Saving money on household goods

Everyday purchases tend to add up the most over time. Products which are used frequently can make the largest impact on a household or a personal budget.

That’s why it’s always useful to refresh personal knowledge about saving money on household goods and purchases. Or, to find new tips in order to save money on these purchases. Read on to find out new and unconventional tips and strategies!

Save money on cleaning supplies

There’s one essential fact every household owner has to know: cleaning supplies never expire.

This fact is important. It prompts the buyer to use an entirely different strategy – contrary to one used for buying products that expire. Cleaning supplies then have to be bought with this fact in mind.

Four factors should be kept in mind when buying cleaning supplies:

save money cleaning supplies
Factors to consider when buying cleaning supplies. Copyright: Money Bear Club.

Almost everyone needs conventional cleaning supplies. It doesn’t matter if a person cleans their household on their own, or hires help – the ways to save money on them are the same.

Because of near constant high demand for cleaning supplies like floor shampoos, dishwasher tablets, or all purpose spray cleaners, many stores not traditionally associated with these products carry them. Hence, the first factor to consider when buying cleaning supplies: buy everywhere.

For the best prices on cleaning supplies, it’s useful to try looking for the products outside of grocery stores. Some of the best prices on cleaning supplies can be found in online stores, home improvement stores, and specialized online stores.

While home improvement stores are an obvious choice, buying cleaning supplies online is still a rather new thing to do. However, flash deals for cleaning supplies in generalist online stores are some of the best. Moreover, online stores often carry a wider variety of brands and products.

Specialised chemistry or household online stores often have a hard time with selling their inventory. Cleaning supplies can be bought with a large discount from them. It just requires to wait when low sales numbers will start pressuring the managers.

Time is a non-essential factor for buying cleaning supplies. Because it’s possible to buy cleaning products, and not go shopping for them for five years, time should not be a factor in a decision to buy them. If a deal for cleaning products doesn’t make a great impression on the buyer, it’s better to walk away from it. And, of course, wait for a better one.

More is better when buying cleaning products. Cleaning products don’t go bad like food does – that’s why it’s useful to maximize a good deal by buying larger quantities of the same product.

50% discounts are not unusual for food products or perishable goods. Because of the fast expiry date, a discount like that is a good deal for them. For products that have a long shelf life, 80% or larger discount is a good deal.

Personal care products

Personal care products can be bought at a cheaper price by following the saying “Simpler is better”.

Disruptor companies are the best example of this saying. The men’s shaving products market was disrupted by companies like The Dollar Shave Club and many other similar services. Their products are often the simpler versions of popular personal care products. This decreases costs of production, and later, the final product.

“Simpler is better” also goes for marketing. No-name brands and those using cheaper marketing channels (internet as opposed to the television), can offer better personal care product prices to consumers.

It’s also useful to remember that many products cost more not because of their superior ingredients, but because of the brand choices and pricing strategies.

A “luxury” brand can’t sell their products cheaply, or even with a discount – it would destroy their brand image. Although it may take some time, researching the ingredients of luxury brand products and their worth, will help to make better choices. It’s possible that after researching, it will become obvious that products with same ingredients and production methods can be bought at a cheaper price. Especially, if a non-luxury brand is chosen.

Unconventional thinking can also be used for purchasing personal care products. Personal care products, due to their rather long shelf life, shouldn’t just be bought at the local store. Or, online from a store in the same country.

Personal care products from other countries or even continents, are often far cheaper and of better quality.

This is especially true for consumers living in countries with a high cost of living. Buying personal care products from a country or a continent with a lower cost of living, can mean paying a price that is set for consumers with a lower disposable income.

In some regions and cultures, personal care products, and especially skincare products, take up a larger share of an individual’s spending. This can create a demand for more products and innovation. Buying personal care products from regions where consumers tend to spend a larger share of their income on these products, could mean buying a higher quality product.

Saving money on tools

Tools for doing quick work around the apartment or a house, or even a full renovation, can be acquired in a way that helps to save money in the long term.

Tool brands and prices do matter. More expensive brands do produce higher quality tools.

Hence, it can be better to spend more outright, and use the tools for a lifetime. Compared to buying tools cheaply, and using them only for a short time.

If a consumer has a lower disposable income, or their funds are tied up in other assets, re-scheduling a renovation in order to buy more expensive tools, would be a rational decision. Else, the consumer could pay for the same tools again, or, have to work harder because of a bad quality of the tools.

