How To Green Your Laundry Routine

How to Green Your Laundry Routine and Save Money

Laundry is one of the biggest ways we impact our environment. There are chemicals leached into our water supplies that are potentially damaging, running the machines themselves are often huge drains on our energy resources and the amount that we do each week really can make this all add up. If you are trying to get more eco-friendly, starting with your laundry routine is one of the best ways to make a big impact. Here are some tips for greening your laundry routine.

How to Green Your Laundry Routine

Don’t automatically think you need to replace your appliances. Sure, there are eco-friendly versions out now that use less power, but throwing out your old machine may be damaging as well since it adds to the waste and some of the really old machines contain mercury. If you really want to get an energy efficient model, make sure to donate your working model or sell it to someone who won’t just be trashing it.

Use the weather to your advantage. Before the days of dryers, people hung their laundry to dry. On the warm summer days, do this and you won’t even have to turn on your dryer for most of the season. If you belong to a homeowners association that won’t allow a clothesline (like I do), you can still buy some inexpensive drying racks and dry as much as possible on your back porch or deck. Who doesn’t love how great clothes smell that come off the line?

Start making your own laundry soaps. You can make it with some naturally derived ingredients that are also very low cost to boot! Look for recipes on Pinterest for your best bets. I will be making my own soon (just need to go through what I have now), but you can also try my simple homemade fabric softener recipe!

Stop using dryer sheets. They are wasteful, hard on our environment and full of chemicals! Instead, if it is the scent you are craving, use an old rag, put some essential oil on it and toss it into each load that you dry for a great clean scent! Lavender oil is great for this!

Don’t use hot or warm to wash your clothes. Unless your clothing items are heavily soiled, there really is no need to use the heated water. Cold water washes just fine and as an added bonus, you will see less running of colors as well. This one is a little harder for me since I have 3 kids and they generate plenty of stains, but I will at least stick to only warm water loads. I only do hot water about once a month when I give their socks the “serious treatment”.

Stop doing small loads. Only do a load if it will be full. If not, you are wasting water, soap, electricity and time.

Wash some things by hand. You would be amazed at how clean you can get things when you wash them by hand. Rather than throwing things like greasy shirts, or jeans in the wash, do them by hand. You will find that they hold up better as well. Things like bras and other delicates often need to be hand washed in order to maintain their shape. You will use less water and no electricity if you do things this way!

Stop being so “wash happy”. Most things we wear, other than work clothes, undies and socks, can be worn more than once before needing to be washed. In fact, it is often recommended that you don’t wash things like jeans every time you wear them to make them last longer. So not only will you be doing less laundry, but you will also be saving money by not having to replace things as often.

Do you have any other tips for how to green your laundry routine?

9 Household Uses For Ammonia

Household Uses For Ammonia

Household ammonia is a very good product to have on hand in a number of situations. Just like baking soda, it is cheap and can be used in so many ways. Although ammonia is a great tool to use, it is absolutely vital that you first consider the safety precautions before diving in.

A few warnings to remember:

First and foremost, you must never mix ammonia with bleach or other household cleaners. The fumes are toxic and can be deadly. Also make sure that any surfaces or areas you clean with ammonia is clear of any other substances. Mixing ammonia with water is really the only way to go. Finally, make sure your ammonia is household ammonia. The kind you get from a lab is far too strong and will very hard on your skin and anything else it comes in touch with.

Now on with the wonderful uses for household ammonia:

Cleaning up Filthy Grill or Oven Racks – Grills and oven racks get nasty rather quickly and scrubbing them clean can be quite the chore. Rather than working yourself to death through elbow grease, ease the way with a mix of a half cup of ammonia and warm a tub of warm water. Let it soak for about twenty minutes and then come back and wipe it clean. Make sure you rinse several times to remove all the ammonia traces.

Stop Bug Bites From Itching – If you are hit with a mosquito bite or bug bite and want quick relief, dab a bit of household ammonia directly on the bite. Use a cotton swab to put it on and only use if you don’t have sensitive skin. Again, make sure it is household ammonia and not the powerful unconcentrated version. In the summer, we actually keep ammonia in a little spray bottle right in the kitchen

Make That Crystal Shine - A few droplets of ammonia can work wonders on your crystal when it is mixed with a couple of cups of water. Simply mix it up and apply with a soft rag to bring back the shine you remember.

