Best painless "stretching things" budget tips?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by StillPinballFamily, May 8, 2008.

  1. StillPinballFamily

    StillPinballFamily Mouseketeer

    Feb 28, 2008
    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...:mad: ) 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!:woohoo:

    Ok...your turn!
  2. luckyboy

    luckyboy Earning My Ears

    Mar 31, 2008
    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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  4. C.Ann

    C.Ann <font color=green>We'll remember when...<br><font

    May 13, 2001
    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..:goodvibes

    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.. ;)
  5. Bren's Mom

    Bren's Mom DIS Veteran

    Aug 11, 2006
    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 they're perfect with kids...less stains on clothing!
  6. vsimeone

    vsimeone <font color=deeppink>I am the Queen Thread Killer

    Dec 1, 2004
    Just wanted to say "hi neighbor!" :wave2: 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!
  7. Vickibean

    Vickibean Mouseketeer

    Sep 24, 2004
    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.
  8. minnie1928

    minnie1928 WDW addict

    Feb 16, 2004
    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.
  9. happily single

    happily single <font color=royalblue>Left foot first!<br><font co

    Jan 12, 2008
    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
  10. StillPinballFamily

    StillPinballFamily Mouseketeer

    Feb 28, 2008
    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?
  11. timzagain

    timzagain Rena

    Apr 18, 2007
    I've seen this tip before and I've never tried it. I've always wondered if the clothes smell like vinegar! (UGH!)
  12. TinkerBean

    TinkerBean Earning My Ears and Losing My Mind<br><font color=

    Jun 4, 2007
    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"...:goodvibes )
  13. gillenkl

    gillenkl DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2006
    I cut Dove facial cloths in half - still works the same.
  14. stahshee

    stahshee wheres my Camero?

    Feb 5, 2005
    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
  15. luv2nascar

    luv2nascar <font color=purple>You're a wizard Harry. And a th

    May 17, 2000
    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.
  16. aidensmom73

    aidensmom73 Mouseketeer

    Feb 20, 2007
    Do you pour the white vinegar in the same compartment that you would the Jet Dry?
  17. thomascaldwell1

    thomascaldwell1 DIS Veteran

    Mar 27, 2008
    I have to second the 'not using as much laundry detergeant as suggested' tip. I bought a large container at Sam's Club last year (we only go every 3-6 months to stock up on cleaning supplies and other things I can get in bulk that we will use) and am still using it... I have the one with the push-button versus the screw-off top. I push the button while swirling the bottle around the opening of the washer two times, and that'e enough soap. By FAR not what is suggested on the bottle- but my clothes are clean, and fresh.

    I like the vinegar idea- will have to give it a shot. Thanks so much!
  18. rottiemom

    rottiemom DIS Veteran

    Apr 25, 2008
    How funny is this! That's what we're having for dinner tonight :laughing: . My husband's mom used to make something like this all of the time. She called it American Chop Suey (apparantly the name is a New England thing but it's known as goulash or Johnny Marzetti). We make it with cooked chop meat, sauteed onions & celery. It's very good, filling & easy to stretch.
  19. tcarr5

    tcarr5 I suffer from Disneyitus!

    Jul 12, 2000
    We had these many a night growing up, only they were called "Shut up and eat it" :rotfl2: :rotfl2:
  20. hsmamato2

    hsmamato2 <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad

    Mar 28, 2005
    Yup- vinegar works great in the wash- my biggest problem is it's expensive to buy lately...... so I haven't been!
    We also have a leftover night,but I usually call it "buffet night" where we all pick what we want from all the containers on the counter (like Chef Mickeys,haha) it works well,
    and I also re-use leftover scraps to make dog food( I know what NOT to feed them) to stretch that expensive corn free dog kibble I buy...... (gasp! think of it,dogs eating actual food?!?! like they did for thousands of years before dog food companies began marketing....:rotfl: )
    Make and use cloth napkins and dishtowels
    Add extra water to OJ concentrate too
    drink water almost all the time at home with a Brita filter
  21. Avonlady1001

    Avonlady1001 DIS Veteran

    Jul 16, 2007
    LOL Mom calls this "Rocking Chairs." Loved it growing up & now it's one of my DD's faves, too.

    My sister just taught me Tuna Cakes. A can of tuna (or 2) drained, a box of stuffing, some mayo, relish, a little water for the stuffing....viola! Make patties and brown/crisp them in some olive oil til heated through. My DH loved them. I think he ate 5! LOL DD wouldn't touch it, but she's 3 and decided she's going to be picky. :confused3

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