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Flipping Q-Tips! Or Why is Non-Food 1/3 of My Grocery Budget?

post #1 of 131
Thread Starter 
I am so crunchy. Sooo crunchy. I use cloth EVERYTHING, make sunscreen and conditioner, I don't buy hair product or shave gel, make my own laundry stain remover mix, no conventional cleaning products, use almost everything sparingly... and I still spend $100 a month on non-food grocery items. Bah!

To get specific, since July 21st, I have spent $167 on food for two adults, an 11 y.o. boy who eats like a man, a toddler, and an EBF babe. I normally spend about $200 a month, so this is normal and good. (Since 7/21, we've been out to eat three times, always snacks, and spent less than $30 on that, total.)

So my food budget is like the envy of the universe, right?

But then, in that same span of time, I've spent $106 on non-food things. It seemed like a lot, so I went thru my shopping list/price book software, and compiled a list of all our regular non-food consumable purchases, and took a stab at how much we use, did my math, tallied everything... and it came out to $97 per month.

So $106 is normal. :

How do people buying Swiffers and paper towels and tampons afford to live? I seriously do not get it.

Can anyone help me? Anybody want to look at my list and see what, if anything, we can trim? I hate spending good money on disposible stuff!
post #2 of 131
I am interested to see your non-food list and help you analyze! I can't imagine what adds up to $100 -- it makes me think maybe I am secretly losing money that way, too.

Also, I know you have a great pantry-stocking system for buying food. But coupons combined w/ sales are actually great for non-food items. I don't use coupons for food at all but have recently gotten into it for drugstore type stuff and it's great. I just stocked rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and bandaids for a super low price. You can stock any OTC medicines you know you use, throat lozenges etc and then you don't have the last-minute trip to the store where you'll pay whatever just to feel a little better.

Also, after you determine what you really do need, maybe you should be making a 1/x yr trip to Costco (w/ a friend who has a membership...) for non-food items.
post #3 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post

So my food budget is like the envy of the universe, right?
:

Could you post what you've bought, non-food wise?
post #4 of 131
[QUOTE=Leta;14223253]

How do people buying Swiffers and paper towels and tampons afford to live? I seriously do not get it.

[QUOTE]

I get all those things for free with coupons and sales... I havent paid for tampons in years, same with swiffers and paper towels... many times the store pays me to take the merchandise from them.... gotta love that.
post #5 of 131
I have a similar issue. (I do buy paper towels but we use very few. I don't buy swiffers or menstrual products) Here are the reasons in our case.
1. My husband gets sinus headaches so uses a lot of decongestant. I buy store-brand on sale, etc, but it adds up.
2. Vitamins!
3. I can't use regular toothpaste because SLS gives me canker sores, so I buy one of the two sensodyne flavours that don't have it. Sensodyne on sale is 4x as much as colgate on sale.
4. In Canada, there's no such thing as getting paid to take merchandise, and if there is a "try it free" coupon it is for expensive gimmick cleaning product that is not necessary, never staples like toothpaste or tampons. Coupons in general are much rarer.
post #6 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by traceface View Post
I am interested to see your non-food list and help you analyze! I can't imagine what adds up to $100 -- it makes me think maybe I am secretly losing money that way, too.
Me, too! I tend lump grocery and non-grocery household stuff, but this makes me reconsider.
post #7 of 131
Thread Starter 
Okay, here's my list. It's pretty detailed. In reading the responses, I have a couple of thoughts:

-I have tried couponing, with limited success. We don't have any double coupon stores, a CVS, or a Sam's/BJ's/Costco. Plus, I buy store brands except where noted in italics.

-I am going to GFS next shopping trip and buying restaraunt size tinfoil, plastic wrap, and parchment, so I'll be able to trim there.

-I am probably slightly overestimating how much we spend on our pets (two cats, one medium-large dog). The total is probably closer to $35/mo. That said, I am not giving up my dog doodie bags! They are my luxury item. They fit in a dispenser on her leash so I never forget them, and they generally make an unpleasant task easier.

