Can I get this cheaper?
This is a question that all thrifty shoppers ask themselves before opening their wallets. And well they should: Less expensive is good. But what about items that actually save you money over time? (See also: 101 Ways to Save Money Around the House)
It's time to pile savings on top of savings with these 23 money-saving items that everyone should own.
Remote controls, wall clocks, cameras, toys, smoke alarms. There are just too many items that take batteries around the house. Instead of shelling out big bucks for new batteries every month or so, invest in a set of rechargeable batteries. Not only will you stop wasting time running to the store, but also you will avoid the frustration of finding out that stored batteries have no charge. Just make sure to unplug the battery charger when not actively charging your batteries. Battery chargers continue to draw electricity even then.
Showering accounts for about 17% of residential indoor water use. High efficiency showerheads optimize the amount of water that needs to flow through your hot water heater. By installing efficient shower heads, the average American family can save about $70 on water costs per year and more on water heating costs. Look for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense label to ensure satisfactory showerhead performance.
Outdoor lights represent a challenge in many ways. By being on for several hours, they use a lot of electricity. Also, you need to remember to turn them off the next day or they keep ramping up your electricity bill. Harness the power of the sun and motion sensor technology and get solar powered motion activated lights. The lights draw energy from the sun during the day and activate only when they sense nearby movement.
The average American family does about 300 loads of laundry every year. An Energy Star certified washing machine uses about 20% less energy and 35% less water than conventional ones. If your washing machine is over 10 years old or a top loading model, you need to take action! It is estimated that if every household in the U.S. switched to an Energy Star washing machine, we would together save about $250 million every year!
Use this savings calculator to get a more accurate estimate on how much you can save based on your local electricity cost and desired type of bulbs.
At just a bit over $1.50 per pound, this is the ultimate household tool. With baking soda you can:
Think about how much you spend on products for each of these uses. Switch to baking soda and start saving money.
Chiropractors and massage therapists are expensive. The average rate for a massage is about $60 per hour. This doesn't mean that you should totally give up on taking care of your body. You can take care of your pain points and "knots" on your own with a foam roller. Starting at about $5, a foam roller is the most budget friendly way to take care of tight muscles and prevent common injuries. From hardcore runners to couch potatoes, everybody can benefit from a foam roller. (See also: Turn Your Home Into a Spa With These 5 Frugal Stress Relievers)
Stop wasting money on trash bags and reuse the bags that you get from grocery stores and retailers. Reduce and reuse. Grocery bags are perfect for bathroom trash cans, and bigger bags can be used for tall kitchen cans and certain diaper pails. Small grocery bags are perfect for keeping smelly kitchen residues, such as onion and garlic, contained. You save money and do your part in helping the environment.
Stop your plastic habit! If you buy a $6 water bottle case every week, you end up spending over $300 per year. This is before redemption fees and applicable taxes. Switch to a reusable water bottle and use those savings for a credit card payment. (See also: Stuff We Love: A Lifefactory Reusable Glass Water Bottle)
Cooking at home is always cheaper than dining out. Fresh herbs are great to give your dishes that extra "oomph." However, buying fresh herbs, such as mint, basil, and parsley, can be quite expensive. If you have a spot that gets about six to seven hours of daily sunlight, such as a ledge on a kitchen window, you can have an indoor herb garden. You can pick only the amount that you need and let the rest double as a nice kitchen accent piece.
Besides being great for cooking, olive oil helps you:
Attention wine drinkers: Save leftover wine for up to a week by storing leftover vino in a canning jar. It preserves the original flavor longer than just a cork and bottle, a method that only keeps the original flavor for a day or so. This tip is especially useful to prevent that $30 wine bottle from becoming vinegar in just a few days.
At Walmart you can get a whole 1.5 liter bottle of mouthwash for around $5. Here's how to stretch that bottle even further:
Avoid the coins-in-couch cliche and get a spare change jar to keep all those coins around the house. In just a couple of months, you will be surprised how much you can save without even trying. Encourage your whole household to chip into the spare change jar. (See also: 20 Smart Ways to Spend Your Loose Change)
Ok, so this one isn't really an "item", but still. Current college students and past graduates that keep their .edu email active can often:
Some high school students may be eligible also for .edu email accounts so check with the student's educational institution.
Competition among credit cards is constantly increasing. There is no need to be tied to a card that offers neither rewards nor cash back offers. With cash back credit cards offering up to 2%, it is amazing how some companies will pay you to use their credit cards. If cashback is not your cup of tea, then there are also gas rewards cards and air miles programs.
