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Old 05-17-2008, 09:27 PM   #91
RLccweems
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I love this thread...there's some great tips...keep them coming.
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:37 AM   #92
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The new concentrated, Ultra dish soaps are a good idea for the environment since they use less plastic. But, DH and DD squirt the same amount of dish soap into the pan regardless of whether or not it is concentrated.

So, I keep and extra, empty soap bottle and when I buy a new bottle I empty about 1/3 of it and store the concentrate in my stash bottle. I replace that concentrate with water. When the one at the sink gets down to about 1/3 of a bottle I refill from my stash and dilute as appropriate.
I can't believe I never thought of this. We now have 2 bottles of dish soap in our kitchen. DH's sits on the sink and is what ever is the largest and cheapest. He goes thru it like crazy pours it on each and every dish instead of a little on the sponge. I keep my little expensive bottle of "Palmolive Dry Skin with Aloe" hidden under the sink. :
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:21 AM   #93
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I always cut my Brillo pads in half, and the last time I opened a box, I happened to count them as I cut them. (yes, I know I am a little OCD) There were only 17 pads in the box, although the box said it contained 18 pads. This really griped me, as I like SOS pads better than Brillo, but buy Brillo to save money. I knows this sounds like a cheapskate, but I emailed the company and told them about it and they sent me a coupon for a free box. I'm going to count the next box too, and if it's short, I'm going back to using SOS pads even if they're a little more expensive than Brillo pads.

Well, just for kicks I just went and cut my new box of Brillo pads in half and counted them too. This box contained 21 pads. They must go by weight when packaging instead of the counting out the actual number of pads, and some pads are larger than others. I'm glad to know now that they weren't intentionally shorting the box.

thats a good idea!
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:28 AM   #94
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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!
Yeah, we use cloth almost exclusively. Paper products are for short road trips only. I feel guilty even then. Also, we hang dry lots of things rather than use the electricity to dry them.

OP, I'd be worried about the high fructose corn syrup in that fake syrup. Why not find a Trader Joes and get your syrup cheaper to begin with? Their prices are marvelous!
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:01 AM   #95
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OP, I'd be worried about the high fructose corn syrup in that fake syrup. Why not find a Trader Joes and get your syrup cheaper to begin with? Their prices are marvelous!
You could also stretch real maple syrup with simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water, microwave) and maple flavoring.

Around our house, we use real maple syrup, but we put it in little tiny pitchers for the kids. I got sick of watching them dump half a bottle of syrup over their pancakes. The think the pitchers are cute, I find I use less syrup.
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:05 AM   #96
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On the topic of making your own and avoiding HFCS - a two liter bottle, water, a cup of sugar, a little yeast and some flavoring turns into homemake soda in about two days. It isn't your Coke, if you are a Coke drinker. But we've done ginger ale and pineapple and apple and lemon-lime. An internet search will turn up recipes.
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:10 AM   #97
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You could also stretch real maple syrup with simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water, microwave) and maple flavoring.

Around our house, we use real maple syrup, but we put it in little tiny pitchers for the kids. I got sick of watching them dump half a bottle of syrup over their pancakes. The think the pitchers are cute, I find I use less syrup.
Good points about the HFCS. Part of the reason(s) we make our own bread and jelly is to get away from that - it seems to be in everything! I do already use simple syrup to sweeten my pitchers of iced tea. I'll try also using it to stretch out the maple syrup...do you *need* to add the maple flavoring or do you think I could just use some simple syrup to cut the maple? We do use a little serving pitcher for our maple syrup - a microwave safe one, since we need to zap the maple syrup to warm it since it is kept in the fridge. I'll check TJs - I usually get my 100% maple syrup at the Christmas Tree Shop - but even there it is $12 a quart, and that's LOTS less than at the regular grocery stores.

