Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Get Your Cheap On--- Too True Tues(day) #12

Too True Tues(day) is your time to tell it like it is! Let the truth be known. Sing it loud, sing it proud. It is your chance to confess, let out your embarrassing secrets, and share with the world. Let it all out and let the truth set you free. This week, tell us how cheaptastic you can be. Now, everyone buys store brand toilet paper and aspirin when funds get tight. That doesn't count, I am afraid you are going to have to dig deeper. Buying generic cereal and putting it in an empty box of Cocoa Puffs for the kids type of deeper.

If I hear the phrase "in these economic times", or "in this economic climate" I am going to go ballistic. Anyway, it got me thinking about some stuff. Now, even before The Recession, I had the foresight and financial savvy to invest our savings in crap from The Dollar Tree, where it holds its value to this day. Not like GM. I buy as much as I can there, trying marginally to avoid things with toxic metals and such. But the real dirty truth goes waaa- haaaay- haaaaay beyond any dollar store junk and crap.

I love swiffer products. Their commercials make me want to gouge out my ears or blow something up, but their stuff is cool! Especially that stupid mop. That stupid mop is double rigged with two, count 'em two, products that have to be purchased separately and have to be continuously replaced. Which is like, a quadruple whammy. And I am not a fan of being whammied. So, instead of buying mop pads over and over and throwing them in the trash (oooh, wait, I can call myself "green" on this instead of cheap!) I bought a bunch of washcloth sized rags for super cheap. They just attach right to the business end of the mop, then I throw them in the washer with the pee clothes! Go me!

The other thing with that stupid mop, is that their cleaning fluid bottle is specifically designed to be used with their mop. You can't use any other type of juice with it, as the bottles won't fit. You can't take off the cap and fill it with whatever cleaning juice is cheapest and on sale, because they have jacked up the cap to be tamper proof and you can't remove it without damaging it. But having that bottle attached to the mop so that it sprays pre-cleaning juice all over your floor, that is just too good to leave go. So what I do, is drill a hole in the bottom of the used bottle, which then gets turned upside down in the side of the mop handle, then fill it with whatever was on sale that week! Go me again!

A few other cheaps I get on with:

  • I have a whole tray in a drawer for plastic take out utensils that weren't used. Many times I wash them and re-use.
  • If a kid wears a diaper at night and she gets up in the morning and it is almost completely dry, she is expected to save it for the next night and use it again. This is my most shameful cheap, I think. Which is why it is sort of hidden in the middle of my list here.
  • No clean clothes are allowed near a laundry basket. Both girls have a shelf in their closet for "used" clothes. If it is going in the laundry, I want to see a big stain, or smell something foul. Otherwise, it is not dirty enough yet. "Used" clothes get re-worn until there is actual dirt visible or there is a stench (ok, maybe that is just because I don't like doing laundry, but it saves my effort).
  • I re- use gift bags until the glue disintegrates.
  • Store brand is our friend. Go white and olive green!
  • I save the butts off the ends of bread in the freezer and use them all at one time to make a "strata" type dish. Sometimes they are saved for months.
Edited and added: I forgot that I keep empty milk jugs next to the sink so when I need to run water until it comes out hot, I fill the milk gallons with the unused water and use it on plants, fish and cats later.
Edited and added #2: I think of more stuff as I read other peoples! I turn off the heat at night in the whole house except for the bedrooms, where I turn it to 65. Kind of freezing cold in the winter sometimes here! The lowest my thermostats will go is 55 though.

OKAY! So that is this weeks TTT! Now, you really want to play, I know you do. And just think if I really do follow through on my threat to make things up for people who don't participate, well, you sure don't want it to happen this week. It is easy to play. You write up a little post on your blog linking back to here, and then enter your information into Mr. Linky down there so everyone can share in your *ahem* fun!


  1. I think you are brilliant. The swiffer refill problem caused me to give up my swiffer. What do you do with the regular little swiffer sweeper? Those refills are pricey.

  2. I thought you were going to say you use pads as in Kotex for your swiffer! Ha Ha Ha......Why do I think you would do that? Ha Ha Ha

  3. LINDA EEEEEEEEW!!!! I can't believe you thought I would do that!!!

    Now that YOU thought of it though, I do have some extra super large ones left over from the pain and damage of giving birth.... hmmmm....

    Erin- I have not found a good way to use the sweeper without buying their stuff either. Sad, very sad. Maybe someone else?

  4. I think the "used clothes" shelf is genius. I was SERIOUSLY going to post and ask people what they do because putting those slightly-worn-but-not-dirty clothes (especially if they've not touched skin) in with the CLEAN clean clothes kind of gives me the heebs. But, they are wearable and do not require washing...

