My mother would probably tell you that I'm the queen of cheap. She doesn't know that I know that she thinks I'm cheap, but I do. And some people might also say I'm cheap, but I say I just like to find ways to spend less for the things I like.
I like good quality clothes, but I never pay full-price. I like good quality cuts of meat and the freshest produce, but I only buy on sale. And I like certain products in my house, but if I can't get them for less, I find a way to make them!
I like these foam hand soaps. I think that the foam entices the kids to wash a little longer, and I think the foam stays on my hands a few seconds longer, instead of washing down the drain in a big glug. Sometimes I find them on sale, but not often. So, when my bottle ran out recently, I decided to figure out a way to use my existing cleaning products to make more.
It only took one Google hit to find what I was looking for. Recipezaar had a recipe for using standard dishwashing soap and water. The first time I made it, I followed the recipe as written. It wasn't bad, but I didn't exactly get foam -- sort of runny foam. Then second time the bottle emptied, Doug put half soap and half water. Way too much soap that time -- it would hardly come out at all. I dumped about half the contents into my dish water and added more water to the bottle. I finally determined that you really just need a couple second squeeze (count one, two, three). Not very scientific, I know, but it depends on what kind of water you have (hard or soft). You need to experiment. You can use shampoo or shower gel instead of dish soap with the same results. I also add about 1/2 t. rubbing alcohol to prevent any germs from growing in the water, if it sits for a long time (not usually a problem in my house, but I do it anyway).
The point of this nonsense is, use fewer products to get what you need. You don't need loads of expensive cleaners in your house -- just a bottle of vinegar and a bottle of ammonia. You can clean almost anything with those two items. And you don't need lots of soaps -- dish soap and laundry soap will clean almost anything.
I paid $1.79 for my bottle of foam soap originally (on sale). I paid $1.99 for an entire large bottle of Palmolive dishwashing soap. Now, with a big squeeze of Palmolive and tap water, I have a new bottle of foam soap. A no-brainer.