As supermarket prices rise, people aren’t just trading down from name brand food to store brands, they’re also trading down from more expensive organic brands. Also, making their own detergent. [CNN Money]


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  1. Angryrider says:

    Hardcore! People are actually making their own Tide or Clorox?

  2. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    As Americans are forced to eat smaller portions, and exercise more, a decrease will be seen in the soaring levels of obesity in this country.

  3. ret3 says:

    Next thing you know, folks’ll be making their own organic bar soap, Fight Club style…

  4. GotanOrange says:

    Is it seriously worth the $3 to make your own detergent?

  5. Jonbo298 says:

    One can only hope this will spur people to stop eating so much

  6. JaneBadall says:

    “There are things Christopher won’t skimp on, such as bottled water…”

    So they’ll buy generic brands but then waste money on something that’s probably worse then what comes out of the tap? Weird.

  7. Ben Popken says:

    @GotanOrange: For the mother in the article doing four loads of laundry every two days, yes.

  8. thelushie says:

    @GotanOrange: To a family of 4, probably, yeah. That $3 that is saved can go for something else…eggs, milk, etc.

  9. Bladefist says:

    @JaneBadall: I drink only bottled water. And time and time again, people tell me that argument. And it’s not a bad argument.

    But in college, on my last year, I got a notice in my mail, saying that the city’s water inspection had failed for the past 5 years. And if they didn’t get it fixed within 5 years, they had to mail out a notice, hence my notice.

    The notice basically said, the water would increase the likelihood of cancer. I forget which kind. It was a bit funny, it was like, oh ya, and by the way, u got cancer bitch, ahahahahahaha.

    No apologies, nothing. 5 years of bad tap water. I drank bottled war all throughout college. I had a lot of friends who didnt. Time will tell. But I will forever drink bottled water.

  10. JiminyChristmas says:

    We use homemade clothes detergent at home, and I would say it’s okay for most things. There are a lot of different recipes, but most of them are some variation of Fels Naphtha Soap, washing soda, and Borax. It does not work well for anything that’s really dirty. Also, whites will get a little dingy over time without an occasional washing with a stronger detergent and some bleach.

    That said, there are some other benefits: no phosphorus, and if you think all the detergent brands smell nasty you can add scent to the homemade stuff with essential oils, or not use any at all.

  11. Myron says:

    How do you feed a family for $200 a month? That’s tight even for the Hillbilly Housewife.


    My family spends far more than that on food in total, and we rarely eat out or get takeout.

  12. spinachdip says:

    @Bladefist: Yeah, it depends on where your city gets the water. DC water is awful – potentially toxic and hard as hell. Leaves hell of a mess in the bathtub. New York City’s water, pharmaceutical residues aside, is fantastic – in a blind taste test, respondents picked NYC tap water over bottled water.

  13. rmz says:

    @Bladefist: Unfortunately, even if you didn’t drink it, that’s five years that you were bathing yourself in that water.

    That’s why I only bathe in naturally-collected rain water in a barrel in my backyard! Just ignore what the neighbors say.

  14. Mr. Gunn says:

    Dr. Bronner’s FTW, who cares if everything you own ends up smelling like peppermint!

  15. csdiego says:

    I’m not making my own laundry detergent, but I have switched from a more pricey foaming handsoap to a mixture of Dr. Bronner’s + water in the foaming-soap dispenser.

    I’m buying more organics if anything, but I’ve been cooking a lot more from scratch and a lot less meat. When I do buy meat I buy organic. I’ve cut down on the frozen dinners and semi-prepared stuff that used to be a mainstay at my house. I also make my own bread and yogurt. That’s my way of dealing with what I see as a contaminated-food crisis + exploding shipping costs.

  16. bohemian says:

    @GotanOrange: A 4 case box of liquid Tide is about $65 and that would be less than a 5 gallon bucket of home made liquid laundry soap. We have been planning on making our own laundry soap when our current commercial jug gets closer to running out.

    I stocked up on groceries last week, we have 4 in our house and we make just about everything we eat. Our grocery bills are brutal even though we buy very little red meat or processed food.

  17. RandomHookup says:

    I just assume drinking tap water is building up my immunity for the eventual collapse of the water treatment system. Eating out of the trash helps with that, too.

  18. youbastid says:

    @JaneBadall: The tap water in L.A. is gross, and I used to drink bottled water exclusively. I think a happy medium is a home filter. I use Pur because brita’s get that gross black mold after a while that is probably extremely bad for you. Takes all of the bad stuff out, and costs about $5 a month.

  19. youbastid says:

    @Bladefist: Whoops, the comment above was actually meant for you.

  20. bohemian says:

    We quit buying bottled water but our tap water is so nasty tasting that even a brita filter doesn’t remove the taste. We bought a water distiller off of Amazon for $100 and some reusable bottles. We also have a water dispenser jug in the fridge and a bunch of those glass milk bottles for extra water storage. The distiller paid for itself in about three months.

  21. Juliekins says:

    The tone of this article really bothers me. It seems to be incredibly centered around how the woman of the house can sacrifice, for one. (It’s also pretty heteronormative–how are homosexual couples cutting back? Or do they not exist?) How are the men of the homes cutting back, or aren’t they expected to? Does earning more mean you don’t have to sacrifice? If so, I think I’m going to start making my husband eat fewer of his favorite indulgences, like skim milk. That just seemed nonsensical to me. Of all the things to give up, skim milk is the last thing a woman her age should be foregoing.

