A stapleless stapler? I just Googled this, and they look so cool. Sooo cool. And they're five or six bucks. I really want one now.
Yes, we spend a not-insignificant amount of money on office supplies for being just a little household. I think it's a combination of things- a holdover from when I was selling on eBay a lot, and the fact that my kids would much rather do art with my office supplies than with their art supplies. I'm trying to think of a way to combat this, but so far I'm coming up blank- their art supplies are in an easy accessible desk, well organized, they have everything, including a work table- they just like mine more. Maybe I'll hide mine...
Here's what I have figured out:
-Tinfoil, plastic wrap, and parchment are coming from the restaurant supply store from now on. The big boxes should last us 5+ years.
-I'm going to spring for the dispenser, and switch to the napkin-like TP. This will be easier for toddler hands, produce less waste, and will be cheaper in the long run. Also from the restaurant supply store.
-I'm going to spend $50 for 1000 zip top bags from Amazon. They are 5 mil plastic, so thick, and since we re-use, they should last a while. (We spent $40 on 1000 bread bags 2 years ago, and even with 100% home bread making, have only used about a fourth of them. So I'm thinking the ziplocs will last around 5 years.)
-I'm going back to making my own laundry detergent. I'm subbing out the Fels Naptha with Sun w/Bleach Alternative. This will be less work, cheaper, and should work better. I'm just going to dissolve the powder in hot was water before I switch to cold, so I should notice only a marginal increase in my gas bill, if it increases at all, and I'll be saving about $70/yr, so I'll still come out ahead.
-I'm going to try growing aloe vera and catnip. This won't eliminate the need to buy it, but should reduce.
-I'm going to check out Walgreens and try to get toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, and razor blades cheaper or free.
-I'm going to start using a measuring cup as the food scoop for my fat, fat cats and hopefully reduce the amount they eat as well as improving their health.
-I'm going to spend $25 on a gallon of pine tar, and make enough soap with it to last us a decade.
-I found some floursack towels. This will not eliminate our cheesecloth needs entirely, but will reduce them by about 80%.
-I'm going to go to Office Max for our office supplies (including a way cool staple-free stapler!) and buy printer paper in the big box... and I'm going to HIDE it.
-I'm not buying dog treats anymore. DH has been bringing the dog beef bones home from work, and she likes those way better, anyway.
I think if I do all this stuff, it will take our average from $100 a month down to about $60, if my math and estimations are correct. (If I can get down to $50/mo, I'm going to be happy and just try to stay there.) So my "investment" purchases will take about three or four months to pay for themselves, and after that we should be saving $40 a month on household supplies.
The other nice thing about bulk shopping is that it really shortens the amount of time our monthly stock-up takes. Because we don't buy a whole lot of different items from the grocery/big box store, as it is right now I do the OAM shopping trip in less than 3 hours, including the 1 hour driving time, assuming I'm alone. This should shave that time down further still.