I will check out the metal straws. We had the reusable plastic kind, but since we don't have a dishwasher, I couldn't get them clean (boiling water just melted them), so they got gross and hit the trash.
DH hates silpats, won't even consider them. He's the baker round these parts.
Our WalMart sells Tom's of Maine toothpaste for around $3 a tube. We're just lucky, I guess.
I dry and lubricate our razor blades after each use. It does help.
I use aloe as lotion, burn ointment, hair gel and shave gel, so I go thru a good bit.
Same with witch hazel- bug bites, sore butt, ingredient in toner- and peroxide- clean out ears, bloodstains, and really nasty messes.
I guess I thought 2-3x per year was occaisional.
The waxed paper bags keep cheese perfectly, are more earth friendly than plastic, and we go thru a $1 box in a year's time. Any box I bought to replace them wouldn't work as well (believe me, I've been round the bend trying to keep cheese) and would take a decade or more to pay for itself. So waxed paper bags stay on the list.
I might also be overestimating our toothpaste use- I KNOW we don't go thru more than 1 tube a month, but it may last longer than that.
I use white vinegar in cooking, cheesemaking, to clean virtually everything from the windows to the floor, and as fabric softener.
I use baking soda in cooking, to wash my hair for about 1/3 of the hair washes, in diaper laundry detergent, to clean the sinks and the toilet, in the fridges and freezers for odors, and in the cat box.
I use ACV in salad dressing, in conditioner, and in homemade toner.
I go thru about 1.5 jugs of white vinegar, about half a gallon of ACV, and a 3# box (or maybe box and half) every month. I may have slightly overestimated, but I know I spend an absolute minimum of $100/yr on these three items. I also know it's cheaper than Sea Breeze, WishBone, Pantene, Dreft, Comet, the FridgeNFreezer Packs, and Downy. Or their generic equivalents. Plus, I think it's worth pointing out, this stuff actually gets accounted for under food, as I said upthread. So that $12 or so per month is actually coming out of my $200/mo food budget, which, frankly, I am happy with. I don't think that we could go lower on food without a nutritional cost, which I am (of course) unwilling to do.
You know what, we do use tons and tons of tape. That tears it, I am not letting the kids play with it anymore! That's where most of it goes. If they want some, they need to ride their bikes to the hardware and buy some with chore money. (DSS just made himself a knight outfit with duct tape, so maybe I'm overreacting to this line item.
Are Freezermates a Tuppeware specific thing? Or are they just square containers?
I think I'm going to keep the stain stuff, and ditch the Tide. If our gas bill goes up, I may go back to it, but I think if I just sort the stained laundry into one basket and wash that one load on warm/hot, we'll be fine.
I am totally buying some floursack towels and ditching the cheesecloth! What a good idea.
I have never seen pencil leads or pen refills on sale anywhere, any time of year. Same with pet food. Or toilet paper. I live in a rural, remote area and I'm starting think that my shopping options just suck.
Altho'... since the name brand items I buy are few and far between, maybe I should try to find coupons of Tom's of Maine and Purina and Scott Tissue. Hmm... off to Google.