Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bloggers: Can you help me with this problem?

I have not been able to sign in or respond to comments for quite a few weeks. Every once in a while it will work. Of course, BLOGGER does not offer support.

 Has anyone had this problem? Or have any suggestions? I've tried everything I can think of.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Experimenting with homemade cleaning products

I've tried a few homemade cleaning products over the past 5 plus years with great success. I've been making my own homemade detergent for nearly 5 years. I took a break from it at one point but I started making it again to keep my grocery budget down. I'm still using a vinegar and water cleaner for my toilet and it works great.

Grocery prices continue to rise but our income is not. So, I'm continuing to look for ways to cut back. This month I decided to concentrate on finding an inexpensive stain remover to replace the Shout Advanced Gel I normally buy which can cost anywhere from $3-4. I love Shout but it's a high price item so hopefully I can find a good alternative.

So, today I did some research online to see if I could find a recipe that would use ingredients  I  have on hand. It was encouraging to see how many different recipes are used with great success. I always like to have an alternative recipe on hand  in case I'm out of a specific ingredient.

I took note that some homemakers use plain old shampoo directly on a stain and Dawn dishwashing detergent or 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and one part dawn.  All were given good reviews. I'll keep these in my file as a back up.

The recipe I chose is this one:

1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup liquid homemade detergent
1/2 cup water

The mixture was a bit lumpy so I kept stirring. I knew it needed to be pretty smooth so the mixture would go through the spray nozzle. I used my old Shout bottle. I used the spray on items in my white load and the stain came out. We will see how it works on my dark load tomorrow.

I can see that these homemade items are making an impact on my food budget for the better.

This recipe was found at :

Dollar Store Mom

I liked the idea that she experimented with 3 different options of stain remover which included the recipe above. Her conclusion was that the DIY stain remover worked just as well as the other brands.

Do you use any homemade cleaning products (or beauty products) that save you money?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Use it up: Compost

We live on a pretty low income (compared to US standards) so my goal is to stretch whatever we buy and get as much use out of it as possible.  I will be the first to admit that I'm not always successful in this area. But, I'm determined. (Does that count?). I'm always looking at what I have on hand and thinking about what I can do to stretch it, reinvent it or re-use it.

I really wanted to put in a winter vegetable garden but my husband (still worn out from our move) asked that I wait until spring so we would have a chance to prepare over the winter. So, I've begun collecting toilet paper rolls and saving cardboard egg cartons for seed starters along with newspaper to lay on the vegetable rows to keep the weeds down. Pinterest had some great pictures and my daughter in love has been using this method of seed starting with great success.

We also decided to start composting. This will enrich our soil and save the cost of buying bagged compost.

I did some research online and read that you need equal amounts of leaves, kitchen scraps and  lawn clippings.

I've been saving all my vegetable and fruit scraps and meal leftovers and frankly anything that will break down. I've read not to use grease or meat products. My kitchen compost container is not very pretty but it will work for now. (I try to hide it on the side of the counter). Best of was free. The lid is tight so there is no chance of drawing insects. 

Kitchen top container to hold scraps for compost

2 Container for compost. Large can for extra lawn clippings and tub for composting.

 We're adding water and turning the 'ingredients' regularly. Hopefully, within a few months we will have some wonderful compost to add to our soil to enrich it this coming spring. 

All from items that we would have thrown away.