Guest post by Rebekah
A frugal lifestyle is more than just refusing to spend money or going after the best deal. It is about being a good steward with all of your resources. Some people are unwilling or unable to change their spending budget. That doesn’t mean they can’t be frugal.
Here are three ways you can save money without changing your spending:
1. Use Less
There are some things that you just have to buy, but if you use a little less of them, you’ll stretch those products further. It is better to go back for a little more shampoo than to use too much to begin with!
Here are some ideas for things you can experiment with to see how little you can actually use while still getting the job done:
- laundry detergent
- hand soap
- dish detergent
- toilet paper
- milk – in your cereal or coffee
- electricity – Turn off lights and other devices when you’re not using them.
- heat – Use a blanket, sweater, or hot drink to warm up.
- baby wipes – Tear them in half and only use what you need.
- gas – Crystal shared 15 ways to save money on gasoline here and here.
- water – Turn off water when possible, take shorter showers, or recycle “gray” water.
2. Use it All
Don’t waste what you’ve already paid for! I shudder just thinking about how much money I’m “throwing away” each time I clean out my refrigerator. Food is the most obvious thing people struggle to use completely, but there are more.
Here are some ways you can be sure to get your money’s worth out of products by using all of it:
- Keep a container in your freezer for leftover veggies that you can add to regularly. Then when the container is full, make soup.
- Swish some water in your “empty” shampoo/conditioner bottle to get out the last drops.
- Freeze over ripe bananas to use for baking or Crystal’s chocolate banana smoothies.
- Peel off that last annoying, glued-to-the-roll square of toilet paper and add it to the next roll.
- Cut the tops off your “empty” toothpaste, face wash, and lotion to access some hidden product. There is more left in there than you think!
- Save stale bread for making bread crumbs or go on a duck feeding adventure.
3. Use it Twice
There are some things that you can truly only use once. That dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush? Yeah, I’d love to see you try to use that again! Then there are other things that really can be used again and it will save you money in the long run.
Here are some things around your house that can use twice or more:
- laundry – Do a sniff test. If it passes, then what’s the harm in wearing it again?
- paper towels – Do you use one to cover your food in the microwave? Use it over & over or use it as your napkin for that meal.
- tin foil – Did you cover a dish without it getting messy? Fold it up & save it.
- old t-shirts – Cut them into rags or make a necklace.
- gift bags – Use them for a future gift. If they are too wrinkled or ugly you can use them to carry things around.
- gift bows – Put a piece of tape on the back and use them over and over.
- tissue paper – Did you know that you can iron tissue paper?
- plastic food storage bags – I don’t recommend doing this with meat, but you can wash and reuse bags several times.
- plastic grocery bags – Use them in small trash cans, to pick up behind your dog on walks, or as a “wet bag” in your diaper bag.
- q-tips – If you use one end for touching up your make-up, save it to use the other end next time.
- birthday candles & decorations – They are used for such a short time. Why not save them for the next birthday?
- disposable swim diapers – Put swim diapers in your laundry and use them several times before throwing them out.
You don’t have to be a coupon queen or a penny pincher to save some cash! Those things certainly help, but when you’ve done everything you can to save money, try these three tactics to stretch your dollar even further.
What suggestions do you have for getting the most out of your products?
Rebekah is a stay-at-home mom who blogs about frugal lifestyle tips, going green baby steps, and all of life in between at SimplyRebekah.com.
All photos by Simply Rebekah.