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50 Ways to Save Money by Using Common Household Items

Which of us doesn’t have toothpaste, rubber bands, or salt at home? There are many items in our homes that have many more uses than we realize, some of which can greatly improve our lives and save us money too. These 10 items most likely can be found in your home already, some probably just lie there, gathering dust. By knowing the extra uses you can get out of each item, you can employ them more effectively when you need them.


Useful Items

1. Remove ink and lipstick stains – Leaky pen stained your shirt or pants? Apply some plain toothpaste on it and give it a good scrub, rinse, and repeat until the stain is gone. This trick works for lipstick stains as well.

2. Remove strong odors from your hands - If you were peeling garlic and can’t seem to get rid of the smell, wash your hands with toothpaste instead of with soap.

3. Prevents fogging of glass surfaces – This is a trick I learned while diving. Plain toothpaste prevents glass surfaces from fogging, which is important while diving. It also works for bathroom mirrors, glass shower doors, etc.

4. Remove oil stains from walls – If you left your kid alone for a moment, only to return and discover he or she “decorated” the walls with crayons, then toothpaste is your friend. Grab a brush or microfiber cloth, put on some plain toothpaste and scrub the wall. Follow by using a wet cloth to wipe off the paste and enjoy your clean wall.

5. Polish diamonds – Grab an old toothbrush, put on some toothpaste and give your diamond ring or earrings a scrub. Use a damp cloth to remove the paste and watch how your diamonds sparkle again.

Rubber Bands

Useful Items

1. Better tool grip – If you’ve got sweaty hands or you’re trying to unscrew something that was screwed in too tightly, try wrapping the handle of your tool with a few rubber bands. The rubber’s natural qualities will provide for better grip, making every job that much easier. It even works for tightly-sealed jar lids.

2. Prevent glasses from slipping – Ifyou’re wearing prescription glasses even when you do physical exercise, you can use a rubber band to keep them securely in place. All you need to do is wrap a rubber band around the edges of the temples to keep your glasses from flying off.

3. Cushion falling remotes – If you have a history of accidentally dropping remote controls, you can wrap them in a couple of rubber bands. The rubber’s elasticity will serve as shock absorbers and will cushion the remotes if / when you drop them.

4. Safely close cabinets – If you keep cleaning detergents and other poisonous materials in cabinets but want to keep your kids from opening the doors, wrap the handles tightly with a rubber band and keep your kids safe.

5. Revitalize an old broom – If your broom’s bristles are too frayed, wrap a rubber band around them to keep them together again, which will get your broom to sweep like new.

Nail Polish

Useful Items

1. Strengthen screws – Is the handle of your favorite pot coming loose? Is your cupboard door loosening all the time? Unscrew them, apply clear nail polish to the screw, and then screw it back in and let the nail polish dry. Another benefit is that the polish prevents the screw from rusting.

2. Seal envelopes – If the adhesive on your envelope is too weak or non-existing, you can substitute it for clear nail polish. Just remember to keep the envelope sealed while the polish is drying.

3. Thread a needle – Are you struggling with threading a needle? Dip the tip of the thread into a bit of nail polish and let it dry. Now that it’s hard you can thread the needle with ease.

4. Keep jewels from tarnishing – If you’ve got simple jewelry that might tarnish in time, coat them with a thin layer of clear nail polish. They’ll remain tarnish-free and looking like new for a long time.

5. Tell your keys apart – If you’ve got a bunch of keys that look similar, apply different colored nail polish to the heads of the keys to help you tell them apart in an instant.

Dryer Sheets

Useful Items

1. Shoe deodorizer – If your sneakers are a source of foul smells, shove a dryer sheet into each shoe and leave them in overnight for odorless shoes come morning. This also works for suitcases and backpacks. To be even more “green”, you can use dryer sheets that have already been through the dryer.

2. Clean tough stains from pans – Burnt stains not coming off of your pan no matter how much you scrub? Pour water into the pan, pot, or baking dish and leave a dryer sheet in. Give it a few hours and those tough stains will become a thing of the past.

3. Effectively clean dust – If there are surfaces you want to dust but would rather not use a damp cloth on, substitute it for a dryer sheet, which is effective in removing dust even when it’s dry.

4. Insect repellant – Mosquitos and bees hate the smell of dryer sheets. You can leave some around you when you sleep or tuck some in hidden corners of the house. Don't smear them on yourelf though, as they contain a lot of chemicals.

5. Remove scum from the shower – If your shower glass door is filled with scum stains, grab a dryer sheet and scrub them away with ease.



Useful Items

1. Protect your pets’ cracked paws – If your pet is suffering from dry or cracked paws, rub on some Vaseline and message it into the paw. It’s best to do this after a walk.

2. Prevents mishaps when painting your nails – If you hate having to clean up after you apply nail polish, rub some Vaseline around the nail to prevent the polish from adhering to that surface.