-Though I buy seven (!!!) different types of plastic bags, I buy them very infrequently. We have to have the recycling and trash bags per city rules :, but the others we conciously try to minimize through reuse and other strategies. (The ziploc bags are used when we IQF fruits and veggies to feed the freezer; SuckNSeal bags are used for meats and homemade veggie burgers/sausage.)

-Same with the TP and paper napkins- we buy less- a lot less- than we used to because I use cloth for pee and the napkins are only used to clean our cast iron/blue steel pans and if the cats puke. So I don't know how much lower I could realistically go on the few plastics/paper goods we purchase.

-I still use homemade laundry detergent for diapers, but I switched to Coldwater Tide (1 fl oz per load- yes, I measure) for general laundry to save on our hot water bill. But now I'm thinking that maybe the savings don't offset the cost of the Tide- anybody have any thoughts on this?

-The list of food items used for non-food purposes is a quirk of my accounting system because all the stores I shop at break the receipt totals down into food/non-food, so this helps me to realize that I actually spend slightly less on food we eat than would appear. Also, when I started obsessively tracking our spending a few years ago, we got $350/mo in food stamps, so if I could buy it with food stamps, I needed to know, and this habit has sort of held on.


Monthly Household Expenses Breakdown

Pets
$12 Cat Food (Purina)
$6 Kitty Litter
$1 Catnip
$15 Dog Food (Purina)
$3.50 Doodie Bags (Heart)
$3.50 Dog Treats

Non Food Consumables (Purchased in a Brick and Mortar Store)Aloe $4 (3 x/yr) = $12
BandAids $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Lip Balm (Carmex) $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Q Tips $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Cotton Pads $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Witch Hazel $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Dental Floss $6.50 (2x/yr) = $13
Toothbrushes $3 (8x/yr) = $24
Toothpaste (Tom's of Maine) $3 (12x/yr) = $36
Razor Blades (Venus/Mach 3) $24 (1x/yr) = $24
Deoderant (Tom's of Maine) $4 (2x/yr) = $8
Contact Solution $3 (1x/yr) = $3
Nail Polish Remover $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Glycerin $4 (1x/yr) = $4
Pine Tar Soap (Grandpa's) $5 (4x/yr) = $20
Liquid Soap (Dr. Bronner’s) $15 (1x/yr) = $15
Peroxide $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Antibiotic Ointment $5 (2x/yr) = $10
NyQuil $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Tylenol $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Ibuprofin $5 (2x/yr) = $10
Stool Softener $4 (2x/yr) = $8
Tums $4 (1x/yr) = $4
Misc Other First Aid Stuff $10 (1x/yr) = $10
Brita Filters $20 (2x/yr) = $40
Cheesecloth $5 (2x/yr) = $10
Duct Tape $4 (1x/yr) = $4
Packing Tape $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Scotch Tape $3 (1x/yr) = $3
Masking Tape $3 (1x/yr) = $3
Gift Tape Refills $5 (1x/yr) = $5
Mechanical Pencil Leads $5 (1x/yr) = $5
Pen Refills $3 (4x/yr) = $12
Chalk $1 (2x/yr) = $2
Printer Paper $3 (3x/yr) = $9
Staples $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Envelopes $3 (1x/yr) = $3
Stamps $10 (1x/yr) = $10
Printer Cartridges $15 (2x/yr) = $30
SuckNSeal Bags $7 (2x/yr) = $14
Gallon Ziplocs $2 (3x/yr) = $6
Quart Ziplocs $2 (3x/yr) = $6
Recycling Bags $7 (1x/yr) = $7
Trash Bags $7 (1x/yr) = $7
Straws $1.50 (2x/yr) = $3
Toothpicks $1.50 (1x/yr) = $1.50
Bleach $5 (1x/yr) = $5
Borax $5 (1x/yr) = $5
Paper Napkins (Bounty) $3 (4x/yr) = $12
Toilet Paper (Scott Tissue) $9 (5x/yr) = $45
Green Scrubbies $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Dish Wand Sponge Heads $3 (3x/yr) = $9
Color Safe Bleach (Clorox II) $7 (1x/yr) = $7
Dishwasher Detergent $4 (1x/yr) = $4
Stain Spray (OxyClean) $2 (6x/yr) = $12
Laundry Detergent (Coldwater Tide) $12 (9x/yr) = $108
Plastic Wrap $2 (4x/yr) = $8
Tinfoil $3 (4x/yr) = $12
Parchment $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Waxed Paper $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Waxed Paper Bags $2 (1x/yr) = $2

Total: $691per year
Or $57 per mo

(+$40 in pets = $97/mo)

Non Food Consumables Purchased Online or Thru the Cafe
Alpenglow Shampoo ($50/yr)
Chagrin Valley Shampoo Bars (Human and Dog) ($50/yr)
Everyday Minerals ($20/yr)
Essential Oils ($20/yr)*
Titanium Dioxide ($5/yr)*
Zinc Oxide ($5/yr)*
Sodium Hydroxide ($5/yr)*
Potassium Hydroxide ($5/yr)*
Beeswax ($5/yr)*
Conditioning Beads ($5/yr)*
Bread Bags ($5/yr)*
Dishsoap ($10/yr)*


Food Items Used As Non Food
Guar Gum ($10/yr)*
Xanthan Gum ($10/yr)*
White Vinegar ($50/yr)
Apple Cider Vinegar ($50/yr)
Baking Soda ($50/yr)
Salt ($5/yr)
Castor Oil ($10/yr)*
Sweet Almond Oil ($10/yr)*
Vegetable Shortening ($10/yr)
Olive Oil ($10/yr)

* = items purchased less frequently than once a year
post #8 of 131
Can I ask what you use some things for?

Q-tips? What does anyone do with Q-tips? I've used them for gun cleaning and taking the mascara off the bottom of my eyes when I wear it. A big box lasts me years.

cheese cloth? I actually make cheese, but I haven't bought new cheesecloth in years.

cotton pads? Can you go with some re-useable scraps of cloth?

antibiotic ointment? I never use that stuff. Didn't grow up with it and I don't put it on cuts.

straws? Never use.

toothpicks? A box lasts me years. I've occasionally used them for appetizers or to spread glue.

chalk? Where do you use it? I've had the same box for years but we don't have any chalkboards in the house.

envelopes? We don't mail that many things. Maybe once a month and it's usuallly me for something like Girl Scout dues. A box lasts a few years.

staples? Same thing. We've had the same box for several years now.

You have a lot of bags:
SuckNSeal Bags $7 (2x/yr) = $14
Gallon Ziplocs $2 (3x/yr) = $6
Quart Ziplocs $2 (3x/yr) = $6
Recycling Bags $7 (1x/yr) = $7
Trash Bags $7 (1x/yr) = $7

and wraps:
Plastic Wrap $2 (4x/yr) = $8
Tinfoil $3 (4x/yr) = $12
Parchment $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Waxed Paper $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Waxed Paper Bags $2 (1x/yr) = $2

Would it work to eliminate 1 or 2 types of those items?

You don't have anything really huge, but it's all of the little things that add up.
post #9 of 131
:
post #10 of 131
Thread Starter 
He he he... this is kind of fun. Like having somebody peek in my medicine cabinet and cupboards and then talking about it. :P

We use Q Tips to clean our ears. Maybe we all just have gunky ears? We go swimming a lot, though.

I go thru tons of cheesecloth. I make a lot of Greek style yogurt and ricotta cheese with it. I get the kind from the Wal Mart craft department. It is shot after a single use.

Is there a kind of cheesecloth you can wash and reuse?

Cotton pads are for wiping bug bites and sunburns and removing nail polish and cleaning the pets ears. I'm not certain if they could be replaced with anything else....

Antibiotic ointment is cheaper than hemmroid cream. Thank you, childbirth!

My kids love straws. If we have them, we don't battle over the lack of juice boxes at our house.

DH uses toothpicks for EVERYTHING. I forget they even exist, but he uses them daily.

We have four chalkboards in our house. Cuts down on paper use.

Envelopes bug the living $#!@ out of me. DH's mom and grandma REFUSE to get email. REFUSE. They both have computers, internet access, and digital cameras, and they will not get email. MIL sends me discs of photos via snail mail. It bewilders me. The envelopes are so we can send them prints. Otherwise, DH gets the extra long guilt trip.

Staples are DSS's pet thing... but he seems to be outgrowing it.

We do use a lot of bags and wraps. I'm going to buy the restaurant sized plastic wrap, tinfoil and parchment. That should help trim, as those will last for years. As for the ziplocs, maybe I can replace them some sort of Cambro/Tupperware type thing for the fruits and veggies, but that would take up more room in the freezer... hmm, I need to think about this. SuckNSeal bags, trash, and recycling are essential, though.
post #11 of 131
Several of these items are seasonal or have a predictable sale cycle. When they go on sale, do you stock up for the year? Are you paying full retail for these? Buying in bulk or seeking out the best price per unit?

Making a trip to a discount or warehouse store might make sense for you, especially if you can make a once-a-year trip with a friend. Grocery prices on non-grocery items are often high. It looks like you are paying significantly (2-3x) more per unit than we do. COL might explain some, but I doubt it explains it all.

Since you don't use/need a ton of coupon items, do you know about this printable coupons site?

$12 Cat Food (Purina) - Purina regularly issues coupons for cat and dog food
$6 Kitty Litter - is this bought in bulk?
$1 Catnip
$15 Dog Food (Purina)
$3.50 Doodie Bags (Heart)
$3.50 Dog Treats - you can get these free with coupons

