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Hi! I am a stay-at-home wife and mother. I have been wondering how to save my family money. When it came right down to it, we had pinched as much as we could and I knew our grocery bill was my last resort. There are things that we buy that I know cost way too much. I have found some really inexpensive recipes, alternatives and tips for things on my grocery bill and just stuff around our house. I want to share these money saving tips with all of you and also get some new ideas from you. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Butter Au Naturale

No matter how much I want to save money on our grocery bill, there will always be things that I refuse to "skimp" on for the health of my family.  Butter is one of those things.  Quite some time ago I took margarine off of the menu for my family.  It may be cheaper and taste yummy, but it is not natural and not healthy (even if it has less calories and fat).  But butter is expensive!  And to make it even more expensive, they add canola oil so you can still spread it like margarine.

I have been purchasing it in this form for months and cringing at the price each time it hits my shopping cart.  Well NO MORE!  I have discovered, first by accident and then by extensive online research, that you CAN spread real butter anytime you want!  Butter will naturally become spreadable when left out at room temperature.  This may sound scary to those of you (like me) that have always read on the packaging to KEEP REFRIGERATED.  This is not necessary if you use your butter in a timely manner. (Like one to two weeks.)  Just leave it right out on your counter, table or in a cabinet in a closed container.  Just make sure it doesn't get too warm or it will not last as long.  It will have a definite smell if it goes rancid.  So there is no worry of a bad surprise on your morning toast.

Why is this good?  I was spending $3.24 for 8oz of "spreadable butter".  And now I spend $2.29 for a whole pound!! And it is ALL butter and no oil.

As always I hope this helps with your grocery bill and promotes a healthier way of living!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Foaming Hand-Soap

My children just finished using a bottle of B&BW foaming hand soap.  While we all enjoy the scented soaps, it is not in our budget.  Especially because children tend to use more soap than needed when washing their hands.  I have altered my original hand soap recipe and it works in those foaming dispensers.

8oz foaming dispenser (I used one from B&BW)
1/4c unscented castille soap
3/4c distilled water
2-3 drops essential oil (I used peppermint, but use ANY scent you would enjoy)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Homemade Pancake Syrup

My family LOVES to have breakfast for supper.  It is a low cost meal too!  One thing that has always frustrated me about our weekly pancakes and bacon/sausage is that we are always running out of syrup.  But not any more!  A friend of mine has a blog @ http://www.afrugalfoundation.blogspot.com/  and she has some wonderful ideas for a frugal family life.  My favorite idea is the homemade pancake syrup recipe.  It is so yummy, so easy and of course pocketbook friendly.  I make it and put it in canning jar.  I punched holes in the lid for easy dispensing.  The best part is you can stick left-over syrup in the refrigerator and microwave it for the next time.  Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!

1c White Sugar
1c Brown Sugar
1c Water
1t  Vanilla Extract

Heat sugar and water in saucepan on low/med heat until all sugar is dissolved.  (You can bring to a boil but remove from heat shortly after.)  Remove from heat.  Warm a jar or glass measuring cup with HOT water. (This is so the glass doesn't crack from the heat)  Then pour in the syrup.  Add the vanilla and stir.  Enjoy fresh warm syrup on your favorite breakfast meal! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Magic of Vinegar

While I don't really care for the smell or taste of vinegar, it is in some of my favorite food recipes.  I have recently discovered that vinegar has more uses than just food and I want to share them with you.

*First of all you can use white vinegar and water to clean/disinfect just about any surface in your home.  It is cheap, kid friendly and easy.

*White vinegar can also be a rinse-aid substitute in your dishwasher.  Just fill the compartment as you would with any rinse-aid and it works wonders!  Again it also disinfects!  

*One of my favorite uses for white vinegar is fabric softener.  That's right,  you put 1/2 cup or so in your softener dispenser and voila!  Did I mention it disinfect too :)

*One last amazing use for vinegar today....leave-in hair conditioner.  You can use apple cider vinegar for this.  After you shampoo (homemade recipe for shampoo in previous blog)  and rinse thoroughly, add enough apple cider vinegar to coat you hair lightly.  You can leave it in and let it dry or rinse it out.  This is not necessarily something you should do every day because it can strip some of the natural oils out of your hair.  If you are using a homemade shampoo you may not even need conditioner.  

Like I mentioned before, I do NOT like the smell of vinegar.  Fortunately when it dries it has no smell!  So don't be afraid to try it! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, (Ivory, Pure & Natural, whatever is cheap)
½ cup washing soda (found in the laundry isle)
½ cup borax powder (also in the laundry isle)
You will also need a 2 gallon bucket

Put 6 cups water in a saucepan and heat.  Grate soap into hot water and heat until melted.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.   Now add your soap mixture and stir.  Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.  (You use ½ cup per load.)

*You can double the amount of soap, soda & borax if you feel the clothes aren’t coming out bright enough.
*You can also make powder detergent by just mixing the grated soap, soda and borax together without water.  (Add 1 Tbsp to each load)
*This costs me $0.01 per load compared to the $0.17 I was paying for my store-bought detergent! 

Homemade Shampoo

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap - I prefer unscented so that I can add my favorites scent
  • 1/2 teaspoon essential oil (tea tree oil will help with dandruff)

Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle. Shake before use.
This mixture isn't as thick as commercial shampoos - you'll need to just tilt the bottle over your head.
*You can add ¼ tsp of xanthum gum powder to make it less runny and more gel-like.
*I have found that local health food stores will carry these items, but some small hardware stores do too.
*This recipe can also be use for hand soap!  

My New Adveture

Hi!  I am a stay-at-home wife and mother.  I have been wondering how to save my family money.  When it came right down to it, we had pinched as much as we could and I knew our grocery bill was my last resort.  There are things that we buy that I know cost way too much.  I know this because I cringe when I have to buy them.  These things for me include shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, hand soap and dishwasher rinse-aid.  I have found some really inexpensive recipes and alternatives for these items.  I want to share these money saving tips with all of you and also get some new ideas from you.  Enjoy!