This post is about saving money instead of pouring it down the drain… literally.
Here’s a quick way to save yourself $50 or more that could better be spent on a Christmas present or something fancy for yourself.
I make my own dish-detergent, it’s super fast and easy to do. Regular dish-detergent which if you’re lucky will last about a month is on average about $5.50 x 12 months, that’s $66.00. More if you fill the pre-wash part which you’ll never have to do with this recipe.
Instead of wasting that money, I spend $14.11 and get about a 1.5 year supply of detergent. (The bucket is like 5.00 and reusable, I don’t count that.)
What you need:
1.) AIR TIGHT container- Do not buy the cereal containers at Walmart for this, they have little tiny holes at the top near the flip lid and it will harden the heck out of the mix. I lost about 5 months of my mix because of this. Learn from my mistake!!! Our walmart carries air-tight buckets for food storage for like 5 bucks, go find that or use a large tupperware container.
- 1 box of Borax (20 Mule Team is what they have at our walmart). 4lb 12oz box. $3.38- Laundry Aisle
- 1 box Arm and Hammer Super Washing Suds, 3lb 7oz box. $3.24- Laundry Aisle
- 1 container of LemiShine $3.66- Dishwashing Aisle– The LemiShine IS A MUST. Don’t skip it.
- 3 cups of Epsom Salt- The container is in the deoderant aisle at Walmart for $2.86 but will last for TWO mixes
- 24 packets of unsweetened generic lemonaid koolaid mix. (it’s not sticky, that’s only if you add sugar to it and there’s no sugar in our list. $2.40 (10 cents per packet).
I mix mine right in my bucket and then seal it up. You use ONE, and I mean ONE tablespoon of mix per load. That’s it, you won’t ever need to use more than that. You won’t need a rinsing agent either, the Lemishine and the Koolaid takes care of that, so whatever you spend on JetDry, won’t be needing that anymore either. Bonus bucks!
Figured I’d share it with my chicky-readers!
I learned this recipe from: http://beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com/2011/01/dishwasher-detergent.html and can’t thank her enough for posting it. If you get a chance, go to her blog and read the rest of her posts. She’s a great blogger!
Chicky on a Budget Series- (Which will now be called COB)-
Tuna Noodle Casserole, $0.80 cents per serving
We’ll officially be eating Tuna Noodle Casserole all week as I made a massive casserole of it tonight.
I took a basic recipe and improvised a little.
4 cans of tuna (I have the large 7 oz cans because I got them really really cheap), 25 cents/can = $1.00
3 cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup, $40 cents/can= $1.20
2 cups frozen peas- (99 cents, half a bag, =$0.50)
2 cups milk= $0.20
1 large dallop of sour cream- price? I buy big tubs, so probably 20 cents worth?
1 bag of No Yolks wide egg noodles, cooked and drained, $0.79
a dash of Garlic Supreme seasoning (Allison’s Pantry Bulk Spices)- pennies
1/2 bag of favorite shredded cheese or whatever you have in the house, $1.00
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed. $0.57
Cook noodles, drain, and put back in the pot.
Add everything else except the cheese and crackers.
Move mixture to a 9×13 casserole dish
Bake uncovered in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Add layer of cheese and then crumbs, bake for 5 more minutes.
The sour cream, garlic supreme seasoning, cheese and crackers was added to the basic recipe and it really made it quite delicious! This filled the entire 9×13 pan to the brink, there’s a LOT.
Ray and I each had 2 helpings, and there was enough to set aside 5 more helpings for lunches.
7 servings, $5.55 for entire batch, 80 cents per serving.
$0.80 vs $8.00+ for Ray’s lunches if he goes to McD’s or Jack in the Box
Installment 1: The Meat Slicer
In 2006, my sister sent me a gift-card for my birthday. I didn’t really know what I wanted personally so my husband and I decided to go buy a meat/cheese slicer. After using it a few times, we emailed her and said “Best Present Ever, Thanks!” and I still can say that.
