How to Save Money by Making Common Household Products Last Longer
Sometimes saving money is more about how long items last than how much you pay for them
If you're trying to stick to a budget, you may not be surprised to learn that stretching out the lifespan of items you already have will help you to spend much less on buying new products. Another advantage to this practice will be more sustainability—a win-win for both you and the environment.
Easy Ways to Extend the Lifespans of Your Household Items
Saving money over time on your household items doesn't require you to make lots of big changes. Your first task is to take proper care of what you already have. Keeping your belongings well cleaned and maintained makes them likely to last longer and continue to work properly.
There are also some other steps you can take to extend the use of your household products:
- Take batteries out when not using them
- Flip or rotate your mattress each month
- Using the correct amount of laundry detergent
- Try half a dryer sheet
- Dry your razor blades properly
- Use less toothpaste
- Repair instead of replacing
Even when your battery-powered product is turned off, its battery may be draining. Taking the batteries out can help slow or stop this, especially for products like holiday decorations that will only be used once or twice per year.
If you want to get the most life out of your batteries, buy rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. These cost more upfront, but you'll save money in the long term by getting hundreds—or even thousands—of charges.
Flipping and rotating redistributes the points where your body meets the mattress and prevents sagging. Pillow top mattresses can only be rotated, not flipped. In addition, sleeping in a different spot or position once in a while can also extend your mattress's life, and a washable mattress pad will help prevent stains and dirt buildup.
If there are several lines on the scoop or cap of your laundry detergent, choose the appropriate one according to the instructions for different load sizes and dirtier clothes. You can save even more by using slightly less than the suggested line for your load, since your stains will probably still come out and the clothes will still smell fresh.
Even when you use only half a dryer sheet, clothes will still come out soft and static free depending on the brand of dryer sheet. This will double the life of your box of dryer sheets and save you money over time.
Putting razor blades away while they're wet will rust them, forcing you to replace them sooner. Dry the blades by shaking them or blotting them with a towel, and you'll be able to use them more.
Squeezing out a pearl-sized drop of toothpaste will make your tube last twice as long as covering the whole head of your toothbrush. It's also a good idea to get a tube roller that will help you squeeze all the paste out and ensure you use it all up.
There are many items that you can repair rather than replace. Depending on the product, you may only need an inexpensive part of some kind.
If you do have to replace something, check to see if it's protected under a warranty. If it is, you can replace it at no cost to you. Whenever you make a new purchase, keep the receipt in a folder or file where you can get to it easily in the event a warranty applies.