October 18, 2010
How Long Does it Last?
Two years ago in order to prepare to go to one income, I began some couponing. There were a lot of coupons for cleaners and when I was able to use a buy one get one free coupon for an item on sale, I stocked up. A lot of it was all purpose cleaners, laundry soaps, softeners, dish detergents, bar soaps, body washes, 12 packs of toilet paper, paper towels and more. As certain things have run out, I have been making my own cleaners, cutting back on paper towels, have been making my own laundry soap and yet, I was wondering how long every thing lasts in order to compare it to what it is truly costing me.
For example, does it pay to take a name brand dish soap and either dilute it down or mix it with a generic alternative in order to stretch it? Does it last longer? How long does shampoo and conditioner last? Do the store brands last as long as the name brands? Do bar soaps last longer than a body wash in the shower? Will my son ever pick up his clothes off his bedroom floor or perhaps he is saving steps by calling the floor a hamper? I digress.
Yep, a lot of pondering is taking place while I am working on our fence. I'm coming close to being done. Why is it taking me so long? I work on it every other day as I have chronic back pain. When I spend the entire day working on this project I usually end up in pain by the evening and have to take it easy the next day. It's just something I live with as it is my "normal."
Getting back to the subject of this post. I started to take a marker and write down the date I opened a bottle of fabric softener, (I do love liquid fabric softener), dish detergent, the automatic dishwasher detergent, shampoo, all purpose cleaner, my homemade laundry soap, and, well you get the picture. I also wrote down on each bottle the price I paid for that item.
My goal is to get a handle on what I am spending on the non food items that I need to purchase for our household, to figure out how long I can make each item last and to also compare how long the homemade versions last.
My grocery spending is well in hand and I have been able to lower the amount I spend each week. Now I am tackling those non food items by coming up with good homemade alternatives and using a reduced amount that is called for on the products.
For an upcoming post I am working on a list of all the items I have in my freezer and pantry as I am going to commit to eating out of the freezer and pantry over the next several weeks in order to save for Christmas. This should be fun.