We recently held a contest asking people to send in their money saving duct tape stories. The winner was Tom Calhoun (whose story appears first below). If you would like to add your money saving story to this page, feel free to send it to us (the contest is over, but people will still appreciate your story). Click here for submission instructions. Disclaimer: All submissions become property of The Duct Tape Guys and indicate your willingness to have your materials posted and/or published without further compensation from The Duct Tape Guys and Octane Creative.

My name is Tom Calhoun, and I am an amputee. This November, the foot on my prosthesis broke, so we had to figure out a way for me to survive without it. Instructed by my doctor not to duct tape it, we sent it off for repairs. Meanwhile, I was without a "leg". I was prescribed crutches, and told to buy a spare, which would cost $18,000, though insurance would cover 80%. Then my father had a great idea, make one out of duct tape. So we saved $18,000 by combining a sock with duct tape. It worked great!

Other folks that saved money with duct tape:

Three years ago Christmas, we were happily bringing home our Christmas tree from the tree farm. We tied it to the top of our van and started our drive home. When we left the secondary road and entered the state highway, I heard a loud popping noise from the roof as we picked up speed. Looking out my rear window, we saw our beloved tree falling out onto the highway at sixty miles an hour. I immediately pulled over and to our astonishment, no one ran over our tree nor was it damaged, but it was laying on the side of the road a hundred yards back. As I made my way towards the tree, a stranger pulled over in his car and offered his assistance. We carried the tree back to my van, set it back on top and proceeded to look for rope to tie it back down. Of course I had none. The stranger said that he would look in the trunk of his car to see if he had any. He didn't. He did however have a role of Duck tape. We pulled long strands off and twisted them into rope, from there we proceeded to tie down our tree with Duck Tape rope. I received quite a few odd looks on my way back through our hometown. I tell this story now every Christmas. One of my clients actually went as far as to give me a miniature car with a strand of tree branch duck taped to the roof. It ahs since taken a prominent place in our house every Christmas since as a ornament. ---David S., Pittsburgh

I student directed a One-Act at my highschool a few months back and my budget was tighter than non-existent. We needed a car and with only two weeks before opening, we needed it fast! Some cheap plywood finished off with a little paint worked out okay but we still needed seatbelts, tires, headlights, a steering wheel, non-moving seats, and door handles. With a half hour to go before the curtain opened, I grabbed my duct tape and got to work. The audience members swore it was the best and most realistic car they had ever seen and it only cost a few dollars thanks to the powers of duct tape! - Kelsie C., Spokane, WA

i saved over $1000 using duct tape. my family was planning on buying a whole new pool last summer. that would've cost us at least $1000. instead i suggested using duct tape. i taped the whole rim because it was rusted and sharp. i patched up about 18 holes in the lining, and it held! i also taped foam to the bottom of the slide and ladder because there were nails sticking out. so i revamped our entire pool and saved loads of cash, just using duct tape! --- megan b.

I have a camp in the western Maine mountians. Yesterday I had an awful smell in the kitchen and could find the cause. Ater a while I realized that the vent pipe for the tolet went threw the kitchen ceiling. I got a latter an inspected the pipe to see if there was a leak. There was. I then used duct tape to seal the joint in the pipe. Now no smell and problem solved. -- Robert C., Registered Maine Guide.

We just returned from Cape Coral, Florida where the City of Cape Coral, uses duct tape on their detour signs. The arrows, on the detour signs, are all made out of duct tape Must keep the taxes down! --- Priscilla D

With the vehicle inspection laws going to all time lows in PA, I passed an early 80's Grand prix (primer of course) with the complete lower half of the driver side door duct taped because it was rusted out. Hey, who needs a body shop, a few quick runs of duct tape over that rust and your inspected for another year!! -- Stacy

I had this pair of flip flop sandals that I wore everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE! I wore them so much, in fact, that they gone worn out completely, they became so thin that you could bend them like paper. I had been thinking of buying a new pair, because I was in desperate need of them, but I didn't feel like spending any money, so instead, I fixed them using what I use to fix everything else, duct tape! In only a few minutes I was able to make my old, ratty sandals better than ever with the help of my trusty duct. I only saved about $10, but I now wear my sandals more them ever but they haven't gotten worn out at all, it's great! --- Meredith E., Whitby, Ontario, Canada

While helping to roof my son's house I had a slight accident cutting my arm. The cut was large enough that I was afraid I would need stitches. That would require a trip to the emergency room which would take valuable time. Time is money! A small piece of clean cloth cut from my handkerchief placed over the cut while holding pressure to stop the bleeding I wrapped a turn of Duct Tape around my arm. That held the bleeding and I was able to finish the job before the rain came. Since that incident, I have cut a small piece of Duct Tape on several occasions as a fast first aid patch.
This may not be considered to be a sterile patch but it does the Job. Amount saved, 1 trip to the hospital - cost unknow but it would be very costly. Time saved, at least 3 hours which would have put us out in the rain. --- Bill E., Dayton OH

