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Five Creative Ways to Save Money on Everyday Expenses

Updated on October 5, 2016

If You are Throwing Away Your Coffee Grounds, You are Throwing Away Money

I use these eco-saving K-Cups for two reasons. One, they save me money on coffee. Two, they make it easy for me to remove the grounds for future use.

Re-purpose Your Coffee Grounds

Are you aware of the many uses of coffee grounds? Coffee grounds are extremely versatile, and can help you save hundreds of dollars on other expenses, such as fertilizer, skin care products and more!

Here are just some of the many uses for your used coffee grounds:

  • Sprinkle it on the gound to repel ants
  • Add it to your soil to fertilize your lawn and plants
  • Attract earth worms, which aerate the soil, by adding it fertilizer
  • Exfoliate your skin by adding grounds into face wash or lotion
  • Remove pesky odors from your hands by massaging coffee grounds into the skin
  • Repel fleas by sprinkling coffee grounds on your pets or carpet

Next time you make a cup of coffee, think twice before throwing out your used coffee grounds!

Save Money on Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent can be extremely expensive, with the average cost of a bottle of detergent ranging from $9 (for store brand) to $15, even $20 for brand name bottles. Depending on the size of your family, this cost can add up quickly, and I don't foresee a future where dirty laundry doesn't exist, so we need to find a way to wash everything without flushing our hard earned money down the toilet!

Luckily, there is a better way to keep your clothes clean without emptying your bank account. Homemade laundry detergent is easy to make and inexpensive. By making large batches at a time, you can have enough detergent to last weeks, if not months, and you can end up saving hundreds of dollars a year. Costing only $10 to $20 a batch, this detergent gets the job done and saves you money. Once you make your first batch of homemade laundry detergent, you will be wondering why on earth you haven't started doing it sooner!

Ingredients for Homemade Laundry Detergent

  • 4.5 ounces Bar of soap, Grated
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing soda, (Not to be mistaken for baking soda)

Rate My Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

5 stars from 1 rating of Homemade Laundry Detergent

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. Shave the bar of soap with a grater
  2. Mix together the grated soap, the borax, and the washing soda
  3. Place the mixture in a blender and blend on high
  4. Store the mixture in a sealed container along with a small scoop or spoon
  5. When doing laundry, use one tablespoon per load. If it is a heavily soiled load, use two to three tablespoons

How to Start Couponing - A Realistic Money Saving Approach

Growing Fresh Produce is a Great Money Saver

This herb set was one of the first things I ever grew at home. They were easy to care for, and before I knew it, I was only using herbs I grew myself!

Save Money by Growing Produce

Do you enjoy fruits and vegetables? Well, even if you don't, you should be eating them because they are extremely nutritious - unfortunately, produce at the grocery store or at the farmer's market can be quite pricey. Don't even get me started on the prices for organic produce, which we know we should be eating.

By growing your own produce, you can save tons of money on your grocery bill every week, and you will know that your food is free from harmful chemicals and pesticides.

From herbs to fruits to vegetables, you can grow it all! And honestly, it isn't as hard as many people think.

You can grow a vegetable garden in a simple pot on your patio or in an acre large vegetable patch. The best place to plant a vegetable garden is any place where you will take care of it!

Vegetable gardens aren't hard to grow, they are just easy to neglect. Find a spot where you know that you will be constantly reminded to care for your plants before beginning your vegetable garden. By doing a little research, you can find out what produce is easiest to care for, and you can start with that. Once you get the hang of it, you can move on to harder fruits and vegetables.

Herb gardens are also great ideas - they are fresher than herbs you find in the grocery store and herb gardens are actually extremely easy to maintain. Certain herbs prefer shady, moist settings. These herbs include mint and sweet woodruff. Herbs like lavender and oregano prefer plenty of sun, and annual herbs like basil, coriander and dill like a combination of sunshine and moist soil.

This canning kit is what I use to store food whenever I batch prepare anything. I also use this to store produce I grow at home.

Save Money by Canning Food

Preserving food isn't just for the Amish and the doomsday prepper. Preserving and canning food is a great way to save money! Canned food can be stored for ages.

The process of canning foods involves placing the foods in mason jars, heating them at a very high temperature to destroy the micro-organisms that make food go bad, and vacuum sealing the jar so it lasts for a much longer time than it would otherwise.

