Monday, September 21, 2009

Household Money Saving Tips

Household Money Saving Tips

1. Reuse-The lunch meat I buy comes in a reusable plastic container which we reuse for sending left overs home with friends and family. I do not buy ziplock type bags but if I receive them from friends or family , I simply wash them and use them over and over again until they fall apart.

2. Hand wash your dishes. Yes those hands you have actually do wash dishes. Crazy idea's I have! If you have just a small amount of dishes, just hand wash them. Do not load your dishes half full and waste water.

3. Your crock pot is your best friend. At least 3 times a week before lunch I make a meal and put it in our crock pot. By the time dinner is here, our dinner is done to perfection. And I don't have to slave away on the stove. Saves on energy bill and your energy. Less dishes as well.

4. Make your own cleaners. I take a spray bottle and fill it with water. Then I take Dr Bronners and add about 1/4 tsp of it to the water. This is a great simple cleaner and its non toxic. If you don't have the Dr Bronners soap, simply add water then about 1/2 cup of vinegar to that. This works just as well and is non toxic. Don't worry, once its dry , you will not smell the vinegar.

5. Sweep everyday. If you keep on top of sweeping all hard surfaces, the less you have to vacuum. And if you keep your shoes off in your home, again less vacuuming you have to do. And no added stains. Again, less energy used.

6. Check your factory settings on your fridge. Sometimes they are not correct and your using more energy than you need to. Keep your fridge and freezer full if you can. Again, using less energy.

7. Keep your pantry organized. Don't you hate it when you buy something and come home to find out you already have 2 of it? Yah, so keep it organized and you wont have that problem. Saving you money.

8. Teach your kids to use only a certain amount of toilet paper squares. If your kids are like mine, they think they need 20 and basically throws your money away. So at a early age, teach them how many squares they need. Teaches your kids how to count, and saves you money in the long run. I also make my girls go potty before they get in the bath, then simply lift them into the tub. No TP needed! Plus the twins will both go potty and take a bath together so I save a few gallons of water this way.

9. Make or buy used furniture. Everything in my home (except sofa's) are either used, or made. My husband made me a bed that I wanted out of the Pottery Barn catalog. We paid all together maybe $75 for ours. Paint and wood, and we reused our rails from our other bed. The bed in the catalog was $2,000. So its worth it. And most of our furniture is from thrift stores or I have found. I like to find a diamond in the rough. Most items just need some furniture wax, or a coat of paint. Easy things to do. Most things are super easy to do. But things that are distressed are very in now so half the time I leave them as is. My coffee table is an old trunk that I found on the side of the road with a free sign on it. I carried it home and did nothing to it. Its cool the way it is. It was free, functional, and I can store things inside. Plus don't have to worry about my kids damaging it. I have a art cabinet that I found as well. Bought some cheap spray paint and just painted it. Done. So its super easy, just have a imagination.

10. Hooks, hooks and more hooks. I have hooks that I have found, bought, and were given that I use for storage everywhere. I have decorative hooks in my living room for jackets, hooks in our closets hung low for my kids to hand jackets and back packs, and hooks in every door. They are a space saving miracle!

11. Rethink things before you toss them. Think "How can I use this differently?" or "where else can I put this?" . Every once in a while, I move things around because I get bored with the room. Just yesterday I took items from around my home and brought them into my room. Spiced my room up. Freestyle all the way. Free! Baskets is a huge item people throw away. I use baskets for a magazine holder in our sitting room, toilet paper storage in the bathroom, organizer in my kids closets, organizer everywhere pretty much, and for under our beds.

12. Buy things even when you don't need them. I was always taught the other way. The hubby thinks you don't buy things you don't need. But in some case's, its a must. Like candles. To me, I have to have my home smelling good. Or for some reason I think my home is dirty. I'm weird I guess. So I will buy candles 90% off after holidays that I can use all year round.I have a cabinet specifically for them so I can save them until needed. I only burn the ones in glass or containers year round, only burn the pillars on holidays or when we have friends and family around. Candles make a room feel like home, they constantly smell, and are so pretty. So its a free room spray sorta. Or maybe you find a certain item for super cheap that you can use. Like a packaged item that was opened but not used in the half off bin. Yah, I used to buy diapers this way. Usually I would get them for half price. Worth it to me. Even if I didn't need them at the time. So hit your half off bins first when you enter a store, remember all those places no matter where you shop. I save tons of money this way.

13. Use only what you need. For instance, laundry soap. I use half a cap full, not a full like they state on the bottle. My kids don't like dirt on them, and we don't usually get dirty at all. So we only use half. So our soap I can get usually 50 loads, instead of 25. I bought dryer balls so I never had to buy dryer sheets again. No more random dryer sheets floating around our rooms. Don't you get annoyed when you find our you had a dryer sheet stuck to the back of your shirt and you left your home? UUHH!

14. Hang dry items. Currently I hang dry everything. Its been amazing weather here so I'm able to get a ton of laundry done. When its windy, its the best time to hang your clothes. They are much softer. When the weather is not so nice, I use my collapsible wooden clothes rack. These are hard to come by so when college type items go on sale, this is usually in there. Maybe you could hang up a line in your garage. I save over $20 a month on our energy bill this way.

15. Improvise when ever possible. Need a band aid but have none? Just use painters tape and a piece of toilet paper. Need seasonal decorations? Just hand your kids some paper and let them go nuts . Saves you money and your children will love their art work on the wall.

16. Borrow and lend toys out. One kids toys are another kids enjoyment. Ever go to a friends house and your kids play with an exact toy they already have but wont play with at home? UURR. We have a huge container of Lego's (bought at thrift shop for $5, what a deal!) that our neighbors are borrowing. These will keep their kids entertained for hours. Our children borrowed a few of their boys in return.

17. Sweep. Have a driveway that gets a bunch of random dirt or leaves. Instead of pulling out the hose and using your water to clean it, just sweep. When we rented an apartment years ago, I would sweep the carpet then vacuum the next time. Our current home has a sunken living room so I'm not able to do that anymore. This saved on our energy bill.

18. Ditch the disposable wipe mop. You will have to replace the wipe and spend money. Use a good old cotton mop. Instead of replacing the mop head with a new one, simply let it soak in bleach water for a while or toss in your washer. This will save a ton of money over the long run.

19. Ditch the air fresheners. Not only are they expensive after a while but they are super toxic. All that smelly toxic stuff goes into your lungs. Try burning a candle, opening up your windows, or use herbs like I do. Simply cut some wonderful mint and tie into a bundle. Take a small fan and put it on low. Then put the herb bundle by the fan and let it suck up the smelly oils and distribute it into the air. Natural air freshener! I love it!

20. Walk or bike. Simple sounding huh? If you need to go somewhere and its with in 1-2 miles of you, simply walk or bike there. This will save on your gas bill. Plus help our your mother earth! Hey and its also free exercise!

Have any helpful hints you want to share? Simply leave a comment and don't forget to read everyone Else's too.

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