This is one of the kitchen gadgets that can save you the most money. A vacuum sealer allows you to buy items in bulk and not have any of them spoil. Think beyond meat, poultry, and seafood. How many times have you bought a two-pound basket of strawberries at low prices during the summer, only for over half of it to spoil? With a vacuum sealer, you can seal half and freeze it for later use. Zero waste.
Some people gotta have their daily Jamba Juice fix. With the cheapest smoothies starting at $4, this habit can cost you about $120 per month. Save money by making your own smoothies at home with a blender. With $20 or less you can get a blender. Not only you save money, but you can control the amount of sugar and extra calories that go into your drinks.
My wife has the most beautiful smile. Every time that she goes to the dentist, she passes the checkup with flying colors. Her secret is that since she turned 29, she followed the advice from her dentist to switch to an electric toothbrush. Ever since that switch, she has been able to minimize the amount of additional necessary dental work during her visits, which lowers our medical bills. (See also: The 5 Best Electric Toothbrushes)
Another non-item item,Twitter is not only for catching up your friends and the latest news. It can be a major tool for savings. (See also: 3 Easy Ways to Save With Twitter)
How many times have you tried to collect from a friend who owes you money and she gets away because she doesn't have cash on her? Fix this problem by using your smartphone as a credit card processing machine with the Square or Paypal Here apps. Both companies ship you a credit card reader for free — nothing else is needed. Square and Paypal do take around a 2.7% cut but a payment in hand is better than an IOU.
If you have friends and relatives abroad, sending text messages is very convenient but gets expensive quite fast. Even if you sign up for an international SMS plan through your cell carrier, you're looking at about $0.25 per SMS, depending on carrier and country.
The reason why Whatsapp is superior than other international messaging apps is that the app is designed for virtually every smartphone. Even though my Mom uses a Blackberry and lives in Ecuador, my sister uses a Nokia and lives in Germany, my wife uses an iPhone, and I use an Galaxy S3, we are all able to text with each other from our own phones. I used to spend over $50 in international SMS and now I spend zero. That's four of us not spending a dime while keeping in touch across the world.
A crockpot is a lifesaver for busy people. You know that eating at home is cheaper, but often there is just no time to prepare a meal. With a crockpot you just need to chop up your ingredients, throw some spices, and you are good to go. You can leave a crockpot running before leaving for work or overnight to have a meal ready for you when you come back from work or to take there for lunch. (See also: 25 Cheap and Easy Crockpot Recipes)
What is your favorite money-saving item?
Get serious about rebating. It's a great way to earn both rebate checks and free product coupons.
Agree to test products for companies, and they'll hook you up with plenty of loot (free product coupons included).
A Couple Test Sites to Sign Up For:
There are so many free goodies to be had at the library, one of which includes an extensive collection of magazines. Not only do libraries have current copies, but they will usually have backdated copies as well. They might even have copies of magazines that aren't currently being published.
In waiting rooms, you'll usually see a collection of magazines to thumb through. Ask the receptionist if you can take the old copies when they get new ones. They are usually pretty accommodating.
Slickdeals.net is a cool forum that specifically features awesome free subscriptions, so it's a good source to check out once in a while. Past deals have included Every Day With Rachel Ray and Better Homes and Gardens.
Some sites like RewardsGold, Mecury Magazines, and FreeBizMag will give you free magazines if you fill out a questionnaire and qualify for the freebies. Always read the fine print when you're signing up for these sites, and be careful when reading the emails they send out.
Subscribe to your favorite magazines to enjoy huge discounts. You can either go to the official site or visit sites like Amazon and Magazines.com, which offer the same popular magazine titles at up to an 80 percent discount. You can also get a mail-in subscription signup form from the pages of the magazine.
Magazine subscriptions often pop up on daily deals with phenomenal savings, so keep an eye out for them if there is a magazine you've been wanting to subscribe to.
If you have travel or credit card points that you need to use up, you can opt to redeem a magazine subscription. If the point program doesn't let you redeem the points for magazines, then there are magazine subscription services that let you exchange points for free subscriptions, such as magformiles.
Pick a good time for your magazine swap, and invite a bunch of people to come over with magazines. Not only will you get a chance to get rid of the magazines you've already read, but you'll also be able to get new ones for free. The people you hang out with tend to share common interests, so there's a good chance that you'll be interested in the magazines they like.
Image: Nomadic Lass
You might remember Borax being a staple in your mom or grandmother's homes. Well, it's still a must-have for every home. There are so many uses, here are 10 to get you started!
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