I used duct tape to make a feral cat shelter last month. I took a big cardboard box and covered it with bubble wrap for some insualation using Duct tape to tape the wrap on. I then decided since the seams of the bubble wrap were all duct taped I might as well just do the whole box. So my son and daughter in law have a huge long box with little doors on each end totally covered in Duct tape under their porch. The feral cats use it for shelter and it stays dry. Cost very little to make and I didn't need power tools. --- Anne W

Recovering from a broken leg, after removal of the cast I found the leg weak I was told to exercise that leg with weights that wrap around the foot, steadily increasing the weight. Exercise weights are EXPENSIVE! Duct tape to the rescue. Start with a can of tuna taped to the top of the left shoe; increase to small soup can, and on upward as I gain strength. Even though I have only a passing familiarity with exercise equipment prices, I didn't waste time on comparative shopping. Whether I've saved $25 or $125 is irrelevant. Duct tape rules! --- Mary Lou L., Cincinnati OH

I'm a 77 yr. old female but love your site! A little over a year ago my basement flooded from back to front. I put black duct tape between bottom of porch rail and black metal porch floor (4" area) on two sides to minimize amount of rain going down stairwell; put two sheets of clear plastic sheeting (held up by duct tape) on two under sides of stairs to minimize rain in stairwell, and put white duct tape across the bottom of the interior basement door and about one foot up the sides (Emergency exit if necessary would entail just a hard yank on the door). We have had one month of rain, rain, rain but not a drop in my basement. We had 2 feet of snow this past winter and the exterior duct tape is as good as when put on. I recently had a leaking roof where rain was coming in around window frame. You guessed it - white duct tape worked. Most people think I'm senile but I think of duct tape first before any repair job. - Betty M

My name is Sean and i am a thrifty man by nature. I would rather spend my money on Mt.Dew and Duct Tape. Being that buy one to five new rolls of tape a month, I find that using it for all sorts of repairs, no matter what it is, is cost effective. Now, for my story: My other money spending venture is American Eagle Outfitters... i like their styles of clothing and their pants fit me the best of all pants I have ever worn< so when my favourite pair of jeans started developing holes in them, i priced out fabric patches.... they are unbeliveable $5-$10 a patch!!!!!! of course i then proceded to patch the holes with duct tape. it stands up to washing pretty well (if you are a guy you wash your favorite jeans that you wear every day like maybe once every other week). i have also used it to repair my expensive North Face wither jacket after i tore it on some rocks mountain climbing. the jacket is still VERY waterproof. -- Sean Patrick R., Pittsburgh, PA

The glass on the headlight separated from the light assembly on a 1989 Nissan 3 years ago. Price of a new one was 128.00..I ran about 12" of duct tape across the top edge of the assembly with most of it under the hood edge. Its still their and the light works fine. --- D G Hartzell Read and see other duct tape auto repairs at our Duct Tape Body Shop!

Being a 2nd shift working schmuck, I have to wear steel-toed work boots. They blow you know! 8 hours in these shop slippers and thefeetsies hurt a bit. Another problem you get is your religeous footwear gets worn down...you know, 'holy socks!' Well, being the duct tape freak that I am, I stick a slab of the stuff over the toe area of my sockies to prevent holes! It works but totally pisses off the wife when she does wash...and I save her all that sewing time yet...women, go figure! --- Leo 'Stealth' S., Erie, PA

Some thirty years ago my grad school fishing buddy and I desperately wanted some kind of a boat to fish from. We were seriously impecunious at the time, having money for beer but little else. Then my buddy negotiated a 70% off deal on a small but brand new jon boat because it had one small puncture hole in the bottom. Of course he stuck a two-inch piece of duct tape over the hole and it never leaked a drop during the two summers we fished out of it. It was a long time ago, but I guess he "saved" about $100 off the price of his boat. --- rfb

I just started playing paintball, I found out how painful it really is to get hit with those things, so I wanted armor. That isn’t a cheap sport either. So I made myself: I Made My Grip better, A belt to hold my paintballs, A Set of Gauntlets, a Neck Protector, a Chest and Back Protector, A Helmet to protect the top of my head, And a Bag to hold all my equipment. In the end Duct Tape saved me around $200, now I have enough money for more paintballs. --- Jack Z., Courtland, Virginia

I live in Upsatate NY, near Albany, and we have had a tough winter. I had to spen countless hours digging my car out of the snow (we had 2 storms back to back that brough 2 feet of snow each!). I didn't have any snow pants, and instead of buying some, I made my own out of 100% duct tape! I probably saved $30 or more, and I never got wet! Thank the lord for Duct Tape!--- Anthony R., Scotia, NY

