Many times saving money means giving up something and that’s why many people don’t like to do it. It brings that annoying idea of depriving yourself of something that you want. But that doesn’t always have to be the case.
Instead, a lot of saving money has to do with a little bit of creativity and/or patience. Now, we don’t need to go all Extreme Cheapskates here, but here are a few small ways we can live a little smarter and more efficiently. Together We Money presents you with the following ideas:
- Dry the water off of your razors. This is my favorite tip! After I get out of the shower, I take my towel and wipe the water off to prevent it from rusting. This will make the razor last around 3x longer. I also buy men’s razors because ladies, the pink tax is real. Don’t let some jerk-off marketer take advantage of you through pink packaging.
Speaking of the pink tax, it refers to the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services. Things like dry cleaning, personal care products, and vehicle maintenance. Women pay about $1,351 more a year in extra costs.
- Buy greeting cards at thrift stores or yard sales. I went to a yard sale last summer and ended up buying close to 16 really nice quality birthday cards for a quarter each (pictured). I happen to HATE, and I mean HATE buying cards. You open them, read them, and within five seconds there goes your $3.99 in the trash. It drives me nuts! And nowadays the price of cards is jaw-dropping. But someone will always have a birthday so stop letting Hallmark take you for a ride like a sucker.
- Reuse your holiday gift bags. Holiday gift bags can really add up, usually tacking on another $3 at least onto what you spent on the present. Keep the bags and tissue paper (if still salvageable) that others give you each year and use it for someone else. Hey, at least it’s not as bad as re-gifting an actual gift.
- Leave online shopping cart purchases. If you love online shopping try leaving your items in your checkout cart for a few days. Some companies will email you coupons or discounts to push you to the purchase phase of the buying cycle.
- Unplug your electronics. You can save up to 10% off of your utility bill if you unplug after use. I do this with my TV which I don’t watch often and made it a habit to do with my microwave and phone charger too. Hey if it’s good enough for Oprah to recommend, then it’s good enough for me.
- Clean dirt off of shoes with nail polish remover. If you have sneakers wipe nail polish remover on the leather-y part to get rid of dirt or other scuff marks. I usually do this every few wears. The white base of my shoe looks good as new. Works like a charm and prevents you from thinking your old sneaks have seen better days and that you need to buy new ones.
- Use app extensions to get coupon codes for online purchases. The website domain name for TogetherWeMoney.com was supposed to cost me around $26. The Honey app extension on my computer popped up when I was at the checkout and found a coupon code that brought the price down to under $10 for a two-year term. So simple and no work required. Retail Me Not also just came out with a new extension, called Genie. Download it here.
- Learn a little DIY maintenance. One time, in my old house, my sink was clogged. I decided to see what I could find on Youtube. After a few video tutorials and over an hour later, I ended up fixing it myself and walking away with a lot of pride. I saved my landlord at least $200 in calling a professional and I learned what a clevis strap, pop up assembly, spring clip, and p-trap where. BOOM. You can learn anything on Youtube.
- Purchase used kitchen appliances. Need a slow cooker or griddle? You can often find perfectly fine, working items at the thrift store or Craigslist at a fraction of the price. The stores always test that they work prior to selling anyways. Do you really care if your crockpot is brand new from Macy’s?
- Boil your toothbrush. Now this one I got as a suggestion and haven’t actually tried it, but apparently if you boil your toothbrush, the bristles harden, it’s disinfected, and it lasts longer. This can be really helpful for the pricier replaceable toothbrush heads. Test it out and let me know what you think below.
- Cut dryer sheets in half. Also a suggestion for this post that I haven’t tried because I actually don’t use dryer sheets. But I’m sure it works just the same, so stop wasting product and make it work for you.
- (Ladies), buy men’s toiletry products. As stated in number one, I buy men’s razors because they are cheaper, and I swear they work better too. If you don’t care about the masculine smell in some other toiletry products, you can go balls-to-the-walls and buy men’s deodorant, shaving cream, shampoo, lotion, and more. I bet there are some non-scented items too.
- Shop at library sales. Libraries want to get rid of inventory and to do so, often sell books and DVDs for practically nothing. Usually around a quarter for a soft cover or 50 cents for a hard cover. I have close to four libraries within a few minutes of me. If you go in and ask they can typically tell you when their next purge will be. Thrift stores and yard sales are great for cheap books/DVDs too.
- Drive smart. Gas is actually cheaper late at night and early in the morning. Avoid filling up at stations right off of exists because they can often be 15 cents per gallon more. Also, don’t carry everything you own in your trunk. That weighs down your car and cause you to burn more gas per mile.
- Keep the hanger. Another small reminder is to keep the hanger when they ask you if you want it at stores. Kohls always does this and I always say yes. Unless you want the fancy kind for your Prada coat, then just stick with the regular. Who honestly cares?
- Hold onto your change. Every time I see someone put change in a tip jar I think of three things. 1. That was really nice of them, 2. I wonder if they just did that because they didn’t want to hold onto it, and 3. I wonder how often they do that. One time I asked my mom to take my change to one of those Coin Star things at the bank (but not Coin Star exactly because they take a percentage). I thought I would maybe get 20 bucks and to my shock, I had $130 in change. (I was always bad at those guessing games). That shit adds up, trust me.
- Save takeout containers. Some restaurants give you nice quality plaster containers for take-out. Maybe they won’t last forever, but you can definitely get more than one use out of them. And with Tupperware often getting eaten by the Tupperware troll, you might as well hold onto a few extra.
- Make your own cleaning supplies. Again, if you like to go green or are just watching your spending, you can find simple, safe and effective ways to make everything from laundry detergent, multipurpose spray, air freshener, car cleaner, and more. Here is a quick, easy, and green car cleaner recipe:
All-Natural Car Cleaning Spray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MszIxXsyhI4
- Use binder clips as bag clippers. Anyone who says they’ve never taken a couple extra office supplies from work is a liar. Use the big paperclips, you know the half an inch black binding ones, to clip your snack bags, or anything really. No need to buy those from the store like a chump. Even Walmart’s cheapest bundle is $3.99. When you are bound to somehow lose them, go with the resources you have.
- Wash aluminum foil with soap and water. So I saw a friend do this and sure it might seem silly, but if you are really watching your spending and want to go green, then reuse it. It’s a pain to use something once and throw it away if you technically don’t have to.
BONUS: Travel tips
Pack your clothes in a bedding sheet case. You know those plastic clear square zipper containers a new set of sheets comes in? Roll up your shirts, shorts, loose-fitting dresses into that. It saves a crap ton of space. No sense in paying extra money for a larger suitcase if you don’t need to. I swear, it’s genius!
- Save the hotel shampoo/conditioner. I know most of the free bottles they give you aren’t that great but sometimes I am really surprised by the quality depending on where you travel to. Travel size items at the convenience store can run between $2 to $6. Save the trip to the store and just use what you’ve been given.
A little bit goes a long way, so follow these tips to get the most bang for your buck.