No announcement yet.

Hints for Economizing

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #91
    I am interested in making the homemade laundry detergent. How long does it last?
    Do you have to stir it occasionally?

    Another website for frugal information is
    There are articles on almost everything you can save on.


    • #92
      I tried the hmade detergent about 15 years back. Our hard water was too much even with borax. I finally figured for me my time was better spent on other money savers. I looked around for super sales on detergent brands that did well in consumers guide & stocked up. I also experimented till I found the least amount per load.

      Dishwasher detergent is cheaper in liquids or powders, never pucks. Like the laundry detergent it allows you to use the least bit that does the job. I find I can use less dishwasher detergent when I use the pots & pan cycle. I save electricity by shutting it off and air drying the hot dishes.

      My other big savers are a dollar store spray bottle that I put vinegar & water solution into. Spritz and wipe with those newfangled microfiber cleaning cloths.

      I bought a huge bundle from home depot and they clean perfectly with just water or the water & vinegar solution.

      Microfiber cloths fit onto a swiffer sweeper for walls & floors.

      Streak free windows, chrome, granite counters, and stainless steel.

      I still use comet from dollar stores or super sales for my kitchen sink & toilets. I scrub with dedicated cleaning brushes, never comet with microfiber.

      I scrub my shower & tub with a soft back scrubber on a wand from the dollar store & a little squirt of cheap shampoo in a smell I like. No scratches & cleans better than anything else.


      • #93
        And ,yes this is the same lady who spends those savings wildly on Estee Lauder stuff. We all have our priorities.

        I use a pantry system & some menu planning plus we rarely eat out so for health & budget reasons I cook from scratch. Dh & I have done some serious shopping & bargaining to reduce our phone & internet access bill. Ditto the tv. We moved into an apartment with much lower heat & light bills, plus the condo fees are less than garden & home maintenance on our old home. We pay less for home insurance which we shopped around for. We own only one car, and we get discounts for safe driving. We combine trips so we use the car as little as possible reducing gasoline. We are in walking distance of grocer shops, drugstores, dentist etc. We bought the apartment near a good bus route. We are retired so we take advantage of senior discount days. We do our own taxes and shop for better banking fee bundles.

        Much of this we did for decades before dh retired.

        I rarely buy anything full price. I have a running list of things that need replacement soon from dh's trousers to our washer machine. I look around with a mental price that I am aiming for, so when we see the Dockers on sale at Costco, its time to buy. I don't even buy the aforementioned expensive estee L stuff unless it is gift with purchase time, and only when I'm near to needing a replacement. Even then I often get extras thrown in free because I make friends with my Clinique and Estee Lauder counter ladies. I always stop & shoot the breeze with them & my favourite clothing shop keepers. They tell me about upcoming sales, give me freebies, hold stuff ahead of the sale and we both enjoy these encounters.

        I make sure to compliment and thank my appliance guy at sears in front of his boss, and when we need replacements I check in with him. He has sold me stuff for the last 15 years starting with our old house where my 25 year old stuff was dying to our apartment where the washer that came with it died. He saved me a boatload of money on the washer dryer set & knew exactly what I needed.


        • #94
          Regarding the biggest savings over the years, getting out of debt and paying off credit cards in full before you get dinged for interest. We have used a couple over the years to maintain a good credit score but we shop for the lowest charges & interest and we usually have a very low limit so if somebody gets a hold of it, the damage is less.

          We purposely never get into a lease on a car, we try to pay cash for a gently used ex lease car with lots of warranty left then basically drive it till the wheels fall off. A couple of times we haven't had enough saved but we do the lowest interest loan and pay it off faster than called for.

          We always make extra payments on the mortgage principal and that saves a ton of money.

          These kind of things are low effort savings that are once and done. By concentrating on saving like this, you save a lot of money without much effort.

          USE THE LIBRARY:
          Lastly go to the library, look at back issues of consumers guide & figure out what products will work best for your own circumstances. That's how I found the Kirkland Costco house brand detergents & toilet paper, or the home depot Behr paint or my Kenmore vacuum that has done me well. America's Test Kitchen does a good job of explaining which brands of ketchup or tins of tomatoes are the best quality. You can hunt for sales on them. Test Kitchen also has guides for how to cook the best as well as really good recipes. Libraries may allow these old issues to be loaned out along with other how to guides such as how to do minor plumbing & electricity repairs as well as general home maintenance. I've learnt so much useful stuff that saved us a lot of cash over the decades.


          • #95
            I tear a dryer sheet into two or three pieces, and then just use the smaller piece, instead of using a whole one.
            Keep the house at 75 or above in the summer. But I get cold easily so can't go too low in winter (72 is barely bearable).
            I now keep a monthly budget (took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University last winter).
            Do more home cooking that I used to.
            Eat leftovers.
            Drive to pickup pizza instead of getting it delivered.
            Do yard work for neighbors and get paid for it.
            Use a debit instead of credit cards (money is gone immediately this way, no delay in seeing the consequences of purchases).
            I use the small plastic grocery bags as my trash bags. Even for kitchen.
            Pay my car insurance all at once, to avoid the high 'convenience' fees they charge for making for frequent payments.
            Use things up, as much as possible, before replacing (applies to cell phones, toothpaste, peanut butter, etc)
            Mow my own lawn instead of paying someone else to do it.
            Shop at Goodwill for clothes.
            Research online before buying, especially expensive purchases.

            This is something I want to try, but haven't ordered it yet: a 'breathing mobile washer'. It looks like a fancy plunger, and allows you to wash your clothes by hand in a bucket or tub. I found it on Lehmans while researching a new washing machine purchase (trying to find "Reliable" washing machines is a challenge!).
            "Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
            always abounding in the work of the Lord;
            knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."

            1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)


            • #96
              Firefly, if you do decide to buy a new washing machine DON'T buy a High Efficiency (HE) one. We've had two and they are horrible! Even when using stain remover on the clothes, most of the time our clothes still come out stained, especially underwear. I haven't had white whites since the washer I had before the two HE ones. Honestly, I never feel like our clothes are really clean because there's not enough water in the drum to wash them completely and the detergent never shows suds. And mold is a nightmare - if you don't remove and dry the detergent/softener/bleach tray every single time you use it, then mold gets in it and it's impossible to remove completely once it's in the tray. Same goes for having to dry the rubber molding around the washer. I don't know about other brands, but we have the LG washer and dryer set that's stackable. What you won't be told about the LG stackable unit is that the stand the dryer sits on is only made for LG washers and dryers. In order to use the stand, the washer and dryer have to be the LG brand - if the dryer goes, you must buy another LG dryer, if the washer goes, you must buy another LG washer for the stand to work. This is how we ended up with another LG washer when the old one went bad (after only 5 years, mind you). And after doing only one load of clothes in the second LG washer we bought, we had to call LG because it was leaking water into the drum when it was turned off! They had to send out two repairmen before it was fixed - we asked for a new washer, but their policy is that three repairman have to work on it and not be able to fix the problem before they'll exchange it for a new one. Dh and I have decided when either the dryer or washer goes next time, we're replacing the whole thing with a smaller stackable unit that is NOT HE.