Great 'Make it last longer' Hunt

13 November 2007

While reading an article from the Chicago Tribune this week, I was reminded there are some things that you can't help spending money on, which make you begrudge every penny.

Razor blades, unless you want to end up looking like Swampy; Printer Ink Cartridges, unless you're angling for a Parker Pen set for Christmas; or Batteries, unless you want to be stranded on the sofa, desperate for the TV to magically switch over to Corrie.

So I want to tap MoneySavers' knowledge of how we can make the consumable goods in life last longer. Whether it's wearing underpants inside out, to getting more basin's worth from your washing up liquid, we want to know.

What to do

Reply below, letting us know your top tips for making the boring purchases in life last longer.



Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at
Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000


  • Liquid Soap / Washing up liquid

    After you use the first quarter, fill it back up with water..
    (Only do this once).
  • Tea bags can be used twice or even three times each, halfing the cost of a standard box.
    just depends have strong you like your tea.
    Happily married mama of 5
  • :exclamati When using loo roll, help save the trees and use both sides. :eek:

    On a more serious note, if you have a water meter use a butt to water the plants, and if you have a mobile phone and a car, charge your mobile phone in your car ([strike]as it's free![/strike])
  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Keep bars of soap in the airing cupboard (or other warm place) for as long as possible before using.
    This hardens the soap which prolongs its life - but still gets you clean.

    My mother stored new soap in between the towels in our airing cupboard at home. The cupboard smelled wonderful but we always removed fresh towels very could be painful!
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • Kilala
    Kilala Posts: 20 Forumite
    I am sure it is an old one, but use half of all reccomended amounts of soap- in washing machines, dishwashers etc- I live in an area with really hard water and everything still ends up shiny and clean!

    When shaving, ensure the stubble is damp for at least 5-10 minutes (have a shower first/soak in the bath) so they are softer and easier to cut- the razor will therefore take longer to blunt.

    This may seem a bit odd, but watch how much loo roll you use- you don't need half a roll- and if you do you also need a doctor!

    Ignore the 'low ink level' warning on your printer. If it persists, re install the same cartridge- they are rarely more than half empty when the warning starts- it is all a con to get you spending! Only replace when it is clear the ink is running out.

    Conditioner- Long hair? Only condition the ends- trust me, this works! Everyone else- only condition every other wash, you really don't need to do it everytime and it prevents product built up.

    Hopefully I am not teaching you all to suck eggs! :rolleyes:
    Newbie Debt Free Wanabee...
    Debts as 27.07.07
    B/Card: £1763.43
    LA Card: £871.50
    Cahoot: £6900
    Next: £256.54
    HSBC Visa: £1998.61
    O/Drafts: £2990
    I'm not waving, I'm drowning...
  • Slightly off topic but I reuse Jiffy Envelopes (the ones with bubble wrap in) whenver i receive anything. I just shove a label over my address and where the stamps are and re send parcels!

    Old bread, once its gone stale needn't been thrown out and makes good croutons for salads and soups (just tear or cut it into pieces, and toast it in the oven for 10 minutes on a high heat), which in themselves are good, cheap meals

    Also dishcloths..... the thin vileda kind... i keep seeing people throw these out after a couple of weeks of using them.. Just wash them every couple of days! Either in the washing machine or soak it in something.

    Rat traps can also be reused... but not sure i'd want to try that :eek:
  • hardpressed
    hardpressed Posts: 2,099
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Try printing on 'draft', I find it quite acceptable, make the ink last much longer.
  • Uniscots97
    Uniscots97 Posts: 6,685
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    One for the ladies............. when putting foundation on make sure you use a damp sponge to put it on. You'll use a lot less (dry sponges will soak up the make up therefore wasting lots), and you'll get a better finish.
    CC2 = £8687.86 ([STRIKE]£10000[/STRIKE] )CC1 = £0 ([STRIKE]£9983[/STRIKE] ); Reusing shopping bags savings =£5.80 vs spent £1.05.Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
  • potfish
    potfish Posts: 35
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    if you have a mobile phone and a car, charge your mobile phone in your car (as it's free!)

    It's no more free when you charge in the car because your car will burn more fuel to recharge its battery that you're drawing current from in order to charge the phone. It's hard to imagine that a petrol engine driving an alternator will be more efficient than a power station. I did a quick calculation and it costs something in the region 0.1p to 0.2p per full charge at home, so not a lot in the grand scheme of things.

    Or you could do as I do and charge at work - then it's really free :)
  • tanith
    tanith Posts: 8,091
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I always cut those cleansing facial wash clothes (Olay do them ) in half so get twice the amount and half a cloth is plenty to cleanse your face and neck with... (I always ask for them as chrissie or b/day pressie )
    #6 of the SKI-ers Club :j

    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke
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