Friday, May 30, 2008

Frugal Friday

This photo has nothing to do with this post, but I just can't have a photo-less post. Rhodies from my garden.

As I've mentioned before, I'm on a serious mission to save money around here. Everything's getting more expensive and the amount of money coming in is not increasing. I'm not sure if anyone's interested at all, but I thought I'd use Fridays to share some of the things I'm doing to try and keep our heads above water.

In my previous post I had made dog biscuits and laundry detergent. I now have the results of that test.

The dog biscuits, which were the same size as Milk Bones, and therefore could be calculated by the oz, were MUCH cheaper.

Milk Bones: 20 cents / oz
Homemade: 10 cents / oz

The laundry detergent, however, was another story. Even though the Costco laundry detergent claims to be for 200 loads, I have a super size washing machine and only do large loads, so I only get 128 loads from a bucket. (Don't even ask how I calculated that, just trust me)

Kirkland Signature
powdered laundry detergent: 10 cents a load
Homemade laundry detergent: 8 cents a load

Is it worth going through all that trouble for 2 cents a load?

Frugal tip of the week:
Only do full loads of laundry. Half loads use the same amount of electricity and/or gas as full loads. I have a laundry hamper with three compartments. Each of them holds exactly one load. This was a total coincidence, but I love it, because I only do laundry when a compartment is full.


  1. I agree with the laundry detergent. I really is not worth the time. I have lately been purchasing the 7th Generation 2X Lavender and Blue Eucalyptus. I really like it. I went the route of making my own - I have very sensitive skin and make all my soaps - and I found it really didn't do as well as I thought it should - for all the work involved. With the prices going up and up it makes it a little easier for the transistion to the vegetable based products.

    I love hte idea of the dog biscuits - I don't buy our dogs biscuits, they are too expensive, plus we have six dogs. I plan on trying your recipe next week!

    I also love your idea of 'Frugal Fridays'!

  2. I don't doubt that the dog biscuits were a lot cheaper. Probably healthier too!

  3. Hello - I am one of those blog lurkers and check/read your blog daily - yes you were missed! Please continue with the money saving tips/household tips. I am a stay at home mom and like you said, things are getting more expensive but the money coming in isn't going up! I love your tips and your quilts!!

    Jennifer in North Dakota

  4. For all of you in the USA can you believe that petrol (gas) is now 12 dollars for one gallon! I am so glad I bought a small car that does 50 miles to the gallon! We also have a lot of food prices going up - pasta has trebled in price over the last few months!

  5. Sorry - I forgot to say that I am in England!

  6. Yes! The two cents is totally worth it! You inspired me to make my own home made laundry detergent a while back. I haven't blogged about it yet, but when I do, I will be sure to link to your site. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. oy, after reading janet's comments I am so glad that gas isn't any more expensive than it is here. I feel like I am old beyond my years just for the fact of how much griping that I do about the prices of things. it is crazy, though, isn't it? with the prices of everything going up, $8.00 a yard for fabric doesn't seem so bad then. :) ha! at least that's what I have been telling myself lately.

  8. I enjoy hearing your frugal ideas. They inspire me and I'm sure I'm not the only one who can use any thoughts on saving money. How do you divide your laundry into your three bins? I have two of those sorters and do smaller loads than are probably necessary. Of course my hubby's work clothes and jeans from working in a machine shop almost always have to be a separate load. Do you sort things by color, how long it takes to dry, etc.? Thanks for the help in keeping on top of our lives in this crazy economy. ~Adrienne~

  9. I agree with you - things are getting much tighter over here in the UK too - I could go round the supermarket and my trolley would generally come to around £70-80, now the same sort of trolley virtually always tops the £100 mark - scary stuff. And it's the staple things that are rising now not just the luxuries. Bread, pasta, rice etc. As I have a vegophobe in the house who will only eat peas we get through a lot of frozen peas (have to get the vitamins into him somehow) a big pack used to be around £1.80 now they're nearer £2.70. We'll all end up back in the stitching times of our foremothers scratching round using all available tiny little scraps and not being able to afford to buy fabric at this rate. Sorry this sounds like a really dreary comment - the rhodies are beautiful btw

  10. I love frugal friday! I guess were doing ok next to Englad...Yikes! but things keep getting tighter and tighter! I looked up making cat food but I must say, i dont feel good feeding my cat raw chicken. lol I think a batch of treats might be good though. Thanks for the great idea Anina. As for laundry, since we don't have our own it is 3.00$ a load. Ahhh well, thats why I have lots of clothes I guess.
    Your blocks look great. You are so good with color and piecing. If I keep following you I'll be a pro in no time. lol
    Have a great weekend!

  11. Hi,

    You might look into the book The Tightwad Gazette I and II, by Amy Dacyczyn. Years ago I was a subscriber to her newsletter and she offers many helpful ideas and hints on saving money.

    Also, do you shop the sales and CVS and Walgreen’s? They offer sales, in store promotions and in store credits. Many people are using coupons in combination with CVS and Walgreen’s and saving a lot of money. The web page www.moneysavingmom has a lot of information about saving money with coupons while shopping at these stores.

    I have found that a good way to save money is to have an extra freezer, the chest type, and stock up on items that go on sale or marked down because of the expiration date. In my area, Texas, our grocery stores have an area in the meat market where packaged meat is marked down because it will be expired in a day or two. You can freeze it raw or precook it and then freeze. I recently purchase 2-pound Jimmy Dean sausage rolls for 99-cents each. At the same time I purchase 2-gallons of milk marked down to 1.50 each. Between the two bargain items I made several batches of gravy which was packaged into meal size bags and put in the freezer.

    Hope these few ideas help you!

  12. Thank you for running the numbers on this. I've been wanting to make dog treats with Girlkiddo--we don't have a dog but we have lots of beloved dog friends. And I've always felt like I should try to make my own laundry detergent but haven't had much desire to do it. Now I feel like I have a free pass to not worry about it anymore.

  13. Costco just changed the size on their liquid laundry detergent. It's now double strength or something. I thought the container looked smaller!