pile of pennies

7 Money Saving Life Hacks

Here is a list of 7 life hacks that are sure to save you money.

1. Use natural products

Most products that are needed for the home can be found a lot cheaper than the brand names you find in the store. Not only are these products a lot cheaper, they are generally safer and can be used for a myriad of different purposes, some might even surprise you.

Peroxide

Yes, that fizzy stuff that you poured over your cuts as a kid. I’m talking about HydrogenPeroxide.  More than just cuts and scrapes, peroxide can be used for all kinds of things.

I discovered this once my brother told me his dentist used peroxide for teeth whitening. I remember thinking, “Why do people pay so much for teeth whitening if it’s just peroxide?  You can get that stuff for less than a dollar, I think.” Turns out, his dentist was onto something.

Here are some common uses for peroxide:

  • teeth whitener
  • toothpaste
  • disinfectant
  • cuts and scrapes
  • mouth rinse
  • gum disease
  • carpet cleaner
  • pet stain remover
  • hair highlighter
  • ear wax remover
  • acne
  • mouth sores

After discovering that peroxide could be used for so many things, I decided to check the ingredients on some of the name brand products I had around the house (expensive ones, even).

Of the products I checked, peroxide was found to be in toothpaste, carpet cleaner, and pet stain/odor remover. Who knew such a cheap and natural product could be used for so many things.

Vinegar

I have to admit, I’ve never been a fan of this one (mostly because of the smell), but it’s certainly another miracle product.

Vinegar can be used for cleaning and disinfecting just about everything you can think of. It can even be used to treat heartburn when drinking small amounts. Perhaps it’s most effective at removing stains, calcium, and soap scum.

Here are some common uses for vinegar:

  • window cleaner
  • teeth whitener
  • bath stains
  • coffee pot stains
  • calcium buildup
  • soap scum
  • toilet bowl cleaner

Baking soda

Like peroxide, BakingSoda can also be used for teeth cleaning and whitening.  It is another ingredient listed in some brand name toothpastes.

Here are some common uses for baking soda:

  • kitchen cleaner
  • laundry whitener
  • mouthwash
  • toothpaste
  • odor remover

2. Make a grocery list

Before you even think about going to the grocery store, make a list. And don’t leave home without it! Making a list will do a couple of things for you.

First, it can help make sure you don’t forget anything (which is super important).

But second, it can help make sure you don’t get anything extra (which is even more important).

In other words, if it’s not on your list, you can’t get it. This will make sure you don’t overspend, go over budget, or buy things you really don’t need.  Make a grocery list.

making a grocery list

Bonus tip (grocery pickup)

Speaking of grocery list, why not do grocery pickup instead?  It’s literally the same thing (it’s just not the 1800s way of doing things).  You just make your list online, purchase it online, and go to the store to pick it up (or have it brought out to your car, actually).

Just like when making a list, this keeps you from buying something that’s not on the list. In fact, you couldn’t even do it if you wanted to. When they bring your order out to you, you will likely have to go into the store to get anything that’s not on your list (or not being picked up).

What I really like about grocery pickup is how they substitute items when they are out of stock on something. This ends up saving you more money.

For example, if they are out of stock on something, they try to substitute it for something similar that they have in stock. If it’s cheaper, no big deal. But if it’s more expensive, they will give it to you for the same price (this usually works out in my favor, since I buy the cheapest stuff to begin with).

3. Eat at home

The last time I went out to eat, I think it cost about $60, tip included.  This wasn’t the most expensive restaurant, obviously, but it was expensive enough. $60 is about a week’s worth of groceries for me (or close to it)!

Eating out will destroy your budget in no time, so I keep it to a minimum. I don’t mind eating out for special occasions, but that’s pretty much it.

If you’re serious about saving money, I would eat at home instead.

4. Exercise at home

I have been exercising at home since I can remember.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had gym memberships in the past, but I couldn’t stand going. It was hard for me to justify the expense with all of the nonsense that comes with it.

No longer do I have to wait around for the equipment I want to use; feel rushed because some “meat head” has to use what I’m using; or worry about running into to the naked guy in the locker room who wants to have a conversation all the time. No thank you!  And I was paying for this?Yeah, no thank you.

I never paid a ton for a gym membership, but they can get up there in price if you’re not careful.  A cheap membership will probably run around $30 a month, but I know some people who pay two to four times that price.  Ridiculous.

Why waste your money when you can do it all at home and probably get a better workout? In fact, some of the greatest workouts I’ve ever had were done in the comfort of my own home (Remember, you don’t have to wait around or be rushed when working out at home, usually).

Some people go all out with home gyms, but I don’t think that’s necessary.  If you’re needing to lift weights, all you really need is a few dumbbells and some free weights to get the job done. There are good workouts (full body workouts) that can be done with nothing more than a couple of dumbbells.

And if you’re not using weights, even better! There are all kinds of DVDs available that you can watch and follow along in your bedroom or wherever. Why waste money at a gym?  Why not workout at home instead?

5. Bring a lunch to work

I’ve been taking my lunch to work for years, and I can tell you it’s cheaper and healthier.

If you don’t take your lunch, you are going to be spending way more money each week (even if it is fast food).

My lunches probably cost me about $3 a day.  You can’t even eat that cheap at fast food restaurants! Chances are, fast food restaurants won’t be as healthy, either.

6. Buy generic

Almost everything has a generic option, and if it doesn’t, you probably don’t need it.

The generic alternative is a fraction of the price compared to its name brand competitor; why not take advantage of that?  It’s the same stuff!  If you don’t believe me, just read the labels.

When in doubt, just look for the option that says, “Compare to such and such.”  You are almost guaranteed to save.

I shop at Walmart quite a bit, and I usually find good savings in the Great Value brand.  If they don’t have Great Value, they will probably have Equate.  When I go to Walmart, Great Value and Equate are my best friends.

Whether it’s lotion, shampoo, medicine, whatever . . . buy it generic and save.

7. Ditch cable

The amount people pay for cable is outrageous. I know some people who pay $200 or so.  That’s crazy!

Why pay so much when there are so many cheaper options these days?  It’s unnecessary.

There are internet options like SlingTV; there’s cheap subscription services like Hulu and Netflix; there’s even free content you can find on YouTube.  The options are endless anymore, and way cheaper.

What you could do, is not pay for any of it!  Just get one of those antennas that give you the local channels for free.  The channels are even in HD; that’s what I do!

Why pay for cable?  You’ll end up having 200 plus channels that you never watch and pay lots of money doing it.

Final thoughts

There are countless ways to save money, but these seven should at least get you started.  If you haven’t tried any of these life hacks, I would definitely give ’em a shot.  They are sure to save you money.