Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The start of Summer

Today is the official start of Summer and I couldn't be more excited!  I love summer.  I even enjoy the heat that summer brings.  I know I am crazy for enjoying the heat but for me that means Sun tea, eating on the porch, swimming, cook outs, playing outside, Vitamin D, family reunions, vacations and all the other wonderful aspects of summer.

This year our summer is even more exciting with the addition of a baby girl.  We are so excited that we get to spend this summer as a family watching our daughter discover all the new and fun things there are to do.  Last year it was just to early for her to be out in the fun. ( She came home from the hospital 4 days after the start of summer)  For the last couple of days, we have decided that we are going to eat outside on our porch as a family.  Sarai is finally starting to eat normal foods, and we figured that we should make meal times a focus in our family.  I still haven't gotten to the point where I can allow cooking the meal a family activity however we sure enjoy it together.

Last night as I sat on the porch watching my husband and daughter goof off with each other, I got to thinking that it was a shame that I wasn't able to enjoy it too.  I am always thinking about the next task I have to do in my day, even though dinner time is the end of the night for us.  I am always sitting there pondering what I am going to make for dinner the next night instead of enjoying the meal that I have prepared for that night.  Is this whole I look at other aspects of my life?  Is this the way the God intended me to spend my time?

I am naturally a worrier.  Its just in my nature to think 5 steps down the road and miss out the pothole in front of me.  I wonder if the reason that I worry so much is because I haven't given it up to God.  I know that for me I have a really hard time giving up control in every area of my life.  I have to make sure everything goes the way that I want it to go or I get frustrated with my life.  As I have been looking towards God's word more and more for answers of becoming a Proverbs 31 wife, I have discovered that it is not my job to worry.  In fact, Paul writes in Philippians 4 : 6-7 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

A sense of God's wholeness will come and settle you down. What a powerful phrase that is "settle you down".  How many times have we seen what worrying does to us?  I know for me that when I am worrying about something I am not sitting still or relaxed.  I am jumpy.  I am like a kid on a playground.  I can not be contained.  But here in this verse we are told that if we take our worry and turn it into prayer we will be settled down by God's wholeness.  Doesn't that just fill you up knowing that you wont be given a little part of him, but rather all of him to settle you down.  While I know that this does not directly relate towards becoming a proverbs 31 wife, for me it is every bit important to the journey as any other step.

And that is today's step towards becoming a Proverbs 31 wife.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vocabulary Lesson

Proverbs 31:26 "She opens her mouth with wisdom.  The teaching of kindness is on her tongue."

I am sure that most of you have heard the phrase a child is seen not heard?  There is some lessons to be learned even as adults in that phrase.  Why did that phrase come to be?  Well from my understanding it came to be because children did not understand what the conversation was talking about and therefore could not add to it.  I remember many times being told that I just didn't understand and that I needed to refrain from speaking for fear of making a fool out of me and the people I was around.

As adults, we tend to think that we know a little about just every subject out there.  From politics to gardening, from health care reform to education.  Every adult has an opinion on each subject and they are set in their ways about that opinion.  But what if we only opened our mouths to speak about those subjects that we really understood?  What if we took the time to listen to the leaders in each of those areas and learned from their wisdom?

As I got ready to study today's step towards becoming a Proverbs 31 Wife, I realized that there have been many times that I have opened my mouth only to hear garbage come out.  I need to remember that tried and true statement that we heard a thousand times as children.  If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all.  What would happen if I took that phrase and made it my lifestyle?  Would my relationship with my family look like?  I would like to think that my life would look a lot better.  I think that if all I ever said was words of kindness towards my husband even when I was frustrated with him, I would be able to build him up to a place that God wants him.

When we look at the second half of this verse, we notice that we are called to teach with kindness.  How many times as mothers do we forget this part of being a Godly wife?  How many times do we react to something that our children are doing with anger in our voice?  I know that for me as I struggle with being a Godly mother towards Sarai, I find myself saying or responding in ways that are full of anger.  How am I to teach Sarai the ways towards being a Godly woman if I am continually putting her down as a child?

