Saturday, 3 September 2016

Money saving tips: Collected

Money saving tips: Collected

Some of the tips in this article are about amounts of single Baht.

Free drinking water in restaurants
Most non-aircon streetside restaurants and foodcourts have free drinking water.

Free drinking water in Bangkok and elsewhere
In Bangkok and in other bigger cities, as well as in Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airport, and probably in other places as well, there are well with free drinking water.
(insert link to upcoming detailed post)

Free buses in Bangkok
There are still free buses in Bangkok, details were posted here:

However I wouldn’t wait for a free bus, but pay for the first bus that comes along (Aug 2016 6.5 or 8 or 9 Baht for non-aircon bus). For short rides, one could get on a bus, the tell fare collector it's the wrong bus and get off at the next stop for free.

A friend told me about a friend who pays songtheo in Pattaya with nine 1-Baht-coins, driver will not count and assume it’s 10 Baht. (Here we move over from money saving to cheating, I would neither do nor recommend this.)

Free toilets
Public toilets at bus and train stations are often payable (usually 3 Baht), but shopping centers and temples have free toilets. Toilets at Hua Lampong railway station are payable, but there is small free pissoir outside (parking lot west of railway station, before canal).

Money exchange
Careful selection of where and how to exchange your foreign currency can save you some percent.

Cinema self upgrade
When you buy a ticket for cinema, nobody checks if you go to the assigned seat. You could buy a ticket for the cheapest seat and go to the most expensive. Whenever I go to cinema, it’s about 20% full. Given the low number of most expensive seats, one should have a look at the screen where you select your place and remember which ones are still empty. Do this in the time span between official start and start and actual start (about 20 min of playing advertising before the movie starts) to avoid embarrassment when someone buys ticket for that seat after you sat down there. (All merely theoretical, I would neither do nor recommend this.)

Once you are past the ticket check, you can go to any screening hall you want and stay as long as you want. If you bring food and drink, you could watch movies all day long. I once was late for a movie (even after those 20 min of advertising) and missed the first 5 minutes. Went to another screening hall to catch those first 5 minutes.

Airplane self upgrade to 1st class?
In airplane, 1st class boards first, and lower classes walk past 1st class later, that means all empty seats in 1st class will stay empty. However when I once wanted to sit down in a 1st class seat (having booked economy), staff asked for my ticket and sent me to my economy seat.

Economizing toothpaste
A dentist once told me that a pea sized amount of toothpaste is enough. Advertising and packaging usually shows an amount of toothpaste the full length of the toothbrush. When the toothpaste tube is almost empty, I use a hard object to push all toothpaste the be opening, then cut off the rest to get out all toothpaste.

Food voucher with long distance bus ticket
Just something to have to be aware of. Some long distance (over 5 hours bus ride with a lunch break) bus tickets come with a food voucher included in the price.

Where to buy fruit
I eat a lot of fruit, but I don’t buy them in supermarket, but on local market (in my case Klong Toey market) where it’s considerably cheaper. Recently I noticed that Lamsalee market is even cheaper than Khlong Toey market (grapes 40 vs 60 Baht per kg, even better buy those that fell off the vine, cheaper and no dead weight).

Missed calls
A practice I dislike, but some of my Thai friends give me a missed call so I call them back and they save money for the call.

Free luggage storage in shopping centers
Many shopping malls have free luggage storage for customers, but nobody will notice if leave afterwards and do your business outside and later come back to pick your luggage up.

Walking instead of taxi or mocy or bus
Walking is a highly underrated way of getting around & the more you do it, the longer this desirable capability is preserved.

Free river shuttle boat
From Sathorn pier, there are free shuttle boats to some restaurants, shopping malls and condominiums that are on the Chao Phraya. One could use these even if not a customer or resident at these places. (One day I should make a map how far you can get with these.)

Free bus between Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports
There is a free shuttle bus between the two airports, however as far as I know staff will ask for a flight ticket from one of these airports.

