If your household budget is anything like mine, you’re watching your expenses inflate faster than a helium balloon but said balloon might as well be red because that’s where all these costs threaten to put you. No more than ever, it’s important to put into full-force any and all things that can help protect your bottom line and your budget from going bust. So this week, I’ve dedicated to those ultimate pocketbook protectors that can help whittle down these costs while at the same time protect your precious resources.
Store brand magic erasers are inexpensive and effective. They can rescue you from scuffs and writing on walls, countertop stains and can even make old, dingy appliances look new again. In turn, saving you TONS of cash.
Rubber or silicone spatulas help you easily get every last drop out of condiment jars, mixing bowls and leftover containers. (Another big plus? Makes cleaning recyclable containers easier too.)
Hand sanitizer is inexpensive and exceedingly convenient. Obviously, nothing can replace washing one’s hands frequently and correctly, but hand sanitizer certainly fits the bill when the prior is impossible. Additionally, if you’ve got kids, you’ve got germs—a LOT of them. Keep them at bay and your entire healthier by keeping it handy and using it often.
Organization cannot be overly appreciated when it comes to its ability to save you money. Organize and plan your driving routes to maximize your gas mileage and minimize your time out. Keep track of when to pay bills so that you’re always on time. Avoid missing appointments to not incur fees. Plan your meals in advance so you can take advantage of sales and minimize or completely eliminate the temptation to eat fast food.
Simply using your phone can help protect your bottom line too. Looking for a specific item? Don’t even think about getting in the car before you’ve called around first to figure out where it’s in stock. Despite your best efforts, are things still too tight? Call to arrange a payment plan or change a due date with a creditor. Don’t wait and incur a late fee—or worse—risk a higher interest rate simply because you didn’t call.
Generic products are a fail-safe for saving money. From prescription drugs to toilet paper to pasta sauce, generic or store-brand products are usually the same high-quality item, just without the fancy packaging and advertising. If you can skip colorful labels in exchange for a few extra bucks, then go ahead and reach for the no-frills off-brand item.
Multi-purpose and multi-tasking items almost always trump their “one-trick wonder” counterparts. You work hard and the products you purchase should too. Opting for products and tools that will function in more than one way not only ensures you’re getting a greater value for your money, but you can purchase in bulk with peace of mind too to save even more. This is truly a win-win-win situation. You’ll be purchasing a product you know you’ll use, you can get it at a better price by purchasing a larger quantity and you’ll minimize the risk of running out and having to pay a premium for convenience later on.
Photo credit: jridgewayphotography
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