Frugal Tip of the Week: Update on Homemade Laundry Detergent

I started making my own laundry soup about a year ago. I wanted to post an update on that topic. I still LOVE LOVE LOVE my homemade laundry soap. I have made one change over the course of the year and that was just in what soap I grate to put in it. I did not like the smell of the Zote soap. I know they make a fragrance free version, but I wanted to go a more natural route. I have switched to using Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap. I like this much better than the Zote and feel that my clothes are cleaner as well. And there is no smell. This girl absolutely loves that….if you haven’t noticed, I am not a fan of smelly things, unless it’s food cooking! Making my laundry detergent with this soap has raised the cost per load a bit since this soap is more expensive than Zote. I had previously calculated it out to be $0.02 per load. With the new soap it comes out to about $0.06 per load. That is still great in my book for a less chemical filled, no smelling laundry soap. No Tide for me….noway!


As far as dryer sheets or fabric softeners…I don’t use those either. If my clothes are static-y I put vinegar in my rinse cycle and use dryer balls.


Frugal Tip of the Week: Homemade Daily Granite Spray/Cleaner

Being a former health inspector I like to make sure that my countertops are clean and sanitized especially after working with raw meat. I have granite counters (by the way I DO NOT recommend them!) First I was using Target’s Method daily granite spray. It was ok. It cleaned the counters but did not sanitize and had quite a strong scent for me. I don’t like scents in my products much at all. Then I moved to using my homemade clorox anywhere spray, but I wanted something without the chemicals in bleach, as I am trying to reduce the chemicals we use in the house for cleaning. A quick search online and revealed I can use Vodka to kill bacteria and clean my counter with no residue or smell left behind. I had to try it! We had some vodka stashed in the cupboard, so I gave it a shot and I really like it. It’s safe around my kid and my pets (as long as they don’t drink a bunch :)) and it gets the job done!

The “recipe” for Vodka daily spray:

1 part vodka to 4 parts water.

Put in spray bottle.

I have a small sprayer (my old method one) that takes 1/4 c vodka and 1 cup water to fill.

Go to life as mom for more frugal tips.

Frugal Tip of the Week: Window Cleaner

Over the past couple years I have been switching out my cleaning products to reduce the chemicals in my house as well as to reduce the cost of purchasing cleaners. I absolutely love my Homemade All Purpose Cleaner and highly recommend you try some! As far as cleaning windows, most people say to use vinegar and water if you want to switch from commercial window cleaners like windex. I could never get a streak free clean that way. Then a few months ago, I stumbled upon a website (no idea where though!) that said to use club soda and a crumpled newspaper to clean windows and mirrors. I had some flat club soda in the pantry and some grocery ads I was done with, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Not like it was going to hurt to try! What do you know…..clean, shiny, streak free mirrors and windows! WOOHOO! And the best thing about it is the price. I usually buy the store brand of club soda for around $0.69 for a 2 liter. Just put it in a spray bottle and you have cheap, chemical free window cleaner, who doesn’t love that? Just so you know, Windex 2 liter refills (6 pack) is over $35 on amazon! Can you believe that?! I think I like $4.14 for 6 club sodas and free grocery ads better!

Visit Life as Mom’s Frugal Friday for more tips.

Cheese Explosion!

Can you tell we LOVE cheese in this house? Super deal alert…can you believe I got all that pictured above for a $1? Well I did! I stocked up on cheese with the buy 5 save $5 kraft promotion going on at Albertson’s this week (this is here in so cal…we have different sales here, so check your local ad) combined with this $5 off 5 coupon from Kraft you get free cheese, yes you read that right free cheese! Remember to hit your back button and refresh the page to print 2 coupons per computer. The hot dogs, which are turkey and nitrate/nitrite free ones, are also in the kraft promotion and there was a $1 off 2 oscar mayer coupon in the smart source Sunday coupon insert from 8/22/10. I had 3 copies of that coupon so I got all 6 packs of hot dogs for $1. My freezer is now full of shredded cheese and hot dogs and the brick cheeses are good until December.

This deal is a catalina deal, which means that the register will print a $5 off coupon off your next purchase from that store and only one coupon will print per transaction. So, I did three transactions 5 cheeses (at $2 each), 5 cheeses and 6 packs of hot dogs (at $1.50 each) using the coupons cheese coupons and hot dog coupons with each transaction. I paid a total of $16 out of pocket and came out with $15 in catalina coupons to spend, meaning I really only spent a $1 on all of that! I then went back in and purchased what I needed anyway….milk and boneless skinless chicken breast (on sale for $1.79/lb) with my catalina coupons. *You can use all the catalinas together in one transaction when purchasing things with them. Don’t forget to scan you Albertson’s card to get the sale prices! I never have my card and it’s hooked to an old phone number that I can’t remember, but my parents number hasn’t changed in over a decade, so I just punch their number in! A bonus…I am going to go and get more cheese tomorrow! Since we have 2 computers I was able to print 4 coupons. Good thing I have an extra freezer in the garage!

This, my friends, is an example of how I stockpile and keep my grocery budget low! Now I just need to get on the ball and get my September menu finished. I have been slacking this summer with my menu planning!

Hurry, Hurry to Rite Aid for Cheap Ice Cream!

We love the Thrifty ice cream that is sold at Rite Aid around here. It has long been my husbands favorite brand for his all time favorite flavor Mint N Chip. I ran in to Rite Aid to look for something today and happened to walk by the freezer where the ice cream was on sale 2 for $4, which in itself is a great price for 2 tubs of ice cream. What made it even better….when I look on the top of the ice cream there was a peelie coupon for $0.35 off. I got 2 tubs of ice cream for $3.65! What a steal! I practically danced my way to the car….dancing is a good thing if I am going to be eating all that ice cream!

Hurry, the sale only goes through Thursday if you are here in So Cal! Saturday for all you other folk.

Frugal Tip of the Week: Use Your Local Freecycle

I love freecycle. It is a community of people who are dedicated to reusing and recycling and it’s all done for free. What can get better than that! Just go HERE and search for a group in your area and join the group. It is really simple to use, similar to a forum. If you are looking for an item you post a “wanted” ad. If you have an item to give you post an “offer” ad. Then you get an email when someone responds. Make arrangements to meet that person and exchange the item and you’re good to go!  I have requested items such as moving boxes, a bread machine, party decorations, Halloween costumes, all of which were given to me free from another generous person who was no longer in need of those items. I have also given away many things from my home. I am too lazy to hold a yard sale, which may go against all frugal rules! I usually give my excess stuff away instead. I have given home decor items such as pictures and bathroom stuff. I have given away a bar table with 4 stools, lots of baby items like clothes and all the stuff that comes with an infant. I even cleaned out my pantry and gave away all the unopened food that I had that I knew we would not eat before the expiration date. I also offer up coupons on freecycle. There have been high value diaper coupons from amazon. I no longer need those, so why not share them with someone who does! If I offer up something and no one responds then I will donate the item to a local thrift store.

You know the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” It really is true and freecycle is a fabulous way to share your unwanted items with someone who does. I have seen everything from beds to vacuums to excess fruit from trees to clothes to pet food. You name it, and it’s been listed at some point. There are different email subscriptions you can sign up for to be notified of the items listed so that you don’t have to check the website everyday. The posted items come to you right in your email. So join your group and get to freecycling! Just please keep it honest and only take items you can use and not to try and resell.

Frugal Tip of the Week: Homemade Microwave Popcorn

I don’t know about you but popcorn is one of my favorite foods. It conjures up memories of childhood and going to the movies. I have even been known to eat popcorn for dinner! I love to pair it with something a bit sweet like chocolate to get that wonderful sweet and salty combination! Several months ago when I was browsing one of my favorite how to sites I came across a way to make microwave popcorn at home! I loved the idea of getting rid of the preservatives and fake butter flavor of microwave popcorn and moving toward a healthier substitute that was just as easy to make. Especially since I don’t have an air popper or a whirley pop for the stove. Plus, it is so much cheaper than buying pre-made microwave bags since a pound of popcorn is about $0.99…right up my alley for sure! I got the idea from this instructable. It is super simple. Take a paper lunch sack put 1/4 cup of popcorn in there. You can add a little oil and salt at this point if you want, but I pop mine plain with nothing. Fold the top of the bag down about and inch and staple with 2 staples. Don’t worry your microwave won’t blow up or anything! Pop on high until the popping slows to a few seconds between pops. I like to add melted butter and salt after the popcorn is done. It is also good with parmesan cheese sprinkled on it. Or if you want it super healthy…don’t add the butter 🙂 Simple, good and cheap. My kind of snack. Don’t throw away left overs! I will be posting more recipes of what to make with popcorn as the week progresses!

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