Homemade Muesli

If you're a fan of muesli of any description, you'll be familiar with how expensive it can be. The thing is, it's so simple to make your own for half the cost of a premixed pack. You can make it up to your own taste as well. Plus there's the added bonus of using generic products without complaint (if you have a family that tends to complain). Simply mix the products into your own container and no-one will know the difference.

I never make 2 batches the same but here is what I put in our latest batch:

* 1 x 900g packet generic quick oats
* 1 x 500g packet generic processed wheat bran (it looks a little like All Bran)
* 1/2 x 500g packet generic cornflakes (we like crunch in our muesli)
* 1 x 200g packet diced apricots (you can save more by purchasing whole and dicing yourself - I was too lazy)
* 2 handfuls sultanas
* 2 handfuls pepitas

Stir together in your own container.

I mix it in a large bowl with an airtight lid and scoop into a plastic pour all style container.

I usually spend $5-$6 on the equivalent of $12 of muesli.

Play around with what you like and see what you come up with.

Simple Take Away Lunch

When we get stuck out shopping around lunch time, the quickest and cheapest lunch we've found is to grab a packet of fresh cheese and bacon rolls from the nearest supermarket. We can feed the family for the price of 1 take away meal. No preparation or filling is needed. Fresh, they taste great just as they are. The kids love them so for them it's still a treat.

A packet of donuts is a popular dessert to finish off the meal too.

Cheap Easiyo

Yogurt currently sold at the Bulgaria Pavilion...Image via Wikipedia If you like making your own yoghurt with an Easiyo maker, here is a recipe you can use to save you money.

1 1/3 Cups Full Cream Milk Powder
1/3 Cup Sugar
tsp Vanilla Essence (Imitation only as genuine has alcohol which will kill the bacteria culture)
2 Tablespoons Easiyo sachet (contains starter culture to get yoghurt going)

Half fill your Easiyo container with water, add all of the above ingredients and stir/shake until sugar is dissolved. Top up with water and put into Easiyo outer container as usual (with the boiling water as per Easiyo instructions).

When made, you can add fruit, syrup or other flavouring to taste.

This is a much cheaper way to make your Easiyo than using a full sachet each time!

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Free Soy Sauce

Soy sauceImage via Wikipedia We recently got to the bottom of our Soy Sauce bottle to discover quite a thick sediment in the bottom. By adding some water and giving it a shake, we now have half a bottle of FREE soy sauce. I gotta admit, I'm a BIG fan of FREE. It's a great way to save money!!!! :)

Australian Money Saving Tips

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Vinegar is Great For Sore Throats

CHICAGO - JANUARY 25:  Gourmet vinegar and mol...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeForget expensive anti-bacterial preparations and drinks for fighting a sore throat. Try apple cider vinegar and honey in some hot water.

Apple Cider Vinegar has great anti-bacterial properties and combined with the soothing honey and warm water, it makes a great drink for when you're battling a sore throat.

To make up, simple place a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey into a mug and fill with boiling water. Stir until the honey is dissolved and sip.

When compared with the cost of throat gargles and sachet drinks, it's a great way to save money when you're feeling a little under the weather.

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Freeze Sandwiches to Save Money When Travelling

French bread sandwich with chipsImage via WikipediaIn preparation for a road trip, make up sandwiches on fresh bread and freeze. On the day you leave, all you need to do is take the sandwiches out of the freezer and take with you. When they thaw, you'll have wonderful fresh sandwiches that you can eat as you travel.

Fillings that freeze well:

* ham & cheese
* ham & chutney
* chicken (fresh chicken not chicken roll) with or without mayonnaise
* cheese & pickles
* vegemite & cheese
* variety of spreads
* other meats

If you like salad on your sandwiches, you can pack a small amount of salad and refrigerate to be added to the sandwiches when they're thawed.

For variety, the same method works well with rolls.

Packing sandwiches is an easy way to save money when travelling.

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Travel Show Bags

As a child my mother used to pack us travel show bags whenever we were taking a long trip.

