18 Essential Hacks From Those Who Grew up in Poverty

Despite life’s unexpected challenges and potential financial constraints, worry not! Our clever solutions are ready to shine. Discover a wealth of tips to outwit scarcity, turning financial limitations into opportunities for ingenuity. Embrace being resourceful and broke, as it’s the canvas for creativity. A Redditor inquired about the best “poor” hacks from those with humble beginnings, yielding numerous responses. We’ve compiled a selection of the most intriguing ones just for you!

Art Openings

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A Redditor shared, “During my lean youth, I frequented art openings for complimentary wine and snacks.” Another recounted, “A helpful hack for freshly launched stores. After my post-college art show, a guest got heavily inebriated from the wine I provided. The situation turned quite awkward.” Now, the enigmatic element of confidence. Entering an art opening with an air of ownership is the gateway to the treat trove. Embrace the role, engage with the creative crowd, and watch the complimentary delights gravitate your way.

Share

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Sharing extends beyond snacks and change—it’s about forging a reliable network for adversity. A perceptive Redditor noted, “Sharing with the right people yields reciprocation.” Another recounted, “This hit home for me. On better days, I’d share my cooking excess with neighbors. But tough times arrived; I was down to plain rice. They sensed it unexpectedly. Ashamed yet amazed, their support flowed. As my business tanked in COVID’s grip and depression after losing my dad hindered job prospects, their compassion shone. Life slowly realigned, courtesy of caring neighbors. Lesson: Kindness sown reaps multiplied compassion. It’s an investment in care.”

Food Bank

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The food bank serves as undeniable evidence that delectable meals can be acquired sans the swipe of a plastic card. One individual attested, “Locate a nearby food bank and access nourishment—no shame in that. In my experience, they provide top-notch items, never expired or government-issued. I recall receiving a whole chicken that sustained my roommate and me for a week, alongside other provisions lasting throughout the month.” Another contributor, in agreement, disclosed, “I volunteer at a food bank; we often discard fresh produce and baked goods due to low turnout! To all readers: trust me, judgment-free zone; we encourage visits!”

Fishing License

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Possessing a fishing license unlocks a treasure trove of remarkable moments. Beyond fish, you’re reeling in memories, cementing bonds with companions, and crafting anecdotes stretching your grin ear to ear. A Redditor reminisced, “Fishing license. In my childhood’s scarcity, I recall delightful days fishing for the price of a license (saved during winter). Gathering worms, wielding a basic pole, and reusing discarded line offered an outdoorsy day and free sustenance.” Another contributor expanded, “At 16, my first fishing license purchase was advised by my dad, who urged a $ 150-lifetime resident’s license. Now, decades later, even if averaging $10/year, I’ve saved over $200.”

Calorie per Dollar

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The monetary value per calorie isn’t limited to snacks; it extends to every meal, influencing each dietary decision. This guide empowers you to maneuver grocery store aisles adeptly, evading financial pitfalls and tempting excessive expenditure. One contributor advised, “Prioritize the money/calorie ratio to curb overspending.” Another recollected, “It brings to mind my student days, meticulously calculating the most economical milliliter of alcohol. A memory involving a 3.5€ bottle of budget vodka.”

Safety Razor

Cute man white foam shave clean skin
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A perceptive Redditor remarked, “Investing in a safety razor and brush for shaving pays off within months, unlike costly blade refills. Affordable shaving soap and razors, minus overpriced ‘manly’ branding, save money. I buy $8 razors, a hundred for a bargain on Amazon. Each blade lasts multiple shaves.” A responder stated, “Cartridge shaving’s a rip-off. Quality blade-equipped safety razors are economical and offer a better shave.” Agreeing, another advised, “Absolutely! Secure a budget-friendly safety razor from Amazon. Afterward, a $5 blade pack is all you need. There’s a learning curve, but the shave rivals or betters Mach 5.” Now, let’s explore long-term benefits: adopting a safety razor isn’t solely about a smooth shave; it’s embracing sustainability like a pro.

Foiling

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A user revealed, “Apply foil to windows sans AC to repel heat.” Another concurred: “Adding plastic sheeting designed for cold insulation enhances ‘cold retention.’ Imagine the reflective foil and added insulation as a duo for ultimate efficacy. Fewer windows work even better, though not ideal.” Additionally, a contributor recollected, “In my student days, I did this… It’s remarkably effective.” Yet, this foil strategy extends beyond heat evasion. It’s about crafting a personal calm haven, converting your space into a refreshing sanctuary, a shield from the blistering sun.

Coax Cable

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A Reddit user shared, “With a spare coax cable, connect one end to your TV, strip the other, and shape the wires into a ‘Y.’ Wrap the ‘Y’ point with tin foil, creating an antenna for watching Judge Judy.” Another suggested, “Insert a paper clip into the coax port as an antenna, albeit not highly effective.” The fascinating part? It’s simpler than acing your video game. Just plug the coax into your TV’s antenna input, make minor adjustments, and voilà—welcome to TV heaven.

Water

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A perceptive Redditor shared, “Top advice: Hydrate generously. Water temporarily satiates the stomach.” Another contributor warned, “Always add salt and sugar to water if attempting this. While I don’t recommend it, omitting these could be fatal when drinking water while starving.” Now, on to the cost aspect—water is essentially cost-free. Imagine no pricey, tongue-twisting beverages needed. Water, the original budget-friendly hero, is available ceaselessly, come rain or shine.

