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5 Things I’ve Learned To Live Without

Sometimes you grow up assuming you need certain things to maintain a household only to find out later in life you don’t. The benefit of such discoveries is the ability to mark something else off the list of items you pay for routinely. Below are some items you could probably do without.

Dusting polish

In my mother’s home, we sprayed dusting polish on a rag and wiped down the furniture. The purpose of the polish was to hold the dust on the rag so it didn’t just fly around the room and land back on the furniture after all of our efforts. It never really added any benefit to the furniture.

I don’t use dusting polish, or Swiffer dusters, in my home. Instead, I dust using a damp rag and a dry rag. The damp rag catches the dust and the dry rag removes any leftover dampness from the surface of the furniture. The rags go in the laundry and get re-used week to week.

All-purpose cleaner

You know the stuff you spray on countertops, mirrors, and appliances before wiping it off with a paper towel or rag? I make my own with two ingredients: vinegar and water. Not only are these two ingredients significantly cheaper, but they’re also less toxic than most of the stuff you buy.

Shave gel

Note: I’ve only tested this on legs and have no idea whether or not it would work on a man’s face.

Maybe it’s just me, but I always end up with leftover conditioner after I’ve finished the same sized shampoo bottle that I purchased with it. To prevent the waste associated with that and to eliminate one more item from cluttering my shower, I started using conditioner instead of shave gel when I shave my legs. It helps to balance the shampoo to conditioner ratio and works just as well as shave gel.

Carpet cleaner

You might be surprised to see how much cleaner your entire carpet appears when you spot clean it. You may also be surprised to know that you can spot clean most upholstery and carpets with a solution of vinegar and water. Dip a rag in the solution and rub the spot vigorously. Allow the spot to dry and then run a vacuum over it to fluff the carpet afterward.

Subscriptions for entertainment

This is likely the most controversial section of this post. People take their music and videos seriously. That being said, there are ways to watch television and listen to music without paying for subscriptions to Netflix or Spotify. The combined total for those subscriptions over the course of a year exceeds $200. Think about what you could do with an extra $200 around the holidays.

Even if you choose to opt out of cable television (an even bigger savings over the course of a year), many current shows replay on the network website within a week of their original air date. For the older series you love to binge watch, visit the shelves of your local library. As for music, you can use the free version of Spotify or kick it old school with Pandora. Of course, there’s always the radio, too. If you want to listen to a specific song, you’d be surprised what all you can find on YouTube.


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