Correcting my math

Ok - I ran some numbers and my savings on laundry and dishwashing detergent isn't quite what I thought it would be. BUT it is still significant! And, if it keeps me from having to venture out in this frigid weather, I'm all for it.

I ran my first load of dishes using my homemade dishwashing detergent and the load came out quite nicely! I was most curious to see how my cheese grater would come out as it was the most gunked up of the items in my dishwasher. Even though the house we are renting is newish, the appliances in it are not even close to 'top of the line'. The dishwasher, for lack of a better term, sucks. The sprayer arm consistently comes unattached from the bottom of the dishwasher, doesn't retract the telescoping arm, and often leaves much to be desired in terms of the quality of the wash. Needless to say, we prewash out dishes, which annoys the snot out of me. Why HAVE a dishwasher in the first place if I'm going to wash my dishes in the sink before I put them in the dishwasher?!? This load was no different than any other load and received the same prewashing that all of our loads receive.

Before I show you the 'after' picture of the cheese grater, let me show you the recipe I used and the cost breakdown. The ingredients:

1. Borax: $10/76 ounces

2. Washing Soda: $8.75/55 ounces

3. Lemon Kool-Aid: $0.20/pack = $0.80 total

4. Kosher salt: $9.38/48 ounces

My recipe was:
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup salt (used Kosher...it's grittier)
4 packets of unsweetened lemon kool-aid

Using Amazon.com's prices, the breakdown is as follows:
4 oz Borax = $0.52
4 oz W.S. = $0.64
4 Kool Aid packs = $0.80
2 oz salt = $0.40
TOTAL COST for batch = $2.36

I use about 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz) per load which equals out to about $0.10/load. Assuming you compare it with Cascade Gel-Packs which cost $0.27 per load, you're saving about $0.17/load. Not too shabby! A savings of about 60%. And that's assuming that:

a.) you have no coupons
b.) the prices you find are comparable to Amazon.com's prices
c.) I can't find these items at the commissary (I can find Borax, Kool-Aid, and salt but not washing soda)

And here is the final product - my cheese grater!


- hfs


HMS Defiant said...

Back in the day, in the Kingdom, used cool aid alone to clean the fresh water evaporator coils on USS ESTEEM. Flash type distillation unit cleaned by nothing at all but cool aid. You should see what coke does.

it's all scary.

Crista said...

Awesome looking grater!! While the idea of making my own is sort of appealing (from the environmental aspect mostly), I'm a couponer and my Cascade gel packs were FREE and the others I have were nearly so, costing way less than $0.10/load and I haven't bought any in about 6 months. My laundry soap runs me under $0.04/load, as well, or I don't buy it.

I don't go to five million stores (Commissary, Safeway, Target, Walgreen's and that's it...ooo, bread outlet a few times a year), I don't clear shelves, and my stockpile isn't five years worth of stuff. I save enough money that I'm paying for Sierra's braces and running two households and neither is impacting my budget at all.

This homemade stuff sounds so interesting, though!! How long does one batch of dishwasher soap last? Or one batch of laundry soap? And I read another place where you said you use vinegar for fabric softener. How does that work?

Homefront Six said...

Lemon KoolAid has citric acid in it which is what does the cleaning. I could have picked up either a batch of CA at the little health food store or a container of LemiShine but both of those would have cost more than the KoolAid, especially since I had a coupon.

As for Coke, MacGyver prefers either Pepsi or Barq's rootbeer for cleaning off corrosion and the like - they work better and faster. But yes, wicked stuff, that.

Crista ~ that's awesome that you can save that much! Teach me your ways please :) We have braces in our not-so-distant future and I'd love to be able to offset the cost.

My batch of homemade dishwashing detergent made up about 10 ounces of powder. I used 1TBSP per load (1Tbsp = 0.5 ounces) so I figure it's about 20 loads for about $4.75 (minus coupons).

However, if you're getting dw detergent for free by using coupons, I wouldn't be wasting my time making this stuff at home!

Do you get coupons in places other than the Sunday paper? If so, where? I'm a newbie at the whole 'stacking' concept too. I have a coupon for $1 off Pringles and Wal-Mart has them on sale for $1 so I'm just excited to get chips for FREE!! I listen to some people and how they get hundreds of dollars of groceries for just $12 and I'm blown away.

Crista said...

Would be happy to help you learn; however, you may have challenges I don't because of your location. With that said, anyone can save money couponing. I'm not a super freak like those people on TV. I don't kill myself doing it, nor do I spend 30 hours a week on it. From May 1-mid December last year I saved about $1200. Deposit on dd's braces? $1100. Go me!

For example, laundry soap I won't buy it if it's more than $1.25 for a 33 load bottle of my preferred brand. And I do NOT switch brands just because it's a deal. We are pretty brand loyal with some things. Paper towels I shoot for $0.75/roll for the good stuff.

There are TONS of websites you can use. I have some pages on FB that tell me the coupon match ups so I know what to look for. Saves me the time. Due to a really good deal, I get 11 of the local newspapers for under $7/month. I also get the big city newspaper for under $5/month. Totally different coupons between them. So, for under $12/month I have 12 newspapers and I average over $100/month in savings so it evens out to me. Plus I find printable coupons online.

Research the stores you have available to you. Find and print their coupon policies. Learn how to maximize them. I am a Walmart boycotter but I know many who get great savings there. Their policy has recently changed regarding coupons, so print it and carry it with you in a binder.

Hit me up on FB or email me (clmcormick@hotmail.com) and we can chat and I can help you learn the ropes. I'm totally self taught but am pleased with how I'm doing after only 8-9 months.

I could write a novel here but will stop myself. lol

Leslie said...

How does your home made laundry soap work with hard water? Our water is nasty hard and leaves deposits on everything. I have to use dairy acid rinse if I want to get it all off.


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