Non Food Consumables (Purchased in a Brick and Mortar Store)
Aloe $4 (3 x/yr) = $12 - aloe plants are easy to grow
BandAids $3 (2x/yr) = $6 - free/cheap with coupons
Lip Balm (Carmex) $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Q Tips $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Cotton Pads $3 (2x/yr) = $6 - a wash cloth? a baby one?
Witch Hazel $3 (2x/yr) = $6 - this is less than a dollar per bottle here, if purchased at a discount store
Dental Floss $6.50 (2x/yr) = $13 - free with coupons (Reach, GUM, etc)
Toothbrushes $3 (8x/yr) = $24 - I haven't paid for a toothbrush in years. Frequently free with coupons. Reach, Oral B, GUM, Colgate, etc.
Toothpaste (Tom's of Maine) $3 (12x/yr) = $36 - coupons are available
Razor Blades (Venus/Mach 3) $24 (1x/yr) = $24 - coupons are available and sales on this are very seasonal
Deoderant (Tom's of Maine) $4 (2x/yr) = $8
Contact Solution $3 (1x/yr) = $3
Nail Polish Remover $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Glycerin $4 (1x/yr) = $4
Pine Tar Soap (Grandpa's) $5 (4x/yr) = $20
Liquid Soap (Dr. Bronner’s) $15 (1x/yr) = $15 - sometimes on sale at Target or can you buy in bulk?
Peroxide $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Antibiotic Ointment $5 (2x/yr) = $10 -
NyQuil $3 (2x/yr) = $6 - seasonally on sale, coupons available
Tylenol $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Ibuprofin $5 (2x/yr) = $10 - bought as generic in bulk? I think our last large bottle was <$2.
Stool Softener $4 (2x/yr) = $8
Tums $4 (1x/yr) = $4
Misc Other First Aid Stuff $10 (1x/yr) = $10
Brita Filters $20 (2x/yr) = $40 - coupons available
Cheesecloth $5 (2x/yr) = $10
Duct Tape $4 (1x/yr) = $4
Packing Tape $2 (1x/yr) = $2 - seasonally on sale
Scotch Tape $3 (1x/yr) = $3 - seasonally on sale
Masking Tape $3 (1x/yr) = $3 - seasonally on sale
Gift Tape Refills $5 (1x/yr) = $5
Mechanical Pencil Leads $5 (1x/yr) = $5
Pen Refills $3 (4x/yr) = $12
Chalk $1 (2x/yr) = $2
Printer Paper $3 (3x/yr) = $9
Staples $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Envelopes $3 (1x/yr) = $3
Stamps $10 (1x/yr) = $10
Printer Cartridges $15 (2x/yr) = $30
SuckNSeal Bags $7 (2x/yr) = $14
Gallon Ziplocs $2 (3x/yr) = $6
Quart Ziplocs $2 (3x/yr) = $6
Recycling Bags $7 (1x/yr) = $7
Trash Bags $7 (1x/yr) = $7
Straws $1.50 (2x/yr) = $3 - we skip these
Toothpicks $1.50 (1x/yr) = $1.50
Bleach $5 (1x/yr) = $5 - we skip, but if you ever need it, generic
Borax $5 (1x/yr) = $5
Paper Napkins (Bounty) $3 (4x/yr) = $12
Toilet Paper (Scott Tissue) $9 (5x/yr) = $45 - coupons come out for this regularly
Green Scrubbies $3 (2x/yr) = $6 - see below
Dish Wand Sponge Heads $3 (3x/yr) = $9 - for $5 you can get a pack of washable scrubbie dish cloths
Color Safe Bleach (Clorox II) $7 (1x/yr) = $7
Dishwasher Detergent $4 (1x/yr) = $4
Stain Spray (OxyClean) $2 (6x/yr) = $12
Laundry Detergent (Coldwater Tide) $12 (9x/yr) = $108
Plastic Wrap $2 (4x/yr) = $8 - we skip
Tinfoil $3 (4x/yr) = $12 - free/cheap with coupons
Parchment $3 (2x/yr) = $6 - free/cheap with coupons or look for sales around the holidays
Waxed Paper $2 (1x/yr) = $2 - free/cheap with coupons or look for sales around the holidays
Waxed Paper Bags $2 (1x/yr) = $2 - skip?

Total: $691per year
Or $57 per mo

(+$40 in pets = $97/mo)

Non Food Consumables Purchased Online or Thru the Cafe
Alpenglow Shampoo ($50/yr)
Chagrin Valley Shampoo Bars (Human and Dog) ($50/yr)
Everyday Minerals ($20/yr)
Essential Oils ($20/yr)*
Titanium Dioxide ($5/yr)*
Zinc Oxide ($5/yr)*
Sodium Hydroxide ($5/yr)*
Potassium Hydroxide ($5/yr)*
Beeswax ($5/yr)*
Conditioning Beads ($5/yr)*
Bread Bags ($5/yr)*
Dishsoap ($10/yr)*


Food Items Used As Non Food
Guar Gum ($10/yr)*
Xanthan Gum ($10/yr)*
White Vinegar ($50/yr) - is this bought in bulk?
Apple Cider Vinegar ($50/yr) - is this bought in bulk?
Baking Soda ($50/yr) - is this bought in bulk?
Salt ($5/yr)
Castor Oil ($10/yr)*
Sweet Almond Oil ($10/yr)*
Vegetable Shortening ($10/yr)
Olive Oil ($10/yr)
post #12 of 131
I saw a thread around about metal drinking straws...apparently you can buy them on Amazon. Or have you thought about getting your kids some plastic straws? You could even get them the kind that swirl around in shapes (if they love straws they may love having their own specific straw that they pick out)

Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and can be used in smaller amounts. Witch Hazel can be bought in large amounts (a big bottle of the stuff) and used for hemorrhoids or bug bites.

