Frugality has been one of the main ways my family has been able to get ahead financially on one income.
The amount of frugality to incorporate into your life is an individual decision. Your time is valuable and there is a balance between the amount of time it takes to save money and the actual money saved.
Each Friday, I will share tips I actually use to save and make money, along with my once-a-month grocery update. The posts will (typically) be short and sweet, giving you ideas for saving or making money over the weekend.
I’d love to hear any tips you would like to share! Please feel free to comment or email me about how you save money through frugality.
5 simple things I do to save money around the house
Re-fill foaming soap dispensers
This is such a small thing, it doesn’t seem like it would really save you that much money. And, it does depend on how much hand soap you go through at your house, but here is how it works in our house:
At our house, we have four foaming hand soap dispensers by each sink and fill an average of one per week. Two and a half years ago, we purchased two large containers of hand soap at $10 total. We are getting close to emptying one of the large containers, so it will likely take us 5 years to go through the 2 large containers of soap – that’s $10 total for 5 years worth of hand soap. Not bad at all.
Let’s say we were to purchase a new hand soap dispenser every time we needed one (1x/week) and we spend $1/each. That’s $52/year, or $260 over 5 years for hand soap. In this scenario, we save a total of $250. (And it literally takes a minute to fill them – it takes longer to go to the store.)
Our method: Every time a soap dispenser* is empty, we put just a small amount of soap from the large container into the foaming soap dispenser (literally ¼ -½ inch on the bottom of the dispenser) and then slowly fill the dispenser to about ¾ full of water. Screw on lid and tilt to mix.
Use smaller amounts of soap, shampoo, toothpaste
This takes no extra time and does save over money in the long run. I cannot monitor my children (they are teens and I choose my battles), but only speak for myself when I say it only takes a small amount of each of these to be effective.
Fill reusable water bottles
Rather than buy disposable water bottles, we have several reusable water bottles, always filled and ready to grab in the fridge, making them convenient when you are about to run out the door. (We use these*.)
Repackage snacks into single serving containers
Instead of buying small, serving sized bags of snacks and chips for lunches or road trips, we buy large packages and portion the food out into smaller, single serving, reusable containers. Single servings have a ton of packaging and cost significantly more per ounce than larger packages, and it doesn’t take much time to fill the reusable containers. (I use these and these for repackaging*.)
Cook extra for lunch leftovers
As I’ve mentioned before, we cook the majority of our food at home. I try to make extra of most meals to use for lunches the next day, saving time and money to boot. (For hot lunches, we warm up the food in the morning and put it in this thermos container*.)