Here’s our selection of the best products to save you money and help slash your laundry, cleaning and cooking costs. There are lots of clever products out there and all at great prices. So read on to find out how to save energy and your money – from ovens that use 80% less energy, to eco-balls for your laundry.
- Slash your dry cleaning costs
- Save water and save money
- Reusable nappies
- Eco-friendly cleaning products
- Clever kitchen tips
Save a small fortune by dry-cleaning clothes in your own dryer, with the Hagerty Dry Cleaner Kit –costing £9.99. The kit comes with four special cloths and a large, sealable bag. Use one of the special cloths as a spot cleaner for any tough marks, then put your garment into the bag with the cloth, seal it up and put the whole thing into your tumble dryer for twenty minutes.
The kit will clean up to 16 garments in total – anything from a silk scarf to a coat. This means you could do all your dry-cleaning for as little as 56p per item.
It’s really effective for freshening up your clothes – but bear in mind that if you have serious stains or grime to shift, it might not be up to the same standard as the professionals!
Save £100s with a simple washing machine
A washing machine with fewer dials and switches can do just as good a job as the more complicated ones – and can cost £100s less. Most of us only ever use a few programmes so why pay extra for settings you won’t use.
There are lots of simpler washing machines available for under £300 which will do a good job for the average family. Try Argos Clearance for some fantastic bargains.
With expensive washing powder and increased electricity bills, doing your laundry can be a pricey business. The good news is, there are ways you can slash your washing and drying costs. Lakeland is a fantastic one-stop shop if you’re looking for ways to save money and be green when you’re doing your washing.
Use 75% less powder
Eco Balls soften clothes even in hard water, so no conditioner is necessary, and as they do not contain soap, you can also cut out the rinse cycle to save energy.
Go to Lakeland to pick some Dolly Washer Balls (£13.99 for nine), which you put in with your clothes in the washing machine. They provide extra scrubbing action which means you can reduce the amount of powder you use by 75%. They really work! We’ve tried them.
Nigel’s Eco Store have these Aloe Vera Eco Balls which are reusable for up to 240 washes. They cost on average 4p per wash (compared to 25-30p for normal washing powder), and so will save you quite a lot of money. Buy them for £9.97 here. Alternatively, you can buy this Laundry kitwhich contains three Eco Balls. The kit lasts up to 1,000 washes, saving you 50 boxes of washing powder!
Use less electricity
Lakeland also sell these ‘Dryangles Dryerballs‘ (£4.99 for two) which dry clothes 25% quicker, cutting down on your electricity usage. Also, these drying balls reduce creases so you don’t need to use fabric softener and you get to spend less time ironing. We use these too – great things.
Use cold water washes
When you’re washing darks, a cold water wash with detergent will clean your clothes – and save you money on electricity. It also helps if you only wash full loads of laundry (the energy used for a full load is the same as the amount used for a small load). Using a clothesline or drying rack instead of tumble drying everything is another way you can make significant energy savings.
Taking shorter showers can save you water and energy – which also means you save moneySpending just three and a half minutes less in the shower will save up to £180 per year for a family of four. A Waterpebble times your shower and lets you know when it should be up. Buy a waterpebble for only £10.99 from Nigel’s eco store here.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, by simply switching to an eco shower head you could reduce your water usage by an average of 74% and cut your hot water bills by as much as 40% at the same time. This eco shower head is only £29.95 and comes with a lifetime guarantee against limescale.
For more tips and tricks take a look at our ’10 ways to save money and save water’ article here.
A massive 3 billion nappies are thrown away in the UK every year. Most end up in landfill and can take hundreds of years to decompose. Using reusable nappies can have a real impact on landfill problems in the UK and even better, they can save you a lot of money.
According to Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) the average price of a disposable nappy is 16.9p. With six changes a day that’s £7.10 a week, which works out to £369.20 a year. WEN say you can buy all the reusable nappies you need (including waterproof covers and fastenings) for under £50 – so it really is a huge saving.