Just yesterday I ended up losing my cool with her.  We had been in the truck for about an hour or so, she had been fussy the entire time.  I was at my whits end.  She didn't need a diaper change, she wasn't hungry, she had just gotten up from her nap, why was she making the most annoying sound in the world?  It wasn't until we got to the post office and got our mail, that I totally lost it.  I received a letter from the SSA telling me that they overpaid me and if I wanted to make an appeal that I needed to do that in writing.  So why did this letter get me so mad?  Well that's because for the past 6 months I have been working on that appeal.  I received this letter in December and sent in all the paper work and here 6 months later I had to do it all over again.  And I couldn't even get someone on the phone to sort this out!  So here I was sitting in my truck in the heat, reading this letter while Sarai was screaming in the back seat and Dan was sitting next to me saying Sarai, Sarai its ok Sarai.  I was through.  I was done with everything and everyone.  So what did I do?  I SCREAMED SHUT UP!!!!!

At that point I was done being a wife and mother.  I wanted out!  I wanted to get so far away from my life.  I was sick and tired of having to show everyone else how to do their job.  I wanted to be able to for once get away.

Almost as soon as I got angry, I was reminded of this verse.  Was I speaking words of wisdom?  Was I teaching with kindness on my tongue?  No I was allowing all the hard work that I have been doing to be wasted.  I had to stop and evaluate my motives. So this morning when I was getting angry at something that was happening, I stopped and thought about the example I was giving my family.  I want to be able to be proud of the vocabulary that I am teaching my daughter.

And that is today's step towards becoming a Proverbs 31 Wife.(and Mother)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Strength Training

Proverbs 31:17 NIV
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."

Who here loves exercising?  Seriously I want a show of hands.  Anyone?  No? Well you might not love exercising but who loves a good workout?  I hate exercising however as soon as my work out is over and I can sit down to relax, all the troubles of the day seems to fade away.  I have found this to be true with most strength training that I have to do.

Right now we are really training our strength.  Our strength that God will provide for us, our strength that we will make it through this time of trial with our faith intact.  I can't even start to express how must strength it has taken physically and emotionally to have my husband without a job for the last year.  We went from him being the only one with an income while we were dating and even for the first 6 months of our marriage to us both providing for our family to living off my SSDI income in a matter of a year.  We even through in a pregnancy during that time because we thought it would be fun.  ( That was a joke.  We were blessed with a pregnancy when we didn't think we would be able to have children.  God just has a funny sense of humor)

I will admit that for the first few months having Dan home full time was really helpful. And just went I thought I was going to lose my mind having him home, he got a job.  It felt amazing to have him finally working again.  Until a couple of weeks later when he was let go through no fault of his own.  Ever since then we have been racing to help him find another job.  It takes a lot of strength to sit by a phone that doesn't ring day in and day out.

But is this the strength that I would need for my tasks?  Would I need to continue to be emotionally strong for my husband?  Was that the task that God wanted from me?  There have been many times when I have been too weak to carry on any more.  

It is in those moments that I am reminded in one way or another of my favorite verse.  

2nd Corinthians 12 : 7-9

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was giving me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power, is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me  That is why, for God's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in HARDSHIPS, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am week, then I am strong.

Today was another day for strength training for me.  I had to remember that God doesn't not promise that everything will be easy.  He actually tells us it will not be easy.  Kinda like my workout dvd's promise that I will be sweating when this is over.  However the prize at the end of constant strength training is a stronger body.  Hopefully my arms will be strong enough to run into the Fathers arm's and BOAST about my hardships.  

And that is today's one step towards becoming a Proverbs 31 wife.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just a little humor to make your Wednesday a little better

This is the true meaning of being frugal!  And something that I do every month!

