If a big chunk of your paycheck goes to personal hygiene and household cleaning products every month, you may want to rethink your routine.
Most of what you need to keep yourself and your home looking good could be hiding in your pantry.
Here are nine clever ways to get several uses out of standard household items:
Use olive oil in lieu of shaving cream.
The price of shaving creams these days is enough to make any girl’s leg hairs stand on end. But if you’re well-stocked in the olive oil department, you’ll be glad to know that Rachael Ray’s favourite kitchen staple is also great as a makeshift shaving oil.
Bonus: According to Woman’s Day, olive oil is packed with skin-nourishing nutrients, so go ahead and skip the $US10 moisturizer afterward to save even more.
Metal spoons can help puffy eyes.
Before you trade in your tired old flatware for something shinier, give those spoons a second chance.
Sara Noel, founder of the Frugal Village, says you can save on expensive eye cream if you toss a pair in the freezer and apply them to your puffy eyes in the morning.
Coffee doubles as cheap hair dye.
Good news, brunettes. Ditch those $US200 touch-ups at the salon and brew an extra pot of Joe instead to brighten up your hair colour.
Mint.com suggests taking a strong pot of black coffee after it’s cooled and pouring it on freshly shampooed strands. Let it soak for about 10 to 15 minutes (plenty of time to brew yourself another cup), and then rinse with cool water. Follow it up with conditioner and style as usual.
Baking soda works magic on clogged drains.
Before you drop cash on Drain-O for that clogged sink, just grab some baking soda from the fridge and let it do the work at a fraction of the cost.
First, pour 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, Real Simple suggests. Then slowly add equal parts white vinegar, and let it sit for five minutes. Douse the drain with a gallon of boiling water afterward, and run the water to check your results.
Baby wipes will keep gadgets clean.
Baby wipes are probably the most versatile product on this list, as you can use them for everything from household cleaning to keeping sticky fingers at bay.
Before you go out and purchase pricey electronics cleaners, keep in mind that baby wipes work just as well. Give your keyboard, mouse, desk, and TV a good scrub.
Clean up crayon with WD-40.
The next time your kid goes wild with a box of Crayola, don’t waste a ton of cash on wall cleaner. WD-40 can be used to remove crayon marks from most surfaces, according to Woman’s Day.
Just be sure to wipe down the surface with a soapy rag if you want to get the oil off the wall afterward.
Hydrogen peroxide is a stain wizard.
It’s a shame the bleach blonde craze of the ’90s left hydrogen peroxide with such a bad rap.
Commonly used as an anti-septic, it makes for an excellent household cleaner. Mix with water and use it to disinfect countertops or as a makeshift stain remover.
Cinnamon is a natural deterrent for bugs.
Forget pricey pesticides. If you want to keep ants at bay, cinnamon may be all you need.
Use it to deter the six-legged critters from invading your home by spreading powdered cinnamon anywhere you catch sight of them, Anniesremedy.com says. Not only will you be bug-free, but your home will smell delicious, too.
Deodorise everything with lemons in a pinch.
Lemons have many uses. Toss leftover lemon peels into the garbage disposal to get rid of any unsavory smells. You can also rub down your cutting board with half a lemon and coarse salt to freshen it up. During cooler months, cozy up to the fireplace and toss a few peels on the flames to add a citrusy hint to the air in your home.
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