Here are three easy ways that you can save money on household items:
1. Use less
This is really the easiest way to save money across so many categories. Unnecessary waste really adds up over time. Just think of how much toilet paper a toddler uses every time they go to the bathroom (way too much in my experience!) or how much shampoo you use when probably half will work just as well. Using less shampoo each time you wash your hair might mean you can get two months out of one bottle vs. just one month and that can really add up over time. So let’s say you buy a bottle of shampoo for $4 each month (that’s $48 per year), if you were to use less and only buy one bottle every other month you would be saving yourself $24 a year. Now that doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you apply this practice to face wash, hand wash, body wash, lotion, dish soap, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc. it really does add up over the year. I try to point out to my kids how much they really need of certain items and encourage them to use less and be more mindful when I am not in the room to monitor the situation.
2. Try generic products
I have had really great success on finding many generic products over the years that we have really liked. For example, recently I found a face wash at the Dollar Tree that works just as well as its $4 name brand counterpart at Walmart. I also switched over to Purex’s version of All Free and Clear and save quite a bit each month on laundry detergent. Generic food products also are way cheaper than the name brand products as well. For instance, Kroger has a generic fruit loop that they sell for $1.50 and the same size name brand Fruit Loop is over $3 and they taste quite similar too. Those savings can really add up over time! Generic sandwich bread is roughly half the price of Sara Lee and tastes just as good, I promise! While every once in awhile, you might come across something that is not comparable to the name brand’s quality, in my experience, my family likes the generic brand just as much as the name brand about 80% of the time. So try out the generic version of some of your family’s staple items and rack up the savings!
3. Make your own beverages at home.
Kool aid, Crystal lite, tea, coffee, frozen juices, alcoholic beverages, etc. I can almost guarantee that all of these made at home will save you tons over time. I always shake my head when I see Milo’s tea sold by the gallon in the store, because tea is super cheap to make at home. Kool-Aid jammers are just kool-aid in pouches (which I try to tell my kids!) And we will not discuss the markup on a Starbuck’s coffee vs. home brewed coffee…..we just won’t:) Another thing that kills me is that a Sonic drink or fast food soda costs the same as two 2-Liters of store bought soda (depending on the brand of course).
So we try to make most of our beverages at home, but we do occasionally buy some in town (cough, cough Target slushies). One fun way that we have found to save money on drinks is to make our own slushies at home, all this takes is some kool-aid, ice, and a blender and voila happy kids. So do yourself a favor and try to make all of your beverages at home for a week and see how much you can save because I am sure it will be eye opening!