Inside the bags she would put an assortment of food such as:

* fruit box or water
* piece of fruit
* small packet of chips
* cut up salad
* pieces of cheese
* packet of lifesavers

As well as some homemade puzzle sheets.

It was a simple idea but one that kept us happy for a fair portion of the trip. It always included our lunch (cut up salad bits and pieces) but we got to choose when we wanted to eat it.

A great way to make a special treat for a trip but save money on buying food and drink along the way.

Take Your Own Water

HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 21: Bottl...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeI really HATE spending money on purchasing bottled water. So we've always been in the habit of taking water bottles wherever we go.

Our children are growing up with the habit of drinking water whether we're at home or away.

It's also much safer in the car than sticky juice of soft drink if a spillage happens.

The bottled water also comes in handy for cleaning up sticky fingers, messy faces and car sickness.

On the odd occasion we've purchased drinks on our travels, it has astounded me how quickly it adds up.

Taking your own water is a great way to save money easy.

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Crockpot Recipes

a w:slow cooker Oval Crock PotImage via WikipediaA crock pot (slow cooker) is a fabulous way to save money. It's uses less electricity, enables you to cook cheaper cuts of meat and makes cooking simpler (therefore potentially saving on take away).

You can never have too many crockpot/slow cooker recipes.

I plan to go through this lot a bit at a time:

Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Recipes

If you try any and want to share which ones you like, feel free to do so. I'd love to hear.

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Keep Your Cheese Fresh For Longer

MODESTO, CA - OCTOBER 26:  David Snyder hand c...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeWrap your cheese in grease proof paper and then place it in an airtight container to keep it fresh longer. Greaseproof paper seems to do a better job than either plastic wrap or aluminium foil when it comes to keeping cheese fresh.

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Shop With a List to Save Money on Groceries

Supermarket check out, :en:London January 2005Image via WikipediaIt is so easy to part with an extra $10 or $20 when rolling down the aisles of the supermarket.

The most effective way to stop unnecessary items jumping into your trolley/cart is to shop with a list.

Not just ANY list but a SPECIFIC list.

How many apples do you need? How many potatoes?

Just a few minutes of thought before you head out to the shops can make the job a LOT easier and help you SAVE MONEY on your groceries.

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Grate Your Own Cheese

Zigerbrüt, cheese grated onto bread through a ...Image via WikipediaPurchasing cheese already grated is one of modern life's little luxuries. Some people argue that it's a worthwhile convenience for the small extra cost charged (and on special it is even sometimes possible to purchase it for the same money or cheaper).

There are a couple of things not often considered when making this comparison.

1. Cheese is sold by weight. Commercially grated cheese uses additives to stop the grated cheese clumping together. Therefore 500g of grated cheese is NOT 500g of cheese but a combination of cheese and additives.

2. Commercially grated cheese is very course. A handful of hand-grated cheese usually weighs considerably LESS than a handful of commercially grated cheese. Because cheese is sold by weight not by volume, chances are you'll use MORE cheese when purchased already grated than if you grate it yourself.

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Cook Double Quantity

Fideos and other Italian dishes are features o...Image via WikipediaAn easy way to give yourself a night off cooking is to cook some meals in double quantity and freeze.

It's a great way to beat those "cooking blues" and avoid resorting to take away on a night when you're too tired or busy to cook.

One of my favourites for cooking in larger quantities is spaghetti bolognese. It freezes well and it's easy to cook up some pasta and reheat the sauce.

I also find this a good way to stretch my mince as I add heaps of extras to the sauce (vegies, tomatoes, beans, lentils) and we can often get an extra "free" meal.

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Keep Your Freezer Full

Right side kitchen magnetsImage by Tojosan via FlickrIt takes much less energy to maintain a frozen state than it does to keep air cool. Fill your freezer with bottles of water to reduce the ongoing running cost.

You'll always have frozen water on hand and you'll save money easy.

