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Old 05-08-2008, 08:05 PM   #1
StillPinballFamily
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Best painless "stretching things" budget tips?

Hey - I've been so inspired by the ideas from budget board folks! On one thread, someone recently posted that they mix their frozen juice concentrate with one extra can of water and no one in the family "notices."

I thought I'd share something I recently started doing and hope that many others weigh in with more suggestions for *relatively painless* ways to stretch our food and household $...

Our family members are all 100% maple syrup snobs. But at $12 a quart, I've just started mixing our real maple syrup with some of the cheaper maple syrup blends (Mrs. Butterworth, etc.) when we have pancakes to keep the cost down. We're also butter lovers, but I've started using margarine when baking cookies and making rice krispie treats.

Also, we just got a $20 gift card to a local chain pharmacy for free for switching a prescription to them. (Our neighborhood's little independent drug store finally closed... ) But, I used that gift card today to buy lots of sale (BOGO) laundry detergent - $40 worth that I only ended up paying $1.55 for!

Ok...your turn!
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:17 PM   #2
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I am saving on a loaf of bread by getting it at the Shwebels outlet and get 3 loaves for the price of 1 at the regular grocery store. I freeze a few and
make this last for 1-2 weeks and then go and stock up again.

Also visiting the Salvation Army Store for clothes. they have a nice one hear
and we get some name brand clothes for the kids. I go on wed and it is
1/2 their price.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:20 PM   #3
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My aunt (as well as my parents) lived through the Great Depression and one of the things my aunt did until the day she died was to serve her "Fridge Supper" on Friday..

She took everything that was in the fridge (NO leftovers were EVER thrown out - even if it was a portion of meatloaf no bigger than a teaspoon) and put it in a great big frying pan.. She would add a little bacon grease (if you don't have any, I'm sure butter or margarine would do), cut up some onions and potatoes, seasoned it with salt & pepper, and let it simmer until the onions and potatoes were done.. It was the best meal ever.. Even her kids couldn't wait for Friday to roll around..

I have a dish that I make - one of my many "make-something-out-of-nothing" dishes - and all it consists of is cooked and drained elbow macaroni, a can or two of diced tomatoes (with the juice), and seasoned with oregano.. You could also add garlic salt, grated cheese, any kind of vegetable you like, cooked hamburger or whatever.. A day or two later (if you have leftovers), kick it up a notch by adding some cooked mushrooms, some shredded cheddar cheese, some bread crumbs sprinkled on top and bake it in the oven..

All sorts of things you can do to make things stretch.. You just have to be willing to jump in with both feet and give it a try..

Awhile back I made "deviled egg sandwiches" for lunch for my DD, her DH, and my DGD.. They all love deviled eggs, but you have to eat quite a few of them to fill up.. So - I make the deviled egg part from the yolk in the traditional manner - then dice up the white part of the egg - mix it all together - and presto! You have a more filling deviled egg sandwich..
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:28 PM   #4
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Give up paper towels and paper napkins. Buy a bunch of good quality (on sale of course!) white dish towels. They will last forever, can be bleached of stains and can be used for drying hands and are great for covering laps really well while eating...so they're perfect with kids...less stains on clothing!
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyboy View Post
I am saving on a loaf of bread by getting it at the Shwebels outlet and get 3 loaves for the price of 1 at the regular grocery store. I freeze a few and
make this last for 1-2 weeks and then go and stock up again.

Also visiting the Salvation Army Store for clothes. they have a nice one hear
and we get some name brand clothes for the kids. I go on wed and it is
1/2 their price.
Just wanted to say "hi neighbor!" We're in Canton but I feel like Strongsville is like a second home after how many years we spent with my daughter on the soccer fields up there!!! I often buy Schwebel's bread (no other label will do!) but the Nickels outlet store is closer to me.

Good luck with budgeting and I'll wave next time I'm at South Park Mall!
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:41 PM   #6
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A tip I got from this board:

You don't need a full dryer sheet. I rip mine in half and never notice the difference.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickibean View Post
A tip I got from this board:

You don't need a full dryer sheet. I rip mine in half and never notice the difference.
Another along the same lines...don't use fabric softener, use vinegar instead (it really does work, I promise!!). Vinegar also works well instead of JetDry in the dishwasher.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:51 PM   #8
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I water down all juices and fruit drinks, ice tea, etc. The kids don't notice the difference, they get more liquid and less sugar
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnie1928 View Post
Another along the same lines...don't use fabric softener, use vinegar instead (it really does work, I promise!!). Vinegar also works well instead of JetDry in the dishwasher.
I use white vinegar in the washing machine as a deodorizer, but haven't ever tried it in the dishwasher - do you use the white there too, or the cider vinegar?
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnie1928 View Post
Another along the same lines...don't use fabric softener, use vinegar instead (it really does work, I promise!!). Vinegar also works well instead of JetDry in the dishwasher.
I've seen this tip before and I've never tried it. I've always wondered if the clothes smell like vinegar! (UGH!)
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:29 AM   #11
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I would use the white vinegar as the rinse agent.

We have a high effeciency washing machine - but I have discovered that you can use regular liquid detergent. You only need a fraction of what they recommend. I use less than a 1/4 cup for a full load...Haven't had to buy detergent in weeks (and yes our clothes are nice and fresh - remember your eldest DD wrapped up in that white fake fur throw with her face buried in it saying "this smells so fresh"... )
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:29 AM   #12
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I cut Dove facial cloths in half - still works the same.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:41 AM   #13
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I rewash fruit and veg bags (do not turn them in side out ). I will use them to bag up my home made cookies or if we are going on a car ride I will put the crayons in the bag
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:52 AM   #14
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We have cut back on buying bottled water. It was easier to get my kids to drink water that way but I have sold them on the sports bottles. They use the reuseable bottles when playing outside or bike riding. I wash them in the dish washer for next time.

I liked those pledge duster things when they came out. I got them with coupons free or really cheap. I have found a $1 for 2 replacement at Weis in Dollar Zone. There dryer sheet $1 for 20 sheets aren't too bad cut in half of course. We cut back on paper plates and plastic throw out cups too. We run the dishwasher every night after dinner so we have been using real plates and glasses.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Another along the same lines...don't use fabric softener, use vinegar instead (it really does work, I promise!!). Vinegar also works well instead of JetDry in the dishwasher.
Do you pour the white vinegar in the same compartment that you would the Jet Dry?
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