One Small Way You Can Save Money While You’re Literally Standing in the Shower

updated Jun 10, 2019
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When we think of frugal living, we usually consider ways to curb our spending or change our habits so they’re less expensive. So we stop browsing flash sale sites, stick to our shopping lists, turn the lights off behind us, and brew our own coffee. Every effort is sincere. But in the zeal to prevent needless spending, it’s easy to forget about the stuff you have to spend money on—and the untapped opportunities to stretch your dollar a bit further, even if you’re already buying the “value” brand.

One simple way to save money on every single dispensable product we use, whether it’s condiments in the kitchen or hand soap, is this: Make it a point to use less.

If you’re the type who stocks up on hair gel when it’s 20 percent off at Target, hear this: You’re paying double the price for shampoo when you use twice as much as you need to.

Here are some actionable ways to save more by using less:

1. Use a foaming soap dispenser

Foaming soap dispensers allow you to save more than half on what you pay for hand soap. Most dispensers instruct you to fill them with one third soap and two thirds water. This adds up to pretty hefty savings. Foaming soap dispensers can be used for hand soap and dish soap. Think of them as “pre-lathering” your soap.

2. Serve less of a condiment when you decant

If you’re making your dinner table look pretty by decanting the sour cream or spicy mustard into a sauce cup, err on the side of pouring out less, knowing you can refill it when necessary. You’ll end up throwing out less this way.

3. Cut your products with water

You’d be surprised at how effective many of your personal products and cleaning supplies are even if they are cut with water. So go on, add some water to your dish soap or shampoo. As one of our commenters described, “When I purchase shampoo, shower gel, and liquid soap, I always cut it with water. I save a bottle that has been emptied, add about ½ water then ½ shampoo (or whatever) and shake it up well.” That’s a whopping 50 percent savings. But you could cut with less water and still save significantly. And it may actually be healthier for your hair to use less shampoo.

4. Just… use less!

The most obvious way to use less is to simply use less. Don’t push the hand soap pump down all the way, squirt a tad less dish soap onto your rag or shower gel onto your loofah, and watch your squeezes when you’re putting ketchup on your plate so you don’t end up throwing it (and the money it cost) down the drain.

What strategies do you use to help you use less?