There are some things you have to keep buying over and over again. Disposable items and those that run out may not cost much to buy once, but buying them again and again can mount up.
Sometimes, however, it’s possible to make those things go further and get more use out of them before they need replacing. Over time, this can lead to surprisingly big savings.
Ink cartridges for inkjet printers are notoriously expensive. Even if you get a bargain when buying a printer, you will soon find the cost doubled and tripled by ink if you’re even a moderate user.
Refilling ink cartridges can make for big savings. While buying a new ink cartridge can easily cost more than £20, refilling will usually cost pennies. Ink refill kits are widely available for both black and colour ink cartridges, and each kit will provide a large number of refills before it runs out. Be warned, though. Refilling ink cartridges can be messy. It’s best to wear some rubber gloves, put down plenty of newspaper, and make sure you are near a sink.
When buying disposable batteries, you’re often faced with an unattractive choice. Either you spend several pounds on a very small pack of batteries, or you buy a cheap alternative that will run out so quickly it may not actually work out more cost-effective.
Rechargeable batteries may be a bit more expensive to buy in the first place, but they cost very little to recharge and quickly work out far cheaper. According to Which?, a single pack of four can save you around £235 over their lifespan. Buying higher-capacity (2000mAh or more) will mean that each charge gives you performance equal to or better than that you would expect from a good-quality disposable alkaline battery. It’s also a good idea to spend slightly more in order to get a smart charger. This will pay for itself by noticeably lengthening the lifespan of your batteries.
Getting more use out of razor blades, cartridges and disposable razors is simple, yet is missed by a surprising number of people. Whether they’re designed for men’s faces or women’s legs, most razors will continue to give a good shave for longer than the period stated on the packaging. For example, most blades that supposedly last for five shaves will in fact last for at least seven.
Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule. Some cheaper or lower-quality razors might already be struggling when you do get to the end of the stated lifespan. If you have particularly tough hair, you may also find that you cannot stretch a single blade so far. For most people, however, this simple tactic will work very well. Experiment to see how long your favoured brand will keep performing for.