How I’m simplifying household basics

I’ve never been good about setting a word for the new year, like a lot of other bloggers have. 
(My friend Lori from Farm Fresh Style chose “Warrior,” and Colleen from Curtains are Open chose “Courage.”)
But if were to officially choose a word to guide 2017 for me, it would be “simplify.” Make everything light and easy and take away the annoying bits wherever I can. 
So yesterday I got the idea to set up a regular monthly order with all of the “annoying basics” that we need on a regular basis yet always seem to either (A) run short, or (B) have too many varieties/mostly-empty bottles/packages cluttering up the place.
There are different ways to do this but I picked Walmart’s AutoSave system (NOT a sponsored post at all — it’s just something I’m trying). 
The idea is you can save a bit (like 5%) on household items when you order them on a regular basis (every week, every month, every two months, etc.) instead of a one-time order. I didn’t care much about the discount, since it only amounted to a couple of bucks, but I *DID* like the idea that I’m not going to run out of liquid hand soap AGAIN because they’ll automatically ship me a bottle once a month. 

Here are a few tips if you try something like this yourself …

1. THINK OF YOUR PAIN POINTS:

What are you ALWAYS running out of? For us, it seems to be clear garbage bags, napkins, and liquid soap refills for the bathrooms. Those went on the list for sure, and I am VERY EXCITED about the prospect of being able to easily refill those stupid bottles next to all of the sinks.

In your house, maybe you’re always running short of ziplock baggies or tinfoil or cooking spray? (Crap, we should probably add all of three of those to our order). Think about what irks you and consider getting it regularly.

2. WATCH YOUR TOTAL: 

You get free shipping when you spend $50 and I’m ALL ABOUT THAT FREE SHIPPING. So I filled a basket with all of the essentials we seem to be needing / running short of regularly / buying too many random versions of IRL until I topped the $50 mark.

I played around with adding/removing items until my total was just barely over $50 so we’re getting what we need but not too much.

3. SIZE MATTERS: 

Everything will re-ship once a month, to keep things simple, so I purposely picked sizes that will last 30+ days (but not TOO much longer), like a bottle of laundry soap that does 26 loads, a pack of four razors instead of 12, six bars of soap instead of 12, 42 dishwasher tabs instead of a zillion. That kind of thing.

4. SIMPLIFY:

My husband doesn’t give a crap what kind of shampoo he uses to wash his (limited) hair. Sorry, hon — oh right, you don’t read my posts. 😉 He will use anything (and apparently I will, too, after the Monat experience). So I bought a normal-sounding Aussie 2-in-1 that we can both use, AND I picked the one in a pump because YES. EASY.

I also got the kids a hair-and-body wash combo (with a pump!) and, yes, I got the baby variety even though they’re four and six because they are total wusses about soap (OR WATER) in their precious widdle eyes.

We sometimes have body wash floating around in the shower, too, but my husband is a diehard Irish-Spring-er, so I ordered a few bars for him and some Dove bars for me. No more nearly-empty bottles of body wash, body scrub, etc.

5. STOP THE INSANITY:

My husband often does the grocery shopping and he’s known to stock up on items when they go on sale (which is good, in theory). But we don’t have a lot of storage space in this house, and I’m KonMari-ing like crazy these days, so I don’t WANT to stare at a stockpile.

I also don’t want five different varieties of dish soap under the sink, all different sizes and scents and some half-empty and GAH. One monthly bottle of Palmolive (in the nice original scent that reminds me of my toy sink from when I was a kid) will do nicely, thanks.

Same with dishwasher tabs. ONE BOX = ENOUGH, when you know more are coming.

***

Our first order hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m pretty excited to see how I like this system. The next order to set to ship Feb. 9 but I can change/cancel if necessary, after I see how quickly we burn through these items.

I’m hoping this plan will mean we’re storing less crap BUT having exactly the crap we need, when we need it.

Will keep you posted!

3 Comments on “How I’m simplifying household basics

  1. OK, I'm intrigued. I like your logic. How did you guess how much shampoo you use in a month, etc.? Also, what happens if your items go on sale? Would that maybe put your monthly total below $50 or are they flat rate no matter what?

  2. The shampoo was a total guess, actually! It's hard to visualize how much is in the bottle, so we'll see — I may scale it back to a non-pump bottle in the future if we don't go through as much. If the items go on sale, we do get the sale price automatically. And I think I read that after your first AutoSave order, you get free shipping even if it's less than $50!

  3. Awesome, thanks! I'm going to look into this a little more. I think it'd be great for budget considerations to know exactly how much you're spending monthly on those items.

So what do you think?

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