You want to make your own dishwasher detergent that is completely natural? I love sharing how to frugally care for your family, so here it goes! This recipe is frugal and works beautifully. I have found that is washes away all film much better than my previous recipe that contained borax. It may be because this is a liquid detergent and dissolves more easily in the dishwasher.
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I purchased 10 naturally-grown chickens last year from a local farm, and they were delicious! I have tried to use every part of the chicken to be frugal and reduce waste, but chicken skin was always gross to me and I threw it out. (And besides, isn’t that saturated fat terrible for you?). Recently I took my 4-month-old baby girl to visit my Grandpa in California. While there I observed my Grandma making Chitlin’s for him. I thought to myself, what a great way to use chicken skin! In this way, chicken skin releases all its oil and you have some great organic oil to use in frying eggs or any other savory dish (I pay about $40 a gallon for organic olive oil and organic coconut oil. Why throw away perfectly good organic chicken grease?).
UPDATE from the Readers: Aparantly, chiltin’s are more commonly known as the intestines of the pig.;) Fried chicken skin is often called cracklin’s. Sorry for the confusion! Just following what Grandma called them!
I have been exploring the world of various natural laundry detergents in my home after choosing to avoid borax in my cleaning, which is a common ingredient in homemade varieties. Most commercial detergents are filled with harsh chemicals and the natural alternatives often contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and other ingredients that are now being debated over their safety. Most commerical detergents leave perfumes (cover scents), brighteners, and/or fabric softeners on your clothes to cover up the fact that the detergent really didn’t clean anything. These additives can easily cause skin irritations. I have found some frugal natural alternatives!
One of my favorite ways to practice frugality is to creatively use one item to complete multiple tasks! Before making any household or kitchen purchase, one of the questions I ask myself is, can this item complete more than one task? Is this item convenient and be used frequently?
This is one reason I love my bosch mixer! It is a high powered blender, mixer, and bread machine (the kneading part, minus the actually baking) all in one! You can also purchase attachments, such as a food processor. Multi-purposing is one way I simplify in the kitchen.
Recently, I have been desirous of making my own fresh tea from various herbs and leaves. For example, I have good herbs on hand for making a mother’s milk tea, but just couldn’t get around to making it due to the lack of a proper straining tool. I looked into all the various steeping tools and gadgets I could use to strain and prepare my tea. Then it struck me. We already have simplified our coffee preparations by using a Bodum french press. The french press is frugal, small and compact (making it easy to store, taking up no counter space), is incredibly easy to prepare, and it makes the best coffee in my husband’s opinion (I don’t drink coffee so I wouldn’t know!). Couldn’t this same press make tea as well? Indeed! I was concerned that the flavor may affect the coffee taste next time around or vis versa, but in fact there was no affect on the taste whatsoever and it works beautifully for making delicious coffee and tea! Now I can make fresh tea in a matter of minutes. I can make larger batches and store the rest in my fridge for later enjoyment. Pour the tea leaves into the press, cover with boiling water, allow to steep for a few minutes, and then press the strainer down and enjoy!
Have you found any items that can complete more than one task? How do you practice multi-purposing?
That’s my frugal tip for today!
I have enjoyed reading from Crystal at Money Saving Mom in the past about how to have a baby without breaking the bank. Now is it possible to have multiple children and still maintain a budget with the cost of clothing, diapers, and other supplies? Children are such a blessing from the Lord and should not cause us to fret over making ends meet. God will supply all our needs. But how can we be wise in preparing and caring for multiples? When a boy and a girl join the family we are bombarded with all the blue and pink colors for every item imaginable! Do I really need all this? Aren’t they just too cute? I can’t help but post pictures of them!
The key: Choose gender neutral items!
That pink bouncer is cute but will the hubby want his little guy sitting in it with the next one? That would certainly not fly with my hubby! By purchasing a pink and blue version of everything you double your expenses. Save hundreds of dollars by doing a little advanced preparation. By following this idea, we only purchased a double stroller (craigslist wins once again!) beyond clothing for our little man. Side note: the buggy board is another frugal alternative to a double stroller that you need to check out if your single stroller is compatible.
