Author Topic: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?  (Read 34712 times)

wannabe-stache

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #50 on: March 26, 2018, 02:21:40 PM »
25 lbs of bread flour from Sam's for $5.97.

The amount of food this makes is insane. If you ate only flour (somehow) that's 20 days of food at 2000 calories a day. Obviously I don't make bread everyday but in the long run it still helps offset some of the more healthy expensive ingredients and occasional restaurant trips. If worst came to worst though I could always live off of beans, rice, and bread for almost nothing which is comforting.

I use bread flour the same as all-purpose flour in pretty much everything, even waffles. I actually did the math and it costs me $0.35 to make two large Belgian waffles (plus whatever the electricity cost is and the amortized cost of the waffle maker).

How do you store 25 lbs of flour?

Lyssa

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2018, 03:09:47 PM »
- all sorts of medical supplies in big packages online

- liquid soap as well as dish soap (not better, but not worse either), same for shampoo and conditioner

- IKEA nonstick frying pan (better than ANY I ever owned, including one for four times as much)

englishteacheralex

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #52 on: March 26, 2018, 06:06:57 PM »
25 lbs of bread flour from Sam's for $5.97.

The amount of food this makes is insane. If you ate only flour (somehow) that's 20 days of food at 2000 calories a day. Obviously I don't make bread everyday but in the long run it still helps offset some of the more healthy expensive ingredients and occasional restaurant trips. If worst came to worst though I could always live off of beans, rice, and bread for almost nothing which is comforting.

I use bread flour the same as all-purpose flour in pretty much everything, even waffles. I actually did the math and it costs me $0.35 to make two large Belgian waffles (plus whatever the electricity cost is and the amortized cost of the waffle maker).

How do you store 25 lbs of flour?

We do this, too--buy flour in bulk. We store it in a food-grade 5 gallon bucket. You have to freeze the flour first in order to kill bug eggs. Worth it. We make all our own bread, and this is a real savings because in Hawaii a loaf of bread costs around $6.

Plugra

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2018, 02:23:44 PM »
- Reading glasses.  For the over-50 set, you can pay $500 for a prescription pair or you can buy a pack of 3 for a few bucks in a drug store.

- Office supplies.  The family always borrows my desk scissors, scotch tape, pens and pads.   I do buy some very fancy gel pens but I keep them hidden.

- Coffee filters.  How could it possibly matter which ones you buy?

- Gasoline. Hasn't anyone mentioned this yet?

sanderh

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #54 on: July 01, 2018, 02:55:39 AM »
3.  Sodium-free cans of store-brand beans.  Spare meals galore. 
Seconded.
BIC single-blade razors. The multi-blade expensive ones get gummed up with hair between the blades. But a blast of water from the tap cleans the hair out of the single-blade one, so it actually works better than the multi-blade ones.
Polycarbonate clear construction glasses with large wraparound lenses for UV protection, dust and insect protection when cycling.

Dee18

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #55 on: July 01, 2018, 09:36:39 AM »
IKEA towels...because I like towels that will dry quickly in my humid climate.  More expensive towels seem to have a weird finish that makes them almost water repellant. 

better late

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2018, 09:11:24 PM »
Wash cloths. Cheaper ones are smaller and thinner - this means that you can rinse the soap out of them more easily and quickly, so you don't waste more of your time and more of the hot water you had to pay to heat. They are also rougher, which means that they scrub better.

Exactly!

chaskavitch

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #57 on: August 19, 2018, 09:12:16 AM »
25 lbs of bread flour from Sam's for $5.97.

The amount of food this makes is insane. If you ate only flour (somehow) that's 20 days of food at 2000 calories a day. Obviously I don't make bread everyday but in the long run it still helps offset some of the more healthy expensive ingredients and occasional restaurant trips. If worst came to worst though I could always live off of beans, rice, and bread for almost nothing which is comforting.

I use bread flour the same as all-purpose flour in pretty much everything, even waffles. I actually did the math and it costs me $0.35 to make two large Belgian waffles (plus whatever the electricity cost is and the amortized cost of the waffle maker).

How do you store 25 lbs of flour?

We do this, too--buy flour in bulk. We store it in a food-grade 5 gallon bucket. You have to freeze the flour first in order to kill bug eggs. Worth it. We make all our own bread, and this is a real savings because in Hawaii a loaf of bread costs around $6.

