What do you do to save money with a house full of people?

Kristen - posted on 10/13/2009 ( 57 moms have responded )

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Well since I thought this group was about saving money not soliciting homeworkers I though I would start a new thread. Here are some things I do to save money with 5 kids.



I swap clothing my children have out grown with family & friends.

I also shop depatment store clearance racks sometimes you pay less for a brand new item that you would for a used item at a thrift store.

I use dish detergent to pretreat stains rather than the expensive stain removal products.

I try to grocery shop for 2 weeks at a time and buy large packages of meat and divide it up and freeze it. I find that if I shop for 2 weeks at a time I spend $30 - $40 less each shopping trip.



I would love to see other ideas on how to save money.

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Carisa - posted on 10/14/2009

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Quoting Cheryl:

It sounds like you are doing great things for saving money so far! I make my own laundry detergent and instead of dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener in the rinse cycle, I mix equal amounts of fabric softener and water in a med/large container with a tight fitting lid. (I use a butter tub) Get a new package of regular sponges, usually 4 to a pack and cut them in half. Soak the sponges in the solution and put one in each dryer load. Just squeeze the excess out before putting it into the dryer. If you use a concentrated softener you may need to add more water.



I have heard of this but was afraid I would stain my clothes.  But if I am careful about squeezing out the excess, it really shouldnt be a prob.  I will have to try this next month... if it is "dryer sheet month" lol



Thanks!

Carisa - posted on 10/13/2009

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I am glad you started this thread, I am new to this community and was disappointed when I saw what it had become...



I use Michelle Duggers laundry soap recipe but I add 1 jug of regular liquid detergent to thicken it up a bit. This makes over 5 gallons of laundry soap for about $17. It lasts me almost 3 months.



I have also taught my kids to separate their clothes. Not everything has to be washed everytime it is worn. PJs for instance and pants that were just worn in the house for part of the day. It makes them more aware of what they do that is wasteful.



We buy groceries once a month, including beer. We only stop for milk. If we run out of something before the end of the month, we just dont have it.. People are more careful with how full they fill a bowl of chips, or how much soda they drink.



I can buy pizza dough at the store and load it with toppings... 2 larges loaded with fresh toppings for about $9... and no one has to go pick it up.



When you take out all the stops for errands, you cut way down on gas. This is something that you would think would just be pennies but cost us an additional tank of gas in one car.



Putting my 2 kids in after school care for 3 days a week gave us $288 additional per month ($468-$180 for child care)

Erin - posted on 10/13/2009

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I go to smaller grocery marts and talk to the owner, for example, if I buy twenty 15 packs of coke, how much discount will you give me?

I also buy things in bulk like potatoes. I'll wash them and cut them then freeze them. You can also freeze mashed potato, and pumpkin...etc.

also op-shops are my new faveorite place to shop. i often find brand new baby cloths (Including tags) for one or two dollors.

Tammy - posted on 10/15/2009

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Thanks so much for this thread! I am brand new to this site and was so excited when i saw this group for saving money. I am really trying to budget my families income and cut cost where ever i can but then all i saw was soliciting threads and was sorely disappointed. Until I saw your post.Thanks again. MUCH APPRECIATED!!!

Kristy - posted on 10/14/2009

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I have found also to buy fresh fruit and veg only when it is on sale. You can save heaps by only buying the apples that are on sale or the capsuim that is in season. We have a big family and it heaps to save a few dollars here and there. With washing power, I only use 1/2 the amount they recommend. My clothes still come out clean, they just don't have the laundry powder smell, but that is ok, I like the smell of sunshine!

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Sarah - posted on 06/06/2011

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One way I have saved money is learning what food really cost and what is a good deal. A lot of times stores will lure you in with some good deals but a lot of other staples cost more. I use consignment stores for my boys clothes when I can and buy clothes at the end of the season. I like to use groupon for some of my luxuries but I only get it if I will use it.

