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Bachelor on the Cheap: Doing the laundry and washing dishes

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

About a month ago, I did a piece on products I use to do household cleaning.  Regular readers know I'm not a name brand product kind of guy, there's no need to spend more money than necessary based on popularity and marketing.  The article got a lot of visits, people were interested in saving money on cleaning products used for washing windows, mopping floors, dusting and cleaning the bathroom.

I've since been asked, "But Mike, what about the everyday stuff, washing clothes and doing the dishes?"

No problem, I've got you covered!

20170602_212929Just as I did a cost comparison for some common household cleaning products used for keeping the house tidy, I've done a similar cost comparison for the everyday kind of thing, dishes and laundry.  It's name brand items purchased at Walmart vs. not name brand Dollar Tree.  I used Walmart in this comparison because I think most folks would agree that Walmart is on the low end cost-wise and popular for that reason when purchasing items like name brand detergents.

Typical products used for washing dishes and clothes were evaluated in this comparison, dish soap, dishwasher soap, laundry soap, fabric softener and dryer sheets.  So what's better, the name brand stuff or the not name brand stuff?  As you probably already guessed, the Dollar Tree products are much less expensive, but are they as good, effective, last as long? 

Detergents

Clearly, the Dollar Tree products are far less expensive, it's a difference of a whopping $19.64, but that savings doesn't mean much if the products don't perform or if it takes two or three times the Dollar Tree product in volume to do the same job as the name brand right?

No worries, the Dollar Tree stuff performs.  Here's an item-by-item breakdown: 

Dish SoapDawn vs. Palmolive - Dawn, Palmolive....  Whatever......  It doesn't matter dish for dish.  But it's 14.6 ounces of Dawn purchased at Walmart for $1.96 vs. 16 ounces of Palmolive purchased at Dollar Tree for $1.00.  Don't believe the Dawn TV commercials saying it can do more dishes.  That's marketing hogwash.   Palmolive purchased at Dollar Tree saves you money to do the same job.  In the picture above is a 12.6 ounce bottle of Palmolive purchased at Walmart for 99 cents.  So even with the same brand, you get more bang for the buck at Dollar Tree, which sells a 16 ounce bottle of Palmolive for $1.

Dishwasher SoapCascade vs. Power X - Hot water and soap, is hot water and soap......  You're literally wasting almost $5 going with the name brand here.   Sure, a bottle of Cascade is going to last longer by sheer volume, but it cost you 8 cents per ounce vs. 3 cents per ounce to do the very same job.  This is the epitome of buying into name brand hype.  Here's the thing,  most folks keep their cleaning products in the closet, so nobody sees what 'name brand' products you use...   Don't be vain in cleaning.... 

Dryer SheetsSnuggle vs. Breezy - The Breezy sheets smell good, do the same job and there's more bang for the buck here, 55 sheets vs. 46 with the name brand.  This one is a no brainer.  You can't tell the difference in these products.

Fabric SoftenerAll vs. Suavitel - This one is kind of like the comparison with the dishwasher soap.  Do you get more volume with the name brand?  Yes.  But ounce for ounce, the Dollar Tree product does the same job.  Suavitel costs half as much per ounce to do the very same job. 

Laundry SoapTide vs. Awesome - Tide is THE household name for laundry detergent.  But you are paying for a name.  The Awesome brand does everything Tide can do, it cleans clothes, can remove stains, there's no residue.  Look at that price difference!

Scrub SpongesScotchbrite vs. Scrub Buddies - The only difference here is one sponge and of course, the price.  The quality is the same.  You can scrub just as many dishes with a Scrub Buddies sponge as you can with a Scotchbrite sponge.

So after taking in the information shared here, I have to ask, "Are you ready to start saving about $19 when it comes to doing laundry and washing dishes?

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