May 17, 2022

Moka Bellaire


Home hacks for frugal living

5 min read
Image source: Getty Images.

Saving money and budgeting can be tough. But more often than not, the simplest ways to save time and money are right under our noses. Here are 12 home hacks that can help you cut costs and reduce waste.

Make-up and beauty home hacks

Cut tubes and bottles in half to eke out what’s left 

This works a treat for cream and face wash. When you’ve cut the bottles or tubes in half, snip the edges of the sides at the bottom to make it narrower. You can then slide the top half back into the bottom half to stop the contents from drying out.

Use polish remover to make nail polish last longer 

If your nail polish ends up claggy and gloopy, just mix a couple of drops of nail polish remover into the bottle to thin out the liquid. This is a super quick home hack and means you don’t keep throwing away half-full bottles of varnish. 

Use the legs of old tights to make hairbands

Simply cut strips into whatever width you like and ta-da, instant hair bands. 

Kitchen, bathroom and laundry home hacks

Get rid of fridge smells with bicarb

Put a few tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda into a bowl or small tub and leave it in your fridge. The bicarb will absorb all the bad smells.

Freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays

On the rare occasion you might have some leftover wine, don’t waste it. Pour what’s left into ice cube trays and freeze. You can then pop one out to flavour sauces and gravies.

Cut back on tumble dryer sheets

Soak a flannel in fabric conditioner then wring out the excess. Use this flannel instead of tumble dryer sheets to cut waste, save money and still keep your laundry smelling fresh and static free.

Remove bathroom mould with bleach

I saw this on a forum but can’t remember which. Nevertheless, it’s genius for getting rid of the black mould on bathroom sealant.

Take some tissue and twist it to make a sort of taper then soak it in bleach. Lay the bleach soaked taper onto the sealant and leave for as long as possible, preferably overnight (I usually leave it for 24 hours). The next day, simply peel off the tissue.

Depending on how severe the mould is, it might all be gone or you may need to repeat the process.

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Garden home hacks

Cut your water use by using rainwater instead

If you’re on a meter, this home hack is a bit of a no-brainer. Invest in a water butt kit or just leave your watering cans outside where they can collect rainwater.

We have a large pond and my husband’s rigged a system to collect rainwater from various gutters around the house which feed into several water butts which then filter into the pond to keep it topped up. 

Save large plastic boxes, guttering and toilet rolls to grow plants or seeds

Don’t throw out plastic containers if they have holes in them. Just add a few more holes (especially in the bottom) and use them to grow plants or seeds. The plastic traps the heat so the soil gets nice and warm, which is perfect for seeds to germinate. 

You can also use cardboard toilet rolls. Close off one end by folding in the sides then fill with soil and use for seeds. When the seedlings are big enough, you can simply plant out the whole thing as the loo roll will eventually decompose. Naturally, kitchen roll tubes cut in half work just as well.

Old guttering also works well as a plant container. I’ve nailed some to a fence in our veggie patch so it’s out of the way. I plan to grow lettuces in it this summer. 

Save ice lolly sticks and use them as markers

My kids love this. It’s an excuse to help me by eating as many ice lollies as possible. Wipe the sticks down and use them as markers to show what you’ve planted in your garden. Simply write the name of the plant on the stick using a marker pen and put the stick into the ground next to whatever you’ve planted.

General home hacks 

Reuse old Christmas cards as gift tags

We’ve done this for years in our house. And because it feels extra fancy, I use pinking shears to cut the edges. 

Melt down old candles to make new ones

Take all your old bits of candle wax and melt them together to make new ones. You can buy wicks online for next to nothing online. Just be careful with the hot wax and remember that different waxes have different melting temperatures (as I discovered with beeswax).

For more ideas on cutting back and saving a few pennies, check out these five best coupon apps and how to reduce food waste.

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