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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 August 20, 2019

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      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. And 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 on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

                      5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

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

                      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                      Any goal (let alone financial) 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 is for. It could be anything like kid’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, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

                      2. Keep Them 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 out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

                      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for 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”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

                      Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

                      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

                      4. Short Term vs Long Term

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

                      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as 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.

                      More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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                      5. To Each to His Own

                      The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

                      It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

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

                      11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 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. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

                      Ensuring Healthy Savings

                      Self realization is the best form of realisation 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 monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

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

                      2. Pay Yourself First

                      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

                      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 then manage all the expenses from the rest.

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

                      Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

                      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

                      Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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                      Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

                      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. Rise Again Even If You Fall

                      Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

                      If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

                      Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

                      All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

                      5. 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 counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                      Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

                      If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

                      If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                      So 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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                      6. 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. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

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

                      7. Maintain a Journal

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

                      So 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.

                      Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

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

                      At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

                      Making Smart Investments

                      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

                      8. Consult a Financial Advisor

                      Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is 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.

                      9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

                      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.

                      Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

                      It is here where that classification will help.

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                      So 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 as compared to equity instruments.

                      10. 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.

                      So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

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

                      11. 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; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                      If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

                      If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

                      Do 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

                      This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

                      As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

                      More About Personal Finance Management

                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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