Things I do to save money around the house.

Discussion in 'Around the House' started by Big Nate, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Big Nate

    Big Nate Chaos Engineer

    Well this only took me two weeks to put together……Sorry about that.

    I am going to set this thread up so we can have more than one discussion going on at a time. In the past year I have tried to find ways to save money, from making my own to switching to new. I will explain what I have done and hope others will join in to post what they do.

    Making your own laundry detergent Post #5
    Making your own dishwasher detergent Post #here
    Switching to bar soap over body wash Post #here
    Switching to wet shaving instead of cartridge(disposable or not) Post #here

    So I will start here and update things as I get them done and as other post them.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  2. ohsixspeedsix

    ohsixspeedsix Owl Exterminator!!

    I stopped taking showers and washing cloths... :D jk

    But I have seriously cut back on fast food. That shit adds up so fast. I try to only do it once every couple weeks rather than a couple times a week.

    Oh and im trying to stop thrashing on the car so much to save gas. Paid 4.15 a gallon yesterday :(
  3. Big Nate

    Big Nate Chaos Engineer

    I have updated the title. This should clear up any confusion.

    Not that your money saving ideas don't work but lets keep this thread confined to things around the house.
  4. Jana

    Jana New Member

    I have recipes for the first two, in case you don't have them. I just haven't gotten around to making my own yet.
  5. Big Nate

    Big Nate Chaos Engineer

    How to make your own laundry detergent.
    Things you will need
    1 bar – soap (not sure what kinds work better then others)
    1 cup – washing soda
    1 cup – borax powder
    1 – 5 gallon bucket

    First take your bar of soap , I use Fels Naptha and grate it into small bits. Put those bit in a sauce pan and add enough water to cover by 1 in. Heat and stir without boiling until the bit are all dissolved into the water.

    Pour soap into the bucket and fill the bucket to a total of 4 gallons with the hottest water that comes from the tap.
    Stir in the washing soda and borax until they are dissolved. I use a drill with a mixing attachment to speed the process. Set aside for 24 hour for the contents to stiffen up. It will be almost a gel firm but not hard.
    You can now use however much you want in each load to clean the clothes. I have a HE washer and use ¼-1/2 cup per load.

    The washing soda can be found at Wal-Mart or Fleet Farm.
    Fels Naptha soap can also be found at Wal-Mart or Fleet Farm.
    Borax 20 mule team every place with laundry stuff

    Cost break down
    Washing soda - $3.05 for 55 oz
    Borax - $3.69 for 76 oz
    Fels-naptha - $.97 per bar
    Bucket was free (repurposed from another project gone very wrong)
    Total $7.71
    Now please save me the math bashing and weight vs volume stuff.
    That means I have 6.875 cups of washing soda at $0.44 per cup
    And the borax is 9.5 cups at $0.38 per cup
    add this to the soap cost and I end up at $1.78 per 4 gallons.
    There are 64 cups in 4 gallons multiply by 2 to give us 128 1/2th cups per 4 gallons
    ending in a total of $0.014 per load.

    Check my math but that is cheap.

    This will be a little review on how well it works.
    Seems to have a little less punch then your high end stuff so with heavy staining from kids or spills you will need to soak or pretreat (with small dabs of this very soap strait to the affected area). But for everyday clothes washing I have had zero issues. There is next to no odor either but you can add different soap or oil to change that. My daughter is also very sensitive to detergents and this didn’t affect her at all.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  6. Big Nate

    Big Nate Chaos Engineer

    Please post up your recipes. i am 100% willing to try others ideas to see what works for me. Plus it will give us a little variety.
  7. 007CobaltLS

    007CobaltLS Member

    You want to save money around the house....a few ideas for you.

    First I want to say that I do not pay for electric...all utilities are included in my monthly rent so I can't tell you the savings now, but when I had my own home, these made quite a difference.