Waking in the morning

Proverbs 31:10-31
New Life Version (NLV)
10 Who can find a good wife? For she is worth far more than rubies that make one rich. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will never stop getting good things. 12 She does him good and not bad all the days of her life. 13 She looks for wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like ships that trade. She brings her food from far away. 15 She rises while it is still night and makes food for all those in her house. She gives work for the young women to do. 16 She gives careful thought to a field and buys it. She plants grape-vines from what she has earned. 17 She makes herself ready with strength, and makes her arms strong. 18 She sees that what she has earned is good. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the wheel to make cloth. 20 She opens her hand to the poor, and holds out her hands to those in need. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for those in her house, for all of them are dressed in red. 22 She makes coverings for herself. Her clothes are linen cloth and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the leaders of the land. 24 She makes linen clothes and sells them. She brings belts to those who trade. 25 Her clothes are strength and honor. She is full of joy about the future. 26 Sheopens her mouth with wisdom. The teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of those in her house, and does not eat the bread of doing nothing. 28 Her children rise up and honor her. Her husband does also, and he praises her, saying: 29 “Many daughters have done well, but you have done better than all of them.” 30 Pleasing ways lie and beauty comes to nothing, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. 31 Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

I don't know about you but I am not a morning person! Nope sorry not happening. I would much rather stay up all night long then get up early. However, according to today's verse on becoming a Proverbs 31 wife is verse 15. She rises while it is still night and makes food for all those in her house. Well there goes that idea that I will be sleeping in. 

So instead of getting upset about it, I make it work for me. Like i said I am a night owl so I do what I can in the evening to make sure my mornings go well. Last night I went be bed a little later then I wanted but I did get my clothes picked out for this morning and they were all set next to my bed. Everything was there from head to toes(Hair ties to socks). Another way that I make sure that I am going to have a good morning with the grumpy other night owls in my house, I set the coffee pot to start brewing at 7am.

I think the hardest thing for me to get my head around is that my daughter wakes up early and she is always hungry as soon as she gets up. She doesn't want to wait while Mommy gets her diaper changed and gets her dressed. She would much rather have me walk into her room with food in my hand. So how can I fix this so that it is easier on me in the morning? Well I make up her bottles the night before. This is becoming a little more difficult since she is transitioning out of bottles and into Sippy cups and from formula to milk. I still fill her cup with milk and put it in the refrigerator.

Now for the feeding my family. Well for me that is pretty easy. Sarai gets yogurt and fruit in the morning. Daddy gets coffee and a cereal bar unless I am making a big breakfast. And for me? I usually eat something around 10am. I have found that I tend to have an upset stomach if I eat anything within 2 hours of getting up.

And that is today's step to becoming a proverbs 31 wife!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another harsh Chemical Meets it's match!

I don't know about any one else, but I hate having Clorox bleach in my house now that Sarai is crawling all over the place.  I have been trying really hard now to rid myself of my old standards that told me that I needed to be able to smell bleach for something to be really clean.  My favorite scent is Clorox bleach!  I don't know why but when I start cleaning I love to smell that.

Well I have decided that what's best for my nose is no longer best for my daughter.  I have searched high and low for a cleaning solution that would clean as many surfaces as my trusty Clorox.  I finally stumbled across one.  Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol!  Who would have guessed?  I mean I know that Vinegar naturally whitens and I use it to clean out my washer, but I never thought it would really work in the long run.

So the test subject : My Vinyl Porch!  Its starting to get warmer out and I am wanting to start hanging my towels if not some of my other clothes outside to dry.  However my porch has never been washed!  The tenants who lived here before never cleaned anything in this apartment.  And on top of wanting to dry my towels out there I wanted to be able to have Sarai come outside and play while Mommy enjoys the weather.

The experiment : Will Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol work as well as Clorox?  I took a spray bottle I had around the house.  I had been using it for water to spray at our cats when they were annoying.  I added Rubbing Alcohol to the 7oz line.  (On my bottle that is the 3:1 mark) Then I added Vinegar up to the 14oz line (again my bottle that is 1:1) I then put in a squirt of dish soap just to add a little scent.  Fill it up the rest of the way with warm water.