Wait, what?!?  I have never done this with my big bag of flour, and now I'm questioning all of my life decisions :'(  I've never noticed bugs in my flour, but maybe I'm just bad at looking! Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Cranky

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #58 on: August 19, 2018, 09:44:06 AM »
Any kind of grain can have flour moths/millers in it. A lot of people stick it in the freezer for a while to kill them before they ever hatch out, because if you get an infestation in your kitchen you end up throwing everything out and doing a lot of scrubbing.

When I bought flour in bulk, I usually timed it so that I could leave it outside in the garage or the trunk of the car (in winter) for a couple of days before I divided it up for storage.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 12:35:43 PM by Cranky »

Apple_Tango

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #59 on: August 19, 2018, 01:17:23 PM »
VO5 sulfate and silicone free conditioner, especially from the Dollar Tree. Itís the best Iíve found, my hair loves it and itís only a dollar.

justajane

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #60 on: August 19, 2018, 02:05:55 PM »
The Works toilet cleaner from the Dollar Store to clean hard water stains off your toilet.

I second dollar store pregnancy tests.

The dollar store is also good for various skin creams like hydrocortisone or antifungal creams. Works just as well as the stuff that costs eight times more at CVS or Walgreens.

Goodidea

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2018, 08:19:56 PM »
Dollar stores get a bad wrap, but I find the popular ones to be more than sufficient. 99 Cents Only stores have high traffic in my area and are regularly restocking the shelves. Even with fresh produce. I was told by a local grocery store worker that when they receive produce, if one item in a box is damaged, they reject the whole thing and sell it to dollar stores. Dollar stores removes the bad and stocks the perfectly good items. You also find name brand food items there all the time.

Then there are things like utensils or office stationery. Compared to a big box stores, you spend way less. I've found the cheap quality items (worth getting better name brands at bigger retailers) are things like cleaning supplies and Tupperware. You can tell the quality is cheaper.

spicykissa

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #62 on: September 02, 2018, 08:02:55 AM »
I love the Wal-Mart brand fruit snacks. Way better than any of the more expensive name brand versions, like Mott's. And I agree with previous posters on cheap towels and Corelle-type dishes.

Also, lately I've found we watch a lot more free stuff on Youtube (mostly cooking/travel/video game hints) than we do on the services we pay for (Netflix & Amazon Prime). We seem to enjoy it more.

Dicey

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #63 on: September 02, 2018, 09:19:43 AM »
For absorbing motor oil spills, the cheapest possible cat litter works the best.  You want the clay granules, not some fancy treated/scented paper stuff.  Crush the clay bits into the concrete with your shoe, stomp + twist until it's dusty.  Works great for soaking up oil.
And you can get small bags of it at some dollar stores!
OMG, I buy 5-pound bags of Johnny Cat at the 99 Cents Only store and my cat is fine with it, hooray! I usually buy 20 bags at a time. I'm always worried that they'll stop carrying it.

MamaJ

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2018, 12:32:34 PM »
Dollar store napkins. Used to buy expensive Costco brand, but you typically only use quarter of the napkin.  Dollar store napkins are smaller, thinner and just right.

Trader Joe's Tea Tree shampoo.  Smells nice, rinses clean, cheap and heard lice (for school aged kids) does not like it. 

slackmax

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #65 on: December 08, 2018, 10:19:20 AM »
$1 for a 12 ounce bag of pretzels. They taste better than the twice-as-costly brands.

Coffee. The cheap stuff ($5 for a 34 ounce can) tastes just as good, maybe better, than the name brand stuff like Folgers or Maxwell House. I admit Chock-full-o-Nuts tastes better, but it isn't worth the extra money, IMHO.

Certain brands of cheap beer taste real good to me. I also buy the fancy microbrew, but only on sale.   


Hula Hoop

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2018, 11:01:12 AM »
Cheapo orange juice from the discount (kind of like Aldi) supermarket near me.  Also cheapo no name brand coffee and imported German butter and French brie from the same place. 

tralfamadorian

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #67 on: December 08, 2018, 06:52:31 PM »
Moisturizer- cheap Cerave in the tub works better and without any fragrances or fluff ingredients. So much better than $200/oz creme de la mer I received as a gift.

Smith's 2-step knife sharpener for $3 on amazon.

imadandylion

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2018, 04:31:41 PM »
I know paying for bags at the grocery store is technically cheap, but like... a reusable bag is even cheaper because you buy it once and never gain. Does this qualify? (This is for metropolitan areas that charge for disposable bags if you don't bring your own.)

SnackDog

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #69 on: December 09, 2018, 06:10:02 PM »
I don't like cheap trashy crap, can tell the difference immediately and disagree with most of the suggestions here.

My vote - free financial advice from Bogleheads. Beats the heck out of paid advice from professional advisors.  Of course, it is not really "free" because you have to do some of the thinking yourself as well.

K-ice

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #70 on: December 18, 2018, 09:47:35 PM »

https://www.cetaphil.com/gentle-skin-cleanser

Cetaphil face cleanser. I think it is hard to beat the price per ml.

It also doubles as a great smooth shaving cream.

Ideal to limit the different little bottles when traveling.

And there is also a published paper in a medical journal that it kills lice.

mountain mustache

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #71 on: December 18, 2018, 10:01:53 PM »
- cheap toilet paper for life! I get a case at Costco that lasts a year.
- Walmart brand beans in a can, and diced tomatoes. Really good, really cheap, great emergency meals

Dicey

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #72 on: December 19, 2018, 08:17:04 AM »

https://www.cetaphil.com/gentle-skin-cleanser

Cetaphil face cleanser. I think it is hard to beat the price per ml.

It also doubles as a great smooth shaving cream.

Ideal to limit the different little bottles when traveling.

And there is also a published paper in a medical journal that it kills lice.
And Costco carries it for an even better price. Woot!

Dicey

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #73 on: December 19, 2018, 08:39:24 AM »
Here's another winning combo. Baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo & conditioner. Cheap gallons of cider vinegar and bulk purchased baking soda from Costco. Lasts forever, both ingredients have multiple uses and together they make my hair look great.

NGeek

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #74 on: July 11, 2019, 11:12:00 AM »
Bath towels. I live in a humid climate, so they need to be washed frequently or they smell. I've found I can get away with small ~$2 Ikea towel (intended as larger hand towels I think). Several of them can be thrown in with other laundry and take up very little space in the machine. I started using them in the shower at work to save space in my panniers, but now use at home too because they are so convenient. They make good rags when they get worn out too. Big fluffy towels seem crazy to me now. I don't want to do entire washing loads of towels!

Parizade

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #75 on: July 11, 2019, 08:54:18 PM »
I like to organize my closets and drawers with baskets and bins, and I have found that organizational baskets and bins from Dollar Tree work just fine for organizing. They are not as sturdy as pricey baskets and bins, but when you are organizing a linen closet or desk drawer you don't really need sturdy bins. You just need to contain the clutter so it doesn't bleed together into a mess.

So I can spend $20 at Dollar Tree and my closet looks like I spent $500 at The Container Store. Bliss!

soccerluvof4

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #76 on: July 12, 2019, 03:29:36 AM »
Dollar store readers. I keep a pair everywhere as I tend to lose them otherwise. But for a buck you cant beat them

FamilyGuy

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #77 on: September 09, 2019, 08:15:32 PM »
Many shirts that I got from thrift store for $3 a piece is far better than the costlier ones I ve got.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #78 on: September 09, 2019, 08:21:55 PM »
I get a ton of stuff at the dollar store. The best find was dollar store eggs: A dozen for a dollar. What a deal. I also get pizza and pasta sauce there when I am unable to produce it from my garden. I just clean and reuse old pasta jars by refilling them with the canned pasta sauce from the dollar store. Good savings. Then, I add in some dried herbs I saved from our garden, and it dresses up the sauce nicely.

EvenSteven

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2019, 02:23:39 PM »
Sweedish goggles. Best goggles when I was swimming a lot, and about 2 bucks per pair. Those fancy speedo goggles run 20x the price and always seem to leak.

Hula Hoop

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #80 on: October 09, 2019, 12:17:23 AM »
Back when we were cloth diapering our kids, the cheapo Indian prefolds off Ebay were way better and more durable than the expensive pocket diapers made of synthetic materials.  The Indian prefolds survived hot washes with nappisan way better than the expensive diapers that lost their waterproof qualities.  We used cheap diaper covers over the Indian prefolds and a chopped up piece of fleece from the fabric store as liners and they lasted 5 years of cloth diapering two kids.

K-ice

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #81 on: October 12, 2019, 12:33:46 PM »
My SO visited a food processing plant the other day.  There they saw containers for a known brand name as well as generic. They do not think there was any difference in what went into said containers.

I have heard this is the case for many things from cookies to toilet paper....

FIREedUpCS

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #82 on: October 24, 2019, 10:31:06 PM »
Car, with limits.

Certain clothing staples: athletic/casual socks, underwear, undershirts. Second-hand: certain shoes if you can revive and restore them. Ties. Denim. Some outerwear. Grailed & eBay often have quality used clothing items.

Clothes drying rack. Wool dryer balls (instead of dryer sheets)

Furniture or cooking accessories that are second-hand but quality, if you can find it.

