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10 Ways To Use Tea Bags To Save Money

10 Ways To Use Tea Bags To Save Money

If you are anything like me or thousands of other people across the globe, you drink tea on a frequent basis. Here is a question you probably never really thought about: what about all of those leftover tea bags?

I know what you are thinking: “What about those leftover teabags? Aren’t they useless?” If you had asked me that question yesterday, I would have answered with an affirmative “yup!”

Now, though, after researching the subject, I can tell you that those used up bags of tea actually have quite a few applications.

So many, in fact, that you may just want to keep them around instead of instantly throwing them out as soon as you are done steeping them in your boiling water. Especially if you want to save a buck or two!

Let’s go over a few of the amazing and unexpected uses of tea bags, shall we?

1. Get Rid Of Mouth Sores

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    These are the worst aren’t they? Like little blisters that irritate you every time you move your tongue around. One way to banish these little annoyances is with hydrogen peroxide, but that method is pretty painful (and tastes bad to boot).

    Not to mention, that stuff costs money, and why would you want to waste that when you have perfectly good tea bags lying around?

    From what I’ve learned, tea bags work nearly as well as other antiseptics in cleaning out cuts and sores in your mouth. All you have to do is apply the bag to the wound in your mouth, and you should see some beneficial changes relatively quickly.

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    2. Use Them To Clean

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      We have all heard of using excess coffee filters in lieu of paper towels, right? Well you can use tea bags in a similar manner to wipe off a multitude of surfaces in your home.

      You probably won’t want to throw out your sponges just yet, but these little bags are great for small cleaning jobs (like tomato sauce splatter on your pristine kitchen counters).

      The amount of money you spend on cleaning supplies can add up, so saving a bit here and there by using tea bags is useful.

      3. Heal Your Burns

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        Tea bags, of the black tea variety especially, seem to do a good job of acting as a salve for sunburns and other kinds of minor skin irritation.

        All you have to do is place the bag directly where you’ve been afflicted, and you will feel instant relief.

        Best of all, you won’t need to spend your money on any costly ointments or creams!

        4. Get Rid Of Puffy Eyes

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        4teaxy

          Whether it’s caused by aging or a lack of sleep, the regions around our eyes can become particularly sensitive. The key is to use tea bags like you would use cucumber slices at some kind of salon.

          All you do is place tea bags in some ice-cold water, wait, and place them on top of your closed eyes. Voila! You’ll look ten years younger, and for far less than it costs to go to a salon or to buy some special facial cream.

          5. Attack Razor Burn

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            Razor burn is a pain, but you can do something about it if you keep some used tea bags around. Instead of putting bits of toilet paper on your face to cover up minor nicks and scratches, apply a cool and damp tea bag instead.

            It will stop the bleeding, and the antioxidants will help your skin heal.

            Beats spending tons of money on aftershave (that stuff burns anyways).

            6. Say Goodbye To Acne

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              Acne is one of the most annoying skin diseases out there. Luckily, you can fight back if you have some green tea bags around. Indeed, one study found that applying green tea to acne infested skin reduced oil production and dirt accumulation in facial pores by 70%.

              Not only that, but traditional acne medications cost a lot. Therefore, using green tea bags as an alternative can save you a ton of money.

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              7. Improve Your Cooking

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                This one is pretty cool. In addition to marinating your meat with the traditional herbs, spices, and rubs, add some tea bags into the mix.

                Simply place them with the meat along with the other ingredients while it marinates, and the tea will make the meat more tender and flavorful.

                This is an easy and cost effective way of making dinner taste amazing (as opposed to buying those overpriced pre-made marinades).

                8. Compost Them

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                  You can compost tea bags in a couple ways. You can simply place all of the bags in a pile along with other compost material, and wait for it to decompose into something akin to potting soil. Or, you can steep the bags in water over night and use that water to feed your plants.

                  Thirdly, you can also just take the used tea bags and place them in the soil around plants, which has the added effect of repelling pests like maggots.

                  With luck, you’ll save yourself from having to go out and purchase expensive potting soil, plant supplements, and pest deterrents.

                  9. Use As An Air Freshener

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                  Something smells

                    Forget using Febreeze or other expensive synthetic products like scented candles. This works especially well for old shoes that just smell too terrible to wear.

                    All you have to do is take the used tea bags, place them in the smelly shoes, and let them sit there for a couple days.

                    Then, take the bags out, and you’ll notice that the shoes are ready to be worn again. Nifty, huh?

                    You can also use a similar technique to freshen up musty smelling rooms. Just hang used tea bags from the ceiling (or off a hanger if it’s your closet), and your nose will notice the results fairly quickly.

                    10. Eliminate Bad Breath

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                      While unknown to many, both green and black tea have antibacterial properties. You can take advantage of that fact by taking recently used tea bags, re-steeping them in boiling water, and waiting for the water to cool.

                      Once it is near room temperature, you can use it like any other mouthwash, effectively giving you a natural version of Listerine (saving you from having to spend your hard earned money on the synthetic stuff).

                      Do you have any unique uses for tea bags that I missed? Please share your ideas and experiences with me in the comments section below!

                      Featured photo credit: Tea bags/Kate Ter Haar via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on September 2, 2020

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                      In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

                      4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

                      Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

                      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                      Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                      It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

                      Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

                      2. Keep Goals Realistic

                      It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

                      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                      3. Account for Inflation

                      Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

                      Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

                      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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                      4. Short Term Vs Long Term

                      Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

                      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                      By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                      How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

                      • Ensuring healthy savings
                      • Making smart investments

                      You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

                      Ensuring Healthy Savings

                      Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                      This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                      1. Track Expenses

                      The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

                      Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

                      If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

                      2. Pay Yourself First

                      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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                      Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

                      The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

                      Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

                      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

                      Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

                      Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

                      At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                      Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                      You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                      4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                      In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                      Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                      • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
                      • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
                      • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                      The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                      5. Talk About It

                      Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

                      Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                      6. Maintain a Journal

                      For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                      If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                      When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

                      Making Smart Investments

                      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

                      1. Consult a Financial Advisor

                      Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

                      Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                      2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

                      Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

                      As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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                      3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                      Einstein once remarked about compounding:

                      “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

                      Use compound interest when setting financial goals

                        Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                        Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                        4. Measure, Measure, Measure

                        All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                        If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

                        Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                        The Bottom Line

                        Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

                        and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

                        More Tips on Financial Goals

                        Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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