Learning to balance your household budget is a must if you want to create the perfect home. It takes the right amount of style, practicality, and smarts to pull off the home of your dreams while working within a given budget, and it needs no leaping compromises whatsoever.
We’ve compiled a list of handy tips from buying generic ink cartridges to strategic shopping, so that you’ll run your household at peak performance and save a little more on the side as well.
Collect Spare Change
No doubt you’ve come across a stray coin while doing your weekly cleaning around the house, or whenever you flip over your sofa cushions looking for your remote. Don’t ignore them and put them in a jar! Keep a piggy bank or reuse a large jar, and place it somewhere that all family members can easily access it. Everybody can then throw in the extra change weighing their wallets down, empty pockets before doing laundry, or carelessly throw in the change from ordering takeout. It’ll grow to a sizeable amount in no time!
Use Cloth Napkins
You’d think this will cost more than paper, but it won’t. Buy a set of cute, colorful cotton napkins for a couple dollars each, or even much less, and simply use them in place of paper napkins. Just throw them in the laundry every week and fold when dry! You’ll also be doing the environment a favor.
Frequent a Dollar Store
Dollar stores are home to a multitude of cheap yet useful items that could cost more in supermarkets and department stores. They also usually have big discounts, and sell items in large packs. Items like basic hair accessories, liquid soap, wrapping paper, tape, seasonal decorations and even plastic cups are available by the bundle—and for a lot less.
It sounds like a lot of work, but it will save you money over the long term, as well as add a fresh twist to your meals. Herbs come in small pots that can thrive by just sitting by the kitchen windowsill and watered occasionally; all you need to do is trim off a few sprigs to add to meals. You can even dry and store them instead of going for the expensive grocery store bottled herbs.
Use Cheap, but Efficient Lighting
Finding affordable and energy-efficient lighting is so much easier these days you’ll be hard-pressed to find an excuse not to. CFL and LED light bulbs are a fantastic investment that greatly outweigh their initial cost and save on overall energy expenditure.
Buy Compatible Printer Ink Cartridges
Instead of buying brand-name printer ink, look for reliable suppliers of generic ink printer cartridges. They have the same printing quality, contain more ink, use recycled materials, and offer great bargains and warranty deals.
Choose Generic over Brands
You will definitely save more money buying generic goods in the supermarket. More often than not, they have the same—if not better—quantity and quality than their branded counterparts. Some generic goods even have the same manufacturers as the branded goods!
This is perfect for those who can’t be bothered to go out during lunch breaks, or want to stick to a healthy diet. It’s also cheaper; by packing your own lunch, you get to use ingredients already in your home, and you also get to decide the portion size. You can also get more work done this way, or squeeze in a quick midday nap.
Recycle and Reuse
This can go a multitude of ways, and you can even get creative. There are recycling programs that let you earn for recycling certain items, and dozens of DIY tips online on how to reuse materials around the house. Save your wine bottles and turn them into vases and lighting fixtures, reuse gift wraps and gift bags and ribbons and tinsel for future gifts, and even convert raggedy old clothes as cleaning cloths or pet toys and bedding.