Different train classes
Commuter trains are the cheapest of all. From Nakon Pathom to Bangkok, it would cost 14 Baht in commuter train in 3rd class. But when I was there, the next (and last train that day) was special express, which was 341 Baht. Cheapest ticket I ever had was 2 Baht from Hua Lampong to Sam Saen.

My first hitchhiking (Feb 2014 in Sri Saket province) was an emergency situation: my friend’s friend took me by mocy to main road, but there was no bus stop, no seat, no shade, and after two full vans passed and didn’t stop, I resorted to hitchhiking. Since then, I have hitchhiked about 50 times. In Thai it’s called โบกรถ and unlike in the west where you point up your thumb, here you wave your hand down (imagine a downward Hitler salute) like calling a taxi (information from two educated friends, I haven’t seen anyone else hitchhiking in Thailand).

Free haircuts
Places where haircutting is taught to students often offer free haircuts. Sometimes they come to Hua Lampong railway station and offer free haircuts.

Update: Cheap haircuts

I get haircut and shave at the slum barber for 60 Baht. Cheapest I have ever seen is a moving barber (just a chair, a mirror and a bag with tools), he will put the chair in the shadow of a tree and hang the mirror on a branch. I now plan my haircut so they are while I am in Thailand. In Germany, haircut is prohibitively expensive (for man 12 EUR = 500 THB and up, in Thailand I got laid for less). My mother spends as much money on haircuts in Germany as I spend in brothels in Thailand. 

Free damaged but usable umbrellas
All five umbrellas I currently possess, I found during rainy season, damaged but still usable. (Why do I need five umbrellas? When I go to see a friend and have other business afterwards and rain is over, I leave the umbrella at my friend’s place and pick it up next time.)

Find and repair flip-flops
ChristianPFC is in love with flip-flops. They are cheap, easy to put on or take off (I don’t like to do laces or even just bend down), and dust just washes off and water just dries. In rainy season, I can walk through ankle deep puddles and minutes later have dry feet.
I haven’t bought flip-flops for years. I find them in pairs or single shoes which I then match by color and styles with other single shoes in my collection. At one point, I had boxes full of single shoes, collecting more so I could match them.

ChristianPFC wearing mixed flip-flops at Sam Pan Bok in Ubon Ratchathani:

That has come to an end when my Austrian friend bequeathed his collection of flip-flops on my around March. He bought them all new in January and has a pair for every day and of the week and other pairs for special activities, and he doesn’t want to take them home and thinks a pair of shoes is spent after wearing them for some weeks.

Despite them being cheap and abundant, I fix flip-flops. Most common failures is the strap slips out of the hole. If the hole is tight, wetting it and using soap helps considerably in getting the strap back in. If the hole is worn, clamps from bags of toast prevent the strap from coming out. I got that idea from here:

And here in operation:

Notice the staples as well. I had shards of glass and a pin in sole, and thorns from plants. And there is a hole in the sole from use, after only a few months! Never happened to me before. Considering that these havaianas from my Austrian friend took weeks to walk in (considerably longer than other brands), and the sole is worn out after some months, I might have to go back to collecting single flip-flops and match them.

Paperclips on ground
I find dozens of paperclips each month on the ground. From size and shape of paperclips, I can even tell which country I am in (Thailand or Vietnam; I haven’t found paperclips on the ground in Cambodia.)

Hotel toiletries
Better hotels usually provide small bottles of shower gel and shampoo, sometimes toothbrush and toothpaste, which the customer can take with him. A Thai friend once brought a full bag of toiletries from a Farang acquaintance who stayed at W hotel. 

I haven’t bought toilet paper for years, I take rolls from hotels where I stay. That was actually a Thai friend's idea. After we used a short time room, he encouraged me to take the toilet roll with me. I was hesitant at first, but staff will not know which of us took the roll. The fact that there are almost empty rolls show that this is not common (to take the roll when you leave the room). To make it less obvious, I could take a cardbord inner cylinder and put it in place of the roll I took.