To Get The Smell Out – Pretty much any odor will bow down to household ammonia. Put out a cup or two in the offending area to eliminate garlic, onion and other kitchen smells. Also, it works wonders in a room that has just been painted.

Eliminate Soapy Residue – To ease the process of cleaning your tub, simply mix a tablespoon of ammonia in a gallon of water. The result will be the cleanest tub in history. Best of all, it will come rather easily because of the ammonia breaking down the soap scum.

Bring Your White Tennis Shoes Back to Life – If you have an old dingy pair of tennis shoes that used to be white and are now….other colors, wipe them down with an ammonia/water mix. The mix should be about half and half.

Alkaline Flowers Plant Food – Ammonia is a key component in Lilacs and other plants’ food sources. Mix in about a tablespoon of ammonia with a gallon of water for a good mix. Fertilize the area evenly being careful to only hit the plants that benefit.

The Ultimate Window Cleaner – If you have streaky windows, a 1/3 ammonia and water mix makes a whale of a window cleaner. Why pay the price for the household stuff that contains tons of dangerous things

To Get Rid of Critters – A half and half water/ammonia mix will make the ultimate critter repellent in and around trash cans. Spray the top, edges and sides to shoo away raccoons, squirrels and other neighborhood pests that like to raid your trash can. The mix will cause them to find greener pastures.

and lastly…..

The Jellyfish Debate – Most everyone has heard the old wive’s tale that peeing on a jellyfish sting will help it to stop hurting. This is false in every way. In fact, peeing on a jellyfish sting will actually make the stingers continue to fire in most cases. What does help is vinegar, sea water or household ammonia. These solutions are powerful and will do the job nicely. Vinegar is the ideal solution (and don’t forget to check out the other many uses for vinegar) but the others will work too. (Note: if you are at the beach and stung by a jellyfish, head straight to the lifeguard stand. Most beaches have their lifeguards keep a spray bottle of ammonia with them!)

What other ways do you use ammonia?

Easy Homemade Natural Toilet Bowl Scrub

Easy Homemade Natural Toilet Bowl Scrub

Whether you discovered you are out at the last minute or you are trying to rid your house of chemicals, this Homemade Natural Toilet Bowl Scrub is sure to come in handy. Not only is it very inexpensive to throw together, it is always handy if you are out of your regular cleaner. Plus the bonus of being natural means you have no fear of chemicals in your home and will feel better about telling your kids to get in there and clean too.

The benefits to using this homemade cleanser versus store bought varieties are wide ranged. The lack of unnecessary chemicals in your home and near your children is likely the most important factor to consider. The other factor is how inexpensive this is to make overall. While essential oils can be a bit of an expense up front, they go a long way and will be used in many other batches in the future. If you figure the cost of all ingredients over 10-15 batches you will quickly see how cost effective this is for your family.

One note: you will want to store this in a glass container, as essential oils can tend to degrade plastic. Get yourself a few Mason jars to store this!

Easy Natural Homemade Toilet Bowl Scrub



  1. In medium air tight glass container, mix together all ingredients
  2. Use 1/4-1/2 Cup in toilet bowl and let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Use a toilet brush to scrub off any stains

You can pour this into the toilet itself or could even make it a bit thinner for spraying onto your toilet bowl if you wish. Add a bit of water or vinegar to thin it out a bit more if desired. The homemade natural toilet bowl cleaner will not only cleanse and disinfect the toilet, but leave your bathroom smelling great thanks to the lemon essential oil. If you prefer a scrub you can add ¼ Cup baking soda to the mix to thicken it and use a gloved hand to scrub the toilet with instead.

What is On Sale The Month of October

What is On Sale The Month of October

October marks the transition from fall to holiday shopping. You will see stores setting up their holiday displays, and it’s a great time to get end-of-the-season clearance. It is also time for Halloween, so there are plenty of deals on costumes, decorations, and candy.