3. Helps heal sunburns – Sunburns are unpleasant at best and painful at worst. Apply Vaseline to the burnt areas to help them heal faster and prevent the skin from cracking and peeling.

4. Prevents chafing – If you suffer from chafing and don’t have talcum powder accessible, you can apply a little Vaseline to the chafing area to protect it.

5. Hides split ends – No time to go to the hair stylist? Use a little Vaseline on your split ends to hide them.


Useful Items

1. Moth repellent – If you can’t get mothballs, you can use pencil shavings instead. The smell of the shavings is an effective repellant.

2. Fix stuck zippers – If your zipper is stuck, rub the “teeth” on either side with the pencil’s graphite, it’ll act as a dry lubricant and free the zipper. This also works on old locks.

3. Pincushion substitute – Doing some sewing but can’t find that darn pin cushion? Stick the needles into the pencil’s eraser to keep them safe for the time being.

4. Temporary earring clasp – If you lost the back clasp of your earring, cut a piece of the eraser from a pencil and use it as a temporary clasp.

5. Clean the soles of your shoes – If you stepped in something sticky (like gum) and need to clean it somehow, a pencil will do the work perfectly.


Useful Items

1. Cleaning vegetables – The best way to wash vegetables is in a bowl of salt water. The salt and water combination is tough on dirt but harmless to the vegetable.

2. Better tasting coffee – Sprinkle a little bit of salt in your coffee to make it less acidic and bring out the real coffee flavors.

3. Cheese preserver – Dip napkins in salt water and use them to wrap pieces of cheese before putting them back in the fridge. The salt prevents mold from forming on the cheese, keeping it fresh for longer.

4. Clean wine stains – Spilled some wine on your table cloth? Cover it with salt and let it sit for about 30 minutes, and then clear the salt and wash it in the washing machine. The stain will be a thing of the past.

5. Relieve mosquito bites – If you’ve become a mosquito’s meal and are now scratching yourself raw, dip a napkin or washcloth in salt water and apply to the bites. For tough bites you can add some olive oil.


Useful Items

1. Prevent fabrics from fading – If you’re worried that your favorite piece of clothing will fade in the wash, soak it in an equal mix of water and vinegar for 15 minutes before the wash. The vinegar will protect the color.

2. Kill weeds – Did you know that by pouring vinegar on weeds you can effectively kill them?

3. Revive mushy vegetables – If your veggies have gained a mushy texture, you can fix it in a jiffy by dipping them in a mix of 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of vinegar for 10 minutes. Just remember to rinse them.

4. Clean your keyboard – Keyboards can get greasy and dirty, but cleaning them can be very easy. Unplug it from the computer, grab a microfiber cloth and dip it in a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, wring it as much as you can, and then wipe the grime off of the keys. If you need to clean between the keys, use cotton swabs.

5. Get rid of the smell of smoke – If you accidentally burned a dish and now the house stinks of smoke, grab a rag and dip it in vinegar, wring it, and then flap it around the room. It may feel silly, but the vinegar absorbs the smoke particles that make the house smell bad. You should also leave a bowl of vinegar in the kitchen for a few hours to absorb any leftover smell.


Useful Items

1. Stop boiled water from overflowing – Scared of leaving a pot on the stove? Stick a toothpick between the pot and the lid. This will allow the steam to escape, preventing the pressure that causes water to overflow.

2. Find the ends of sticky tape with ease – If you hate struggling with a roll of tape just to find the end, stick a toothpick to the edge before putting the roll away to make it easy to find it next time.

3. Efficiently fry sausages – By running a toothpick through every pair of sausages, you can make sure that they fry evenly on all sides.

4. Keep young seedlings straight – Just like you’d use a piece of wood as a splint for a young tree, you can stick a few toothpicks around a young seedling to make sure it grows straight up.

5. Paint hard-to-reach corners – When painting, if you encounter corners, grooves, or crevices that the brush doesn’t reach, you can dip a toothpick in the paint and use it on those areas.

Talcum Powder

Useful Items

1. Easily remove rubber and latex gloves – If you have problems removing gloves once you’re done using them, pour a bit of talcum into the glove before donning it. Once you’re ready, the glove will come off with ease.

2. Remove sand with ease – If you’re going to the beach, keep some talcum in the car. When you go back to it, pour talcum on your feet and give them a rub to get rid of any sand that may have gotten stuck to them.

3. Get rid of oil stains – If you got oil on your favorite shirt, dip a cotton ball in talcum and rub the stain until the oil’s gone. Afterward, put the shirt in the wash and see how the oil stain has disappeared.

4. Free knotted necklaces – If your necklace is now in a bit of a tangle, sprinkle talcum powder over it and give it a shake. This will make it much easier to untangle it.

5. Ant repellant – Ants hate talcum, so if you find the place they’re entering your house from, pour talcum over it and say bye bye to your ant problem.

Know any more alternative uses for household objects?

Let us know in the comments.

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