If you are preserving foods that have a low acidity, such as vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood, the best method of canning the foods is to use a method called pressure canning. A microorganism called Clostridium botulinum is the main reason why pressure processing is necessary. This microorganism can have deadly consequences if consumed.

Highly acidic foods, such as fruits, tomatoes, jams and pickled vegetables are easier to preserve. These foods can be kept fresh using the boiling bathwater method of canning.

By preserving food through canning, you can buy in bulk without having to worry about throwing out uneaten food because it has spoiled.

10 Tips for Saving Money

Turn Old Clothes into New Clothes, Window Treatments and More!

Re-purpose Clothes That You Don't Wear Any More

Almost everything you throw in the garbage can be used in some other way to help you save money. I am not saying that you should never throw out anything, because somethings certainly do belong in your trash, but before chucking something because its torn, stained or just worn out, think about whether the items can be repurposed.

Old clothes, towels and linens are great items that can be repurposed in a variety of unique ways. I never buy things like carpets, drapes, or throw rugs. Not only can they be costly, but if you have even basic sewing skills, these are all things you can make on your own!

I repurpose old bed sheets into curtains, raggedy old clothes can make great rags for cleaning up around the house, and if you are really creative, you can sew together a mixture of your old linens and clothes and create really cool bedspreads, carpets, and throws.

Money Saving Tips

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Bonus Tips for Saving Money

  • Lipstick stains on clothes? Use hairspray to remove the stain! Spray hairspray over the stain and allow it to sit for 10-20 minutes. Then put the clothes through the wash like you would normally.
  • Have your new suede shoes already gotten stained? An emery board can remove stains from suede!
  • Q-tips are great ways to clean your laptop. Dab them in alcohol, then wipe down the keys and all the tiny nooks and crannies between the keys.
  • Erasers that look worn out can become new again by scrubbing them down with emery boards.
  • Grout can be cleaned easily with electric toothburshes. Apply a cleaning solution to the brush and then scrub away stains!
  • Toothpaste has a duel purpose - yes it can clean your teeth, but it can also make linoleum tiles sparkle like they are brand new!
  • Have kids that like to draw on the walls? Rubbing alcohol can remove marker stains, crayon stains, and even permanent marker!

© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal

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    • Happymommy2520 profile image

      Amy 

      21 months ago from East Coast

      I am also a huge fan of homemade laundry detergent. I add a scent booster as well. It has saved me a lot of $. Very well put together article! I look forward to reading more of your work.

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 

      3 years ago from United States

      I honestly had no idea coffee grounds can be used for so much. Flea repellent? Who knew, right? I do always feel wasteful chucking the used grounds, but maybe now I'll find something else to do with them.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      These are all very interesting ides, but especially the laundry detergent.

      Thank you for the recipe. Voted Up!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      4 years ago from Bridgewater

      HAhahahah that's great!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Yeah, laundering money is a no-no. Ha ha! :-)

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      4 years ago from Bridgewater

      Ah fantastic! Thank you so much! :-) Tired of washing my income along with my laundry!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Kathleen, I just looked it up online. Arm & Hammer makes washing soda (maybe find it in the laundry detergent aisle?). I also found how you can turn baking soda into washing soda. Pour baking soda onto a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. The appearance should change from powdery and crystallized to grainy (more like powder laundry detergent). Good luck!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      4 years ago from Bridgewater

      I don't know bravewarrior! Im assuming it is a cleaning supply, I am trying to start making my own detergent, and have the borax, but I can't seem to find washing soda. Every recipe made it clear that washing soda is different from baking soda, so I don't know, maybe I am looking in the wrong aisle of the grocery store but I want to start making some detergent! :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      I've heard of many of these money saving remedies. I use baking soda to clean grout. Make a paste of baking soda and water, grab an old toothbrush and scrub away. I also use baking soda instead of bleach in the laundry.

      Toothpaste works wonders on sterling silver jewelry or flatware. Simply squeeze it on, rub it in then rinse it off. Voila!

      I like the idea of using emery boards for suede. I use nail files instead of emery boards to shape my nails, but it's worth picking up a pack of emery boards to keep on hand for the uses you mention. Thanx!

      BTW, what is washing soda?

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      4 years ago from Bridgewater

      Thats amazing! Thats more than me right now, but thats cause I haven't planted my garden yet, waiting for a good day. These are all eco-friendly and budget friendly and I think if we all did these things it would be great!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, we do four out of five, so that's not bad....right? Right! :)

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