Yay! You all liked the poor people post, so I have some stuff to add to it. However, I don't know what updates do to you lazy asses that don't actually come to the site (aka you Reader users) so I'll just do a new post as a continuation, instead of doing it the way that I would prefer.
Many of you are impressed with the effort I must put forth to make my own baby wipes. Effort? I thought you all knew me better than that. Here is the effort involved:
-Grab roll of paper towels.
-Cut roll of paper towels in half with an electric carving knife, or a serrated knife. (This is the bulk of the effort. If you do it with a serrated knife, you'll "feel the burn" for about two seconds and could call it a work out if you really like to stretch the truth. If you use the carving knife, it's just plain fun. You're sawing shit in half in your kitchen.)
-Mix one coffee cup full of water, one small squirt of baby wash and supposedly a squirt of baby oil, but I haven't had any so I just skipped it. Slosh it all together.
-Place paper towel half roll in plastic shoe box, pour solution over it, put top on and give it a little shake.
-Pull cardboard tube out of the middle, in theory the towel in the middle follows you out and makes it easy to pull the rest of the towels apart.
It's really ridiculously easy. I use the Costco-cheap paper towels too, although others swear by Viva. We're too poor for the velvety richness and thickness of Viva.
Both little half rolls will fit in the shoebox together. However, and I did not mention this to you yesterday because I do still struggle with the shame of it all, we like to stick the other half roll up in the pantry and then when we DO use paper towels (which we try not to do), we use those, and a lot less paper towels as a result. I was filling another container with the other half roll and making a vinegar and water solution for cleaning wipes, but last night I saw they molded a little. Maybe a bleach solution would work better. Or maybe I need to clean more and use them up faster. I'm onto something there though, it was very cheap for being convenient.
I'm also really loving Costco these days. Now that I've managed not to buy all of the cute/fancy/fun stuff that they tempt me with, it really is a bargain. I get their generic dishwasher detergent (I think it might be $7 for two ginormous bottles) and it used to last me two months. Because I'm a dork, I'm going to start writing the date I opened it on the bottle and see how long I can make it last now that I use the BARE MINIMUM of it. I bet a long time. The organic washing machine detergent I got from there is lasting me forever because I probably only fill the cup a less of a quarter of the way and then fill the rest with the water filling up the washer and pour it all in.
We also buy the industrial sized cans of fruit cocktail and peaches for $4 a piece. Once we open one, we pour it into two tall tupperware containers we have and just ladle it out of there for the month. No more individually packaged fruit for us. We'll package it ourselves, thanks.
Speaking of extra packaging, we're also eliminating juice boxes from the house. We have one case that we got on sale that I put up at the top of the pantry for beach trips and other outings. Other than that, you get a cup of juice, or these days, water with a juice flavoring, we're all about dilution. I also dilute the dish soap with water...works great. Before school starts, I'm buying Big Kid a small stainless steel thermos to pack in his lunch. Once again, environmentally friendly, colder beverages AND cheaper. Seriously, it's not that inconvenient to pour juice in a cup and then wash the cup at the end of each day.
I don't have a Swiffer Wet Jet, and I don't clean, but my girl Gretchen has figured out how to refill hers. I DO have a microfiber cloth and can attest to their amazingness, if you use them. I think I'm going to start using a vinegar solution if and when I do clean but I hate that it smells like ass. I was wondering if you could add essential oils to the solution so that it would smell better? Is that wishful thinking? I like my citrus-y goodness smells.
I've also been stalking Craigslist. I haven't got anything yet because I don't have any money, but people are getting rid of some GOOD stuff. I eventually want bunk beds for the boys (I plan on moving them into one room and making the other room a playroom...stay tuned for that) and I figure if I just keep my eyes open long enough, the perfect set will fall into my lap for super cheap. I love used stuff. It's almost always better than new stuff and it's always different. My house is FILLED with used stuff, I love things with character. These things haven't always been less expensive than their new counterparts, because I love antiques, but they are always better.
I was a member of Freecycle, but haven't been doing as much of that lately. There are only so many WANTED: NEW LAPTOP OR A WII messages I could handle, I was pretty sure I would get kicked out forever if I responded how I wanted to.
I do agree with what The Renee said in the comments, our family is also having more fun now that we're broke. We actually go to the free movies and sneak in popcorn, we keep an eye out for community events, and are surprised by how many are available when you actually seek them out. Oh, and if you are a Bank of America customer, you can go to museums for free the first weekend of every month. I would have to travel a decent distance to take advantage of it, and with the price of gas it isn't likely to happen, but it could work out nicely for some of you.
Okay, I think that's all of the money saving tips I have right now. I'm going to go save money by not cleaning.