20 home hacks to help you save money: Here’s how

Are you using too much money on things when you could save more? If that's the situation, check out these ways to help you save.

Every day, essentials such as food and fuel are getting more expensive. Yet, the money we earn from our job stays the same.

As such, many South Africans maybe thinking and asking the question, “How can I save money?”

Since prices are going up, it’s really important to find ways to spend less and make sure we have enough for what we need.

According to Bronwyn Ragavan, who works as a brand manager at Milton, there are several approaches people can explore to ease the financial strain and save money.

“There is another way to save money and that is by using the items we already have in our homes in a more versatile way.

“We have all seen the many Instagram and TikTok posts showing us the multitude of uses of everyday household products,” said Ragavan.

A man calculating his costs. Picture: iStock
A man calculating his costs. Picture: iStock

Versatile uses of Milton and household items

Sometimes, the things we buy for one job can do other jobs too.

For example, Milton, which we mostly use for cleaning baby bottles, can do more than 100 different tasks many people don’t know about.

Here are a few examples given by Ragavan:

  • Disinfecting and cleaning the inside of your fridge
  • Used as a counter cleaner that not only cleans but disinfects as well,
  • Removing the build-up of mould and mildew on bathroom basin tops and cupboards,
  • Purifying water before drinking – a must for camping trips.

By using Milton for these purposes and more, one can replace other items and save money.

“It is not only Milton that can be used in so many different ways, but other household items can be used for various jobs too,” said Ragavan.

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Suggested multiple uses for household items

Ragavan suggests different household items that can also serve multiple purposes:

  • Empty glass coffee jars are handy for saving things. Instead of buying containers for pickling, storing stuff (not just food), or keeping things fresh, just wash out your empty coffee jars and use them again. You can also use them to grow your own herbs, like plants in a pot.
  • You can make your ironing go faster by putting aluminum foil under your ironing board cover. Also, you can crumple up used aluminum foil to help clean off stubborn stains from your cookware.
  • You can keep ants away by sprinkling talcum powder on your windowsill. Alternatively, you can use it as a dry shampoo by brushing it into your hair.
  • Your toothpaste can serve various purposes: it can clean jewellery and chrome, eliminate marks on leather shoes, and add a sparkle to your piano keys. Applying a thin layer of non-gel toothpaste can also prevent your bathroom mirror and glasses from fogging up.
  • To efficiently get rid of unwanted smells, consider using lemon or baking soda. Placing a lemon peel at the base of your trash can help eliminate odors. Another option is to create your own natural air freshener by putting baking soda in a jar and mixing it with essential oils. Cover the jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band.
A young woman counting her savings. Picture: iStock
A young woman counting her savings. Picture: iStock

Saving on essential needs

Bank Rate offers some advice on how to save more on essential needs, which often matter the most:

  • Look for coupons or salesThinking ahead and using coupons, as well as checking for sales, can really help you save money. Just take a look at store flyers and online to find good deals.
  • Sell unwanted items – Search your closet, attic, garage, or storage area to find clothes, jewelry, or shoes that you no longer use. Afterwards, list the item on a well-known online marketplace.
  • Limit energy consumption – When you cut down on the amount of energy you use, you’re not just benefiting the environment, but you are also reducing your monthly expenses.
  • Cook your own mealsFood can cost a lot of money. To save, plan your meals ahead and make a list of what you need from the grocery store. Look for coupons and stick to your list to avoid buying extra things.
  • Try a No-Spend day– Avoiding any expenses for a day or a week can be a fast way to save money. It makes you think carefully about every cent you spend.
  • Make a budget– Reviewing your spending habits is a method to discover areas where you might be spending money unnecessarily.
  • Re-evaluate your housing costs– The money you spend on housing, like rent or mortgage payments, is often one of the biggest parts of your budget. If you move to a place with cheaper rent, you can begin saving money right away.
  • Sign up for rewards and loyalty programs – Get discount cards from the grocery stores and drugstores near you. Using these cards when you shop can save you money right away and even earn you rewards for later.
  • Cancel unnecessary subscription services and memberships – To save money effectively, cancel subscriptions you don’t need and gym memberships you no longer use.
  • Shop around for insurance – Checking out different insurance options can help you save money. Sometimes, you might get a better deal as a new customer.
  • Stop paying for inconvenience– By spending a little extra time making your own coffee or doing household chores and fixing things by yourself, you can save more money.
  • Buy with cash– You can encourage yourself to save money when shopping by using cash instead of a credit card.
  • Repurpose old furniture– If your furniture looks old, you can make it look better without buying new stuff.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries– If you use a lot of batteries for your electronic gadgets or kids’ toys, you can save money by switching to rechargeable ones.
  • Do your laundry with cold water– When it comes to washing dirty clothes, using cold water might be the most effective way.

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