Shake the bottle just a little.  Then spray.  We then just wiped it off.  No scrubbing to get it off just a wipe down.  It was like Magic!

The Results:  Vinegar and alcohol works just as well if not better then Clorox bleach!  I am a changed woman!

 The next experiment will be window cleaner!  I have been told that this recipe is not new and others have found success with it on windows we shall see!

UPDATE: This works great on windows and glasses (eye wear).  Me and my husband both wear glasses and can never seem to keep them clean. (living in the country dust will do that to you) We have tried every product out there and found some that work but didn't last or were too expensive.  We were even given some wipes and they didn't really work.  However just using this cleaner once we are hooked!  My life has totally been transformed.  I mean to tell you the trees have greener leaves, the sky is bluer.  Everything is more vivid!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A guest Blog from a friend!

For several weeks now I have been talking and talking alot about DIY everything in my house from soap to  dryer sheets and many thing in between! I haven't had the need to make a homemade body wash, however a dear friend of mine, Brenda did.  She and her husband are trying to save money while not lose the quality they have come to love.

My name is Brenda and I'm on a mission...: DIY Body Wash ~ My first DIY specifically for this...: So before I get into my first DIY project for this blog, let me say, I've always been super intrigued by Do-It-Yourself projects. I find it ...

Check it out if you are looking for a easy way to make the soap!

I broke the baby

Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Sarai!  Happy Birthday to you!

Oh Sarai I can't believe that you are turned 1 today!  The last year has taught me so much about so many things that I never knew I didn't know anything about!  We aren't done celebrating yet but I wanted to share some of the ways that we have celebrated my daughters big day.

 First we celebrated by going to the Park with some of our Mommy friends.  Sarai got to see the Sea Lion show and the otter feeding.  She even got a chance to "play" patty cake with a black bear. (She was in her cage with her paws on the fence and Sarai had her hands up while sitting in her stroller)
 We tried to go the splash pad after the zoo, but Sarai said she had too much fun playing with all the animals that she wanted to go home and take a nap.  She feel asleep in her swimsuit before we even got out of the parking lot.  We went over to Grrma's house to take a nap before our party with Grrma and Grrpa.  Mommy even made us a #1 cake out of our Legos.

After Grrpa got home from work, we got to go out to Red Lobster to celebrate me and Daddy's birthday!  I am a lucky girl that gets to share her birthday with my favorite person.  My Daddy! Mommy said that since I was a big girl now I get to order my own food. I got the Macaroni and Cheese with orange slices.  Mommy even shared a little of her cheddar bay biscuits with me.  I sure hope I get some teeth in soon cause this food seems pretty awesome and I want some.

After we got done at Red Lobster, we went back to Grrma's and Grrpa's for CAKE! Oh I have been missing out on this stuff.  I really should have birthday's more often!  Mommy said that she had special things for my birthday and she was right!  I had a huge poster and a crown and a skirt for my highchair.  But wait this isn't my highchair.  Oh no I was officially accepted into the Gandy Girl Group!  This highchair was my Grrma's chair and my mommy used it and now I get to use it (Special occasions only mommy says)

After all this excitement it was time for me to go home.  Mommy said I had a big day planned for the next day.  I didn't know exactly what she meant but Mommy always knows when I am going to have a big day.

I woke up today and for some reason Mommy and Daddy both came in to get me out of my crib!  Mommy even had her camera with her.  ( I am still teaching her that I like some warning before having my picture taken but she seemed so excited that I let her get my picture.)  I love seeing my mommy and daddy in the mornings.

I came out to the living room and did you know that they have fairies living at my house?  Some one posted a huge banner right in front of my toys!  Mommy said it was to wish me a happy birthday!  I tell you these birthdays are something we need to capitalize on!

 Mommy even said that I got to wear my crown from last night and my pin so everyone would know I was the birthday girl!  We even got a special birthday breakfast : French Toast, eggs, and bacon!  My mommy sure knows how to make a big girl happy!