Kitchen staples: baking soda, vinegar, some spices and condiments, teapot, french press/aeropress/moka pot.

Reading glasses

Library resources: books, ebooks, and potentially much more

Generally won't go super cheap for consumer goods, quality saves money in the long run for many things!

Car Jack

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #83 on: November 18, 2019, 01:19:24 PM »
Brake Rotors.

Back in the day, I was an amateur road racer.  A group of us were tired of all the money we spent on brake components and started keeping track of the price and performance of brake rotors.  We ended up somewhat astonished that the priciest ones seemed to fail the most often.  Not just warping or wearing but cracking under track conditions.  The ones that did the best?  $10 absolute cheapo blank rotors that you can get from places like Auto Zone and especially Rock Auto.

So when I'm looking at rotors and one set is $35 each and the other is $10 each, I have no problem going with the $10 set.

Alchemisst

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #84 on: March 14, 2020, 07:09:07 AM »
Here's another winning combo. Baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo & conditioner. Cheap gallons of cider vinegar and bulk purchased baking soda from Costco. Lasts forever, both ingredients have multiple uses and together they make my hair look great.

Do you use/mix them together first or use one after the other? I use baking soda as a face wash and and works quite well, also use it as underarm deoderant and I use baking soda and vinegar for lots of things around the house as well.

Alchemisst

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #85 on: March 14, 2020, 07:11:32 AM »
Sweedish goggles. Best goggles when I was swimming a lot, and about 2 bucks per pair. Those fancy speedo goggles run 20x the price and always seem to leak.

Haven't heard of these before, just looked them up now, is the brand Malmsten? I hate leaky goggles and haven't been able to find a pair that don't leak..

BikeFanatic

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #86 on: March 14, 2020, 07:44:48 AM »
I am also interested in the baking soda vinegar mthod dicey ! I have sensitive skin and skin allergies to most commercial soaps. Another suggestion for those that re use store brand soap pumps with diluted dish soap. You can was out every other fill and mix vinegar and water and pump that solution through as a disinfectant.  To clean the dispenser.
Lastly air poped popcorn in the microwave , even the non GMO white popcorn has got to be the cheapest junk food ever. Some people make it in a paper bag,  but I use a rubber boal with vover from Amazon. Much cheaper than a bag of chips.

Caoineag

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #87 on: March 14, 2020, 08:30:59 AM »
Hash brown patties. Not sure why but the name brand one falls apart, the store version keeps its shape. Never had this issue with anything else from Ore Ida but always go for the non Ore Ida hash brown patties.

Dicey

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Re: What items have you found cheapest TRULY is best?
« Reply #88 on: March 14, 2020, 10:40:13 AM »
Here's another winning combo. Baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo & conditioner. Cheap gallons of cider vinegar and bulk purchased baking soda from Costco. Lasts forever, both ingredients have multiple uses and together they make my hair look great.

Do you use/mix them together first or use one after the other? I use baking soda as a face wash and and works quite well, also use it as underarm deoderant and I use baking soda and vinegar for lots of things around the house as well.
You definitely do NOT use them together! They are used in sequence. I have long hair, so here is what works for me. Before showering, brush hair thoroughly. Once in the shower, get your hair sopping wet. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on your head and gently work it into your scalp. Baking soda has no surfactants, so it's going to feel weird at first. Be gentle with your hair to avoid breakage. Once the baking soda is worked in all the way to your scalp, gently massage your scalp, then the rest of your hair. Rinse out, then apply a 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water solution. Let it soak into your hair, then rinse again very well. Your hair will smell of vinegar, but only until it's dry.

Tips: Use an airtight plastic container for the baking soda. A repurposed Parmesan Cheese shaker is great. For the vinegar, I used an old squeeze bottle that some caterer left behind after an event. If you don't have something suitable on hand, your dollar store will. For travel, I used the short plastic shakers that hold spices. Note: You can use straight vinegar for the rinse, but I find it to be too harsh. 50/50 or slightly more water really works better.

Full disclaimer: I used this method for about three years. Recently, I discovered a forgotten stockpile of shampoo under my husband's sink, so I've gone back to traditional methods. Thanks to menopause, my hair is way less oily now, and it needs a bit of surfactant effect to avoid brittleness and breakage. I may go back to "no 'poo" at some point, and Im definitely glad I took the time to figure it out way back when. It was worth it.

I'm looping you in, @BikeFanatic, and adding a question. Why do you disinfect a soap container? Isn't that overkill? I use DIY foaming soap containers throughout my house and they never get crud build-up.