Category Archives: frugal living

DIY Laminate Floor Cleaner

Standard

I finally got my living room completely cleaned and arranged to where I want it. With that, I also did a quick vacuum and mop with some homemade mopping solution. For my house, it’s going to take a few good moppings (why YES, I DID make that word up!) to really get the floor good and clean because of all the dust and dirt that settled on it from the construction. But so far it’s working really well!

Homemade Mopping Solution:

One part vinegar

One part water.

Yup, that’s it. I use a Swiffer-like mop from the Cedar brand. I like this mop a lot because you can wash the pads up to three times (yay for less waste!) and you can make your own solution, instead of having to buy refills all the time. Again, YAY FOR LESS WASTE! lol

Here is what my living room looks like so far using the vinegar/water solution (I know, I missed some spots. I had sweat dripping down into my eyes and couldn’t really see well. lol):

Image

Let me know if you try it and what you think of it!

Advertisements

Words Can Not Even Express How Angry This Makes Me!

Standard

http://www.naturalnews.com/036234_edible_landscaping_medicinal_plants_Tulsa.html

This article is about a woman whose garden was taken away from her on false allegations of it being not up to city code. This woman was not only growing the food for sustenance, but also to naturally treat her diabetes and arthritis, along with other various health conditions. She is unemployed, so this garden was also her livelihood. So they took away her life AND her livelihood. It just sickens me that someone can’t even grow a garden without the city coming in. The city code officials violated a court order and came and ripped up her entire garden. Ugh, I could just SPIT NAILS!!!

The url above is to the article, which contains a link to sign a petition on change.org. Please read the article and sign the petition to stand up for your rights as a civilian to grow your own food and medicinal herbs!

Just Some Random Thoughts

Standard

My mother-in-law put the laundry detergent I made the other day to some good use yesterday. She washed my father-in-law’s socks, underoos, and work shirts (all white and very dirty) with it and put some distilled white vinegar in the wash as a fabric softener. Afterward the clothes looked fantastic and smelled… like nothing. Just plain old freshness and not vinegar, and they were very soft. πŸ™‚

I kind of had a “thunk”, as my mother-in-law puts it. I decided I want to clean houses with my DIY cleaners, etc. I don’t know if it will pan out, but I hope it does. I haven’t yet brought it up with the hubby, but I don’t think he will mind. I will be bringing some money into the house. So, let’s hope someone answers my craigslist ad!

Always Wear A Mask!

Standard

I decided to make my first batch of powder laundry detergent today. It was pretty easy but, if you do this, remember to WEAR A MASK while making it! The soap particles will float up into the air and it really sucks to inhale them. lol

Image

Me wearing my mask! πŸ™‚

The soap I used (the green bar of Ivory) smells REALLY good too… can’t wait to use it on my laundry! I made this batch for both me and my mother-in-law to use. With how much she does the laundry, it should go rather quickly. πŸ™‚

And I just realized how much I like to use smileys… hmmm.

Anyway, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 bar Ivory Soap

1/2 cup Borax (20 Mule Team is the best, you can find it at your local grocery store in the laundry aisle)

1/2 cup Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer, not to be confused with Baking Soda, you can also find this in the laundry aisle)

Equipment:

a cheese grater or a knife to grate the soap

a container to put your detergent in

Directions:

1. Grate the Ivory into the container you’ll use for the detergent. If you want a finer powder you can put your soap in a food processor AFTER grating it. Blend for a few seconds and it should be finely ground. πŸ™‚

2. Pour your detergent back into the container you’ll be using. MAKE SURE YOU’RE STILL WEARING YOUR MASK! Put a 1/2 cup of Borax and a 1/2 cup of Washing Soda (again, NOT baking Soda!) into the container and SHAKE WELL!

Note:

You only need to use 1/8 of a cup of this per load. This recipe will make 16 loads, but you can tweak it to make more loads. Just double the ingredients (for example instead of using 1/2 cup of Borax and a 1/2 cup of Washing Soda, use 1 cup of Borax, and 1 cup of Washing Soda. Use 2 bars of soap).

THIS RECIPE IS A SUDS-FREE RECIPE, SO IT’S SAFE FOR HE WASHERS, AND YOU CAN USE IT AT ANY TEMPERATURE. πŸ™‚

Easy, yes? I thought so too!

Sage Advice From My Sister

Standard

My sister and I are two and a half years apart to the day. I would always borrow her stuff without asking, use her makeup without asking (and do a very poor job at applying it, I might add!), and basically doing what I could to annoy her. Because she’s my big sister, and that’s what little sisters do. We always loved each other, and we both knew that, but it didn’t stop us from getting into fights. Because we are sisters, and that’s what sisters do.

Image

I remember one time, when I was about 12 or 13, I borrowed my sister’s Bugs Bunny shirt that she had gotten on her 8th grade class trip to Six Flags. I went to a friends house to play, and when we were taking a break from playing, I accidentally sat in a chair full of blueberries. Man was she ticked!

But as we got older, after she had moved out and gone to college when I was 15, we didn’t fight quite as much, if at all. And suddenly she became a well of advice! I mean, who knew?! Even to this day I am still getting advice from her. Especially when it comes to eating healthy. I never really knew how to have a very healthy diet because that’s just how I was brought up. Processed this, processed that. Anything to make cooking a little easier. Not that my mom didn’t try to get healthy things on the dinner table, it just wasn’t readily available to us where we grew up. We lived in a very small town where even the closest grocery store was almost 30 minutes away, let alone having something like a farmer’s market.

