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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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                      Published on October 8, 2018

                      13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

                      13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

                      Are you having trouble sticking to a family budget? You aren’t alone.

                      Budgeting is difficult. Creating one is hard enough, but actually sticking to it is a whole other issue. Things come up. Desires and cravings happen. And the next thing you know, budgets break.

                      So how can you stick to a family budget? Here are 13 tips to make it easier.

                      1. Choose a major category each month to attack

                      As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” With that in mind, one approach to help you get into the habit of sticking to a budget is simply starting slow.

                      Spend too much on Starbucks runs, eat out too often, and have an out-of-this-world grocery bill? Choose one bad habit and attack.

                      By choosing one behavior to focus on, you’ll prevent yourself from being overwhelmed. You’ll also experience small victories, which help you gain positive momentum. This momentum can then carry over into your overall budget.

                      2. Only make major purchases in the morning

                      If you’re making large purchases in the evening, there’s a good chance you’re doing so after a long day and you’re probably tired.

                      Why does this matter? Because our judgement tends to be off when tired – our willpower is compromised.

                      Instead, only make major purchasing decisions in the morning when you’re energized and refreshed. Your brain will be firing on all cylinders and your resolve will be high. You’re less likely to give in and settle at this point.

                      3. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry

                      Have trouble with impulse buys at the grocery store? If so, there’s a good chance you’re going grocery shopping while hungry.

                      The problem here is that when you’re hungry, everything looks good. So you’re more likely to make split decisions on things that aren’t on your grocery list.

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                      Instead, make sure you eat prior to your grocery store trip. Then take your list, along with your full stomach, and go shopping. Notice how food doesn’t look quite so good when you’re not fighting cravings.

                      4. Read one-star reviews for products

                      Is there a product you just have to have (but maybe not really)? Check out the one-star reviews.

                      By reading all the horrible reviews, you may be able to basically trick yourself into deciding that the product isn’t worth your time and money.

                      Next thing you know, you didn’t make the purchase, you saved the money, and you feel good about the decision.

                      5. Never buy anything you put in an online shopping cart until the next day

                      If you are making a purchase online, it’s typically a two-step process. First, you click “Add to Cart” and then you go in to review your cart and pay.

                      The problem is that there not typically much reviewing during step two. It’s generally click pay and there you go. However, this is the perfect point to stop for reflection.

                      Once you add to your cart, your best bet is to step away until the next day. Let the item sit there and grow cold, so to speak.

                      This gives you a night to “sleep on it” and decide if you really want and need to spend that money. If you wake up the next day and still find the purchase viable, then perhaps it’s time to go for it.

                      6. Don’t save your credit card info on any site you shop on

                      One of the other pitfalls of shopping online is that fact that most sites ask you to save your credit card information.

                      While the sites will frame it as a method of convenience, the truth is they know you’ll spend more money in the long run if your credit card information is saved.

                      The “convenience” takes away one last decision-making point in the purchasing process. True, it’s a pain to get out your credit card and enter the information every time. But guess what? That’s the point. If that inconvenience helps you stay on budget, then it’s worth it. Which leads into the next tip.

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                      7. Tape an “impulse buy” reminder to your credit card

                      Credit cards make spending much easier than cash. When you spend cash, you can literally see your wallet emptying. A credit card comes out, then goes back in. No harm, no foul.

                      That’s why it’s a good idea to tape a reminder to your credit card. Customize a message that is something along the lines of “do you really need this?” or “does it fit the budget?”

                      That way when you pull out the card, you get one last reminder to help you question your decision and stick to your budget.

                      8. Only use gift cards to shop on Amazon

                      Amazon is probably the easiest place online to blow money. It’s just so easy to click and buy. However, one way you can slow the process down is buy only using gift cards. Here’s how it works.

                      If you plan on making a purchase on Amazon, go to the grocery store and purchase a pre-loaded Amazon gift card of the proper amount. There’s no convenience fee, so you literally pay for the money you’ll spend.

                      Now take that gift card home and load it to your Amazon account. There’s your money to spend.

                      Why does this help? It makes you have to purposely go to the score and purchase the card in order to purchase the item. That’s a pretty deliberate thing that takes some time, commitment, and thought.

                      This process will effectively kill the impulse buy.

                      9. Budget using cash and envelopes

                      As mentioned earlier, it’s a lot harder to spend cash than swipe a credit card. You can take this even farther by using only cash, and separating that cash by budget category.

                      Create an envelope for each category and stick the cash in there at the beginning of each month. When the envelope is empty, no more spending on that category, unless you borrow from another (be careful of that approach).

                      This can be pretty helpful for people that have a hard time following transactions in their checking account, or keeping a budgeting spreadsheet.

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                      The envelopes simplify the tracking process, leaving no room for error. Nothing hides from you because it’s tangible in the envelopes in front of you.

                      10. Join a like-minded group

                      Making the decision to stick to something like budgeting is difficult. It takes long-term commitment.

                      You’re going to feel weak sometimes. And sometimes you may fail. That said, support from others can help strengthen resolve.

                      Support can come from a spouse or a friend, but they won’t always have the exact same goal in mind. That’s why it’s a good idea to join a support group that’s likeminded.

                      No need to pay here, as there are tons of free communities that fit the bill online.

                      For example, reddit has multiple subreddits that deal with budgeting and frugal living. You can follow, subscribe, and get active in those communities.

                      This will open your eyes to new tips and strategies, keep your goal fresh on your mind, and help you realize there are others dealing with the same struggles and being successful.

                      11. Reward Yourself

                      When you set a budget, it’s usually with a large goal in mind. Maybe you want to be debt free, or perhaps you want to see $10,000 in your savings account.

                      Whatever the case, the end goal is great, but the end is often far away, making it hard to see the end of the tunnel.

                      With that in mind, it’s a good idea to set mini-goals along the way. This helps you still look at the big picture but have something that’s attainable in the short-term to help with momentum.

                      But don’t stop there – set rewards for yourself when you reach that small goal. Maybe it’s an extra meal out. Or a new pair of shoes.

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                      Whatever the case, this gives you something in the near future to look forward to, which can help with the fatigue that can result in pursuing long-term goals.

                      12. Take the Buddhist approach

                      You don’t have to be a Buddhist to recognize some of the wisdom in the teachings. One of the tenets of the philosophy involves accepting that we can’t have everything we want. And that’s okay.

                      Sometimes you won’t feel good. Sometimes you’ll have cravings. You can’t deny them. But you can recognize them, accept them, and let them pass by. Then you move on.

                      Apply this to the times you want to do things that will break your budget. You’re going to have the desire to eat out when you shouldn’t. You might want to stay out and spend too much at happy hour with your work friends.

                      The feelings will come. Recognize them, accept them, but let them go.

                      13. Set up automatic drafts to savings

                      If you wait until you’ve spent all your budgeted money to deposit money into savings, guess what? You probably aren’t going to put any money into savings.

                      It’s too easy to see that as extra money and end up using it to treat yourself.

                      Instead, set up automatic savings withdrawals. That way, the money is marked and gone before you can even think about it. It becomes a non-issue. It’s no longer “extra.” It’s just savings.

                      Conclusion

                      Sticking to a budget can be difficult. No one is denying that.

                      However, if you can do a few things to set yourself up for success, and put some practices in place to curb impulse buys, then you can (and will!) be successful sticking to your family budget.

                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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