We use All Free And Clear detergent and usually wash our clothes on cold and have had no problems with it. And I think that coupons.com has a coupon for All detergents right now!

Look at the things you buy name brand. Why do you buy that specific brand? Can you switch to a cheaper brand in some areas?
post #13 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
We use Q Tips to clean our ears. Maybe we all just have gunky ears? We go swimming a lot, though.

We do use a lot of bags and wraps. I'm going to buy the restaurant sized plastic wrap, tinfoil and parchment. That should help trim, as those will last for years. As for the ziplocs, maybe I can replace them some sort of Cambro/Tupperware type thing for the fruits and veggies, but that would take up more room in the freezer... hmm, I need to think about this. SuckNSeal bags, trash, and recycling are essential, though.
I use Qtips for my ears. I have allergies most of the year, thanks to the high pollen count in Texas, but usually not quite bad enough to be Rx'd something. I just buy store brand otc meds. My ears almost constantly have some fluid in them and when allergies hit the worst I can almost feel them draining sometimes. I use several a day! I also will use one for makeup in the morning. Dh uses them for his ears, too, he also has allergies.

I used to buy all the sizes of plastic baggies that you could get but have cut that down over the months. I also try to use them less, e.g., using the plastic wrap where I can instead since it's cheaper. I do try to use tupperware too although, thinking about it now, I can do better in that department.
post #14 of 131
Oh, have you thought about planting your own catnip? I know Petsmart sells it from time to time as a plant...
post #15 of 131
Aloe $4 (3 x/yr) = $12
Witch Hazel $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Toothpaste (Tom's of Maine) $3 (12x/yr) = $36
Peroxide $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Antibiotic Ointment $5 (2x/yr) = $10

A lot of this seems excessive... Witch Hazel, Peroxide, Aloe and Antibiotic ointment more than occasionally? Toothpaste monthly? I have the same bottle of peroxide, antibiotic ointment and witch hazel in the cabinet that are at least 3 years old... Toothpaste lasts about 6 months, and while I just bought aloe gel, that was the first time in over 5 years.

Cheesecloth $5 (2x/yr) = $10

What are you using this for? Get yourself some muslin or some flour-sack towels and just wash them when you're done. I use flour-sacking or muslin for anything that calls for cheese-cloth - it's far more durable and completely washable.

Duct Tape $4 (1x/yr) = $4
Packing Tape $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Scotch Tape $3 (1x/yr) = $3
Masking Tape $3 (1x/yr) = $3
Gift Tape Refills $5 (1x/yr) = $5

This is an awful lot of tape unless you're running a home business (in which case it's very little). Check out the dollar store and back-to-school sales for better prices if you really need this much.

Mechanical Pencil Leads $5 (1x/yr) = $5
Pen Refills $3 (4x/yr) = $12
Chalk $1 (2x/yr) = $2
Printer Paper $3 (3x/yr) = $9
Staples $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Envelopes $3 (1x/yr) = $3
Printer Cartridges $15 (2x/yr) = $30

Again with the back-to-school sales. And again this seems excessive. Also check out the dollar store or Big Lots for things like envelopes - I rarely pay more than $1/box and a box lasts years. And printer paper is usually cheaper if you buy it by the half case instead of by the ream. And it's not like it goes bad, so if you have somewhere to store it...

Straws $1.50 (2x/yr) = $3
Toothpicks $1.50 (1x/yr) = $1.50
Paper Napkins (Bounty) $3 (4x/yr) = $12

Straws - unnecessary. I know kids love them, but they're completely unnecessary. Toothpicks seems excessive - I'm with the pp, I haven't bought them in years, they're only used for appetizers or wrapping foods. They should not be used for teeth. As for the paper napkins - I'd cut back on those. I'd also price compare with paper towels which one is cheaper per piece if you must have them. I rinse out my cast iron pans rather than wiping them, and only keep paper towels for cat messes - we've had the same package of paper towels for over a year now.