    Now I need a shelf.

  5. Hmmph. I am feeling positively unfrugal and left out of your little cheaptastic clique. I can't think of a single slightly embarrassing cheap-o shred to share. Sad. My mother did not teach me well, and she IS the queen.

  6. wow I can not compare! unpeed pullups definitely need to be used again next night. jeans can most definitely be worn many times before washing. underwear not so much. hand me down city. I have stuff that my older kids 13, and 15 played with or wore and now my youngers play with or wear (7,6,5,4). I buy on clearance. I hit the closeout shelf at the grocers every time I go there. dented cardboard noodle box? fine with me! super cheap things there.
    buy one get one free got my 13 y/o christmas present of new phone(and only because I lost my phone in ukraine). ten thousand VHS movies and two old(working) VCRs in a closet for back up. why fix what isnt broken and get all new dvds when all these vhs movies still work? no hot lunches at school, bring your own. christmas time each kid got 2 toys and various clothes and or other things that were necessary anyways(like toothpastes and toothbrushes). we eat leftovers for lunch or dinner. I buy things on sale(that we eat anyways) and put them in the freezer. buy cheapo cereal on sale. its all sugar anyways so who cares whose label is on it?

  7. I am so impressed by your ingenuity with the swiffer fluid. Brilliant!!! You should develop a prototype tool and stopper set, and see if you can market them. I bet others would totally be interested in that.

  8. I think I out cheaped you all. Of course I'm paying for it. :(

  9. I have been so impressed with everyone's ideas/skills/ingenuity. Amazing stuff and more stuff is going to change in our household. ;D

  10. Rachael, c'mon, you have to have something! Don't you steal office pens at least?

    I should be sure to point out that we don't re-use undies or socks day to day. Mainly because undies and socks in our house NEVER pass the smell/stain test of survival for the shelf!

    MoonDog, you have like 19 really good ones there- I think you compete just fine!

  11. Swiffer - my husband calls it "the terrible product that we keep buying"! I put on a rubber-soled slipper, then wipe the wet swiffer pad around the floor with my foot. The darned"mop" keeps breaking and I'm too cheap to buy a new one!

  12. I cut open tubes of lotion to get out the last few applications. How can you not?

  13. Umm..two of your linked posts aren't TTT at all. (!0 and 14) Was trolling for new, cheap ideas. ;>

    I call it sensible. Some call it frugal, but that sounds so stuffy. The Brits call it being Scottish. ;>

  14. i do something similar with the swiffer b/c my kitchen floor would normally take 3 swiffers b/c it is pretty big and pretty diry, i just use one and keep taking it to the sink to rinse it out

  15. Kate #10 linked the wrong post, click on her link there, then when you get to her blog click on the header to get to her most recent post, or whatever is dated 1/12. Its there and she has some good ones!
    I don't know what happened to #14, sometimes people link themselves for advertising and sometimes they just are not sure what they are supposed to do. Since I don't know how to remove the sketchy ones, I leave it be.

  16. We use/re-use plastic take-out utensils, too. I love your used clothes shelf. I'm going to start that here. As far as a dry diaper in the morning...I've yet to see one. In fact, it's usually the reason I'm washing our little guy's sheets and pajamas all the time.

  17. LOL, my problem is trying to get my kids to STOP wearing their dirty clothes (which are entirely purchased at resale shops or hand me downs - or hand me ups in the case of my 5'11"+ 13 year old daughter), the lack of odor or stains NEVER happens. They're stinky teenagers!

    My youngest who hasn't hit puberty has been known to wear the same clothes to school at least 3 days in a row (until I catch him for the shirts, jeans can be weeks) and the same pair of PJs and sheets for weeks (until I wrench them from his clenched fists, ignoring his howls, and throw them in the washer.

    My kids won't eat the heels of bread (and we go through 3 loaves a week - bought from the Mrs. Baird's thrift store in bulk, with a frequent buyer card of course) so I keep them in a bag in the freezer. I use them as bread crumbs (we eat whole wheat so it's a nice perk to have healthy crumbs). I add them to my meat loaf to extend it. I use them as breading on homemade nuggets and fish sticks.


  18. I make my own detangler for the girls, but I can't think of anything embarrassingly cheap. Shoot. I think my husband cornered the market on cheap in our family. Oh! Oh wait! Our hallway carpet is recycled from someone else's dining room and installed by someone who owed us big-time. Does that count?

  19. oh I am going to have to try the cheap swifter stuff!!!

  20. Hi Essie- I also posted after your Dec Bipolar blog- but I did find Mr. Linky. Laurie


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