    Bleh. That article gave me the heebies.

  22. Bladefist says:

    @rmz: Taking a shower in it doesnt concern me as much as consuming it. Unless it has radiation in it, showering should be fine.

    @youbastid: I used those for a bit, I don’t know how well they would clean out any harmful chemicals. If the people in my college down had notice, they could have reacted. Unfortunately, the water company, decided they would let you know after it was too late. So the chemical issue of the water, may or may not have been solved by a brita.

    And I’m not dumb, my bottled water could just as easily be getting filled with New York tap water. But I trust it more then my city water, especially since its government ran. My bottled water company can lose their ass if they are selling bad water.

  23. GotanOrange says:

    @thelushie: et al., to each his own I guess. I’d rather spend the $3, 6, 20 whatever it is on something that’s actually worth my time. I guess if i was a housewife with nothing better to do, it might be fun.

  24. officeboy says:

    @GotanOrange: Yeah cus housewives with kids never have anything better to do. :p

  25. Orv says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: Unfortunately, it may not work out that way. Cheap food (in terms of $ per calories) tends not to be the healthiest food. Fresh produce, for example, can be expensive unless you’re growing it in your own garden.

  26. samurailynn says:

    @Bladefist: ” I drank bottled war all throughout college”

    Now that is impressive.

  27. Daniels says:

    As a former resident of the county that Hoosick Falls is located in… the woman is an idiot. The reservoir that serves most of Rennselaer county has some of the best water I’ve ever had.

    She’s either getting her water from the Tomahannock or a well. If it’s a well, then maybe. If it’s the Tomahannock then she’s doing it wrong.

  28. geoffhazel says:

    Commonly used tactic to save at the grocery store is know what you buy and stock up when it’s on sale.

    I shop regularly at Safeway and when cereal goes on sale for $2.00 a box or even less, I stock up. Lots of items go on sale regularly, so you can knock a tab down by 25% or more regularly.
    I love to put in my club card at the end and watch the total drop.

  29. TangDrinker says:

    I wonder if the woman making her own detergent is using cloth diapers? That could be why she’s doing so much laundry. With the price of diapers going up so much, it’s tempting to switch to cloth, but daycare would still require disposables, and with the drought still on in our area, I’m not sure it’s worth the extra laundry.

    Making your own organic baby food is very easy – and much cheaper than buying the ready made stuff. I hope more people get into cooking during this phase, whether it’s organic or not. Dust off those cookbooks from the 1930s – there are plenty of suggestions for frugal living in them.

  30. Bladefist says:

    @samurailynn: lol you got me.

  31. bohemian says:

    @officeboy: A minimum of $65 saved for about 30 minutes or less of work. That is around $122 an hour based on the time used vs. money saved.

    You can go ahead and throw all that extra money you have my way, I won’t complain.

  32. bohemian says:

    @TangDrinker: canned veggies + stick blender = baby food.

  33. stinerman says:


    Not bloody likely. The cheapest source of calories is junk food. Much more likely is people being hospitalized for malnourishment.

  34. stinerman says:


    You wish you were drinking New York tap water. That stuff is about as good as it gets.

  35. ShariC says:

    Poor people have time. They don’t have money. Not everyone can look at things from the viewpoint of how much they’d make per hour if they weren’t making their own detergent, or, if they did, they’re gaging how much they’d make for extra hours at minimum wage.

  36. Balisong says:

    @Bladefist: My bottled water company can lose their ass if they are selling bad water.

    Says who? Your bottled water company is most likely owned by Coca-cola or Pepsi or the like, and I don’t see them going bankrupt over water problems in the near futre. Also, there are higher restrictions on tap water than there are on bottled water. You are highly deluded and have jumped right into the bottled water hype. It is not safer than tap water; it is tap water with less regulations. Not to mention the environmental waste you’re producing, whether you recycle or not (how do you think that plastic gets recycled, pure magic?). Wake up.

  37. Bladefist says:

    @Balisong: thanks for the lesson.

    However, you’re wrong. Pepsi and Coke do make a big % of the bottled water, but it is just tap water that goes through reverse osmosis. And I dont even drink their water. But do you know what a class action lawsuit, of millions of americans w/ cancer from their water could do to them? If you think they could walk away from that, you have a sick twisted world perspective. The water I drink, and I have no reason to think they lie, is spring water. At any rate, Hype or no Hype, I do it, it’s not that expensive. And Al Gore can kiss my ass.

  38. MonkeyMonk says:

    Is that woman really holding her baby over a boiling pot of Borax? I don’t have kids but I think the medical bills from treating Borax burns would far outweigh the savings of making your own detergent.

  39. Balisong says:

    @Bladefist: Did I mention Al Gore? No, I did not. Does Al Gore have anything to do with what I said? No, he doesn’t.

    And your “spring water” makes me LOL. Also your idea that Coca-cola will crumble into oblivion from the results of a class-action lawsuit.

    Whatever, waste your money on your premium tap water as you envision factory workers running out to the mountain stream every day to bring you water from the gods. How oh how do people in other parts of the world cope without America’s blessing of plastic-wrapped H2O?