’ve been found in human feces; they’ve been found in human blood,” study coauthor Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy told CNN Health,

We know that nanoplastics are making their way into our bodies. We just don't have enough research yet on what that means for our health, and we still have more questions than answers. How many nanoplastics does it take to do damage and/or cause disease? What kinds of damage or disease might they cause? Is whatever effect they might have cumulative? We simply don't have answers to these questions yet.

That's not to say there's no cause for concern. We do know that certain levels of microplastic exposure have been shown to adversely affect the viability of cells. Nanoplastics are even smaller—does that mean they are more likely to cause cellular damage? Science is still working that out.

According to Dr. Sara Benedé of the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Food Science Research, it's not just the plastics themselves that might cause damage, but what they may bring along with them. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, thus acting as carriers of all kinds of substances including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics, or microorganisms,” Dr. Benedé told Medical News Today.

Where is this plastic in water coming from? This study focused on bottled water, which is almost always packaged in plastic. The filters used to filter the water before bottling are also frequently made from plastic.

Is it possible that some of these nanoplastics were already present in the water from their original sources? Again, research is always evolving on this front, but microplastics have been detected in lakes, streams and other freshwater sources, so it's not a big stretch to imagine that nanoplastics may be making their way into freshwater ecosystems as well. However, microplastics are found at much higher levels in bottled water than tap water, so it's also not a stretch to assume that most of the nanoplastics are likely coming from the bottling process and packaging rather than from freshwater sources.

The reality is, though, we simply don't know yet.

“Based on other studies we expected most of the microplastics in bottled water would come from leakage of the plastic bottle itself, which is typically made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic,” lead author Naixin Qian, a doctoral student in chemistry at Columbia University, told CNN Health. “However, we found there’s actually many diverse types of plastics in a bottle of water, and that different plastic types have different size distributions. The PET particles were larger, while others were down to 200 nanometers, which is much, much smaller.”

We need to drink water, and we need to drink safe water. At this point, we have plenty of environmental reasons for avoiding bottled water unless absolutely necessary and opting for tap water instead. Even if there's still more research to be done, the presence of hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics in bottled water might just be another reason to make the switch.


This article originally appeared on 2.2.24

Woman refuses to change seats for mom and kids

Traveling with preteens and teens is a breeze in comparison to traveling with little ones but as a parent you still want to sit near your kiddos in case they need you for anything. If you've traveled on an airline in the last several years, you know it's much cheaper to chose the basic seats in the main cabin.

There's nothing different about these particular seats other than the airline sort of randomly selects your seat and if you're traveling alone, that's really not a bad deal. The risk gets to be a little higher if you're traveling with a party that you'd like to keep together - like your children. One mom took the risk and banked on a stranger accommodating...that's not quite how it played out.


People sit in the wrong seats on planes all the time, usually because they read their ticket wrong or accidentally sit one row ahead. Takes no time to double check your ticket and move along, but when Tammy Nelson did a double take at her ticket after seeing the mom in her window seat, she realized she wasn't mistakenly staring at the wrong row.

This mom boarded the plane with her older children and had taken it upon herself to sit in the same row as her children, essentially commandeering a stranger's seat. Nelson assumed it was a mistake and informed the woman that the seat was in fact hers but the response she received was surprising.

"She said, 'Oh, you want to sit here?'," Nelson tells Good Morning America. "She said, 'Oh, well I just thought I could switch with you because these are my kids.'"

That's an interesting assumption when seats are assigned and many people, like Nelson, pay extra to have the seat they prefer. Now, there's no telling if funds were tight and this was an unplanned trip for the mom and kids which caused her to buy the more budget friendly tickets or if she was simply being frugal and was banking on the kindness of a stranger.

Either way, Nelson specifically paid for a window seat due to motion sickness and though she paid extra, she was willing to sit in the other row if that seat was also a window seat. But it turns out, it was a middle seat.

Surely there's someone out there that loves the middle seat. Maybe a cold natured person that enjoys the body heat of two strangers sitting uncomfortably close. Or perhaps someone that doesn't mind accidentally sleeping on an unsuspecting passenger's shoulder. But that person isn't Nelson, so when the middle seat was offered in exchange for her bought and paid for window seat, she politely but sternly declined.

@myconquering

Having had only 90 minutes of sleep the night before and knowing I had to give a presentation to 500 people, I desperately needed some sleep, so I did not agree to switch seats. 🤷‍♀️ Before anyone comes after me… the kids looked like they were about 11 and 15 years old. And the mom was in arms-reach of both of them from the middle seat in the row behind us. The mom proceeded to complain for at least 15 minutes to the person next to her loud enough for me to hear. But the woman actually defended me – several times. It was so kind and I appreciated it so much because I was feeling really guilty. 🤦‍♀️ ##airplaneseat##seatswitching##airplanekarens

Her refusal to give in to the mom's seemingly entitled request for Nelson's seat has resulted in parents and child-fee people cheering her on after she posted the details on her TikTok page, MyCONQUERing. The video has over 3.4 million views.

"Nope. If it's not an upgrade it's a sacrifice," a commenter writes.

"You did the RIGHT thing. Folks need to plan their travel together. Lack of planning on their part does not constitute an inconvenience on yours," one person says.

"I have 3 kids and have sat in different rows when they were passed toddler age. I agree, book your flight earlier," another writes.

"You were right. As a woman with 3 children, I always pay extra so we're sat together," another mom says.

Nelson is also a mom so she knows how important it is to sit next to kids on flights. But since airlines have made that a luxury, as the parent, you have to plan to pay extra or accept that you likely won't be seated next to your children. Hopefully in the future, this unnamed mom is seated next to her children or pays extra to make sure it happens. In the meantime, people continue to support Nelson standing her ground.

This article originally appeared on 7.28.23

Internet

Two sisters go viral for their ridiculously functional roller coaster costume

The screams and synchronized movements really help sell the whole experience.

Sisters go viral for realistic roller coaster costume

Spooky season can be a fun time of year for people. There are folks that wait all year for the official start of fall just to decorate for Halloween. Costumes are bought in advance and bags of candy are purchased and stored, but not everyone buys their costume. Some spooky season lovers get really creative with their Halloween costumes out of household items.

There are some homemade costumes that are so funny and realistic that you have to do a double take. Two sisters are going viral for their ultra realistic roller coaster costume made out of cardboard and foam noodles. But it's not just their costumes that are stealing the attention of millions, it's their acting skills.

In the video uploaded to TikTok by Laurie Dabbs-Gayton, the sisters stand side-by-side, though it looks like their sitting. They begin to shake and jostle as if they're on a track before screaming like they've just rounded a bend or flew down a hill quickly.


The pair is in total sync with each other adding to the realistic vibe of their costume for their employer's costume party. It was so convincing that people watching the video were confused at first thinking it was a coin operated ride. Commenters didn't realize it was a costume until the women stood up fully.

"I thought it was a mini roller coaster," one person writes followed by multiple rolling crying laughing emojis.

"Took my brain a few extra seconds to process what my eyes were seeing," a commenter says.

"I thought for a second it was like the pony ride machines outside a grocery store," someone admits.

"It took me far longer to figure out than it should have," one woman writes.

Watch the fantastic combination of acting skill and costume design below:

This article originally appeared on 10.31.23