Monday, May 24, 2010


I'm a reader.. Oh boy am I a reader. When I was little my little brother actually told my parents to make me QUIT reading because it took FOREVER for us to go anywhere because I had to stop and read all the signs (imagine this at the bulletin board at the grocery store, or a phone pole in front of a restaraunt). I thought he was being a spoiled little turd, my parents told him to deal with it. And life moved on.

Well enter the internet. OMG more stuff to read, more ways to rot my brain. So now I am on the computer like 10-12 hours a day, on top of reading a book, when I go to the bathroom, nap with my daughter etc etc. I have a netbook, a kindle and a droid so basically my brain is ALWAYS shoved up some authors butt enjoying the view. (yeah I'm grody like that)

Anyhow My point is, you need to read too. Enter this contest. Do it. Cause I don't need to win but I want to but I also want someone I know to win so the loss hurts less :-D

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Warning girly version of Frugal Fail.

Seriously, if you're a dude you probably do not want to read this. :-D

Well I guess it's ok

Just in case you're still reading I'll start somewhere easy, the dishwasher. Did you know, seriously, did you KNOW that handing washing dishes uses MORE water than the typical dishwasher? No joke. Now, if you're like my husband and only wash in cold (why, babe? Why?) Then the energy savings are there so it doesn't much matter. If you're like me and wash in the hottest water possible and some times add bleach because you're a psychotic germ-o-phobe... then you still save on energy using your dishwasher. Even when you use the sanitize setting and get your water temperature up to lava!

That being said, the pre-washing that most of us have to do to keep our dishwashers running at top notch is really a pain in the ass. No joke I have heard of people finding WHOLE chicken bones in the bottom of thier dishwashers (winking cause that person knows who they are) Ok, so there is a line to not cross when you put stuff in the dishwasher but basic crusted on food should realistically be fine. Baked on food, ehh thats toeing it, a chicken carcass is a no. Last week I tested out my dishwasher. We have a mini counter top model which is a life saver, or a hand saver, whatever. I have been using what ever detergent the dollar store(Dollar General) carries. Which means I basically have to put clean dishes in the dish washer, wasting time, energy, water etc etc. Last time we were at Wally World(gag, yes I shop there) We picked up some Cascade complete. A BIG bottle, with bleach :-D Can you tell this made me happy. It did. Then I started loading the dishwasher. I started with the morning dishes. They came out SPARKLING. I then did all of our glasses (which we typically have to do by hand because they get cloudy and ugg) SPARKLING. Now the BIG test, oatmeal dishes. I love oatmeal but rarely eat it, I do make Stryder and Jason eat it a lot though. I put the dishwasher on heavy duty for this cycle. Guess what, 3 day crusted on oatmeal. No match for the big guy.

Now here's the math. It takes about $.25 for me to run 1 dish load through my dishwasher, I do about 5 loads a week. It's about $.37 for the same size load to run through the sink. About $.17 to just rinse the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher. So figure a unthourough prewash in the sink is about $.25. So thats $.50 just in energy/water costs to run my dishwasher with the cheap stuff. $.42 for the cascade. Cascade complete I use 1 oz per washload so it's $.10/load. Final cost $.52 I had to use 2 ozs of the other stuff and it still didn't get clean so figure $.125/load so a final cost of $.63.

Cascade Complete WINs $.52 vs cheap stuff $.63(including energy and water costs)



The Diva Cup.

She is my pal, my bud, my friend in my time of need. Why am I waxing poetic??? You obviously haven't found the joys of the menstrual cup. Before I found her I used OB and panty liners. My cramps were debilitating! There was literally 2 days a month I couldn't get off the couch. Vicoden and Oxy's were my best friend. Being the light weight I am it meant I slept through those 2 days and just suffered.

After I had Stryder and while Jason and I were trying to conceive Cayley I started doing research. Thanks to the great ladies over at LSG (peace to ya my homies) I found the Diva and a whole slew of other options. I ordered one and fell in love. I paid $18.45 for it, it lasts 10! years. The funny thing is I just my MyPoints gift cards on it. So it was free. My alternative method used to cost me, $.19/tampon at 30/mo. That's $5.70 plus liners at $.06 each (I used Always) $1.80 so $7.50/mo vs FREE I believe the Diva Cup Wins.