Almost 6 years later, it’s still getting used and proving more valuable than ever. Lately, sliced deli meat has been around $8.00 a pound (or higher). Occasionally I can get it for $6, but generally it’s a lot more; especially for decent stuff.
A couple weeks ago I went to SamsClub with my friend Lisa and realized that they had the huge hams and turkeys ready for slicing there. Mind you, these were the same ones that my grocery store slices up and sells to me at a premium.
The price breakdown ends up between 1.79-2.99 a pound depending on if it’s on sale or not. (I bought my ham and my turkey at 23 each, but they had them at 17-19 each a few weeks before, I just missed the sale.)
We go through a lot of deli meat for lunches so this little slicer makes all the difference. I wouldn’t have thought to bring it up but I was talking about cutting up meats the other day and someone else mentioned they do theirs too and our friend was wondering where in the world did we just randomly find meat slicers?
Honestly I got mine online I think through walmart or target. They don’t have the above one anymore but they have one from magic chef that looks pretty wicked.
So if you happen to make sandwiches for lunches and find yourself gawking at the price of sliced deli meats, this might be a way to go. Just thought I’d share!
and PS…. yes, bologna is cheap… but then again does anyone really know what it’s made of?
Later today, I’ll be taking the Phoenix Metro bus and using the light rail train for the first time. I’m kinda excited (I’m sure it’ll wear off). As a kid, I used the city buses all the time and I’m no stranger to bus-hopping (it took me 4 city buses to get to school and 4 back) but it’s been a really long time.
My decision is based on the fact that over an 18 week time-period, I will be saving myself about $600.00.
That’s a lot of cash! That’s a lot of cash I don’t really have!
So here are the factors that played into my decision:
- Not dealing with rush-hour traffic, the bus driver can deal with that for me.
- Not having to pay parking fees (12.00 a day)
- Cuts my gas costs in half
- Only adds 1/2 an hour to my time per day, an hour per week, which surprised me.
- I’m a student so my bus pass is cheap.
- A little less pollution in the air
- There are no nearby buses cuz I live in the outskirts of town so I still have to huff it into Mesa.
- It’s a pain to figure out the system online. (Phoenix’s lightrail/bus/metro system online map is awful!)
- If you miss the bus, you’re still going to have to drive farther to get to the next park-in-ride or risk missing class, or end up parking on campus and paying for parking… so it takes being diligent and prepared.
Okay, so here’s the breakdown on cost based on $2.99 per gallon (on a jeep which gets 15 mpg, my husband has the Ford that gets better mileage because he has to drive way farther than me:)
Driving to ASU Tempe and parking there, 2 days a week:
- Miles per week: 132.8, cost =$26.47 per week x 18 weeks per semester = $476.49
- Parking fees per week: $24.00 x 18 weeks per semester = $432.00
- Total per semester: $908.49
- Total Time Spent driving: 117 hours per semester
Driving to Power Rd Park-n-Ride
- Miles per week: 66, cost=$13.16 per week x 18 weeks per semester = $236.81
- Parking Costs: $0.00
- Bus/Lightrail Pass (for the semester)= $75.00
- Total Per Semester = $311.81
- Total Time Spent on the bus/train: 135 hours per semester.
I’ll be saving $596.00 over the course of 18 weeks so I think it’s pretty much a no brainer.
Now on the “time” spent— people might perceive the difference of 18 hours over the course of 18 weeks as a lot of time wasted. However those 18 hours will be spent reading whatever I want, catching up on my texts, studying extra for an exam, etc, because I won’t be driving.
I also don’t have to deal with the road-rage and aggressive rush-hour traffic because most of rush-hour dies off at Power Road which is where my park-n-ride is.
The reason I’m not losing much time is because of trying to get out of ASU’s parking ramps at 4:15, which is when everyone else is leaving and I don’t get out of the ramp till 4:45 and then I have to battle the insanity known as Mill and University Ave and try to make it to the highway. I’m not losing much time there, and I’m saving a lot of sanity.
So now the real question is how long would it take me to get out to visit friends in North Phoenix via bus and lightrail? Makes me wonder!