In the archives of All You is an article entitled Buy This, Not That. It makes some interesting suggestions on stretching the household budget by substituting cheaper alternatives for items that you might buy. Many times, items we already have on hand can do double-duty and replace more expensive items we alternatively purchase. There are often times added benefits too, including the lesser expensive household staples being a greener alternative to their chemical riddled counterparts.
The article suggests that by swapping household items we already own or purchase for their more expensive items we often purchase, we can realize a substantial savings.
Here are some of the ideas the article suggests:
Swap shaving cream for less expensive hair conditioner: Shaving cream creates a layer between your skin and the razor to help prevent cuts and nicks while shaving. It stands to reason that normal hair conditioner would serve the same purpose. The article brings to light the moisturizing properties in hair conditioner as well, making it a great alternative to shaving cream for women when shaving their legs as it does double-duty.
Replace more expensive body scrubs with Epsom salts: By mixing a handful of Epsom salts into your usual body wash, you can do away with expensive body scrubs. The properties in Epsom salts make it a great scrub in addition to a bath soak. Epsom salts are very inexpensive and one could see where this could provide a savings.
Use a rolled up ball of aluminum foil as an alternative to steel wool pads: You can scrub stuck-on food from pots, pans and baking dishes with just a squirt of dishwashing liquid and a balled up roll of aluminum foil. Even at Dollar Store prices, this could provide a substantial savings as a roll of aluminum foil would last much longer under this way of use than the steel wool pads will. Over time, steel wool pads also develop rusty spots meaning you have to dispose of them. Aluminum foil has other uses too, including putting a rolled up ball in the dryer to prevent static electricity as it acts as a conductor and keeps it out of your clothes.
Use chicken broth as a replacement for white wine when cooking: According to the article, the results will be similar by using this substitution in your recipes. That savings could be substantial as purchasing wine for cooking would be much more expensive than opting for chicken broth.
Wash those delicates you hand wash with shampoo instead of special detergent: Those special detergents that we use for hand washing delicates are far from inexpensive. It stands to reason that normal shampoo would serve the purpose and provide a substantial savings. Just use a pea-sized drop in the water. You could save even more by using a generic or cheaper brand shampoo. Your clothes really won’t know the difference and will still come out clean.
Polish silver with toothpaste instead of silver polish: Let’s face it, silver polishes are expensive. This product swap works well not only with your silver but silver jewelry as well, as it removes tarnish and the properties in toothpaste will have it shining. Be sure to use regular paste style toothpaste though, not gel. Polish with the toothpaste, rinse with water and buff with a soft cloth.
Use vinegar in your gardens and flower beds in place of weed killer: Vinegar not only does the job but is a less toxic alternative without all the chemicals. Use in a garden type sprayer bottle, like you would buy in the Garden section at department or home improvement stores and just squirt it on the weeds. After a short time in the sun, the weeds will die.
Lemons are a great, less expensive alternative to many cleaners: We all know this plus they are a chemical free alternative to many cleaning products. Swap lemon juice instead of copper or brass cleaners. Just cut the lemon in half and sprinkle some salt on it. Then you can just rub the lemon on the piece you are polishing, and despite any concerns, the salt will not scratch the metal. Then just rinse thoroughly and dry. There are many other possible swaps in the household for lemons too!
Use Baking Soda for an exfoliator instead of facial scrubs: Baking soda is another great product that has a myriad of cleaning uses and provides a safer alternative to products that contain chemicals. You can make a facial scrub that will work wonders with three parts baking soda to one part water. When mixed, it becomes a paste that you can apply to your skin and rub to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. When done, just rinse with water.
In Buy This, Not That, there are also some other cooking substitutions and great ideas designed to save you money in the checkout line. It’s worth a look and the savings could really add up. Happy reading!