Make Purchases Go a Little Further

Thought I would share a few good deals and some thrifty tips I've come up with in the past few weeks.

Last week, our local Fareway store had chicken hindquarters on sale for .59/lb., if you purchased a 10lb. bag. Now, I can remember the days not so long ago (at least it doesn't seem so long ago) when they went on sale for .19/lb, but those days seem to be over, at least in our neck of the woods. At any rate, there are a multitude of different ways to use these, so I invested in a 10lb. bag. I like to boil them and remove the skin and meat from the bones. Believe it or not, I give the chicken skin to our dogs as a little extra treat and use the meat in different dishes; like chicken casserole, chicken enchiladas, and so many others! They are also good baked or fried. Chicken is a very versatile meat. It's also healthy and, compared to most other meats, it is cheap.


My husband was laid off last May and just found a new job in December. While we are very thankful that he has a job, the pay is not as good as what he was getting. You have to realize that we were struggling before he was laid off, so that just means we are struggling even more now. I have learned to make lots of different items go a little farther so as to not have to buy quite as often. I have learned that half the dish soap in my dishwasher does just as good of a job as the full "recommended" amount. That also works with laundry soap, though occasionally I will use the recommended amount if my laundry is extra soiled or it's an extra big load. As a rule, though, our clothes just don't get that dirty and half the recommended amount is just fine.

Some other things I have learned to be careful with as far as amounts are my shampoo and conditioner. I get my hair really wet and I am able to wash my hair very well with shampoo and conditioner the size of a dime in my hand, and I have long hair. A dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush the size of a pea is usually sufficient to brush your teeth well. I have a 97 cent pouf purchased from our local Wal-Mart that I use with my shower gel and a bottle lasts me a very long time. I only have to use a very small amount and I still get very clean. The pouf lasts me 2-3 months and then I go get another one. Washcloths work well too, but in my case, they seem to take more soap to work as well.

One last thing that I want to share is how I have started buying items in bulk. I'm not saying that it's the thing to do in every situation, but if you find a really good deal on something you know your family will use, I recommend buying as much as you can sensibly afford and store. We invested in a used chest freezer for $100 and it sure is handy for good deals on meat. I have bought day old bakery items at our local Wal-Mart store for a small fraction of their original price and put them in my freezer to have in case of company or some other special occasion. Our freezer was one of the best investments we have ever made. This summer I plan to fill it to the brim with as much produce as I can get my hands on!


With times getting tighter and tighter, we all need to think of ways to save. If you stop and really think about it, there are a multitude of ways we can save money each and every day. These are just a few that I have come up with. I'll share a few more at another time! Keep saving!

About The Author: Robin lives in Washington, Iowa. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Scott. They have two daughters, Jessica and Caitlinn, both of whom are grown. The oldest, Jessica, and her husband, just had a baby, Robin's first grandchild. They also have 3 dogs who are very much part of they family, Jazmin, Shelby and Libby. Her interests are cooking, computers, volunteering at our local animal shelter, working with the elderly and also children and music. She also very involved in her church.

February 24, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for sharing good info.I invented a chicken nugget recipe last week because I got chicken on sale,we enjoyed the nuggets very much,I also make a good pizza much cheaper & better to us than the ones we buy,good luck.

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February 25, 20100 found this helpful

Very good ideas Robin, just to add a few more.

Meat in bulk can be bought at the slaughter house too beef, pork and sells for less than the grocery store. And you can get a bag of bones for your dogs for about $2.00..(just keep them in the freezer for 3 weeks so it kills off bacteria before giving to them) It is cooked bones that can become harmful to one's pet.

Save A Lot grocery store in our area has increased prices of canned goods and I'm not getting as much for the money as we once did. My husband jokingly says it should be renamed Save A Little. So, when you're out shopping, check other grocery departments like Family Dollar and Dollar General as there might be sales on items needed that are cheaper yet and especially with a coupon.

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February 25, 20100 found this helpful

Robin, I suggest homemade laundry detergent (Duggar family website) it makes 10 gallons for under 2 dollars (approx). We do, and it smells and works great! Pretty easy to make, and just try to get just one gallon for 2 dollars anywhere! (much less 10) good luck and God Bless.

