Oh how close minded I feel! In the world of pinning and blogging I forget thats there's another world other than the one we live in. Yeah I know, scary huh? I kid, I kid... but digress. We have the world on boards, or in our reader so to us we know it all, and have seen it all. But yesterday I had an eye opening Facebook moment. I answered a post to a friend on my personal page. The question was how to cut back the family budget. Well I responded with my big list of things I do in my house, like make every thing. It was just a vague list assuming that every one has heard of all this before. Her response was kind of a: "Wow, I am a mom and have a full time job, how can I do all of that and still have time to see my family?!"
That's when I was like "woah", you mean not every one blogs and lives on Pinterest. Shame on me. Well I better have answers then. (She's found the joys of the crock pot, so a lot of time after work just opened up).
A lot of the simple things I do to skip the most expensive aisle in the grocery store are easy, and kid's can get involved. Of course use your judgement with your kids. These recipes do include HOT water.
My easiest and biggest money saver is making my families laundry soap, and softener. This is how I make mine, it's the most popular, and proven. Many others have gone as far to do the break down of cost. But all I need to know is hundreds of loads for about 6 cents per load.
Gather your things:
- 5 gallon bucket with lid. (Home depot, Wal-mart)
- Fels-Naptha soap (grocery store, Wal-mart in laundry aisle)
- Arm and Hammer Super washing soda (not baking soda! I got this also @ Wal-mart in laundry)
- Borax (again Wal-mart)
The soap is less than a buck @ Wal-Mart, and the Super washing soda is around $3-4. Get a new clean bucket too. You're looking at spending what ONE big jug or box of Tide. But you will be getting about 600 loads. (That's an average, 600 is for HE washers, lower for top load and your personal usage preference.) But think, 5 gallons for the price of your Tide.
- Grate your entire bar of soap (Smells SO good).
- Put in a pot with 4 cups of water already hot (much easier).
- Also fill your bucket half way with HOT water set aside on floor.
- Now stir your soap continuously on medium-low. You don't want it to boil! (It took me under 10 minutes. That's why I make sure the water was already hot. It should be nice and smooth, no chunks.)
- Pour your soap mixture into your bucket of hot water.
- Add 1 cup of Washing Soda, and 1/2 cup of Borax.
- Stir! Use something long enough thats going to reach the bottom of the bucket.
- Now fill your bucket the rest of the way up with water. Stir again.
- Put the lid on tight and let sit over night.
In the morning you will have a bucket of goop since it thickens over night. I HIGHLY recommend that you now separate into separate containers. It keeps the concentration much more evenly. I lucked out and my Mum gave me these awesome bird seed containers. But I also got a few from the Dollar Store. I also use a jug for the detergent that is in use. I also got that from the Dollar Store.
This is a lot of soap! Behind my jugs are the bird seed ones I reused. The one thats empty is one I used already. Its a great Dollar Store container. I love these giant jugs, much easier to pour. I kept a cup from my old liquid detergent to measure my mixture. It's about 1/4 of a cup. But you might want to try different amounts for yourself. Some times I dump in more if it's a large load of kids clothes :-).
I have done test's too. I washed some clothes in a free sample pack of some other liquid detergent, and a load in the homemade. Same!
You will also see my home made softener, very cheap to make all sorts of scents! Making your own softener will also lead you to making your own dryer sheets, and fabric fresher spray!
Comming soon in part 2...
Fabric sheets, and dryer balls
DIY stain fighter, and laundry boosters
DIY reusable Swiffer Sheets