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Here Are 34 Tips To Make Household Items Stretch During Quarantine

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As many of you are spending more time at home, you’re going through your household supplies much quicker than usual. In normal circumstances, replenishing your supply of household cleaners or toilet paper isn’t a huge inconvenience, but right now you might be cutting down on trips to the store or looking to spend less in uncertain financial circumstances — or you simply might not be able to get your hands on certain supplies because they are so in demand. Whatever the case, now is the time to stretch household supplies as much as possible — and these frugal hacks will help you do just that.

Last updated: June 4, 2020

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Dilute Your Soap

Running low on hand or body soap? Simply add water to get a little more life out of it.

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Use a Loofah

Using a loofah instead of your hand to apply body wash will allow you to use less product and make your body wash last longer.

Switch Out Your Soap Pumps

Swap your soap pumps for foaming pumps. This uses less soap — you can just put soap at the bottom and fill the rest with water — and it also makes the soap feel luxurious as an added bonus.

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Store Shampoo and Conditioner Upside Down

Turning your shampoo, conditioner, body wash and any other bath products that are in a bottle on their heads will help ensure you get every last drop.

See: 20 Everyday Products You Use That Are Still Being Affected By Coronavirus

Cut Open Your Toothpaste Tube

If you’ve squeezed and squeezed but can’t get that last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, it’s time to break out the scissors. Cut open the tube and use your toothbrush to scoop out any remaining toothpaste before tossing it.

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Keep Your Razor Out of the Shower in Between Uses

Water can do damage to the longevity of your razor blade. Storing it in a warm, wet place — aka your shower — can cause it to rust, so keep it out of the shower in between uses.

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Wash Your Hair Less

You can dilute shampoo, or you can just wash it less often. Although how long you can go between washes depends on your hair type and your climate (oily-haired people and those in humid climates should wash more frequently), you likely don’t have to be washing your hair every day.

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Buy a Bidet

Toilet paper has become one of the hottest commodities amid quarantine, so even if you want to buy it often, you may not be able to. Consider buying a bidet — you can find bidet attachments for your current toilet for less than $100, and this can greatly cut down on your need for toilet paper.

Cut Dryer Sheets in Half

Half of a dryer sheet is enough for a full load of laundry. And if you want to be extra thrifty, you can even reuse your half dryer sheet for multiple loads.

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Don't Overdo It on the Laundry Detergent

Be sure to pay attention to the fill lines in your detergent cap. Many detergents are concentrated and don’t require a full cap for each load. If you’re mindlessly filling your cap up every time you pop a load of dirty clothes in the wash, you’re wasting detergent.

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Store Your Soap in a Dry Place

The placement of your bar of soap in the shower has a big impact on how long it lasts. If it’s in a place where it’s constantly being hit by a stream of water, it will dissolve faster. Try to keep it in a dry area so that it lasts longer.

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Store Your Condiments Upside Down

The upside-down storage hack also works for condiments like ketchup, mustard and anything else that’s in a bottle.

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Store Sliced Bread in the Freezer

Contrary to popular belief, storing bread in the refrigerator can actually cause bread to get stale even more quickly than when it’s stored at room temperature, according to Delish. The best place to store bread to make it last is the freezer. If the loaf isn’t presliced, slice it before freezing so you can just take what you need when you’re ready to eat it. Pop the slices in the oven or the toaster to bring the bread back to life.

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Freeze Flour

Storing flour in the freezer will keep it fresh for longer. Just be sure to scoop out whatever amount you will need for a recipe and bring it to room temperature before using it.

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Store Carrots in Water

Storing carrots in a jar full of water in the refrigerator will help them stay crisper longer, according to Delish.

Wrap Your Lettuce in a Paper Towel

After washing and drying your lettuce, wrap it in a paper towel. This will absorb any excess moisture and keep it from wilting. Be sure to switch out the paper towel as it gets damp.

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Store Basil in Water

Put the ends of the basil in water and keep it at room temperature to keep it fresh.

Store Other Fresh Herbs in Damp Paper Towels

Wrapping fresh herbs in damp paper towels and keeping them in the refrigerator keeps them hydrated and fresher for longer, according to Delish.

Store Tomatoes at Room Temperature

The refrigerator can degrade the flavor and texture of tomatoes. Keep them at room temperature to get the most out of your tomatoes.

Read More: The Coronavirus Is Changing How Americans Spend and Save

Separate Bananas and Plastic Wrap the Stems

Individually wrapping banana stems in plastic helps to contain the ethylene gas, which ripens the bananas, according to Delish.

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Wrap Cheese in Wax Paper

Wrapping opened cheese in wax paper will help to prevent it from molding, according to Delish.

Store Fruits and Vegetables Separately

Fruits should be stored with fruits and vegetables should be stored with vegetables. Keep them in separate refrigerator drawers or in different bowls if you are storing them at room temperature. This will keep your produce fresh for longer, according to Delish.

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Store Apples in the Refrigerator

Apples stay crisper for longer in the refrigerator than when stored at room temperature.

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Reuse Aluminum Foil

Until it gets too crumpled, ripped or soiled, you can continue to reuse that same sheet of aluminum foil. Just give it a quick rinse and it’s good to go.

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Reuse Plastic Storage Bags

Plastic storage bags that you used to hold dry goods can be rinsed and used again.

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Switch To Cloth Towels

Unlike paper towels, cloth towels can be washed and reused over and over again. Make the switch to using cloth towels for cleaning so you don’t have to constantly replenish your paper towel supply.

See: The Effects of Coronavirus Panic-Buying

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Spray Cleaning Solutions Directly Onto the Towel

Spraying cleaning solutions onto your towel rather than the surface you are cleaning will ensure you use less of your cleaning supplies.

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Set the Nozzle on Your Cleaning Products to the Lowest Mist Setting

The less that comes out of the nozzle, the less product you will use.

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Freeze Your Candles

Freezing candles before burning them makes them take longer to melt, extending the life of the candle.

Hold Onto Expired Ibuprofen, Tylenol and Aspirin

Many over-the-counter medicines are fine to use after their expiration dates, Business Insider reported. Solid tablet forms of ibuprofen, Tylenol and aspirin can be used for up to five years after opening.

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Give Your Flowers a Shot of Vodka

Fresh flowers can be a welcome addition to your home when you’re spending more time inside, but they can die pretty quickly. To extend the life of your flowers, add a shot of vodka to the water — this slows bacteria growth, Inside Edition reported.

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Cut Sponges in Half

Cutting sponges in half not only gives you two sponges for the price of one, but a smaller sponge also allows you to more easily get into every nook and cranny when cleaning.

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Disinfect Your Sponges

Instead of constantly replacing your sponges, disinfect them. This can be done by pouring white wine vinegar over a wet sponge and microwaving it for two minutes or by running it through the dishwasher, Inside Edition reported.

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Reuse Swiffer Sheets