We’ve all been there. Hell, most of use are still there: That certain place where every last dime is just about to vanish, leaving you short on weed and no way to smoke what you have.

Toking on a budget can be hard, but it’s an art like anything else. Once you’ve been lighting up for a while, you learn how to make each dollar count. So here are a few tips to help you stretch that last bit of scratch you have left and keep on burning.

Put the Weed First

handful of bud

Never run out of weed. Frankly, this is a matter of priorities. If you have no money, you have no money, but if you have a little bit of money, pot should be your No. 1 concern (after food, shelter, and such). Don’t get distracted by fancy pipes and baubles or your money will be gone with nothing left to burn.


No matter where you are or whom you’re with, there is always a way to turn weed into smoke. A flint and some kindling should get you started. But if you run out of dope, the whole game is up. All the creativity in the world won’t grow and harvest a cannabis plant in the next three hours.

If you live in a state where weed is legal, always shop around. Prices can range wildly between dispensaries, even though you’re basically buying the same pot. And if you live in a place where weed is still illegal, well, shop around anyway. Some dealers offer discounts on bulk purchase, and you can usually find one if you press.

Use Cheap Papers

tons o rolling papers

Every head shop sells them, those bargain basement rolling papers with a brand name you’ve never heard of. They usually sell for a few cents below the competition, not enough to matter in the short run but maybe just enough to save you a bit over the long haul – kind of like that tenth of a cent they deduct at gas stations.

The great thing is, though, quality and price have very little to do with each other. Rolling papers come in several general varieties, from rice and hemp to wood and flax. How good they are depends on the materials used and what kind of smoke you want. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean lousy.

But if you want to save money, rolling your own is definitely the way to go. Even cheap pipes cost a few bucks, and a pack of decent affordable papers should cost you no more than 3 cents per sheet.

Keep a Stash of Kitchen Matches

Kitchen Matches

Lighters have a tendency to run out at precisely 4 a.m., stranding countless all-night stoners with no way to spark up and no way to fix the problem. Keeping a handy supply of last-ditch kitchen matches can save the day.

Granted, you could just store more lighters and use those when you run out. But let’s be real: That last lighter will still die on you in the early morning hours, just when you’re most certain you can stretch it a few more hours.

Do yourself a favor. Stick a box of matches in the back of a drawer somewhere, forget it’s there, and you’ll be safe for that day when your well-stocked pantry of Bics finally runs out.

But use real kitchen matches, not the cheap matchbooks you get at a bar. If you plan to smoke anything out of a bowl, you should have something that burns for more than just a few seconds.

Grind by Hand

Grinding Marijuana by Hand

It takes more time, but you can get a perfectly decent consistency grinding your weed by hand. It’ll be on the coarse side of things, but that’s not a problem if you’re just rolling a joint or packing a bowl.

There are plenty of cheap grinders out there, including some that work quite well. But if you’re trying to do more with less, your fingers are the cheapest way to go.

If you already have a coffee grinder on hand, you can just use that. You need to be careful not to turn your pot into dust, but a quick electric grind should get the job done just fine. Just make sure to clean it. Either that, or develop a taste for weed-flavored coffee.


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