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Boil Water In Your Kettle

Japanese electric water boiler.Image via WikipediaYou can save yourself money on electricity by boiling water in your kettle instead of on the stove. Although a kettle uses more watts per second, it will boil water a lot faster and more efficient than a pot on the stove.

So if you're heating up water for rice or pasta or any other reason, you can save yourself money by heating the water in your electric kettle first and then pouring it into your saucepan.

Not only that but it'll also boil the water and therefore save you not only money but time.

Using the electric kettle/jug to boil water is a good way to save money easy.

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Do NOT Take Your Children With You to a Surf Shop Sale

They WILL find something they LOVE that is NOT on sale and you'll either leave the store a LOT poorer or will leave with a sad child.

Wash Your Hair With Bicarb Soda and Save Money

Bicarb Soda is a low cost and natural way to wash your hair.

Simply sprinkle a little on the top of your scalp before entering the shower.

I need to emphasize LITTLE BIT here. It doesn't take much and using too much can leave a residue in your hair.

When done properly, you should have wonderfully soft and extremely CLEAN hair when washing with bicarb soda.

A perfect finish is a few sprays of apple cider vinegar diluted in a spray bottle to help condition the hair.

Warning: Bicarb Soda is an effective cleaner and has been rumored to strip color from hair. Use with caution on newly dyed hair.

Even if you only use it every 2nd or 3rd wash, using bicarb soda to wash your hair can be a great way to SAVE MONEY.

Save Money on No Tangle Spray

Once upon a time I paid $4+ for no-tangle spray for my daughter's hair. Now I add a small amount of conditioner to a spray bottle with some water and shake to mix. It works extremely well. I don't even bother to condition her hair anymore. By spraying with this mix we deal with the tangles and have a leave in conditioner all in one. All for around 20c per 500mL. It's an easy way to save money.

Line Dry Clothes to Save Money

From en.wiki: Washing Line in Iceland. Taken b...Image via WikipediaThis is actually a reasonably common practise in Australia, although with our lifestyle getting busier and busier it is becoming a lost art in places. Clothes dryers use quite a lot of power so hanging clothes on a line (inside or in a shed, under a verandah etc) can save quite a LOT of electricity/power over time.

It saves wear and tear on the clothing as well so you're likely to get more wear out of your garments.

Drying clothes on a clothes line or similar is a great way to save money.

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Keep Things In Good Working Order and Save Money

Household AppliancesImage by DerekL via FlickrSimple tasks like cleaning the filters on vacuum cleaners, heaters & air conditioners, tumble dryers and exhaust fans will enable them to work at peak efficiency. If things get clogged up, the appliance will have to work harder to achieve the same job and therefore you’re likely to use more power, more time and lessen the life of the appliance.

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Cook Roasts in a Slow Cooker

a w:slow cooker Oval Crock PotImage via WikipediaDespite taking longer to cook, the slow cooker will still cost you considerably LESS to cook a roast than the oven will. And it will taste DELICIOUS. Since starting to use the slow cooker for roasts, I’ve not returned to using the oven again. If you’re a fan of brown crispy outsides you can brown the roast before putting it into the slow cooker or finish it off in the oven.

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Snuggle Up to Save Money Easy

Give everyone in the family a snuggle blanket for watching tv during the cold winter mornings and evenings. It's lots of fun to snuggle under a blanket and can save you money on the electricity/power bills.

Dress Appropriately to Save Money Easy

A baby wearing a lot of winter clothes.Image via WikipediaI think many of us are spoilt when it comes to temperature control. I hear stories of countries where it is normal to walk around in shorts and t-shirt in winter and just bump up the heat to accommodate. It is honestly not that HARD to wear clothing appropriate to the weather. Around here, if you’re not already wearing a jumper AND socks/slippers, there is NO complaining about being cold. The same goes for summer. Wear light-weight clothes and if you have long hair, pull it up off your neck. It’s amazing what a difference that can make.

