When you are looking to save money, sometimes it matters less about how much you pay for something and more on how long you can make it last. You'll spend a lot less on buying new items if you can stretch the lifespan of things that you already have. Not only that, but you will also be living more sustainably. It's a win-win for you and for the environment.
Simple Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Household Items
You don't have to make big changes to save money on your household items over time. The first thing to do is take care of what you have. Learn how to properly maintain your household items. When you keep your items properly maintained and cleaned, they are likely to last longer and continue to work as they should. Beyond proper cleaning and maintenance, here are a few tips for extending the use of your household items:
When not using batteries, take them out. Just as with plugged in appliances and electronics, there may be a drain on the battery, even when in the off position. This tip is especially practical when you know that you won’t be using the product for an extended period, like Christmas decorations. If you’re looking to get the most life out of your battery purchase, buy rechargeable NiMH batteries. You will pay more upfront, but you’ll get hundreds, if not thousands, of charges out of the latest brands and save money overall.
Flip or rotate your mattress every month. This redistributes where your body impacts the mattress and prevents sagging. Of course, if you have a pillow top mattress you’ll have to settle for just rotating it, as you can’t flip it over. You can also save your mattress by moving sleeping in a different place or position sometimes. Using a mattress pad will help prevent stains and can be thrown in the laundry. This will prevent dirt buildup on the mattress itself.
Check the instructions on your box or bottle of laundry detergent and make sure you’re using the right amount. You might be surprised to discover that you are using too much detergent. There may be multiple lines on the scoop or cap for different load sizes and for dirtier clothes. Want to save even more? Try using a bit less than the suggested line for your load. Most likely, the stains will still come out and the clothes will still smell fresh.
While looking to save money in the laundry room, you may be able to get by on half a dryer sheet. Depending on the brand of the dryer sheet, you’ll find that the clothes still come out soft and static free, even with half a dryer sheet instead of a full sheet. By tearing your sheets in half, you’ll obviously double the life of your box of dryer sheets, saving money over time.
Properly dry your razor blades. Shake them dry or even blot them with a towel. Putting them away while wet will rust them out and you’ll have to replace them sooner. By drying the blades, you can increase the amount of uses you get from each of your rather pricey blades.
Use less toothpaste. You may be adding toothpaste across the entire head of your toothbrush, but in reality you only need about one-third to one-half that amount. Just make a pearl sized drop on your toothbrush and your tube can last twice as long. Also, consider getting an inexpensive toothpaste tube roller to help you squeeze all of the paste out of the tube.
Repair Household Items
You can also repair many household items instead of replace them. Depending on the item in question, you might only need an inexpensive part or some other solution. If you can make something do for a little longer, you will save money over time.
Also, before you rush out and buy something new, check to see if maybe you have warranty protection. Many credit cards offer extended warranties. In these cases, you can replace your household items at no cost to you. Start keeping receipts for these purchases in a folder so that you can retrieve them if a free extended warranty applies.