Mary - posted on 06/04/2011

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i have a family of 7, i buy hamburger meat family pack, and separate it into little balls put them in sandwich size bags smush it into a patty and close them put them in the freezer for later.
i coupon now and have to say it really saves bought over 400 dollars worth of groceries for 80 bucks at a publix so definitely urge you to start that.
I shop at thrift stores and clearance racks, and love the black fridays sales

Rachel - posted on 06/04/2011

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i live in ontario and for me energy costs are lower are different times and days, so i try to do all my laundry at those times and run the dishwasher then too. i keep the house cool in the winter and just wear sweaters, in the summer i open windows if there is a breeze. i go through all the flyers, find all the deals and then i go to the store that price matches to get all the deals i want without all the driving. i wait for all the crazy sales at the kids clothing stores and use coupons i have for them too, so i get brand new stuff for cheaper then thrift store prices.

Aicha - posted on 03/01/2010

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My husband buys a whole goat, or lamb from a farm and slaughters it himself and it cost less then buying pieces of meat then he cuts the meat up and freezes it we buy about 4 a year , we also buy whole chickens and shop at warehouse stores buy in bulk and shop at goodwill were they sell the clothes by the pound have found alot of brand new clothes this way brand names too

Malorey - posted on 10/20/2009

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I save socks with holes in them and use them for cleaning gross things like dog puke and stuff that I wouldn't want to reuse the rag after. Then I can just throw them out and I dont waste my 'good' rags lol

Irene Kho Macaraig - posted on 10/19/2009

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here in the Philippines, we normally buy our raw food/ ingredients weekly & store it in a refrigerator and have some cooking menu ready for the day rather than buying ready-made/ take-out ones which are expensive. a lot cheaper & healthier coz it would be all replenished in a week time...

we do one-time big-time grocery shop a month that includes big sale on bulk items (and surely, d consumption can even be stretched longer)...

we buy rice grains good for a month & have it stored properly...

we use our membership cards to accumulate points & rebates whenever we buy (since in 1 way or another we would still be spending for such)...

unplugging unused appliances even if they are on off-mode (even our aircons)...

we do the laundry every other day or every 2-3 days so to avoid more water spillage, more laundry product consumption, etc...

we do shopping during mall sales...

what we wanna know more is how to invest real good on our cash so to maximize its earning potential, any suggestion please? thanks!

Nicole - posted on 10/19/2009

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coupons coupns coupons... a lot of local grocery stores post weekly coupons for items that are free! usually only one per week but you can print out 7 and get 7 free items provided its something you use.. but i have found that the internet works best for coupons because you only print what you use regularly... also genarics... are a great option apple jacks at $5 a box or store brand at 2... also most deli counters and in store bakeries will give you items about to be no good for drastic discounts...

Nakisha - posted on 10/19/2009

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I agree with the shopping in bulk. I do it all the time at Sam's Club, PX, and Comisary. Another thing that I've found that helps is to check all of the sales circulars that come in the mail and pre-plan your trip to incorporate all of your stops using the least amount of gas as possible. I usually take a checklist with me, LOL We also went and bought 4 extra trash cans for recycling; one each for plastic, paper, glass, and cans. It has really helped decrease the number of trash bags we buy since we just rinse and out the bottles and cans before tossing them in the trash bins. Once they're full we just take them to the drop off point. It now takes a lot longer for our garbage bags to fill up! Now we're just waiting to move to the country to start us a compost pile. Our goal is no garbage bill. LOL

Melissa - posted on 10/19/2009

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You can use Hydrogen Peroxide to get stains out. It's cheaper to buy than dish soap.

Joy - posted on 10/19/2009

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We use clothing consignment sales fall and spring for the 9 8 and 5 yo... coupons( circulars sale ads and printables from computer...local grocery doubles all up to $1 and takes competitors..) , Wal-Mart(doesn't take printables, caution)for a lot of food, a&h laundry products, work from home, family meals 5 nights wk (lots of crock pot), freecycle, mom friends swap things, involved in Moms group locally that encourages and gives great ideas... hubby does lawn, car maintenance himself, and to my grumbling most home repairs (which remain unfinished a lot! lol) online recipes help too...

Cheryl - posted on 10/18/2009

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we do that too. But sometimes there are times when you have to break it out. But I know what you mean. When I was bartending, I would save just the change I wouldn't change any of it into bills. After 4 months I paid off a $550 college loan! I was amazed at how quickly it added up.

