Self Suffecient Tips and Links

This page will constantly be added too everytime I find a good tip, website, and links. So keep checking back often.

This will be a page that you can find tips and links to help live a self suffecient life. There are simpler ways of doing things just like our ancestors use to do and they did fine. We have become too dependent on outside resources just because its easier and quicker. It also is costing us a bundle.
When money gets tighter and the shelves start getting empty….will you know how to feed your family or find resources or items you need?

First tip is to do your own research on self suffecient living. There are great magazines that I love like Mother Earth News, Countryside, Hobby Farms, Hobby Farms Home and books.

The first tip I want to share is start learning how to cook from scratch. I guarantee you for every boxed dinner or micro wave meal or can of something there is a homemade version out there some where. Think about this picture for a moment:  photo FB_IMG_1483712691589_zpsy95e3uoj.jpg see my point?

Just google “homemade……” and what you want to find and wholah! Youll come across thousands of websites. Homemade deoderants, skin products, toothpaste, to foods, its out there.
We have become too dependent on fast food, microwave meals and boxed dinners. Yes it may take just a little longer but its well worth it and healthier. If your pressed for time, use your crock pot, or the timer on your stove. You can prep things at night and then slap them in the crock pot first thing in the morning and wholah you have dinner cooking all day and the house smells good when you come home. Crock pots are safe because they use little kilowatts. You can also prep something the night before, put it in stove and set timer to come on at a certain time, for so many minutes and wholah again supper when you come in ( I would make sure someone is home in time for when stove comes on). Now we have Instant Pots and Pressure Cookers. Learn to bake your own bread, biscuits, cakes, pies, etc. Its not hard. Just don’t be like me and try to do other things the same time you are cooking cause you get distracted, next thing you know the smoke alarm is going off and people are hollering, “Momma is in the kitchen!!!” yep,  happens quite often here. There are plenty of recipes on the internet. I love Amish cookbooks, they are all about homemade. The other night I made a homemade choc cake and homemade choc icing…it was gone.
If at all possible buy in bulk or watch the sales adds and stock up when things are on sale. Bring them home and process or repackage into meal proportions and put in freezer.
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If you have alot of left overs from supper, freeze them for another meal for another time. Don’t just throw out food. When cooking something, double the recipe and put second recipe in the freezer for a future meal. This is time saving when you have outside the home extra activities like sports.

I like to sometimes do what is called pantry cooking. This is where you go through your pantries, freezers, and refrigerator and look and see what all you can put together for a meal or two. You are basically using what you have already on hand and shopping from your pantry. This helps use up food that is fixing to expire or go bad and cleans out the pantries,  freezers and fridges. This will also save a ton of money. Do meal planning and shop for only two weeks at a time. If you shop for a whole month at one time, sometimes you forget what you have and it may wind up going bad before you even get to use it. Wastes money. If you cook from your pantry, you may only need a few items to complete a recipe, not a whole long list.

This is a tricky one: learn how to use a gun and hunt. You will first need a good gun and ammo. Stores can help you find one that is right for you and your purpose. Different guns have different purposes. Pump shot guns are for ducks, geese, etc. Rifles and muzzle loaders are for big game like deer, bear, etc. No, a 22 pistol is not going to bring a deer down, it will just make them run off. Photobucket

You can take classes and a Hunters Safety Course to obtain a hunting license. Make sure you obey the Hunting laws in your state. Next, comes the hard part. It is hard to take an animals life, but God put beast and plants here for our purpose and it is to sustain our bodies with food. No you are not killing Bambi, you are providing food for your family. You go to McDonalds or Burger King, well your eating a cow that once walked the face of the earth. Once you have hunted successfully, if you don’t know how to harvest or process it yourself, take it to a processor of your choice. They will cut it up, and package it up for you for a fee and wholah, put it in the freezer. We harvest alot of deer and have our own processor who does them just like we want them. We love ground deer and cubed steaks. When we have ground deer in the freezer we do not have to buy ground beef. It is leaner and no fat. .facebook_1248609423.jpg

All cuts are different and cooked different ways. Learn how to cook venison.

