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FOR FUN... what random things do you do in your home to save money/make things last longer?

(107 Posts)
tiamariaxxx Sun 05-Jan-14 21:18:29

OK so at tea time my lovely husband has been teasing me because he thinks its strange i water down the washing up liquid once its near the bottom i fill it half way so that its not very runny, nd then he thought it was even stranger that weve got 2 full bottles in the cupboard... Even if i only get 2 more usage out of it its still saving isnt it?

I also water down the fabric conditioner and some other cleaning products.

I also try to re-use towels wherever possible i know people think its minging but you can imagine how many towels a family of 6 go through it would be a wash a day just for them if i didnt

Probilly other stuff aswell i do but cant think atm

LilMissSunshine9 Sun 05-Jan-14 23:06:34

I have a Flashmop and you have to put in this small bottle of flash onto it - well sod paying £3.99 for a new bottle, I cut a small hole into the top, get the cheaper bigger flash bottles dilute it and pour into smaller bottle, put a cork I had lying about into the hole to stop spillage and voila £3.99 saved many times over in the past 12 months.

whitesugar Mon 06-Jan-14 00:31:25

I always use half the amount recommended by the manufacturers whether it's dish washing tablets, washing powder or cleaning products, anything really. I am very happy with my wash!

M0naLisa Mon 06-Jan-14 01:27:53

I water down cleaning products, wash liquid and fabric conditioner.

Whatalie Mon 06-Jan-14 01:51:26

I refill a foam hand cleanser bottle with one third hand cleansing liquid and then top up with water. The bottle mechanism makes the foam and one bottle of normal liquid last three/four times as long. The foam is still very soapy. Also do this with washing up liquid. Mine now lasts forever.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 06-Jan-14 02:07:41

I save the empty bottle of stardrops (used for washing up and all sorts of cleaning) fabric softener, bath foam (i use this as hand soap and shower gel with a few drops of lavender oil) and when i get a new bottle i pour half into old bottle then top both up with water- yes they are thinner but still do the job.

I also decant the bath foam into two liquid soap dispensers, one for hand washing and one for shower gel as this controls the amount that you use so not so much waste.

Put a rubber band round the neck of the pump dispenser so it then doesnt go down as far and you get less out. Less waste.

I dont buy kitchen roll. I use old clothes cut up into cloths for spills and cleaning. If there is something vile i dont want to have in the washing machine (dog vomit for example grin) then i use toilet roll as i only buy asda smartprice anyway.

Make tea in a teapot and just keep topping up the pot with freshly boiled water to stretch teabags out.

I also used to think re using a towel was minging but having tried it i realised my towel smells clean when i reuse it. The only smell is off the shower gel i have used that has been left on the towel.

Mowiepopolsku Mon 06-Jan-14 09:23:11


I believe that eggs should never be boiled with food but in a separate pan. Not sure why maybe someone else knows?
Use half the detergent specified on laundry box washed fine most washing is due to mechanical action of the machine anyway

Ragwort Mon 06-Jan-14 09:28:21

Altkin - where are your Farmers' Markets that are so reasonably priced; the ones near me are about three times the price of buying meat at a supermarket.

It's never occurred to me not to re-use towels blush - I only change them once a week. Am I minging grin?

Trills Mon 06-Jan-14 09:30:43

Eggshells are a bit porous so if you boil an egg with something stinky it might make the egg a bit weird tasting.

Alternatively the egg shell has been up a chicken's fanjo.

I boil eggs with other things in the pan if I'm cooking other things at the same time.

Throughthelongnight Mon 06-Jan-14 09:33:59

I squash the cardboard inside the loo roll, so it's harder to unravel. My children now use far less.

hallowisitmeyourelookingfor Mon 06-Jan-14 09:49:02

Ragwort I was wondering the same.
At our farmers market just before Christmas, I bought
3 lamb shanks - £22
1 chicken - £12
10 sausages - £6 (might have been 12 sausages)

So spent £40 on things to make 3 meals confused
Where is your farmers market altinkum!?

MissMarplesBloomers Mon 06-Jan-14 09:49:53

I save cardboard winners from loo rolls/ kitchen towel/wrapping paper & stuff with newspaper for firelighters.

Dry out your tea bags by spreading out on an old baking tray & leave on top of boiler/other warm place. Put them in an old mayo jar & soak in small amount of white spirit (cheap own brand lasts ages ) Keep turning the jar soak tbags & it gives you loads of firelighters.

I also use half the detergent following MN advice & a box lasts ages!

MissMarplesBloomers Mon 06-Jan-14 09:51:18

INNERS not WINNERS friggin autocorrectgrin

PetalWillowspider Mon 06-Jan-14 09:58:06

I cut up beauty product tubes. It's shocking how much is left in there that you can't squeeze out.

