Use Half The Amount – Daily Financial Tip

use less and save moneyYou probably are aware that the advertising we see on TV is trying to influence you into buying a certain product. What you might not be so aware of, however, is that the advertising is also trying to influence the amount of the product you use.

The classic example on how what we see on TV can influence the amount we use is the old Alka-Seltzer commercials. Originally, you placed a single tablet into the water and it worked just fine. Then they came up with a “plop, plop, fizz, fizz” campaign where two tablets were used and their sales doubled as everyone thought this was the correct amount to use.

Think about the toothpaste commercials you see. They don’t place a dab on the toothbrush – the amount you need – but a full, length long, rounded amount often with an extra twist. The reason that advertisers want you to use more than you really need is because the more you use, the more of their product you need to buy.

What you need to do is to start to adjust away from what we see in advertisements to using the amounts that you really need to get the job done. Most of the time all that’s needed is half or less of what the advertisements make you believe you need in the ads.

The best way to test what amount you need for everything is to try 50% of what you currently use. If it works, you can try and reduce it even more. If it doesn’t, add a little more and keep adjusting until you come to the perfect amount. Here is a short list of products that you should consider adjusting the amount you currently use:

  • toothpaste
  • mouthwash
  • shampoo
  • hair rinse
  • shaving cream
  • lotions
  • detergent
  • softener
  • dish washing liquid
  • creams & jells
  • cleaning liquids
  • These are just a few of the items you may use that can be reduced without diminishing their effectiveness. You can try this with virtually every product that you use. By simply moving from what advertisers want you to use to what you actually need, you can save hundreds of dollars a year. Think of it this way. If you succeed, then you’ll only need to buy half as much as you’re currently purchasing.

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    16 Responses to Use Half The Amount – Daily Financial Tip

    1. Or you could just not use any of those products and save even more money!

      just kidding. Thanks for the great tip!

    2. Scott says:

      One thing to add in here is that you should be careful about using this policy with prescription drugs. As I don’t use any prescription drugs, its easy for me to say, but…. I would think you could get away with using less of “certain” drugs, while others should be used as directed. Of course I’m not a doctor, so take this for what its worth. This is one area to be careful with.

      As for regular household products, I certainly agree and try to do what you recommend all the time.

    3. KIM says:

      I do that already with Laundry soap. Another thing I do is add water to window cleaner, it makes it last longer and it still works fine!!

    4. Elaine says:

      How blind to the obvious we are! I had never really tried to “see” commercials with those eyes – now I will be watching more closely to see if I can spot more obvious pushes. Does anyone know any that would apply to automobile ads?

    5. Ursel Mayo says:

      This “half the amount” suggestion really works. I have been doing this for more than 20 years on household cleaning products and fabric softners. I also recommend people try this with eating meals. We are a nation ecourage to “super size” it, let’s encourage smaller is better with most things.

    6. Jillybean says:

      I never buy window/glass cleaner. I always use windshield washer fluid. I figure if it can clean a dirty car windshield it can handle anything in my house. At about .99 – $1.29 a gallon on sale its about 75% cheaper than even the store brands. It can easily be diluted with water and still work fine.

    7. Gloria says:

      I’ve always done this becuase I thought I was cheap and thats how my mom taught me, to save for the family, but it turns out I am not cheap. I’m smart and companies are just greedy. Thank you. I feel much better now. :)

    8. Seattle says:

      I know this may be obvious to most people, but I didn’t start doing it until last year. I always followed the instructions on the shampoo bottle to “wash, rinse, repeat.” Now I just wash and rinse and I still look just fine!

    9. ~Dawn says:

      Are you sending this to the FOF? You may want to, this is a good tip

    10. makingourway says:


      This is a good thought. I’ve heard it before, but still can’t manage to use less toothpaste – I’ve been programmed!

      I love your idea about windshield washer fluid for cleaning windows!! What an awesome idea! maybe they sell the anti-fog type for my bathrooms (:->)?

      One thing I’ll never use half of is toilet paper!

      Have a wonderful day,
      Making Our Way

    11. mahanda says:

      been doing this with laundry detergent for years (do let the clothes soak for awhile) only use vinegar water, borax and soap for household cleaning–cheapest ever and house never been cleaner. have started with shampoo (one time only) and 1/2 conditioner and have not noticed any difference in hair.
      this is great tip

    12. Tightwad Kitty says:

      I always use the minimum level required plus drop or bit more that I can get a away with in most things that I use. As for toilet paper fold not crunch into a ball. It’s four sheets versus twenty sheets problem. Teach toddler’s that one early and you will save money over time.

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    14. Champion Cheapskate says:

      I guess breaking the rules neatly listed on the package (using less) may have merit. But please don’t swallow toothpaste or household cleaners.

      Sort of reminds me of food. Supersize me portions and the obesity epidemic. Just how much should we eat? Hmm…

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    16. swarovski says:

      There is an illusionist/Magician in the UK Derren Brown who I recently went to see who does the most fantastic trick. He forces people to answer questions with his own answers by the powers of suggestion. He does this by mixing hidden phrases into his show dialogue. Basically he uses hidden words (that until I saw a replay show didn’t even realise he’d said) to influence the audiences way of thinking. The most neat trick I have ever seen.

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