What I’ve Learned Living on My Own

WHAT I’VE LEARNED LIVING ON MY OWN

I lived at home for years! Probably longer than most people would think appropriate, but I don’t regret it. Now though I’m living on my own and loving it! Here are a eight things that I’ve learned from living on my own:

Food goes bad really fast.

I can never make it through a loaf of bread without it going stale. Never. And it’s not just bread everything seems to expire so quickly. So I had to come up with a few solutions to keep from being completely wasteful.

One thing I do is buy things to eat that need my perishables. Things like instant pudding for milk or cake and muffin mixes to use up my eggs. This has actually kept me from buying a lot of snacks because I know I’ll be making my own.

Freezing is great for meats and breads. Well, for lots of things actually, but that’s what I freeze the most. You just have to plan a little with freezing. I want a burger tomorrow so I know I need to put one down in the fridge to defrost today.

One person can accumulate a lot of trash.

It blows my mind how quickly my trash cans fill up. I mean I’m just one person! How is this possible?!

Vinegar is the bomb!

Vinegar can clean anything! I’ve used it to clean all my appliances. And I’ve started putting a cup of it my whites when I do laundry. It really makes them brighter. I’m also planning on using this Dawn and Vinegar recipe to clean my showers.

It’s good to have some rules.

Even though I live alone, I still made some rules for myself, especially in regards to shopping. One is that if I can’t think of a place to display a decorative item, I don’t buy it. This has saved me a ton of money! Another is the one in, one out rule. Like when I bought a new toaster, I sold my toaster oven. I also have a rule about keeping my thermostat at 75 degrees in the summer and at 65 or 68 in the winter. See! In my own way, I’m learning to curb my spending.

You won’t need as many dishes as you thought.

Truly. I bought two dinnerware sets. So, I have 8 each of salad plates, dinner plates, bowls, and coffee cups. I don’t even drink coffee! I wish I’d just bought one set and some extra bowls. Same goes for my glasses. I bought two sets. One would’ve been enough. If you need dishes for friends that visit go with paper plates and cups. They won’t mind. Trust me.

But you’ll need more hand towels.

These get dirty really fast, especially if you hardly ever use paper towels like me. Plus, I like to use a different one for when I wash my face before bed. Whatever you think you need, double it. Besides, these are cute and cheap way to change up your decorations in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Buy the big box of laundry detergent.

If you have the money and the storage, buy the biggest box of laundry detergent and other household cleaners. (I’m not talking Sam’s Club bulk sizes, just the largest box at your grocery store.) When you’re cleaning for just one, the large packages last for a long time, which means that you don’t have to shop for these items very often. The same goes for the bigger packages of toilet paper, and the big bottles of shampoo and conditioner. You’re saving money and time!

A home isn’t a home without a pet.

Living on your own can be a little lonely at times, even for a confirmed introvert such as myself. But then came Buffy. She’s a great companion and she really does make my apartment feel like my home.

So, have you ever lived on your own? Have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments!

This post originally ran on October 8, 2014.

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