Posted by: thesavinghabit | June 2, 2010

Use Less, Save More

One thing I’ve noticed lately is that many of the items we use on a daily basis have instructions telling us to use more than is necessary.  You can save quite a bit of money by focusing on using less and still getting the job done.

Laundry Detergent – First of all, when purchasing laundry detergent, consider the number of loads it will clean instead of the overall size of the package. Most of the typical liquid detergents (and fabric softeners) have a considerable amount of water in them. Perhaps buying a concentrated formula will give you more loads for the price. In addition, the manufacturers usually tell you to use about twice as much as you need to use. Try reducing the amount of detergent by half and see if you notice a difference in the cleanliness of your clothes. Chances are, they clothes will be just as clean and you just saved half the cost.

  1. Dryer Sheets – for years I have cut my dryer sheets into four pieces, using only ¼ of a sheet per load. My clothes are soft, smell good and are without static. Honestly, I can’t tell a difference between ¼ sheet and a whole sheet. I just quadrupled my value there.
  2. Shampoo/Conditioner – you don’t need to fill your hand with it!  About the size of a half dollar is more than sufficient for long hair.  For shorter hair, probably about the size of a quarter will do the trick.
  3. Cleansers/Moisturizers – again, a little bit can go a long way. I use enough product to be about the size of a dime in my hand and that is sufficient.
  4. Perfumes/fragrances – one squirt on your wrist and then rub your wrists together is plenty. It is also more considerate to those who have fragrance allergies. In the event you find there is someone who you will be near for long periods of time that is adversely affected by your fragrance, you can simply go wash it off.
  5. Toothpaste – Did you know that most dentists recommend only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush? Most of us have a habit of using far more!
  6. Dish soap/liquid soap – There are two really easy ways to reduce how much is used. Take a rubberband and wrap it around the pump a few times. This will limit how much can be pumped out at once. I know children, especially, use FAR more than is needed, but I often catch myself doing the same thing. Also, when your soap starts running a little low, dilute it with water. There is still plenty there – the pump just can’t touch the bottom to get to it.
  7. Dishwasher Detergent – as with laundry detergent, you can probably get away with using about ½ the recommended amount.
  8. Paper Towels – Try keeping some cheap napkins handy. They cost less than paper towels and they are generally smaller so there won’t be as much waste. Or, purchase paper towels that offer the “select-a-size” so you are not wasteful when you only need a small piece. Better yet, keep some cheap clothes nearby that you can wash & bleach as needed.
  9. Cleaning Supplies – Most of the time any cleaning agent you use will suggest you use far more than is necessary. This includes everything from glass/mirror cleaner, floor cleaner, kitchen cleaners, bathroom cleaners, etc. Try using half of what you normally use and see how it works for you. I think most of us tend to be “spray happy” and overdo it.

Now, on to this week’s deals.

Know the Lingo
BOGO – Buy one, get one free
SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores
Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off
Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles
All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription

Whole Foods:  Click here for their coupons. If you prefer to shop at Publix, they should accept these as competitor coupons.

Publix Greenwise:  Click here for their weekly ads.

Many thanks to for their great tips on shopping at Publix!

Publix has the “Buy Theirs, Get Our’s Free” Promotion going on. Click here to see what is available this week.

Ask  Have a question about using coupons or shopping at Publix? Click here   to read answers to questions or submit your own question.

 For Publix “Super Deals”  for June 3-9, please click here.

 For Publix full sale list with coupon match-ups, please click here

 Renita’s Favorite Money-Saving Sites

E-Book now available!

I’m excited to tell you that my book is now available as an e-book! So, you can save money while you learn to save even more money by purchasing an e-book instead of a traditionally bound book!  For more information, please click here. 
Renita is a resident of Palm Beach County, and author of “Wow! You Saved How Much?” For more information, visit her website at

 I grant permission for every reader to reproduce on your website the article you are now reading but copy this article, without any alteration whatsoever. Include the copyright statement, too, please.

 “Copyright © Renita R. Perrone All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article on your website without alteration if you include this copyright statement and leave the hyperlinks live and in place.”


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