As post-13th month pay period rolls around, we know what you’re thinking: you need to tighten those moneybag belts this new year or else! Thankfully, you don’t need to do anything too drastic. Here are a few creative tricks to saving your hard-earned peso:
1. Make your own toner. Beauty products can really rip a hole in your wallet. Instead of buying cleansing wipes for removing makeup, simply put cotton pads in a Ziploc bag, fill up with some inexpensive makeup remover liquid, and soak them in the solution. You can even bring these along on your travels for easy face cleansing.
2. Make the most out of daylight. Heat from the sun offers a great many benefits for the household —- aside from drying laundry, you can also use it to disinfect kitchen items like your sponge. Soak it for five minutes in full-strength white vinegar then air-dry under the sun. For stinky shoes, spritz them liberally with antibacterial spray then leave under the sun to dry.
3. Hit the lower grocery shelves. Most of the time, the cheapest items are placed in the lowest grocery shelves, and for good reason—because people tend to take them for granted. But check them out -- if you're not very particular about the brand, they might just do, too.
4. Re-use tea bags. If you’re a tea drinker, then you probably have it on stock in your cupboard. Some teas are stronger than others, and you can re-steep these for a good one or two times more. You can also pop used tea bags in the fridge and place them on your eyelids for instant refreshment and relaxation.
5. Make your refrigerator more energy-efficient. If you didn’t purchase an energy-efficient fridge, no worries. Test whether the door closes tightly enough: open it, slip a peso bill, shut it and see if you can pull it out. If you can, then have the gasket checked. Make sure to also chuck out items that shouldn’t be refrigerated in the first place, like onions, potatoes and garlic.
6. Use household items for DIY spa sessions. Mix brown sugar, oatmeal and olive oil to create your own body scrub. For deep conditioning, slather coconut oil on your hair and leave it on overnight (wear a shower cap).
7. Use a grocery basket instead of a cart. When just shopping for a few items, get the basket instead so you don’t end up getting more than what you need. Also, it makes for a great arm workout.
8. Use a single-serve coffee machine. Ditch the daily designer coffee fix, and avoid wastage by using a conventional coffee maker, because how much of that do you actually get to drink? Single-serve coffee makers always make just enough for when you need that caffeine boost.
9. Book an AirBnb instead of a hotel when travelling. Consider sharing a space or renting an AirBnb the next time you’re going overseas or out of town. It might not be as convenient as staying at a hotel, but finding an apartment that lets you experience life more as a local can not only be less expensive but rewarding as well.
10. Invest in LED or CFL (compact fluorescent) light bulbs. They may be pricier but think of the money you’ll save on electricity. Plus, they generally last longer.
11. Hold a garage sale. When the spring cleaning is done and over with, bring some of the investment back by selling these in a garage sale, and deposit the earnings to your savings account or allot it for bills payments.
12. Download an app for everything. These days, you can find a service for almost anything you need online. No need to hit the gym or pay for expensive classes when there are apps you can simply download to your phone for anytime convenience.
13. Sleep more. The more well rested your body is, the less it will be prone to have crazy cravings or get sick (hence, saving you money on medicines and hospital bills).
14. Don’t bring an eco bag/canvas bag when growing to the mall (alone). We know this might go against the environmental objective of saving on the use of paper bags (which is more or less the government-mandated shopping bag across Metro Manila already), but it’s a great way to discourage you from making impulsive additional buys. When you’re burdened with the task of carrying so many paper bags by yourself (especially if you’re just taking the public transport!), you won’t want to buy anything else because of the hassle.
15. Go on “mommy dates”. This is a little sneaky method we’ve concocted to make you pay less when going out. Planning a little excursion with the kids? Rally your mommy friends and agree to split all the expenses evenly. Hopefully none of them will order or buy any exorbitantly priced items so you’re not on the losing end of the stick.
16. Buy meat trimmings as dog food alternative. So your furry friend is costing you a small fortune with his dog food. Buy meat trimmings or leftover meat from your butcher and lightly cook these before feeding to your canine companion. You can also mix these in with regular dog food and supplement with other food items like pasta, rice, oatmeal, steamed vegetables or baked potatoes. Like everything else, portion in moderation.