Ideas for economical living . User Group
try these stores
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We are all in a tough time in America so it seems a good idea to share tips, ideas, for economical living, how do we afford new 'stuff' and where can we get good 'used stuff '..be interested in any ideas to cope .what may be a long haul.When the going gets tough the tough get going '

Founded by margypops on October 22, 2009
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try these stores

For the first time with economy in my head I went into a 99 cents store, very busy very small aisles, but I was surprised at the items in there all for 99cents a pop. If you look around you can find expensive coffee, oils, spices, soups indeed a whole range of foods one could'nt afford in a regular store. I will be going in again as prices start to rise .try it .
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PS as corn is mostly now used for making ethanol no corn  prices will rocket , our food has corn in it corn is used to feed cattle for meat, so now we are using it instead of drilling on our own land to produce Ethanol .....go figure .... the craziness goes on ...
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I went to the 99c only store this week they had some really good wine in, at 99cents a pop, so I got a few,thing is these things are not bad, they are just stock the other stores dont sell and let this store get them at wholesale ,at least I think so , this wine was what can I say, fruity and delectable ......lol
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We have a Grocery Outlet and a Dollar Tree right next door to each other.  Get this, they are actually owned by the same conglomerate.  Anyway, yes, to confirm what you said, they do have some really good deals, if you can find what you are looking for.  The things you mentioned aren't what I look for, because of my specific health issues, but those are good deals.  I sometimes go in there just to buy back up batteries for my emergency radios and flashlights and other such devices, because there is just no way I can afford to buy them at the higher prices.  But, I prefer to buy those at Big Lots, simply because they have the same idea with the batteries and only a few cents more, rather than several dollars more.  Pretty good still, since I go there for other necessities, like my household paper products.  Let's face it, women need TP a whole lot more often than men do, so it's simply not a luxury item, but is a necessity.  I can buy what I need of these kinds of items for a whole lot less money than I usually can in other types of stores, including the usual grocery stores.  It did go up a dollar, but it is still 12 of the double rolls for a lot less money than at other stores.  I just don't see any sense in paying more for such a necessity than I absolutely have to.  

I can get by with a lot less in paper towels than other people do, because I can manage without those if I absolutely have to do so.  So, I know that is one way that other people can cut costs--use less paper products such as paper towels.  I use as few as possible for environmental concerns as well as cost cutting.  Sometimes I don't have the money to buy them if I run out before my payday.  That's when I notice all those little ways one can manage to live without paper towels.  So, I try to follow suit even when I can afford to buy another roll or so, since it makes sense economically and environmentally at the same time.  I'm just saying that this works for me to save money, so I'm thinking it's a good way for other people to save money, too.

A really good way to save money on cleaning supplies, since that kind of goes with the same territory as the paper towel thing, is to use the chemical free recipes one can find online.  I was thrilled that the added bonus to my efforts to go chemical free out of necessity for my health ( I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) was that I can also save a lot of money doing things this way.  One can save so much money by using just three basic ingredients to do a multitude of cleaning chores in the house:  White vinegar, baking soda/Bon Ami and castile soap.  The castile soap already has essential oils in it and it's concentrated already, so you don't need a lot of it.  Just making a paste with either the baking soda or the Bon Ami and castile soap will work like soft soap and still disinfects at the same time.  That one container of Dr. Bronner's castile soap will actually last a long time, so the initial cost is well worth the money and will save money on all those other cleaning products you won't need to buy if you use the castile soap.  It works very well to clean your porcelain fixtures.  The extra grittiness in the Bon Ami, which is very inexpensive, takes care of the bathtub when you need that extra tough scouring to clean your bath tub.

If you don't want to use a few drops of the castile soap in the toilet, in order to cut costs and save money, just use 1/2 c to 1 c straight up undiluted white vinegar in the toilet.  Just pour, use the scrub brush, then let the stuff sit 'til the next person uses the toilet, so it will work on disinfecting the toilet.  That's all there is to it.  Then you can use the undiluted stuff to wipe around the toilet and under the seat like you would with your other usual cleaning products.  No more involved than your usual cleaning routine and won't make you feel sick and is more environmentally friendly--and it really does save money.  Since you can also use the vinegar for cleaning glass, no other cleaner is necessary to buy for the mirrors, chrome and windows in the household.  It's very economical.  I have found that just a clean dry dish cloth I pull out of the cupboard saves me from having to waste paper towels for the mirror, too.  It can then be air dried and replaced in the cupboard to use again later, or throw the one in the kitchen in the laundry and use this one that was only used for the glass to clean off fingerprints to wash the dishes.  It's still clean, so either way--why not.

