Our day-to-day routines are full of opportunities to employ life hacks that make things just a bit smoother.
Sure, a new way of unspooling foil or a pledge to use less laundry soap won’t bring about world peace. But it’ll make your life more pleasant, and may save you cash — and that’s worth something.
Following are seven simple hacks that can save you money on the stuff you do every day.
1. Tame your aluminum foil
Here is a great hack you can use with aluminum foil. Apparently, each end of the Reynolds Wrap box has a tab that you can push in, which together keep the roll of foil in place inside the box while you pull out the amount you need.
Now they tell me! After decades of dealing with unruly aluminum foil!
2. Squeeze your toothpaste gently
My sister — who’s been a dental hygienist for more than three decades — says that all you really need is a pea-sized dab of toothpaste. So why do commercials show a toothbrush completely covered with dentifrice? Because the faster you use it up, the sooner you have to buy more.
3. Get stingy with the laundry soap
Don’t fill it to the line on the cap. I generally use about one-fourth of the recommended amount. Of course, no one in my household works in a grimy industry. But even if you’re a mechanic or you dig wells, you might still be able to get away with using one-third to one-half the amount the label advises.
Again, the manufacturer wants you to buy this product — a lot of it. But you don’t have to oblige.
4. Cut back on dishwasher soap
You don’t need to fill both cups. Really. A dishwasher mechanic told The New York Times that today’s models are made to use less water and thus need less detergent, and the dishwasher soaps on the market are increasingly concentrated.
5. Stretch your shampoo
Cut the last step out of the “lather, rinse, repeat” suggestion. One wash is almost always enough to do the trick.
In addition, next time you have a half-empty bottle, fill it the rest of the way with water and shake well. Shake again before using, and you’ll be able to squirt out just enough of a soapy liquid that lathers easily.
6. Use vinegar for … well, everything
Vinegar does more than just clean. It can act as a weed killer, conditioner, fungus fighter and even room deodorizer.
Do you use an expensive, commercial fabric softener when doing the laundry? Instead, just throw a cup of plain white vinegar into the last rinse. Vinegar! Is there anything it can’t do?
For more tips, check out “27 Money-Saving Ways to Use Vinegar in Every Room of Your Home.”
7. Reuse your brine
Used up the last pickle in the jar? Don’t toss that brine! Slice an English cucumber (or any other vegetable you like) into the jar of pickle juice you already have. Within a few days you’ll have more pickles, and you’ll probably have enough cuke left to add to your dinner salad, too.
You can also use the brine as a marinade ingredient, keeping in mind that you probably won’t need to add salt. (Hint: It’s “brine,” not juice.) I like to add it to an almost-empty mustard bottle, making a mustard vinegar that’s very tasty on cooked lentils.
Got any simple household hacks of your own? Share them in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.