I am the luckiest princess in the world!  I get to share my birthday with my favorite people in the world!  Here's a picture of me and my birthday buddies!  Sherbert (cat) is 5 years old, Daddy is 36, and I am 1!

This evening we went to my Grandma Joyce's and Uncle Jay's house for dinner.  I wasn't in a good mood when I got there but Uncle Jay knows how to cheer me up!  He got me a new sock monkey!  I am still trying to figure out her name but I already love her.  Mommy says that I need to get more sock monkeys because I love them so much.  "Sock Monkey"

 I really wish that Mommy and Daddy would realize that I am only 1 and not keep me out so late!  I know that I am a big girl but I partied til I dropped and then I still had the ride home.  I sure hope that all my other parties aren't this wild.  I think I am starting to find out why you only have 1 birthday a year!

From conception to 1st year!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Microwave 101

Since today is Wednesday that must mean it is kitchen cleaning day!  I don't know about you but every time I look at my microwave I just want to close the door and turn on the oven instead.  Which is really bad because our apartment can get pretty hot in there.  Well I decided that I had finally had enough of a battle with my microwave.

I have tried Clorox clean up, 401, everything imaginable.  I was sick and tired of buying all these cleaning chemicals when I knew there was a better solution out there.  I remembered a few years ago my mom had gotten a sample of this microwave cleaner that you placed the packet in the microwave and "cooked" it for about 3 minutes.  It would release this steam that would soften the grim on the inside of the microwave.  I loved them.  Do you remember them?  They were by Easy Off.  The package looked like this :

Well I have searched high and low for these clothes and realized that they are no longer available.  (At least in my area.)  I knew that there was a way to recreate them and thanks to Jessi at practically functional I have found a way to do it.  First step is to take a deep breath and realize that this can be done!

The way she showed to do it was to take a glass bowl and fill it with about 1 cup of water and add in a splash of vinegar. Put it in the microwave for 5 minutes to allow the water to create steam.  Then remove the bowl. ( Be careful it will be hot)

That's it!  All it takes to have a beautiful shinny microwave! I did do mine a second time because it had been so long since I last cleaned it.   I was so excited about my microwave that I even used the heated vinegar on the top of my stove.  ( However I didn't get a picture of it)

The Final Results!
Practically Functional

Monday, June 4, 2012

FLYing in Style

Sink Reflections By Cilley, MarlaI know that the whole point of this blog is about my journey towards living frugally so I figured that I really should point out where I got a lot of my ideas from.  The biggest thing that I have found out that is that as a control freak life can get pretty hectic if I don't put it in manageable bits.  That's where my control journal comes in.

Do we have anyone who is currently living in CHAOS?  Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome?  Guess what you are not alone.  I have lived in CHAOS for years but recently with Sarai turning a year old and realizing that I want her to have her friends to our place sometimes I have really had it on my heart that I needed to get out of the CHAOS.  That's where I found a new system that is actually working for us.

Marla Watson Cilley ~ Otherwise known to me at the FLYLady ~ has truly helped me out in so many ways.  I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for her.  Still living with a lot of clutter and stressed out by it.  I highly recommend her book Sink Reflections. You can find her 31 Beginner Babysteps on her website  It has helped me as well as a lot of my friends.

One of the things that she talks about is making a control journal.  Something that keeps everything in one place.  For me it has my daily tasks and weekly tasks, my menu's along with the supply list needed for the week's shopping list and recipes, important papers that I have mailed out but wanted to keep a copy of, my checkbook register with a pouch for keeping all my debit card receipts, blank paper, print outs of all my DIY recipes, and a place to put different things I find that might have a fun activity I want to try with Sarai.  It also has emergency contact information including directions to my house in case there was an emergency so I don't have to try and remember when giving it to the 911 operator.  My journal is completely simple and didn't cost me anything to make.  I take it with me everywhere I go so that I know if I need to pick up anything or go to the store for any reason.

Along with the control journal, I have my week broken down into different themes for each day.  You can adjust your themes to fit your schedule better but for our family this was really simple.

Sunday's are Family Fun days.  These are the days the we got to church and hang out with family in the afternoon.  We also do our laundry and clean our bathrooms this day.

Monday's are Errand Days.  These are the days that if we need to go in town for anything we do it all at once.  I schedule all our doctor appointments for Mondays and we do our shopping on this day.

Tuesday's are Library Days.  These are the days that we get to go over to the library to pick out movies ( We don't have cable and we only have Netflix so sometimes we want to see a more recent movie we rent it from the library.  Its free so it saves us a ton on rentals) Sarai also has physical therapy at our house these days so its a good day for us to stay near home.  We also deep clean our living room this day.

Wednesday's are Pool Days.  Sarai's cousins live in the next town over and they have a pool so we go over there in the afternoons to swim and play with her cousins.  We also clean our kitchen this day.

Thursday's are MOPS Days.  Sarai and I are apart of a MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) group that has a park tour during the summer.  We have a lot of parks in the area that are toddler friendly so we rotate on Thursday mornings doing different free activities. If you are a stay at home mom or any type of mom who has kids home during the day I totally recommend checking out the MOPS website to find a group near you.  Its birth through pre-k and the MOPS group is a wonderful organization created to build up moms and encourage them.  They are also getting ready to start a older kids group for moms with kids in school.  Their website is and you can look up by zipcode to find a group near you.  If you are in the Central IL area send me a message and I would love to send you a list of our park play dates so you can join us.
On Thursdays we also go to the store just to pick up fresh produce because it doesn't last as long and we need to refill our supplies.

Friday's are Park Days.   As a family we use this day to walk up to the park and play on the swing set and enjoy the neighborhood. We are clean our bedrooms on this day.

Saturday's are Cooking Days.  Our family along with my mom and dad cook our weeks worth of dinner entrees on Saturday.  We have a 6 week rotation and we do all the cooking in one day.  It's not that bad and saves us a lot of money.  When we get home we then sort laundry and that's it.

Our entire house is deep cleaned once a week without it being too much of a stress on anyone one person.  Now on top of these tasks we have daily things that we do to help keep it in a condition that if someone were to show up unexpected we would be ready for that.

Some of the things that I have learned along my journey towards a frugal life is that you don't have to go without something just to save some money.  If you have a plan you will find that you can save a lot just by thinking it out before hand.

Don't forget the hunt is still on for the most creative frugal handmade gift for this Christmas.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Hunt is on!

I am starting my hunt for Christmas ideas.  I know that this is kinda early to start looking for Christmas gifts but the whole point to my hunt is that I will become frugal.  The easiest way that I have found to become frugal with the holidays is to plan for them way way way in advance.

Do you remember your childhood?  Do you remember the Christmas projects that you would make at school to give to your grandparents or your parents?  I sure do!  I loved them.  Some of my favorites were plaster hand prints, painted coffee mugs, and homemade ornaments.  Well this year I am taking it back to old school.  My daughter is turning 1 this Friday. (Someone save me!)  I figure she is old enough to help Mommy make some easy presents for all her relatives.

Now here comes the problem.  What exactly should I make?  Do you have any suggestions?  I think I am going to have a small for fun only competition.  I would like you to give me idea's that you would like to see in my blog.  The rules are :

1. Supplies must be available at Dollar General or Walmart
2. Supplies must not cost more then $5.00 per person/gift.
3. The craft project must be able to be completed in less then 2 hours.
4. The more creative the better.

Send me a suggestion and I along with my trusted team of adviser's will pick the winner on June 30th.  I will then write up a blog using the winner's suggestions.  I can't wait to see what you have in store for me.

Homemade Dish Soap for hard water areas!

Last night I discovered another wonderful item that I can make at home and save the difference.  I have never been pleased with the dish detergent that we buy from the store.  I always found that it left a cloudy residue behind.  I have been trying different types of homemade detergent not really finding one that really helped the situation.  I even found a lot that made the dishes worse!

I came to realize that the hardest problem I was having was hard water.  We live in a very small community and our water is extremely hard.  The copper in the water really made it hard to get anything clean.

After searching and searching for weeks to find something I stumbled across this recipe. I tweaked it for hard water and I have not tried it in an area that does not have hard water.

Dish Detergent
Generic Walmart Brand 2.98 ~ 75oz

Homemade Detergent

8 oz Washing Soda ( Make sure it's washing soda and not baking soda). You can find this at Walmart in the laundry section.  Cost = $3.24 for 55oz Cost for this recipe = .47 cents

8oz 20 Mule Team Borax You can find this at Walmart in the laundry section as well.  Cost = $3.48 for 76 oz  Cost for this recipe = .37 cents

4 oz Kosher Salt.  I found this in the baking section at Walmart.  Cost = $1.68 for 48oz Cost for this recipe = .14 cents

4 oz citric acid.  I use Lemi Shine because it helps a lot with hard water. I highly recommend getting this brand.  It will be the most expensive aspect of this recipe but so worth it.  You can find it in the same isle you found dish detergent at Walmart  You could use unsweetened lemonade packets.  Cost = $3.66 for 12 oz Cost for this recipe = $1.22

Total Cost for this recipe = $2.20 for 48 loads or 4.5cents per load
Savings of  $6.74 (I get about 15 loads out of a bottle at Walmart so 3 bottles would be needed to do the same number of dishes that 1 batch of this recipe)

Mix all ingredients together and store in a mason jar with a lid.  Use 1 TBSP per load.  For best results use while distilled vinegar in the rinse dispenser.  For hard water I add about .5 TBSP of extra Lemi Shine. 

The plate on the left is after 1 washing with this recipe. The plate on the right is after 1 washing with store bought detergent.

Surviving Unemployment

Last year my husband was forced to leave his job after 11 years because we had to move.  We had a baby due within weeks of him leaving and we were forced to find a way to survive on just my disability paycheck.  I became so frugal that if I saw a penny on the floor I would stop to pick it up because that might just tip the scales in our direction.  We always figured that he would get a new job just as soon as we were all settled in and that God would provide in the meanwhile.  I did enjoy it when our daughter was born with breathing problems and we ended up staying the hospital for 17 days plus an additional 45 days at home with her on a monitor.

However as the weeks turned in to months and now even a year, I have learned a lot of new ways to stretch our income.  The first way I started was the I started batch cooking with my mother every week.  We would cook up 6 different entrees' on Saturdays and freeze them to help cut down on time during the week.  It helped both of us by allowing us to make one batch of something and split it between the two families.  It also helped because we were making 1 recipe that feeds 4 instead of 2 that feeds 4.  We would do the shopping together and then split the cost.  Over all with sale bills and coupons we would keep those 6 meals to under 30.00 for each family.  That right there was a huge savings!

For me, I found out really quickly out of desperation what I could do without (Diaper Genie refills) and what I could not do with out ( Diapers) Every chance I got I was always wanting to do something that would help me to save money on the consumables that we use all the time.  Laundry soap was my first attempt at going homemade and I have tried several recipes however the one that I love the best is the one I got from The Duggar Family.  ( You can check out their website here I totally recommend this recipe)  I have found that for my washer it works better if we use 1/3 cup instead of 1/4 cup.

Tonight I was bound and determined to get back into making something that would work and save us money.  As I am writing this I am testing out my latest recipe.  Homemade dishwasher detergent.  I hope to post another blog with all the details.

I hope that you might find something of use here on one of my blogs and I promise that I will continue to try and find new homemade green recipes.  If you have a recipe that you love for any type of household chemical please let me know.  I would love to put your recipe on my blog and try it for my family.  Most of these blogs will be about DIY projects however don't be surprise if my daughter manages to find herself in the middle of my blog.  She is my inspiration for most everything I try out.