Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cheapskate April: Saving on Necessities

As promised in my last post, I want to share with you the ways we save on our miscellaneous (“Walmart”) budget.  It’s not anything ground-breaking, but it really makes a difference for us.

This budget fluctuates a little, but we do our best to spend less than $100 per Walmart trip.  It doesn’t always happen, but it’s pretty gratifying when it does.  One thing I like to do when we leave is take a look at the receipt and figure out what is sucking the most of our money.  A lot of times, the highest-priced items are one-time purchases or irregular items.  What I’m looking for are the items that we have to buy regularly that really drain our budget.  When I find something we can either do without or substitute for something cheaper, we make the switch for at least a couple of months.

One thing I’ve found to be crazy-expensive is laundry detergent, but until recently, it was something I thought of as a necessity that we couldn’t substitute or go without.  That is, until I joined Pinterest.  If you’re on Pinterest, you’ve probably come across at least a dozen different detergent recipes, but from what I can tell, they’re mostly the same.  I had been considering trying homemade detergent for a while now, but finally got the motivation to make it happen this month.

The recipe I used comes from howdoesshe.com, and you can find it here.  The really cool thing about this stuff is that I spent around $35 on all of the ingredients, but I’m going to have enough to last me a year (of maybe six months, considering how fast Mr. O goes through clothes!).

It might not seem like a lot, but when I was spending around $8.00 every time I bought detergent (at least once a month), it really does add up.  The best thing about this might not even be the money I’m saving, but it could be the hassle of buying detergent!  I don’t know how it goes at your house, but it seems like I always realize I should buy more detergent when I’m down to about a quarter of a bottle, but I keep putting it off until we run out completely and we’re walking around piles of laundry (lovingly dubbed “Laundry Mountain”).  

I should disclose that I haven’t tried this detergent yet, but it smells amazing!  All of the comments I’ve read so far have been really positive, so I can’t wait to give it a try.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have you ever made your own detergent?  What did you think? 

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