10 Low Effort Money Saving Tips

82c049fa-c2ee-4483-b781-0c32fc1e8d41I like to save money but I am kind of lazy so I look for ways to save money without working too hard at.  These are some of the things that I do to cut costs without inconveniencing myself too much or creating extra work.  I am actually quite lazy.

1) My big jug of Costco dish soap (bought on sale of course) is watered down and used to wash dishes in the kitchen and hands in the bathroom.  I have an empty hand soap dispenser in my bathroom that I just keep reloading with dish soap cut half and half with water.

2) I just used that watered down dish soap to wash some of my unmentionables and socks in the bathroom sink.  Laundry should only be done when there is a full load and I try and postpone the time between laundries by hand washing a few things.   If you drop by unannounced and I excuse myself it is because I am pulling my underwear down from the shower curtain rod.  Hand washing means less loads of laundry.  It means less electricity use, less water use and less wear and tear on the washing machine and my clothes.

3) We pay for every drop of water we use around here so I take shallow baths.   There were only a few nights this winter when I was frozen and couldn’t get warmed after a frustrating day at work that I put a lot of water in the tub.  I have a gas hot water heater and my gas provider, Enbridge,  just announced a 40% hike in our gas rates.  That is not a typo – it is a 40% rise in my gas rates so reducing hot water usage has suddenly taken on a new urgency.

4) Blow your nose with toilet paper instead of facial tissue.

5) My previously broken dishwasher seems to be working after one of my sons fiddled with it.  I am thrilled but with the rise in gas rates I will have to try and conserve here as well.  I never use the dry cycle and just pop the door open when it is done running.  The dog likes to prewash the dishes to remove any caked on food so I am experimenting with the light wash cycle instead of the normal cycle.  The machine will run for a shorter time meaning less electricity and less water used.   We have time of use electricity rates here so I only run it when it is full after 7:00pm or on weekends to take advantage of the less expensive rates.

6) Hanging my laundry inside all year round.  This may not work for everyone but I have a roomy laundry room and a few racks.  It was harder when the children were younger and I would have to resort to the dryer when someone lost their lunch on the bedding but other than that I hang everything.  I have been doing this for years and I used to wash a load of cloth diapers every night and hang them for the morning.  2 kids in cloth diapers was a lot of laundry.

7) Pick change up in the parking lot.  A surprising amount of people will walk past a nickel or dime on the ground.  I use it as an opportunity to stretch my hamstrings.

8) Buy the big tubs of yogurt and scoop it in to dishes for lunch.  Those little cups of yogurt are expensive and they are also very small.  I take yogurt for lunch most days to work (calcium and protein) and I would need 2 of those pricey little cups.  Costco has the best prices in my area on the big tubs.

9) Freeze vegetables that might spoil before you eat them.  I made a freezer batch of pasta sauce this week and I was able to pull out chopped up celery and onions from the freezer to add to the pot.  Instead of waste I chop the veggies before they spoil and freeze until needed.


10) Wear mismatched socks.  There are several socks that no longer have a mate hanging on a towel bar drying right now. Just because they don’t have an identical mate doesn’t mean they are ready to be dust rags.  My black socks never seem to match and I just pair the other singles with something that is close.   This is not a good suggestion if you are a socks and sandals kind of a person.  It is only a good suggestion if you are wearing pants too.


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7 Responses to 10 Low Effort Money Saving Tips

  1. There are a lot of things my parents did growing up that I never realized were frugal until I was an adult and had to spend money on the most mundane things. Seriously, who wants to pay for dish washing soap?

    I water down my soap as well. I lucked out on a really good for dish soaps few weeks ago. Those lovely pink stickers at Loblaws-owned stores appeared on the big bottles of dish soap. I got 9 bottles of Palmolive Expressions (the fancy stuff) for $1 a piece. I think cut that in half for in the hand pumps. The foam-pumps need it really thin otherwise it clogs.

    I only wear black socks (unless I am exercising and then I use athletic socks). That way I never have to worry about matching them after laundry. I hand wash a lot of things not from the energy cost perspective (heat and electricity are included in my rent) but because it means they won’t wear out as quickly. Laundry soap (too much) and the machine itself are hard on clothes, even if it’s a front loader on delicate.

    My Mom is a change fiend. She goes on 5 mile walks every other day and picks up change. When she has over $50 she gives it to me and my brother… Even though we are 28 and nearly 32. I remember once where a teen must have just thrown out a handful of pennies in a parking lot. She had to pick up those fifty cents… even though it was in the middle of the parking lot “roadway”. I spotted for her. :) she is ridiculous sometimes. But she’s my mother – I have to love her quirks, right?

    • janesavers says:

      My mother used to pick up beer bottles but they are more when you exchange them now so not as many people toss them out.

      I love the pink sale stickers at Loblaw’s. I love the meat sales there as well. I only buy things if they are marked down or on sale.

      • jeweltea says:

        My father bought a metal detector to find coins and other metal. He said he never found anything but my mom would walk behind him picking up all kinds of rings and coins – he was joking of course but she was really good at finding things like that. I pick up every penny I see too. I think our gas bill is going way up for the year but I have not got the bill yet – we pay on a budget plan so it is the same amount every month. Part of the reason for the increase is because it has been much colder than normal here this year but they are also raising the rates.

        • janesavers says:

          The gas company says that a 40% raise in rates will result in a yearly increase of $400 for the average family. I am not an average family so I am only budgeting for an extra $200 per year but that is still an extra $7.70 per pay cheque.

          Some people, like your mom, do seem to have a knack for finding things and I have a knack of walking behind those people.

  2. debT debS says:

    Those are great ideas, Jane. Some we do but some we don’t. I need to try the watered down dish soap. I love my baths and find those hard to give up. I will give up cable before my bath LOL

    I’m really concerned about the 40% natural gas increase. It’s bad enough with the hydro situation we are dealing with in this province.

    • janesavers says:

      Maybe a drastic increase will actually force people to think about conservation. Using less of things is the best way to save money. Car gas is taking a big jump today too.

  3. Great tips! I love the big jugs of yogurt. And it doesn’t make much sense, but I will pick up any money I find on the ground, even a penny. It’s free money, and no matter what the amount, I just can’t pass it up. By the time I’m 75, I hope to have amassed $100 just from picking up change in parking lots. “Hello, rich people? Here I come!”

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