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Waste Not

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Some common products that you’re likely wasting

by Chris O’Shea

One easy way to save cash is to stop being wasteful, yet we all do it. We throw away things that aren’t completely used or we use way too much of something than is actually needed. We think it doesn’t matter, but when you’re trying to make your dollars stretch, every little bit helps. With that in mind, here are some items that you might be wasting without even realizing it.

Cleaning products.

Your new mantra when it comes to cleaning products is “Less is more.” It typically takes a small amount of cleaner to get the job done. Also, sometimes cleaners are in concentrate form, so be sure to check the label. You might be missing out on stretching that cleaner way longer than you thought. If you really want to save some cash in this department, try mixing baking soda, a little water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. This creates a cleaner that is quite powerful — and cheap.

Paper products.

Speaking of cleaning, how many times do you need to wipe something up and grab about 17 paper towels to do it? You rarely need as many paper towels as you grab. Try to be aware of the amount of paper napkins and towels you use. That alone might help you avoid wasting them. Another way to save here is to use cloth rags for cleaning and either use paper towels sparingly or ditch them altogether. Cloth towels will save you some cash and help save the environment.

Water.

Breaking news: water is not free. Every time you leave the kitchen faucet on or take an extra long shower, your water bill goes up. Try limiting showers and turning off faucets when you don’t actively need water. Chances are your wallet will like the results.

Laundry detergent.

You’re probably using way more laundry detergent than you need. As US News reports, many times only a teaspoon of detergent is needed. Try using that amount on your typical loads. If clothes are extra dirty, go ahead and add a bit more detergent.

Shampoo and conditioner.

Along the same lines as detergent, you don’t need to use as much shampoo and conditioner as you’re probably using. Try using a dime sized amount next time. Also, many experts say your hair really only needs washing a couple times a week. Anything more can sometimes damage it. Oh, and that whole “rinse and repeat” thing? Forget it.