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Monday, February 27, 2012

Dishwasher detergent

I absolutely enjoy saving money!  I enjoy it even more when I buy things that people use on a regular basis and yet don't think "hmmm, could I make this at home and save money?"

Surprisingly, you don't need dishwasher super-sparkle elegance finishing touch after wash rinse in your dishwasher.  The reason?  The dish detergent that you use is too harsh for your dishwasher.  awesome, huh?  it is typically too hard on your dishes actually making your water harder, and can etch your glassware.  How much does that suck?

Well, I've found that with this recipe, it makes your water softer, getting your dishes cleaner with less soap.  SNAZZY.

How to make it:
1c. borax
1c. washing soda
1c. kosher salt (the coarser the salt the more chunks coming off, but you can use iodized if that's all you have)
4 pks. lemon kool-aid.  (I used the walmart version for .12c a packet.  Why do you use this?  the citric acid and the lemon scent- makes them awesome!)

mix all together and store in a container.  Yes, I typically triple or quadruple the batch (it takes exactly the same amount of effort, why not?!).

How much to use?  depends on your dishes. Typically a Tablespoon will take care of what you need, especially if you use the rinse aid I wrote about.  If you need to use extra, fill up both reserves, the time-release one (with the lid) and the other one that would give you the soap in the pre-wash.  I would not use more than 1/4 cup at a time.  1, it's just wasteful and 2, you could damage the machine or  your dishes and I'm not responsible for that. :)

enjoy and let me know if this works for you!

Liquid dish soap

After much internet searching, I have found an amazing homemade SUPER FRUGAL dish soap- NOT for dishwashers- the dishwasher detergent will be another post.

What you need for this:
1T finely grated soap flakes (use your favorite, it's not like you're going to be eating it.)
1T distilled white vinegar -you have it on hand for every other recipe of mine anyway!
1T washing soda
1 1/2 c. HOT water.  Why hot?  you need to dissolve everything.
essential oils such as lavendar, lemongrass, lemon, orange, rosemary, eucalyptus, etc.  "kitcheny" scents.

Ok, in a heat-safe bowl, pour in your dry ingredients, followed by vinegar and then stir until dissolved.  Let sit for about 24 hours and stir randomly throughout the day, to ensure that everything is staying dissolved.  (it will, just make sure you stir to keep it from clumping).

Once everything is said and done, add some essential oils to your liking.  Personally I'm a lavender junkie, but Rosemary and Lemongrass would smell amazing.  So would a citrus dish soap! (traditional, no?)  You could even make a floral with lavender, rose, geranium (which is a type of rose), etc.  The possibilities are endless!

Pour into recycled dish soap bottle or other squeeze-type bottle.

TADA!  Dish soap that cost you MAYBE 6 cents for the whole bottle.  Compare that to the $3.00+ (with tax) that you're paying now and THAT is Smart and Savvy for this Diva!

Oh, btw, you CAN use this is the homemade soft scrub recipe that I posted before.

Quick tip, you can add a teaspoon of baking soda too to help soften the water and soften your hands!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Laundry softener- part 2

Ok, so this is for my more natural SSHDivas!

In your wash, in the final rinse cycle (before it spins out) add 1/2 c. white vinegar.  Don't worry- you will NOT smell it, but it will definitely soften your clothes.

Voila!  That's it!  How easy peasy lemon squeezy is that???

Laundry softener- part 1.

Who doesn't love super soft fluffy towels and sheets?  You like your clothes to be nice and comfy right?  Well, here's a way to save on laundry softener.

Before you get daunted, this is labeled part 1 because there are TONS of recipes out there.  I'm going to show you a natural and a non-natural.  this is the non-natural, and FTR, I do use both.  I DO NOT USE THESE ON CLOTH DIAPERS!  they will no longer be absorbent and will ruin the diaper.