However you can save alot of money buy learning how to process your own deer. We have to gut ours out before we take it to the processor, I just cant stomach it, the guys do it after they let me get out of sight. You can read more on our Hunting Page. 

You can buy meat from farms who raise them and sell the meat. Ask them how it was raised, if it was given any hormones or food with antibiotics. I would not buy from anyone who practiced this, its no different from getting it from the grocery store because of all the GMO stuff.


If there is any way possible, I would really try to raise a garden. Yes, it is hard work and you will sweat alot, but the benefits you get from it is well worth it and a satisfaction of knowing you did that. There again is all types of resources and book and magazines out there to teach you how. I have a page on my blog that you can view that tells you how to go about raising a garden.  I take you through it step by step. Incorporate family members to help, the more the marrier and it will lighten the work load.
Have you ever tried putting some vegetable seeds in your flower beds around your home….it doesnt have to be a big garden….some people actually do what is called container planting and putting them on the back porch…there is always a way.

Then learn how to harvest, and put away food either by canning, dehydrating, or freezing. I also have a page for that on my blog. Canning and Preserving. Check it out. Photobucket

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Try to raise some animals to put wonderful things on the table. Chickens for the oven, eggs for breakfast. Goats and cows make excellent milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream. Refer to our Cheesemaking Page. 

Yes, its hard to take the life of something you raise, but you have to tell yourself not to get attached. That’s the way of the land. I do not eat my goats, they are dairy goats and they give good milk for me to use. Once again do your research and learn.

One day I will raise chickens for the freezer. Have to learn to butcher them first. See I’ve still go research to do and alot to learn.

I have a page on my blog for raising poultry. Start there if you’d like.

Here’s a good tip: shop at thrift stores, consignment shops, and yard sales for clothing and etc. Ok, some of you are shaking your heads at this thought of wearing someone elses clothes. Well, if you were in a natural disaster or emergency such as a house burning, I’m sure you would welcome hand me downs. I grew up on hand me downs and they don’t bother me now. It saves a whole lot of money especially if your children grow every 3 months….lol. My husband likes to do our boys clothes shopping and he will catch end of season sales and buy a size or two larger so when that season comes again, they fit. He also loves, loves loves Amazon. lol Take some sewing classes or have someone teach you to sew. Once again, I have a page for that. 
Brilliant! Great way to melt things like chocolate for coating candies and keeping it at a perfect temp. A crockpot filled with some water on low and mason jars! ~ Liz

If you are pressed for time when preparing meals consider freezer cooking. For instance, if you’re cooking hamburger meat for a meal cook another pound at the same time and put it in a bowl and store in fridge. Next night,  use that already prepared meat for another recipe. No brainer. Or if you’re fixing lets say, lasagna one night double the recipe and put one meal in the freezer. Eat the other one that night. Next time you want lasagna get it out of freezer thaw and warm up. Great for sports or hunting season. When I’m making pancakes I will triple the recipe have some for breakfast and put the rest in Ziploc bags and put in freezer. Easy breakfast every morning. Muffins, biscuits, and breads the same way.

Here is an example of my rolls and hamburger buns. I double or triple recipes, flash freeze, and divide into meals and store in Ziploc bags. Then just grab a bag and let thaw on a baking sheet and throw in the oven and bake. Wholah!  photo PhotoGrid_1474379308159_zpsm5grgyos.jpg
You can do this with many things.
How To Properly Store Water Long Term:

