We all love saving money and there are plenty of quirky household hacks that can help you do just that. While these tricks may seem like small savings, they do add up and as a bonus, they help the environment by reducing waste.
So, let’s take a look at how you can save money and reduce waste at home.
Savouring every last drop
How often do struggle with scraping out every last bit of a jar, or squeezing your toothpaste tube to within an inch of its life? It’s easy for us to simply give up and chuck things in the bin when they are nearly empty, however, there are plenty of tricks you can use to get the most out of your products.
- Tackling tubes. Make the most of every slither of toothpaste or tomato puree by rolling a tin or jar along the tube. You can actually purchase tube squeezers if you want to get really serious. Alternatively, cutting tubes open could be a good option too.
- Jars of jam and honey. Old jam or crystallised honey can be saved by placing the jar in warm water for a few minutes.
- Cooking sauces. Simply add a bit of water, swish it around the jar and add it to whatever you are cooking.
- Salad dressing. A lot of salad dressings contain vinegar, so to loosen what’s stuck to the bottle, add a little vinegar.
- Nail polish. Pouring in a drop of nail polish remover can refresh an old bottle and think out any dried-up clumps.
- Mascara and foundation. Placing your mascara or foundation container in some warm water for a few seconds should loosen up any remaining product.
- When your lipstick dips below the rim, don’t throw it away. Instead you can use a lipstick brush to get the last of it out.
Reducing bathroom waste
The bathroom is a zone that is prone to a lot of waste and you may not even realise it. These hacks will help you to reduce your waste and save money.
- Use old toothbrushes. Toothbrushes make perfect cleaning utensils when you need to get into tight spots i.e. between tiles and around your taps.
- Recycling water. If you shower in a bath, then why not put the plug in and use some of the water for your houseplants or garden afterwards? You can also use shower/bath water to pour directly into your toilet bowl which will flush it, or into the cistern.
- Re-use kitchen sponges. When your kitchen sponges get a bit grotty for your dishes, you can reuse it as a bathroom cleaning sponge.
- Slightly flatten toilet rolls. Some children (and indeed some adults too) can get carried away with using more loo roll than they need when it spins off the holder. By flattening your toilet rolls slightly, you can help prevent this.
- Save on candles. Do you enjoy a candle to create a relaxing atmosphere when you take a bath? Instead, you could try using a wind-up torch to have the same effect.
Changing your kitchen habits
There are plenty of small changes that you can make in the kitchen to reduce your waste.
- Reuse sandwich bags. Those little plastic sandwich bags are undoubtedly handy, however if we throw them away after one use, they are also very wasteful. Instead of binning them after a single use, you should wash and reuse them. You can also do the same with plastic bread bags which may save you having to buy additional sandwich bags in the first place.
- Warm your washing up water. If you’ve cooked a delicious meal in your oven, why not use that heat to warm up cold water for the washing up? If you pop in a tray of cold water while the oven is cooling and you’re eating your dinner, it will be ready to use when you’re finished and ready to do the dishes.
- Line your compost bin with newspaper. There’s no need to be buying special compostable bags if you read a newspaper. Newspaper is compostable and is an excellent substitute for lining your bin.
- Reuse containers. Don’t waste your money on Tupperware boxes if you already have plastic or foil containers than can be washed and reused. This could be an ice cream tub, or takeaway box that works perfectly for freezing extra meals or packing yourself a lunch.
- Wash sponges and clothes. Many of us have developed a bad habit of throwing away kitchen sponges and clothes when they start to look worn. However, if you pop them in your washing machine this can refresh them, and you can continue to use them. Alternatively, if they are looking a bit grungy for the kitchen, switch them to be your bathroom cleaners before throwing them away.
- Half dishwasher tablets. Many savvy waste-savers have found cutting dishwasher tablets in half to be effective. Try it for yourself but obviously make sure your dishes are coming out clean before making this a regular habit.
- Use old cereal bags. When you’ve finished munching your favourite box of cereal, have you thought about using the cereal bag for another purpose? Cereal bags are ideal for separating items in your freezer.
Other household hacks
- Don’t throw away tissue boxes. If you cut the top off an empty tissue box (or food bag dispensers), you’ll find you have a perfect draw divider. These can help you to organise your draws by creating compartments for different items.
- Fool brand snobs. We all know of fussy friends or family members that prefer branded products. However, you can impress your guests by refilling branded containers with cheaper options. For example, when you run out off your best Molton Brown handwash, simply fill the tub up with a similar non-branded product.
- Use old socks. Instead of throwing away your old tatty socks, why not use them as dusters? They are particular good for getting between venetian blinds if you pop one over your hand.
- Keep wrapping paper. When you receive gifts wrapped in lovely decorative paper, unwrap them carefully so that you can reuse the paper yourself. If you have some leftover wallpaper you could also use this to wrap gifts.
- Use junk mail as scrap paper. If you need a bit of paper for this week’s shopping list, grab some off of your junk mail so it doesn’t go straight in the bin,
Do you have any handy household hacks that save money and reduce waste? Let us know by leaving a comment below!