101 things to do with a $1 bill.


What can a dollar buy you these days? Certainly not a gallon of gas, which it could have done 6 years ago. Anyway, this idea actually came out of a lunchtime chat with some friends. I’m a sucker for writing lists and I wondered how many different uses I could find for your humble $1 bill. Some are fun, some are silly, some may actually be useful. The list took me a whole week to compile. Enjoy.

  1. Save it (sorry, but this is Wisebread).
  2. Become a very small partner in a very small business.
  3. Mail it to someone, anyone, in the phone book (you’ll have to find a stamp).
  4. Buy a few bites of someone’s pizza slice.
  5. Make an expensive paper airplane.
  6. Cash it in for 100 pennies and drop them everywhere (it’s good luck for people).
  7. Alternately, use those 100 pennies for 100 wishes in a fountain.
  8. Light a cigar with it (shame on you, for smoking too).
  9. Use it to win a crappy stuffed toy from a grabbing machine.
  10. Give it to the homeless guy in the city center.
  11. Double it every day. You’ll be a millionaire in just 20 days.
  12. Borrow 7 cents and buy something from the dollar menu.
  13. Make a bet to trade the lives of a stockbroker and conman.
  14. Swap it for a shiny English 50 pence piece.
  15. Get fake attention from a stripper for roughly 5 seconds.
  16. Buy a scratch card and turn your $1 into a piece of garbage.
  17. Buy a Powerball ticket, dream for a day (if you win, you owe me).
  18. Get a bargain from Goodwill and help a charity at the same time.
  19. Frame it (especially if it’s the first dollar you ever earned).
  20. Request a song from the busker in your local town center.
  21. Buy and read a classic novel from a used bookstore. Then sell it for $1.
  22. Develop 10 digital photos and create a mini album of memories.
  23. Put it down as extra principal on your mortgage, pay off your house 0.00000000000000000001 years earlier (best guess).
  24. Cut it into small pieces and create extravagant confetti.
  25. Use it as a clue in the ancient hunt for hidden government treasure.
  26. Photocopy your butt multiple times and decorate your cubicle at work.
  27. Download a legal song from iTunes.
  28. Stock up on a week’s supply of Ramen noodles.
  29. Get one third of a loaf of decent 7-grain bread.
  30. Buy a full day’s food for a poor family in India.
  31. Get the silence of a child if you buy a big sucker pop.
  32. Buy one share of an ailing corporation.
  33. Buy one-thirtieth of one share in Microsoft.
  34. Put it on the end of a fishing line and catch yourself a Wisebread reader.
  35. Bribe an office worker for a tip about what to do with $1 (thanks K).
  36. Write a message of hope on it that will pass through the hands of many people
  37. Or, doodle a moustache on Mr. Washington you little rebel.
  38. Exchange it for the new $1 coin and hunt for a vending machine that accepts it.
  39. Eat it (probably healthier than eating anything off the dollar menu).
  40. Try and fold it in half more than seven times (supposedly impossible).
  41. Buy 10 copies of Vanilla Ice’s fabulous 1991 movie “Cool As Ice.”
  42. Make a fortune by betting on a winning horse with odds of 50,000 – 1.
  43. Purchase a $1 million bill from a magic store and cash it at WalMart
  44. Buy a newspaper and read yesterday’s news.
  45. Sign it and sell it on eBay for big $$$ (this only works if you’re famous).
  46. Fold it into a rude and amusing shape and give your friends a laugh.
  47. Bet someone $1 you can dance worse than M.C.Hammer. Lose bet.
  48. Tear it in half and give one piece to your true love.
  49. Get half of your shirt dry-cleaned.
  50. Buy a sheet of paper and a pencil. Write an award-winning short story.
  51. Bury it. Dig it up 200 years from now and hey presto, it’s an antique.
  52. Get a haircut. Which hair is up to you.
  53. Roll it into a tube shape and use it as a feeble straw.
  54. Buy a year’s supply of food for your pet worm.
  55. Spend one hour at the penny arcade.
  56. Get your palm read at the carnival (for $1 your fortune may be bleak).
  57. Buy a key ring, open up a gift shop at the airport and sell it for $10.
  58. Visit the $1 section in Target, close your eyes and pick up a lovely surprise.
  59. Buy a bunch of jaw breakers and shove them all in your mouth.
  60. Exchange it on Craigslist for something cool, like a jigsaw with 5 missing pieces.
  61. Knit yourself a one-fingered glove.
  62. Slice it into tiny strips, join the ends together and create a jump rope.
  63. Buy a tub of imitation playdough and regress to childhood.
  64. Make lemonade out of lemons; two for a buck at most supermarkets.
  65. Write, direct, produce and star in your own seriously low-budget movie.
  66. Team up with 100,000 other folks with $1 and have an enormous party.
  67. Or, team up with a billion other folks with $1 and feed the hungry.
  68. Buy a $1 gift card to your favorite store.
  69. Fill your tires with air and vacuum the car’s interior.
  70. Buy two large rubber bands and make your own designer thong.
  71. Buy a pay-per-view episode of a show you could have seen for free last week.
  72. Rent a car for 10 minutes.
  73. Put it through a cross-cut shredder for a cheap jigsaw puzzle.
  74. Shrink it to the size of a stamp using Wonkavision (Wonka fans, unite)
  75. Blow your nose on it (cheaper than a handkerchief, but not washable < thanks Colin)
  76. Travel back to 1885 and pop it in a savings account.
  77. Paint it red and pretend it’s a dollar left to you by a Martian.
  78. Give it to the guy in Robocop who always said “I’ll buy that for a dollar.”
  79. Fold it into a V-shape, lengthways, and use it to pour spices into small jars.
  80. Buy some Tic-Tacs for the chain-smoking coffeeholic at work.
  81. Fold it accordion-style and make a hand fan.
  82. Write “the crow flies at midnight” on it and pass it to a complete stranger, winking.
  83. Roll it into a ball and let your pet mice recreate the 2006 World Cup final.
  84. Keep it in the bathroom as a last resort for those ‘no toilet paper!’ emergencies.
  85. Stick it to your arm and create a cheap and non-painful tattoo.
  86. Glue it to the underside of a glass table and watch the hilarious results.
  87. Ask a complete moron to swap it for a $100 bill (if this works, let me know).
  88. Tape it to your forehead. When people ask why, say your name is Bill.
  89. Bet George Lucas he can’t create a worse character than Jar Jar Binks. Win bet.
  90. Throw it into the path of an F6 tornado; watch it slice through a tree.
  91. Flush it down the toilet or buy shares in newly bankrupted Amp’d mobile.
  92. Give it to the CEO of a major oil company, along with the shirt off your back.
  93. Drop it at your accountant’s office to test his/her honesty.
  94. Get something cool in your local Discovery Channel Store’s closing down sale.
  95. Buy ¼ of a bag of popcorn at the movie theater.
  96. Purchase enough paint to completely redecorate one wall of the dog kennel.
  97. Give it to your grandma to say thank you for all the times she gave you a $1.
  98. Save it until the day after Valentine’s Day and buy a big bag of candy.
  99. Get front-row tickets to the New Kids On The Block comeback tour.
  100. Take it to a scientist to prove that money does not actually talk.
  101. Write a list of 101 things to do with a $1 bill on the back of it.

