July 24, 2024
How to Save Money on Household Essentials: 9 Tips From Experts


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The items you buy most regularly can have the greatest impact on your finances. If week after week you spring for pricey household essentials, for example, those costs can start adding up and taking a toll on your budget. Though spending less on groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies may seem trivial, this strategy can help you allocate more of your income towards savings for future goals, long-term investments, or building an emergency fund. Ready to save big on your next haul of household essentials? These are the top nine tips that personal finance and money-saving experts recommend.

RELATED: How to Create a Monthly Budget: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Woman Making a Grocery Shopping List {Shopping Tips}
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One of the best ways to start saving money on household essentials is to take a look at your purchase patterns and distinguish between products that are truly necessary and those that address wants but not needs. From there, you can create a shopping list that includes all the essentials and budget for some—but perhaps not all—of the items you want.

Andrew Latham, CFP, a certified financial planner and the managing editor at SuperMoney, says creating a list before heading to the store will help you avoid impulse purchases that drain your wallet.

“Grocery stores are designed to encourage spending, from the layout to the placement of products. For instance, essentials like milk and bread are often located at the back, making you walk past tempting items,” he explains.

Costco Cart and Aisle
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Bulk stores like Costco, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Sam’s Club often offer competitive prices, making it easy to save money while stocking up on household essentials.

“To get the best bang for your buck, buy in bulk when it comes to household essentials like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, tissue boxes, and trash bags,” says Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money saving expert. “Better yet, wait until your favorite goods are on sale [at those stores] and stock up.”

“Just make sure you have enough room to stash these oversized boxes or products,” she adds. “If you live in a tight space, find a friend to split the bulk deals!”

RELATED: How to Save on Healthcare, According to Financial Experts.

woman, hands and phone with trolley for shopping, checklist or ecommerce at the mall.
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Price comparison apps and websites can also help you find the best deals across a range of stores, Latham says. By plugging in what you need and heading to where the best promotions are, you can stretch your budget further.

A few popular options include Price.com, MyCartSavings.com, ShopSavvy.com, and BuyVia.com.

Unrecognizable person making cleaning product from ecological ingredients
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Some tough cleaning jobs may require heavy-duty products from the store. However, Erika Kullberg, an attorney, personal finance expert, and the founder of Erika.com, recommends making your own simple solutions for everyday cleaning.

“Most household cleaning products use synthetic chemicals that work in much the same way as natural products like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice,” she explains. “You can save on cleaning products by making your own instead, and by doing so, you’re actually taking potentially harmful chemicals out of your home and replacing them with natural alternatives.”

RELATED: How to Coupon: Strategies to Save Big, Retail Experts Say.

A woman grabbing a bottle from a supermarket shelf to put in her basket
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When you go to the grocery store, you’ll likely find that most essential items are available in branded and generic forms. Woroch says that by opting for generics, you can save heaps of money—without necessarily compromising on quality.

“Store brand cleaning supplies, paper products, and other daily household essentials often work just as well as the name brand, but can save you around 30 percent on average,” she shares. “This is especially true for single-ingredient goods like bleach or pantry staples like sugar and flour— it’s the same whether it’s from a name brand or store brand!”

save 40 percent of your paycheck
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Next, Woroch says that stacking coupons with sales and cash-back offers is “the ultimate savings tactic.”

“Many retailers allow you to apply manufacturer coupons on top of store coupons and sales to help you score a deeper discount,” the savings expert explains. “Check the store app for any applicable coupons or go directly to a deal site such as CouponCabin.com where you can find coupons and earn cash back when shopping for daily household goods online.”

For example, on CouponCabin, you can earn one percent cash back at both CVS and Sam’s Club.

Cropped shot of a woman using a smartphone while shopping in a grocery store
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Some stores also have rewards apps, which can offer additional savings incentives. In particular, Woroch recommends trying Fetch.com.

“Just snap a photo of your receipt to earn points redeemable for gift cards to a variety of stores from Target to Amazon to Sephora to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Some stores and products will earn you more points faster, so check their special offer section to see which items and brands to pick to rack up those gift cards faster,” she suggests.

RELATED: The 8 Best Cashback Credit Cards for Everyday Purchases.

woman smiling while working on her laptop on a table with coffee
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Another way to save on household essentials is to sign up for free samples that may be available.

“Brands are always looking for new customers, and they’re willing to send out free samples in hopes that you will become a devoted shopper,” shares Woroch. “Not to mention, some marketing agencies will send samples of products in return for your honest opinions to help make their goods and services even better.”

“This is a great way to try new products and also get some of the ones you love for no cost! You may even find free samples through the brand’s direct website,” Woroch says.

You can sign up for free samples through sites like SampleSource.com and PINCHme.com.

Young couple, satisfied customers choosing fridges in appliances store.
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Sure, it’s a utility, but there’s nothing more “essential” than electricity. And if you’re not smart about it, it can really eat away at your monthly budget.

Aaliyah Kissick, a financial literacy advocate working with the Financial Literacy Foundation, says one way to curb your electricity bill is to make sure your appliances are up to date.

“Technology has made electricity use more efficient, so if all of your appliances are 30 years old, replacing them can help you save up to $50 a month on your bill,” Kissick tells Best Life. “If you’re not in a position to make those replacements, black-out curtains [to keep rooms cool] and lamps rather than overhead lights can still save you $10 to 15 a month.”

“Simple changes like switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs, unplugging devices when not in use, and using a programmable thermostat can lead to significant savings,” agrees Latham. He adds that sealing leaks around windows and doors can also reduce heating and cooling expenses and that washing clothes in cold water and air-drying them can help save on electricity.

We offer the most up-to-date financial information from top experts and the latest news and research, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the money you’re spending, saving, or investing, always consult your financial advisor directly.



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