Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thrifty Thursday

Many of you have asked about our grocery budget. I had mentioned, a post or two ago, that we typically spend 50 dollars a week on groceries and that I was planning to cut that to 40 so that we could pay more on debt and dig our way out so that we can give more freely. Our debt is weighing us down and we want to be free to give more! We are on a quest to live more simply on much less so that we can be vessels to pour out what we have onto those who need it.

SO...I was thinking each Thursday I would come and share one or two of our tips. We live on one teacher salary, and still carry some debt from the death of our boys, and just from poor decisions. We are hoping to become unshackled from that debt as soon as possible so we are pinching pennies even harder! :)

Today's tips are:
1. Make your own laundry soap! I am will save a small fortune and it requires very little effort.

You will need :

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar (I use Ivory, it is cheaper and easier to find and works great)
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
(MUST be washing soda, baking soda will NOT work. I buy it at a local grocery store in the laundry aisle.)
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)*they use MUCH less water so you don't want to add too much soap.

I am VERY picky about laundry and I LOVE this stuff. It works great and has saved us a TON of money.

*Note* I have NOT tried this on my cloth diapers as I am afraid the soap content would cause a build up. I use Arm and Hammer Naturals Free on my diapers. It goes on sale for about 6.99 a bottle, I have gotten it for 4.99 after coupons, use only about a tablespoon and it is a HUGE jug which lasts....well I have yet to need a new one. :)

If you have a Thrifty Tip you'd like to share, feel free to do a Thrifty Thursday on your own blog or leave a comment here...maybe if we all share ideas we can help each other to cut down on excessive spending!


Mama E said...

Keep these tips coming!! :)

Joe Murray said...

You can also use Ivory bar soap. That's what I use when I make my soap and it works great. I think the key is using a soap that is pure without any lotion or perfume added to it.

Katie (posted under my husbands name because I'm stuck in the 90's and don't have a gmail account)

Danae Hudson said...

Can I ask you why there's such a big difference between how much soap you need for the different types of washers?

Sara Denslaw said...

where do you buy the washing soda at?

Amanda said...

Love it! I was wondering if you use this soap to wash cloth diapers and if you have had any trouble with it?

Kayla Ivarson said...

Hi Kristy,
please delete my last comment, I have better info in this comment.

This website has great info for natural cleaning with vinegar. Hope this helps.

Lisa said...

@Divine Mrs D - It has to do with the amount of water used in each load. Usually the front load washers are high efficiency and if you use the same amount of soap as a top loader the washer will be unable to rinse it all out.

Becky said...

One thing I do is roll over the extra care bucks at CVS. I know it is dumb - but I have two large boxes of stuff. Every other month I take extras to the church pantry and I have also donated to our women's shelter. Plus, my adult children also get items they need. It is an easy way to give back to the community and quite frankly, I haven't spent all that much money out of pocket over the past year.

Walgreen's also has this, but I haven't gotten into theirs.

Devin said...

I want to thank you for posting this. I've seen this kind of thing before, but have been leery of trying it, simply because I wasn't sure if it would work! The recommendation from you seals the deal for me...I'll be buying these ingredients on my next trip to the store. I'm all about saving as much as I can!

Lacey said...

Thanks for the tip! Can't wait to learn more!
Also just a little tip from me...I like to shop at the Norrisville Grocery store some (we call it scratch and dent). A small grocery in the middle of nowhere, which sells all different things, mostly from buyouts, or damaged boxes and cans. Some things are not that cheap but sometimes you find fantastic deals!

Rebecca said...

Kristy...have you ever tried just mixing all the powders/grated soap together & using it like that (only much, much less) instead of making it into the liquid? I had made it for quite awhile just like you posted, but wonder if it won't just dissolve into the water in the machine if we leave it as a powder?? (I have seen the recipe posted that way somewhere.) Much less work too.

Lisa said...

@rebecca I have seen the powdered version of this. The liquid usually yields 4x the number of loads for the same amount of ingredients.


Urban Stylist In the Country... said...

I found you searching for frugal soap recipes...I read your stories and cried my eyes out,my heart aches for you and yet I found peace in your journey..


Urban Stylist In the Country... said...

I found you searching for frugal soap recipes...I read your stories and cried my eyes out,my heart aches for you and yet I found peace in your journey..