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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

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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.

Image from YouTube video.

What is your biggest regret?

"Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh."

—Henry David Thoreau

No one escapes this world without a regret or two.

Time and time again, when we hear the final regrets of the dying, they're not about wishing they'd made money or worked more hours.

They're almost always about wishing they had the self-confidence to pursue their dreams or the time to stay in touch with loved ones.

community, culture, honesty, collaboration, art

Here are some thoughts on the subject.

Image from YouTube video.

Recently, A Plus in partnership with Strayer University's Ideal Year Initiative, put up a chalkboard on a New York City street and asked passersby to write down their biggest regrets. The people who wrote on the blackboard were from different walks of life, but their regrets were alarmingly similar.

Watch the full video below:

This article first appeared on 9.16.17

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Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.

The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?

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Sure beats wasting time playing video games.


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