The smallest room can often create some of the biggest bills. Here are our top ten tips for saving cash in your bathroom:
(1) Some soap dishes destroy your expensive soap by holding water; the bottom of your soap turns to a horrible slimy mess in no time. Make sure you buy one with ridges and drainage holes in it; in the meanwhile, stretch a couple of elastic bands over the dish and sit the soap on that. Coloured ones can look good. Got bits of soap left over? Store them in a muslin or nylon bag (the foot cut off an old pair of nylon stockings is OK), knot the end and there's a cheap exfoliant to rub yourself down with. Alternatively put them into a liquid soad dispenser, add a bit of water and give it good occasional shake.
(2) Don't buy expensive makeup remover! Olive oil has been used for cleansing the body for centuries, and it makes a good after-shower body lotion too. Add some brown sugar to it for a cheap and effective abrasive exfoliant.
(3) Spending too much on shower gel? Most of the cost of it is in the packaging and it's basically only detergent and water, with a bit of perfume added sometimes. So, unless you have sensitive skin, you might just as well use soap instead.
(4) If you do prefer to use gel, don't put it onto your hands first. Most of it will be wasted. Apply it with a sponge instead, it's much more economical.
(5) Enjoy a herbal bath? Herbal teabags can work just as effectively as specialist bath products, and at a fraction of the cost.
(6) Use shaving foam? What an expensive way of making a lather. Soap can work just as effectively.
(7) Using too much toilet paper? Squash each new roll into an oval shape, it discourages people from pulling off far too much at a time.
(8) Enjoy a long soak in the bath? Take the panelling off and insulate your bath with that old duvet, spare firebreglass lagging, old blankets, whatever. The water will stay warm much longer and save a lot of that topping up with hot water.
(9) Worried about using too much water? Ignore that crazy advice about putting a brick in your cistern. They are fragile, easily damaged and very expensive to replace. Also a brick can interfere with the balltap and cause massive wastage of water, or even a flooded bathroom (and damaged ceilings underneath!)
(10) Buy hard, not soft, toilet paper. Hard rolls are closely packed, and so they're a lot longer; soft rolls just contain a lot of air.