One of my biggest pet peeves is waste. I hate to see anything wasted – money, food, energy or time. Because of that, I have developed frugal habits during my adult life. I’m not saying everyone should adopt these practices – this is more of a “confessions” type post than anything. However, if you are looking for ways to save money and eliminate waste, I have a few ideas for you!
#1 Eliminate food waste when cooking
If a recipe only uses half of the can (diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, cream soup, canned pumpkin, etc.), I pour the rest into a ziploc bag, lay it flat for easy storage and thawing, and write something like “diced tomatoes, 1/2 can, 5/2/16” on the bag. That bag goes into a specific section in my freezer. Any time I need something like that for a recipe, I first look in the freezer to see if what I need is in there before I open a new can of whatever it is. There’s no reason to throw away half a can of something!
I make sure to get every last drop of sauce or liquid out of a can or jar. When I’m making spaghetti, I pour as much sauce as I possibly can out of the jar. Then I add just a teaspoon or so of water, screw on the lid and give it a shake. That loosens all the extra sauce from the sides of the jar and gives me as much as a 1/4 cup of sauce I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to use! The same practice applies for cans of cream soup – for example, when making Beef Stroganoff, I put a little bit of the milk into my “empty” can of cream of mushroom soup. After I scrape the sides with my spoon, I’m able to get the rest of the soup that sticks in the bottom of the can.
#2 Use samples and travel size toiletries for everyday
I have quite the stash of samples and travel size toiletries – items from Target Beauty Boxes, freebies I sign up for online, or even just leftover bottles of shampoo from travel. When I’m about to run out of shampoo or body wash, I grab one of those to tide me over until the product I want is on sale. I try to never pay full price for brand name items – and using those travel size items helps me to accomplish that goal!
#3 Use cloth napkins and cleaning rags instead of paper
We use cloth napkins at every meal – not only is it cheaper, I find that cloth napkins do a better job of keeping your hands and face clean! I cut up dingy dish towels for cleaning the kitchen and use old t-shirts for dusting. They work great and are basically free.
Do you have any frugal habits?