Three Ways to Save

If you have not yet read it - you should! The Tightwad Gazette is the best book on the subject of frugality. In fact, within the pages of the book is written about everything that can be said on the subject. It the most comprehensive book on the subject of saving money. It is a must read for anyone trying to be a good steward of the money they are entrusted to manage.

Amy says in her book that there are three ways to save:
1. Buy it cheaper
2. Make it last longer
3. Use it less

The greatest amount of money is saved when we can combine one or more of these ways to save.

I have found this to be true in many areas of my home. Sometimes it takes time to think through and find the best way to save money.

Take dish soap for instance (no, I do not own an automatic dishwasher - I have 4 dishwashers and although they are not automatic - I am able to get them going in the evening without too much trouble. :)

I am picky about the soap I use for a couple of different reasons. I have found the cheapest soap out there is usually like water and it takes a lot more of the soap to get the job done. Also, I have two girls that have some allergies to different soaps. I have found that Dawn works best for their hands not to break out and it is quite a bit thicker than the cheap store brand stuff. The other reason I stick with Dawn is because I have had some issues with other soaps not rinsing well from off the dishes. One thing I hate it to take a drink of water from a cup and be able to smell (or taste euwwwww!) the soap.

So using the three ways to save money on my dish soap I have found this to be true.

First, I try to purchase my dish soap on sale. (I am just starting to try the coupon thing - but quite honestly am not sure how much it is going to work for our family) If I purchased the soap on sale and used a coupon, I would be effective in point one: BUY IT CHEAPER!!!

Then I have found that with the older children in school I do not have a sink load of dishes to do in the afternoon. I just leave the couple of lunch plates that we have neatly in the sink. I try to fill up a sink full of hot soapy water while I cook dinner - this way I can clean as I go. When I start on dinner preparations for the night, I quickly wipe over the few plates we had for lunch. In not filling up a sink full of water for lunch dishes, I am applying the third way of saving money: USE IT LESS

One of the best ways for me to save on dish soap has been incorporating the third way: USE IT LESS. I found that having a big bottle of dish soap sitting by the sink was not the best. I found that when the big bottle was sitting there - it seemed to run out really really fast. I have one girl who LOVES lots and lots of bubbles in her sink when she is on washing duty! That is code for saying she uses LOTS and LOTS of soap in her dish water! I tried everything I could think of to make her use less soap. I charged her from her allowance money for the extra soap she was using. I tied a tablespoon on the side of the bottle and told her that she needed to measure the soap when she put it in. (The spoon did not stay on the bottle - bringing that idea to a close!)

Finally I decided to try an empty hand soap bottle. I rinsed it out - took off the label and filled it with dish soap. The next several days when I was doing dishes I took care to see how many pumps I needed to have an antiquate amount of soap in my water to get the dishes washed but not have mountains and mountains of soap coming from the sink. I finally decided that three pumps was too much and one pump was not enough. The 'two pump' rule came into effect in the evening when the kids were doing their after dinner chores.

I can not believe how long the soap lasts! I also love that I am never running out of soap because when I fill up the small bottle and the big bottle runs out; I have a little time before I need to get another big refill bottle for my dish washing. I have found that the small bottle, on average, lasts about 2 weeks. On Monday's when I do my house cleaning, I just take note if I need to refill the bottle on the sink.

I love how combining all three of these ways has saved me money in this area of our budget. It is not a lot - but a little here and a little there starts to add up over time.

How do you apply the 3 ways to save in your home?

Thanks for stopping by - I am glad you did.


west family said...

Ok this is absolutely wonderful, fabulous and amazing information and advice, and just plain good reading. But Lady......where do you find the time to blog like this? I mean I dont feel like I have the time to verbalize "say" all of this stuff, much less sit down and spend this time on the computer. Wow I mean wow. I just recently put some pics on my BLog that sat absolutely neglected for over a whole year! You will see I do good to upload the pics and maybe add a caption. I am very jealous of your blogging skills and want to be oh so like you when I grow up. :o) By the way how is your Rachel feeling?

Martie said...


You make me laugh. I LOVE to write and could spend my life writing. You have forgotten one LITTLE thing about you and me - I have 1/2 as many kids as you!! (You are the true hero - watching you with the kids amazes me!)

As for the time for blogging, I do try to set a time limit and get off when I have to. Otherwise I would sit and write all day. I am currently working on a book - that perhaps someday will get published - (I can dream can't I?!!) So this is my pass time and hobby.

I am so glad you found me and commented. I LOVED your blog and pics. The kids looked great in the pictures.

west family said...

Hey I thought i would let you know that i was at Target today and saw that Dawn dish soap in a large 38 oz bottle is on sail for $2.99. I think that is good but I don't normally buy this brand, but after reading your article I picked up a bottle. Oh the sale is until 5/22 in case you wanted to get one. :o)

Martie said...

Thanks for the FYI Trish. I have a coupon too. Target here I come.