Changing habits to save money

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's stuff we use everyday:  soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, hand soap, dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent. Many of these are used so much that we disregard the directions and use what we think we need. But if you read the directions, we use way more than it says we need.

Take toothpaste, for example. If you read the suggestion on how much toothpaste to use, it's much less than the amount you probably use. Most dentists will tell you all you need is a little larger than a pea size amount. Not the inch long stripe that many of us use to cover the entire head of our toothbrush. For most people, that means your tube can last three times as long.

Liquid soap is something else you're likely using too much of. If you read the back of pretty much any bottle, they encourage you to use a "small amount." A tiny dot on the wash cloth is all it takes to lather up your entire body. The key, however, is the washcloth or sponge. That will help the soap spread.

Mouthwash is another one. Most just pour a good mouth full in the bottom of a cup. However, using about half as much as you normally do can give you the same effect.

Dishwashing detergent is another place where you can cut back. Instead of filling up both slots with detergent, try filling up each half way. One cost cutting mommy blogger gave this a try and said she didn't notice any difference. Her dishes still appeared just as clean. Try this any you could make your dishwashing detergent last twice as long.

When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, some people just fill up their palm. It turns out that just the tiniest dot can do the trick. The same is true with conditioner. Using approximately 85% less shampoo and conditioner can have the exact same results.  And ladies, we said it before about conditioner, but it works.  You can save money by using your conditioner when you shave, instead of buying shaving cream.

The only household product tried in a smaller amount that didn't succeed was dental floss. A shorter strand just didn't cut it.

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