Saving money doesn’t always involve making huge sacrifices. Even small adjustments to how you do things can make a big difference to your finances. A good place to start is the bathroom. Here are 20 ways to save your hard-earned money… most without a lot of effort.
1. Install a Low-flow Showerhead
A low-flow showerhead mixes air with the water it dispenses, so you feel as if you’re getting the same strong water pressure but you’re actually using much less water.
2. Install a Dual-flush Toilet
A dual-flush toilet is a great water saver because you can choose how big the flush needs to be. Some things need only a little bit of water to help flush them away.
3. Adjust the Floater in the Toilet Cistern
When you adjust the water level in your toilet’s cistern, you’ll use less water. One way to do this is to adjust the floater by using the adjustment screw, which you’ll find on top of the fill valve.
4. Put a Bottle of Water in the Toilet Cistern
Older toilets don’t always have an adjustment screw for adjusting the floater in the cistern. An easy fix to this problem is to fill a plastic bottle with water and to then place it in the cistern. The water level in the cistern will rise and you’ll use less water every time you flush.
5. Fix Leaks
Leaky faucets, showerheads and toilets can add significantly to your water bill. Regularly check for leaks and replace worn-out washers.
6. Put a Bucket in the Shower
Keep a bucket in the shower to catch the water that would normally just run down the drain. You can then use this water for washing the floor, flushing the toilet or watering plants.
7. Take a Shower Instead of a Bath
A typical bath uses about 150 litres of water, so make that soak a once-a-week treat and shower the rest of the time.
8. Take Shorter Showers
If you stand under the shower for as long as it takes to sing along to all the songs on your favourite album, you may end up using more water than if you’d taken a bath instead. Cut down your time in the shower to a maximum of 10 minutes.
9. Turn Down the Water Heater
There’s no reason the water in your bath or shower has to be boiling hot. For every 6 degrees you turn down the water heater, you can save as much as 5% on your energy usage. A good temperature range is between 55 and 60 degrees.
10. Turn Off the Tap
When you leave the water running while you wash your hands, brush your teeth or shave, you’re just wasting it. Turn off the tap while you’re washing, brushing or shaving and then turn it on again for rinsing.
11. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar as Cleaners
Instead of buying expensive cleaners for your bathroom, you can use baking soda and vinegar. For example, sprinkle some baking soda into the toilet bowl, add some vinegar and let it bubble for a few minutes before scrubbing it clean.
12. Buy Store Brands
Generic store brands are usually cheaper than name brands and do the job just as well. If you don’t want to give up your favourite shampoo, you can still use store brands for items like toilet paper, cotton balls, soap or over-the-counter drugs.
13. Buy Bathroom Items in Bulk
When you shop for bathroom supplies, work out the price per unit. It’s often cheaper to buy the larger size and it will save you a few trips to the store too.
14. Stock Up When It’s on Sale
Bathroom supplies seldom have expiry dates, so you can safely keep them for a long time. If something you regularly use is on sale, buy extra.
15. Use Less Toothpaste
You don’t need to cover the entire length of your toothbrush with toothpaste. A pea-sized amount is usually sufficient and your tube of toothpaste will last much longer.
16. Make Your Own Toothpaste
There are many recipes online for making your own cheap toothpaste or tooth powder. Most of these use baking soda, which will not only clean your teeth but will whiten them too.
17. Use Less Shampoo and Conditioner
Most people use more shampoo and conditioner than they actually need. Experiment with smaller amounts, starting with half the amount you normally use, until you find what’s right for you. Your shampoo and conditioner will last longer.
18. Stop Buying Shaving Cream
Unless your skin is extra sensitive, you don’t need expensive shaving cream. Work up a good lather from your soap or shampoo bar and use this for shaving. Your soap won’t last as long but is still cheaper to replace than shaving cream.
19. Use Less Toilet Paper
You’re wasting toilet paper when you use thick wads of the stuff. Even cutting down by two or three squares per use will make your toilet paper last longer. For a long-term hygiene investment, you may want to consider installing a bidet.
20. Use a Menstrual Cup
A menstrual cup requires a bigger initial investment but it lasts for years: years in which you won’t have to buy tampons or sanitary pads every month. It’s more environmentally friendly too, since you won’t be filling the landfill with feminine hygiene products that take a long time to decompose.