Don’t be sheeple! Check out the top 7 everyday things you spend too much on.
1. Water bottles. Imagine you had a line bringing juice, soda, beer or your favorite beverage directly into your house. Now imagine a company asking you to go to the store, pay them 1,000 to 10,000 times more for the same product and lug it home in giant cases. Sounds ridiculous right? Now throw in the fact that 60-70% of those cases of water we lug home are exempt from FDA regulation and susceptible to further contamination from the plastic bottles themselves (the NRDC did the largest bottled water study so far and found “one third of the bottled waters contained significant contamination”). Conversely, city water goes through a much more stringent regulatory process (find out more here).
Invest in a home water filter and fill up a BPA-free water bottle when you leave the house. There are even some new bottles with filters built in that run around $10. Even better, get a bobble.
2. Air fresheners. Air fresheners are big business. Americans spend 1.72 billion on them per year, trying to cover up the smell of that hot dog that fell under the fridge last June and which may or may not have come to life. We plug in our Hawaiian Ocean Sand Castle Warm Ginger and take a deep breath.
Most odor problems, though, can be eliminated by a good clean and an open window, a remedy that is also good for your health – the chemicals in air fresheners have been linked to all sorts of health issues, from headaches to cancer. For a better solution, make your own.
3. Over the counter drugs. Over the counter generic drugs are in that category of products that are literally identical to the brand name drug. They are legally required to be chemically indistinguishable, so why pay more for Tylenol when you can get Bylenol for less?
4. Replacement Dispensers. Many people buy a new bottle of hand soap every time their dispenser runs out. Instead, buy one dispenser and one of those big ‘ole jugs of refill liquid and you’ll save a few bucks every time. The same goes for dishwashing liquid, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, etc.
5. Cleaning supplies. Cleaning supplies can be expensive, smelly, and hazardous to your health. The internet is full of recipes to make your own cleaning supplies using lemon, oil, baking soda and a bunch of stuff you probably already have. They are cheaper, more effective, and better for you. Check out these links for making your own dishwater detergent, laundry soap, and body wash.
6. Shampoo. The hype .surrounding salon shampoos is just that: hype. There is absolutely no scientific proof that an expensive shampoo does anything different or better than cheaper shampoos. In fact, Consumer Search (one of the most respected product testing groups) rated Suave and Garnier the best shampoos on the market.
There is even a new movement called the “no poo method” that does away with shampoo altogether. Instead you wash with baking soda and condition with vinegar every 3-5 days, returning natural, healthy oils to your hair and eliminating that really oily hair you get from using shampoo. No poo method
7. Toothbrushes. Even if 6 out of 5 dentists recommend it, real dentists say that the best toothbrush is a medium bristle manual toothbrush (not very glamorous, is it?). Studies show that both manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective if used right. The important thing is how you use it and how often you use it. So, hit the dentist every six months for a cleaning, brush carefully and you’ll be fine.