Use what you already have.

Sometimes, saving money is as easy as taking advantage of the items you already have around the house, and either transforming them for a new purpose or simply recognizing the many uses of a single product, like baking soda (it goes in cookies and on your teeth – and can also make a fridge smell better!)

Leverage your dental floss.

Dental floss, a household staplethat costs just $3, can be used for far more purposes than simply cleaning teeth. Susan Yoo-Lee, editor of, suggests using floss to sew buttons, hang pictures on walls, cut cakes, remove cookies from a baking sheet and even replace broken shoe laces or fishing lines. In fact, she says floss can be stronger than string in many cases, which is why she carries it with her at all times.

Make your own personal care products.

You can make your own moisturizer by mixing coconut oil, vitamin E oil and lavender oil, or create a dry shampoo with cornstarch and your choice of an essential oil. Quick Web searches bring up hundreds of recipes to choose from to suit your own preferences – and to make use of products you already have around your house.

Clean with baking soda.

Baking soda can be used to replace other types of expensive cleaners. Amber Sager of suggests pouring half a cup of baking soda down the sink, along with vinegar, to clear out any clogged drains. She also says you can exfoliate skin and clean teeth with a mix of baking soda and water. (Just make sure to be gentle.)

Become more energy-efficient.

Using an adjustable thermostat canreduce the amount of energy you use to heat or cool your home during the day when you’re not there. You can also wait as long as possible to turn on your air conditioning for the summer, or even skip it altogether, if you live in a relatively mild climate. Avoiding the oven for dinnertime can also ease the strain on your AC.

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