Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saving Money on Soap

I have been able to cut back on my grocery bill by using foaming soaps. It saves money because it uses a lot less soap. The regular liquid soap dispensers dish out way too much at a time.

The foaming soaps are a little more first. It's the foaming part that makes the bottle expensive, not the soap because the bottles actually have 2/3 less soap than the same size bottle of just regular hand soap. But you need to purchase a few at first and then you can start to re-fill them yourself. It's super easy!

Step 1: Choose Your Bottle

Here are some examples of types of foaming bottles you might find.

Foaming soaps aren't just limited to hand soap. You can also use them for dish soap and body washes too. I've even put baby wash in them and the baby loves the bubbles at bathtime!

Step 2: Gather the real soap you will be using to re-fill the bottle with.

Here I'm using a liquid dish soap.

Step 3: Fill the foaming dispenser to 1/3 with soap.

Step 4: Fill the rest of the bottle with water.
So the formula is 1/3 part soap to 2/3 part water.

Step 5: Put the lid back on and give it a shake.
Amazingly enough, once it is all shaken up, it doesn't really seem to separate and you can just pump away to your hearts content.

That's it! Really not that hard now is it? The cool thing is it really extends the life of the liquid soap for a long time meaning you won't have to buy as often. I mean, look at how much is still left in that bottle! I will be able to re-fill that thing a few more times before I need to go buy more soap. And if I had been using an even larger bottle of soap, it would last me even longer!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Free Suze Orman E-book

You can download a free copy of Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan over on Oprah's website. It is a 227 pg book that hopefully has lots of good tips in it. I just downloaded mine, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. But hurry, the book is only available until January 15th.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Line Drying

Even though I have an energy efficient washer and dryer, I keep thinking how my energy audit pointed out that it uses up about 15% of my energy costs. Then I read this post about line drying your sheets in sub-zero weather [with instructions on how to do it] and how yummy they smell that just really makes me want to try it.

I've been eyeing the above clothes rack for the side of my house that I've dubbed the utility side of my house. It's where the garbage can is, where our utility trailer lives when it's not hauling things around, is right off the garage door near my laundry room and has a nice solid fence to help hide things from the neighbors. It seems like a good spot to hang out laundry to me and that particular rack can fold down against the house when not in use.

Unfortunately I don't think my husband is on board for this type of project yet and I'm not sure he'd like me drilling holes into the side of the house for something like that. So I'm thinking of rigging up some cheaper, less conspicous options for now. There are a whole bunch of other drying options here if you're interested.

I'll let you know how those sheets turn out!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Heads Up On Children's Products!

I'm really not sure what to think about all this. According to this article in the LA Times a new regulation "will take effect Feb. 10 under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was passed by Congress last year in response to widespread recalls of products that posed a threat to children, including toys made with lead or lead-based paint".

Everything sold for children 12 and younger will have to be tested for lead and phthalates, and anything that isn’t tested [or that fails] will be considered hazardous and can't be sold.

This could have huge ramifications on re-sell stores and thrift shops because testing for these things can be extremely costly. In fact, many thrift shops across the nation have stopped taking donations on children's items from what I hear.

In the LA Times article, Shauna Sloan, founder of the Kid to Kid franchise [which I have shopped at numerous times] states, "We will have to lock our doors and file for bankruptcy."

This is just sad. On the one hand I can see the benefits for improved products, but on the other hand I believe it will make toys and clothing much more expensive and if it does end up eliminating the re-sell market, it will hurt a lot of people who rely on it to remain frugal.

If this concerns you too, then Trent at The Simple Dollar has some good suggestions about contacting your Representatives and start hitting the shops to stock up while you still can.