Where to begin? So many options. This blog is going to focus on saving you money, this comes from spending your money wisely. Since we are spending money, there is a very good chance these items are NEEDS, and NOT WANTS. Of course, I’m not saying you are never going to spend money on a want, you sure will, but these wants will be reasonable, more on those in future posts. Since Mr Fake Cheap likes to keep it simple, I have some simple pointers for you. Just think of a few regular need items you have around your home. Here are some examples that I am quite sure everyone buys: toilet paper and paper towels. Another item that maybe a bit less popular: dishwasher detergent. One final item, a personal “pet peeve” if you will: cat litter (get it?) These are some of my favorite items to spend save money on, because it is so EASY. Already doing this? Great we are already on the same page, and you are off to a good start. I’ll break one of these items down for you:
Toilet paper – Price these bad boys out by roll or by sheet, personally, I go by roll, since I usually stick to a brand (sorry, the wife is fussy here) and don’t have any trouble finding sales. I’ve noticed around my neck of the woods a typical double roll 12 pack runs roughly 50-60 cents per roll or in the 6.99 range. I see a 12 pack for 9.99 occasionally or roughly 80 cents a roll, which I wouldn’t pay at gunpoint….a price for CHUMPS! Good news my friends, you will now only pay 30-40 cents a roll, simply by keep an eye out for sales by browsing through your weekly flyers you get in the mail or via website, for you favorite local shops. I’m not expecting you to drive 10 KM out of your way for this, but don’t worry, you wont have to, I can pretty much guarantee it! That is almost 50% savings!!! When you add in your friendly federal/provincial sales taxes versus the regular chump price, you save even more! This is HUGE my friends!! HUGE!!
Big deal you might be saying…I saved $3 or $4 on a roll of TP. Well first you are wrong because you won’t be buying just 1 of these, you will be buying many. Depending on your need, and depending on just how good that sale is. If this is the lowest price you have seen in a while, you may want to stock up. If it is more of a typical sale, I would suggest buying 2-3 months worth, because you should encounter a good sale about every 3 months or so. Even if you can only afford to buy one, great, you are off to a good start. You can also look at the savings this way: Even if you save $3 after taxes on an item you would normally pay $8 for..well that is a 37% return on your money…after taxes, since you are buying these items with after tax money. $3 savings divided by your initial $8 that your item normally costs. Ask your friends who invest if they would like a guaranteed 37% after tax return on their money? Only a fool would turn this deal down. Still on board? Of course you are. Let’s continue.
Paper Towel – 2 steps for this one, the first is quite similar to the TP example, the calculations are a bit more involved because all the companies seem to have different size sheets and different sheets per roll. Again I generally go by roll price, and try to pay about 75 cents per roll, for the “choose a size” sheets, with about 100 sheets per roll, remember rounding and estimating are your best friend. The second step is….using less paper towel!! You can easily cut back your use by 1/4 or even a 1/3 with barley trying. I previously used almost a roll a day of the stuff. Now I use a roll about every 3 days, even with an infant in my house! I stopped using paper towel for every little spill and for drying my hands after washing them, that should almost do the trick for you. But Fake Cheap…wont this mean more laundry since I need to clean and wipe stuff up with something??? Yes, you may need to add 1 or 2 more small towels into your wash. Isn’t this more work? Yes, it is a tiny bit more work. Remember if being great with money was easy, and required no effort, then everyone would be well off and have plenty of money, right? And you are TRYING to do better, right? So there you go! Again, after a few days of this you wont miss the “handy” paper towel. I figure the savings combined with the amount you will cut back on will save you around 50-70% of your previous cost for paper towel.***
I want you to do the same with Dishwasher Detergent and Cat litter (if these are needed in your home) Very simple, find a great sale, and stock up! A few more tips for your Dishwasher, turn off your heat dry option…right now!!! It is a terrible waste of money and energy. Let them sit for a few hours after wash and they should be mostly dry. If not, wipe them with a dishcloth as you put them away…yes, there is that effort thing again. You don’t have time for this? Well I’m glad you DO have the time and desire to work until your 60 or even 65! And also, rise agents or dry agents, I haven’t used these in well over a year. Have I noticed any significant change in the wash quality of my dishes? Very rarely, if there is a dreaded spot on something, a quick rinse under the tap and a wipe dry and….bam…clean as can be.
I want you to be aware of these easy savings unlike I was during my DARK TIMES. You just need to be aware of a basic ball park figure of everyday items. Then you wont be just another chump or chumpette who is unaware they are paying twice as much as necessary for these common items.
What items do you like to save on at home? Better yet, what items are you finding you spend a lot of money on?
*** Yes I am aware I could, and some people have completely, cut out paper towel altogether, but remember after all, I am the Fake Cheap.