Tesco sell this pack of three reusable nappies for £39.99 here – and they come in a selection of patterns and sizes.
Alternatively, many local councils are now offering free reusable nappy trials to encourage parents to stop using disposable nappies and therefore reduce the number that end up in landfills. There are lots of councils offering these sort of schemes.
We compared prices of environmentally friendly cleaning products at supermarkets Tesco and ASDA. We then checked them against other well-known brands, and found that you can actually do your bit for the environment and save money by swapping these brands for the greener supermarket options.
The supermarket eco brands aren’t as cheap as their budget brand options, but they are really competitive when you compare them to better known brands like Flash and Cif. We Moneymagpies decided to try out the supermarket products for ourselves and the results were on the whole really positive. We found that the spray cleaners did the trick and required no more elbow grease than our usual types – in fact the only difference we could find was in the smell.
All of the eco products had a fairly distinctive smell – which actually turned out to be a nice change from the usual chemically smells of other cleaning products.
Visit ASDA, Aldi and Tesco.com to compare prices.
DIY Cleaning Products
There are lots of basic household items that clean just as well as shop-bought cleaning products. Lemons, vinegar and olive oil aren’t just for making a tasty salad dressing you know – they’re also great for making your house sparkle.
- Lemons – Surface cleaner and stain remover
- White vinegar – Surface cleaner, stain remover, de-scaler
- Bicarbonate of soda – Deodoriser
- Olive Oil – Furniture polish
Get all the information in our article on cheap, green cleaning products you can make yourself.
An Eco Kettle
It’s so easy to fill the kettle with too much water and waste electricity, boiling more water than we need.
This Eco Kettle has a unique double chamber that gets you to measure out only how much water you need, saving electricity, water, money and time, making it better for the planet.
You can find this kettle at a great price from Nigel’s Eco Store.
Use 80% less energy
The Remoska from Lakeland is a one-pot cooker that uses just 470W (or less) to cook – an impressive 80% less than the average electric oven.
At £109.99, it’s not cheap – but it is a really versatile piece of kitchen equipment. You can cook all sorts in a Remoska, from soup and roast chicken, to pasta and desserts. You can even bake cakes!
Keep food fresh for longer
Use these Stayfresh Longer bags from Lakeland for only £6.49 to keep your fruit and veg going for longer. The surface is treated to prevent moisture and bacteria forming. All you have to do is put your fruit or veg in then seal the bag with a clip. Or how about these fruit and veg saver bags which can double or triple the storage life of your fruit and veg.
We all have trouble keeping our bread fresh. To help you with this problem take a look at this bread storage bag. It’s ideal for storing loaves and will stay fresher in this bag for longer than it will in a bread bin. For only £4.99, it’s an essential product for your kitchen.
Use Klipits (bag clips) to seal your bags of crisps and cereal packets. They should make your food last weeks, or even months, longer. You can get a bumper pack from Lakeland from for £8.49. This pack contains small, standard and jumbo sized clips so it’s really useful, and they last for years so you won’t need to keep buying them.
Lakeland also has these special bags that preserve mushrooms, cheese, potatoes and onions. All the bags have a black-out liner to keep out the light and prevent sprouting. The cheese bag even has an anti-mould treatment.
25p off your coffee
Starbucks offers a 25p discount if you use their reusable cups (which cost £1). If you have coffee every day, the 25p discount will soon add up. Also, although Starbucks paper cups are made from recycled material, the plastic coating means that they cannot be recycled again so it will make a difference to your purse and to the planet.
Make and sell jam
This Tefal Electric Jam Maker will make any jam maker’s day much easier. It isn’t cheap at £79.99 (including recipe book, three jars and a recipe book) but if you want to be able to make jam quickly and easily on a regular basis it’s a nice, simple gadget to do it for you.
Find out how you can make money selling cakes and jam here.
What are your favourite tips to save money on laundry and cooking costs? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, or leave a comment below.