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Making...err Saving $20 Per Hour, Easy!

By: Joshua Unseth-- 2010-09-30 7:09 am --

Would you like to make...err save $20 per hour or more in your spare time, with no specialized skills or training? Most of us would. And it’s pretty easy.

Stop buying individually packaged grocery items. Buy the big package and divide it up. You have lots of options for storage containers, but the little Rubbermaid Take-Alongs Twist and Seal cups are perfect for most single-serve portions.

Kraft 100 Calorie Packs Cheese Bites in mozzarella are priced at $2.99 for 5 ounces, or $9.65 per pound. Store brand mozzarella, however, is priced at $4.29 for 16 ounces, or $4.29 a pound. Cutting a chunk of mozzarella into cubes and putting those cubes into containers takes approximately 15 minutes and saves $5.36 – which translates to $21.44 per hour.

Snyder’s Pretzel mini bags are priced at $3.49 for 9 ounces, or $6.20 per pound. Snyder’s Pretzels in a one-pound bag are priced at $2.50 for 16 ounces, or $2.50 per pound. Dividing a pound bag of pretzels into snack cups or sandwich bags takes approximately 10 minutes and saves $3.70 – which translates to $22.20 per hour.

Dannon Yogurt Fruit On The Bottom single serve cups are priced at $0.75 for a 6-ounce cup (http://www.peapod.com/itemDetail_frame.jhtml?productId=3463&storeId=9&NUM=1283950439197), or $2.00 per pint. Store brand plain yogurt is priced at $2.00 for a 32-ounce container (http://www.peapod.com/itemDetail_frame.jhtml?productId=120695&storeId=9&NUM=1283950472001), or $1.00 per pint, and fruit preserves are priced at $2.50 for an 18-ounce jar (http://www.peapod.com/itemDetail_frame.jhtml?productId=157329&storeId=9&NUM=1283950512321), or $0.14 an ounce. Repackaging a quart of yogurt into single servings with a spoon of jam on the bottom of each takes approximately 10 minutes and saves $3.75 – which translates to $22.50 per hour.

This doesn’t just work with food. Cascade single-use dishwashing detergent is priced at $5.49 for 20 packets (http://www.peapod.com/itemDetail_frame.jhtml?productId=148081&storeId=9&NUM=1283950554829), or $0.28 per use. Store brand dishwashing detergent is priced at $3.99 for a 75-ounce bottle (http://www.peapod.com/itemDetail_frame.jhtml?productId=153066&storeId=9&NUM=1283950594038), or $0.07 per use. It takes approximately ten seconds extra to squirt detergent from a bottle and that saves $0.21 per use: for two loads of dishes a day, that is twenty seconds and $0.42 – which yields the most impressive hourly rate yet at $75.60 per hour.

What other individually-packaged products can be bought in larger sizes and repackaged in reusable containers? How much would you save doing it?