I gassed up my mower for the first spring mowing last Saturday only to find out that the float in the carburator was stuck. The way I found this out is that the gasoline was running out of a hole in the air intake tube that runs from the air filter to the carburator. This is serious because unfiltered air was going straight to the carburator. I ran to the lawnmower parts store to get a replacement part. After looking the clerk told me he could order the part. I asked him to do it but I still wanted to mow the yard. That is when I thought of the old reliable patching material. I patched it with duct tape and put it back on the mower and it worked fine. I still have not gotten the replacement part. --- lepatillo

I am a teenage girl and as you know for cute jeans you have to cut off an arm and a leg to buy one pair for school. So anyway I found a huge hole on the butt of my jeans and I didn't know what to do! One day I walked into my room and I saw sitting there on my desk like a mesage from above my tractor size roll of duct tape. Haleluia! I pacted my hole and now I can proudly walk the halls of scholl again without even touching my duct tape wallet. Savings - approximately $50. --- Howie

Several months ago my husband was at the right place at the right time and was able to purchase a 10 year old Corvette. When he was checking out the car he noticed a small rip on the front bumper or at least I think that's what it's called. When we got home he immediately pulled out white duct tape and repaired it. He holds his head proud when he's around his Corvette buddies now and I do, too. Using the white duct tape saved our family over $450 because that what it would have cost to replace that bumper! - teachk5hm

Well I was in a bind in the middle of now where just hit a cow that crossed the road. Hit the bumper rolled over the windshield smashing it continueing over the roof and off the trunk on to the ground. Then the son of a blank got up and walked away. Needless to say my Toyota cressida was damaged. I had to duct tape the bumper back into place tape the mirror back in place and tape the windshield so it would'nt shower me with flying glass as I drove it home. As far as saving me money it saved on a tow bill of about $50.00 . I wish I would have taped that damn cow's leg's together so the next passing truck would have hit it. --- Bob, TN

My car broke down about 3 hours from where I lived. My daughter, driving her car in front of me, and I found the roll of duct tape in my trunk I carry , there was enough for us to make a tow line with it for her to tow me home. This saved hundreds of dollars from what a tow service would have charged! --- Debbie L., Sebring, FL

I bought myself a pair of cheap,slip on cleats for my shoes this winter and have worn them about 6 times and the cleats are falling out already.
So I came up with this idea, get some smooth top thumb tacks and put 4-6 through the duct tape from the sticky side and wrap the tape around your shoes, and no more slipping on the ice. Being from the Great White North this is quite valuable. The Cleats (ice grippers) that I bought cost $5.98 , I have seen them for up to $44.95. With one roll of DUCT TAPE and a package of thumb tacks I can go for a long time for the price of even the cheap ice grippers. Living on a farm/ranch we use duct tape for many repairs and fixits. From fixing fork handles to taping windows on the old fencing truck. Another use, when our calves are born in the very cold weather sometimes their ears will freeze. Sounds horrible doesn't it? We have made ear muffs for them out of fleece but these do not stay on well, as the cow tends to lick them off. Some ranchers use DUCT TAPE to tape the ears close to their heads, so the ears stay nice and warm and the cow cannot lick the tape off. Good luck when trying to get the tape off with a cranky mama cow blowing snot up your butt. --- Dolly S. Alberta, Canada

I used duct tape to repair my vacuum. My husband is rough with vacuums and we used to go through one vacuum a year. We duct taped the vacuum when needed and were able to use it for three years, saving approximately $250.00. Sorry, have no photo, wish I did. The vacuum was medium blue when new and wound up being about one-third gray with duct tape when we finally trashed it. --- Tricia

Well, me and my buddy were doing some huge mt. biking when i hit a little ledge it was nothing really but i landed on some sharp rocks and they tore a hole in my bike tire and broke some of my spokes so naturaly i wip out the duct tape and and start to work tapeign up my whole tire and and i found some twigs and duct tape them on and my bike was good as new and i looked cool, duct tape is only about 5.00$ and repairs would have proably cost about 80.00 or 90.00 $ so in this case i saved close to 75.00 or 80.00 bucks. --- ben

Push-up bras are great, however, they are expensive and rather ineffective when you are looking for one without straps. So... duct tape! With a couple of bandaids to cover the sensitive areas, a piece of duct tape straight across to press together and a few strips below to press up, it was a God-send. Instant cleavage and a little black dress, and you're ready for a night on the town. And with a save of about thirty to forty dollars Australian, it was a great money saving idea! --- Kat W. Brisbane, Austrailia For a photo of this technique being used, check out our Duct Tape Fashions pages.

When I was a Michigan State Trooper I had an embarrassing moment when the red light cover on my patrol car came flying off while I was chasing a speeder. Fortunately the truckers avoided the red cover in the middle of I-94 until I could retreave it. I fortunately had a roll of "you not what" in my trunk and was able to duct tape the red light cover back on without any loss of down time....It served me well until I was able to order a clamp to replace the one that came off. All the troops now call duct tape "High speed tape" and that's the rest of that story --- Bill M