DIVA - Free vs disposables at $7.50/mo

Now somewhere I am failing is mama cloth. I am ADDICTED!! I have spent: wait for it... $88....... yeah. They are pretty, I'm like a ferret, I see pretty, I want pretty I sell a ton of stuff  to buy pretty. LOL That said my stash is WORTH easily twice that. ;-) Yeah, I'm just that good. Here's a photo from today. I have 5 more on the way from Cow Belle Boutique. The ones in the middle are from Pink Lemonade. I love Celia and Sue like sisters, no really they are AWESOME to work with ;-D

Now lets do the math on this. YES obviously I could have sewn my own, but what fun is that. The backs on these are WindPro(about $17/yard) the tops are designer cotton, or OBV($10-$16/yrd) The middles are either Zorb or Bamboo fleece. They are GORGEOUS and have KAM snaps. Yes I own all of these materials I just SUCK at topstitching. Anyhow. Figure these will last 10 years (if I abuse them) 20+ if I take care of them and keep popping out babies at 18+ months without a period (WIN) So 10 years is 120 months. From above I was paying approximately $1.80/mo in disposable panty liners. $88 divided by 120 months comes to $.73. Yeah 73! Cents, and that goes down every month I use them past 10 years as well.

Not so frugal investment =s WIN. $1.80 vs $.73

Next up, cloth diapering. I have to go through a LOT of old documents though to find the final price I paid because I've bought and sold a LOT!! :-D

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frugality win or lose?

I'm listening to baby Brendon sing to Quest for Camelot. One of the kids favorite movies. We're a 1 TV household right now. We have our TV hooked up to the DVD player and a tape player. All of our movies except maybe 2 were donated to use by family and friends. Jason and I have NEVER paid for TV. We pay for internet. This internet is bundled with our home phone which is how I work. I take reservations for a popular local cruise line. Cruises in AZ you say? Yes, we have lakes and paddle boats just like any other state.

Now with that internet Jason and I both have our netbooks. AAO D150(which was a birthday gift to me) and AAO D250(Jason won a $500 Amazon gift card to pay for this after losing his other one). I am a avid TV show follower. No joke, I watch it all, Greys Anatomy, House, United States of Tara, Big Bang Theory, Nurse Jackie, Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries..etc. How do I keep up with my shows without paying for TV service, out in the boonies where we have no 'air' signal. Easy. and we DO pay for a subscription to$15/3mos) This subscription is what protects us from anti-piracy laws.

Television/Internet/Social Networking (FREE) due to working for the cruise line.

Right now I am drinking FREE coffee? How does a person go about getting free coffee and tea? Easy. I review products and then bzz or talk about them on social networking sites and blogs like this one. I am drinking Tasters Choice instant Columbian. It's delicious! This is my second free sample. I also have recieved their French Roast (mmm), Regular, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Decaf. For instant coffee, it's awesome. It tastes like Denny's coffee. Which is one of my favorites. The flavor brings back good memories of LONG nights repairing street lamps. One of my favorite jobs.

Other free coffees and tea I've received have been and Teavana. I've received tons of free Starbucks coffees as well. This is great since I drink 1 cup of coffee and 1-2 pots of tea a day.

Tea/Coffee Addiction (FREE) due to free samples and coupons. THANK YOU!!

Detergent is something that I'm a BIG stickler on. I have scary sensitive skin, I just developed a allergy to Purex and Gain both of which I have been using for a couple of years. So I am once again on the search for a good laundry detergent. I use TIDE on my daughters cloth diapers. She has never had a reaction and stains are minimal. That said I am going to take the Rock'in Green Chanllenge, and Rock a soak of all of her medium and newborn dipes and see what Charlies and Tide left behind. I'm a little scared to tell the truth. Now I rock a top loader, and so do both of my parents(il's) so water usage is NOT an issue. All of our water gets fed out into the garden and so does my in-laws, my parents unfortunately use septic so I have to be careful what I feed to their machine. If I have done my math right, Tide costs me - $.043/load plus 1 stain release packet which is an additional $.033 so we're talking about 7 cents a load with tide. I do 2-3 loads of diapers a week, with 2 extra rinses and it takes 2 cycles in the dryer to dryer. Now according to this site, It is $1.14 per hot wash and another $.26 for my 2 cold rinses (first to get the poop off and at the end to get the soap out) The same site says that my 2 dryer cycles costs about $.75. So all together I am paying (or my in-laws are paying sorry) About $2 a load of diapers, so approximately $6 week with detergent and energy costs added in.

Now with the Rockin Green I should be able to cut out that last rinse (-.13) I will have my laundry line set up here at the house once I get my washing machine fixed (ugg) (-.75) the water is water I would have to use to water the garden anyhow(-.30) I will still have to wash on hot though for sanitizing purposes. (+.85) The cost of detergent will be about $.33/load which is a HUGE increase over my Tide costs. I am considering stocking up on a Co-Op so I can get cheaper prices per load. This is using Hard Rock since we have insanely hard water (my shower curtain crunches) Soft/Classic Rock are a bit cheaper. How ever if I line dry(the sun is a natural stain bleacher and sanitizer as well) I should only be spending $1.15/load or $3.45/week on cloth diapers.

Cloth Diaper WIN (3.45/week) vs Target diapers. sz 3 96/ct $13.69- (6.85/week)

To be continued...