Update: I remember reading somewhere (from memory): 
girlfriend moved out and took everything with her, even bog roll

Economize toilet paper
For wiping off cum, a frequent occurence, Thai boys use huge amounts of toilet paper in a highly inefficient way (wrapping around their hand). Often I can intercept and do the same job with 1/5 of the amount. On toilet, I do not interfere. 

Here a video how to wipe your ass with just one sheet:


Quality napkins in Vietnamese restaurants
In Vietnamese restaurants, wet napkins in a plastic bag are provided. However these are not for free but will be added to the bill. Once I learnt of this, I refused them and use normal free paper napkins. But the few quality napkins I got don’t rip when wet, so I use them as emergency towel (sometimes I stay in hotels so cheap that they don’t provide a towel, but I don’t carry a towel with me on my travels, so I use these to wipe the water off my body and wring them out, so I can have dry skin in minutes).

Stamps at 7/11
Occasionally, 7/11 gives stamps that are worth their printed number (1 or 3) in Baht and can be used for paying. These promotion last for some weeks, after that the stamps are worthless. Many people seem not to be aware or not to care. I find a lot of these stamps, one week was particularly good with stamps worth 19 Baht. As far as I understand, you get 1 Baht worth of stamps for every 50 Baht purchase (mobile phone top-up not included). These stamps can still be used even if a car has driven over them and they lied in a puddle of water (right middle in picture). The only problem is people throwing the yellow foil from the back (adhesive side) on the ground, after sticking the stamp on a collection paper. Then I will bend down to pick it up and all I get is just the yellow foil.

But you have to resist the temptation to buy something you don't need, just to spend the stamps.

Update links:  

Finding money
On average, I find money every other day. Usually it’s just 25 or 50 Satang or 1 Baht. But over the years, I have found all coins that are in circulation and 20, 50, 100 Baht notes and one 100 USD note. Over a year, I find about 200 Baht worth of coins and notes (the 100 USD not included in estimation).

Ask for discounts
A Farang friend has made it a habit to ask for discounts everywhere he buys something. Even in Thai streetside restaurants, he often gets 10% discount on the food price.

Eat all food on your plate
I wonder why I have to say that. But when I invite Thai friends for food, they often leave food on their plate. Throwing away food is unacceptable by my standards. After WWII, people in Germany suffered from hunger (during WWI was well, but my memory doesn't reach back that far). I usually eat everything on my plate: (last exception I remember was in 2011 when I misjudged and was full with food left). One friend says "You can't eat the porcelain", another one says "The white is the plate". I go even further, I eat leftovers from others (so far only people I know and after asking them if they are done). 

Switch off aircon main switch
I once read somewhere [citation needed] that aircon consumes about 20 Watt even if it's not running. Now I always switch off aircon main switch when I leave my room. 

Take taxi from Suvarnabhumi airport at departure level
and save 50 Baht airport surcharge and queuing and scams:  

Copyright 2016 ChristianPFC


  1. Very entertaining post with lots of practical information.

    It's up to every reader to assess that applying those money and Mother Earth saving tips is worth the trouble.

    Nothing wrong with being frugal but some people may balk at using some tactics suggested above.

    I was one of those throwing 7/11 stamps since I did not know what they are, now will use newly acquired knowledge to utilize them.

    I hope you spent those 100 USD wisely i.e. on tips for boys.

    Don't even try to suggest you remember post WW II deprivations.

    They were fact but by time you were born all was quite well even in East Germany

    1. I used these 100 USD to justify expenses (mostly on boys) of more than 100 USD over the years, until I finally spent them to close this chapter. In the end, I am poorer than if I hadn't found these 100 USD.

