It's no secret that some things are hard to find right now. If you find yourself wondering how to stretch what you have until you can find what you need, or if you are trying to stretch to keep from having to go hunting... or if you just want to be frugal and mindful of the situation, here are a few things we may have forgotten along the way.
1. Manufacturers nearly always recommend that we use more of a product than is necessary. Laundry detergent, shampoo and dish soap amounts can all be cut back and still do their job. For laundry detergent, cut back by a third of what you usually use and if your clothes get clean (they will), cut back a little more and a little more until you see a difference then increase until you are happy with it.
For shampoo, only lather once. There's no need to lather and rinse twice unless you have been mud wrestling, and even then, a good rinse before lathering does just as well.
If, when you do dishes by hand, your water is still quite sudsy by the time you're finished, you are using too much soap. The suds are not what cleans anyway but they are a measure of how much is "used up" in the water. That's assuming you know how to wash dishes in a pan and not under running water. Using a sponge or cloth and reloading it constantly while washing dishes is very wasteful, both of soap and water.
2. Use less meat by cooking more soup, stew and casseroles. You can cut down the amount of meat in those dishes and no one will even notice. Other sources of protein, like eggs, cheese and peanut butter may be in short supply also, so get used to stretching what you have.
There are many eggless recipes online and just being a little less generous with peanut butter or cheese can help.
3. Use rags instead of paper towels. Cut up old t-shirts or hem other material for tissues and napkins. Even think about "family cloth" to stretch the toilet paper. It wasn't all that long ago that we didn't use disposable anything and we don't need to do it now, when products are hard to find.
There are many other ways to cut back on our use of products. This blog and many other frugal living blogs can give you ideas that will make getting through this thing a lot easier!