If you are on a budget – and everyone should be on some kind of budget – you’re probably looking for ways to cut expenses.
You may not be in a position to bring in any more money than you do now, but there are likely some items you can cut out in order to spend a little less each month.
The key is to focus on the items you can use over and over again, and stop buying the things that are thrown away after being used. In addition to being wasteful, it’s not too great for the environment.
Now, you may not wish to stop purchasing everything I’m going to mention here, but if you can commit to discontinuing your use of two or three of them, I guarantee you there will be more money left at the end of the month than there used to be.
- Paper products. Many of us regularly buy paper towels, paper napkins and toilet paper, and some of us add paper plates, bowls and cups to the mix. The cost is significant. With the exception of toilet paper, you could cut out almost all of them. Use washable cloths instead, as well as glasses, plates and bowls.
- Bottled water. You may be rightfully concerned about the quality of your tap water, but a water filtration system is a much better long-term solution than expensive bottled water, which may actually be tap water in disguise.
- Zip-top bags. These are very “convenient,” especially for sandwiches, fruit slices, cereals, and other items you want to keep in the pantry or refrigerator. But when they’re gone, you have to buy more. So, buy a set of plastic, air-tight containers from the dollar store and use them repeatedly for these needs.
- Aluminum foil. Same principle here. Instead of wrapping up food that you’re planning on using as leftovers, put that food in plastic containers.
- Coffee filters. If you use a coffee maker, use one with a wire mesh filter that can be cleaned regularly, rather than paper coffee filters that get tossed out after usage.
There are also a number of items that, while you still need them, you don’t have to buy them. That’s because you can make them yourself.
I don’t have the space here for instructions on how to make each of these items, but you can find those directions by searching online. Here are 14 things you can make yourself:
- Cleaning supplies
- Dishwashing liquid
- Hand soap
- Laundry detergent
- Moisturizing lotions
- Salad dressing
- Shaving cream
- Stain remover