Anyway, Big Lots is kind of on the same order as the stores you're talking about and the couple of cleaning tips are economical and an added bonus.  Why not, since those cleaning tips really do save money, too.
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WOW great info for us love it..I never expected to be in this position but I am so this kind of economising is so great and can be fun ,I have always found the toilet a problem to clean never having had to do it, but I am now my own house keeper, and toilets elude me particularly with a messy DH who doesnt lift a finger .LOL will I be able to get the castille soap in Big lots ? I am also very sensitive to chemicals and pretty well a lot of things, I break out in hives when I go into his workshop or even the garden , I find apple cider vinegar very soothing for hives .
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Castile soap is usually found in places like Trader Joe's, Co-ops, natural food markets, and health food stores.  Dr. Bronner's is the usual brand.  It is only a bit pricey when you first buy it, but it lasts a very long time.  The one with the tea tree oil has the best essential oil in it for disinfecting.  You can also buy eucalyptus, peppermint and a couple of others with the essential oils from Dr. Bronner's.  If you live in an area that doesn't have any of these kinds of stores in them, you can actually even go online, but it's better to buy from a local supplier, so you aren't paying for unnecessary shipping costs.

Castile soap is even found in bar soap form if there isn't any liquid.  You can just use the coarse setting on your box cheese grater for when you can only get the bar form and just add it to water if you need to do it that way.

It only fools you into thinking it's expensive when you pay that initial approximate cost of $15 for the 32 oz bottle of it.  However, I usually have a bottle of this last me several months to a year, so it's actually very economical.  It's actually concentrated.  It has more uses than what I use it for, but I have my other natural products that care for dishes and laundry, so it isn't hard to make it last a long time for me.

I noticed a somewhat less expensive castile soap at my market which is a combination regular and natural market.  I forget the name of it, but it's a lot smellier so I'm leery of it with my allergies and sensitivities.  I'm not sure what it uses to scent its liquid soap, but the smell is overwhelming to me, so I'm afraid of it.  It's not that much less expensive either, so if you're sensitive to stuff, Dr. Bronner's is definitely worth that initial cost of the bottle.

Oh, my, is DH using a lot of garden chemicals?  Or, are you like me and my own mother and actually rather sensitive even to ordinary garden soil?  Organic is still better even when sensitive to soil, as the sensitivity is definitely going to be less severe than if someone pollutes the soil with chemicals.  There are just so many things that can be done to control the damaging insects without the horrific chemicals that are also even less costly.  There is plenty of such information just about everywhere, so with some research online, you should be able to find it.  Don't forget to look online at PBS, since I remember a guy, whose first name is Jerry, who had a lot of useful and even more natural solutions for the yard and garden.  I never had a chance to put his tips into use, since I don't live in a place where I can garden.  His tips are economical and environmentally friendly at the same time.  Anyway, avoiding unnecessary chemicals in the garden or the workshop either one would truly help.  These days, avoiding those chemicals in the garden is especially important, since we need all the healthy soil we can get.

That toilet doesn't have to elude you.  Sometimes, what I do when I have trouble getting under the rim of the bowl with the brush is just use a green scrub pad (like the green side you see on some of those kitchen sponges) that I just leave in the bathroom near the toilet pedastal since the cat isn't weird or curious enough to mess with it.  It's hidden away where I keep it, so no one is the wiser.  I would just keep something like that in a small bucket in the bathroom under the sink if I had a bigger place than this and more traffic with other people and animals to worry about.  I've gotten pretty good with the brush I have now, though, so I haven't had to resort to the little green scrub pad for under the rim so much now.  I have found that the castile soap works wonders on the toilet, but so does the vinegar.  You don't have to use much of the castile soap at all if you're using it in the toilet.  When you're using the toilet brush, you will see it suds up good enough.  Just leave it in the bowl and don't flush it right away.  The essential oils will help to disinfect the bowl, just like when I said to leave the vinegar in the bowl.  Just use the same stuff for cleaning under the seats.  Oh, and it doesn't matter if you use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar from the big gallon jugs for this.  It's just that the white stuff is definitely less expensive.  If you're just cleaning with it, it really doesn't matter which one you use.  The white stuff actually works for jelly fish stings from what they say on TV, so I imagine the white stuff will work on other rashes, too.  You can save the apple cider vinegar that has the "mother" still in it and hasn't been filtered for your healthy consumption rather than cleaning.  That would be the kind that comes in the small glass jars with names like Braggs that say unfiltered that have that solid stuff that settles at the bottom.  That's the healthy stuff for consumption that you don't want to clean with.  It costs more for a reason--it's actually good for you.  The stuff that comes in the gallon jugs next to the white vinegar doesn't really have the health promoting properties left in it, as it's very processed and filtered.  So, just buy the white stuff in the gallon jug.  It's worth it for cleaning with.  The apple cider in the gallon jug--don't bother with if you plan on consuming it.  It's fine for the hives, though.  And, it's fine for anyone who is avoiding gluten even in cleaning vinegar, as the white stuff will have gluten in it.  And, it's fine if you prefer the smell of the apple cider vinegar.  But, if you're just saving money, the white stuff works very well.