Julie - posted on 10/18/2009

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it may not be alot but save all ur change.i started doing that at the begining of the year and was floored by the amont i had saved up i do it every year now and use that money 4 christmas

Cheryl - posted on 10/18/2009

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Quoting Jerenda:

I coupon. For a family of 6 I spend less than $100/week on all household and food items combined. I make my own meals rather than go out. I shop only clearance for clothes. I do almost all my Christmas/birthday shopping in January when all the toys are on clearance. I do hand-me down with my kids...when one outgrows it the next one gets it. I keep a monthly budget and never go in debt!


I wish I had your self control. I've tried numerous times to set a buget and stick to it, but it never works out. We do the hand me downs, and if at all possible I shop once every two weeks toa month. Sadly, we have roomates and our healthy food seems to go before their junk food. We've resorted to putting our food in a seperate room to try to keep costs down. I think if I can get away with shopping more in bulk and doing things like making my own detergent and such we might be able to make it without roomates soon. :)

Cheryl - posted on 10/18/2009

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Quoting Jamie:

I use vinegar & water in a spray bottle for a multi purpose cleaner. It even cleans stains on the carpet. U just spray & then vaccum the stain away. I buy home brand for things like toilet paper, nappies, wipes & womans sanitery needs coz they all end up in the bin anyways (or down the toilet when it comes to loo paper). I make sure the fuel is always above half full or else it gets used quicker. I go to a website called www.thebookswap.com.au where u swap books with others so your not paying top dollar. Ur simply paying for postage to send the book to people that want it. I also use freecycle groups in yahoo so we get free household furniture, clothes etc. And i make my own baby food for my 9 month old. Hope these help :) Oh, and if hubby loves food, dont take him with u when u go grocery shopping. You tend to buy stuff u don't need.


I'll have to try the vinegar thing. I've heard of it for glass, but not for multi purpose. I also agree with the idea of not taking the husband to the store with you. I love my husband and want to spend time with him and get him the things he'd like at the store, but I can go and get everything on my list and a few extras that I for got toput on it for about $40-$50. If he goes with me I end up with a cart full of stuff we don't really need for twice that much. At least I now know it's not just me and my husband. Lol.

Jerenda - posted on 10/18/2009

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I coupon. For a family of 6 I spend less than $100/week on all household and food items combined. I make my own meals rather than go out. I shop only clearance for clothes. I do almost all my Christmas/birthday shopping in January when all the toys are on clearance. I do hand-me down with my kids...when one outgrows it the next one gets it. I keep a monthly budget and never go in debt!

Jamie - posted on 10/18/2009

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I use vinegar & water in a spray bottle for a multi purpose cleaner. It even cleans stains on the carpet. U just spray & then vaccum the stain away. I buy home brand for things like toilet paper, nappies, wipes & womans sanitery needs coz they all end up in the bin anyways (or down the toilet when it comes to loo paper). I make sure the fuel is always above half full or else it gets used quicker. I go to a website called www.thebookswap.com.au where u swap books with others so your not paying top dollar. Ur simply paying for postage to send the book to people that want it. I also use freecycle groups in yahoo so we get free household furniture, clothes etc. And i make my own baby food for my 9 month old. Hope these help :) Oh, and if hubby loves food, dont take him with u when u go grocery shopping. You tend to buy stuff u dont need.

Danielle - posted on 10/18/2009

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- I make my own multi purpose cleaner.

- I dont' shop at Walmart, unless I have too, (they just have so much I buy things I really dont need!!)

- I do my grocery shopping at Jewel and use their sales and coupons.

-I dont use recipes very often, this may sound weird, but recipes can call for items that you dont have or normally woudnt buy.

Lauren - posted on 10/18/2009

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I dont know where you live but in Kingston NY I shop at walmart or Aldi for all the pasta and bread and snkacky things then I got to Hannaford and buy the meat in bulk and freeze it like you do. I find if you buy the Walmart brand in most things you can same a pretty penny.. you just have to watch it because sometimes Hannaford is cheaper than walmart and vice versa. I can only shopr for a week t a time.. we live pay check to pay check so this is the beat way for us to save money with food.. Clothes .. little kids new.. childrens place, sears and walmart.. target too....shop for out of season clothes for next year.. yard sales.. I know it sound yucky , but nothing a little wasing and drying cant fix.. multiple washings just to be sure its clean...lol. Laundry.. I just bought these PUREX sheets for $5 or so.. Its got the detergeant, fabric softener and dryer sheet all in one.. it comes with 24 sheets in it.. not only does it really work , the clothes smell great and that says alot beasue my husband does construction and come home smelling pretty rank...lol and not to mention I have 3 kids who dirty up more clothes than you can immagine!