  2. I still wonder why you can't find a boyfriend.......

  3. Hen Stal--exactly right! Between this and the half burned printer and the manner in which he interacts with Thai lads--find it unusual he is still even alive.

  4. Hen Stal and Anonymous above

    when you are let into somebody's living room you don't start visit with loud and smelly fart, do you?
    just asking

  5. Vinapu, thanks for the question.
    I find Christian's adventures highly amusing and I am indeed glad he 'invites us into our living room' as per your saying. I wish him well in his endeavours to find a Thai bf but don't you think it is a bit off putting if he shows up in non matching thongs and taking the toilet paper from a hotel for the Thai lad he wants to win his heart?
    Nothing wrong to be thrifty, it gives a good read and I think his DDR background is part of his personality but it doesn't make him good dating material especially in a society as Thailand were face and worldly goods are paramount. Maybe in the West it is rated as quirky but in Thailand it is seen as poor. And who want to be poor?

    1. Hi, with explanation is sounds much better than short liner above. Yes I agree with your reasoning, just wanted to make sure we don't jump all over the guy who for a good while gives us a lot entertaining and valuable reading.

      Having had a privilege to met Christina couple times sometimes I wonder is he is trying to pull our leg with some of his proclamations like one I'm quoting below:
      "(to take the roll when you leave the room). To make it less obvious, I could take a cardbord inner cylinder and put it in place of the roll I took."

  6. I've heard of Victor/ Victoria
    But is it now Christian/ Christina?

  7. Christian, This is a great article.
    We know you don't practise all of these but it makes for good reading and certainly gets your readers thinking (even critically). It's not about living like you're poor but Christian may have given you just one tip to reuse/ recycle/ save energy and stop the ridiculous waste on this planet. Especially in a polluted country like Thailand that needs to get seriously into recycling. Readers above- don't be just another tourist/ expat who is here to use up more resources in your guest country. There must be something you can take away from this- even turning off power at the power point or not running the water so much.

    Christian reminds me of Sheldon Cooper of 'The Big Bang Theory', slightly Asperger's, slightly annoying but totally lovable. We couldn't be without him. Joob.

    1. This post shows a true nature of Christian and it is not about "saving the planet". It is all about absolute stupidity, self-destruction and ruining his life. What a miserable jerk he is. It is impossible to save for living, one needs to work for living , if you have not been born with a silver spoon in the mouth. Just think about it:finding 200 baht in satang denominations. I have American express credit card which gives me three percent money back in for groceries. Give me several hundred dollars a year. Of course, nothing special, does not make any difference but no brainer and require no effort but beats hands down all his fucking tips. And no Christian , you will never fly first class cause nobody will ever allow little, worthless shmuck like you sitting thre for free.

    2. I already flew first class once, free upgrade on Oman air.

  8. One more tip: go to your toilet and mastrubate. That how you save up the next 160 bath for an overpriced orange Juice in a bar where looking for a Thai boy. And you can use the toiletpaper from the short time Hotels too,,,,

    1. covered here:

  9. all this venom above makes me thinking that some readers are just jealous. Paying off their oversized mortgages , slaving at work and collecting points by charging things they don't even need to their credit cards perhaps they envy somebody else's free lifestyle

  10. I can vouch for Christianpfc being the real deal - he did actually eat the leftovers from my plate (with permission)

  11. I enjoy Christianpfc's writing. I got a very good laugh. Worth it's weight in gold. It would be no fun if we were all the same. Thanks Christian.

  12. Now I know what happened to that roll of toilet paper when Christian attended one of my soirees. 5555

    But my Thai bf did say "young German man, he eat everything".


    1. IF you provided food for your function I'd not be too curious about toilet paper as chances are is was used properly and unfortunately right away

    2. I am sure Francois made a joke. I would not take toilet paper from a friend's place.

  13. Elderly Chinese toilet paper thieves face up to their crimes
    Beijing public toilets install facial recognition cameras to help resolve the stolen tissue issue


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