Stain Spray (OxyClean) $2 (6x/yr) = $12
Laundry Detergent (Coldwater Tide) $12 (9x/yr) = $108

These both seem excessive. Is there another stain treater that you can use that will last longer? I use Dr. Bronners for stain treating, and the tiny little bottle ($4?) has lasted me over a year already. And I'd really re-evaluate the "savings" of the coldwater Tide, because spending over $100/year for *some* of your laundry is ridiculous.

Plastic Wrap $2 (4x/yr) = $8
Tinfoil $3 (4x/yr) = $12
Parchment $3 (2x/yr) = $6
Waxed Paper $2 (1x/yr) = $2
Waxed Paper Bags $2 (1x/yr) = $2

What are all these being used for? You've already covered the bags, but this is above and beyond that. Plastic wrap - get reusable containers with lids. Foil I do use for cooking, but even then I MIGHT buy it once a year. Parchment - get yourself some silpats, over time they're money savers although expensive up front. Waxed paper - what are you using this for? It has very few practical uses. Waxed paper bags - lunches? Again - get reusable containers, we like tiffins.

White Vinegar ($50/yr)
Apple Cider Vinegar ($50/yr)
Baking Soda ($50/yr)

What on earth are you using $50/year of each of these for? White Vinegar is about $3/gallon, BS is $0.60/lb and real ACV is more expensive, but still... $50/year? You really have me curious.
post #16 of 131
Where do you find Tom's of Maine toothpaste for $3? My Wal-Mart has it for $4.18 and Frontier co-op sells it for around $4. I did find a $1 coupon but only once.

~I used to use Oxyclean to stain treat, now I use peroxide. It is a natural stain lifter. I pour it out of the 77 cent bottle into a spray bottle and keep it in the laundry room. I spray it if we stain something right away, and I spray stains I find while loading the washer. Works great!

~Baking soda and vinegar, I go through about the same amount per year, just for cleaning, laundry, and laundry softener.

~Mach3, I use the same kind and I have been searching for a coupon for a couple years now. I spend about $24/year on blades.
post #17 of 131
Honestly if you use it all then it looks like the normal costs of running a house and having a family...

And everyone's list is going to be so personal... Like I don't go through all of that tape (we use scotch tape from a dispenser for gifts I bought a huge costco pack refill 5 years ago and still have lots left) so I wouldn't buy scotch tape AND gift tape...

Also I can't fathom spending $50 a year on white vinegar (I don't use ACV but that's another $50!) our vinegar for a huge bottle is like $2... Maybe I could see buying three or four a year and we use it for laundry and cleaning and cooking etc... But 25 of those? That would be two huge bottles a month or one every two weeks there is just no way I could use that much?

And Tupperware just brought back their freezermates ( they will organize AND give you more space)
post #18 of 131
Yeah, for white distilled vinegar I use 2 per month at $3, that comes to $72. I use it for everything. I have a spray bottle in the kitchen that I use to clean the counter, sink, fridge, spills on the floor, stovetop, windows, etc.

I keep the gallon in the laundry room for laundry softener. It really gets the soap residue out of clothes and replaces Bounce sheets. My DD has very sensitive skin so this helps her clothes get rinsed out but also stay soft. I use it in every load of laundry.

I also use vinegar to clean the bathroom, garbage can etc.
post #19 of 131
Wow, what magical store sells Toms of Maine toothpaste for $3??? Target just had it on sale for almost $4, and I see it for $5 at other places. Even online it seems to be quite high. I am floored by the price you pay. Lucky lucky!!
post #20 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
Straws - unnecessary. I know kids love them, but they're completely unnecessary.

I can't drink an iced drink without a straw. Guess I am a freak of nature, but I cant tolerate ice, cant have ice touching my my teeth at all.

I need straws - otherwise I dont get to drink anything good.

Now if I ended up in the poor house, I would just drink warm water but thankfully that hasnt happened yet.
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