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Save Money with Solar Hot Water

Here in Australia we get quite a LOT of sun. Solar Hot Water systems are getting cheaper and cheaper (and there are now models available that will connect to your current hot water system). Consider not just how long it will take to recoup your costs at the CURRENT level of electricity cost but also the fact that prices WILL rise over the decade or more the system lasts.

I LOVE our hot water FREE from the sun. It can be a great way to SAVE MONEY.

Save Money by Making Use of What Nature Has to Offer

In winter you want to open up the curtains (window coverings) on a sunny day and make sure you close them again BEFORE the sun goes down to trap warmth inside and not allow the night chill to enter the house through the glass.

In summer, it’s more important to keep the sun OUT during the day and open up the house at night to take advantage of the cooler night air.

Save Money on Capsicum

A Bell Pepper has a Scoville rating of zeroImage via WikipediaI love having capsicum on hand to add to pizzas and tomato based dishes like bolognese sauce. To save money, I buy a bag of capsicums when they go on sale and dice them and freeze them. If you're going to cook them, they go fine from the freezer to the dish you're making. It's a great way to keep them on hand and save paying a premium price during the out of season months.

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Shopping When Stressed or Depressed

“Worry About It Later” coverImage via WikipediaStores of all kinds use quite a bit of psychology when it comes to colour, sound, smells and so on. They work hard to "trick" you into spending more. In a stressed or depressed state, you are more vulnerable and may be tricked into spending a lot more than you would in another mindset.

I found for many years that I shopped as a way of escaping my life or as a "pick me up" if I felt down. At these points I was much more immune to caution in terms of spending and much more likely to shop with reckless abandon. Kind of a "stick it on the credit card and worry about it later".

Shopping when stressed or depressed is a terrible way to save money and can get you into all kinds of problems.

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Don't Shop When Hungry

It sound so simple but it's really NOT a good idea to shop when you are hungry.

Not only do you buy MORE but there's a tendency to buy a lot more carbohydrate or sugar-loaded foods if you shop when you hungry.

Have a bit to eat before you go and you'll save money easy.

Send the Partner Shopping with Too Much Cash

If you're the regular shopper in the household, it can be a challenge for your partner to be the one to shop. If you hand them a wad of cash, they WILL spend it. ;)

Best to give them your budgetted amount with a specific shopping list and hope that they'll come home with the right stuff. :)

Snuggle Up To Save Money

I LOVE to snuggle under a blanket with my hubby on a cold winter's night. His body emits a lot more heat than mine so it's a great way to STAY WARM.

Turning a heater on can be an automatic reaction. Choose to cultivate other habits for keeping warm. It can be loads of fun and save you money at the same time. :)

If you live in an exceptionally cold area where a heater is essential, you can still save money by rugging up and turning the thermostat lower.

Changing a few habit can be a great way to save money easy.

I Just Cleaned the Shower...

DSCN7739Image by hello.vickibrown via FlickrWith hot water, a shower scrubbing brush and a clean dry towel.

The brush enables me to get into the grout.

The hot water helps to dissolve any soap scum and dirt.

Drying with a towel seems to leave it so much cleaner than allowing to air dry.

I don't ONLY use hot water when cleaning the shower. Every 3-4 weeks I use a product to give it a more thorough clean.

But I find a weekly clean with some hot water, the scrubbing brush and then completely drying with an old towel leaves it looking great!!!

Who said cleaning was expensive?

Using water to clean is a great way to save money easy.

The 20c Snack

PopcornImage via WikipediaWhat do you do when the kids come home from school hungry and the cupboards are looking bare?

Make popcorn!!!!

Popcorn is one of my big secrets for saving money on the groceries.

I try to ALWAYS keep a packet of popping corn in the cupboard. It's cheap, stores well and is easy to make.

We don't have it ALL the time.

But whenever we do it's a HIT!

You can make so many different varieties and flavours so that it's never the same twice.

We tend to prefer the traditional melted butter and a little salt on ours.

Popcorn is a GREAT way to save money easy.

Cleaning With Water Will SAVE YOU MONEY

It sounds simple enough but how many people have actually tried it?

