Monday, July 2, 2012

Save Big Money on Detergents, Soaps, and Cleaners

I recently became irate over the monthly cost of soaps and detergents my household was using.  "Surely there is a better way."  I thought to myself.   I began to read articles people have written on the topic, and decided to do some real world experimentation.  The recipes below have worked for my household.  We are saving a good deal each month, and I hope that you will find these useful...

Dishwasher Detergent Recipe:
1 Tablespoon 20 Mule Team Borax
1 Tablespoon Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 Tablespoon of "LemiShine"
Put it in the dishwasher and run like you normally would.
(You can mix larger batches and store in a dry place.  I mix 2 cups of each ingredient and store in a plastic container.)

Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe:
1 Bar of Ivory Soap
1 Cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
5 Gallons of Water

Instructions for Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe:
  1. Shred the Ivory Soap (or equivalent no-name brand) into fine shreds with a cheese grater.
  2. Warm up, but do not boil, a pot of water.  
  3. Drop in the shredded soap.  
  4. Stir slowly until soap fully dissolves.
  5. Put about a gallon of cool water in a 5 gallon bucket.
  6. Dump pot of hot soap water into the 5 gallon bucket.
  7. Add 1 Cup of 20 Mule Team Borax and 1 Cup of Arm & Hammer SUper Washing Soda into the bucket.
  8. Stir until slowly until all is dissolved.
  9. Fill the bucket the rest of the way up with warm water.  Stir throughly.
  10. Allow mixture to cool.  
  11. Store in gallon jugs, soda bottles, etc.
(Use approximately 4 ounces per load of laundry.  This recipe should be enough for over 100 loads of laundry!)

Fabric Softener:
Add 1/4 cup of White Vinegar to the load.

Liquid Hand Soap:
Heat up but do not boil 1 gallon a water.
Grate 1/2 bar of Ivory Soap or equivalent no-name brand.
Stir the grated soap into the gallon of hot water.
Once fully desolved add 2 more gallons of water to the mix.
Stir well, and allow to cool.
Store in jugs.  Refill your dispensers as needed.
That's 3 gallons of hand soap for under $1.00!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reduced My Cable Bill... Bigtime!

I have been a cable subscriber for many years now.  Cable is the viable choice we have for Internet Access in the area we live in.  I was happy paying my $58 bill each month for Internet and Basic TV... But one day I came home and found a cable bill for almost $100 dollars in the mailbox.

"This can not be."  I said to myself.  But a quick call to my cable company confirmed it.  They had practically doubled my bill, and they did not seem to want to negotiate the price.  So...  I decided to make some changes.
  1. I bought an HDTV antenna.  No more paying for TV stations.  I get about 20 channels.  And the programming isn't bad at all! 
  2. I evaluated video streaming options...  Still thinking about it.  Services like offer streaming of TV shows etc.
  3. I bought a new cable modem.  (It seems that I had been paying a modem rental fee of $7 per month.  According to my calculations I have paid over 600 bucks in rental fees for a 54 dollar modem!)  The new modem will pay for itself in no time.
  4. I called my cable company and discontinued my TV service -  keeping only my Internet Access.
  5. I activated my new cable modem and returned the one I had been renting back to my cable company's local office.  No more $7 rental fee!
My cable bill is now $39.99!  I can live with that!

Now...The cable company keeps calling me to offer promotional packages.  Essentially they want to rope me in for some low price for 3 months, then jack the rates up again.  No thanks!  :)

Lessons Learned:
  • Never rent when you can own.
  • Never pay when you can get it for free.
  • TV is mostly just background noise in my home.  We hardly ever sit down and watch TV shows.  I can honestly say I do not miss cable TV at all.  Cable TV is so infected with commercials that it is difficult to grasp what you are watching.  In fact the things we watch now are more to our liking!
  • Beware any promotional offering... It is merely a ploy to get you on-board so that they can increase the price later.