You read my faux-breze tutorial using downy (or your fav fab softener).  This uses the same thing- you already have it!

it is a 1-4 part ratio.  You'll also need:
1 medium sized container with a lid to hold everything.
6-10 6x6 pieces of flannel- I pink the edges to prevent fraying.
1 part fab. softener
4 parts water.  -I used the cap for liquid measurements.

mix the liquid in the container and add the flannel- let them saturate and soak over night.  throw 1 rag in for smaller loads 2 in for larger loads into your dryer and add the clothes.  no need to ring them out first, but I wouldn't pour extra softener in, just let them drain back into the container before tossing in.

Once everything is dry, put the flannel dryer sheets back in your liquid-  TADA!  Super easy, saves you a TON of money and clothes smell fabulous!


Stripping diapers today.

For all of you mamas with babies in diapers I would REALLY encourage you to check out cloth diapering.  In fact, I'm going to post more about that in my next diaper post.  My main reason for cloth diapering is this:  I wouldn't allow my children to pee and poo all over my entire living room furniture (including TV) just to throw it out, but when you use disposables that's how much money you're spending from birth to potty training.

Kinda hits home doesn't it?  4 grand.  That's 1/4 of your car.  btw- that's per child!  I have one in diapers now and I'm expecting 2 more in just 2 months.  Can you imagine throwing out 12 grand?  12,000?!  that's a new car.  That's a down payment on a house.  That's ridiculous!

So, what I'm doing to the diapers today:
Nate got a horrible diaper rash a few months ago, and I think it was a combination of things.  1- he wasn't being changed enough. (my fault!) 2- he wasn't getting enough air to his little bum.  3- he wasn't drinking enough water.  4- the diapers needed to be stripped.

The first 3 I understood, but what did stripping diapers mean?  I had never heard of it.  Long story short:  uric acid can build up over time in the diapers and when it meets with the sulfide agents in the washer, it holds on to them.  Well, this can cause a slight burning sensation on the skin when it gets wet again.  hence the vicious cycle of diaper rash.

In my cloth diaper research, I found that vinegar helps neutralize the acid in the urine.  Whoulda thunk?  I keep gallons of vinegar on hand because of how much I clean with it.  Anyhoo, that worked for a while and then his diaper rash came back with a vengeance.  So, my wonderful husband put desitin on him.  Desitin is a petroleum based product and shouldn't be used on cloth.  Yeah, I know that now.  Not to mention it has fish oil in it (which explains why my hands itch EVERY time I used it on all 3 of my children!) and that fishy smell gets stuck, (no, S-T-U-C-K!!!!) in cloth diapers.  talk about nasty.

So I read MORE about stripping diapers and someone recommended Dawn dishwashing liquid because it's a little stronger and cuts grease.  **ding** light bulb moment!  greased up desitin cloth diaper, meets dishsoap. So, it's in my washer right now on the hottest setting.  I plan on washing these diapers anywhere between 3 and 5 times today to make sure there is no soap left, with extra rinse cycles if I have to, but these diapers WILL be clean and stripped today.

Now to "normally" strip a diaper there are TONS of videos on youtube on how to do it.  It's my firm belief you can find just about anything on youtube.  That should get you started in the right direction!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

homemade faux-breze!

We all LOVE the idea of a fresh smelling home.  We love it even more when it's ours that smells fresh, particularly if you have pets or children, or hard-working husbands.

So here's what I did:
I used a dollar store spray bottle of fabric refresher.  There was maybe a tablespoon left and I didn't really like the smell, so it got dumped.  I rinsed out the spray bottle and added 2 3/4 c. HOT water, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda.  I shook like a madwoman until it was dissolved.  I then added 1/4c. downy fabric softener.  (more on THAT later!)  Again, shake.

Spray on your fabric- and that's it.  Now you can use any fabric softener that you like in any scent that you prefer.  I use downy because it was the cheapest.  The BEST part:  for the entire container of downy, cost me like $4.00  to make this, it cost me maybe .10 cents!  WAY awesome.  OH, and the baking soda made it a deodorizer as well.  I sprayed my son's mattress (has seen better and ... dryer... days -er, nights.) and it smells fairly fresh.  Oh, you can also "boost" your scent or change it by adding a few drops of essential oil.

Floor Cleaners

Not all floor cleaners are created the same.