In order to properly store water long term for emergencies or survival, you’ll need to do the following:1. Consider the amount of water you’ll need. It is generally recommended that you have 1 gallon per 3 day period per person for drinking water alone.2. Choose proper container(s). Glass is often too fragile as well as heavy, metal is often corrosive or imparts a taste to the water. Stainless steel or plastic food/water storage drums are the best option for storing drinking water since they both do not corrode or effect the water and neither support the growth of bacteria or the like. However given the price of stainless drums, we recommend the use of plastic instead.3. Properly clean your containers. sanitation of containers prior to filling is very important. Wash them out with soap and water, being certain to thoroughly rinse out all remnants of any soap residue. Next sanitize the containers with 1 tbsp of bleach for every gallon of water you add to the container. Shake and cover the inside thoroughly and then rinse thoroughly with clean water.4. Choose a proper location to store the water. Always choose a cool, dark location for best water preservation. And naturally one where the containers will “survive” as well.5. Add your water. Supposedly tap water does not require much treatment since it is already chlorinated and the like. However when using well water it is recommended that you add a small amount of chlorine bleach to the water. This we do not recommend. After much experience with long term water storage it is our recommendation to use a bit of colloidal silver with every batch and to then ozonate the water vs the far more harsh chlorination. Also, rotating your water out (emptying and refilling with fresh water) should be carried out approximately every 6 months.

Here are polymer 55 gallon drums for water storage:

You can find a good barrel sanitizer here if not using fine silver, colloidal silver or the like:

Colloidal silver for water purification and storage life:

A perfect water pump for using the stored water from your barrels can be found here:

A smaller stackable water storage can be found here:

Ultra large storage tanks can be found here:

If you run out of fabric softer or dryer sheets you can use vinegar in a downy ball as fabric softener. Just use the same amount as you would fabric softer.

Instead of expensive jet dri products you can use white vinegar in the little dispenser. Gets rid of water spots no chemicals and safe on dishwasher.

Tear your fabric softer dryer sheets in half. They work just as well and they last twice as long for the same price.

Homemade febreeze. One spray bottle, 1/8 cup scented fabric softer of your choice. Put fabric softer in spray bottle fill remaining bottle with water. Wholah. Makes everything smell fresh.

Instructions for homemade laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, and fabric softner.
Country Girl at Home: u9829? Simply Frugal u9829?

Homemade Baking Powder {and why it makes me happy!} | Little Natural Cottage

Plan, Prepare, and Provide: DIY Magic Eraser

How To Replace Cream Soups in Recipes | Heavenly Homemakers

The Homestead Survival: Candle Powered Pottery Heater – would help tp prevent hypothermia in a close…

The Welcoming House: Being Prepared Doesnt seem so CrAzY anymore, does it?

How to make homemade fabric softener sheets.

The more I learn and find the more I will share on this page, so keep coming back as often as you can.

Mountain Home Quilts

Just Plain Country Living

On Just a Couple Acres


Lady Farmer Parables

Our Little Farm

Crackling Pine Farm

Pear Tree Lane Farm

The Fraker Farm

Life On a Southern Farm

The Retro Farmwife

Farming On Faith

Farming on Faith

Faithfulness Farm

A Cultivated Nest

Never Done Farm
The Never Done Farm

Our Simple Farm

Our Simple Farm

Dairy Goat Journal - Information, ideas, and insights for everyone who raises, manages, or just loves goats.

Countryside & Small Stock Journal - The magazine of modern homesteading.

Backyard Poultry magazine - Dedicated to more and better small-flock poultry.

This website if great for Homemade anything at Heavenly Homemakers

Great Idea for a little heater in an emergency:

Homemade Mayonaise:

Great Ideas on being prepared in an emergency:

Homestead Revival

Homemade Cream of Celery Soup:
Homemade Ketchup:

Homemade remedies for Headaches:

Remedy for clogged drain:

Self sufficient tip: instead of expensive jet dri products you can use white vinegar in the little dispenser. Gets rid of water spots no chemicals and safe on dishwasher.

Self suffecient tip: Homemade febreeze. One spray bottle, 1/8 cup scented fabric softer of your choice. Put fabric softer in spray bottle fill remaining bottle with water. Wholah. Makes everything smell fresh.

Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar:

Run out of Baking Powder:

Gotta try this gift idea or just for myself:

Got a spider bite and dr’s offices are closed or cant afford emergency room trip:

Found another website for homemade laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent and fabric softner:


Cinnamon sugar pecans:

Homemade reusable dryer sheets:

You Need:

  • Your favorite fabric softener
  • A couple hand towels

To Make:

Cut a hand towel into 4ths. Serge or zig-zag your cut pieces to keep them from fraying. If you would rather not mess with a sewing machine you could always just buy cheap wash clothes and not cut them, to get about the same size.

Homemade Resusable Fabric Softeners

Soak the towel pieces in fabric softener. It will take about a capful for each sheet.

Homemade Resusable Fabric Softeners

Squeeze out the excess fabric softener and allow your sheets to hang until dry. It can take a couple days. If you get a nice sunny day you can take them outside, and they will dry a lot faster.

Homemade Resusable Fabric Softeners

Each sheet will last you about 10 times. When the scent starts to fade just repeat the process. Easy enough, right!

I try to make a bunch of them at one time, and as you saw above I just store them in an old baby wipe container.

You will need:Raw potato
Kosher salt
Cooking Oil
Directions:1. Set your cast iron skillet in the sink and sprinkle a teaspoon or two of Kosher salt in the bottom.2. Slice off the top of a raw potato. Make sure to leave enough of the potato so you can grab it easily. Use the cut end of your potato to scour the skillet, grinding the salt into any rusty or crusty spots. As you work, rinse off the skillet (and rust!) and add more salt if it requires more scrubbing.3. Once all of the rust has vanished, dry your skillet with a clean towel.4. If you don’t need to re-season your skillet, just add a few drops of oil to its surface. You can be a tad heavy handed with the oil, as it will mostly just absorb. Rub the oil into your skillet’s surface, that way it’s ready to go for you next cooking adventure.CARING FOR YOUR SKILLET never, ever, ever wash your skillet with soap again. Don’t even let a drop near it. The soap will wear off your fresh coating of oil and it will likely make your next meal taste a tad sudsy. After you finish cooking with your skillet, immediately rinse it out to remove any burned on bits. If you need more scrubbing, let it cool, and then use salt and a coarse scrubbing pad to get rid of any burned bits. Don’t let your skillet soak for long periods of time, and never put it in the dishwasher.

Homemade Bleach Alternative:

1 ½ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
½ cup white vinegar or lemon juice
Pure water to fill a gallon jug
– 10 drops lemon or lemongrass essential oils (optional/omit if using lemon juice)

Simply pour hydrogen peroxide and vinegar into the gallon jug, then top it up with water. Cap and store. It is that simple.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Posted: 23 Mar 2012 04:40 AM PDT

I know many of you already make your own laundry detergent, but for those of you that don’t I’ll share an easy, and VERY inexpensive recipe that you might like to try.

I made this detergent in a 5 gallon bucket at the end of June (9 months ago) and just ran out at the beginning of the week.  It cost me about $6.00 total to make the detergent. That is HUGE savings compared to what I was spending every so often on laundry detergent!!!

I’m using the recipe that the Duggar’s share in their book The Duggars: 20 and Counting.


1 Fels Naptha soap bar, grated
1 Cup Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 Cup Borax

{All three ingredients can be found in nearly any supermarket in the laundry detergent section.  I purchased mine at Walmart.}

Grate the soap bar into a small saucepan.  Cover with hot water.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually, until the soap completely dissolves.  (This takes a little time so be prepared to stand a while and stir.)

Put Washing Soda and Borax in a 5-gallon bucket.  Pour in the hot, melted soap mixture.  Stir well until all the powder is dissolved.  Fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water.  Stir, cover securely, and let sit overnight.  The next morning, stir the mixture.

Mix equal amounts of soap mixture and water in a laundry detergent dispenser or container.  Shake well before using.

For top loading machines:  Use 1 Cup of the soap mixture per load.
For front loading machines:  Use 1/3 Cup per load.

