Living Frugally: Give Blood, Save Lives and Get Out of Debt

Donate BloodWhen someone asks me how they are supposed to get out of debt or get ahead financially, I give them several helpful tips including one that I think is underrated and often forgotten…Give Blood/Plasma.

I live about eight miles from a facility that pays around $25 every time I donate blood. Following the rules and regulations I can give blood twice a week without posing any danger to myself. (Side Note: It is very important not to give blood too often because you can do serious damage to your body and even die from it so please follow the guidelines of your blood donation center.)

Giving blood or plasma twice a week would yield $50/week to put towards getting out of debt or increasing assets. A maxed-out credit card with a $500 limit (+ interest) would be paid off in just over 9 weeks. A $50 weekly bill pay towards the principal of a car note would help pay off the vehicle sooner and help reduce total interest payments. Thinking of investing in stocks? Deposit that $50 into a brokerage account, like or, each week until you’ve accumulated the total amount you wish to invest. You’ve just purchased an asset without going into debt to do so.

FrugallyNot only does giving blood help you support a frugal lifestyle but you literally give the gift of life.

We are all familiar with the economic impact of a bread-winner dying. What if you gave blood, saved a bread-winner and therefore kept a family out of debt and above the poverty line? Imagine a child dying from loss of blood.

Not only is this emotionally traumatic, it affects work performance which then affects one’s wallet.

Giving blood not only saves physical lives but boosts the global economy as well. I challenge you to search for the blood donation centers near you. Ask if they offer payment for donations. Give blood/plasma, save lives & get out of debt!

What about you, SavvyReader? Have you ever giving blood/plasma as a way to help others and/or increase your income?

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. AFAIK giving blood here is always a voluntary thing.

    Me, I’ve only recently crossed the minimum weight threshold! I’m happy to donate blood as a giving-back-to-society thing, especially since I just learned I’m a rarer blood type than I originally thought.

    • No doubt that giving blood/plasma is a noble act whether an individual is compensated or not. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to add to the conversation, NZ Muse.

  2. In Canada we are not paid for blood or blood product donations, though it is actively encouraged. There are many advertising campaigns, especially around long holiday weekends encouraging people to give. I have given blood many times, but often with difficulty – slow moving veins, fainting etc. I’ve tried all the tricks, eating before, drinking lots of water before, being rested etc. with some success. However, they actually suggested I don’t give anymore due to numerous episodes. You can bet if I was paid for my blood, I would not be deterred and would continue to give. I may still again in the future, but right now I’m rebuilding from a Vitamin B deficiency. (P.S. It was not clear that this post was a guest post until I read the comments).

    • Thanks for stopping by, Deb. The money paid for giving blood (or plasma) isn’t significant; however, every little bit helps when money is tight.

      With respect to being a guest post, that isn’t really the case. Taz (SavvyTaz) has been a long time contributor and writes most – I have written a couple – of the posts in the Living Frugally series and he writes the Deadbeat Dad Chronicles. In this particular case, when I republished the post, it automatically (as with all posts) assigned the authorship to me…since updated.

      Always great to hear from you, my friend.

    • Thanks so much for the comment Debs. I applaud you for giving blood despite your difficulties. That shows concern for your fellow man. I look forward to your future comments.

  3. A Google reader notes…

    “Very interesting! Blood donation saves life.”

  4. A Google+ reader notes…

    “Interesting. The British blood donation service doesn’t pay for donations and only allows you to donate once every 3 months – and once every 16 weeks if you are female because of the risk of anemia. You can donate platelets more often, once a month I think, because most of your blood is returned to you.”

  5. Great advice.

    Shamefully, I have to admit that I stopped donating plasma as soon as I paid off all my consumer credit card debt several years ago. For me, it was a silly pride thing. I felt like people were judging me – as though donating plasma to earn extra cash meant that I wasn’t “doing well” otherwise.

    I believe the local plasma center actually pays about $300 per month if you go twice a week, every week. It kills me to think about all that extra money I’m leaving on the table… perhaps I’ll consider going back!

    • Wow, $300 per month would be nice. At the time/location I was giving, it was $35 per month. It really is a nice way to earn extra money – $300/month to a retirement plan would be nice – and help out others in the process. Thanks for stopping by Mr. Caveman…or do you prefer Mr. CavemanMoney?

      • What is it that they say? “Mr. Caveman is my father.” 🙂

        I should clarify: The $300 per month is for donating plasma, not necessarily blood. I donate blood every 8 weeks but unfortunately I don’t get paid for that.

        Back when I was donating plasma, I heard a rumor that Biolife (the company that pays you for the plasma in my area) gets more than $1,000 for just one bag of plasma. Maybe it would be more beneficial for me to buy one of those little plasma-sucking machines and sell my plasma directly into the market!

        • “Maybe it would be more beneficial for me to buy one of those little plasma-sucking machines and sell my plasma directly into the market!”

          Now that is thinking creatively!

    • I used to donate through BioLife when I loved In Idaho Falls, ID. They’re a great company.
      I’m glad you took advantage of the opportunity & got out of debt!!

  6. I really wish I could donate blood. I lived in Germany for a total of six years. That is when the mad cow disease went rampant in England. They will not allow me to donate blood because of that.

    I wanted to donate during the war and was unable to. I think donating blood is a great thing and if it helps you out financially, that is definitely a win-win. Great post, Taz!

    • No doubt there are multiple benefits to donating blood/plasma.

    • Sorry to haar you cannot donate Karen. I’m not surprised that you used to & I’m sure you’ve helped a lot of folks thru your generosity.
      Thanks for reading!

  7. A great, great post. One that really hits home for me. As I note in my book, when I was struggling, heading to divorce, I gave plasma twice a week. Not only was it a good way to help others, it was a way to help myself…by serving as a way to get gas money.

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