I batch-cook stews etc with old vegetables and freeze them in portions, to try to stop me grabbing convenience foods or takeaways.

When you say reuse towels, do you mean you think most people use them only once and then wash them? shock Surely not! They'd be in the wash all the time. I use mine for several weeks a week before washing it. As long as it dries properly on a radiator it doesn't smell fusty, and I only use it when I'm clean out of the shower so it doesn't smell of BO either.

SilverApples Mon 06-Jan-14 09:58:24

I have the heating on manual rather than a timer, so you have to make a conscious choice to turn it on. I also turn off radiators in rooms that aren't being used. We also have fleece blankets and snuggle up.
Buy BOGOF and other deals, and split them with my parents. They do the same.
Wait 3 or 4 months and buy the latest 'Must Read' from a charity shop.
It's quite hard to think of things, because we've done this for years. I need to invite my SIL over for a week and see what she finds weird, then I could makea much more comprehensive list. grin

LornaGoon Mon 06-Jan-14 10:15:06

Re. the washing up liquid, if I can't afford decent Fairy, which works best, I get the cheaper one and add a good splash of basics vinegar (which cuts through grease).

Cheap washing up liquid plus vinegar with bicarb is also excellent for mopping floors.

Also, I tend not to charge things like mobiles until the appliance tells me it needs it. Stops overcharging and wasting electric. However, DB told me not to let the appliance completely die - helps it last longer apparently.

LornaGoon Mon 06-Jan-14 10:20:38

Just thought of another that my DMum taught me: really look after your teeth now! I used to think she was crazy enforcing a stringent teeth cleaning every night and expensive trips to dentists and the hygienist but I've never had any fillings.

DP OTOH is looking at major work - which is going to be flipping expensive because he didn't look after them years ago.

MillyMollyMandy78 Mon 06-Jan-14 10:36:52

I cut dishwasher tablets in half. Clean exactly the same but last twice as long

Moggy72 Mon 06-Jan-14 10:44:27

Poundland - it is my new favourite place to shop. Will never buy cleaning products from anywhere else. Great for kids colouring pencils, scrapbooks, toothpaste, shampoo and whole host of other things. Bought a trolley load if stuff for 60 pounds last week, reckon I saved over 100 pounds.

Bitofkipper Mon 06-Jan-14 11:15:04

Always cut open empty tubes and scrape contents into small travel pots; very satisfying. Have been known to use hammer and screwdriver on cosmetic containers.
Keep empty washing up liquid bottle, half fill, then top up both bottles with water.

tiamariaxxx Mon 06-Jan-14 11:17:40

Im with you on this love that shop although Home bargains does same or similar stuff even cheaper, can get alot of branded cleaning stuff for about 89p instead of a quid smile All adds up

NearTheWindmill Mon 06-Jan-14 12:14:14

I only boil them with rice for kedgeree so not bothered about them taking on other flavours. As they go beyond boiling point I'm not too worried about the chicken's fanjo either. Never stopped me kissing the dc when they were newborns grin.

Agree with others about the farmers markets - you can get a chicken for £18 and brocolli with the mud on (so you pay extra) for £5.50 a kilo. I swerve them like the plague.

Cut up old T Towels for dishcloths and throw away after use - although obvs only about every ten years.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 06-Jan-14 12:22:41

Petal- growing up we always used a fresh towel each time as well as one hand towel for hair and one for the floor to stand on while drying yourself. I just carried on doing this when i left home and had ds1. It just never occurred to me to reuse them grin when ds2 came along i just found myself overwhelmed with laundry (reuseable nappies) so decided to try reusing towels.

I have fancy molton brown handwash bottles in my bathroom and kitchen that I refill with the corresponding colour or scented cheapo bubble bath. Seeing my mum coming out of the bathroom and snootily sniffing her hands going "You're just like me. Only the best will do..." made me very happy. grin

hallowisitmeyourelookingfor Mon 06-Jan-14 12:24:28

I had my first trip to a poundland just before Christmas, I was like a kid in a sweetshop!
However, even though I didn't buy any of the cleaning products/shampoo etc, I did notice that a lot of the bottles were a lot smaller than the ones in supermarkets, making me think they are cheaper purely because they are smaller?
And Petal, yes, some people use towels once and wash them!

They are Hallow. But you do get some bigger sizes too. I get 750ml demestos sprays from there but only 500ml elsewhere. However If you buy a multipack of crisps from the supermarket they come in a six pack. My local poundshop has some with only 4 in. Same for sweets and drinks. The caprisuns are deceptively small now. sad

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