Blurry but cool pic by Dances Fantastic. Thanks.


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Guest's picture

Nice list but i have to disagree with you on #75. A dollar bill is totally washable

Julie Rains's picture

Just to add to the list, visit the dollar store and get gift bags, picture frames, a deck of cards, props for your kid's school presentations (e.g., guitar for my son's report on Carl Sandburg), Abbott & Costello DVD, etc. Well, I guess you will need a bit of change to pay for tax - perhaps those in states with no sales tax can make the $1 work for them.

If you had bought Google stock when they had their IPO, you'd have turned $1 into $5+.

Guest's picture

I saw NKOTB live at a club in Salinas, CA when they were having their first tour. I had gone with a friend and his sister, who was a huge fan of theirs. The came out an hour late, and lip-synced 4 songs for a total of about 15 minutes, then left.

Guest's picture

It makes a good tire boot as well. If your bike tire wears through or gets a big ol' glass-shard shaped hole in it, stick the dollar bill in, then the tube, then reinflate.

Guest's picture

you can fold a dollar bill and wear it as a ring my grandpa showed me how i have a couple of them they are very styleish and u will always have at least 10 dollars with u at all times lol

Guest's picture

I made up some!

1. Put it in the mouse's belt at Chuck E Cheese
2.Hang it out your window and see if anyone climbs up the side of your house
3.Sell it for $1
4. Get a month’s subscription to a magazine with it and get a half of a page.
I'll think of some...

Guest's picture


5. Use it as a change of bedding for your pet gerbil

Guest's picture

6. make photocopies of it and hand them out to people on the street

Guest's picture

eat it

Guest's picture

Donate it here! :)

Guest's picture

(2^16)+(2^15)= !

Guest's picture

i would choose #11 double it every day and become a millionaire.

Guest's picture

You have very good suggestions, especially considering how little a $1 is worth.

Guest's picture

I was able to fold a dollar eight times. Difficult, but not impossible.

Guest's picture

You can get much more here for $1 at http://1dollarjob.com/
This is site id dedicated for small jobs. people can buy from $1 onwards.