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Phil Villarreal

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Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel

Posted: 12/17/09 10:49 AM ET

If your New Year's resolution is to be more cheap, petty and evil, I have some tips for you. I've sifted through my humorous money-saving book "Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel" to give you the 30 most heinous, unscrupulous ways to save money ever (Warning, these are for entertainment purposes only, so don't actually try them):

1. Pretend you're an illegal immigrant to get free health care from hospitals.

2. If your dog is sick or injured, ditch him anonymously at a no-kill shelter, wait until he's rehabilitated, then come in and re-adopt him.

3. Dress like a homeless guy to score free food at soup kitchens.

4. Smear your bar tab receipt in alcohol and water to render it illegible, thus making it easier to dispute the charge.

5. If you're at a bar where the barkeeper leaves a tip out in front of you for several minutes, take it and walk away.

6. Get two pizzas for the price of one by complaining the toppings were wrong after you ate most of the first pie.

7. "Fix" scratches on DVDs by renting movies you own and swapping them out.

8. Don't tip while dining out, but if you do tip make sure your gratuity is equal to the amount you'd like to make out with the server.

9. When big products are released (video game consoles, new iPhones), get to stores early, then sell your spot in line to those who come late.

10. Return used video games and DVDs after buying them by first exchanging them for new versions, claiming they're defective, then returning the new versions for cash.

11. Always forget your wallet on dates to avoid having to pay.

12. If you've got a significant other who has their own place, stay over as often as possible to save on cooling, heating and food.

13. If friends are always dragging you to concerts you don't like, act like a complete ass at an event, thus insuring you won't be invited again.

14. Buy a cubic zirconium engagement ring and pass it off as a family heirloom.

15. Elope instead of paying for a wedding.

16. Don't have a kid until someone you know really well leads the way, allowing you to score all their old diapers, food and furniture.

17. Get free dial-up AOL by calling and threatening to quit whenever they try to bill you.

18. Never give or accept gifts.

19. Mooch off your parents for food, laundry and a place to crash for as long as possible.

20. Never give to charity. That includes strip clubs.

21. Give nieces and nephews weird, homemade presents that cost you nothing.

22. Encourage friends to buy expensive products by challenging their self-esteem, then borrow them.

23. Never buy a power tool you can borrow from a neighbor. And by "borrow" I mean "keep forever."

24. When booking a flight, say you're en route to a funeral and ask for a discount.

25. Recycle your sugary breakfast cereal "aftermilk" to delay your trips to the grocery store.

26. Collect tin cans from your office and cash 'em in for profit at recycling plants.

27. Forge a diet consisting entirely of A1 and tuna sandwiches.

28. Stay in hostels when traveling abroad, make copies of the keys at hardware stores and come back whenever you like, as long as you check in after management has gone to sleep.

29. Buy a camera, keep the memory card then return the camera and sell the card on eBay.

30. Pretend to be a psychic and post ads on Craigslist, telling clients whatever they want to hear about their futures.