Conserving = buying less

The best way to save money is to need less of what you do use, so it will last longer. Conserving the things you use every day can really add up to big savings. Here are some of the things that I make a conscious effort to use less of so my dollar will go further:


  • beef: when a recipe calls for a pound of beef, I use 2/3-3/4 of a pound. You can hardly tell the difference
  • chicken: when I make a recipe that calls for whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I cut each breast in half (like I was going to butterfly it but go all the way across). For meals like chicken parmesan, country fried chicken, etc., you can barely tell that there is half as much meat, it seems the same.
  • when my kids don’t eat all of their meal, I save the leftovers, even if it is a tiny bit, like 1 chicken nugget. I can cut this up and put it in a quesadilla. Half a strawberry? Well, actually, I’d probably just eat that. But the point is, why waste food if you don’t have to?
  • I still water down juice. It’s better for the kids and it makes it last longer.

Personal care

  • Shampoo: Next time you wash your hair, pour less into your hand and see if it lathers enough to do the job. No? you can always get more. But you might be surprised that you can do with less.
  • Toilet paper: do you really need a huge wad of paper? you probably only need 2 squares.
  • Hand soap: when my soap runs out, I add water and I can keep using it. Last time I did this, I got another month’s use out of my soap.
  • Deodorant: do you really need to wear it every day? just kidding. Wear deodorant.

Household items

  • paper: I save all the junk mail that is only printed on one side and I put that paper in my kids’ art paper bin, then they can draw on it and I feel like they aren’t wasting paper.
  • I also save all those return envelopes that come in junk mail, and I use them for tons of different things: to hold coupons I’m going to give to a friend, to hold receipts, to hold pieces of paper I need to keep together, pretty much anything I need an envelope for that I won’t be actually mailing.
  • printer ink: here is a site that I really like that helps save printer ink. You can also do other things like: only print in black ink, print on both sides of the paper and 2 pages per side, download an ecofont that uses less ink, change your printer settings to FastDraft (under the finishing/quality tab).
  • don’t use throwaway things like paper plates or paper towels if you can avoid it. I do actually have a roll of paper towels in my kitchen, but one roll lasts me 4-5 months or more. I usually only use it to put bacon on.

What do you work hard to conserve? Leave a comment with your ideas.

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