Tool renting doesn’t look to be a cheap choice, except for households where any work done using tools is performed very rarely. Determining whether renting or buying tools is a good choice, can be done by answering two questions.

The first question is, of course, “How many times will the tool be used in a lifetime?“. When thinking about this question, many tend to decrease the amount of times a tool will be used. Instead, it is better overestimate. The need for additional work tends to occur more often, compared to a rarer use of a tool.

The second question to ask is “How many times it takes to rent out a tool for it to become profitable?”. If it’s less than 20, then it is better to buy the tool. Buying, instead of renting a profitable tool, not only will give better value for the money spent on it. It will also lead to acquiring a liability, that can be turned into an asset just by renting it out.

If the expected amount of tool use is rather big (more than 5 times), and renting out a tool just a few times can make it a profitable good, then it is better to buy the tool.

If either of these conditions isn’t true, it may be better to rent one.

For people who like to do all of the work around the house on their own, hiring help or handymen often is the better and cheaper choice.

As with any specialized professionals, handymen and builders not only bring their tools to the workplace. Handymen also bring narrow and deep knowledge; experience about the project they are working on. A free advice from a builder or a handyman, can help increase the value of a house or the quality of living in it.

Not having to buy tools and getting expert advice, should definitely bring increased savings.

Machines and electronics

It’s possible to save money on machines and electronics products by widening the outlook of the buyer.

Using lifestyle benefits programmes or cards¬†for the purchase of large electronics, really pays off. Since the amount of money spent on them is not small, it’s very easy to get a large amount of points on the card or a programme.

Purchase of electronics is often a necessary action. Hence, the purchase with the use of a lifestyle benefits programme then delivers the points as an add-on bonus.

Unconventional thinking also can help with the purchase of machines and electronics. Giveaways and their aggregators aren’t the only place to get electronics cheaply (or entirely for free).

A potential buyer’s or their family member’s workplace is an even better place to get electronics products for free, or at a reduced price. Many otherwise good machines are thrown away, or sometimes sold at a reduced price in workplaces. Inquiring about unneeded electronics is an easy thing to do, and can help to save thousands of dollars or euros.

This tip will become even more useful as modern workplaces transition into hybrid living-working spaces, with machines previously rarely found at them.

As with any purchase, where brand identity plays a role, it’s important for the buyer to examine their own biases before making a purchase. Brand advertising, opinions of friends and family, and of total strangers, often play a role in a consumer’s decision making process.

Spending more money just because of conscious or unconscious biases, often created by advertising, is a possibility for consumers who don’t examine their own biases.

A completely different model or a brand may be a better choice for the consumer, rather than the one they intend to acquire. After all, opinions constructed by advertising often impend a rational decision making process.

Save money on decorations

save money on decorations designer pieces
Saving money on decorations. Copyright: Money Bear Club.

Three simple strategies can help to save money on decorations:

  1. Putting design over value. Oft-times, a piece’s design or it’s use in a composition, will be far more valuable than its monetary value suggests. A large amount of cheap decorations can be used to create a beautiful display. A big number on a price tag doesn’t equal a valuable addition to a house’s interior or exterior.
  2. Small pieces cost more. Large chandeliers and light installations are often the most expensive decorations in households. Nonetheless, small pieces actually do cost more. By thinking strictly in terms of utility, a small piece can be barely seen even in smaller houses or apartments. Their prices then should be relatively smaller. Yet, it is often the case that a small decoration costs far more than a large one. Buying one then wouldn’t be an utilitarian decision. Interested readers can read more about buying sculptures and art here: The simple guide to art investing.
  3. Buy custom, and not appreciating decorations. It may be tempting to spend more on house decorations just by thinking about them as an investment. That local artist will definitely get famous in 5 years! Why not buy their productions both as a decoration, and as a appreciating asset? This type of thinking can lead to houses full of decorations that are often not liked by the owners. These decorations are often kept because of their current high value, and perceived increasing future value. To avoid this situation, decorations that are aesthetically pleasing to buyers, rather than to their future wallets, should be bought.

Less means less work

There isn’t a better to save money on household goods than to not buy them at all. Or, to buy only small quantities of them.

Buying less products will decrease the amount of time: the buyer has to work to earn the money to buy them; the time it takes to take care of them. Even for people earning a passive income, purchasing less products will translate into more funds for other goods or services.

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