Stephanie - posted on 10/18/2009

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When I am ready to go grocery shopping, I get all my adds together. I shop at a store called Meijer that price matches everything. Wal-Mart also price matches. I go through and make a list by store of the different items on sale. When I get to the register I simply tell the cashier what the item cost at a different store and then get the item for a lesser amount. I also clip coupons. It's work and very time consuming, but the savings are really worth it.



Also, I am part of a coupon group at work. My co-workers and I pass coupons around that we don't want. That gives us a chance to get more of the ones that we actually use.

Erin - posted on 10/18/2009

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In Australia we have a chain called Bakers Delight, where any stuff they don't sell at the end of the dy has to be given to charity or binned. I go in there at 10 minutes to closing and they more often then not give me two for one. and it's not just bread, but scones and cake and pizzas everything. Sometimes if I buy in bulk (To freeze...) Then they through some extra stuff my way too. :)

Shannon - posted on 10/17/2009

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WOW THATS AWESOME MAKING YOUR OWN CLEANING SUPPLIES. I SHOP AT DOLLAR STORES ALSO, GOTTA MAKE IT STRETCH... AND WHEN I SHOP I BUY FOR THE MONTH

BethAnn - posted on 10/17/2009

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i taught myself how to change my own oil,general plumbing,mending and fitting to avoid hiring out or paying for such services.

i shop for fresh produce at farmers markets (better quality and local any way) and get dry goods at "dollar stores" also shopping for 2 weeks at a time

almost all paper goods,bathroom supplies and cleaning supplies come from sam's club but i try and make my own cleaning supplies as much as possible.





OH and I breast feed my baby!!! It is the best source of nutrition for her and ITs FREE!!!!!

Dani - posted on 10/17/2009

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I also only use about 1/4 of the reccomended amount of laundry detergent unless clothes are really dirty (like my fiance's work clothes, or my son's play clothes) then I use about 1/2 the reccomended amount. I don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets or anything like that. I have some texture issues and I hate the way clothes feel when they have fabric softener in them.

As far as groceries goes, we'll eat pretty much anything if it doesn't eat us first,so I get whatever is on sale that week, and if it's a great sale (whole boneless porkloins for 89c/lb for example) I'll buy a really big portion and divide and freeze it

Carisa - posted on 10/17/2009

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Quoting Dani:

We reuse our bath towels. We have rods on the wall in the bathroom and after we shower, we hang the towel up to dry and use it again after the next shower.

I've been told it's gross because "you dry your butt with that towel" but frankly, I just washed every inch of myself in the shower, so I really don't see the difference in my butt and my elbow 30 seconds after they've both been washed with hot water and soap.



We do the same thing.  You are saving water, soap, fabric sheets, and gas by doing this.  We wash our dishes by hand and I use a big towel to lay them on to dry.  After I put the dishes away, I throw the towel in the dryer for a bit and reuse it. too.

Dani - posted on 10/17/2009

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We reuse our bath towels. We have rods on the wall in the bathroom and after we shower, we hang the towel up to dry and use it again after the next shower.

I've been told it's gross because "you dry your butt with that towel" but frankly, I just washed every inch of myself in the shower, so I really don't see the difference in my butt and my elbow 30 seconds after they've both been washed with hot water and soap.

