Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Money Saving Tips

I was in my kitchen today putting things away and was thinking about all of the ways I try to save a few dollars here and there with some of the items I have in my kitchen. I thought I might share them with you.

Like most people who bake I love not having to smear shortening on my pans to grease them by using a Pam type spray. At 3 dollars or more each it can be a little pricey so I found this handy little contraption called the aero mister. You can fill it up with your own oil and pump it up and it sprays just like an aerosol can. I love it because I can put olive oil in it and use it for all of my oiling needs; greasing muffin pans, oiling a skillet before browning something, or spraying the waffle iron. Not only is it much cheaper the buying a lot of cans but it is not aerosol so it does not make me cough!! I got mine from Tupperware (big surprise) but pampered chef has one that is basically the same.

A lot of companys are selling soap in a foam variety boasting how it is saving money and on and on. Well sorry to tell you but you are being lied to. To get the soap to foam they need to water it down so instead of paying 4 dollars for a bottle of soap you are paying $4.50 for a bottle of 1/4 soap and 3/4 water. I have had this product called the Soaper Foamer for at least 10 years and it does the same thing for WAY less. You don't need to go buy the Soaper Foamer to get the same results. I am sure you all have a foamer bottle at your house. When it is empty just rinse it out, fill it 1/4 of the way up with regular soap (1/8 if you have concentrated soap) and fill to just below the foamer insert with SLOWLY running water. put the top on and gently tip back and forth in a swishing motion so the water and soap can combine without creating bubbles. The first few pumps are going to be a bit soapy but after that you will get a perfect foam. Just think, you can use the same soap with the foamer and save a lot. In the past year I have bought 1 bottle of dish soap. I got a bottle of palmolive ultra and put it in my foamer 1/8 full and the rest water and I am only refilling about once a month. So instead of paying up to 20 dollars or more on just soap I have spent $1.50!! (In full disclosure I have to admit I do buy the fancy soap for my bathroom. I just love the way it smells!)

Another tip I use is dish cloths. The initial investment is under 10 dollars and will last a lot longer the 10 dollars worth of paper towels. Now I am not knocking paper towels because I do use them but if I have dish cloths on hand I tend not to grab the paper towels as much.

Here are a few other tips I would like to share

  • go online and look up different spice blends. combining them yourself can save you a bit then going out and buying them pre-made.
  • buy your sponges and scratcher pads and the dollar tree. They only last so long so why spend a ton on them.
  • stick you sponges in the dishwasher every other day and they will stay a bit more smell free and last longer.
  • instead of spending money on wet swiffer sheets get a dish cloth wet and stick it on the swiffer sweeper (the thin ones do fit!) and wipe away. It works great on spilled rice, noodles and other sticky things you don't want to have to get down on you knees to wipe up.
  • become good friends with your dish rack. If you clean whatever dish right away with a small pump of soap foam you can quickly rinse it off and avoid using the dishwasher a ton and can save you money on your energy bill and expensive dish washing liquid.
  • try to use your counter top appliances when possible. They use a lot less energy and can cut down on you eclectic/gas bill.
  • buy meat in bulk, divide and freeze. An oldie but a goodie!!
  • When we shop for food we pre-plan a menu and make a shopping list for the items we need. We get paid at random times during the month so when we get one of the bigger paychecks we buy all of the pantry items for the next few weeks all at once. Then once a week we get the fresh dairy, produce and bread for that week. We have found we spend less on food and have more on hand.

But most important, do what works best for you family. These tips have helped me and I hope they can help you as well. If you have any fun tips I would love it if you would leave a comment with some of your favorites!!

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