Family Planning

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Family planning involves more than rejecting a family; it’s about choosing the “when” and “how” for your circumstances. One user conveyed, “Observe your parent’s grasp that thriving isn’t solely tied to marriage or kids. Cease generational trauma from affecting your lineage.” A response resonated, “I deeply connect with this. Unwed and childless due to upbringing amidst poverty, fearing its continuation.”

Beans and Rice

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Facing your barren fridge, like a blank canvas, and your wallet’s skeptical grin, don’t despair! Before panic sets in, recall the dynamic duo: beans and rice. One enthusiast shared, “Beans and rice possess surprising nutritional value.” Another said, “Red or black beans paired with rice boast 11 amino acids, creating a complete protein. With fiber, carbs, protein, vitamins, etc. Enhance with ground sausage, onions, peppers, and a budget-friendly Frank’s RedHot for an almost irresistible delight.”

Soap

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As shared, “When soap depletes, add a touch of water to the bottle.” Another tip came, “For even better results, intermittently replenish with water as you use the soap. This maintains a higher soap-to-water ratio, stretching its usage significantly.” Even when diluted, the soap retains its prowess, frothing and cleansing remarkably. It’s a strategic move, preserving both cleanliness and economy, ensuring you feel refreshed and fabulous while safeguarding your wallet.

Saving up From Restaurants

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As shared by a Reddit user, “Seize napkins, sauces, utensils, whatever you can while ordering from the value menu at any chosen fast food joint. Employees often don’t mind. Thanks to affordable pizza, I’ve never paid for red pepper flakes. These freebies enhance everyday meals like ramen or potatoes.” Another contributor noted, “This has become trickier. Fast food has grown stingy on ketchup and napkins. Yet, unlike Subway’s one-napkin-at-a-time approach, places like Chipotle remain napkin-rich.” And here’s the cherry on top—it’s essentially cost-free. Yes, you heard it right. These napkins, sauces, and utensils are budget-friendly mementos from your dining escapades!

Sleep

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During those essential moments of rest, your body engages in intricate ninja-like actions to revitalize and restore itself. Consequently, your brain is preoccupied with supervising this transformative process, dampening hunger signals. One contributor revealed, “Sleeping can aid in momentarily forgetting hunger pangs.” Another contributor noted, “This holds particularly true while sleeping on your stomach or nestled upon a pillow.”

Do-It-Yourself

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We’ve experienced malfunctioning chairs, dripping faucets, and items that resist function. But here’s the catch: Engaging with tutorials and performing self-repairs leads to significant savings! A Redditor advised, “Explore YouTube for DIY solutions before paying for repairs. Borrow necessary tools; return them promptly and cleaned – increasing chances of borrowing again.” Another individual said, “You can practically amass thousands in savings by mending household items through YouTube tutorials.”

Clothes

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Let’s break it down: thrift store clothes are more than just garments. They’re fashion time machines, offering a cost-effective journey through eras. Want that ’80s windbreaker or ’90s Fresh Prince overalls? No problem. One individual advised, “Grab affordable thrift store sweaters, coats, hats, and gloves. They don’t need to be perfect; wear them indoors to cut heating costs. Add layers if you’re freezing—summer or winter attire, it works.” Another shared a similar sentiment: “I’ve shopped thrift stores nationwide; they remain incredibly – EXTREMELY inexpensive compared to new items. Jeans under 10 dollars, while new ones fetch 80.”

Fuel

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Opting for a bicycle deals a decisive blow to gas expenses. Those valuable dollars, once vaporized, are now channeled into pedaling toward financial liberation. A budget victory that prompts your wallet to dance in joy. One enthusiast advocated, “Employ a bicycle whenever possible; reap gas savings.” Another attested, “My husband affixed a gas engine to his bike. Half a gallon propels 200 miles. He commutes using it in favorable weather, slashing our monthly gas costs by $200+.”

Cleaning

Woman cleaning kitchen counter top
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A perceptive Redditor remarked, “Vinegar, baking soda, or dish soap work wonders for cleaning. Skip the pricey specialty products. Also, repurpose torn/stained items as cleaning rags. No more need for paper towels.” Another user chimed in, “I fully support the cleaning advice. White Vinegar, bleach, rubbing alcohol, and dawn cover most cleaning needs. **Note: never mix Vinegar & bleach.” Introducing Vinegar, the cleaning superhero. It conquers soap scum, odors, and stubborn water stains. Mix with water in a spray bottle, and you have a DIY cleaner rivaling costly sprays.

18 Surprising Realities Behind Historical Facts

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Truth can be stranger than fiction when it comes to tales from the past. But sometimes, the fiction is what we remember. So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of some historical myths we’ve often accepted as fact. Prepare to be surprised!

18 Surprising Realities Behind Historical Facts

18 Life Lessons Many Wish They’d Learned Earlier in Life

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As Gen X journey through the ever-changing landscapes of work, relationships, and personal growth, they’ve gained insights they wish to impart to their younger selves. These life lessons are not only reflective of their generation but also universally relevant. Let’s delve into 18 profound lessons that Gen Xers hope to share with the next generation.

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Author: Thomas Ashwood

Title: Freelance Writer

Bio:

Thomas Ashwood is an American author whose genuine storytelling has captured the essence of everyday life. Hailing from the quiet suburbs of Portland, Oregon, Thomas's writings are imbued with the rich tapestry of characters and moments that have shaped his journey. Whether he's crafting poignant short stories or diving into larger narrative arcs, there's an undeniable authenticity in his prose that invites readers into the depths of his characters' lives.