The Quest for the Natural Cleaners That Make Themselves

Let the natural goodness commence. Or let’s not and say we did.

In an effort that I hope will save us money and maybe be better for us, I bought all kinds of natural ingredients that I could make laundry soap, homemade fabric softener, cleansers, dish detergent, etc out of.  The nice thing is that I only had to purchase a few ingredients and it didn’t cost very much at all.  Now I actually have to MAKE the stuff.  Except for the fabric softener-I couldn’t find cheap hair conditioner that I wanted my clothes to smell like.

Every website I saw these recipes raved how it so cheap and everything was so clean and so great smelling.  And how nice it was to not have those chemicals in their houses.  I mean well but I certainly don’t know if I am up to par with these women.  I love the all natural stuff.  I subscribe to Natural Health.  I use all Method cleaning products.  I actually bought something at a Norwex party once.  I refill the Scentsy burners when I think about it.  So this all sounds nice and right up my alley and all, but it also means I need to get off my butt and do it.  Right after I take a nap-which sounds nice but mean my children actually need to maybe either do something quiet too or actually rest themselves.  Uh-huh-making this stuff might actually be more productive for me.

What did I buy?  The various recipes I found used some of these ingredients:  Borax, washing powder, Fels-Naptha, vinegar, essential oils.  The essential oils were a bit daunting-here I was standing at the organic grocery store smelling everything.  I chose lavender, though I was really partial to the rosemary.  I already use lavender cleaning spray around my house, and no one has complained thus far.  I brought home a brochure that supposedly helps you figure out all that aromatherapy stuff (it had a coupon for the oil, so you bet your bippy I was bringing it home.)  I think it would be VERY helpful if it was scratch and sniff though.

Like I said, IF I ever make this, I hope it works.  For my sake if nothing else.  Back when I could actually get my husband to help out with the dishes, I remember a snide comment about the all natural organic crap that I had bought for dishsoap.  I hate doing dishes-I caved and bought the Dawn power stuff.  Now that he’s done with school and a full time engineer-the dishes aren’t getting done-so I suppose it won’t harm anyone to go back to the other stuff.  By the way, I have a very expensive Bosch dishwasher that hasn’t worked for almost a year-I can’t afford to fix it so there it sits, probably laughing at the piles of dishes in the kitchen.

So maybe later today, between doing the dishes that are taking over my kitchen and the laundry I’ll get out my cauldron and whip up some cleaner.  Now, about that nap…

This is not me.  But I thought it would be funny…

Frugality: Trying to Save While Not Existing on Just Ramen Noodles

I have always tried to be a frugal person.  I admit, it isn’t easy.  I come from a military family-my dad was in the navy and was often out to sea for months at a time, not to mention we moved frequently.  My Mom was a stay at home mom-therefore we didn’t have a lot of money.  We always pinched pennies and it was a lifestyle that we just always knew.  My wonderful husband also hails from a family that never had a ton of dough, but alas, does not get the whole “frugal thing”.

So I bet you know where I’m going with this.  We have been through several job losses and then through my husband returning to school full-time during the last thirteen years.  He graduated at the end of last year, and accepted an internship which last week became a full time engineering position.  Yay!  Buuuuuuuuuut-we are also trying to get back on our feet after having been working either part-time and/or not at all the last couple of years.  And lately it has really gotten tight.  Not a ramen noodle every night type of thing (HAHAHA-what is THAT from.  *ahem*  I watch too much TV).  But I am being a lot more diligent about cracking down on our grocery spending.  We are not extravagant people.  But when I am standing in the grocery aisle I would MUCH rather purchase the frozen stir fry mix as opposed to making my own from scratch.  Did I mention I don’t exactly cook like Martha Stewart?  Or any good cook for that matter.  I do make a mean taco soup (if tacos are a secret ingredient and I ever get to compete on Iron Chef let me tell you I am SET!)  I also love diet pop and sugar free frozen treats like nothing else.

Giving up the pop is not going well, but we did set out this past week to make our own pudding pops.  For some reason I have accumulated many packages of sugar free pudding.  Maybe there was a sale.  Or maybe I just really wanted pudding.  Either way, I looked up recipes and decided that it was waaaaaaaaaaay cheaper to make my own.  So I did.  And they were pretty good.  I have some tupperware mickey mouse ear popsicle molds I bought at a rummage sale years ago.  This was back when I could still GO to rummage sales (that’s a story for another post).  I found a recipe that I found and modified a bit.  Now this is really complicated, you might want to get a pen with a lot of ink and then follow this recipe EXACTLY or you will screw it up:

Frugal Pudding Pops (not Bill Cosby Approved)

1 pkg pudding (we used chocolate)

1 cup milk

1 cup cool whip

Directions:  Mix together and put in molds.  Freeze.  Eat.

See what I did there? That was hard…  My son would not get that because he’s sarcasm impaired.

We decided that maybe we could make more than one kind since we really like frozen stuff and wanted variety, so when we went grocery shopping we looked for molds.  These were $1 at Wal-Mart.  There were ones at Target for $5, so I figured DAMN that’s a GREAT deal!  Then I realized that it may be hard to get the frozen stuff out of the mold. Was it?  I dont know because I have not been motivated to make more yet.  Hey, it’s been a busy week!

I’ve also been toying with the idea of making homemade laundry detergent and fabric softener.  The idea has become more and more appealing to me.  I actually put the ingredients on my shopping list, but we’ll see if it actually happens.  I see all of these things online-I WANT to be more natural and organic and all that jazz.  I must admit putting stuff like that when I see it on Pinterest sure gets me a lot of repins!