Thursday, January 31, 2008

Recipes for at home products

I found some recipes to make various products at home. Keep in mind, these are recipes I found on one of my favorite forums A Full Cup . I am reposting b/c I think these are great ways to save money.

Drain Cleaner

1 c. salt
1 c. soda
1/4 c. cream of tartar

Mix ingredients together. Dissolve one cup of cleaner in one cup of hot water. Put in drain. When bubbling stops, rinse drain with hot water.

Shampoo and Conditioner Recipes
Chamomile Shampoo

4 bags of Chamomile tea (or 1 handful of fresh Chamomile flowers)
4 tablespoons pure soap flakes ( can be purchased or you can make your own - grate some ivory(the purest)
1 1/2 tablespoons glycerin( can be found in the Health Food Store and some Grocery stores)

Let the tea bags steep in 1 1/2 cups of boiled water for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and with the remaining liquid add the soap flakes. Let stand until the soap softens. Stir in glycerin until mixture is well blended. Pour into a bottle. Keep in a dark, cool place.

Tropical Conditioner

1 avocado (peeled and mashed)
coconut milk

Combine mashed avocado with some coconut milk. Mash together until its smooth and about as thick as shampoo. Comb it through the hair and let sit for 10 -15 minutes, wash out.

Rosemary Hair Conditioner

Rosemary essential oil
Olive oil slightly warmed

Add 2-5 drops of rosemary essential oil with 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil. Work the oils through dampened hair and massage the scalp. Wrap your head in a warm towel and leave on for 45 minutes to deep condition the hair. Wash out and rinse with cool water. Keep out of eyes.

The Fake Febreeze Recipe

2 C. Fabric Softener
2 C. Baking Soda
4 C. warm water

Mix and place in a spritzing bottle. Use just like you would the expensive Febreeze from the store. If you want, you can use the unscented fabric softener and then add a few drops of essential oil to make it a scent that you prefer.

Dish soaps..
Fruity Dish Soap Blend

liquid castile soap (found in health food stores)
20 drops lime essential oil
10 drops sweet orange essential oil
5 drops citrus seed extract

Fill a clean 22 oz. plastic squirt bottle with castile soap (diluted according to directions if using concentrate). Add the essential oils. Shake the bottle before each use. Add 1-2 tbl. of the liquid to dishwater and wash as usual.

Blues Blend

liquid castile soap
10 drops lemon essential oil
6 drops bergamot essential oil
4 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops orange essential oil

Fill a clean 22 oz. plastic squirt bottle with castile soap (diluted according to directions if using concentrate). Add the essential oils. Shake the bottle before each use. Add 1-2 tbl. of the liquid to dishwater and wash as usual.

*For very greasy dishes, add 1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice to the water.

*to loosen baked-on food from pots and pans, immediately add some baking soda and wait 15 minutes before you've had a chance to add baking soda, boil a solution of 1 cup water, 5 drops cedar or other essential oil, and 3 tbl. baking soda directly in the pot or pan. Allow the mixture to stand until the food can be scraped off easily.


Recipe #1

3 Pints Water
1/3 Bar Fels Naptha Soap, Grated
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
2 Gallon Bucket
1 Quart Hot Water
Hot Water

Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints of water, and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 Quart Hot Water to 2 Gallon Bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket with hot water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.


Recipe #2

1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
2 Tablespoons Glycerin
2 Gallons Water (NOTE: This recipe originally called for 2 Cups Water)

Mix all three ingredients together. Add glycerin and water.
Use 1/2 - 3/4 cup per load. Best when used with cold or warm water.


Recipe #3

1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap, Grated
5 Gallon Bucket
1 Cup Washing Soda
4 1/2 Gallons Water

Place grated soap in a small saucepan and cover with water. Heat on low until dissolved. Fill bucket with hot water, and add soap. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup washing soda and mix well. As it cools it will thicken. May be used immediately. Use 1-2 cups per load.

Ivory Soap, Deodorant Soap, and Beauty Bars can be substituted for the Fels Naptha Soap.

Essential Oils can be added to soap for fragrance.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Organizing my precious coupons

I have to be honest. I really hate clipping coupons. I sit there with the scissors in hand, flipping through the pages scouring for anything I can use. It actually annoys me when my Sunday paper brings me not one, not two, but FOUR separate coupon inserts! I know what this means. My back and neck are going to hurt after cutting these out.

Now with that being said, my only personal suffering is not worth as much as what I will save once the clipping is over. Plain and simply, shopping smart and using coupons is worth it.

I have used many types of organization styles for my coupons. I used to use little cheapie plastic photo albums. They didn't last too long. I know other people use binders with baseball card holders. That would never work for me, too big and bulky, I wouldn't take it into the store. Other people use accordian style plastic holders. Good idea but I have never liked those either.

I finally found the answer to this problem. I use the Couponizer . I have used this coupon organizer for about 5 months now and I'm happy with it. It even has its own purse for coupons that are too big or bulky to fit inside. This works really easily for me because I can throw my wallet in the purse and take it inside the store.

Coupons can become overwhelming if they are not properly organized. Take a little time to get your coupons organized - find something that works for YOU... Then 'watch the money pile up'!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy 2008!!

Ok so I'm a little late with that. That's ok. I have been trying to find a job and that has pretty much consumed me in 2008!

I'm back now!

Ok so one of the things I wanted to talk about since its a new year, fresh start, etc.. is money management software. I'm talking about programs such as Quicken, Microsoft Money, etc..

I had never used a program like this before. I know its shocking, since I write about this subject, you would think I would use one of these programs. I guess I just never got around to it. I knew where my money went. This year I decided I wanted to get even more 'intimate' with my finances.

I purchased Quicken, mostly because I found a code online that gave me the $30 program for $24. It took a little bit to get started and get my accounts linked but now that I have it figured out I LOVE THIS PROGRAM!

I can track every single penny that goes in and out, even cash, and put them in categories. This is especially helpful for me because, while I budget my money, I still tend to 'waste' money on eating out, shopping, etc. I knew I could do better!

So its just January, but I have made a promise with myself that I would carry this throughout 2008. I definitely recommend this to anyone who is serious about tracking their spending... More to come on this in February.