Take a damp cloth (a warm damp cloth works even better) and see how much dirt and grime is removed simply with water.

We've been programmed by advertising companies to think that we NEED cleaning products.

Sure, they can make our life easier.

Sure, there are TIMES when an anti-bacterial agent of some description is called for.

But that doesn't mean that we ALWAYS need to use them.

Try cleaning with water first to SAVE MONEY EASY.

Can You SAVE MONEY on Your Laundry Detergent

So many of us are obedient little consumers. We purchase a product, believe what the product promotion tells us about how effective the product is and take the provided scoop and fill it to the brim with product.

BUT, do we REALLY NEED that amount of product?

What is going to make the company more money? Encouraging consumers to CONSUME MORE of their product.


For a start, the company is going to give you the maximum amount of product that MIGHT be needed.

Factors such as how your machine works, the mineral content of your water and how dirty the clothing you wash in will all affect how much detergent is required for that load.

Using too much detergent may even lessen the life of your machine. In effect meaning you're paying for the privilege of having to purchase a machine earlier.

How do you know how much detergent you really need?

Experiment. Every time you wash a load, try a little bit less. Keep going until you actually notice a difference in the cleanliness of the clothing coming out of the machine.

A little bit of time spent experimenting can add up to a LOT of dollars saved over the long term.

Use less laundry detergent and SAVE MONEY EASY.

Use Bicarb Soda to SAVE MONEY in the Laundry

Bicarb/Baking Soda can be very handy in the laundry.

It softens fabrics, whiten whites and brightens colours.

Adding to your wash can enhance the effectiveness of your laundry detergent and allow you to use less.

It can also be used to help rid garments of smells such as gasoline and motor oil. Simply sprinkle on the garments and seal in a garbage bag for a couple of days to allow it to absorb the odours. Wash as normal.

Try Baking/Bicarb Soda in the laundry to help you SAVE MONEY.

Use Bicarb Soda to SAVE MONEY Cleaning

Bicarb soda (also known as BAKING SODA) makes an EXCELLENT cleaning product and will help you to SAVE MONEY on cleaning. It's a great non-abrasive cleaner.

Sprinkle a tiny amount on a wet cloth and away you go.

You can also use it made up as a paste.

It will cut through grease and can also be used to clean jewellery and other shiny materials.

To clean silver, use as a paste. Wipe on with a cloth, rinse and then buff dry.

For odours, simply place some bicarb soda in a paper bag and place in the offending area (fridge, cupboard etc). It will absorb odours quite quickly.

Look out for bicarb/baking soda at wholesalers to save even more.

Bicarb soda is a great way to SAVE MONEY cleaning.

A Simple And Affordable Way To De-Pill Clothing

A heavy duty style safety razor.Image via WikipediaI have revamped a number of garments using this simple tip.

Use a disposable razor to de-pill older garments.

All you do is scrape the razor over the clothing. The blade collects the pilled fluff and leaves behind a much smoother appearing garment. You do need to clean the fluff from the blade regularly to get the best results.

I have given a number of my own clothing items a new lease on life with this tip.

It's also great for items of clothing that are picked up second hand.

In fact, I used it just a few days ago on a jumper I paid 20c for (for my daughter).

She now has a jumper that looks "near new" thanks to a handy little disposable razor.

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Save Your Two-Year-Olds Clothing

When your toddler grows out of their clothes, save any items where the length isn't overly important.

Items like shirts, shorts, skirts and dresses can be reworn by your child when they go through the preschool age.

Their trunk slims out and clothes that were once too snug will fit again.

I LOVED it when my children were able to rewear garments that were once too small.

It's a great way to Save Money Easy.

It Pays to Ask The Bank

When we were saving up for our new house, I spoke to our bank teller about account options. A term deposit didn't really suit our needs as we were adding very small amounts to the total all the time.

They came up with an at-call account which offered more than 4 times the interest our current "savings" account was offering us.

By the time our house was built and needed to be paid for, the extra interest we earnt was enough to purchase a brand new dishwasher.