Christine - posted on 10/17/2009

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Having had 4 kids within 6 years, and before my husband and I were barely 26 years old, I had to find MANY ways to save money. First and biggest money-saver was cooking at home - buying quantities of items that were on a good sale and storing them, and finding recipes that were inexpensive and I could make in quantity...especially when they kids reached their teen years. I used many recipes from my mother in law, who came from a family of 13 children...lots of hamburger-type dishes, veggies (ALWAYS had a veggie with dinner), potatoes, pasta, soups (homemade, from left overs), and milk-base "sauces"...and doctored them up to taste. The kids STILL ask for these dinners - and they're all 20+ years old! I kept no exta snack foods or pop in the house - that stuff wasn't necessary to have (execption - i'd put one snack in each kids' lunch every day). Next, was to share clothes when possible - which was difficult as both boys were very different builds and both girls were very different builds. Salvation Army stores in our area, and garage sales, had very gently used clothing for very little money, leaving money for shoes - 2 pair of tennis shoes and one pair of dress shoes for each kid. Snow pants and boots got stored and passed down, leaving only coats needing to be bought. Bikes were the best way for them to get to friend's houses, unless it was more than 5 miles away (if it was up to 5 miles away the friend would meet them half way), then I'd drive them. Laundry was done 2 times a week, and full loads only - and dried outside on the line weather permitting. Getting creative allowed us to add on room for mom-in-law to move in with us instead of sending her to assisted living which no one can afford, and allows us to send all 4 kids to college - community college to start, then transferring to university when that time comes. We have one son who just graduated earlier this year with his bachelor degree in finance! The other son will start his apprenticeship in the Bio-Mechanical Technician. Things are still rough going, and money is tight especially in this day and age, but having gotten into money-saving habits early gave us the opportunity to keep up the practices, while still living decently, and happy, and giving our kids a better education and taking care of mom-in-law.

Kristen - posted on 10/17/2009

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Kayla instead of using the swiffer pads you should try an old dish cloth and what ever cleaning product you prefer. The dish cloth will attach to the bottom of a regular swiffer sweeper and when your done you can throw it in the wash and reuse it later. You can do the same with a swiffer duster if you fold a dish cloth in half nd sew it so there are pockets for the duster to slide into.

Cindy - posted on 10/16/2009

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I clip coupons and shop the sales flyers. I buy stuff that is on sale unless it is something that I need.



I always look through clearence items when I go to the store. Target likes to keep their clearance itmes on the back of the isle.

Johnetta - posted on 10/16/2009

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I bought those dryer balls,they are popping up every where. They where 10 dollars and they really work. You just throw both of them in there all they last forever.

Sherry - posted on 10/16/2009

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We use that "make-your-own" laundry soap too. It is great, but I have found that on certain heavy stains you need the "real" stuff, so I always have a bottle handy.

Sherry - posted on 10/16/2009

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I am going to a consignment sale this weekend to get the kids some winter clothes. I have found that most of it is barely worn and in very good condition. It saves a fortune - especially when they grow so fast!

Carisa - posted on 10/16/2009

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Steph- with that cheap movie is a cheap bowl of pop corn if you buy bags of seeds, not microwaveable!! With real butter!! yum!

Carisa - posted on 10/16/2009

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We actually buy more frozen fruits and veggies than fresh. Fresh is kind of a treat but mainly because it does go bad quickly unless you put it in one of the green bags. Also, I cook and hide most veggies anyways, so frozen works for us. I have one son that eats fruit and one with a sensory integration disorder that gags on it, I think it is the texture and tartness of it, I hide his fruit in smoothies and such, so frozen fruit works better for us too. But you could easily add that to your milk day.



The Dugger family has thier own web site with recipes... I think Stephanie covered that one.



I got a chuckle out of your money saving tips, I dont buy any of those!! Lol Please dont take offence to that, I just dont buy disposable items if I can buy a reuseable one... except paper plates... sometimes you just need a paper plate day, especially if you tend to wash dishes by hand.

Kayla - posted on 10/16/2009

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Quoting Carisa:

I am glad you started this thread, I am new to this community and was disappointed when I saw what it had become...

I use Michelle Duggers laundry soap recipe but I add 1 jug of regular liquid detergent to thicken it up a bit. This makes over 5 gallons of laundry soap for about $17. It lasts me almost 3 months.

I have also taught my kids to separate their clothes. Not everything has to be washed everytime it is worn. PJs for instance and pants that were just worn in the house for part of the day. It makes them more aware of what they do that is wasteful.

We buy groceries once a month, including beer. We only stop for milk. If we run out of something before the end of the month, we just dont have it.. People are more careful with how full they fill a bowl of chips, or how much soda they drink.

I can buy pizza dough at the store and load it with toppings... 2 larges loaded with fresh toppings for about $9... and no one has to go pick it up.

When you take out all the stops for errands, you cut way down on gas. This is something that you would think would just be pennies but cost us an additional tank of gas in one car.

