Frugal Tip: Waste Less

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Frugal people have a natural tendency to stretch their resources as far as possible. Reducing waste, in any form, will ultimately save money.  It is also an important aspect of being a good steward.

One of my biggest parenting struggles is teaching my children the negative effects of wastefulness. I strive to carefully conserve everything from milk to energy and even toilet paper! Much of this habit comes from my upbringing, so I can only hope I can instill in my children what my Mother did in me.

One little trick I use to reduce waste requires nothing but a little H2O.  It is nearly impossible to squeeze the last few tablespoons of ketchup or shampoo out of a plastic bottle. Just add water-a few quick drops- then shake! The remaining product comes right out.

This is especially effective in the kitchen. The last of that sauce or marinade you are using in a recipe is not effected by a little water. Casseroles and soups will never know the difference.

Other products you can “stretch” with a little water:

  • lotion
  • cleaning solutions
  • handsoap
  • liquid laundry detergent

Unfortunately, this trick does not work on toothpaste. :)

What are some other simple ways you reduce waste in your household?

For more frugal fun, visit Life As Mom.


  1. says

    You can cut the tube of toothpaste in half with scissors and then “scrape” the rest of the toothpaste out of the tube with your toothbrush… ;)
    .-= Briana´s last blog ..Old Navy Weekly Hints for 8/21 to 8/27 =-.

  2. Amber says

    We recycle and instead of using sponges I bought these washable cleaning cloths. I try to use up things we have before buying more. Unless it is a super duper stock up deal :)
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Free sample of Playtex sport tampons =-.

  3. Mary Ann says

    I store my nearly emply bottles upside down in the refrigerator door. Usually the contents fall to the lid and I can get out the remaining stuff without a problem. Try to hold the bottle upside down before you open it so it doesn’t flow back to the bottom just before you use it.

  4. Vicki Hornsby says

    I do 2 things that help the waste issue. #1 Reuse Baggies.
    After you pitch the baby carrots or something frozen, wash the baggie with hot sudsy water., rinse, dry out with cloth and then hang somewhere upside down, so all of the moisture with dry and there you have it , a new Baggie.

    #2 I wash out coke or energy drink bottles in hot sudsy water and fill with water out of the tap and freeze. These can be use to keep food cold in a bag or in your dogs water when it is hot outside or thaw and drink. Saves on bottled water if you want to go that way. I do not use but 1 extra time.

  5. Cher says

    I really appreciate that you want to waste less. We, too, are vigilant to reinforce this with our son. God help us be great stewards.

  6. Estera says

    Another thing i do is take the jar of jam or jelly and put it in the microwave for a couple of seconds to melt the jelly and we use it for pancakes or waffles. I do the samething with honey, especially if i’ve had it for awhile and its chunks.

    The only thing i’m having a hard time is with the mustard, i tried putting upside down but still….


  7. Rebecca says

    I had to laugh when I read that tip, I have been doing that and things like it for years…my mom taught me, and her mom before that. We come from a frugal bunch. I didn’t know other people did stuff like that, some people act like it’s strange. Another thing I do….I cut lotion bottles in half with sturdy scissors and then scrape out the lotion and apply it. My mom cuts hers in half but scrapes it into a little plastic container with a lid and then uses it out of her container. Another way to re-use and save money on washing clothes and detergent (not to mention the wear and tear of the clothes) is to wear jeans a few times before washing them. Unless I have been spit up on, smeared on, etc., I will wear my jeans several times before throwing them in the laundry. We also use our bath towels and washcloths several days before getting new ones out.

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