April 10, 2010

Cleaning Supplies, etc.

First of all I want to go to the "etc." of this post.

I posted recently about Walmart laying off people in our area and that perhaps there could be a corrolation between lay off's and their new low price campaign.  I am not opposed to shopping Walmart.  In our area, however, it is the most expensive store to purchase groceries.

Last week I received in the mail from Walmart a $5.00 gift card.  Yes, from Walmart.  Yesterday I headed to Walmart as I needed thread for a sewing project.  In my purse I keep an envelope of coupons that I would like to use if I find a good deal.  After picking up the thread I headed over to the laundry supplies.  Two weeks ago there was a $3.00 off Snuggle coupon in the coupon flyers and I had two coupons.  I had priced Snuggle on a recent shopping trip at the two grocery stores in our town.  The price at both stores was $3.69 for the 32 load size.  Since the coupon wasn't expiring until early May, I had plenty of time for a sale.

At Walmart they had rolled back the price for the 60 load size of Snuggle from $5.12 to $3.97.  I picked up two bottles.  For 28 cents more I was able to get almost double the amount of Snuggle.  The best part was I got each bottle for only 97 cents.  I didn't pay a cent for two bottles of Snuggle and 1 spool of good quality thread as I had the free $5.00 gift card.  I even had 43 cents leftover for another day. 

I walked around the grocery section of Walmart looking at the items I purchase the most from the grocery store. I didn't notice too many other better deals, so our grocery stores are still the best shopping value for my grocery dollar. 

Now on to cleaning supplies.  About 18 months ago I came across some great deals on cleaning supplies.  I stocked up with a lot of BOGO items.  That was back when I was working full time.  Now as those supplies are being used up I am looking for homemade alternatives.  I am just about out of bathroom "scrubbing bubbles" spray.  Actually back when I was working, my DH cleaned our downstairs bathroom and he loved that bathroom cleaner so that is what I always purchased.  I will now be trying a version that I saw on the internet using equal amounts of vinegar and Dawn dish detergent. 

Next up will be window cleaner.  It is almost time to get the ladder out and clean the winter grime off the windows.  I have found a recipe that I will be trying that uses ammonia, rubbing alcohol and a drop of Dawn dish detergent.

I am almost out of Pine Sol which I had been using to clean my vinyl flooring.  I think the main reason I use Pine Sol is for the aroma.  My mother cleaned with Pine Sol for years and there is something about that scent that says "clean house" to me.  I will give up the aroma if I can find a cheaper, homemade version. 

One thing I do know about cleaners is that they get over used.  Many times we use too much cleaner for the job or we get impatient with spraying something on a surface and not waiting for the cleaner to work. 

As I use the homemade cleaners I will post what has worked and what hasn't worked.  I do expect to save a good deal of money as most of these homemade recipes call for very basic supplies.  One thing I do know is the rule of thumb of never mixing ammonia and bleach unless you want to destroy your lungs and take a trip to the hospital.

When I go grocery shopping the one thing that I hate to purchase is cleaners.  I would rather save the money or spend more money on produce. 

In the paper this morning they reported that we should expect a 15% price rise in meat.  The price of gas is going up so that road trip to NY to see my mom this summer is going to cost us more.   Gas prices also affect grocery prices.  Thank goodness we have a wonderful farmer's market that I can take advantage of this summer.

Some people would throw their hands up in the air when they see prices going up. I see it as a challenge.  I will continue to make my own laundry soap, try new recipes for homemade cleaners and look for other ways to save money in order to compensate for higher prices. 

The weather is beautiful and it will soon be possible for me to dry our clothes outside.  My DH is going to spend part of today working on our bikes.  I purchased a bike basket so I can ride my bike to the store and save on gas. 

To close this post here is some of what I am doing differently in my life since I quit working:  bake all our bread and bread items; make my own laundry soap; hang our clothes out to dry; walk or bike as much as possible; make my own cleaners; make as many of my clothes as possible; spend time on couponing and planning my grocery trips.  These are just some of the things that I am doing that I never used to do.  All of these changes have transcended into money savings.

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