10 stupid ways you’re probably wasting money

By Michelle | MarketWatch

I consider myself to be one of the cheapest people on the planet.

I wear socks until they are threadbare and underwear until the elastic is completely shot. Spending money physically hurts me. But even the cheapest people on the planet have moments of stark stupidity. And sometimes that stupidity costs some serious cash.

1. Not measuring laundry detergent

I do a lot of laundry. All too often, I go downstairs to find the laundry pile leaning like the Tower of Pisa. I also don’t have a lot of time. So because I’m lazy, and in an effort to save time, I end up just dumping laundry detergent into the washer willy-nilly — no measuring. I’ve told myself that I’m the one really special person on the planet that can accurately eyeball the amount of laundry detergent that needs to go into each load.

But sadly, I’m not. That’s just my inflated ego talking, trying to justify being lazy.

I don’t know how much laundry detergent I’ve wasted over the years by “eyeballing”, but I’m sure it’s a lot. And laundry detergent is expensive. Especially if you buy the fancy stuff like Tide PG, +0.53% I don’t buy Tide (because I’d like to retire someday), but even the cheap laundry detergent is expensive. Don’t be like me — measure your detergent.

2. Throwing away bottles/tubes without getting the last bit of product out

You know what I’m talking about, right? Those squeeze tubes of lotion that no amount of squeezing will get that last little bit out of. Or those bottles of cleaning spray that never have an internal sprayer tube long enough to get the last few drops out of the bottom of the bottle.

Doesn’t that just fry your egg? There has to be a better design to allow you to use 100% of a product that you paid good money for. I think these manufacturers do it on purpose because they know suckers like me exist in the world.

Yep, suckers like me who will just throw the bottle of shampoo in the trash rather than try to squeeze it to death in the middle of my shower. That’s the old me, though. Nowadays, I cut, rip, squeeze, unscrew, and shake as much as I need to get every last drop out of those bottles. Sucker no more.

3. Throwing away leftover food

My husband and I have a tendency to forget leftovers are in the refrigerator. I also like to make lots of different meals during the week because I get sick of eating the same food every day. Combined, these two things make for a high risk of food waste because I either don’t feel like eating it or I forget it even exists.

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