Weekend Money Tip: 5 simple things I do to save money around the house


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.

*We use standard foaming soap dispensers (like these*) off the shelf and we’ve been reusing them for years. If you want to purchase regular, reusable dispensers, check out these on Amazon*.

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*.)

How do you save money around the house?

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission if you buy products through these links. See the full disclosure here.

13 thoughts on “Weekend Money Tip: 5 simple things I do to save money around the house

  1. I like the foaming soap dispenser idea, I didn’t realize that worked that way. We have some large refill containers of soap and what I don’t like about our normal dispensers is that they give you way more soap than actually needed. Thanks for the ideas!

    1. Thanks! I’m glad I could give you a new idea!

  2. I’ve just started buying refillable cleaning supplies (like windex). I am going to look into the soap dispensers now. We run an Airbnb space out of our basement and that is one way to cut down on operating costs.

    1. Running the Airbnb out of your home is a great idea and something we have considered as well. Thanks, Jax!

  3. All great tips, Amanda! For Rick’s lunch, we buy the big bags of chips and put some in little snack bags to save money. It works!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Laurie! Though it seems like small savings, those little things can really add up over time.

  4. Good tips Amanda! We’ve been using your refillable soap container idea for years. We also switched to refillable water bottles for the kids sports years ago as well. Not only does it save a ton of money, but it’s great for the environment! I’m still amazed to see how many families go through cases of bottled water every month for their kids.

    1. Thanks, Jon! Agreed – many frugal activities can be environmentally friendly and save money. It’s a win-win!

  5. Love this tips you have here! I have never thought about the soap dispenser but it makes so much sense! Also reducing the amount of shampoo and toothpaste you use is something I think I may be guilty of. These simple reductions can lead to nice cost savings down the road. Unfortunately I live with roommates that constantly use my items… can’t wait to move out haha.

    1. Thanks, Stefan! Glad I could share some useful tips. My roommates (teenage kids) use my stuff too – and it’s just not realistic (or worth it) to control the amounts they use, though I try to give friendly reminders now and then?.

  6. Lots of things we eat for dinner yield about 6 serves but there is only 2 of us, so I almost exclusively take leftovers for lunch

    1. That’s great, Kathleen! Sometimes when we have more than enough leftovers for lunch, we freeze them in lunch containers to have available for a lunch on another day.

  7. Hmmm, I like to cook extra as well. Since you’re already going to be cooking, cooking a bit more is really easy and you can also save on tomorrow lunch bill!

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