April 23rd, 2009

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By Linda Holmes

woman saving money

This thrifty tip seems obvious but it isn’t implemented as often as you would think. Are you are trying to save money everywhere you can? Are those trips to the grocery store are killing your budget? Does it seems like you are always out of the basics like toothpaste, shampoo, paper towels, etc?

To reduce those grocery bills a little, start making an effort to use up what you already have. Use the shampoo to the very last drop. Turn the bottle upside down and continue using it until nothing is coming out. Even when no more is coming out of the bottle, some people will get one more use out of it by taking the lid off, putting water in, swishing the water around inside the bottle and using that. With toothpaste, use the entire tube. This makes the squeezable tubes better than the plastic ones.

The manufacturers have figured out how to make consumers waste more. They make the containers impossible to squeeze or they put a false bottom in the jar, making it appear like more product than it actually is. Some of the shampoo bottlers make their lids flat so it is easy to place them upside down and use all of the product, but many don’t. If the lid isn’t flat, avoid buying that brand of shampoo. Look closer at all packaging. If there is a lot of material to the packaging, chances are you are paying extra for the product. Purchase items with as little extra packaging as possible and also be aware if the packaging is misleading in any way. To save on consumable products you have to be a savvy shopper.

Another way to save is to reuse what you have. Reuse those heavy duty freezer bags. Simply wash them out with soapy water, rinse and air dry. Have you seen the commercials where they reuse a single paper towel and seemingly clean their whole kitchen with it? That always makes me laugh, because it seems unlikely a paper towel would last through that much cleaning, but the point they are making is good. Reuse anything you can, for example, use yogurt containers for plant starters for your garden. They are the perfect size to get those seeds started in the spring in your house. Then once the plant has come up and the weather is warm enough, gently cut the container off and place the plant in your garden.

Small containers are also great for young children. They love to fill and dump them, stack them, play in the dirt, sand or rocks with them. Another trick is to give a young child a container of water and an old paint brush and let them “paint” the sidewalk, porch, deck, house or anything outside. Brings a whole new meaning to “Paint With Water” doesn’t it?

If you still use something that comes in glass jars with lids, they are perfect for miscellaneous nuts, bolts and screws in a garage. If there is a workbench in the garage, nail the lids of the jars on the bottom of a board or cupboard above the workbench. Then the jars can be screwed onto the lids and since they are glass, the objects inside are easy to locate.

My favorite reuse trick is used when painting. Next time you are painting a room or a house, at the end of the day, if you haven’t finished and are going to paint some more, place the roller pan with any paint left in it and roller, and any used brushes, in a plastic bag. Tie it closed and place in the freezer. When you are ready to paint again, just get the supplies out of the freezer about 15 minutes before starting, stir the paint and start painting again. No need to wash them up before freezing. This tip saves a lot of cleaning and restarting. Come to think of it, it saves a lot of water too.

Never stop looking for things around your house to use up and reuse. While you’re at it, teach the rest of the family to do the same.

Find more thrifty living tips and ideas at http://www.Thrifty-Living-Tips.com
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Linda_Holmes

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