However, it’s been another 15 years and I am still eating processed foods. But now that I live in a town where we have TWO farmer’s markets, I am definitely going to be making more trips there. I got an email from my sister today, giving me more awesome advice! I want you guys to read it as well (without the email addresses of course! Privacy is everything!) πŸ™‚ :

“yep. fresh produce is huge! Become a regular at the farmer’s market and ask around to see if there’s a Share program (You pay a flat fee upfront, and local farmers put together boxes of fresh-picked food weekly so you’re eating produce that’s in season is very well-rounded).
“Eat a rainbow” is a good catch phrase to remind you to eat lots of bright, colorful, fruits and veggies. Each one does something so different and necessary for your health, so the more variety, the better. But if you eat the same thing over and over again, you’re likely to see negative side effects too. for example, bananas are super good for you, but if you eat too many you’ll get constipated! πŸ™‚ Just mix it up, and eat lots of rich greens! Another phrase I try to remember: “Eat food [meaning real food; not processed foods], not a lot, mostly vegetables.” (I think that’s how it goes.)
Love you!”

I remember hearing about the Share program when I was little.

Image

But, for some reason, I always thought of the singer Cher. And I thought to myself “What does Cher have to do with food?”

Image

lol I guess I was a little slow. It just goes to show that, no matter how old you are, a good big sister will always be there for you to give you good advice. πŸ™‚ Love you, sissy!

Putting an Idea Into Action

Standard

I finally got a chance to try one of the DIY deodorant recipes that I posted last week. If you’re a new follower I will post the recipe after giving my review on it.

So far it seems to be working pretty well. The only thing I don’t particularly like about it is that it gets kind of messy. If you kind of smell like I did (I haven’t taken a shower yet today), there will be a slight smell afterward, but that will only last a few minutes. Just kind of move your arms around so that the cornstarch and baking soda gets absorbed into the skin a little bit and it won’t take long for the deodorant to take effect. You know what the best part is though? The fact that you’re only putting two chemicals on your body, and absolutely NONE of that icky aluminum that’s in commercial antiperspirants. πŸ™‚ It remains to be seen, but you might have to apply this stuff a couple of times a day, depending on your activity level. This will make a powder deodorant. Anyway, here is the recipe again, in case you didn’t get to see the earlier post:

Ingredients:

baking soda

cornstarch

Directions:

1. In a reusable (and resealable) container, combine one part baking soda with six parts cornstarch

2. Close the container and shake well for about a minute to mix the powders.

3. Apply the powder with something like a powder puff, or even a cotton ball would probably work if you don’t have a powder puff.

If you try this, let me know what you think of it! πŸ™‚

Β 

DIY Laundry Detergent

Standard

I’ve been getting recipes from far and wide for DIY laundry detergent lately, but I’ve been really hesitant about trying it at this moment. Mostly because my husband and I are living with his folks until our house is finished, and I didn’t know if she wanted me to use one of her pots for mixing soap, borax, and washing soda. But she recently started expressing interest in it when she found out just how much money we would save by making our own. So I found a recipe that doesn’t require you to put the borax and washing soda in the pot, you just mix it in a 5 gallon bucket. If any of you have tried this recipe and have hard water, please let me know how it worked for you! πŸ™‚

DIY Laundry Detergent

from http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/03/15/how-to-make-your-own-laundry-detergent-and-save-big-money/

Ingredients:

1 bar of soap… the recipe on the website says you can use any kind you like, but most people use Fels Naptha.

1 box of washing soda, found in your grocer’s laundry aisle

1 box of borax… optional, but it’s a great laundry booster. Be careful of you use this.

a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, or a bucket that will hold more than 15 liters

3 gallons tap water

A big spoon to stir the mix

A measuring cup

A knife… be careful, don’t cut yourself!!

Directions:

1. Put 4 cups of water into a pot on your stove and turn the heat up to high until it’s ALMOST boiling. You don’t want to let it boil, otherwise everything will foam up really fast and make a huge mess. πŸ™‚ As the water heats up, get your knife out and start whittling away at your bar of soap. Make sure you keep the water below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Do this until the whole bar is shaved up, then stir the soapy water until all the soap is dissolved.

2. Put 3 gallons of hot water (about 11 liters) into the bucket. I would think it’s easier to use some milk jugs, as the website also suggests. Mix in the hot soapy water from step 1, then stir for a bit, then add a cup of washing soda. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add a half cup of borax should you decide to use it. Stir for another couple of minutes, put the lid on the bucket, then let sit overnight to cool.

And that’s it! It seems easy enough, right? πŸ™‚ Like I said earlier, if any of you with hard water have tried this, let me know how it worked for you. Of course, any tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated! πŸ˜€

EDIT 6/2/2012: You probably could use some essential oils to make your detergent smell pretty. Just be aware that there are some essential oils that are skin irritants so, if you add essential oils, I would suggest putting a drop on your skin first and wait to see if it irritates your skin. Put however many drops you want in the mix after you’ve already mixed in the borax. Stir for another couple of minutes to make sure that it gets mixed in well. πŸ™‚