That's really what I call "money for nothing".

Turn It Off to Save Money

An image of a typical Australian light switch.Image via WikipediaI know this may sound like a really BASIC tip. But here's the thing. Turning stuff off is habit. And many of us are not IN this habit.

I remember a number of years back when my grandparents were staying with my newly-wed husband and I. We had some friends over after a street function in our local town. My grandparents were sitting at the dining room table while we were in the lounge. The two rooms were adjoined and while they had sliding doors between them, these were mostly left open.

At one point my grandparents left the room, turning off every single light switch along the way. We were left with just the light in the lounge room and surrounding darkness. It was an odd feeling to us to be sitting in such darkness with only a light on in the room we were using.

We had a little bit of a giggle, figuring they were headed off to bed. We even wondered if that was a hint that they were ready for our friends to leave.

A couple of minutes later they walked back through the room and turned on the lights again.

It was the oddest experience my husband and I had encountered. Why turn the lights off when you're coming back in less than 5 minutes time?

Simply because it was a habit. A lifetime habit than when you left a room, you turned the light off.

It sounds like a basic tip, but developing a habit like this can add up to MULTIPLE savings over a lifetime.

Go on, turn it off and save yourself money.

Pita Bread Pizza

Version of :Image:Pizza-2.jpg with transparent backgroundImage via WikipediaConsider the cost of going out for pizza. You're paying a premium price for globules of fat, a tiny bit of topping and the convenience factor.

How convenient is it though?

You don't only need to take into account the cost of the pizza but also any sides you may order, the time taken to decide what you'll have, fuel to pick it up (unless you PAY for home delivery) and wear and tear on your car. Not to mention having to go out into the elements instead of staying in the cosiness of your own home.

Pita Bread Pizzas can be whipped up in minutes, save you money AND are healthier (lower in fat).

Simply keep a packet of pita bread (or any flat bread) in your freezer ready for when you want to make your own pizzas. Top with pasta or pizza sauce (depending on taste), your favourite toppings and some grated cheese.

It's so quick and easy, you can even get the kids to do it. Or everyone can make their own, putting their favourite toppings on top.


To make your pizzas even cheaper, you can follow these tips. They take a little more effort but will save a few dollars.

  • Make your own pizza bases. A simple scone dough works OR use a bread dough (bread dough makes DELICIOUS pizza bases)
  • Grate your own cheese
  • Top with leftovers rather than specifically purchased toppings

Save Money Op Shopping

Category:MineralogyImage via WikipediaI know some people draw the line when it comes to saving money on clothing, household goods, books and other items found in second-hand stores.

I think op-shopping (also known as thrift stores, second hand stores, charity stores and so on) can be likened to mining. If people weren't prepared to get down and dirty, dig deep and separate the treasures from the muck, we wouldn't have the beautiful minerals, metals and jewels that delight us so.

So, what do you think? Do you think it's worth getting down amongst the not-so-wonderful items in order to search for those precious gems just waiting to be found?

There is LOTS of money to be saved by doing this. It takes time. It takes perseverance. It even takes accepting defeat sometimes. But if you want to keep a few dollars in your pocket, there are some wonderful gems just waiting to be found and given a bit of a shine.

Save Money with Epsom Salts

Magnesium sulfateImage via WikipediaEpsom Salts have many uses. One of my favourites is as a luxurious bath product. How often do we spend big money on lovely products to pamper ourselves in the bath?

With our skin being our largest organ, a soak in the tub with Epsom Salts is a great way to get magnesium, an important mineral for many body functions. The sulphur in Epsom Salts is great for helping the body get rid of toxins.

Where is the cheapest place to buy Epsom Salts?

The cheapest place I have found so far is a Horse Supply place. At around half the price per kilogram that the supermarkets sell it for. It's not food grade but how many of you drink the bath water? ;) I bought several kilograms from a horse supply place last time I bought it and it looks as clean and white as what comes in the tiny box from the supermarket.

A great way to save money!