Much belated cost-savings tips!

I got this great cost-savings tip today from my writer-friend Julie–who lives just 90 miles from me, but I actually met her in Ethiopia. (Go figure?)

Julie is a busy work-at-home mom with five delightful kiddos (mostly pre-teens the brave soul!).

Here’s her tip:

Here’s a budget conscious tid-bit we have done to save bucks…you can add it to your blog. We went back to bar soap instead of liquid. Not only is environmentally more friendly BUT you can buy 3 bar soaps @ Walgreens for $1.50 that will last 6 months) 10 liquid soaps for $10 that may last 2 months. This is what we have found in our house. We have transitioned back to the bar soaps all the way around. I wish Bath and Body Works would make bar soap instead of liquid. Anyhow…it’s worked for us.

Great tip Julie! Thanks for sharing it! Personally, I’m a big fan of pine-tar soap which is great for the shower and is also perfect for shampooing or shaving. (TMI perhaps?). The stuff is black-green in color and has an earthy-clean smell, but is really great for sensitive skin. Here’s a link for it at Amazon, but if you can’t find it in a store, the best place to look is a drugstore or a hardware store, like a country store. The kind the caters to old folks. (Ditto on the fels-namptha that I swear by).

  • Anna

    Another idea to save on soap:
    I like to buy one new "foaming" hand soap for bathroom and kitchen. Then when it's empty, I squirt either dish soap or liquid baby soap or liquid baby shampoo into the bottom about 1/2 inch up and fill the rest with water. I swish it around a bit and viola! a full foaming hand soap all over again. We've done this quite a bit – I got the idea from an old Pampered Chef foaming dish soap pump that I got years ago. That one pooped out so I reused one of the newer foaming pumps and then carried that idea over into other rooms that need soap.

  • JessicaW

    Great idea Anna! the kids LOVE foaming soap too… I have a toddler who's doing her best to bypass soap so we have to do the "lemme smell your hands" test right now… some "fun" soap might keep her at it.

    By the way, I'm a huge fan of Pampered chef. Love their stuff. I need to get like ten more sets of the bamboo toast tongs 'cause we use them for everything! (easy for the kids to dish up food from a family-style plate without dropping/spilling everywhere)

  • Jeff9

    This covers all the bases = saves you money, helps the environment, helps your health, makes you feel better, it's so easy to do and it costs less than $50.00; Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time! Add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off” Available at with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! Don’t worry, you can still leave some out for guests and can even make it the soft stuff without felling guilty. It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt far exceed the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways. Blog; THE BUTT OF TOO MANY JOKES;

  • JessicaW

    OK Jeff,

    This blog has moderated comments, so I read your comment and approved it for a variety of reasons. First because I saw devices like this in Ethiopia and presumed it was a convenience for the cleaners or for shoe-cleaning (highly necessary in the rainy season). Considering the outrageous lack of toilet paper (I recall eyeing those blank pages in my passport suspiciously wondering if they're really notice that one had been torn out despite the adamant warnings) it makes perfect sense. Thank you for clarifying this mysterious plumbing device for me!

    I think this is clever, but Americans are stubborn about their sanitation. I for one, can't bring myself to convert (TMI perhaps?) but will totally respect those who do.

    Two things come to mind. First–does one air or shake dry, or simply use less TP to try off?

    Second regarding the quote you posted: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off” While entirely respectable and clear, I must clarify that don't eat or touch my children with my butt, so the sanitation comparison isn't exactly apples-to-apples.

    I'm afraid this conversation has really gone down the can, but perhaps rightfully so–anyone with potty-trainers at home know that there's plumbing challenges, clogs, and a marked increase in TP use.

    The other day my toddler shouted from within the bathroom "Momma, the waters coming up!!!!" I find her in the bathroom, pants 'round ankles franticly plunging an overfilling toilet. Oy vey! "Only mommies and daddies use the plunger!!!" In that instance, it was only overflowing 'cause she'd stuck the plunger in there… but (or should I say butt) that's the exception to the rule.

    (At my house it's the three-square rule, but with these little guys that potty train before they can count it's a bugger of a problem!)