Inside: Try these 10 simple, doable ways to save more by using less

The changes are subtle, but done consistently over time, the savings will really add up!

Although I don’t claim to be a money-saving expert, I do still share quite a bit about saving money and living frugally because they are topics I’m passionate about.

AND I feel they are key components to simple living.

Not only that but being wise stewards of our finances is just a good habit to develop and model for our children… even if we don’t necessarily NEED to live frugally.

While some might easily be able to save a few hundred or thousand dollars every month by cutting back on fast food, entertainment, and online shopping, I know there are others who struggle to save even $20 per month because money is just that tight.
Whatever the case, I firmly believe that no matter how tight your budget is, there are always a few ways to save a bit more here and there. One way our family saves more (without cutting anything out of our budget) is by simply using less.
I know that might sound overly obvious… but have you ever tried it?

I mean REALLY tried it?
Keep reading for 10 simple ways our family saves more by using less. 

1. Dish Soap & Dishwasher Detergent:
I only use about half the recommended amount of dish soap and dishwasher detergent and my dishes still come out sparkling clean.

I also clean my dishwasher every few months which helps it run more efficiently (saving money on repairs and maintenance).

NOTE: I use this $4 product to keep my dishwasher squeaky clean.
RELATED READING: A-Z Uses for your Dishwasher

2. Laundry Soap:
Believe it or not, I actually do NOT use laundry detergent at all!

I now use these laundry balls and wool dryer balls to wash and dry our clothing without detergents or fabric softeners. 

I’ve been washing without detergent for a few years now and our clothing is still super clean. I can’t even begin to calculate how much money this has saved us over the years!

I usually use half the recommended amount of any type of laundry soap, bleach, detergent, OxiClean, etc. and I’ve never had any issues with our clothing not being clean.
RELATED READING: 10 Life-Changing Tips When You’re Overwhelmed With Laundry  3. Hand Soap:
I betcha’ I can stretch a container of liquid hand soap farther than anyone you know… because I use a tiny amount of liquid hand soap to make a full container of foaming hand soap! 

Get the “recipe” for my all-natural DIY foaming hand soap. Seriously, it’s SO quick and easy and a great way to save money on hand soap! 
RELATED READING: Our Favorite All-Natural Cosmetics

4. Napkins:
We almost always use cloth napkins (yes, even with kids). Of course, we do buy fun napkins for the kids’ birthday parties, but other than that, we use cloth.

We each have our own napkin, we keep it on our chairs in between meals, and I swap them out every couple of days (or as they get too dirty).
RELATED READING: How and Why We Use Cloth Napkins 5. Paper Towels:
I buy the paper towels that are divided into 3 small towels and we try not to use more than 1 small towel at a time.

We also use t-shirt rags for grosser messes, and washable microfiber cloths for almost anything we need to clean or wipe.

NOTE: These are my favorite microfiber cloths (they’re cheap too!)
6. Food Containers and Water Bottles:
We pack our lunches in reusable containers as opposed to plastic bags.

We also almost always use reusable water bottles — these are our favorite water bottles!
RELATED READING: How I Drink at Least 100 oz. of Water Each Day

7. Cleaning Products:
In general, I use VERY FEW cleaning products (big savings there).

And the products I do use, I usually make myself with frugal ingredients in our kitchen. I even make even my own all-natural face wash and makeup remover for pennies… which saves quite a bit over expensive store-bought products.

I originally thought this might “waste” more time than it was worth — but after almost a decade of making my own, I can honestly say it only takes a minute or two to whip up another batch of cleaning supplies or face wash, and then I’m ready to go for a few more months.
RELATED READING: My Ultimate List of Simple DIY Cleaning Products

8. Meat:
Whenever a recipe calls for ground beef, shredded chicken, or another type of meat, I almost always use 1/2 to 1/3 less meat and then add in extra beans, rice, veggies, etc. as a frugal (and nutritious) way to stretch our meat budget. 

No one ever notices and I save a little more on our ever-growing grocery bill!
RELATED READING: 3 Simple Ways to Stretch Your Meat Budget

9. Dairy Products:
Did you know there are many ways to substitute dry milk for your favorite dairy products? 

Dried milk is much cheaper and easier to keep on hand since it’s non-perishable and “shelf-stable”.
RELATED READING: Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix (using dry milk) 10. Gasoline:
There was a time in my life when I consistently spent a full afternoon every week driving to different grocery stores getting all sorts of fabulous deals, driving around to different antique stores, or driving to pick up my fabulous Craigslist finds.

I really enjoyed doing those things in my pre-children life; it’s just not practical for me these days. This, combined with the current pandemic, means we use much less gas by simply staying home. 

Related Reading:  Use this Tip to Increase Your Saving and Investment Potential How to Stop Pesky Money Leaks  How We Live off Half Our Income The Simple Method We Use to Build Our Children’s Savings Accounts How We Paid Off Our Mortgage 24 Years Early
I realize these ideas can’t and won’t work for every person, family, and situation. However, if you’re looking for a few extremely simple and totally doable ways to save a little extra each week, I hope my ideas will give you a starting point!
PLEASE do not discredit your ability to save.
Even small amounts each week or each month WILL add up over time! 
Do you have any simple ways to save more by using less?

The post Use Less: 10 Everyday Ways to Save More appeared first on Andrea Dekker.
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