I had been at my wits end trying to find a good absorbent nursing pad that would not leak through the night. I hate waking up to a nice wet spot on my sheets. I admit…I have problems, but my son is sure happy with all that good milk! I tried three different styles to no avail. I was just about ready to go find another one when the thought crossed my mind to try to make my own! I wish I had started here in the first place. I made these wonderfully absorbent flannel and fleece nursing pads in just a short time with fabric I had on hand and did not have to spend another penny. Flannel is soft and comfortable and fleece is waterproof and will keep the moisture away from your clothes. Horrah!
Making your own nursing pads is simple, frugal and fun! Choosing cloth reusable pads is an excellent way to avoid the waste of disposables and another way to be a good steward of our environment. Cloth is so much more comfortable overall!
This was a fun and easy project and a great gift for an expectant mother as well. I made a few sets for a friend at the same time. Too fun!
Guest post by Andreanne Hamel from The Coffee Couple.
Don’t throw out those coffee grounds. Turn them into something useful and safe for the environment with these household tips!
Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh coffee brewing first thing in the morning? But once you’ve finished your cup, the grounds that went into making it probably get thrown away or rinsed down the sink.
Just like a plastic water bottle can be used over and over, coffee grounds can also have a second, earth-friendly life. Here are 10 ways you can soften your skin, protect your garden, and make your house a greener, better place to live with the help of coffee grounds.
Retouch furniture scuffs
Coffee’s dark hues match perfectly to brown or black furniture that’s been nicked or scuffed. Simply let used coffee grounds re-brew and then steep for a few hours or overnight. Strain it and you’ll be left with a chemical-free stain that you can apply with a cotton swab.
Deodorize your closet or refrigerator
Pack a small amount of dry coffee grounds into a sock and hang it from your curtain rod or leave wet grounds to dry in the refrigerator in a small dish. It will naturally deodorize either space and save money on air fresheners. Add a small dab of vanilla to give it a sweet scent.
Scour pots and pans
Use the grounds to scrub out greasy pans or stuck-on food. The grounds rinse away and you’re left with sparkling dishware.
I love this skirt! Do you know why? It is one of those pieces that can work with everything. Brown is a wonderful color! But not only that, it is the most comfortable skirt I own and it works beautifully for when I am pregnant and also when I am not. The best investment of my money on clothing has been to find items that work for both regular and maternity use. This skirt has a fold over waist that can pulled up over your belly, giving such wonderful support especially during pregnancy. It is fun and cute for everyday wear! Plus…this skirt is available through the clothing business, Christa-Taylor, that my sister and family started two years ago. Just a little plug!
So when you think you need maternity clothes…consider all the wonderful options out there that can work for both seasons of life.
Empire waist tops are another excellent choice. I have one non-maternity empire waist top in particular that is long and cute and still fits me at 37 weeks! Tunics are a fun multi-purpose addition as well. You can use belts with your tunics prior to pregnancy and then either remove the belt or let it rest above your expanding belly. See how my sisters use belts here. I also don’t bother with maternity pajamas…a large shirt and some sweat pants will do! It may not work for everyone, but I have definitely been able to save a few dollars by thinking in advance before every clothing purchase. Could this be multi-purpose?
That’s my frugal tip for the day!
I have been a faithful fan of BumGenius one size pocket diapers for the duration of the 18 months of usage they have received at our home (read more about cloth diapering and my review here). It keeps my diapering simple, convenient and easy for everyone to use (even the grandparents)! My only complaint…the elastic around the legs of the diapers wore out relatively quickly, within the first year of use. Thankfully, Cotton Diapers (the manufacturer) offers a one year warranty on these diapers. They have amazing costumer service! I returned seven of my diapers within that one year warranty and received replacements in just two days. For more information on making returns/exchanges, visit here and check out the BumGenius FAQ page. Recently, the remainder of my stock was beginning to show wear in the elastic.