Here is what is on sale the month of October:

:: Grocery & Drugstore Deals in October

In-season produce in October: artichokes, apples, almonds, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, cranberries, cabbage, lettuce, pears, sweet potatoes, pistachios, pomegranate, pumpkins, squash, turnips, yams.

Halloween sales: costumes, Halloween decorations, candy, baking goods, treat bags, taffy apples.

National Frozen Food Festival: frozen pancakes and waffles, pizzas, ice cream, individual meals, appetizers, family-sized entrees.

National Pork and Seafood Month: sliced ham, bacon, pork chops, pork tenderloins, honey hams, shrimp, scallops, fish, crab, lobster.

Columbus Day: frozen pizzas, pasta, spaghetti sauce, garlic bread, Italian sausage, olive oil.

National Dental Hygiene Month: Toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, toothbrushes, baking soda.

:: Other October Sales

Back to school clearance: pens, paper, notebooks, XL twin sheets, student desks, office supplies, memory cards, dorm accessories.

Summer clearance: lawn and garden tools, grills, lawn mowers, patio furniture, swimming pool accessories, bathing suits, summer apparel.

Appliances: Stores are getting new appliance models in ahead of the holiday season, and many retailers discount the older models. October is the best time to buy a new washer and dryer, dishwasher, or refrigerator.

Televisions and digital cameras: HDTVs go on sale in October to make room for holiday deals. You can get great deals on a new television and any cables you need as well. This is also the best time to shop for a new digital camera for capturing photos of your family during the holidays.

Kitchen cookware and utensils: Retailers expect that people will start buying kitchen items to prepare for holiday cooking. You’ll find great deals on pots and pans, tabletop accessories, and kitchen utensils throughout October.

Cars: Car dealerships are making a final push to get rid of last year’s models, and you can get a bargain on a new car if you do your research and negotiate a price. Dealers want these cars off of their lots, and they are more willing to make a deal in October.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: There are lots of great deals for items with a cause throughout October. Retailers support breast cancer research in October, and a portion of every dollar you spend on these special sale items goes to a noble cause.

4 Spices You Shouldn’t Be Without

spices you need to have

4 Spices You Shouldn’t Live Without (And Why)

Head over to the spice selection in your local grocery store and you may be overwhelmed with the choices. Thyme, Marjoram, Fennel Seed…how is a person supposed to know which spices they should choose to keep in their pantry and which spices are more of a one-time-use spice?

Here are 4 great spices that no spice cupboard should be without. These can be used for so many dishes you will wonder how you ever got along without them.

  1. Onion Powder. Onion power is awesome because it allows you to have the flavor of onion in your dish without having to actually have fresh onions to chop up on hand. It’s also better than Onion Salt because you can add in the onion flavor without the addition of extra salt for those that might be watching their sodium intake.
  2. Garlic Powder. The same idea applies here as it did with the Onion Powder. Garlic Powder is a great way to add garlic flavor to your dishes without having to chop fresh garlic. Both onion and garlic powders are so versatile and can be added to most soups, casseroles, or other baked dishes.
  3. Seasoned Salt. A good seasoned salt without any added sodium can really bump up the flavor in many dishes instead of adding plain table salt. Adding seasoned salt and more flavoring to a dish will also help you from adding too much salt at the table since the dish will already have enough flavor. Seasoned Salt is great in taco meat, fajitas, grilled foods, and more.
  4. Garlic Salt. Now if you’d rather add the garlic and the salt in one additional, Garlic Salt will be your go to spice.  Garlic Salt is a great one to add into fresh homemade salsa.

What are your favorite go-to spices? Which ones are your must haves in the spice cupboard?

How To Eat Organic Food On A Budget

How To Eat Organic Foods On A Budget

Choosing to improve your overall health by increasing the organic foods in your diet can be tough, mostly because of the increase costs in your budget (and I will admit, some foods take some getting used to when you switch to the organic version. It actually took me a while until I found organic cereals that my kids would eat!).

If you know how to eat organic food on a budget, you can begin reaping the benefits of healthier foods in your diet without seeing the strain on your grocery budget. While some items will be higher cost, you can plan accordingly and still remain in budget most of the time.

How to Eat Organic Food on a Budget

Menu Plan: Just like any grocery budget is impacted by random grocery visits, it is even more important to plan when you are shopping for organic foods. Organic foods don’t usually have as many preservatives in them, making them go bad quicker. Because of this, the cost of wasted food is much higher. By efficiently planning your weekly meals you can make the most of your budget with minimal waste.

Buy In-Season Organic Produce: Plan your meals around seasonally abundant produce. In summer months items like lettuce, tomatoes, squash and peppers are cheaper even in the organic world because they are in-season and abundant. Shop sales for the best deals on the seasonal items and plan meals around them.

Shop Farmers Markets: Make sure to verify the produce you are purchasing is indeed organically grown, but when you find great vendors in your local farmers market you will find huge savings.

Skip the Meat: Since free range, cage free and grass fed meats are typically much more expensive to purchase, serve smaller portions or create more vegetarian dishes to offset the costs. Make taco salads with seasoned beans instead of meat for a cheaper and hearty meal alternative the whole family will love.

Buy a Side of Beef: This has long been an effective way of purchasing meat (read about my purchasing a half a cow), but in the grass fed beef market it is even more savvy for the consumer. If you can’t afford an entire side of beef locate another local family who will go in halves with you on the cost and you can divide the portions of meat equally, store in well labeled freezer safe packaging for future use.

Contact the Company for Coupons: More and more organic processed foods are being found on shelves. This has resulted in many of these companies offering coupons to their consumers. Call, email or snail mail the information found on your favorite brand packaging and request coupons to help offset the costs. If you are shopping at Whole Foods, check with their customer care area for coupons. Most Whole Foods stores will routinely have extra coupons for customers to go through, pick out and use toward purchases. They also have an in store booklet including good coupons for future purchases.

Check For Store Rewards Programs: Stores like Kroger have shoppers cards that allow you to receive discounts. You can also contact their 1-800 number and request to be added to their coupon mailing list. They will track your purchases for 2-3 months and then you will begin receiving great free product coupons and regular product coupons. This is great for your organic product purchases. Sprouts also has a “double sale” day where the sale ad begins and ends on the same day. This means there are twice as many items you can save on.

Grow or Raise Your Own: If you have the space and desire, you can easily start your own vegetable garden that will help save costs and give you the knowledge first hand of what was used to grow the produce. In many areas, you can also raise chickens for eggs in your own back yard. Make sure to check your city and county regulations on raising barnyard animals to protect yourself and them.

Eliminate Processed Foods, Even Organic Ones: Instead of buying the meal kits, chips, treats and other items that are processed, make your own from scratch. Not only can it save money, but you will be able to control portions, preservatives and easily find yourself no longer wanting or needing them.

Changing your eating habits can be scary on many counts, but hopefully these tips on how to eat organic foods on a budget can help take away the monetary fears from your family. As you continue to add more healthier foods into your diet and eliminate the over processed and non organic foods, your health and your budget will improve.

Do you have any tips to add on how to save money on organic foods?

40 Ways To Recycle Household Items | Part 1

recycle household items

Frugal living and re-using items goes hand in hand. One way to make sure you get the most bang for your buck is to recycle household items in ways they may have not been designed for, but will work well

Here, you will find the first 10 of 40 ways to reuse  items that are commonly thrown (or given) away with ideas on how to re-use them in practical, thrifty and earth smart ways!

1. Serrated Edges from wax paper containers: Cut them up, hot glue them onto frames and use them to hang pictures on the wall. Alternatively, you could also use them for scraping off candle wax when it drips.

2. Old Shower Curtains: If you have any sewing skills, you could easily turn these into baby bibs. Another use for them is to lay them down for your kid’s art projects to keep the mess at bay. Tie them down onto outdoor furniture you do not have room for in the garage to keep them from the weather.

3. Film Canisters: While these are almost obsolete anymore with digital cameras now being the norm, if you have any laying around the house, try using them for art projects as glitter shakers. Simply poke holes in the lid and place glitter inside. You could use them in a similar fashion for camping salt and pepper shakers.

4. Junk Mail: Let your young child pretend to play mail-carrier. Make a “mailbox” from an old shoebox and let them “send” you mail. You could use them for collages and home school projects as well.

5. Crib sheets: Use them in the car to contain backseat spills, animal hair and other seat threats.

6. A “Turkey net”. Use the netting that comes on your Thanksgiving turkey to contain tub toys. Be careful when you cut it off your bird, wash it out well and run an old shoelace through it at the top to form a pouch. Put tub toys in it after bath time to drain.

7. Pantyhose/stockings: If you have a fisherman in your family, they will appreciate this one; Use stockings to create small pouches for fish bait such as poultry liver. It keeps the bait better on the hook so fish don’t steal it.

8. Apple or orange peels: Make a delicious and inviting potpori for your home. Simmer some water with cinnamon, cloves and the peels. It will leave your home smelling absolutely wonderful. You could also put it in a small crock pot as well for the same effect. Another use for citrus peels is to freeze them and use in recipes that call for zest.

9. An old but still usable laundry basket: Use as a baby bath tub “playpen”. If your child can sit up, but not really well, place your infant in a clean laundry basket and fill the tub with water. Place toys in that area for them to grasp and be in their reach.

10. Ends of bread loaves: Make croutons with just a bit of olive oil and seasoning in the oven. Also, place one in brown sugar that has gone hard and in a day or two, it will be soft again.

Be sure to come back next week for 10 more ways to recycle household items!

Check out all the posts in this series

How To Budget When You Are Broke


Budgeting for anyone takes time and a lot of energy. However, in a society where everything is going up and wages are staying the same, you need to know how to budget even when there isn’t much there. Are you ready to take a look at your budget and start inserting some new tips?

:: Look Again

There is always some wiggle room in a budget. How is this? Well, each time you take a closer look at your budget, you might find some available money. Can you call and get another discount on your cell phone? Are you willing to get rid of some channels on your television? In all honesty, if you’re that broke, it may be time to cut the cable bill completely. Are you stopping to get coffee on your way to work because it is “only” $1 (when you can make it cheaper at home).  Hitting the vending machine at work for a $0.75 soda?

Every time you take a second look at your budget, you become a little less broke.

:: Pay Necessities First

A lot of people who are on a tight budget are faced with what they should pay first. If your family is going to be suffering financially for a while, you need to pay your main bills first. What constitutes as a main bill? Paying your mortgage or rent first would be an example of paying your necessities first. Of course your heat, water, and electricity can also be considered your main bills.

If you can’t make major credit card payments, loans, and other debts, then it’s time to start calling your creditors.  This is a time to look at every bill you have and to take an even closer look at where all of your money is going!

:: Get Creative

Okay, no one likes eating macaroni or ramen noodles for an extended period of time, but if you’re broke, it’s time to swallow your pride. There is no shame in putting yourself on a tight food budget. After all, cutting a food budget is one of the easiest ways to stretch a budget. It’s a little scary to reduce this part of your budget, but you may not have a choice.

Buying just the necessities like milk, chicken, beans, and bread is something you may have to partake in for a while. Don’t get discouraged though because there are a lot of different recipes you can try out thanks to Pinterest and the Internet. (Have to cut the Internet out? No problem, take exclusive advantage of free WIFI in various places in your town.)

Are there other places you can get creative in your budget? Sure! Maybe now is the time to learn how to sew and patch your own clothing. When you are broke, there is never a wrong idea for getting creative with your budget, as long as it’s legal.

:: Increase Your Income

It’s understandable that for some families, increasing the revenue coming in is simply not doable. However, if you can get a part time job, then now is the time to do so. Even if you only have the job for a short period of time, any extra money coming in will help pay down debt and balance out your budget.

Most people have experienced being broke in their lifetime and there is no shame in it. Sometimes being broke is our fault and sometimes it’s not. That’s why you have to reevaluate where your money is going and double evaluate what you can cut. Use these tips to create a lasting budget while you’re broke. Things will get better, but until they do, it’s time to cut back and create a new budgeting plan.

What are your best budgeting tips?

5 Inexpensive Ways To Decorate For Fall

fall decorations

After Labor Day has come and gone, people really start to think about the upcoming fall season. Are my pumpkin treats available at Starbucks yet? Where are my fall and Halloween decorating items?

If you have any of those questions above, then you are in step with the rest of the population.  I love to decorate my house when the seasons change, but it can make a huge dent in your wallet if you are not careful.

5 Inexpensive Ways to Decorate For Fall

1. Create or Download a Cute Printable

Having a cute and fun printable on your television stand can really make your house scream fall. Not only does it show your creative side, but it costs hardly anything if you are downloading them.  All you really need to have is a photo frame and a printer with paper.  You can also create them very easily on PicMonkey. It is a free photo editing website where you can create unlimited printable images. There are so many different graphics you can use, even with the free version.

2. Add a Wreath on Your Front Door

With almost every holiday or season, you will see a different kind of wreath on people’s front doors.  You can easily find inexpensive wreaths at WalMart or Michaels. If you have a creative side to you, you can always make a gorgeous fall or Halloween wreath for nearly nothing. This is where Pinterest will start to become your friend, if it hasn’t already.

3. Add Fall Themed Placemats to Your Table

In my local Michaels they have so many different fall items; they have to have some type of fall placement. It can be anything from fall leaves to pumpkins. If you check on Michaels website you will be sure to find either a 40 or 50 percent off coupon. What an inexpensive way to add cute placements to your table.

4. Add Pumpkins Either Inside or Outside {Or Both}

If you have been to any type of store in the last couple of weeks you should have started to see pumpkins. Pumpkins are everywhere right now –large, small, and medium ones. I have the cute small ones sitting on the back of my stove. It only cost me $2.98 for a small bag of five.  Many different stores, especially craft stores, have artificial pumpkins that cost very little. The plus sides of artificial ones, they are reusable each year.

5. Add Fall Themed Dish Towels in Your Kitchen

If you haven’t already added fall themed dish towels in your kitchen yet, you are missing out. They really spruce up the kitchen.  Instead of trying to purchase each dish towel individually, purchase them in a big pack so you can have coordinating ones. If there is a Kohl’s around your neck of the words – they always have coupons available you can purchase them very inexpensively and they are so adorable.

As you can see, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to decorate for Fall. Most of the items you will purchase can be used year after to year to further contain your costs.

What are some of your tips for decorating on the cheap?

What Is On Sale The Month of September

What is On Sale The Month of September

September is the transition from summer to back to school. You’ll find great deals on summer clearance and discounted school supplies. Labor day sales are great for finding last-minute deals on grills, gardening supplies, and other items just before the warm weather ends. There are also lots of great apparel deals throughout September. Look out for harvest season sales too, so you can get lots of great fruits and veggies for those last few cookouts of the season.

Here is what is on sale the month of September:

:: Grocery & Drugstore Deals in September

In-season produce: apples, artichokes, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, cucumber, kale, figs, garlic, horseradish, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, nectarines, potatoes, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkins, red onions, spinach, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes.

Harvest season sales: sweet corn, apples, pumpkins, berries, squash, peppers.

Labor Day Sales: steak, hamburger, hotdogs, buns, chips, sodas, cold salads, ice cream, beer, solo cups, paper plates, garbage bags.

Family health: Band-Aids, antiseptic, antibacterial hand gel, sunscreen, sunglasses, deodorant, travel size toiletries, bandages. Restock your bathroom and make sure that the kids are prepared for sports boo-boos, the locker room, and being outside in the sun even though it’s cooler outside.

:: Other September Sales

Back to School: pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, folders, glue sticks, construction paper, colored pencils, watercolors, markers, white-out, cosmetics, clothes, shoes, backpacks.

Summer clearance: sunscreen, outdoor games, summer clothing, beach toys, lawn and garden supplies, bathing suits, summer apparel.

Harvest deals: food preparation tools- dehydrators, freezer bags, vacuum sealers, canning jars.

New cars: Dealerships are anxious to get rid of the current year’s models to make room for the next year’s vehicles. You can get a great deal on a car below sticker price in September. Make sure to do your research before hitting the lot to get the best deal possible.

Camping supplies: propane stoves, tents, tent stakes, lanterns, fishing tackle, fishing rods, hunting supplies, sleeping bags, camouflage clothing, insect repellent, backpacks.

3 Homemade Stain Removers You Can Make

3 Simple Homemade Stain Removers You Can Make

With kids you will have stains. It is a given. No sooner do you give birth than you find your nice shirts with stains on them. The amount of stain remover I went through when my children were young was insane, and very costly. Had I know about these 3 Simple Homemade Stain Removers back then, I could have saved my family a lot of money and likely had stains coming out of my clothing a lot better and easier.

Each of these recipes contains different ingredients that may already be in your pantry. I’ve used all of them at one point or another and believe they all work equally well. The biggest thing you have to determine is if you want to go completely natural or if you want to have a more simple and inexpensive version of what you buy in stores. Regardless of your preference, you should easily be able to whip up one of these stain removers in a few minutes to suit your families needs.

3 Simple Homemade Stain Removers

THE BASIC – this one is the least expensive. You can usually pick up 9 oz (just over a cup) of Dawn for just $0.99 at the by shopping the drug store deals and hydrogen peroxide is equally cheap!)

  • 1 Cup Original Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
  • 1 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide
  1. Mix together in spray bottle and spritz onto stain. Let soak for at least 15 minutes prior to wash.

THE NATURAL – if you want a more natural stain remover, this is the one for you. Liquid Castille soap and Vegetable Glycerin used to be hard to find, but now I see it in the natural aisles at my local grocery store and even at Target (although the best prices continue to be on Amazon)

  1. Mix together in spray bottle. May add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil for scent. Spray on before washing.

THE HEAVY DUTY – this is for those heavy duty stains. Use as needed, but remember to never use bleach on loads that have been treated with this stain remover. Bleach and ammonia do not mix safely.

  • 1 Cup Original Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
  • 1 Cup Ammonia
  • 1/3 Cup Baking Soda
  • 3 Cups Water
  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in spray bottle or container out of reach of children.
  2. Use as needed, but remember to never use bleach on loads that have been treated with this stain remover. Bleach and ammonia do not mix safely.

Whether you have simple stains from a spot of food landing on your shirt or a heavy duty pasta sauce or grass stain you have multiple choices here in these 3 simple homemade stain removers that will allow you to clean up anything you need to from your clothing.

Have you ever made your own homemade stain remover?

School Lunches The Frugal Way


School Lunches the Frugal Way

Back to school is right around the corner and it’s time to start preparing by getting school supplies and planning what your child will take for lunches. It’s much easier to plan lunches ahead of time instead of always feeling rushed in the mornings to get it done since you already have enough to worry about on busy school mornings.

Below you will find some great ideas for frugal lunch additions that you can pack this school year. Make sure to change it up every so once in a while so your kids won’t get bored of sack lunches and start begging for cafeteria food. These choices below are healthy and frugal so you don’t have to break the bank finding the best foods for your kids!

Sandwich Ideas: Bread is usually the cheapest option but these other options are also inexpensive and will make the sandwich feel like a whole new meal…even if it has the same filling.

Pita Pockets
English Muffins
French Bread

Sandwich Filling Ideas: Use one or more of these frugal fillings inside your sandwiches. Or you can always skip the sandwich altogether on some days and have a variety of crackers, cheeses, and meats!

Peanut Butter
Leftover Meats

Add Ins:  Lunch wouldn’t be complete if it’s just a sandwich!

Apples/Bananas/In Season Fruits
Fruit and Homemade Dip
Cottage Cheese
Homemade Cookies
Dried Fruits
Homemade Granola Bars
String Cheese or Cheese Slices
Baby Carrots

Other Ideas:  Not into sandwiches every day? Here are some other inexpensive lunches you can pack.

Bagels with Cream Cheese (could also be topped with meats, fruit, ect)
Homemade Soup in a thermos
Pasta Salad

What are some of your favorite frugal lunch ideas?