Most on the market now are chock FULL of chemicals that you wouldn't bathe your children in and yet the ones that are little are on the floors touching it, putting things in their mouths that have touched it, etc.  We are not thinking about what is really on our floors and what we're putting in our bodies.

So, you all know I'm all about natural cleaners, but I'm also about saving money.

Here's two floor recipes that you'll just LOVE to use- and TOTALLY natural.  BEST part:  if you re-use your swiffers, you can easily refill the container, OR you can put it in a spray bottle and do the same thing, OR you can use it with a steam mop for a little extra boost.

Floor cleaner for linoleum, tile, non-hardwood floors:
1/4 c. vinegar
2 cups HOT water.

mix together and use like you would either a spray or your swiffer refill.  and when the mixture cools, that's ok too!  just keep using until gone.  I like to start off with hot water just because.  No rhyme or reason, I just like it!

Floor cleaner for sealed hardwood floors:
same as above, except add 1T olive oil.  shake each time you spray because the oil WILL separate from the water/vinegar mix.

Please note, I am not responsible for you using anything on your floors.  These are just suggestions and NOT my responsibility for your home. :)  With that being said, it's sad that that has to be said because I'm sure someone somewhere would destroy their floors and then come after me as if I were the ones who twisted their arms to do it, or they'd do the recipe wrong and then come blaming me.  no thank you- anything listed on here is absolutely your creation, I am just the one giving you the idea to do it, you're the one doing it yourself.

Hope they work for you, the vinegar/water one works for me in my bathroom and kitchen.  Otherwise, my home has carpeting.

All Purpose Cleaner

Hey everyone!  I found the BEST all-purpose cleaner, and what's even awesomer (yes, it's a word- I just made it up!) you can use it with regular towels or microfiber towels or paper towels (but that not only wastes, it's basically money thrown in the trash, though I DO recommend paper towels for cleaning off most surfaces of the toilet.  That's one area I don't mind throwing out for.

So, here it is.  You will need:
spray bottle
2 drops dish soap (some recommend dawn, but most cut grease!)
1 c. hot water
1/4 t. baking soda.

pour hot water into spray bottle.  Add baking soda and dissolve, shaking if necessary.  add 2 drops of dish soap and shake to incorporate.  cleans just about EVERYTHING!  Yes, you can double this recipe if you need to.  How cheap is that?!

Let's see, you'd pay (according to at the time of this writing, for Formula 409, you'd pay $1.98 for 22 fluid oz.  you figure, $2 doesn't sound so bad right?  I mean, it's only $2.00... (you didn't factor in not only your time, but the gas you just spent to get to the grocery store)  Tripling this recipe will give you 24 ounces.  (oh, did I mention you can use a recycled bottle or even an old mason jar?)  This recipe will cost you:  baking soda- .0002 for a tripled recipe and dish soap- 6 drops of dish soap may cost you almost a penny- if that?!  So, you're paying almost a penny for all that you just made.  For the formula 409 that is a 2000% markup from what it actually costs.

So yeah- those $2.00 are valuable!  That could be spent on chocolate for you!

How to get rid of your stuff in 3 easy steps.

I have been a self-proclaimed hoarder.  Well, not so much a hoarder as someone who just "likes" her stuff.  Now I have come to terms with letting go with a lot of things I loved but it wasn't enough.  Our orders to PA got cancelled (and I won't go into why just know it's not our fault, but someone who lied and tried to ruin my husband's career).  so now we're moving to Alabama.  Right after the twins are born.

Did I mention I'm on bedrest?  Oh yeah- I'm supposed to pack up a house from the "comfort" of my tush.  sigh.

So here's now to declutter your stuff in 3 easy steps.

