8 smart home solutions that save time and money


These smart home solutions will have you wondering why you never thought of them before! Plus, you’ll save some time AND money!

1. Make hand soap last twice as long

The girls who help me care for my mom are hand washing addicts.  On the one hand, I’m grateful there so conscientious about hand washing, and on the other hand I go through so much hand soap in a month it’s ridiculous.

Not any more! The bottle typically delivers more soap than is really necessary to get the job done.  Instead of wasting all that soap, I wrap a rubber band around the neck so it only pumps half way down.  Our hands are just as clean but with half the amount of soap we were using before.

2. DIY dust collector for your broom

I love Swiffers – all of them.  But they can be pricey.  If you’re looking for a cheap alternative, try this: take an old pair of pantyhose or knee highs.  Cut to fit and place it over the bristles of your broom before you start sweeping.  The nylons will act to attract and trap dust instead of sending it flying through the air.

3. Easy way to clean your patio furniture

Don’t feel like scrubbing your patio furniture?  Use a sponge to spread a layer of foam shaving cream.  Let it sit for 10 minutes, then hose off.  The shaving cream breaks down stubborn dirt.  Don’t use on wood and spot test an area first to make sure you don’t ruin the finish of your furniture.

Read more: Save with these 8 brilliant uses for vinegar


4. Stop mold growth on bathroom walls and ceilings

If you get a tendency to have mold grow on you walls and ceilings of your bathroom, I’ve got the fix for you.  Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle and spray all over the affected areas.  Let it sit for an hour before drying with an old towel.  The peroxide’s mild bleaching properties will kill the existing mold and make it more difficult for furniture growth.  Don’t use this method if you’ve got wall paper on your walls; this is for painted walls and ceilings only.

5. Don’t let house plants die

Many a house plant has been lost to the family vacation. To keep your plants healthy while you’re away, try one of these two tips:

  • Line the tub with a towel, fill with 2″ of water and place plants inside the tub. The plants will slowly soak up the moisture keeping them healthy and alive.
  • Water generously, then cover with a plastic grocery bag to create a moisture recycling terrarium.

Read more: Save by making your own homemade cleaners

6. Cheap (FREE) travel size containers

Did you know that empty medicine bottles make great travel size toiletry containers?

Read more: 21 things you should never pack in a checked bag

7. Get the grill started fast


More and more people are reverting back to charcoal grills.  But trying to get the coals to catch can be down right frustrating.  Here’s a super easy solution:  Place a dozen charcoal briquettes into the wells of an empty cardboard egg carton and place in the bottom of the grill.  Place a few more briquettes, then light the egg carton.  The cardboard will ignite in seconds but burn slowly.  By the time it burns away, the charcoal will be lit.

8. Keep fingers from freezing

So the BBQ is going strong and people are staying well into the night.  Problem?  They can’t see inside the cooler and they’re complaining their fingers are freezing.  Grab a couple of glow sticks, crack and throw into the ice.  The light emanating from the glow sticks will help your guests find what they’re looking for.

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