How I Save Money At Home Each Month
I know these days I spend plenty of time looking for ways I can save money around the house. I highly consider multiple ways in order to save money since to be honest, I’d rather save money than spend it. Here are a few ways my husband and I save money around the house:
1. Use Castile Soap for Your Soap Uses
We use Doctor Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (mostly peppermint and baby unscented) for most of our soap uses. It is organic soap that requires being diluted for all uses. Using the 64 oz size lasts us about 4-6 months, which I find impressive considering its many uses. It feels more friendly to use than bar soaps that waste away in the shower. The only place we don’t exactly use it is in the dishwasher (but I hear you can use it in the dishwasher if you measure it right, but I haven’t had such success). Use it for soap in the shower, washing hands, and washing laundry.
2. Make Your Own Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener
This is one I was hesitant to try for quite a while. I thought, “But nothing will get my clothes cleaner than buying laundry soap from the store.” I gave it a try and there are many recipes around the web for laundry soap and laundry detergent. I have found that mixing roughly 3oz. of Castile Soap to 24oz. of water gets our clothes clean. This usually lasts for about 10-20 loads of clothes. Okay, I don’t “make” my own fabric softener, but I sure do buy white distilled vinegar as a softener for our clothes. I am happy to say it works extremely well for our clothes! Why make doing laundry more expensive? I am glad to save myself about $10 – $20 for laundry soap and fabric softener every few months.
3. Use Coconut Oil Instead of Toothpaste or Mouthwash
For a time I ran out of the toothpaste I was using, and I thought, “Wow, toothpaste isn’t cheap. It costs about $6-$8 a tube, which may last me about three months, but still – is there a better way? Fortunately, there is! I’ve been using coconut oil instead of toothpaste for a while and while I’m not a fan of the taste, it seems to work! As a word of caution, after brushing your teeth spit the coconut oil in the trash, do NOT spit it down the drain (it can clog your drain if enough builds up). Usually good quality coconut oil can be found for about $30 – $60 for a large jar or tub. Thinking about that, it only takes a small dab to brush your teeth. That’s an awful lot of toothpaste. Also, oil pulling is said to have health benefits when an oil is vigorously swished in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. I figured there wasn’t much to lose when making the transition, and it has worked out well.
4. Use a Trimmer Before Using Your Razor
If you prefer to let your body hair grow out in the cold weather then this suggestion is for you. Nothing is more frustrating than using a brand new razor head for it only to be so clogged with hair that it is good for only one or two more uses. This is where a cheap trimmer comes in. Use the trimmer to shave off most of the noticeably long hairs and then shave. Your razor and wallet will thank you.
5. Cut Your Own Hair
Speaking of hair, this one I fear is for the brave. I am not skilled with cutting my own hair, but a trim never hurts. A trim isn’t too difficult to manage after a shower and it’s easier if your husband, sister, or friend will do it for you. This will save you about $20 each time you do. If you want to get your hair done at a salon, research beauty colleges in your area as they tend to do hair cuts for cheap by students in a beauty college.
6. Buy Used/Secondhand
Most items can be found used or secondhand whether it’s on the internet, through the newspaper, at a thrift store, a flea market, or a garage sale. Need a television? How about a coffee pot? Look no further than searching second hand! Many times people will slash prices in half or less for their used items. You may even be able to snag some free items if the owner wants them gone. Arrive the last hour or so at the flea market or a garage sale and they may be desperate to get rid of their unwanted items. However, the only downside to this is by not being early you may have missed the good items.
7. Use Vinegar and Essential Oils for Carpet and Furniture Stains
I am not sure if I can say I’ve ever bought commercial carpet cleaner in my years of marriage. However, I can say that mixing water and vinegar together with essential oils can do wonders. Before using on large areas of the carpet or on furniture do a spot test in small spot. Before vacuuming, I like to use a vinegar and water spray on stains, let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then vacuum slowly over those patches and more often than not the stain comes right out! Works excellently for food stains! For extra cleaning power, I find that tea tree or lavender essential oil (only 1-2 drops) with water and vinegar works well and adds a refreshing scent.
8. Skip the Commercial Cleaners
Need a solution to scrub stains off of surfaces? Use warm water and vinegar. I kid you not, it works better than a lot of cleaners I’ve tried without the nasty, toxic fumes. It will be the cheapest cleaner you will ever need or buy. Need a heavy duty cleaner for the bathroom? Put some baking soda, lightly spray it with water, and let it sit for an hour or two before using a scrub brush. Preferably do not mix with vinegar (although this is debated as to whether combining baking soda and vinegar together is even dangerous, but it does create some bubbles). Hard water stains? Cut a lemon in half or fourths in order to scrub hard water stains off of water faucets.
