By Chaya Kurtz, Hometalk
Luckily I am employed. When I read the newspaper and look around, I realize how blessed I am to have income. Still, I’ve been living more or less like a cheapskate for years. With the exception of one cushy job I had that afforded me the luxury of buying a lot of take out containers of rice pudding from the corner bodega, I have had to figure out ways to live well for less. Here are a few ways that a very practical home improvement editor (that’s me) saves money on home products:
- Things I don’t ever buy: Plastic bags and plastic food containers. After years of spending on “Tupperware” that I inevitably let mold in the back of my pickup truck, I stopped spending on plastic. I reuse containers and bags. I invested in about eight large sturdy plastic food containers, the type that caterers use. They’re almost indestructible. I use those (and wash them out religiously) and actually purchase food for the container (juice in a glass jar vs. juice in a plastic bottle). I use glass juice jars for everything from freezing soup to using them as flower vases. I save plastic shopping bags and use them as garbage bags – therefore I don’t ever buy garbage bags. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
- Something else I don’t ever buy: Paper towels and disposable plates and flatware. They’re expensive and take landfill space. I have a bunch of cheap dish towels that work fine. The one exception I make is paper napkins, and only if company is coming over. A pack of 500 paper napkins costs about $2.50 and lasts for months.
- I don’t buy toilet paper. This sounds crazy and maybe sounds like I have bad hygiene habits. Don’t worry – I buy bulk packs of tissues instead. Toilet paper is really expensive. At my local market, a 12 pack of toilet paper costs about $15. Since I don’t like flushing money down the toilet (heh), I figured out that a large pack of generic “Kleenex” actually lasts longer and costs less.