~Steph’s Frugal Tips – 07/31/09~

I’m always talking about my love for frugality and finding ways to save money, so I thought I might start sharing a few random tips that I’ve learned through the years each week. Of course, I wouldn’t know half as much as I do without Frugal Families. I hope these tips will help someone else as much as they have me through the years.

Tip #1:

Double duty – if you can make something pull double duty, do it. Such as, if you make mashed potatoes for dinner but have some left over, make potato cakes.

When all of your coffee grounds are gone, reuse the container to store something else in such as cookies, pretzels, chocolate baking chips, corn meal, flour, etc. The new plastic containers work great in your pantry or in your freezer. You’ve already paid for the container so why not use it instead of sending it to the landfill.

Tip #2:

You know how when you get done with a jar or peanut butter there’s still quite a bit around the sides and bottom? Scrape it out! Take your scraper and get every last bit you can. There’s usually enough for at least 1, if not 2, more sandwiches in there. Same with mayo containers, jam/jelly, etc. Again, you’ve already paid for it so why not get your money’s worth.

Tip #3:

Think that tube of toothpaste is really empty, or there’s not much lotion left in the bottle that won’t pump any more? Think again. Cut open that tube of toothpaste and you’ll have a few more uses out of it- you’re only supposed to use a pea-size amount anyway. As for the lotion, cut open the bottle and scrape it out. I usually have at least about 1/4 of a bottle each time and do this. Put the lotion into a smaller container that you can dip your fingers into to get the desired amount. Lotions are not cheap – definitely use it all up when you can!

Tip #4:

Let’s talk laundry and dish detergent. Did you know that you can use half (or less) of the recommended amounts and still get the same results? The amounts recommended on the bottles can actually cause quite a bit of build up over time in our appliances which is where a lot of the repair bills come from.

Got really dingy clothes, don’t add extra detergent or OxyClean, add Borax (you can usually find it in your laundry isle at the grocery store). It works just as well (if not better), and costs a whole lot less!

Tip #5:

While we’re on the subject of laundry, make sure that you always wash a full load, and wash in cold water. You don’t need hot water. Even your whites can be washed in warm water. If you have super dingy clothes, you can put them on a soak cycle or let the washer fill up and agitate, but stop it before it gets to the rinse cycle and let it stand for about 15 to 20 minutes, then reset it to go back through the wash cycle again.

Also, make sure to check your articles of clothing for stains before putting them in the dryer. Your dryer will set stains in and make it very hard to get them out. (We’ll talk about dryer usage another day).

This post is linked to Frugal Friday. There’s lots more frugal tips there so go on over and check it out!

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