If you’re not careful, your grocery shopping list can be one of the most expensive parts of your household budget. But you may be surprised to see that there are some items that you should always try to fit into your grocery budget as they can really help you save on groceries.
That’s because they have some amazing ways to be used that you probably haven’t even thought of yet.
And each different way that something can be used is saving you money, as it means that don’t have to buy something else to do the same job!
For example, why buy metal polisher, floor cleaner, a stain remover and throat medicine when one thing can do all of that?
So keep reading to find out the things I buy at the supermarket to save a ton of money.
Extra tip to save on groceries
I’ve discussed here HOW I SAVED $300 ON MY GROCERY BILL IN ONE MONTH.
Spoiler alert: one of the best ways to save a ton of money at the supermarket is to always have a grocery shopping list. That way, you’re only buying exactly what you need – no more, no less.
So to help you out with this, grab this FREE template grocery shopping list and meal planner to make sure you’re saving as much as possible at the supermarket.
(You could even start by adding the items in this article to your grocery shopping list!)
Things to always have on your grocery shopping list
It’s a not-so-well kept secret that white vinegar can replace pretty much all of your cleaning supplies.
But there are a whole bunch of other things it can do too!
And when you can buy half a gallon of vinegar for $4, you’d be crazy not to keep a bottle of this on your grocery shopping list at all times.
This article has more than 95 ways that you can use vinegar around your house. And here’s a sneak peek at just a few of them:
- Unclog shower heads and taps
- Clean and deodorise drains and toilets
- Remove dirt from window blinds
- Polish chrome fixtures
- Remove carpet stains and restore rugs
- Condition wooden furniture and wood paneling
- Remove candle wax
- Refresh your refrigerator
- Remove all the bugs from your pantry
…and so, so many more.
Of course, using vinegar around the house comes with that vinegar smell. I actually really like it but apparently I’m very much in the minority.
So if you’re not a weirdo like me, stick it in a spray bottle with around 10 drops of essential oils and you’ll cover the smell nicely.
2. Baking soda
Baking soda is another quiet overachiever to always make sure you have in your pantry.
And when this pack costs less than $4 for 5 lbs. of baking soda, it’s the best money you’ll ever spend – particularly as it will last you forever!
Some of these include:
- Deodorising your fridge, pantry and bins
- As shampoo to remove product build-up
- Exfoliating your body (although there are other gentler, more effective and just as cheap things for your face)
- Removing burned food from pans
- Soothing diaper rash
- Removing coffee and tea stains
- Deodorising pets and smelly shoes
- Polishing silverware
- Making a volcano with your vinegar (just kidding…or am I?)
If you’re not big on baking, aluminum foil may be something you often forget to buy as you only really use it when you’re occasionally inspired to cook with the oven.
But there are so many other ways that it can be used!
And considering that it only costs $9 for this 200 square foot roll of aluminum foil, you should definitely make sure you have a roll on hand at all times, especially when it lasts so long.
These 30 ways to use aluminum foil will show you just how versatile this stuff can be. For example, did you know that you can use it to:
- Clean stubborn food off pots and pans
- Scare birds and keep bugs away from your plants
- Get your silver and chrome shining
- Sharpen scissors
- Make a DIY cake pan
- Slide furniture
- Protect your brain from mind control (it’s on the list in that article but, well, yeah)
Coffee filters are for more than just making sure you get your caffeine hit each morning.
And for less than $7 for 600 of them, you’ll soon find yourself using these filters all over the house – with the pack seemingly never running out!
Check out these 28 uses for coffee filters that you almost certainly haven’t thought of before. They include things like:
- Decanting wine
- Removing nail polish
- Making a DIY air freshener or seasoning bag for cooking
- Cleaning screens and glasses
- Making dryer sheets
- Polishing shoes
Toothpaste can do so much more than just keeping the dentist away.
And for less than $2.50 for a tube of toothpaste, it’s great to stock up and keep a few extras in your pantry.
After all, here are 33 uses for toothpaste that don’t involve your teeth that include a range of things like:
- Cleaning baby bottles
- Removing crayon from walls
- Refreshing leather
- Polishing brass and silver
- Soothing itchy mosquito bites (toothpaste was absolutely a go-to in my family growing up for this purpose)
- Plugging nail holes
- Buffing scratches on your car
Even though I prefer a good whitening toothpaste for my mouth, keeping a few extra tubes of a cheaper version on hand for a range of added uses around my home can be a godsend!
Although WD-40 was originally created to prevent a missile from rusting (true story!), it’s now got an incredible range of possible uses around the home.
(In addition to maintaining the missiles stored in your garage, obviously)
And for less than $4 for a can, it’s more than worthwhile to make sure that you have one of these in your pantry at all times.
You’ve probably never thought of these 42 different uses for WD-40. For example, have you ever used it to:
- Remove stickers
- Stop wasp nests from growing
- Waterproof shoes
- Remove grease from your car
- Clean carpet stains
- Avoid splinters
- Shine drinking glasses
- Free zippers
And as my own little personal additional tip, I can confirm that it’s also great for untangling necklaces and other jewellery!
7. Tea bags
This is a great tip if you’re a big tea drinker as simply dunking your tea bags then throwing them away can be a real waste.
In addition to making sure that you’re getting the best deal possible, like putting these 100 Lipton tea bags for less than $3.50 on your grocery shopping list, check out these 13 ways to use your old tea bags to really save good money.
Did you know, for example, that they could be used to:
- Dissolve grease
- Polish wood
- Soothe sunburn
- Deodorise your fridge
- Refresh your carpet
…not to mention the amazing effect they can have on reducing puffy eyes. Cool them in the fridge, put them over your eyes and enjoy a few minutes of tea-induced bliss!
As a reformed soda addict, keeping Coke in the house can be a little bit dangerous for me.
For example, you can use it for things like:
- Removing grease stains
- Revitalise a lawn
- Prevent an asthma attack
- Clean burnt pans
- Descale a kettle
- Clean your engine
- Baste a ham
- Clean tile grout
- Remove gum from hair
- Clean a toilet
And, of course, add a Mentos and create an exploding fountain!
(It will go great with your volcano from earlier in this article.)
9. Paper towels
This one is a bit controversial as I, personally, prefer not to buy paper towels.
Instead, these reusable sheets can each be washed and reused 100 times with one roll replacing 429 paper towel rolls. That’s crazy good value, much easier for you to store around the house – and unbelievably better for the environment.
MORE INFORMATION: 17 THINGS TO STOP BUYING TO SAVE MONEY
That said, I fully acknowledge that some people prefer standard paper towels. And when you can spend less than $29 on 12 rolls (which are apparently equal to 30 regular rolls), I get it.
And using them for multiple things does address some of the environmental concerns you may have – just make sure to recycle them afterwards!
These 17 uses for paper towels include some great ideas. Things like:
- Keeping produce fresh for longer
- Softening brown sugar
- Removing candle wax
- Avoiding rust on pans
- Testing if old seeds are still viable
- As an emergency coffee filter (although you won’t need this when you already have filters on hand, right?)
- Craft activities with the leftover tubes
Other tips to save on your grocery budget
Check out these articles that may help you save money on your groceries – leaving more room to add the things in this post to your grocery shopping list!
- HOW I SAVED $300 ON MY GROCERY BUDGET
- AMAZING ONE WEEK MEAL PLAN WITH EASY 5-INGREDIENT RECIPES TO SAVE MONEY
- 30 RECIPES FOR DOING THE KETO DIET ON A BUDGET
What are your secret uses for anything you can find around the house? Let us know your tips in the comments!