Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pump it Up

Gentle Foaming Hand Soap, you know what I'm talking about - the ones in the endless variety of scents from Bath & Body Works? My family goes through those vanilla scented cleansers like I go through a bag of chips! I have scored some pretty nice savings on foaming soap at B&BW, but what to do when there's no sale in sight? I improvised at the kitchen sink. I've been able to find Dawn liquid dish detergent 10.3 fl oz for as low as 75 cents, when combining a sale and a coupon, at Walgreens. Now, for pros like Ronda and Stephanie, they've probably gotten dish detergent for free or even made money on it. I've had my share of freebies, but I need to watch those sales cycles better! But I digress (that will happen a lot...). I squirted some of the Dawn into the empty B&BW's foaming soap container, added some water, and WHAM! Foaming Soap! I like this because, at the sink we'd been using the Dawn to wash our hands. We were using way more Dawn than was needed for hands. Also, the B&BW Foaming Soap wasn't cutting through the grease like Dawn would. So, now we are using less Dawn and B&BW Foaming Soap, but still getting our hands squeaky clean at the kitchen sink.

Three Sheets to the Wind

OK, so when I say "Three sheets to the wind" I'm not talking about alcohol, but rather, dryer sheets! One way that I've found to save money is to cut dryer sheets into thirds. I find that when cut into thirds, not only is it enough material to impart the anti-static properties of the dryer sheet to the clothes, but it also cuts down on the sometimes overwhelming fragrance.

Now, what to do with those dryer sheets when the load of clothes is done? I think most folks know that the dryer is a lot more efficient when the lint trap is cleaned out regularly. I clean my dryer's lint trap after every load. Yeah, I'm nuts, so sue me. Sometimes, if I have a load of "heavy linters" like newer towels, sweatshirts, or blankets in the dryer, I'll clean the lint trap while checking to see if the towels are done. I find that cleaning the filter with a used dryer sheet really helps to clean out both the lint trap and the area where the lint basket fits into the dryer. It takes just seconds to do, it makes your clothes dryer more efficient (Read Between the Lines: works faster AND saves money on running the dryer!) Also, have you ever heard about a dryer catching on fire because the lint trap hadn't been cleaned in forever and a day? Well, if you start cleaning out your lint trap after each load of laundry passes through, then there's little chance of having a dryer fire due to built up lint, right? Fires and the ensuing water are so messy and bothersome. Just avoid them in the first place!

Thanks to Ronda and Suzanne...

After moving to Oregon over a year ago, I decided to be a SAHM, a Stay-at-Home-Mom. My husband was NOT in agreement. However, over time, he, too saw the benefit to our daughter's education. Being home with Katherine more has led to better grades and a more well-rounded child. Being a SAHM is not for everyone, but I really want this, and this is what works for our family. However, losing my income was not easy. Everyday items that we need, as well as our contribution to my husband's benefits, seem to grow, whereas paychecks do not.

Soon after my family and I moved to the Pacific Northwest, my friend Ronda from high school told me how she uses coupons and stockpiling to help her family of six make ends meet. After child number four, Ronda decided to be a SAHM. She and her husband had both had great jobs and lived quite comfortably. Living on one income would be a little hard, but nothing insurmountable. That's when Ronda's husband lost his job. Ronda had to find a way to pay less for the necessities and she has been able to do that through couponing and stockpiling. Now, she teaches others to do the same. I have benefitted from her lessons and you can, too.

This is where Suzanne comes in to the picture. Suzanne, another friend from high school, had seen my Facebook posts about the savings that I've attained by combining coupons and sales at various grocery stores. She wanted to learn more and share this information with her husband. I was fully intent on making a list and sending to her, but where's the fun in that? In trying to come up with the best way to share the wealth, I figured that a blog was the best way to do that. Today, October 5 is the day that I'm getting off my duff and getting to work in keeping my word to Suzanne that I'd share money-saving info with her. So we have SAHMonomics - Stay-at-Home-Mom-onomics.

So, thanks Ronda and Suzanne!