Store Bought Products v.s Homemade Counterparts

Are you getting your money’s worth?

Those who are just beginning on the path of budgeting/ frugal living often get overwhelmed by the idea of making convenience items, rather than purchasing them. The following questions often come up:

  • “How much money can I possibly save?”
  • “Do the homemade recipes work?”
  • “Is it worth it to make your own products?”

How much money you save depends entirely on what products you decide to make yourself. For instance, how much money are you spending each year on Dishwashing Detergent, are you currently paying 2 – 3 times more than you have to?

Some Comparisons for you to view:

Product: AjaxNote: 1oz = 2 Tablespoons

Size: 21 oz Container
Price: 99¢ (wal-mart 12/01)
Cost per Use: 5¢ per use (rounded)
Uses Per Container: 21

Product: Borax Size: 76 oz

Price: $3.79 (wal-mart 12/01)
Cost per Use: 5¢ per use (rounded)
Uses Per Container: 76 uses per box IF you use it straight, which you don’t.

Product: Electrasol Size: 65 oz box Price: $4.49 (However, this product requires the use of 2 oz per use)

Cost per Use: 14¢ per use
Uses Per Container :32.5 Uses

Product: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Size: 16 oz box

Price: .69¢ (wal-mart 12/01)
Cost per Use: .04¢ per use

Uses Per Container : 16

Homemade Scouring Powder v.s Ajax Cleaner
1 cup baking soda (.32¢)
1 cup borax (.40¢)
1 cup salt (.16¢)

Makes 3 cups = 24 oz.
Cost .88¢ for 24. 0z
Uses: 24 uses (2 Tablespoons per oz)

Ajax: 21 oz Container .99¢
Gives you 21 Uses (2 Tbl per oz)

The Homemade Cleaner gives 3 extra uses and is .11¢ cheaper.

Homemade Dish Detergent v.s. Electrasol Detergent

Mix and use per dishwasher load:
1 T. Borax
1 T. Baking soda
( Increase proportion of soda for hard water.)

For 32 uses (like you were getting from Electrosol)

16 oz Borax .80¢
16 oz Baking Soda .69¢

Cost for 32 loads Homemade Detergent: $1.49

Cost for 32 loads of Electrosol: $4.49

The Homemade Detergent is $3.00 Cheaper.


Article By Liss Burnell – Creator & Designer of Budget101.com, “Digging yourself out of debt when all you have is a spoon” © 2004

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About Liss 4190 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

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