I’m not a person that does well with the “status quo”. I always seem to test preconceived ideas and mindsets. You might call it a talent or just stubbornness to question everything or I’m just kind of the annoying kid in the back of the room that actually questioned what the teacher said. Of course I see myself as a brilliant rebel questing for truth and defying the “status quo”. Then again I’m thinking about soap, toothpaste and laundry detergent. Not exactly the stuff revolutions are made of.
On average I do about 2 loads of laundry a week. Now I could make my own laundry detergent but I have good luck using Sun brand laundry detergent. Now I can buy a big jug of “Sun” laundry detergent for under $ 10.00 that will do about 120 loads of laundry. By buying the big bulk version I have enough laundry soap for over a year and a bit extra. 52 weeks in a year times 2 loads of laundry per week on average = 104 loads of laundry per year. I don’t know how much laundry you do per week but I think you can see about how much laundry soap you need to store for a year. If you like a more mainstream brand like Tide or you do more laundry per week. If you buy your laundry soap in bulk and on sale for less than $50.00 you have all your laundry soap needs covered for the year and that is for a family of four!
I love Ivory soap because it such a great multi tasker. Did you know if you dry out Ivory soap chips you can use them in cleaning laundry, dishwasher to making new soap? How many bars of soap does your household use in a week or month? How about toothpaste? You can stock up on all of these items via sales or at your local dollar store and have one years worth of one item on hand for very little money. I don’t want to tell you how to live your life but I lived in the field in the Army and no one liked some one who was funky or incapable of brushing their teeth. If you guesstimate about a bar a month for soap, a tube of toothpaste a month and at least to new toothbrushes per year per person. Figure about $30.00 per person a year if you shop sales or your local dollar store/Big Lots. You might be surprised how many brands names are carried at those stores. So if you have a favorite brand there is a good chance they have it stock.
I have done the same thing with garbage bags I got at Cash and Carry. I got my price point and watched for a sale on the 150 count kitchen bags. The bags are better quality than the dollar store versions and since I use on average 2 bags a week I’m stocked on garbage bags for a year. There are a few extra bags just in case I need more than my weekly average of 2 bags. You can do the same with tissue paper, figure out your average use per week then buy it on sale. I have to say I like the Albertson’s “Everyday Essential” Soft & Strong double roll TP. It is noticeably softer than the Big Lot’s brand and I think it is a bit softer than the Kroger/Fred Meyer store brand.
Once you have a good three to six month of your basics you can watch for sales and loss leader for items that you want to have one years worth stored. Shopping/storing this way gave me a big boost whenever I could “check the block” having one year of an item stored. Sometimes looking at the total number for one year of goods can be a little discouraging. This way of “prepping” is good for me as it was much easier to see progress. I think it also helps people that are trying buy a little of everything but never seem to reach the goal of a years worth of anything. This method helped keep me motivated on my goal of working on a years worth of storage.
I just got another big bottle 120 loads of Sun laundry detergent for $5.90 at Big Lot’s. My old bottle of Sun detergent was under half full so it was time to get a new jug for next year. The big Sun laundry detergent comes with a spigot and I can’t wait until it is empty and I can use it as my Soap/washing stuff dispenser for camping. I’m trying out a generic version of Mr. Clean magic eraser. Supposedly you can clean just about anything with just a bit of water. I won’t go quite that far but I have to say it does a great job on cleaning things with a textured surface like walls and my fridge. Using this item might give you more options to recycle water after using it for cleaning if it has no soap or harsh chemicals.
Don’t feel bound by these ideas. I took what I learned from others and put my own little twist that worked for me. What you do to prepare is your skill and if you do things different and it works for you and your family great! That’s what should happen! While it has been almost five years since I began I started out a day and a week at a time. I’m a bit stunned my method actually works so well even for someone on a limited income. Yes, I have made a few mistakes and learned a lot. I’ve had a few lucky breaks and was able to take advantage of them. Had a little bad luck as well but that is life, you got to take the good with the bad and hopefully treat them the same. I’m not there yet but I have got good at mitigating the bad.