I’m a nut about saving money by making things at home instead of buying them. But there are some things that either I would rather just buy than make it or I can find it at such a big discount that it would cost me more to make it at home.
And even though I buy some things that are pre-made I still like to stretch every penny I can out of them.
I’ve found that the suggested usage size that the manufacturer puts on containers is the size that they prefer simply because it makes you use it up faster….so you have to buy it again sooner…so the company makes more money. It’s not necessarily the most frugal amount you can use to have the results you want.
I’ve tested this time and time again and have realized that, as a rule, I can use half of what the company suggests and the products always seem to work just as well and lasts me twice as long.
This works with store bought laundry detergent (before I started making my own). You know those little cups they put in the boxes or the lids that have the measuring lines on them? You really only need half of what they suggest. My laundry still came out clean and smelling good.
This also works great for dishwasher detergent. I spoke with a dishwasher repairman recently and he said that we really only need about a Tablespoon of liquid or powder dishwasher soap to get our dishes clean.
And all this time I’d been filling up both sides of the container in the door. What a waste!
And you know those little scraps of bar soap you have left and you normally just toss away? Well if you get the scrap all soapy and then get a new bar all soapy and rub them together piggyback style, when they dry they cement into one big bar again and you don’t have to throw your scrap away. You’ll use every tiny little inch of your store bought soap.
Another idea to make my groceries last longer is when I buy a gallon of milk and it gets about half empty I mix up a batch of powdered milk and pour it back into the gallon jug. My kids have NO IDEA that they are drinking a re-filled jug of milk. They can’t even taste the difference.
When baking recipes call for an egg I substitute one heaping tablespoon of soy flour and 1 tablespoon of water for the egg. This has the same effect the eggs does for a fraction of the price. I save the fresh eggs for other things. Don’t lick the batter though because it will taste funny. But when it cooks, it tastes just the same as if a real egg was used.
And last but not least, When a recipe calls for a pound of hamburger I use half a pound of meat and then substitute the other half with Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) just like the fast food restaurants do and it makes my meat last twice as long.
So those are just some ideas to make your store bought items have a little bit longer life and your paycheck stretch even farther.
And don’t forget to go check out Works For Me Wednesday for more great ideas.