Embracing Frugality

In honor of being so completely behind on my laundry I decided to make some laundry soap. A.) Cuz anything DIY tickes me pink and B.) I’m cheap

Also the laundry is wayyyyy backed up so I needed something in bulk!

This is so easy to make I am shocked more people don’t do it. Especially considering the price and ingredients in commercial detergents.

Here’s what you need

A box grater

A pot

A stirring spoon. Please note if you are using plastic which is porous you shouldn’t use it for cooking. I got this out of my fabric dying stuff. Any cheapy stirring thingy will work so take a trip to the dollar store or find a nice stick in your yard.

A five gallon bucket with lid. I got mine at the bakery department at our grocery store. It is the bucket the icing comes in (ick, so glad I make mine from scratch). They charged me $1. But if your bakery won’t part with their lard icing buckets than any hardware store would have one pretty cheap.

Fels Naphta, washing powder and Borax. All three can be found in the laundry soap aisle and are super cheap. Double bonus…you can use the borax and washing powder to make homemade dishwasher detergent! Seriously, the Fels naptha is like 97 cents and the other 2 boxes are less than $3 bucks each and you only need a little so it will last you a crazy long time.

Directions: I did not invent this, this recipe is ALL over the internet. I’m just sharing with you so you don’t have to hunt it down. You’re wlecome

Grate the fels naphta with the box grater into the pot. It smells yummy (don’t eat it, unless you have a cussing problem. It’s soap) Add 4 cups hot water and stir over medium heat until it is all melted. Pour the melted soap into your 5 gallon bucket (which I have sitting in the bathtub) and fill half way with hot water. Stir. Add 1 cup washing powder and 1/2 borax. Stir to disolve. You could also add any essential oils if you wanted to scent it. Fill the bucket the rest of the way with hot water, cover with a lid and let sit over night. It will turn ino a gel which on occasion may need a stir. 1/4 cup per load for a regualar top loader washing machine. 1/8 cup for a fancy HE front loader.

 

Enjoy, Please leave a comment and let me know if you tried it!

 

Frugality fun!

I have some fun “make it yourself and save” mixes for you to try out.

In honor of the Lentil recipe I posted previously (have you tried it yet?) I have a french onion soup mix recipe.

3/4 cups instant minced onion

1/3 cup beef bullion powder

4 teaspoons onion powder

1/4 teaspoon crushed celery seed

1/4 teaspoon sugar.

Mix it all up together and store in an airtight container. I use a mason jar. 5 tablespoons equal on of the packets.

I am super thrilled to be making my own dishwasher detergent. The ingredients are very cheap so it saves me a ton over buying commercial. Also it is much more earth friendly.

-1 cup washing soda
-1 cup borax
-1/2 cup citric acid

-1/2 cup kosher salt

Mix it all together.

Add vinegar to the rinse aide compartment and a couple of tablespoons powder to the detergent cup. Viola

We have been on a hot cocoa kick in the evenings. Michael claims it is relaxing but I know he just likes to eat the marshmallows.

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup powdered french vanilla non-dairy creamer

1 cup dry milk powder

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix together and store in an air tight container. 3 heaping spoons full in a mug and you are good to go. I have seen a couple of recipes that call for a package of instant chocolate pudding but I didn’t have any on hand. I will try that next time.

I find all my spices and ingredients at the Amish bulk food store which is kind of out in the country but the prices and selection is amazing so it is worth the trip. If you haven’t located the bulk food store or an amish market you should certainly do that.

Embracing Frugality!

Learning to live on a single income goes beyond just a challenge. Its kind of hard in today’s society….especially if that single income is that of a small town Pastor’s. Let me just say that I feel DH’s salary is both fair and generous, however going from a household with 2 and half incomes and no children to a home with 1 income and a baby is going to take some adjusting.

And with adjusting, a little creativity. Since I am indeed creative I have decided to make a bit of a game out of saving money. Let’s be honest; money save on household stuff is money that is freed up for fabric.

So in that spirit I am “Going Frugal” which is sort of like “Going Green” only this actually saves me money LOL. Of course we will still try to be kind to the earth. It’s all about good stewardship, being responsible with the blessings God has bestowed upon us and also detaching ourselves from today’s excessively materialistic society. (Please note I am excluding fabric in that general statement). So many families have both parents working full-time and then some just to “keep up” and “make ends meet” which leaves children to fend for themselves or be raised by schools, day cares or family members. My goal isn’t to criticize this lifestyle or condemn those who live like this. I merely would like to suggest that by making certain changes it is possible to live on less money and thus be more present at home actively training and raising up your own children.

I am looking at this as an experiment. A game. How thrifty can I be?

Let’s kick things off with a recipe. The new recipe rule is that it has to be made for under $5 and it has to feed a family.

Michael and I have tried so many ways to fix lentils so we would actually want to eat them….but let’s be honest, we didn’t want to eat them no matter how hard we tried. Until now!

Lentils for Lunch

1 bag (16 oz) dried lentils. Ours were brown, I would imagine any color would work – $1.19

1 package dry Onion soup mix -.39 at Aldis

2 low sodium chicken bullion cubes – free in my pantry.

2 slices (rashers?) bacon – I found a package that was reduced for quick sale .99

Mix everything in a pot with 4ish (I am never accurate) cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low. Cut up bacon and mix in lentils, cover and simmer 20-30 minutes….or an hour if you forgot the pot like I did. Either way it was good. VERY good.

It is also healthy. This would have been lunch for our family for 3-4 days but we were so amazed it didn’t taste like crap that we ate a lot…and also shared with the neighbors. We were that amazed. Everyone who stopped by heard “Man, you have to try these lentils…no seriously, they rock”