ONE of my kids’ favourite games is to tip all our shampoo and shower gel into cups or pots during bath times as part of their “science experiments”.
It drives me bonkers to have to replace them unnecessarily every week, but the cost of living crisis means little to them, however often I attempt to explain it.
The same is sadly true of so much in my house – washing up liquid, hand cream, shampoo and hair conditioner.
Anything that can be tipped or poured disappears far too quickly, and it's not just the kids' fault.
My husband and I are also guilty of being too liberal with our cleaning products and toiletries as we're always rushing to get stuff done.
But all that changed when I found a brilliant tip on social media to make these items last longer.
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The idea is that you decant cleaning and toiletry items into a hand dispenser – if they aren’t already in one – so you use less.
I decided to put the theory to the test with washing up liquid.
A normal bottle takes us nearly three weeks to use – about 19 days.
For the experiment, I decanted a 500ml of Tesco’s own brand detergent into an empty handwash bottle with a squirt top.
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We did the same amount of washing up per day and followed the same routines. This time the detergent lasted 29 days – 53% longer.
It usually took about three squirts for each bowl full of water. But the technique bought us an extra 10 days, and our plates were no less clean than previously.
If I followed this through for a year, I calculate we would use only 13 bottles, costing a total £7.15, compared to 19 bottles, at £10.45.
The £3.30 we would save a year sounds paltry, but on the other hand, it gives us six extra bottles of washing up liquid (55p each).
It all adds up and it's better for the planet.
I also see this as part of a wider cash-saving strategy.
I have already decanted my shampoo, conditioner and shower gel into labelled dispensers and noticed a reduction in how much we use.
I can definitely make do with a couple of squirts of shampoo, it comes out in 2cm blobs, rather than filling my palm with the stuff as previously.
Hopefully my family will embrace this trick as an opportunity to save money, although the kids will likely see the new bottles as a fantastic squirting game.
But I am hoping it will remind the grown ups of the house to be more frugal and make our shopping last that bit longer.
How else can I save money on cleaning products?
Try homemade cleaning solutions instead of splashing out on supermarket products.
For example, mix equal parts vinegar and water to make a window cleaning solution.
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For example, the best mould cleaning solution we tested was a lemon – it was better than Cillit Bang.
Store them correctly so they don't go "bad" – keep them off the floor, in the garage, and in a dry area.
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