Monday, January 18, 2010

Cost Cutting that I Use

This is my recipe for laundry detergent. It makes 2 1/2 gallons of detergent, initial cost is maybe $15-20, depending on the prices in your area, however when you break it down the cost is only about $1 per bucket of detergent, and last us - including the detergent I made for my mom, so 6 people - around 9 months. It is also AWESOME if anyone has skin allergies, I can't comfortably use any other detergent, even "free and clear" ones because they all break me out to some degree, I've never had an issue with the stuff I make.

Other things I do that cut down on costs is I buy the whole 5 lb processed ham, at WM and take it to the deli and have them slice it for me, then when I get home I separate it into 1lb freeze bags, freeze all but one bag of it at a time - $7(maybe) for 5lbs of sandwich ham, instead of $3 per 1/2lb.

Coupons - when my printer has ink.

I buy the ink refill bottles for the works wonderfully until you screw it up and put the colored ink in the black and black in the colored...

I make my own cleaners using vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and rubbing alcohol...there's quite a few different ones listed on here : Maybe about $5 a month as opposed to my "normal" $30-ish.

Of course generic items.

I also try to go to the local butcher and buy most of my meats there, they're fresher and are generally cheaper. In the spring I build up a garden and freeze or can a great portion of it - Spaghetti Sauce & Salsa especially. I also bake a lot of my own bread.

I do have a bit of an advantage out here where I live because I have an awesome neighbor who brings me a flat (2 1/2 dozen) of eggs every week or so that his chickens have laid. He also has some hogs & a cow he's going to be taking to slaughter this spring and will just split the processing cost with him to fill our freezer - roughly $400 (maybe) for half an "organic, free range" cow and one or two full hogs, all cuts of both.

I limit my driving to just what's necessary and do all my running in the same day, planning the trip out so I don't have to back track most of the time. We (as a family, I'm quite sure Brian eats out more often than he admits) don't go out to eat more than *maybe* once a month.

I bake something daily, and cook dinner nightly. I also have a stock pile(that needs to be refreshed) of freezer safe plastic containers that I'll fill with lunch size meals, from any leftovers we have, and put them in the freezer for later. Brian then takes them to work with him - when he thinks about it - for lunch there or we'll have them here for lunch - just something we can pop in the microwave, much like any other TV dinner, but without all the "preservatives and sodium". I don't buy many snacky junk type foods - soda, only if we're having a gathering here at the house; snack cakes - not at all, I make them instead - well cookies, cakes, the like; chips are a rare purchase, maybe one or two bags a month, maybe, instead I do buy crackers for those salt cravings, but most don't go through crackers like they do chips; etc etc.

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