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28 tricks to stretch your coronavirus stimulus check

"Mei Heading" (2020-07-10)

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loading-dudes-transparent.gifAlina Bradford/CNET

The coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in different ways, and lost income is one of the most difficult to deal with. Luckily, quarantine also means more ways to save money for many of us, too -- whether it's from cutting down gas consumption while we work from home, or just because we're less likely to eat out. A little careful planning could help you stretch that cash from the stimulus check a few weeks further. (And here's what we know about a possible second stimulus check.)

We've already written about all the free stuff you can get while you're at home, but here are 28 ways you can start cutting costs around the house right now.

In the kitchen
Grow herbs: A bundle of herbs costs three or four bucks. Keeping a little herb garden on your window sill will cost the same to get seeds, but can yield herbs for months.

Don't buy bottled water: Bottled water seems cheap, but it gets expensive fast. Settle for a filter, and you can use tap water. It's cheaper over time, and it's better for the environment, too.

Make your own coffee: It seems obvious, but those daily Americanos can easily take a chunk out of your bank account. Use a coffee maker or 최신 영화 torrent French press for coffee instead. For ideas, here's how to make better iced coffee, dalgona coffee and imitation Starbucks favorites.

Throw almost-spoiled veggies in the freezer: Buying veggies, then opting for the tastier freezer meals while the leafy greens spoil was a weekly ritual in our house. Then we started tossing nearly spoiled veggies in the freezer to use for smoothies. It cut our weekly waste way down. Here are more tips to keep your fridge food fresher for longer.

Keep your freezer full: Speaking of freezers, when you keep your freezer full, it works more efficiently, taking less energy to keep the contents cold.

Keep your dishwasher full, too: Running half-loads of dishes is a quick way to waste water and dish detergent. 

Break out that Dutch oven: It could be a Dutch oven or a slow cooker of any kind, but cooking in bulk really helps cut down the costs associated with more individual-size meals.

This meal was comprised only of leftover veggies and yogurt that needed to be used.

David Priest/CNET

Eat leftovers: This isn't a tip so much as a choice. Keep your leftovers and don't give yourself the excuse not to eat them. It'll stretch your dollar way further.

Be selective about organic foods: Organic food can be pricey, and ethically grown meat is even more expensive. So get the most problematic products organic to avoid pesticides and hormones, and get the standard fare for the rest of your grocery list.

In the laundry room
Hang-dry your clothes: My wife and I are trying to occupy our quarantine time with exercise as much as possible, and that means a lot more laundry than usual. Save energy by hang-drying it. (Besides, no one will notice your slightly wrinkled shirt.)

Wash with cold water: Another way to cut costs is washing with cold water. Unless you have serious stains or odors you're trying to remove, most clothes can wash cold without an issue.

Lower the temp on water heater: While we're talking water temperature, check your water heater. You generally don't need the temperature to be above 120 degrees, and higher temps come with higher fees.

Change filters: It's not just your water heater's inefficiency costing you money; your HVAC system can burn a hole in your wallet if you haven't changed its filter recently.

Run full loads of laundry: Really pack your washer to capacity, because you're going to use the same water either way. May as well get as much use from it as you can.