As you run a household for a decent length of time, there are certain things that become automatic. Like the shopping list—stuff runs out, you buy it again. But what if you didn't? Could life go on just fine without a few of those things you're always buying at the store? And could you save a little money in the meantime?
Here's the challenge: next time one of these 8 things runs out at your house, instead of automatically putting a refill on your shopping list, try for just two weeks to go without. I wonder if you'll really miss...
1. Dryer sheets? Of course we can all agree we love the way our towels smell after they come out of the dryer. But when something's gotta budge in the budget, surely the scent of dryer sheets can be the first to go.
2. Trash bags? You get so many from the supermarket—enough to last you through the week—why buy more? If your trash can requires a larger liner, here's an idea: convert that can to a liner-less one for recycling and buy a smaller, store bag-sized can for regular household waste.
3. Ziploc bags? Large Ziploc bags can be handy for freezing, but if you are buying them to take to work every day, consider using a lunchbox or other reusable container.
4. Paper towels? Making the switch to washable rags and sponges will both save you money and be better for the natural world in which you live.
5. Coffee pods? With the amount you get per pod, coffee pods end up costing about $50 per pound of coffee. That's madness when you consider how much better French press coffee tastes. Not sure if you could make the switch? Read suggestions offered by The Kitchn readers here.
6. Soda? Yes, soda is delicious. Yes, it is bad for you—even diet soda. Your body and your bank balance will thank you if you take a break from it for a little while.
7. Air-fresheners? Did you know lighting a match will do the job just as well? Or opening the window? And if you want something to smell pretty, bring in some flowers from outside, or buy a candle from a local all-natural candle supplier.
8. Pads and tampons? This one requires some investment, but could save you big bucks in the long run. Are you aware there are alternatives out there now, like this and these? It might seem a bit much, but, it's 2016! Do we really need to keep doing things just because that's the way we've always done them?
Re-edited from a post originally published 3.17.16-NT