We have a well and we have a filtration system of said water as it enters into our home. On top of all of that, we also have a reverse osmosis system in our kitchen which makes our already filtered water even more desirable for drinking and cooking. So, how does this help me in coping with all of my rising inflation costs? I use my water as a dilution agent, thus reducing my grocery costs, my cleaning agent costs and my beauty care costs. I dilute every single thing I can with my water!

Starting with my morning coffee. I only buy dark Columbian-type coffee beans. Why? Because I can add more water for percolation without affecting the taste or the quality of my brew. Next comes my morning milk for my coffee. If I am using whole milk, I dilute 25% of it with water. Ditto for 2% milk. I don’t dilute skim milk as it’s already too thin to begin with. If I make myself a cup of tea, I make a weak cup and save the tea bag for another use. When I get a bunch of used tea bags I make a big kettle of tea and store it in the fridge. I dilute fruit juices especially orange juice. No one ever knows the difference.

Next comes other items I cook with or eat with in my kitchen. I dilute salad dressings (at least by 10%), I dilute gravies and sauces by adding in a bit of extra water. I dilute soups by adding in more water and cooking it longer utilizing chicken or beef bones. I dilute instant ice tea mix, lemonade mix or any other thing that has a basis for water. Needless to say, however, that we basically drink our water without care. I toss in a slice of lemon or a strawberry into my glass of water and I’m fine with it. Trust me. Before you do anything, look at the labels. There’s bound to be a bit of water in almost everything anyway. If so, dilute just a tad more and extend your food so that you can keep up with inflation and the rising costs of your groceries somewhat. No one, including you, will notice the difference.

I also use substitutions in the kitchen. I use margarine instead of butter. I halve an expensive food item and replace it with a less expensive food item, such as pancake syrup. My family only likes 100% maple syrup on their pancakes or waffles. Have you seen the price of 100% maple syrup lately. I substitute a less expensive grade of imitation maple syrup into the jar of pure maple syrup and no one in my family has noticed any difference. Like duh? I never do less than half because then, IMHO, I think people will notice the change in taste.

At $7.00 for 100% pure maple syrup, I dilute half with a less expensive imitation maple syrup @$1.25 a bottle. Never do less than half!

I use my watering down method in both my beauty care and cleaning products. I dilute my shampoo, hubby’s shampoo, my hair conditioner, my epson bath salts etc. buying less and making up the difference with plain, old water. I save all the little bits of bar soap and then I place them into a clean, empty, salvaged pump style bottle and simply add water. The soap bits melt and dilute with the water and voila! I have a full, pump bottle of hand or bath soap.

A few years ago I learned from another frugalista such as myself that if you use just two tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing liquid (it must be Dawn, as generics won’t work as well) and simply fill up the bottle with water, you’ve got a powerful cleaning agent for both your kitchen and your bathroom. This concoction cleans up countertops, appliances, cooktops, stainless steel exhaust fans (oh the grease!) as well as your kitchen/dining table top, kitchen cabinet fronts, backsplash, shelves and believe it or not, my bamboo wood floors. In the bath I use this concoction to clean countertops, chrome, the bathtub, the tile and yes, even the bathroom floor. No rinsing needed.

I reuse an empty Dawn bottle, put 2 tablespoons of the real Dawn liquid in it and fill up the rest of the bottle with water. Makes the perfect versatile cleaner ever!

Do you realize how much money I am saving simply by using this man made product and no longer buying special, specific cleaning agents? The only other product I buy is lemon oil for my wood furniture and a windex-type glass cleaner at the Dollar Store. No, I won’t use vinegar as a cleaning agent because I do not believe in using precious food to clean things with. Exception is baking soda. I use that to clean the glass window in my oven and hubby and I use baking soda to whiten our teeth (got to brush with it daily in order to see results). Around the house I use my Dawn concoction to clean up walls, doors, moldings and yes………after my little doggie if need be. I do use it to clean up her cages weekly. They smell so nice afterwards!

Even if you don’t have a whole house water filtration as I do, your water from your tap will work just as fine! Even if you have to pay for your water, my simple dilution tricks will still save you a bunch of money. And help you keep up with inflation and the rising costs of just about anything. Oh and BTW, hubby uses my Dawn concoction in his workspace. He even uses it to wash down our cars (including the interiors) all for just pennies!

Happy cleaning! Happy Cooking! Happy diluting!

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