Liquid Hand Soap Recipe

1  8 oz. bar of soap, grated (or more – I’ll explain below)
2 T. liquid glycerine
1 gallon water
favorite essential oil (optional)

Place the water in a large pot and begin to heat it on medium-high. Add the 2 T. of glycerine and the grated soap to the pot and stir. As it warms it may get a bit bubbly. Stir in several drops of your favorite essential oil if the soap is not scented and you want your hand soap to smell nice.

Continue to stir until all the bits of soap have dissolved. Then turn off the heat and let it sit over night or for about 10-12 hours. After sitting, mine seemed to separate and was very watery, so I followed Robyn’s instructions and reheated it and added more soap shavings (believe me, I had plenty!). So in all, I guess I used about 16 oz., not 8 oz. But mine was a homemade soap. Robyn used an 8 oz. bar of Mrs. Meyer’s and it got very thick after sittimg. Using a funnel, I loaded up a couple of my very empty soap dispensers and stored the remaining soap in a couple of large canning jars.

It the runny soup bothers you, perhaps these two tips will help:
• One reader on Roby’s blog made a solution of 3 T. table salt and 8 oz. hot water, stirred until dissolved, then added it to her room temperature liquid soap. According to the reader, it instantly thickened it.
• Another reader suggested not adding as much water if your soap is high in oils (which mine was).

If your soap ends up being too thick:
• Try using an electric hand mixer and breaking it up a bit.
• Try adding a bit more glycerine.

Uses for Baking Soda:

Health Uses

1. Use it as an antacid.

2. Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

3. Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide, make a paste and use it as toothpaste.

4. Use it as a face and body scrub.

5. Add a cup to bathwater to soften your skin.

6. Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

7. Remove strong odors from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water.

8. Put two tablespoons in your baby’s bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.

9. Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations.

10. Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

11. Heartburn? Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.

12. Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

13. Relieve canker sore pain by using it as mouthwash.

14. Use it to relieve bee stings.

15. Use it to relieve wind-burns.

16. Apply it on jellyfish sting to draw out the venom.

17. Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

In the Home

18. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

19. Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

20. Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.

21. Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.

22. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

23. Turn baking soda into modeling clay by combining it with one and 1/4 cups of water and one cup of cornstarch.

24. After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.

25. Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

26. Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

27. Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

28. Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.

29. Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.

30. Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

31. Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.

32. Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

33. Sprinkle it onto your cat’s litter box to absorb the bad odor.

34. Sprinkle it on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorize their fur and skin.

In Cooking

35. Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.

36. Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

37. When boiling a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Feathers will come off easier, and the flesh will be clean and white (have you ever used a ‘fresh’ chicken?).

38. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

39. Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.

40. Make a sports drink by mixing it with boiled water, salt, and Kool-Aid.

41. Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.

42. Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.

43. Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.

Cleaning Purposes

44. Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

45. Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs

46. Spray it on walls, mirrors, and counter-tops.

47. Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.

48. Remove grease from pots and pans.

49. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

50. Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.

51. Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

52. Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.

53. Clean your shoes with it.

54. Clean garbage cans with it.

55. Use it to wash diapers.

56. Clean the fridge with it.

57. Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

58. Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

59. Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.

60. Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica counter-tops with the sponge.

61. Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

62. Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.

63. Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.

64. Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.

65. Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

66. Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

67. Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.

68. Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

69. Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

70. Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

71. Use it to remove melted plastic breadwrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.

72. Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.

73. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.

74. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.

75. Use it to unclog gas stoves.

The most amazing thing about baking soda is that it’s very cheap. You can do all these things for a very small cost. Baking soda is truly a miracle product, whether it’s used for baking or not!

Homemade Dishwasing Detergent (& Shaving the Grocery Budget)

You only need two ingredients: Borax and Super Washing Soda.

The recipe reads:

Mix one part Borax and one part Washing Soda.

