By Noah Henry • August 27, 2013
Toilet paper, batteries, light bulbs, toothpaste; these are items you’ll always need. It’s best to learn now to how be frugal when buying these “necessary nuisances” so that you can potentially save yourself thousands of dollars in the long run. Let's talk about some hidden tricks to spend as little as possible on things that are absolutely necessary in everyday life.
Rule No. 1: If you’re not buying household paper products in bulk, you’re throwing your money away. Bulk buys tend to cost less per item. Rule No. 2: Always shop during sales. Bob Shelton, a retail and consumer packaged goods consultant, says national grocers like Kroger, Safeway and Albertson’s typically run big sales during the first and third week of each month. Shoppers usually save 20 to 40 percent off everyday prices.
Rechargeable batteries can save you tremendously. For example, if you buy rechargeable AA batteries for $20 and alkaline AA batteries for $3, the alkaline batteries may last longer, but you can typically use the rechargeable batteries 500 to 1,000 times. You literally save hundreds per cell. Take a trip to Best Buy or Office Depot for rechargeable batteries.
Energy efficiency—the amount of light produced vs. the amount of energy consumed—is key when buying light bulbs. A cost-comparison analysis by Eartheasy.com says that LEDs and CFLs (compact fluorescent light) will save consumers upwards of $10,000 over 10 years. LEDs consume the least power (85 percent less) while lasting 40 to 50 years. The $36 you spend purchasing an LED bulb is the first step in your energy-efficient home makeover. We’re offering free shipping at Home Depot, where you can find relatively inexpensive LED and CFL light bulbs.
Razor dullness is a result of oxidation, not use. If you store your razor in your shower or forget to dry it after use, you may want to consider changing your ways. Another trick to increase the longevity of your razor is to rub it on denim in the reverse direction you shave. Rub your razor on blue jeans? Yes—it actually works. Your blades will be sharper and last longer.
Dollar Shave Club is also a revolutionary way to purchase your razors. For only a dollar a month, you get quality razors sent right to your door. No need to purchase $4 razors again.
Four out of five dentists say that brand doesn’t matter; only two things do—fluoride (to fight tooth decay) and zinc and triclosan (antibacterial protection). Knowing this, you can brush up on your savings while brushing your teeth. Prices for toothpaste typically fluctuate, so when there’s an offer you can’t refuse, buy in bulk. Walmart, Walgreens, and Dollar General tend to have the lowest prices for toothpaste.
Recycle, recycle, recycle. Did you know that when you purchase “necessary nuisances” you’re giving yourself a free garbage storage unit? Plastic shopping bags are great for saving money on garbage bags. This rule also applies to cardboard boxes. Using your money and resources wisely is the most important tip we can give you!
Noah Henry Noah Henry is an amateur movie critic, foodie, bowler, and beer reviewer. But he's no amateur when it comes to saving money, so listen up!