By Lauren Yagla
"I love spending money on household essentials," said no one ever.
Sadly, the reality is that household essentials and everyday items can eat away a large chunk of our monthly budget. Laundry detergent, dish soap, all-purpose cleaners, stain removers, paper towels, and bathroom cleaners can be expensive. And don't forget about the time and energy expenses to actually get the cleaning done.
It can be frustrating before you even start cleaning. And the actual cleaning, well, that's a story for another day.
However, we can all save loads of cash on our household essentials if we make the right moves, plan the right ways, and use the right deals. Follow these creative and sensible tips to shave off some major savings on household chores, products, and other everyday items.
Buy in Bulk
It may seem overwhelming to buy three containers of toilet bowl cleaner in one trip, but this can save you loads of money over time. Plus, you will be able to reach in your storage closet when you run out. Not only can buying in bulk save you loads on money on your bills, but it can also spare you from having to run to the store when the container is empty.
Regrow Food from Your Scraps
Did you know that you can actually regrow foods from the scraps you usually throw away? This creative trick will blow your mind - and keep your wallet full.
Some of the common foods that people can regrow in their own homes include:
Before you throw away the bottom of your lettuce head or peels of your garlic, check out ways that you can put these food scraps in water and save some major money on your grocery bills.
Buy Generic Brands
To see some real savings on your monthly bills, swap out your top-of-the-line name brands for generic brands. Many stores sell similar versions of name brand products for less than half the price. When you read these labels, you'll quickly realize that they both use the exact same ingredients. If you can get past the subpar labels, you can end up slashing your bills by more than one third when you switch to generic brands.
Cut Sponges in Half
Scrubbing pots and pans is the worst. But, it doesn't have to break the bank too. When you purchase the large rectangular sponges, you can cut them in half so that you can make them last even longer. Simply take your heavy-duty scissors and cut them down the center. Wa-la! You now have the double the sponges for the exact same cost. Now you can tend to that heaping mound of dishes with a smile on your face.
Get Reusable Cleaning Products
There are many products on the market that focus on eco-friendly solutions to make cleaning jobs faster - and cheaper. Wool dryer balls, for example, cut drying time in half, which can save you on your energy bills to get laundry done. Silicone food storage bags are also great for storing food without investing in countless Ziploc bags for your kids' lunches. Simple solutions like this may be expensive to purchase initially, but they offer countless months of savings in the long run.
Pro tip - Ditch the paper towels and get some wash rags and microfiber cloths for everyday cleaning. These can be thrown in the laundry and reused time and time again.
Hang Dry Your Laundry
Did you know that your dryer is the most expensive appliance to run? Opt for alternative drying methods, like hanging your clothes to dry. Invest in a quality drying rack that you can keep in the laundry room, or put a clothesline outside for your clothes to dry in the sun. These are simple solutions that can cut your energy bills dramatically over time.
Make Lists - and Stick to Them
Heading out to the store without a plan is like a trap. You can get sucked into buying more than you actually need, which can blow the budget in just one trip. Before you leave the house, sit down and make a list of what you intend to buy. As you shop through the store, try your absolute best to stick to your list. This can prevent you from buying impulse purchases, which can add up and eventually put a strain on the rest of your monthly budget.
Use the Envelope System
I'll be the first to admit it. We use the envelope budgeting system in our house, and it works wonders. Each month, we separate our expenses into categories. We come up with an amount for each type of expense (i.e. entertainment, household essentials, grocery), and we stash that amount of cash in each. When the envelope is empty, we've reached our budget for that month. This helps us organize our bills, track our spending, and prevent overspending.
You'll always need these essentials to do the jobs you dislike the most, but you can make it (slightly) more enjoyable by saving money on these never-ending expenses.
These creative hacks will help you get some more wiggle room in your budget, which can allow you to put more money in savings, go on that much-needed family vacation, or simply just live without financial stress once again.
Stop overpaying for your household products, and start saving by using these solutions now.