Everyone has been in this situation at one point in time or another. Its a week before pay day and you have bills that are coming due and some shopping you cannot afford to get done. Perhaps you are out of laundry soap or toilet tissue, or perhaps you just need to find a way to pay the power bill so it won’t be shut off tomorrow. Here are some simple ways to reuse things and make them stretch just a little longer or at least until that pay day arrives.
Are you desperate to have some extra cash in order to buy meat for dinner or pay off your power bill or some debt. Consider a mid week yard sale. I am sure you have something on hand that you are willing to part with. Plan for a larger sale during the weekend but you can be pre setting it up and let your friends and family know you are going to have one and welcome early birds. Sometimes even just setting one up will spur people to start stopping. Be willing to negotiate and take what you can get. Remember, you won’t have to clean it anymore and you might just make enough to pay off the phone bill, pay that power bill or put some gas in the car or even buy dinner tonight.
Batteries are expensive and replacing those batteries in the remote is just not in the picture for this week. Try switching the batteries around. Sometimes this will give them enough of an umph to keep it going for a few more days. You can also try putting the batteries in the freezer overnight. If all else fails swap them with some batteries from one of the kids toys (the sound was driving you nuts anyway) or simply do it the old fashioned way and get off of the couch and walk across the room and change the channel directly from the television itself.
Bath powder and baby powder can get expensive. The best alternative I have found is corn starch. Corn starch is relatively inexpensive and if you do any amount of cooking chances are you have some already on hand. Add your own perfume or cologne for your special scent and you are good to go.
Baking soda is a wonder. You can use baking soda to freshen carpets, put out the fire you son starts when cooking, and it even works fantastic to scrub the tub, toilet and sink. Don’t forget to try putting some in the fridge between cleanings to help eliminate odors.
I only buy coffee filters about once per year. I buy the cheapest package of 500 filters I can find. I am known for simply rinsing out a coffee filter and reusing it until it isn’t. In a pinch between buying the stack of 500 filters if I am out, I have also used a paper napkin (if you ever wander in to a fast food restaurant to borrow the bathroom make sure to grab a few for extras) and a paper towel works great too. Saving money can be easy when you look for more ways to do it and make a game of it.
Fabric softener can really add up especially if you have a large family and do a lot of laundry. When I find fabric softener sheets on sale I buy a large sized box. I reuse these until they are almost non existent. Oh sure, I love the fresh scent they have when you first open the box, but I am using them for a far more important reason. I don’t like it when the underwear is sticking to the back of my husbands work shirt and no one notices til her returns home for the day. I have also discovered that used fabric softener sheets work well for dusting and stuffing hand crafted stuffed animals too. White vinegar added to the rinse cycle of your washer works very well also to prevent static cling.
For emergency laundry soap (actually, I make my own this way all the time) grab a bar of soap and grate it fine. add in a cup of borax and a cup of washing soda and mix thoroughly. Now grab that empty liquid laundry soap bottle and put in around 1/4 to 1 cup of your dry mix (depending on the size of the detergent bottle) and add hot water to the brim. Shake well and use just as you would the store bought soap. For a fraction of the cost you will have clean laundry and find a new way to save a lot of money. If your laundry soap becomes too thick to pour simply add more hot water to the container and shake well.
There is no immediate fix if you can’t afford the toilet paper today. Go through the car, glove box etc and pick out all of the napkins you have saved from all the fast food trips you have made in the last several months, cut the paper towels up or as a last resort, I even had a friend that created her own bidet from an empty plastic bottle with a squeeze top. She filled it with warm water, rinsed and used a dry cloth to pat dry. I know it sounds gross but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Prescription medications can be very expensive. Some of them you simply cannot do without til pay day. Here are some quick emergency options you can try. Call around to see if you can transfer your prescription (even if it will only be this one time). Sometimes various pharmacies will give a steep discount for a transferred prescription. Also check to see if your prescription is one of the ones on the list at Wal mart that are only $4.00 per prescription. If all else fails, talk to your doctor and see if you can get some free samples to tide you over until pay day. Sometimes the pharmacy can refill only a partial prescription also. You won’t know if you don’t call.
Use what you have and make it do. Whenever possible try to avoid going to the store for only one or two things. Remember that our forefathers made do without much and we can manage to make it through too. My mother used to have a saying that she repeated often, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”.