START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

8 Household Tips for Surviving the Recession

  • I use soap and water to clean almost everything. My house, my body, my hair – you name it. I have cheap bulk dish soap in the kitchen and bar soap in the bathroom. For extra house cleaning and laundry cleaning power, I mix vinegar and cheap bottled lemon juice (and I save the bottle – you’re getting the idea now) into the soap and water.
  • Health is wealth. I wash my hands (with soap and water) multiple times a day, keep a clean house (with soap and water), go to bed early and wake up early, walk to and from work, and I rarely eat out (once in a while I get a slice of pizza with my husband, but 99.9 percent of the time we eat at home). I carry around bottles of filtered tap water, rice cakes, and fruit so that I don’t have the inclination to buy snacks if I am hungry and on the go. Instead of going out for sugary caffeinated drinks, I make my own coffee. By doing these things I maintain a nice robust immune system, a healthy body weight, and avoid things like food poisoning and e-coli bacteria that the restaurant industry offers consumers.
  • My appliances multitask. If I don’t own it, I borrow it. Why buy a crock pot when you have a burner and a flame tamer? If I need a small appliance that I don’t have (an iron, for example), I borrow from a neighbor. Look, I know that you might not know or like your neighbors, but borrowing things like a vacuum cleaner or clothes iron from them is a good way to both get to know them and like them. Borrowing and lending household gadgets is a really good way to build community.
  • I only buy what I need. If there is a chance I can repurpose or reuse something, I find a way to. I recently hung a planter for one of my two houseplants (even my decorations multitask – my plants improve my indoor air quality). I used clothespins, a silverware holder, and a wire twist tie to mount the planter on the wall. I was determined not to spend and I didn’t.  I also buy as little food as possible.  Although buying in bulk can save money for very large families, I find that we waste food when we buy too much.  I buy exactly what we need and use up all of it before buying more. This is also true for hygiene products, like toothpaste.  I will use every last drop of the product before buying more in order not to waste any.
  • I refuse to pay extra for electricity. We have a small, energy-efficient refrigerator. It uses less electricity than a large fridge. If you have a huge family, you probably need more refrigerator space. If your family is small, do like me: I store my fruits and vegetables outside of the fridge and refrigerate only foods that are perishable or might attract bugs (dry foods that could attract pantry moths). I turn off my electric hot water heater – I heat the tank when I need to shower and it is well insulated enough that it stays pretty warm for a day or two. I save hot water by rinsing off, turning the water off and soaping up, and then rinsing off again. I do this in the winter, too. Being a bit Spartan is good for your health.  At times of being really, really broke, I actually took bucket baths to save money on water and electricity.

Do you have strategies you use to save money at home?  Leave a comment.

Think Like Grandma & Save Money
Simple Energy-Efficient Tips That Save Money
18 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags
Image: foxumon/stock.xchng

Read more: Conservation, Do Good, Family, Green, Home, Household Hints, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Selections from Networx empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices. We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience.


+ add your own
11:59AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Thank you for posting :)

4:33AM PDT on Apr 22, 2012


3:02AM PDT on Sep 23, 2011

some good ideas

2:22AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Great ideas!

7:45AM PDT on Sep 18, 2011

Some ideas are good !

5:27PM PDT on Sep 17, 2011

Love all the comments as I am getting great tips from them !

2:09PM PDT on Sep 17, 2011

toilet paper? i would rather wash with water... so clean after that dry up towel..

5:01AM PDT on Sep 17, 2011


4:09AM PDT on Sep 17, 2011

The old couple next door used torn sheets of newspaper hung from a nail in the outside lavatory door. They had a large high cistern so the flush was good. I don't think they ever had problems with the pipes.

5:41PM PDT on Sep 16, 2011

interesting ideas..

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Greetings to the general public,i want to inform the public how i was cured of HERPES Simplex Virus…

Also so true that kids are usually much better at this than the adults I've seen. Sad...

Awww so cute and in the end they are so tired, they share. Thank You!

I tried to sign the petition, but it took me to a place that I could start my own. We now have 300 …

Thank you for posting this article & sharing such wonderful pictures.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.