Keeping a tight grip on your finances can feel impossible when there is so much to do around the home. It always seems like you have to buy something new to get the job done, but what if you could repurpose some of the things you already own?
You might be surprised by how many everyday things in your home have various uses and how many single-use things you buy have reusable alternatives.
Discover some of the most useful multipurpose items to help save you money and avoid wasting your hard-earned cash.
Top household items that are multi-use money savers
This one might be a little unexpected. Toothpaste is a versatile household item that can do much more than you can imagine.
As it is mildly abrasive, you can use toothpaste to clean and polish all kinds of things, like:
- Bathroom fixtures
- Leather shoes
- Piano Keys
You can even use toothpaste to defog a mirror by working it in small circles, letting it dry, and then buffing it off with a dry cloth.
A simple bottle of dish soap is possibly the most versatile item everyone has in their home. Dish soap can be used for various cleaning tasks around the house, but it can also be used as an effective and environmentally friendly weedkiller.
Take one gallon of white vinegar and one ounce of dish soap, mix them in a plastic spray bottle, and spray the mixture onto any unwanted weeds that you might have.
You’ve probably got a large container of olive oil in your kitchen, but you might not have realized how useful it can be outside of cooking.
Olive oil is an excellent lubricant, which makes it very effective at getting things unstuck. For example, if chewing gum is caught in your fabrics or old residue from stickers is still attached to your glass jars, dabbing a bit of olive oil onto the problem can help.
It can even remove other stubborn things like sap, paint, grease, and eye makeup.
You might be throwing hundreds of dollars a year away on expensive cleaning products you don’t need. Simple white vinegar has many cleaning applications and is a natural disinfectant.
You can use it to disinfect your countertops, and it will help remove the streaks from your glassware and break down the calcium deposits that build up on your faucets and fixtures. If you have stubborn stains on your toilet bowl, soap scum in your shower, or mildew build-up, a vinegar soak for a few hours can work absolute wonders.
It is also great for removing the oily layer many fabric softeners leave on your laundry. Run a cycle with a bit of white vinegar, and it will freshen up your clothes and towels and even the machine itself!
There is nothing more soothing than a nice cup of tea, but did you know that your box of teabags could also give you other health benefits?
Placing a cool, soaked teabag over your eyes can reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness and even help bruises heal. This is because the tea leaves contain tannins, which constrict the blood vessels at the skin’s surface.
A cool tea bag can also help ease some of the pain and itching caused by bug bites, rashes, and irritated skin.
The Minimalist Vegan has more information on multi-use products on their blog.
If you’re throwing away your used coffee grounds every morning, you might be dumping savings straight into the trash.
Used coffee grounds contain nitrogen and organic materials, making them an effective compost for many plants. People also think putting them in the soil around your vegetables will keep slugs, snails, and cats away.
Best reusable products that can save you money
It’s not just about finding alternative uses for the everyday items that you already have. To save money, you need to know which purchases are worth the investment.
Reusable ziplock bags
You don’t want to throw away leftovers, snacks, and spare food, but it can be hard to keep things fresh and stop them from going bad without wasting tons of saran wrap or aluminum foil.
Rather than buying single-use plastics and filling your drawers with disposable food packaging, why not invest slightly more in some reusable ziplock bags? You can even buy silicone options that are highly durable and great for use in the freezer.
Paper napkins are an incredibly wasteful product when you think about it. They are only used once and are frequently barely touched before being thrown away.
Cloth napkins are not only more cost-effective and environmentally friendly, but they are also more pleasant to use and much more attractive as well. You will find all kinds of styles and fabrics out there, and you can throw them in with your regular laundry so that they are fresh and ready to be used again.
We charge our phones daily, so why are we still buying single-use AA and AAA batteries? Rechargeable batteries might cost a little bit more to get your hands on, and you will need to purchase the charger itself, but you only have to pay for them once!
Most rechargeable batteries will come with a warranty that lasts for many years, and you’ll never again suffer the frustration of your battery supply running out as soon as the TV remote stops working.
Reusable water bottles
This tip is, thankfully, becoming a lot more popular. You should never pay for a plastic bottle full of tap water that will find itself in the recycling a couple of hours later. One sturdy, reusable water bottle can last a lifetime, and you will use it daily.
It’s great for traveling and reminding you to stay hydrated, and it’s a lot nicer to drink from than a flimsy piece of plastic.
The Family Handyman has more great tips available.
Summary: What items are truly multi-use and save money?
All of these items are great ways to do more with less. But if you want to save money, why not make the most of the stuff you already have in your house?
When making a purchase, you should always look for reusable items that will stop you from spending money repeatedly for the same thing.
Image by [New Africa] via [Shutterstock.com]