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)
Ok get outa here. TO MUCH INFORMATION WARNING
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