    *Switch to energy saving CFL bulbs or if you really want to take a jump, LED bulbs. Huge difference.
    *Start unplugging things that you don't use on a regular basis. Unplug your toaster, your phone charger, your toaster oven, your electric razer, etc. You WILL see a savings in electric bill every month by doing these two things.

    Personally, I stopped shaving. I use a beard trimmer and just keep a beard. The initial investment was about $30-40 plus tax, but I haven't bought razors/refills for a year and I've saved more than the cost of those so far. Then again, this might not be for everyone. I hate shaving so it's the perfect solution...just trim once to twice a week.

    Not sure if this's not really around the house. Use coupons and stock up on coupon items when you can. If you wind up with extra canned food or whatever, no big deal, it will last. I went shopping yesterday and only purchased coupon items plus 2 loaves of bread that were on sale but no coupon. I spent a total of $20.86 and saved $16.xx (without coupons I would have saved only $10.xx) because everything was on sale plus coupons.

    To go with that, though. Instead of eating out one night a week, rummage through your cupboards and try experimenting with some stuff you have. Concoct your own meal. It's kind of fun to try cooking something that you normally wouldn't put together, plus you save a few bucks by not eating out or buying more groceries for a day.

    I don't use dryer sheets, but I did read about making your own dryer sheets. Basically use small washcloths. Dip the washcloths in fabric softener. Ring them out and allow them to dry. Then just toss it in like you would a dryer sheet. You should be able to use each washcloth dryer sheet up to 12 times (maybe more). Just need some old washcloths and liquid fabric softener.

    Also, you can make your own drain cleaner. Baking soda and Vinegar. Pour baking soda down the drain (as much as needed...up to half a small box on average). The pour vinegar down the drain and let it foam. Continue to use the vinegar until it gets all of the baking soda out of there. Let the drain sit unused for a while, then use HOT water to clean it out afterwards. That will remove any debris and dirt. Much cheaper than using store bought drain cleaner.

    I will give you one last tip. Use About.Com for ALL kinds of money saving advice. Budgeting, DIY, homemade stuff, etc. You want to save money, do a search on and you will probably find something to help you.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  8. Jana

    Jana New Member

    I'll grab them tonight. I also have the recipe for homemade softner, so there's another huge savings (again, I need to make it yet).

    One big difference I've found for us, and very simple, is meal planning (and sticking with it). AJ and I are HORRIBLE on eating out. We eat out WAY too much, and we know it. So I've started meal planning for the week on either Saturday or Sunday (before grocery shopping). I try to base it on things I have in the house, where i only need a couple items to complete. If we are running low, then we'll try new things. If you stick with it, it makes getting home from work & starting dinner so much easier. The only thing I will do is switch around the meals to different days if I'm not feeling that meal on the night I have it slated. If you pair this with coupons, it's great. I also meal plan for lunches, so I'm not as likely to head out with co-workers.
  9. 007CobaltLS

    007CobaltLS Member

    I think you should pass the meal planning tip along to Matt and Kelsey...not like they can't afford to eat out, but I'm sure they'd be happy to have some extra spending money for other stuff if they actually cooked...LMAO.

    I don't stick to it at all, but I have a variation on that. I actually meal plan around the specials at the different stores. On Sunday I go through all the coupons and I go through the ads for Aldi, Cub, Rainbow, Target, Walmart (Walgreens and CVS have good deals on some things as well)...I will make a trip to whichever has the best deals for what I need and I can plan (don't always follow through with the meals though) the meals that way so I can use some of what I have at home and cheaper items when I can as well.

    The perk for me...I live right down the road from Northtown Mall...which means I have all of those stores less than a mile away. Aldi and Target might be the only ones just over a mile. Also, since I can plan it all on Sunday, I can make one trip through each store and don't have to make unnecessary trips over and over...almost no fuel wasted for me.

    So if you can make the homemade softener, then you can do the homemade dryer sheets and REALLY save some money. I don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets because they cost so much, but it would be nice to have (also because I don't like any scented stuff so my detergent is unscented) as long as I can make it unscented. I look forward to the homemade softener recipe.

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