I have had a monumental revelation,lately! It is getting really expensive to run a household. Of course, it doesn't help that utility, gas, and food prices are on the rise, but just keeping the basic non food necessities around really adds up (especially when you have a houseful of kid's). I have stopped buy most cleaning products. Opting to use home made cleaners, vinegar, baking soda, and micro fiber cloths.I pretty much only buy the ingredients to make my cleaning supplies (much cheaper and earth friendly). I do still buy Lysol wipes (I have a houseful of males......enough said!). I have been really paying attention to cost per ounce (or count) on the personal hygiene and the household products we use. Most of the time it works out that the largest or warehouse size is the best price (praise be to Costco's coupon books). I am great at portioning out just about anything and trying to use the least amount possible to make them stretch just a little further. However, the rest of the family not so much! Their philosophy seems to be that those big bottles and boxes of , whatever, are bottomless and FREE (silly, silly family)!
So to up the ante on portion control compliance, I have had to get a little creative. If you take the guess work out of it, they will comply....most of the time!
I switched from regular hand soap dispensers to foaming soap dispensers a long time ago (the day Child #3 pumped an entire bottle of regular hand soap on the bathroom floor). Now I refill my foaming soap dispenser by filling the dispenser 2/3 full of water and adding 1/2 tablespoon antibacterial soap. Shake to mix the soap and water. Then add more water to the fill line if necessary.
In fact, most antibacterial dish soap's can be used in place of hand soap. They also happen to be cheaper the regular hand soap refills, too.
My kid's can go through a bottle of shampoo in record time. Since the majority of the people in this house have hair an inch long, they really don't need a palmful of shampoo to wash their hair (or make bubble bath). To save money on shampoo I buy it on sale, and then pour it into a pump bottle that we have been reusing for years.
To ensure that they don't use an unholy amount with each shampoo I twisted a wide rubber band underneath the head of the pump. Now the pump will only go so far before stopping. Giving them enough to get their hair clean, but not enough to waste.
The same goes for dish soap. In my continuing efforts to produce marketable members of society, I have been making my kid's wash the dishes that won't fit in the dishwasher by hand (or if they are getting a little sassy...all the dishes). I have been refilling a one liter plastic soda bottle (with a salvaged dish soap bottle lid on it) from the Costco size dish soap bottle to make it more manageable, but squeeze bottles = free for all + waste, at my house.
So now, I refill a 20 oz plastic soda bottle (with a salvaged pump lid from a bottle of hand sanitizer) from the mondo container of dish soap. Two pumps is enough soap to fill the sink with lots of bubbles!
Bar soap seems to be the Achille's heel. I have encased many bars in legs of worn out nylons. This method works great......if they remember to hang the soap up after their bath!!! I guess some things are a work in progress!
How have you, My Dear Bloggy, Friends, been stretching your household supplies? I'd love more ideas!