Putting my 2 kids in after school care for 3 days a week gave us $288 additional per month ($468-$180 for child care)



Hey im just wondering about you buying groceries once a month. What about fresh fruits do  you get them when you replinish your milk or is it something you just have the first week after you shopped.  Love the home pizza no pizza place puts enough toppings on.



And then also the Laundry soap where did you get the reciep for it?



 



My savings are silly little things adding water to soaps to stretch them , cutting sos and magic ereasrs in half, using both sides of swiffer pads. if i think of more i will post again.

Laurie - posted on 10/15/2009

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I go to our local market every two weeks, I find the produce lasts longer, less waste. Since it is a half hour drive I don't want to be going every day or several times a week. I get a ten pound bag of empire apples for $8, #1 grade. My kids are crazy about apples and I buy two bags at a time and they last a little over 2 weeks. Last winter I had 3 bags of apples in the garage and they froze in a cold snap, I looked up frozen apples on the internet and found that many people froze whole apples on purpose for baking and apple sauce. So I put them in the extra large Ziploc storage bags and I just finished using the last of them for our Canadian thanksgiving to make pies.

Carisa - posted on 10/15/2009

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Have you all seen "Red Box"? We have them everywhere in Michigan. They are vending machines for renting videos. They cost $1.06 per day to rent new movies. You can rent from one machine and return it to another machine. Another great thing is if you go to rent or return a movie and the box isnt working, if you call the number on the machine, they will email you a code to use for free movies. We love it!

Carisa - posted on 10/15/2009

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I have a septic system and use the Dugger recipe. The ingredients are borax, washing soda, and ivory soap (thats what I use). None of the containers say not to use in septic systems. I think they would if they were harmful.

Cheryl - posted on 10/15/2009

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If your automatic dishwasher detergent calls for some of the same ingredients as the laundry soap, you might want to add citric acid to it also. If you do not have any citric acid in it your dishes will start looking dingy. I am sorry but I do not know about the septic system issue. Do you have a local company that you can call if you have problems with your system? If so they may be able to tell you if it would be safe to use. The recipe I have for laundry soap is the same but a smaller amount.

Tammy - posted on 10/15/2009

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I have the Duggars' laundry soap recipe but have been hesitate to make it because we have a septic system and my husband pointed out that this may not be good for it. I have searched online to see if this is safe for the septic system but haven't really seen anything on it. Do any of you know anything about this? And I also have a recipe for automatic dishwasher detergent. I haven't tried it myself yet due to the septic issue but I will share it on here later.
Thanks to all of you for your tips .

Cheryl - posted on 10/14/2009

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No, you really don't need the latest and greatest of everything. We are all really spoiled now days!

Carisa - posted on 10/14/2009

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Great deal on the gr. beef. We do dishes by hand also. Our dishwasher broke and my 9 year old wanted an allowance... thats how it all started.

Have you noticed that the toothpaste companies charge you extra if you want the flip top instead of the screw off type? just a tid bit :)

I have found that just paying attention to what you really want i a product will save you money. Do you really need the latest and greatest of everything?

Cheryl - posted on 10/14/2009

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Something else to look at is insurance, it does not cost anything to call different companies and get quotes. If you have all of insurance needs with the same company they usually give you a multi policy discount. I also try to shop early in the morning, if the store has meat that needs to be sold that day they mark it down. If you are going to put it in the freezer it does not matter. The other day I got 4 pkgs. of lean gr. beef for just over $1 apiece. They were all about 1 pound in size. They had to be sold that day. With them being in 1 pound amounts I did not have to divide them or use my freezer bags to store it, thus saving me more money. When I buy something like a roast, I will divide it in half after it's cooked saving it to make stew or something else like a pot pie. We do dishes by hand and I try to only do dishes once a day. This saves my time, water, electricity and dish soap. We just make sure to rinse everything before stacking it up. We also got rid of our land line phone and just use cell phones. It was a cheaper alternitive for us, you have to evaluate that for your family though.

Carisa - posted on 10/14/2009

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Another thing I have found is that clumpable cat litter does not last as long as non clumpable. Non clumpable is cheaper, and my house does not have any cat odor. When I used the clumpable, it was cleaned daily and my house still smelled of litter... not poo, but litter. This is when comparing Costcos fresh step products.

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