Also - a tip on finding the drying racks for damp laundry. We got ours online from the Vermont Country Store. They have wooden racks (a few different sizes, too - about $40.) We love the wood ones as they don't flake and rust like the plastic-coated wire ones eventually do. And the largest of the wood racks holds a entire load of laundry. I hated the smaller racks that held "almost" the whole load - that was a pain. Sometimes we set it up inside and sometimes outside, depending upon the weather, but we do have two retractable clotheslines too that we can stretch across the backyard when needed. The budget board posters keep me motivated to use line drying more — and the dryer less — in nice weather.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:21 AM   #98
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Good points about the HFCS. Part of the reason(s) we make our own bread and jelly is to get away from that - it seems to be in everything! I do already use simple syrup to sweeten my pitchers of iced tea. I'll try also using it to stretch out the maple syrup...do you *need* to add the maple flavoring or do you think I could just use some simple syrup to cut the maple? We do use a little serving pitcher for our maple syrup - a microwave safe one, since we need to zap the maple syrup to warm it since it is kept in the fridge. I'll check TJs - I usually get my 100% maple syrup at the Christmas Tree Shop - but even there it is $12 a quart, and that's LOTS less than at the regular grocery stores.
I don't know - I've never tried it - if I were going to try it, I'd probably start with just some simple syrup - or even corn syrup (the normal grocery store corn syrup isn't as bad as the high fructose stuff) - and see if the maple was enough to come through since extracts are pretty expensive by themselves. If everyone thought it was too watered down, I'd try the extract.

I get mine in bulk at the coop and have no idea what the price is - other than its cheaper at the coop than the grocery store but still makes me feel like I might want to mortgage the house.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:57 PM   #99
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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.
My Mom just told me about this little tip. Just in time too, because I just ran out of fabric softener. I can't wait to try it.

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It is significantly better (and cheaper!) for you and your clothes to use vinegar to soften your clothes. And no the vinegar smell does not stay on your clothes. Fabric softeners contain all kinds of really nasty chemicals. ..that is why they use strong fragrances - to cover up the smell of them. Check out the info here:
Also, using liquid fabric softeners increases the flammability of clothing and should never, ever be used on children's clothing. Fabric softener can also negate the flame retardant properties on children's sleepwear.

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I think I am going to give this a try.

Also, I am thinking about buying a clothes drying rack like my mom had when we were kids. I will probably need a couple of them. I am thinking of using the tip someone gave about drying the clothes in the dryer long enough to get the wrinkles out and then put them on the drying rack. Problem is, I grew up with a basement (northeast) and Mom did the laundry down there. We don't have basements here so I am perplexed as to where I would put the drying racks. Oh well...where there is a will, there is a way! I will find a place.
When the weather is bad, I use a drying rack and I set it up in the bathroom.

We have this one from Ikea. Paid $17, and it is made with plastic coated steel, so no chance of rust. As you can see, this thing can hold a lot of laundry, but it is versatile and fits perfectly in my small bathroom. But, as soon as the temp gets above 60 degrees, my clothes go on the outside line, even during a winter "warm spell".
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:19 PM   #100
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crisi,


I like the idea of homemade soda,make mine lemon-lime, maybe I can figure out how to make Pepsi, too!
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:23 PM   #101
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Thumbs up New mentality toward cutting back !

