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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/First-Person-The-6-Surprising-ac-1760244206.html?x=0#mwpphu-container

 First Person: The 6 Surprising Money Savers Hiding in My Home

yahoocontributornetwork Bex Barker, On Friday July 1, 2011, 5:00 pm EDT

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles. 

Household spending is a complicated aspect of nearly every budget. If only there were a way to use products already in the pantry to help alleviate this monthly strain. Well, good news: There is! Many items you currently have in your home can serve more than their original purpose. The following are a few I use regularly.

 -- The mesh bags onions and potatoes come in from the grocery store generally end up in the garbage can. Instead of tossing them, I save a few and use their naturally abrasive texture to scrub pots and pans. The bags are far more gentle on hands than S.O.S pads filled with chemicals.

 -- Paper towels are ridiculously expensive. Many people have moved to cleaning with old washcloths or a sponge, and that is certainly a great alternative. However, I am one of those people who prefer to throw away things I have used to wipe the toilet. If you are like me, try using cheap coffee filters. They clean better than paper towels (especially mirrors), and are way cheaper.

 -- Speaking of cleaning, "going green" is in these days, so why not hop on that bandwagon for some of your kitchen and bathroom cleansers? Simple ingredients like baking soda splashed with vinegar are terrific for cleaning showers and toilets, and they're especially great at opening drains. If your bathtub drains are clogged with hair, replace the Drano with a few shakes of baking soda, a splash or three of vinegar, and a kettleful of boiling water. These products are generally in the pantry already, and when combined they make amazing cleaning agents.

 -- I love baking soda. It has so many uses. Another of my favorite tips is to pour about half a cup of baking soda into a small dish, add 12 drops of essential oil (or your favorite scented oil from Bath & Body Works), and place the dish wherever a little freshening is needed. I like to put a dish in the car after I've forgotten to bring in a cup of coffee and the spoiled cream has left a distasteful odor.

 -- While I'm discussing cleaning, I would be remiss in not bringing attention to the most amazing corn cleaner ever. I love corn on the cob, but I hate the corn silk that can seem impossible to remove. Now I just use an unused toothbrush to brush the corn. The bristles do a great job of cleaning out all the silk, and I don't have to spend half an hour per ear of corn.

 -- Finally, the easiest of them all. Outdoor activities like concerts or picnics can be less comfortable if you are sitting on a blanket in soggy grass. I like to keep a cheap shower curtain liner with my picnic blanket for these occasions. The liner keeps the blanket dry, and my family and I no longer have to worry about wet bottoms after our picnic.

 It's surprising how many things you already own that can serve multiple purposes. Try these, and venture into the realm of repurposing. As you find even more new uses for old objects, share your knowledge with all of your friends.

 

Answer Question
 
maggiebgood

Asked by maggiebgood at 5:33 PM on Jul. 7, 2011 in Home & Garden

Level 14 (1,514 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Make your own cleaning supplies. It is really cheap and easy.
    cleanaturalady

    Answer by cleanaturalady at 7:54 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Use coupons to buy items and try to use then when those items are at their lowest price. That way when you use thee coupon is even cheaper.
    sodapple

    Answer by sodapple at 10:50 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • I have to suggest that you click on the link to this article on Yahoo news and scroll down to the very bottom of the page to the comments section. They are hilarious. You'll have a good laugh.
    maggiebgood

    Comment by maggiebgood (original poster) at 11:16 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • I use lots of coupons!
    dixiegurl223626

    Answer by dixiegurl223626 at 11:22 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • I buy and sell my child's clothes at a consignment sale, make enough money every year to cover what I spend, so basically the majority of her clothes are free. I save on gas by consolidating my errand to one day whenever possible, and plan my route starting with the fartherest place and working my way home.
    elasmimi

    Answer by elasmimi at 7:02 AM on Jul. 8, 2011

  • We use lots of coupons, i sell the kids clothes @ a consignment sale, have a yard sale for left over items, make sure to keep lights and appliances off and unplugged when not in use.
    momkaribg

    Answer by momkaribg at 12:19 PM on Jul. 8, 2011

  • I use coupons and clean as I go so I never have a big mess to pick up.
    aj23

    Answer by aj23 at 1:02 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • we use coupons and i buy most clothing at consigment shops as well as household things like dishes
    ilovemyboys84

    Answer by ilovemyboys84 at 3:05 PM on Jul. 10, 2011

  • CLoth diapers and wipes. Make my own cleaners. Cloth towels.
    elijahsmama09

    Answer by elijahsmama09 at 9:03 PM on Jul. 10, 2011

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