9. Make Your Own Air Fresheners
If you can’t do without air fresheners or need some fragrance in the home, use a mix of water and vinegar to deodorize the air. Add in a couple drops of essential oils of your choice for a refreshing scent. It’ll save you a few dollars and your lungs will thank you. You can also poke a whole orange with whole dried cloves for a neat air freshener project.
10. Don’t Buy Disposable Mop Pads
Have a mop that uses disposable pads? Stop wasting your money! I use a mop that requires disposable pads, but have never bought more than they originally came with. That is because I use a prefold cloth diaper and two rubber bands. Take one dry prefold and place the middle on the bottom of the mop and fold the excess over the top. Use a rubber band on each side to hold it in place. Make sure it is taught because the prefold will droop slightly when it gains moisture. I then use a warm water and vinegar solution that I pour in small amounts as needed on hard floors. Afterwards, hang to dry, and then toss into the dirty laundry. Simple as that.
11. Keep Glass Jars to Use as Cups
Regularly buy honey, olives, or some other food good in a jar? Keep the jars and use them as glass cups. I mean, you paid for the glass the food was in, why toss them out if you can use them? Alternatively, they can be used for cute crafts as well. If they come with lids, all the better to use to store leftover foods or drinks.
12. Repurpose Cookie Tins and Other Empty Containers
Have tons of cookie tins from Christmas? Maybe an empty tin that once held cocoa powder or a large tub that held chia seeds? Reuse them! Cookie tins are great for pens, pencils, and small art supplies. These containers can also be used to create your own neat gifts!
13. Ditch Your Expensive Cell Phone
My husband and I have usually held a rule of no more than $40 per month per cell phone. We choose non contract cell phone plans with unlimited calling and texting and certain amount of data that we must choose to use wisely. This isn’t a problem when wireless internet isn’t available. This does not include the phone itself, but we agreed not to make monthly payments on a phone and to pay the full amount upon purchase. It is alarming to hear online statistics saying many Americans are paying around $80-$110 per month per cell phone. Don’t use more cell phone than you need or will use, keep it simple.
14. Use Plastic Grocery Bags For Small Trash Cans
Don’t bother buying small trash bags to fit those tiny cans in your bathroom. Instead, use that collection of plastic grocery bags you have in your pantry. The work just as well if not better because the handles tie easily.
15. Make Your Own Hand Wipes/Baby Wipes
These are fairly simple to make. Take a roll of good quality, thick paper towels and cut them in half with preferably an electric turkey carving knife. If you don’t have one, a rough edged knife will do, but it will take a while, your arm will be tired, and be careful not to cut yourself. Take one half and place it in a container that fits around it or in an old baby diaper wipe box sitting vertical. Pour 1 cup filtered water and vinegar solution around the top or disinfecting hand wipes. For baby wipes, you can use 1 cup of water and small amount of liquid Castile unscented baby soap. To be honest, 1 cup of filtered water works well to keep baby bottoms clean and then allow them to air dry a moment. Allow the water 10 minutes to seep through the paper towels to the bottom, then remove the cardboard roll and pull one wipe from the middle. If the towels are too wet or too dry they will tear, but better too dry than too wet. More water can always be added. Check out the tutorial below:
16. Put Mixed Colors in the Washer On Cold
Don’t bother with separating colors, especially if you have only one or two items that fit in one color category. Instead, have full loads every time. Toss all your laundry in the wash on cold (warm or hot may transfer the colors). Not only does it save time, but it can also save water.
17. Buy Some Things In Bulk
This is especially true if you have a large family. Certain things in bulk may be a lot cheaper than you would normally pay. Be sure to do the math to be sure you are actually getting a good deal.’
18. Turn the Oven Off Before the Timer Beeps
Ever notice how long the oven stays hot after you turn it off? It feels like a waste of heat and may lead you to open windows, turn on fans, or run the air conditioner in the warmer months. Instead, turn the oven off 3-6 minutes before your dish is done baking. Leave your food in the oven to continue cooking, but you will at least be using every bit of that heat. It saves energy, too!
Feel free to share how you save money at home below in the comments!
[Picture Credit: Fabian Blank on unsplash.com]