They remained in excellent shape beside the legs (velcro is working perfectly and fabric is still very soft), which was leading to more frequent leaking. I was not sure what to do, and was disappointed to think they were reaching the end of their life. Thanks to my friend, Chalon, my diapers have been redeemed! With the use of some new 1/4” elastic, small safety pins and a seam ripper (costing me a total of $2), I have been able to easily replace the elastic in my diapers and they now look brand new! Praise the Lord! You don’t know how excited I am! The Lord is providing all our basic needs…isn’t that awesome?
Find a step by step picture tutorial of the process of replacing the elastic here. The only requirement is very basic sewing skills, and then again, you can do it easily by hand as well!
So if there is any other fellow BG diaper users out there, don’t give up too quickly! If you are considering cloth diapering, I give another vote to these diapers if you are willing to put a little effort into them (hanging them to dry is a good way to preserve their life as well). They are the second cheapest option for diapering beyond prefolds while remaining more convenient and softer on the babies bottom. I still have yet to see how well they fit on a newborn, as we started Karis on them at four months (thus the reason I have prefolds for our baby). They will fit your little one all the way through to potty training! Karis can wear one of diapers for at least 3 hours (often times up to 5 hours) without any leaking problems! I have tried a few other one size diapers (Happy Heiny’s, Haute Pockets), and BG diapers surpass them all!
“Simplifying means having less, wanting less, being satisfied with what you have or less than what you have. It does not mean boredom. People with too many things are the most easily bored. St. Francis owned only his robe, yet was never melancholy or bored.” – J Matthew Sleeth, author of Serve God, Save the Planet
Simplifying Your Buying Techniques (as shared in the above quoted book):
1. If you think you want something, wait a month. One of three things will happen if you follow this sage advice. One: You will forget. Two: You will no longer need it. Or three: You will need it more. Most often, numbers one and two will happen.
2. Next, borrow and lend. How are we going to live together in heaven if we can’t even share a chain saw? One of my goals this year is to put all my books together in a loaning library database, in order that I might bless and encourage others in my church through loaning out my books or simply donating them to our local library. They are just collecting dust right now! I also have a ton of girl baby clothes. If we have a boy, my first goal will be to find someone who can benefit from the use of these clothes in the meantime.
I am growing to realize that the more I share, the less of a strong hold these possessions will have upon my heart. What things are lying around your house that someone else could use right now? There are so many ways to be generous by loaning and giving away your possessions even if you are lacking in the monetary capacity. This is an opportunity for the body of Christ to come together, especially in this slowing economy, and serve and share with one another. Remember Acts 2:44-45, which states that the believers had all their resources together and distributed them as each had a need. I think applying this principle is so applicable today.
It really comes down to changing our mindset! It starts with waiting a month, then if you still really need the item, looking into your borrowing options. If they are lacking, check out all your used options (craigslist, freecycle, consignment shop, etc). The very last alternative is buying an item new…but you most likely will not even get here if you check out the previous ideas!
It’s Living Simple Saturday!
- Paula’s Bread: NutriMill Grain Grinder Giveaway! January 14, 2012
- 6 Reasons Why I Love My Dehydrator & Giveaway July 9, 2010
- Graham Gardens Giveaway! July 9, 2011
- Graham Gardens Christmas Gift Set Giveaway! November 12, 2012
- Primer on Essential Oils & Giveaway! June 22, 2010
- Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve Giveaway! June 25, 2011
- Sprout Change Cloth Diaper Giveaway! June 11, 2011
- NaturoKits Giveaway! February 5, 2011
- Graham Gardens Summer Essentials Giveaway! June 2, 2012
- My Favorite Cloth Diapers Giveaway! October 20, 2012
- Till We Meet Again… February 8, 2013
- Can Natural Living Become an Idol? February 6, 2013
- Redeeming Childbirth Giveaway! February 4, 2013
- Preparing My Heart for Motherhood February 1, 2013
- Embracing the Pain & Letting Go of Fear in Childbirth January 30, 2013
- Homemade Natural Postpartum Care Kit January 28, 2013
- Paula’s Bread Giveaway! January 26, 2013
- What is the purpose of the home? January 23, 2013
- Homemade All-Natural Deodorant January 18, 2013
- Finding Joy in Your Homemaking January 16, 2013
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