Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Fill the detergent to the fourth line. Serving size is two tablespoons.
These are all things we’ve seen on product packages. Manufacturers place instructions for use on their products and recommended serving sizes and if we follow them, chances are good that we’ll end up spending more money than we should.
When it comes to many products, what the package recommends you use is simply a recommendation. It may be given under the guise that the product works best in that amount, and on a few rare occasions that’s probably true. But it may also be given in an effort to encourage you to consume the product faster. The more you use, the more you’ll have to buy.
I’ve been using 1/4 of the recommended amount of laundry detergent for years and my clothes still come out clean. On the rare occasion I do want to use dryer sheets, I cut them into thirds so that a box last three times as long.
A dime-sized amount of shampoo gets my hair just as clean as a quarter-sized amount does. Why wash money down the drain?
A quick glance at food labels tells me what the serving size is, but if I’m happy with a smaller serving, why not enjoy the savings?
Most oil change places will tell you to get the oil changed in your vehicle every 3,000 miles. But if you look at your vehicle’s owner manual, you may discover that you can do it every 5,000 miles.
Pay attention to those serving sizes and recommended amounts for use and see if you can’t reduce your consumption by just a little bit. Using less than the recommended amount may not save you a lot of money, but it will help you stretch your budget and allow you to make fewer trips to the store to replenish your supplies. When you do stick to the recommended amounts, make sure you measure, because “eyeballing it” usually results in using too much. And if you make sure you get every last bit from containers, you’ll save even more.
Your turn: Do you use the recommended amounts? Or do you use less?
Check out our other cheap tricks to help you save time and money and be sure to share your own cheap trick with us. You just might see it end up in a future Cheap Trick post!
Money Beagle says
Most recommended amounts of laundry soap are for a totally full load, which most people don’t use on a regular basis. We usually put in half and our clothes are just fine. One way to test this is to wash your clothes with the amount you usually do. Before drying them, run another wash cycle with no soap, but observe the wash cycle. If you see soap suds, that means there’s some still in your clothes, meaning that you’re using too much.
Christina Brown says
That is a GREAT tip, Money Beagle! I usually try to challenge myself… cut back a little, see if it still works, cut back more, check again, and so on. I’ve found that most of the time I don’t need to use what the package says.
Patricia Desrosiers says
We had to replace the washer & dryer last year when the (23yrs) old equipment died. My new machines are much more efficient than the old. Less soap, no more 2nd rinses needed! Checking to see how much you really need is a great savings!
I always save my fabric softener bottles when they are empty, and when I buy a new one, I put 1/2 into the old bottle and add water to the fill line. I do the same with the new bottle and shake! My clothes are just as soft and static free and I don’t have to worry about forgetting to use less.