But, no, Big Lots won't usually have castile soap.  You have to go to one of the places I mentioned to find it.  For great tips on other uses for the castile soap, you can also go to their website.  Lots of people with sensitivities love Dr. Bronner's.  I think it's worth that initial cost of the bottle, since I manage to have the same bottle for a very long time, even when using it for my household cleaning that I mentioned.
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No I wont let him use garden chemicals, he would but I wont let him I love all the critters we get and there are gophers, lizards, etc also my cat, so I have to try to get the least hazard one to go round the house, last year I was inundated with sugar ants, and earwigs , we put one that read as having less toxins but it diidnt help I will have to get a company in, but I think their products are toxic.In tthe Dh workshop everything is toxic he works with boars and furniture ...
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Go with the company, as planned, but also ask the company and garden nursery places about safe and proper use of something called Diatomacaceous Earth (D.E.).  Although natural, it still needs to be handled with care and caution, as it can still be harmful to pets if not used properly.

I found the guy I was talking about who had been on PBS specials before.  His name is Jerry Baker.  Check out his site, because I remember seeing all kinds of neat tricks you can do to get rid of the pests without harming the environment.  He actually has some neat tricks that can be done to simply discourage the moles and gophers from tunneling in your yard and garden and go elsewhere.  So, it doesn't even harm them.  It just makes them think twice about visiting your property.  I learned a lot about his tips and tricks on PBS.  I would most definitely contact them and ask about the books that have been featured on PBS.  Those are the ones to get.  He has tips on using lemon scented dish detergent for a whole host of pest issues that gets them to vacate the premises.  I remember him saying that it gives the bugs so much diarhea (diarrhea) that they don't feel like and don't have time to munch on your garden.  I know he uses ammonia for some things, and I know he uses a "tea" made from chewing tobacco as an insecticide.  Now, as even he says:  What other evidence do you need that tobacco is harmful to human health since it kills insects?  Still, when applying it to the garden...not so bad.  Far less harmful to the environment than the commercial bug sprays!  Oh, and the lemon scented detergent?  I remember something about that and lemon scented ammonia (or something on that order anyway) being used as a whole yard mosquito repellent, so you can enjoy your summer evenings in your own yard without being eaten alive by those varmints.

By the way, how Jerry Baker learned this stuff is amazing:  He used to be an undercover FBI agent and a home gardener was his cover.  Well, he had to actually play the part, so how could he really do that if the garden looked terrible like he didn't know what he was doing?  He learned a lot of these tips from a little old lady who was one of his neighbors and who was "old school".  Usually, "old school" means that people learned to make do with less during times like the Great Depression.  Well, the majority of the tips that Jerry Baker talks about are either completely natural or at least the least toxic methods I've ever heard of.  I don't think the lemon scented Joy dish detergent is natural and certainly isn't good for someone like me to use for dishes, but it's still worth using it for the things he talks about.  That is one of the things he uses in his "Tips, Tricks and Tonics" that he talked about on those PBS specials.  I think he is worth checking out.  I know that it is more environmentally friendly and certainly a lot of those things that are more environmentally friendly

http://www.jerrybaker.net/garden/homepage.aspx

As for DH's workshop--I guess the only thing that can be done with that is for you to stay out of the workshop.  Eventually, he'll get tired of walking on the wood chips and sawdust from his workshop, so he'll break down and use the shop vac in the place all of his own initiative.  I know I couldn't spend time in that workshop myself.  I would be so sick and my skin would suffer from terrible breakouts, too.  I know why it's toxic in there.  Wood working just isn't non-toxic.  The stains and varnish have to be used, though, in order to make the finished products look beautiful and last longer.  It's a necessary evil to an otherwise sane hobby.
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Oh, by the way, I looked up on Google with these key words:  Jerry Baker's Dozen and found the information I meant when I was telling you to go to his home page and found it for much cheaper than his $30 books.  That's what you really want anyway:  a shortcut to his information on things to make gardening less toxic.  I saw some of these for as little as $.99 and the highest for about $10.00.  Definitely a better way to go.
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Hows it going, i am fed up with it all already but keep on with the storing, Walmart is the pits I feel like I am walking into a third world country store, humm maybe I am ...99cents seems to be running short where I live and some of it is junk . we have actually cut back eating...
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I'm doing some of the same things you are, but so far I'm doing fine with the storage.  You can only store so much of the dried pantry items or you risk getting tiny grain and dried bean insects in the whole lot.  Canned foods, well, they're a little bit tricky because of the food sensitivities.  So, I decided to save every bit I can, even the stuff from the food banks, that I can actually deal with, since canned foods can be kept longer than the dried stuff.  The easy way to know that the canned stuff (that wasn't dented to begin with) is past its safety is when it starts to look obvious, like the can is bulging out.  Uh...yeah...don't bother opening it when that happens, and do definitely get it out of the house before it explodes on its own when that starts to happen.  Other than that, the stuff usually has a really long shelf-life.
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