You will need:
1 large kitchen trashcan (with extra bags)
1 large give-away box
1 laundry basket.
1 kitchen timer set for 15-30 minutes at a time.

pick up your first item and answer these questions:
1- have you used it in the past year?  SERIOUSLY, have you USED it in the past year?  if yes and you love it, it's a keeper; dust it off and put it back.  if it's no, is it still usable?  yes- give away box, no- trash.
2- Do I LOVE this item?
3- am I holding onto this because it was given to me and I'll have guilt if I get rid of it?
4- am I holding onto this only because I feel I've paid too much and giving/throwing it away will cause me guilt?
5- is it usable?  (if so, see question 1)
6- does it work with my decor?
7- does this hold sentimental value
8- do I have room for it?

now the answers to these questions and where things go are like this:
1-  yes- proceed to number 2.  no- see number 5-  yes- give away, no- trash.
2- yes- proceed to number 6.  No- see number 5- yes- give away  no- trash
3- yes- proceed to number 5.  Yes- proceed to number 6*-  no, trash.   *yes- go to #8.  no- give away box.
4- (follow steps for question 3)
(5 and 6 are pretty self explanatory.  if you haven't figured out where it should go, it most likely belongs in the give-away box.)
7- if yes- repeat question 1. if no, repeat question 2.
8- if yes, and all the other questions apply that you "need" then it's a keeper.  if no- then decide to give away or trash it.

This is a HARD thing to do.  Getting rid of your "stuff" can seriously be nervewracking!  this is why so many people have a hard time letting things go, but do NOT allow yourself to be bogged down in guilt!  Guilt over what? Is the person who gave that item to you going to never speak to you again if they're alive?  Are you seriously going to be shunned?  Is that item the actual person, or are you holding onto it for the memories you have of that person?  Will a picture NOT provide you with the same sentiments?

I hope this helped and if you have any questions, I'm always here to answer them!

I've been making cards!

So, I've been making my own cards lately.  I haven't posted anything on here in a while, I've been really consumed with my pregnancy and discomfort that it brings. 

So, a typical card costs around $2.50 for a "good" one.  Yes, you can get them at the dollar store for like .50 each, however they are impersonal and you run the risk of not finding anything good.

So, check out my blog over there and feel free to follow-

asthma and saving money.

***before you read this, PLEASE check with your doctor to see if this could be right for you***

well, my asthma medication is putting a HUGE dent in my pocketbook. $350 JUST for the controller medicine, not the emergency inhaler which is $68.90 (the cheapest I've found it, in country) monthly over 418.50 a month, NOT to mention doctor's checkups, plus- well I'm focusing here strictly on 418.50.

There are SO many herbs out there to use as medicine. As a Christian, I fully believe that God put plants on the earth for our medicinal use, and the native americans have used them for many years so there is something to them.

I was diagnosed with severe asthma 2 years ago and have been on advair ever since. I have given a lot of thought into this, and conventional medicine and chemicals just aren't for me.

my most pressing problem was the asthma, so I found ways to combat it naturally.

lobelia tincture (available in most natural herb stores) in hot chamomile tea. Now, this is the only thing

Laundry updated!

Hello everyone!

I am working on making a TON of new "recipes" for homemade cleaners and such, but I wanted to update you on my new laundry recipe.

1 bar of yardley lavender soap (bought at the dollar store- but you can use anything that is SOAP, not a beauty bar)
1c. borax
1c. washing soda  (again, NOT baking soda.)

finely grate bar on smallest setting of box grater, -OR- grate on the "regular" setting and pulse in your food processor.  Please note, fancy gadgets are NOT a necessity for this recipe, but they sure do make life easier for us!  Still just around .02 for a load of laundry!  How Smart and Savvy is that?!

Mix all together in a container. (I use an old recycled coffee creamer container)  use 1 tablespoon on super soiled laundry, or 2 teaspoons on "regular" laundry.  If you cloth diaper, for an entire load, use 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon, depending on the size of the load and the grossness of the "dirt" in them.

Still only costs about 2 cents a load and MUCH easier to deal with, considering it also saves a TON in space!  I also triple the recipe and make it every 4-6 months depending on how much I have to wash.  Typically I need to do more in the summer.  Judah is very hard on clothes in the summer with all the exploring and dirty stuff that boys just HAVE to do. :)

**Borax and washing soda are found in the laundry aisles of your store.  If you can't find them, google them and Arm and Hammer will tell you where you can buy washing soda locally.  Borax is typically found anywhere laundry stuff is sold.**

Be blessed!