This post was sponsored by Charmin as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

Are you trying to save money at home? Put that money towards something you actually want to buy!

Did you know running your dishwasher half full could be costing you up to $100 per year? What’s more, you could be throwing away hundreds of dollars in food every year.

These dollars are unnecessarily wasted but can easily be recouped with a few simple changes:

1. Only run your dishwasher when it’s full.

Did you know dishwashers work most efficiently when they’re full? That’s how they were designed to work, after all. Beyond that, you’re wasting water, energy, and detergent if you run it have empty.

Don’t have enough dishes to fill yours up? Consider investing in another set of dishes and/or cutlery.

2. DIY your cleaning supplies.

Cleaning supplies can really add up. Not to mention they’re hard on the environment and your health.

There is a surprising amount of things you can accomplish with white vinegar and baking soda. Dish soap, essential oils, cornstarch, and rubbing alcohol are some of our recommend alternatives.

Peach Mozzarella Chicken Salad

3. Create a weekly meal plan and do your best to stick to it.

Around 31 percent of food available to consumers went uneaten in the United States in 2010, and the estimated value of that food was $161.6 billion dollars.

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Think about how much food you throw away each week. You might as well be throwing money into the trashcan. Luckily, this is preventable.

Meal planning is pretty simple to do  and only takes a few minutes each week. You can save even more money by building your meals around what is on sale and in-season.

Of course things come up and some food may go uneaten, but in the very least you can make an effort.

4. Use efficient, valuable products in your home.

There are some things we just have to buy to use in our homes like dish soap, laundry detergent, and toilet paper. You’ll save money by investing in quality products that last and that work efficiently.

The goal is to find products at low price points that work just as well as (if not better) than higher priced items in the same category.

For example, Charmin recently released Charmin Essentials Soft and Charmin Essentials Strong, two new types of toilet paper that give you Charmin’s high quality at a comparable price point to low-cost brands like Angel Soft® and Scott® 1000.

I recently made the switch from Scott® 1000 to Charmin Essentials Strong, and I’m extremely happy with the change. The roll lasts longer and I purchase toilet paper less frequently.

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Charmin Essentials Strong

As proof that their new releases are up to par, Charmin is inviting you to upgrade your roll by sending you a free roll!

To get yours, simply:

And that’s it! Charmin will then send you a roll for free. (Read the full Terms & Conditions here).

Like this:

5. Streamline your entertainment habits.

What are you spending your entertainment budget on each month? Which of these things do you truly enjoy and what are you still paying for that you no longer need?

Many people suggest cutting out cable, but I think you should keep it if that’s how you watch TV and the price is worth it to you.

Entertainment can eat up quite a bit of your budget if you let it. So I suggest narrowing it down to a handful of paid activities every month that really suit you. The rest of the time, make use of free programs, classes at your local REI or community college, and events at parks nearby.

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It’s not too hard to save money at home. A few simple swaps can really make a difference in your monthly expenses.