I'm sure this has been mentioned before but this is what've been doing lately & I've noticed that cutting coupons saves alot so I'm an avid coupon cutter now. Also at my local Publix they have everyweek buy one get one free for a whole bunch of different things. This week I got frozen pancakes, syrup, variety snack packs, tombstone pizza, publix brand spaghetti sauce was 60 % off (should of bought 3 or 4) peanut butter (big Jiffy bottle) etc. So you can see it's a lot of stuf. So if I think I have a use for it I buy it & it's made the food household budget go further. I switched to Publix brand detergent & it's cheap, smells good & works great. If my son wants pizza which was a weekly Pizza Hut call I now make sure we always have frozen pizza on hand. I also got so much Tang from a houseparty.com event that I'm adding that to the household since between my DH & DS they spend so much $ on Gatorade, Arizona Ice Tea, Coke, those frou-frou juices, usually Mango All I want is water & a Corona I also get the lesser name brands for cleaning kitchen stuff. I found this latin brand "Fabuloso" brand to be cheaper & smells great. THey have floor cleaner & sprays for kitchen & surfaces. It cleans just as well but leaves a really nice smell ( I love the lavendar & my DH likes floral ). Well these a few & very unstressing budget helpers. Takes me very little time which is great b/c I work. Also before when my DS would earn a reward/ bribe I would head to Wal-Mart or online to some toy store. No more ! I now go to my local Walgreens & find cute toys. $5.99 for a small fire station set, $9.99 for a big water gun for outside etc. He hasn't noticed ! He's really tough on toys so I know they won't last & my pocket book gets happy b/c I just picked up Coke litters for 89 cents !!!!! So I guess I'm jusr more watchful. I just need to find a cheaper way to buy fresh cut flowers. I like simple flowers but like them in the dining room & breakfast area. Gotta shop around & find a local for help (see a new mentality has set in) before I would buy from Publix b/c it was convenient & I didn't look at the price
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:49 PM   #102
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I enjoyed reading your post, thank you for the interesting information, I have seen the Fabuloso brand, however I have always wondered how well does it work in comparison to Cheer with color guard? would you happen to know?
for if it does not beat my colors up, and the savings is going to be noticeable then my trying the Fab. brand might be a good idea.
I cannot remember the last time that I found pizza on a buy one,get one free offer! I think we need a Publix store in Ca.!
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:09 AM   #103
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Care to share your pizza dough recipe? Please!

This is a great thread!! I love the Brillo pad idea!
You've got a PM .

I love the brillo pad idea...and the baby soap in the soap dispenser. I've got at least a dozen bottles of that stuff from when my son was an infant & I seemed to get a coupon for a free bottle every time I checked out at the supermarket. Ended up not being able to use it because my son's skin was so sensitive. I'm going to try this as soon as the soap dispenser runs out.

One thing that I always try to do is to plan my meals around what's on sale that week & to plan the week's meals out in advance. If I plan everything out it saves me having to run back to the store (gas is now up to 4.09$) & helps to avoid the temptaion of buying extras.

For instance, tonight we're having london broil (1.49 lb) for dinner & the leftovers will be sliced thin to be used to make salads for another meal.
This week chop meat is 1.99 lb for 3 lb packages (you don't need to pay more for the leaner meat as you can cook the fat out). I'll make a bunch of meatballs in different sizes & bake them on a rack (to cook the fat out). I can freeze them in a bag once they cool & have meatballs ready to throw into sauce, soups, heroes or even "mini" meatball sandwiches.

Also, during sales like this, I'll make the meat up into burgers & freeze them between layers of wax paper...for those nights when I have no idea what to make for dinner & just want something quick.
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #104
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Never mind - found the answer within the thread.

Last edited by left210; 05-19-2008 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:44 AM   #105
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I've started making homemade products of the convenience foods I buy for us to take for lunch to work/schools or for breakfast, and it's really cut back on our budget. Once a week or so, I make a huge batch of waffles, pancakes, granola bars, cookies, muffins, breads, cereal/fruit bars etc and put half in the cookie jars and the other half storage containers in the freezer. As the cookie jars get low, we can pull more out of the freezer. I have invested in a big stash of plastic to-go containers and we use those instead of plastic bags to pack those items in. It takes some time, but I usually do it on Saturday mornings or Sunday evenings and we're set for a week or two.

I bought a ton of white "barkeeper" towels from The Dollar Tree 2 for $1. We're using those instead of napkins, paper towels.


A friend of mine has been making her own laundry soap and is in love with. She sent me the recipe so that's my next project.
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