Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yes, I'm THAT cheap...

I'm cheap. Very cheap. My husband is cheap too. We're a match made in Bargain Shopper's Paradise. Last night I watched a show about extreme couponing. A lady bought over $600 of groceries for less than $3. Impressive. Very impressive. I would love to do that kind of bargain shopping. But I'm afraid I don't have the dedication to clip EVERY coupon I see and spend hours reading sale fliers. Instead, I just focus my energy on being cheap.

Take my grocery bill for example. I feed myself, my husband, his two teenage sons and little Ben for less than $80 a week. We eat well, and always have plenty to eat, and I manage to do it pinching pennies. I have no particular savings plan there, just buying things on sale and buying healthy food that I can prepare myself. Seems to work like a charm!

There is one other money saving tactic I have taken on, and that's making my own laundry detergent. When I mention it in conversation with people it's usually a conversation stopper. Everyone wants to know how to do it, how much it costs, what does it smell like and does it really work. I'm sure anyone reading this now is wondering the same thing. So yes it works, it's insanely cheap, it smells fresh and clean and it takes about a 1/2 hour of time to prepare, which is well worth the savings. So here's how I do it.

Grate 1/2 bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap. Heat 6 cups of water and add soap, stirring until melted. And 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup Washing Soda. Stir until dissolved. Pour 4 cups of hot water in bottom of a cleaning bucket. Add soap mixture and stir. Top pail with cold water stirring well. Let set for 24 hours stirring occasionally. Pour into old laundry detergent bottles or other storage bottles. Use 1/2 cup per load and shake bottle before each use. (When I make this I tend to use a little less water to "top" my bucket, you can always add more later if the soap is too thick.) You can add a few drops of essential oil if you would like a particular scent to your soap, and you can also substitute a few other types of soap for the Fels Naptha if you don't particularly like it.

A bar of Fels Naptha costs $1.25. A box of Borax, approximately $3.00. Washing Soda, I think $3-$4. You get two batches from each bar of soap and many batches from the Borax and Washing Soda. I have been making my soap for nearly 2 years and am only on my second box of Borax. The savings on laundry soap is substantial. Yes, it's a pain to make, but well worth the effort, especially when you do as much laundry as I do!

Most people that try this end up loving it, and continue making it. In fact, I think everyone I've given the recipe to is still making their own soap. It's a cheapskate revolution!!! (And no coupons necessary!)

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