Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Money Saving Tip: Use Less of Everything

What they say about portion control and weight loss can also apply to saving money: If you want to spend less, just stop using so much! I've been applying this school of thought to my own household by resisting the inclination to "fill up to the line" with such products as:

  • Laundry detergent - About 3/4 or 1/2 of the recommended amount works for your average load.
  • Dishwasher soap - Those receptacles built into the door of your dishwasher grossly overestimate how much detergent you're going to need. If your dishes don't have gobs of crusted on sediment, you can get away with about a tablespoon in each receptacle. Earn extra cheapo points by only using white vinegar as rinse-aid - and even then only occasionally.
  • Dish washing liquid - A little goes a long way. The bottle even says so!
  • Face wash - I always used too much of this stuff, until I saw how efficiently my wife conserved it. If you're doing it right, the company should have entirely redesigned the packaging by the time you're ready for a new bottle.
  • Meat - The recipe calls for one pound of ground beef, but you could get away with a half-pound or even a third of a pound.

Of course, there are those things this prinicple does not apply to:

  • Baby formula - As much money as it would seem to save on paper, I don't think it's a good idea to skimp on junior's meals. He's just going to need a certain number of calories to grow and that's that. Then he'll grow older and join the track team and he'll need like a bazillion calories. It cannot be helped, but think of his little smile as he waves at you while holding his 100-meter dash trophy.
  • Gasoline - You cannot make your car run for the same distance on less gasoline. You can't water it down. If you want to buy less of the stuff, you'll have to drive less somehow.
  • Prescription medication - I guess this second list is just a bunch of obvious stuff. I should probably stop writing now.

No comments: