10 Household Uses For Borax

10 Household Uses For Borax

10 Household Uses For Borax

Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a naturally occurring substance and an eco-friendly solution for many things around the house. Most commonly used as a cleaning agent, the uses extend far beyond that.

  • Get rid of bedbugs by sprinkling on your mattresses.
  • Kill lice, fleas, and mites by diluting 2 tsp into one 16oz spray bottle of warm water(to help with dissolving the Borax) and spray on all furniture, carpet, and bedding.  Also, add 1/2 to each large load of laundry to kill any that are on clothing and blankets.
  • Remove stubborn stains with 1 cup Borax and 2 cups warm water and mix it into a paste.  Spread the paste on and let sit for 30 minutes and then launder like usual.
  • Goo Gone Remover with a 2 to 1 ratio of Borax to water mixed together.  Just rub on the sticky stuff and it will come right off.
  • Clean outdoor furniture by washing it with this mildew killing solution: In a quart sized spray bottle, mix 1 teaspoon dish detergent, 1 teaspoon borax and 1 quart warm water. Shake and then spray on your furniture outdoors.
  • Make dishwasher detergent by mixing 1 Tablespoon borax and 1 Tablespoon baking soda.  Mix and add the 2 Tablespoons into the machine like normal dry detergent.  Big batches are easy to make and store as well.
  • Clean your garbage disposal: Pour 3 Tablespoons of borax down the drain. Let sit for at least an hour (longer if it is very stinky or clogged) and flush it with warm water. This will sanitize it, taking care of any smelly bacteria.
  • Unclog drains: 1/2 cup of borax directly followed by 2 cups of boiling water.  Let it sit for 15 minutes, then run your water for a few minutes to flush it out.  (Does not work too well with standing water.)
  • Deodorize your garbage can: Fill it with a borax and water solution (you want the borax completely dissolved so don’t add too much). Let it soak then rinse it out. Sprinkle some borax in the bottom once it’s clean.  The added powder will deter bugs from coming and will soak up any moisture.
  • Kill weeds by sprinkling borax where you’ve seen weeds previously appear. This is useful for weeds that surface in concrete cracks and on walkways, but shouldn’t be used in the garden because it will also kill your plants.  You can also spray weeds in your yard with a borax and water solution to kill them.

(Safety Warning: Just because borax is natural, that doesn’t mean it’s harmless. You should always use gloves when handling it and keep it out of reach of children and pets. While safe in the diluted solutions, borax could be very harmful to children and pets if ingested.)

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?

6 Natural Headache Remedies For You To Try

6 Natural Headache Remedies

Headaches can wreck havoc on your day! They can sneak up on you and make your day unbearable. Many of us reach for the nearest bottle of over the counter pain medication, but did you know that there are many natural headache remedies out there that you can try? Here are a few natural headache remedies to help you the next time that horrible pounding begins.

Essential Oils

There has been a lot of talk about essential oils lately! They seem to be everywhere! That could be because, surprise, they work! They are great for a wide variety of things including headaches!

You will need:

How to make it:

  • Fill your roller bottle about 3/4 full of the fractionated coconut oil. Then, add a few drops each of lavender and peppermint. Put the lid on and give it a little shake. Roll the mix onto your forehead, temples and neck.

Lots of people also recommend using sweet marjoram and chamomile in treating headaches. My family and I really like the lavender and peppermint combination, but you may also want to try those as well! Each essential oil has lots of uses! Once you start using them you will be amazed at what they can do. I prefer Young Living Essential Oils and there is a great deal (and a freebie from me) going on right now!

A Cold Washcloth

If you are able to lay down for a few minutes, get a washcloth damp with cool water. Head to a dark and quiet room and lay down for 10-15 minutes with the wash cloth on your forehead.

Tension Headache?

If you are suffering from a tension headache, warm up a rice bag or soak a washcloth is hot water and place it at the base of the back of your neck. The heat can help loosen your muscles and send you some relief.

Scalp Massage

Try gently massaging your scalp and your temples. This can help blood flow to your brain. Added bonus if you can find someone who is willing to give you the massage! (Don’t forget to massage your ear lobes as well!)

Try Your Hands

Your hands need massaged too! You can help relieve pain by massaging one place in particular on your hands. It’s really easy.

Hold your hands out in front of you (palms down). You are going to massage the spot in between your thumb and first finger using your thumb and first finger of your opposite hand. By gently swirling your thumb around this are of your hand using light pressure you can help relieve headaches and even earaches or toothaches! Do each hand for about 5 minutes.

If you have someone who can help you, have them massage both hands simultaneously!

Drink a Glass of Water

I used to think my Mother was crazy. Every time I said I had a headache she would give me a glass of water! But did you know that being dehydrated is the number one reason people get headaches? If you feel a headache coming on, drink a glass of water and see if that does the trick!

The next time you have a headache, instead of reaching for a bottle of medicine try one of these natural headache remedies!

How do you usually deal with a headache?

Cheap Homemade Ant Repellents

Cheap and Natural Homemade Ant Repellents

The warmer temperatures of Spring and Summer not only bring endless days in the backyard playing in the sprinklers, but a few unwanted pests in your yard. One of the biggest pests many people deal with regularly are ants. While pesticides, pest control companies and chemicals can help with this issue, we prefer using one of these Cheap Homemade Ant Repellents. Each one has a different way of getting rid ants entirely or at least controlling the problem when they manage to sneak their way into your home. Depending on your ant problem and your individual needs some of these may not work well for your home while others may be perfect.

Cheap Homemade Ant Repellents

Cinnamon or Cinnamon Essential Oils: Whether you sprinkle ground cinnamon on the path of ants in your kitchen or line your windows and doors with cinnamon essential oils ants tend to turn around from this and not cross the barrier. Dab a q-tip in the essential oils and spread it around windowsills, door frames and any location you see them forming a line to get into your home.

Borax & Sugar Paste: Mix together a paste of equal parts borax and sugar with just enough water to form paste and spread on a plate or piece of paper near where you have seen them in your home. The sugar attracts them while the borax will kill them. If they take the paste back to their colony to share, you may effectively kill the problem at its source. This can take a few weeks to work depending on how large a colony you are dealing with.

Cornmeal: Cornmeal sprinkled near the ant mound or in the area you see them entering your home will gradually be carried back to their colony and eaten. The cornmeal will expand inside them and kill them before they are able to digest it. If the brutality of it doesn’t bother you, this can be an inexpensive method, but it does not work quickly.

Vinegar: Spray white or apple cider vinegar onto areas you have seen ants appear and you will notice they do not come back to the area. Vinegar is known to be a natural insecticide and works great and very inexpensive. As long as you don’t mind your house smelling like a pickle this is a great method.

Diatomaceous Earth: DE has teeny tiny razor-like edges on each particle and they make tiny abrasions on an insect’s insect when they come into contact. An insect’s exoskeleton cannot heal from this and they die from dehydration or a loss of moisture. Spread DE on windowsills, across all entryways and around the entire base of the house.

Garlic: A few strategically placed garlic cloves around your house will prevent the ants from coming in. They are repelled by the scent and will avoid areas these are located. Watch for entry points and place a clove of garlic there instead.

Chalk or Talcum Powder: Draw a line of chalk or talcum powder in the area of their mound or entry point to your home and the ants will not cross the line. Something in the chalk is a natural repellent.

While all of these cheap homemade ant repellents do work to some degree, they still may not rid you completely of an ant problem. The best ways to help prevent an indoor ant issue is to be diligent in how you store your food. Proper air tight containers for all foods go a long way toward keeping an ant issue at bay. Cereals, sugars, mixes and any opened container of snack foods should be stored well in a sealed container. Another important factor is to make sure your kitchen sink is clean and emptied each night. We all love leaving the dirty dishes until the next day, but the food particles remaining on your dishes are like a neon sign to the ants to come help themselves. Put dishes in the dishwasher or wash up before bedtime to help get rid of the kitchen ant problem without a repellent needed.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to deter ants?

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

Ingredients

Directions:

  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.

How To Clean Fruits and Vegetables

how to clean fruits and veggies

There was a time when fresh fruits and veggies were of little concern other than the odd piece of dirt you might have to push aside. Gone are the days of not having to worry if you had to clean fruits and veggies. Food-borne outbreaks that are related to fruits and vegetables are becoming quite common in the world of late and we would be fools not to pay attention. Cleaning fruits and vegetables isn’t just for the items on the dirty dozen list. Even when you buy the clean fifteen, you should be careful to wash everything before serving it to your family. Better safe than sorry!

With that said, here are some tips on how to clean fruits and vegetables and keep those dangerous illnesses at bay:

The first step is to wash your own hands. If you wash your produce without washing your own hands, you are kind of defeating the purpose. Clean hands are a must in the kitchen anyway. Use hot, soapy water both before you prepare produce and after.

Next you want to wash all the utensils, knives and cutting boards you are planning to use. Anything that you use to prepare your fruits and vegetables should be washed in hot water with soap.

It is important to repeat this process after each step so that you don’t transfer bacteria that was on the outside of the veggie or fruit to the inside when you chop. When in doubt, you should wash again. You can’t do too much of this.

When you are ready to clean your fruits and veggies, you need to use clean water and nothing else. Do not use detergents or soaps. If you have items that are thin surfaced like apples, you can wash them with a veggie brush. Items that are full of ridges and unusual nooks can be soaked in cold water most of the time. If items are too fragile for this, you can spray them with water in a bowl or pot. Once finished, you should pat the item dry with a paper towel.

Make sure the clean fruits and veggies are then placed directly onto a clean surface or into a clean pot. Cross contamination happens all the time with fruits and veggies being placed back onto dirty counters.

If you are buying your produce from the grocery store, washing it is imperative as well. Any raw veggies or fruit should be washed and rinsed thoroughly, no matter where it is bought.

Finally, be sure to use distilled water where possible. This is because the water has been cleared of contaminants and will be the most effective at leaving nothing behind. The whole idea is to get rid of contaminants, so why use water that has contaminants, right?

Do you clean fruits and veggies all the time? Or are you guilty of being lax sometimes?

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?

5 Foods That Will Help Prevent Bad Breath

prevent-bad-breath

5 Foods That Will Help Prevent Bad Breath

We’ve all been there, you get all dressed up and head out to do something fun and new. Your hair is perfect, you remembered to bring your wallet, cell phone…what are you forgetting? Then in your mind you picture that toothbrush you left on the counter, waiting to be used.

Bad breath happens to everyone! But once you get to where you are going, here are some things to look for to fresh up your breath, and prevent bad breath. No brushing, flossing, or dental gum required.

Cinnamon Sticks – Take a quick bite of a cinnamon stick to kill the bacteria in your mouth. Not only will it kill the bad smell but you will smell warm and comforting, like a fresh cookie.

Dill - Eating a little dill can mask the odor of bad breath quickly. If you can’t find dill at where ever you are going, look for a dill dip. Yogurt is also proven to fight bad breath.

Water – You might even have a water bottle in your car! Swish water in your mouth for about 20-30 seconds to clean your mouth and tongue. Repeat if necessary.

Cheese – Did you know that cheese can fight plaque and fight mouth odor? Pick up a few pieces of cheese to snack on and your bad breath should disappear.

Apples – Apples will not only freshen your breath but they will also help whiten your teeth and clean off any plaque.  Eat these regularly to not only help improve your breath but to save you from a trip to the dentist.

These methods are a little unconventional but they should work if you are in a bind. Apple breath would be much better than bad breath!

What are some unconventional ways you’ve used to prevent bad breath without brushing or flossing your teeth? Have you tried any of these methods and have they worked for you?

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

creating-a-budget

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?

Make Your Own Window Cleaner + More DIY Cleaners!

Easy Homemade Window Cleaner More DIY Cleaners

If you have been following this site for a while, you know that I have been getting in to a more natural lifestyle, from using essential oils, to making my own cleaners to making more and more copycat recipes of my favorite restaurant and convenience items.

Well – now I am here to tell you about the easiest and cheapest cleaner that you will ever make….homemade window cleaner!

Why do you want to make your own homemade window cleaner?  Well – first of all – this recipe is CHEAP!  Second – it is all-natural, family and pet-friendly.  Why have an arsenal of cleaners with a bunch of ingredients that you can’t even pronounce when you can easily make an effective window cleaner that you know is safe for your home?

To make it, you will need:

And that’s ALL that you need!  Just combine equal parts vinegar and water in your spray bottle and if desired, add about 10 – 15 drops of essential oils.  The essential oils will not only give your homemade window cleaner a nicer scent, but both orange and lemon essential oils are great at cutting through grease and will allow you to use this homemade window cleaner all around the house as an all-purpose cleaner!

Looking for more homemade cleaners or natural solutions to common problems?  Try these: