Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Steps to stop throwing your money away

I wanted to start this post in a few ways but couldn't narrow it down to just one.  So I will be blunt and to the point. Don't be stupid and throw your money away. Before you go sending me hate mail please hear me out.

I get tired of hearing people say how they don't know to save money.  Yet they buy useless products? I just don't get it. So today I want to share with you the many ways to stop buying things and save money. 

It's simple really. Stop buying useless disposable things because your basically throwing your money in the trash.

Kitchen items

1.  Paper towels-Instead use fabric hand towels

2.  Packaged food-buy in bulk. Less packaging means less you pay for the food.  Plus making our own food from scratch is always cheaper and healthier.

3.  Plastic utensils/paper plates-Use your own dishes and utensils. Seriously people this is the easiest one!

4.  Paper napkins-Fabric ones can be washed over and over for years. Don't have $$ to buy new ones? They sell them cheap in thrift stores.  Or better yet just use your fabric hand towels as napkins.

5.  Drinks-no more single serving waters, soda's or juice boxes.  Instead pack your own. Better yet just drink water!

6.  Food Mixes-I'm talking gravy packets, chocolate milk packets, and things like that. Here's a crazy idea, try to make it yourself with a recipe. All you have to do is simply google what your trying to make and try to make it yourself. Think about it people. The product you buy was made by someone so why not make it yourself?

7.  Plastic food bags-This step can be free if you get creative.  Two words people-Mason...wait for it...Jars. But that being said you can find fabric food bags in just about any store now days. One small investment will save you lots of money in the long run. Better yet make your own from scrap fabric and Velcro. Again just google it!

8.  Plastic trash bags-I call these time capsules because once your trash goes into there and you tie it shut, its there forever.  Now days you can find biodegradable ones but why waste the money? Instead I have a small trash can that we don't use any trash bag in. If you recycle everything you can and compost everything you can, there really is no need for a trash bag. Simply take it out often.

9.  Sponge-You use them for a few weeks and then they start getting that funky smell.  Yes you could soak them in bleach but bleach itself is toxic.  Once done with them you throw them away and they may or may not ever break down. Instead use a fabric wash cloth. Either buy one or simply use one you already own.  Once done toss into the laundry.

10.  Cupcake papers-This one alone doesn't save you a ton of money unless you bake a ton.  All savings is better than no savings.  Instead of using cupcake papers try spraying oil in the pan and pouring the batter right in.  Talk about beautiful rustic cupcakes!  Yeah your awesome like that!


1. Toilet paper-This step is for the hard core greenies out there.  Take a old sheet and cut up into squares.  Simply use those instead of toilet paper.  These can be tossed into the washer along with your clothes or separate if your freaked out by it.  We keep them on hand in the bathroom and use them for #1.  My girls use them when they want with no pressure from me.  This has cut down our toilet paper purchases by half. With 5 girls in this house you can just imagine how much we went through.

2.  Liquid hand soap-If your kids are anything like mine then you know how much soap they can go through.  How much do you really need to wash little hands? Apparently half a bottle! Instead I buy only bars of soap and sit them on a soap holder with holes for water to escape. Dry bar means less soap wasted. 

3.  No poo shampoo-You can wash your hair with baking soda and vinegar alone! I swear....again google it.  Having 5 girls in my home there is no way I can get away with this one.  One day I will venture to try it out. 

4.  Shower every other day-We shower when needed only.  I can go 2 days without showering because I don't roll around in the dirt.  This saves you on your water bill, electric bill and you use less shampoo products.  And no we don't smell!

5.  Shaving Cream-STOP BUYING IT! Use a good bar of soap, shampoo or even conditioner.  This is the most useless item you spend your money on.  Not to mention you avoid chemicals leaching into your skin.

6.  Cotton balls/pads-Just use a wash cloth people.  Seriously quit being wasteful.

7.  Bathroom cleaners-Head into your kitchen and grab yourself some baking soda and vinegar.  Yes that's all you need! Again google comes in handy here. There are hundred's of recipes for cleaners made with these ingredients. Stop wasting your money on toxic chemical filled cleaners!

8.  Paper hand towels-Seriously people don't even get me started on that subject. Just use a fabric towel to dry your hands. Just don't buy the paper ones that a "will not name their brand" have made. The single most dumb product I have ever heard was made.

Laundry Room

1.  Quit buying laundry soap and make your own(with my help!).  Or yet again just google it.  Ive been making mine for 4 years now and have saved a ton of cash by this step alone.  One small $5 investment will get your a years worth of laundry soap. 

2.  Fabric softeners/sheets-Crazy thought but you don't need them! They are there just to melt chemical filled fragrances all over your clothes and make you feel like your clothes are clean.  Your laundry soap does that people.  I don't use anything but many people use vinegar instead with good results.  But for the lazy people like me don't use anything at all.  I have 4 daughters so I do a ton of laundry to get done.

3.  Dryers-I'm not saying get rid of them! Just use them only when needed.  How about hanging the clothes on a line? With one small investment of clothes line, you don't need your dyer on sunny days.  Most summers my dryer is unplugged and out of use.  Nothing beats the smell of your clothes when you dry them on the line. For those who cannot have a line there are many different types of clothes racks.  You can find them in thrift shops for cheap. Or ask around to friends/family to borrow theirs.

Other random stupid things

Fire starters-Awesome people know how to start a fire without these. I am happy to report I am one of those people finally.  But if you have a hard time starting a fire then maybe you want to try your hand at making your own.  Start collecting lint, old wax and egg cartons.  Then head on over here to watch a simple how to video on making these.  Ironically I didn't make this video but another awesome Nancy did.

DIY Organic Bug Spray

DIY Cough Syrup

DIY Ketchup

DIY Bread Pudding

DIY Dried Beans

DIY Turkey or chicken broth

Do you see a pattern here? DIY which means do it yourself.  When you do it yourself, you save money for yourself. Not to mention all the nasty chemicals or preservatives.

So what did we learn from all this? Don't be a dummy and throw your money away. Try to make things yourself or do without.  Companies make you think you cannot live without their products.  When you buy their products they win.  So do you want them to be a winner or do you want to be a winner? I say me! Winner!


Heidi said...

I admit that I still use paper towels but I have cut way back and only use them for really messy stuff like grease.

I don't really use dinner napkins. If I get messy, I just wait and wash my hands at the end. I would like to have some on hand for guests, though. Finding them at thrift stores is perfect! I might even make some out of old sheets or pillowcases. This is my next project.

I just started the "No-Poo Shampoo" and I already love it! Otherwise I have natural bar soap for use on body and hair.

I agree about the single-use paper hand towels. I have seen that commercial and it makes me want to spit. "Here, being wasteful will keep germs at bay." What a bunch of hooey.

I use vinegar with a few drops of essential oil as fabric softener in my washer. Also, I've found that using natural fabrics like cotton and linen and avoiding synthetic material will pretty much eliminate static cling.

Great Article! It's so helpful to have a list to go through and see what else I can work on changing next. Thanks!!!

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

Good for you Heidi! If all else fails go call your grandma and ask how they did it.