Tips and Tricks to Stop the Money Leaks

For many, it’s not the big expenditures that keep them spending beyond their means, but rather the thousands of little purchases that together wreak havoc on their finances. Want to start leaving more money in the bank each month? Start paying attention to all the little ways money leaks out of your life.


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TOOTHPASTE LIKE A PEA. Those toothpaste ads that show the toothbrush covered with toothpaste in an artful swirl use about four times as much toothpaste as necessary to brush our teeth thoroughly. My dentist told me that it takes enough toothpaste the size of a pea to do a good job. And the fact that a smaller amount is still effective, is more comfortable than having a mouth full of suds and makes the toothpaste last three times longer is my idea of a great way to stop the money leak. Edna, Oregon

LINT ROLL THE LAMPSHADE. My lampshades don’t get dirty, but they sure do get dusty. I “dust” my cloth lampshades with a lint roller. Works like a charm! Anita, Minnesota

SLOW DOWN THE ROLL. When done with a roll of toilet paper, take the cardboard center and fold it in half the long way. Slide this inside the center of the new roll and install the roll as normal. The extra bulk inside the center roll prevents toilet paper from flying off when spun around and the user uses less. Shawna, Missouri

ROLL OFF THE HAIRS. Take an adhesive lint roller along next time you have your hair cut. Use it once you get to your car to remove the sharp hairs that inevitably attack your neck. This is much more effective than the neck brush the barber or beautician uses. Susie, Tennessee

BOILING OUT THE STAINS. Can’t get the stove top burner pans clean? Try this: Fill a big pot with water. Add about 4 tablespoons baking soda and a few squirts of dishwashing soap. Place the stained burner pans in the water and bring to a boil, making sure the suds do not boil over. Allow them to boil gently until all the baked on spots are removed. Rinse the pans and wipe clean. They will sparkle like new. Nicole, Pennsylvania

GO PRIVATE WITH PENS. I always carry and use my own pen when I’m out at the doctor’s office, the pharmacy, the bank and grocery store. Think about it. Most people at the doctor’s office and the pharmacy are sick and have just used that public pen at the desk. Patricia, Indiana

CLINGING THE CLING WRAP. Whenever I tear a piece of plastic wrap to place over a plate or bowl, I first pull a little off the roll and place it on one edge of the item I want to cover. Then I unroll more wrap, stretching as I go. When I get to the other edge of the dish, I touch the wrap to it and tear it. No more sticking to itself, frustration or wasted wrap! Cheryl, Maryland

Question: What is one of your favorite tips that helps stop the money leaks in your budget? Join the conversation here

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13 replies
  1. Stumbo
    Stumbo says:

    One tool I keep handy is a small bottle of graphite. For all locks, interior and exterior including car, trucks, planes and trains. Oil attracts dirt so should never be used when trying to lubricate a lock. Graphite comes as a very, very thin powder that is not water soluble. It is so thin that it will float away if it is spilled. Surrounding a lock with a disposable towel or container can help from getting powder spread around the area. It is usually applied by puffing it into locking mechanisms, moving the lock by inserting a key and then reapplying until the lock is looser and works more easily.

  2. dkbink
    dkbink says:

    Save on air freshner…
    Use stick matches instead of aerosols. Leave the fragrant sprays for children too young to use matches. Keep a small paper cup by sink to deposit used matches after dousing them in water.

  3. Mictros
    Mictros says:

    Necessity is the mother of invention. Recently purchased an expensive Sunflower Oil. Had one of those dreaded plastic pull rings in it. Pull ring broke upon removal attempt. Solution? Take an inexpensive corn cob skewer holder ( the ones that look like corn and provide handles) or similar object. Poke holes through the inverted dome of the pull ring. Leaving IN the pull ring and only cutting the broken ring puller. 1:) Solves problem. 2:) May aid in keeping oil fresh longer. 3:) Use LESS 4:) Have perfect control over how much comes out to avoid the ” whoops” that sometimes happens with fully open containers. It really provides good directional control. Much better than a cruet or fancy overpriced ” EVOO bottle”.

  4. zimzztop
    zimzztop says:

    I use the perfume samples that come in magazines etc. to slow down the toilet paper roll. I just slip it into the middle of the roll. Voila. Smells good too.

  5. oshunwav
    oshunwav says:

    Not wanting to waste make up… I cut the tubes of concealer in half and use a q tip to salvage make up left inside that won’t squeeze out… then put the two halves together or in a baggie to keep the make up still inside from drying up. Lasts longer this way. Same thing with pump make up… just take off the top and use a q-tip to get the last drop out!

  6. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    My mother cleaned silk flowers by putting a tablespoon of salt in a (free) paper grocery bag, then putting the whole bouquet in. She gathered the top of the bag around the stems and shook it for a few seconds. Clean as a whistle every time. I use the same method for any hard to clean thing like lamp shades.

  7. Michelle Clatt Doty
    Michelle Clatt Doty says:

    We have liquid shower soap, shampoo & conditioner in a dispenser in our main showers. You use about 75% less product this way and it also cleans up your shower/tub area without all the bottles of product sitting around!

  8. Priscilla
    Priscilla says:

    One tip I learned many years ago was to keep the plastic wrap in the refrigerator. It does not stick to itself when it is cold.
    Another tip: When my toothpaste is down to about 1″ of the tube, I use regular cheap scissors to cut the tube off, gently open the cut end and store this in a plastic pill bottle(or other small container). Keep it sealed and open only when using…it is amazing how much paste you can dig out of that thing. If you are the only one using it, you can dig the paste out with the tip of your toothbrush.

  9. Emma Roller
    Emma Roller says:

    In the winter time when the furnace is on and I leave the house for several hours I reduce the temperature on the thermostat to 66 degrees and put on hold. I am not having the furnace run at normal temps when I am absent. Saves gas and electricity. Emma, Minnesota

  10. k
    k says:

    I have mixed more expensive laundry soap with a generic brand–makes the laundry soap last longer, cleans your clothes well, and they smell nice.

  11. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    another great tip to prevent catching the “bugs” is to use your knuckle or elbow to push buttons on the elevators. Also to save money on Bacon, especially if you live alone, is to roll it up in glad wrap, I do 2 slices at a time and then put in a freezer zip-loc bag and I can take 2 pieces off at a time and not waste an entire package of bacon.

  12. Beck
    Beck says:

    Once a year go through every single bill and review it. I started unplugging appliances when not in use. Another way to save on my electric bill was using all new light bulbs replacing the old ones that were not energy efficient. Our local electric company had a free light bulb swap one old bulb for a new CFL one. Checking for rebates before getting new appliances.
    A price book for the grocery plus coupons. It was not just one thing don’t leave any stone unturned. When you are asked what do you want for a gift ask for something easy like car wash ticket books, movie ticket books/coupons anything that cost you money. It is great for your budget and an easy thing for others to buy you for Christmas or birthdays.

  13. Elaine
    Elaine says:

    When I get a haircut, I ask for the cut hair & use it in my flower beds to ward off deer. They hate it. Saves on expensive deer repellent sprays and pellets.


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