Saving money isn’t always about how to find deals on clothing or how to save on your energy bills, although those are all good things. Many times, it’s about making the things you have last longer and therefore stretching your dollar.
The longer your things last, the more money you’ll save because it means less replacements!
This is a pretty extensive list ahead, so let’s get saving! Try these tips to make what you have last longer and keep stretching your dollar! Oh, and don’t forget to please comment at the end if you think of something to add to it!
Stretching Your Dollar In The Kitchen
Store dry goods in the freezer so they last longer and don’t get bugs inside them. Flour and other types of grains are the best candidates for this. Did you realize you can freeze your cookies after they are baked… although, who doesn’t eat up all the cookies in a batch?
Fresh produce will stay fresher longer when wrapped in a paper towel.
Find a great deal on avocados? Once you get them home, make them into guacamole, being sure to add lemon juice and load into a freezer ziplock bag. Press the bags flat and squeeze out as much air as you can and freeze! Now you’ll have it when you need it!
Turn your jars upside down when you store them to prevent mold developing in things like salsa.
Purposely make a double batch of any meat when you cook to freeze one for a quick dinner either later in the week, or next month.
Use one main meat item, such as a rotisserie chicken, and get several meals out of it. Eat one for dinner, make sandwiches the next day and then cook the carcass for broth.
Keep your plastic containers from cottage cheese and other products to store things in such as leftovers or even items from around your house.
Keep one of those empty containers in the fridge ready to fill with ingredients for soup. Toss in onion peels, vegetable ends, small pieces of leftover meat and make a broth with it for soup.
Saving On Personal Care Items
Shampoo/Conditioner – Did you realize you can get a double use out of your bottle of shampoo? For me (and those of us with a lot of hair) I already use two bottles of conditioner for each bottle of shampoo. I realize it would be better to stretch the conditioner, but I haven’t found that to work very well. Instead, when my bottle of shampoo is 1/3 used, add water and stretch it to last another whole bottle of conditioner! So now, instead of using 2 bottles of shampoo for each bottle of conditioner, you can stretch it to two!
Toothpaste – Roll up from the bottom. When it is all squeezed out cut open the tube and get one last use.
Soap – Use a small mesh bag to place soap scraps in and then use them for washing hands.
Razors – Dry your razor after each use (just wipe the blades on your towel) to help them stay sharper longer.
Shower Gel – When you use a pouf or loofah along with your shower gel, you’ll only need a small amount to produce a lot of lather.
Makeup – When you get down to the last little of your lipstick use a lip brush to get the rest out. Also, you can use a Q-tip to get the last bit of many kinds of makeup out of the container. Just one extra use is stretching your dollar and adds up to a whole bottle eventually!
Stretching Your Dollar On Cleaning Supplies
Hand & Dish Soap – Make hand soap last longer by investing in a foaming hand soap dispenser. Simply dilute your regular hand soap with 1/3 water and it will last longer without any lack of cleansing power. You can do this with dish soap too.
Laundry Soap – This may be hard to believe but you can dilute your laundry soap by half, and you won’t even notice. Or simply use half as much! One quick search on Pinterest will give you a plethora of recipes for making your own laundry soap also.
Cleaners – Don’t spray directly on countertops or appliances. Instead, spray the cleaner on a cloth and wipe things down. You’ll use way less and have the same clean effect.
Dryer Sheets & Sponges – Cut both of these items in half so that you get twice the bang for your buck. I promise you will not miss the other half.
RELATED POST: More Than 40 Genius Uses for Dryer Sheets
Cleaning Towels – Cut old towels or T-Shirts into squares to use just like you would a paper towel. Only they can be washed and reused. I also use these as all-natural dryer sheets by spraying with vinegar and adding a few drops of essential oils on them.
Saving Around The House
Mattresses – Make sure you flip and rotate your mattress monthly in order to give it even wear so it will last longer.
Appliances – Your refrigerator will last longer if you clean and vacuum coils on a quarterly basis. Make sure you clean the dryer lint out of the dryer with every single use!
Air Conditioner – Have your air vents cleaned yearly and replace filters monthly to keep your air conditioner in tip-top shape.
RELATED POST: How To Lower Your Electric Bill By $40 Per Month!
Clothing – Consider hanging up your clothes because the dryer wears them out sooner. It will also save you money in energy costs as well.
Candles – Did you know that candles will burn slower (therefore lasting longer) when they are frozen first? Pretty neat, right? Also, as you get to the very bottom of a candle, melt down the remaining wax and pour it into a single jar you keep just for this. Then, visit the craft store for a new wick and wala, you’ve got a whole new candle!
Crayons – Melt old crayons in the microwave (or a double boiler) and pour into silicone ice cube trays or soap molds.
Markers – Dried out markers can be revived by soaking in a bit of alcohol.
These simple tips have the potential to save you big in the long run. Remember, stretching your dollar over the long haul is more successful when treated like a marathon than a sprint. There are many other ways you can stretch things as well. You simply need to think outside the box.
RELATED POST: What it really means to be Frugal.
YOUR TURN: What items have you had a long time that makes you think you really got your money’s worth? Let me know in the comments below!
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