Umm, you can't afford a sweat scraper? This one is less than $2, and I've had one (a plastic one that is the same and probably cost less) for 12 years. Aluminum Sweat Scraper - Sweat Scrapers from SmartPak Equine
And turning a screw driver into a hoof picks? Hoof picks cost less than screw drivers. http://www.statelinetack.com/item/cl...ick/SLT901728/
The best way I've found to save money is to buy quality stuff to begin with. It costs more at purchase price, but it lasts so much longer. Also, plan ahead, if you need something, look for it during an off season and surf sites that sell things at a major discount, and don't be picky on color, etc. I like Rambo and Pessoa blankets because they last forever, and I picked up a Pessoa on TOTD not too long ago for about half the price of my local tack shop. The first one last me over 5 years, and still looks great, a second one should get my horse through most of his life ;)
Also, I'd rather buy quality used gear than cheap new gear. I bought my beloved old Crosby in 2007 for $700. This summer I realized it no longer fit my mare after we started doing more dressage, and she needed a wider tree, I sold the same saddle for $700 :) A quality saddle never goes out of style. On a different side of the same coin, I purchased my current jumping saddle also in 2007 for $400, it's a Beval "the Natural" which retail for about $2500 new. I searched for this saddle weekly for 2 years because I knew I wanted one, and finally found one at my excellent price because the woman had had it for sale for $800 for over two years, leap of faith I asked if she still had it, she said yes, it was sitting in her parents closet and to make an offer, and now I ride in it daily and use it on 5 different horses :)
Tack swaps are hit or miss, but I've gotten some awesome deals at them too.
I also barter things to save money. A friend at the barn does blanket repair and horse laundry. She also works long hours besides that and does not have time to ride her mare. I ride her mare and give her daily treats, attention, and keep her white/long mane and tail spotless in exchange for horse laundry. My trainer and I will occasionally barter too, I will house sit/dog sit for him in exchange for lessons or training.