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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Laundry Tips!

Hi again! I thought I would continue the cleaning supplies tips with laundry tips since we last discussed vinegar and it's use as a fabric softener. Today I will share the homemade liquid laundry soap recipe I use. There are a few variations of this same recipe out there. This works for us. I love that it saves me from extra trips to the store because I forgot laundry detergent,is so much cheaper and lasts for months! This makes 10 gallons of laundry detergent ( you will make a five gallon bucket which you will then mix half with water when transferring to a detergent bottle) Here's what to do:

4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

Grate 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap bar
Add to 4 cups hot tap water in pot
Melt over medium heat stirring continually until completely melted
In a 5 gallon bucket fill half way with hot tap water, melted soap,1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda and 1/2 cup borax
Stir well
Fill the rest with hot tap water and stir well once more
Put lid on tightly and let mixture sit overnight
Remove lid and stir very well
Soap is now ready to use- use a clean empty laundry detergent bottle and fill half with water and half with detergent and shake well
We use the laundry soap cap to measure what we need and it works well for us!

Hope you try this, It is so cheap and lasts a long time!

Here's a bonus tip for the laundry room: tired of buying laundry sheets?
Use the tip about using vinegar as your fabric softener and instead of fabric sheets in the dryer, take a ball of aluminum foil and throw it in the dryer- soft clothes and NO static cling!

Note about laundry soap ingredients: In my area Weis carries all of the ingredients, but I have also found them in other stores.

See ya next tip!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Category 1 - Household Cleaning Supplies

Hello again! I am here again to bring you a tip! As i stated in my last post, minimizing categories and what goes in them is key when it comes to frugal living and simplifying. The two go hand in hand which is a wonderful thing! Today's category is household cleaning supplies. For most of us this is a very expensive category, but with the right information it can quickly become one of the least expensive and one of most creative. There are tons of resources on the web for homemade cleaning supplies and some can get a little complicated, but it really shouldn't be! I would like to start very simply with vinegar. Vinegar is a natural softening agent. That means that it can handle anything from greasy counter and stove tops to softening laundry to cleaning mirrors! You can get a large bottle of vinegar and forget buying any of those other cleaning supplies-EVER! So, here's what I suggest for switching to vinegar:
1) Buy a spray bottle from the dollar store or walmart and fill 1/3 - 1/2  with vinegar and fill the rest with water and use in the kitchen for everyday messes.
2) You can buy a second bottle and fill it with 1 part vinegar and 1 part water (half and half) to use for cleaning windows. Wipe clean with a dry rag. If you have any streaks you can use a piece of dry crumpled newspaper to get them out, you can try using a coffee filter instead of a rag as well.
3) For cleaning mirrors, spray undiluted vinegar and dry with a clean rag or coffee filter (use the crumpled news paper if you have any streaks).
4) Stop buying fabric softener by using vinegar instead! I use a downy ball because i can never remember to add softener to the rinse cycle. All you need is 1/4 cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle. This also helps maintain your washer. FYI, you will never smell vinegar on your clothes!

These suggestions are for everyday uses, but a little research on other uses will give you endless results. Vinegar can truly eliminate the need for so many household cleaning products and searching for coupons to find them cheaper!

Hope you enjoyed today's tip and found one more way to simplify your life! See ya next time!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Simplify? How?

Hello again! Today I would like to share some thoughts that have made the concept of simplifying become more of a worthy, and attainable, goal for me. I am one of those people who will drop something very quickly if I cant find a really good reason for doing it and an easy way to implement it. I don't like doing something just because it is popular without knowing how it specifically impacts my life. I think we all have an image of what simplifying is supposed to look like, and to some of us it even looks Amish in our mind's eye : ). Well, let me share what "simplify" means to me and how it looks practically. What I have come to realize is the best way to start simplifying is to start reducing the number of categories in my life. Too many categories equals fragmented thoughts and a sense of not being able to stay on top of it all. First let me say that even when you minimize categories, life has a lot of "stuff" that needs done -so why have more than what is necessary? That said, I have found that it is of GREAT help to learn how to equip your home with things that are multipurpose. What I mean to say is that, for most of us, household "stuff" we need (ie groceries, cleaning supplies etc) are so hard to stay on top of and super expensive because most everything has just one purpose. I don't know about you, but that leaves me forgetting something at the store constantly, which is frustrating. And on top of that,don't even TRY to add coupons to the equation and a couple kids in the cart!! OK, so all that to say this, in upcoming posts I will be sharing some tips that will help you think more about less expensive ways to take care of family and home, all while reducing the number of categories in your life! My hope is that we can share ideas together! I will also share some great websites that will help you in your quest to simplify!

Friday, March 25, 2011

First Tip!

Hello Friends! So I have been thinking about what I would like my first tip to be and how it can be of benefit to you. Well, I have to say, hands down, this tip is one I like most for those closest to me (who are most likely to be reading my budding blog)! I have found that this tip has saved me tons of times since I stumbled upon it. As I eluded to in my first post, the tips you find here will mostly be things I have found here,there,and everywhere as I have scoured the net and different books for frugal and simple lifestyle tips. Today's tip is a recipe for homemade biscuits that is so simple and so yummy you will use it over and over again (we do!!). Here it is:

Homemade biscuits:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

In a bowl combine:

1 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise (you read that right!)

Use a spoon to blend ingredients together just until mixed
Drop 8 biscuits onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray
Bake for about 10 mins being careful to check on them so the bottoms dont burn,
when they are almost done you can brush the tops with
melted butter (this makes them prettier and even yummier)

So there's your tip for today! I hope you ENJOY it and get as much use out of it as we do!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Hello there and welcome to my blog! I am new to blogging but my hope is that you will find some tidbit of information here that can simplify your life (even small ways can have great impact on everyday life) or challenge you to try something new. We are living in "tough economic times" (as they say) and many of us are taking a hard look at our lives and our resources in a different light than ever before. This is a GOOD thing! Personally, this frugal living thing is new to me,but I have learned so much I would like to pass on. Many of these things you will see and hear about other places as many of us learn together. I am no guru on any topic, but I am a real life mom, learning like everyone else. I would love to share some of myself with you and hear from you as well. My goal is to post a tip each day and some food for thought to go with it. I look forward to hearing from you and sharing together!