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February 25, 20100 found this helpful

I agree that buying in bulk really saves! If you are a small family, you can split some things with friends. I found a 20kg bag of flour for $10 at a wholesale store (that is the price for 10kg when it's on sale at our grocery store) so I asked a friend if she'd split it with me. We're now going to start buying things together and split them. It's amazing how much cheaper it is, usually 1/2 the price. We're sticking to staples such as rice, flour, sugar and those types of items. Our local organic co-op also sells in bulk and I will be looking there next.

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February 25, 20100 found this helpful

I use very little paper products, I use rags instead of paper towels for clean up, and I have cloth napkins that I made from scrap fabric.

I use dryer sheets twice, then I use them to dust with.

I take snow and melt it right now, to water my plants, I have a friend who thaws snow to flush her toilet She brings in buckets of snow every day for her toilet, when there is snow. I would not go that far if I didn't have to, but she does.

I use my left over denture cleaner to clean the toilet. I just pour it in and swish the toilet every day.

I like to cook extra rice, and freeze it to make another meal easier to cook.

I keep gallon jugs in the freezer when it is emptying down some to help keep it cool longer.

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February 25, 20100 found this helpful

About every 3 or 4 times I wash my hair I simply scrub my hair really well without using shampoo. It gets my hair clean enough so I don't have to use shampoo that time. This also removes any shampoo and conditioner buildup and massages my scalp.

In the morning since I brush my teeth before eating, I don't use toothpaste, just brush a little while longer and make sure I run the brush over my tongue to remove the night taste.

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February 26, 20100 found this helpful

Good ideas, Robin.

Another thing to remember to make your purchases go further is, don't buy concentrated products. Research shows that people forget that they have bought concentrated, and use large amounts.

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February 26, 20100 found this helpful

Is this a free newsletter like ThriftyFun?

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February 27, 20100 found this helpful

Keep on keeping on Robin, you are right in your mind and right in your heart, you are the living proof that money isn't everything. I know it would be nice to have a bit more though, so I hope it comes your way soon!

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February 27, 20100 found this helpful

Robin, have you ever thought of making your own laundry soap? I can make a years supply for around $7.

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March 2, 20100 found this helpful

I also stretch my budget for things like toothpaste, deodorant, skincare, shampoo and shower gel by getting FREE samples over the internet (I have even gotten Prilosec samples) - Check out the free samples Walmart always lists at www. & look at freebie sites like & for daily updated freebie listings. These freebies allow a bit of a splurge!

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March 5, 20100 found this helpful

To all who responded to Robin and Robin one great way of saving on food is a dehydrator and dry what you cannot freeze or can. After you dry them veggies, herbs ect the put them in freezer for a couple of hours then put small amounts at a time in a blender jar blend till powdered and use as seasoning for everything and it will blow your mind what you can put carrots and veggies into and the kids will never know or taste it is just plain good.

A cheap one works as good to start with as a big one like I have. I have 4 small ones and 1 large one. Beef, turkey, deer, ect. jerky is very good and it doesn't have to be real salty. store in freezer doesn't get rank;. love the ideas

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

I love all of Robin's tips.

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January 19, 20150 found this helpful

I agree about making homemade laundry detergent. I suggest the recipe using Oxy Clean to keep whites white. I used a recipe for a while that used Dawn, Washing Soda and Borax and after a few months I felt my whites were getting dingy, which I didn't like.

Another tip I use is instead of dryer sheets, I crunch up some sheets (about 15" long) of aluminum foil into a ball and use two or three of those in my dryer. They remove the static and last a long time until they begin to fall apart, then it is time for a new ball of foil. I hang my whites and some of the colored clothes on a drying rack or hangers on an extra rod over the bathtub, but I dry sheets and towels in the dryer.

I don't have an outdoor clothes line. I keep my old shampoo bottle and fill it half way with the new shampoo and add water. Give a good shake and it will do the same job as the concentrated shampoo does and a bottle goes twice as far.

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In This Article
A mom shopping at the grocery store.
Making Ends Meet
Better Living Frugal Living AdviceFebruary 24, 2010
Saving for a Large Purchase
Saving Money for Large Purchases
Man Shopping for  Food on a Budget
Stretching Your Food Budget
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Red Robin Copycat Chili Recipe
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