We used:

2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda

We put these together in our Pampered Chef mixing bowl and mixed them well, making sure to dissolve any clumps (the borax is bad about clumping). After it was mixed thoroughly, we just poured it into our quart mason jar.  It was exactly enough to fill that jar. Use 1 Tablespoon of the mixture per load. We also used a little vinegar in our rinsing gadget part of our dishwasher which helps to make those dishes sparkle.

Clever Ways to Cut Down Your Laundry Bills and Help the Environment

Guest post by Vanessa Miller

When it comes to being frugal and eco-friendly, many people may not realize the amount of laundry that they do can have a significant impact on their expenses and their energy-consumption. The average size household will do at least 7 loads of laundry per week, which totals around 400  loads of laundry per year. A load of laundry can use 20-40 gallons of water meaning a year’s worth of laundry will use 16,000 gallons of water.

That is not to mention the amount of electricity that will be used to wash and dry 400 loads of clothes, towels, and blankets.

When you are looking for ways to save money and reduce your family’s carbon footprint, the laundry room and your washer dryer is the perfect place to start.

Pro Tip 1: Wash in Cold Water

By washing your clothes in cold water, you can cut the amount of electricity you use by more than half! The average load of laundry washed in hot or warm water, uses 4.5kWh of electricity (about $0.68 per load-$265/year) whereas a load washed in cold water uses a mere 0.3kWh ($.04 per load- $16/year). [Source]

Pro Tip 2: Use Other Drying Methods

The clothes dryer is a major culprit in raising electric bills. Any item that generates heat uses more electricity to operate. Use a clothesline to dry your clothes or hang them from hangers on the shower rod in the bathroom. Clothes will take longer to dry; however, you will save a great deal of money on your energy bill.

Pro Tip 3: Avoid Expensive Detergents

Yes, expensive detergents smell great and will leave you with the impression that your laundry is clean because of the way it smells. However, cheaper, economy-sized laundry detergents contain the same basic ingredients and will work just as well.

For half the price, you can purchase larger containers of laundry detergent and your clothes will be just as clean. Furthermore, there will be less packaging to recycle or toss out. You can also choose eco-friendly detergents. Environmentally-friendly ingredients to look for include grain alcohol, coconut plant oils, rosemary and sage.

Pro Tip 4: Top Load Versus the Front Loading Washer

If you are still using the outdated washing machine that you bought ten years ago, chances are you are wasting a lot of water. The average top load washer uses almost 40 gallons for one single load of clothes. A front-load washer only uses about 20 gallons per load.

Upgrading to a new washer can dramatically reduce the amount of water that you use in your home and is an eco-friendly choice.

Pro Tip 5: If It’s Not Dirty, Don’t Wash It!

Okay, this does not mean that you and your family should wear dirty clothes just because you are trying to reduce the amount of money you spend on laundry. Just make sure that you are not washing clothes that are not dirty. If you wear your nice dress slacks for an hour and then change, they most likely will be fine to fold up and put back in the drawer.

Some other tips to try:

–          Cut your dryer sheets in half (or omit them altogether). This way you can cut these dryer sheet costs by half!

–          Dilute your laundry detergent. By keeping an extra detergent bottle aside, you can fill it half way with detergent and the other half with water.

–          Use vinegar instead of fabric softener. ¼ cup of fabric softener (for big loads) saves money and does just the trick.
By paying a bit more attention to how, and when, you do your laundry, it will be completely possible for you to save hundreds of dollars each year.

This will help reduce the impact that your family has on the environment by cutting water and energy usage as well. Everyone likes to have clean clothes to wear, but this should not come at such an expensive cost and it really does not have to.

15 Ways to Use Vinegar to Clean Your Home

15 Ways to Use Vinegar to Clean Your Home

Here are 15 uses for the wonderful, inexpensive product — white distilled vinegar:

1. Cleaning windows and mirrors – As I already mentioned, this is my favorite use.  Just mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and label.  (If you’re like my Grandma, you’ll use newspaper to clean the window or mirror.)

2. Laundry Rinse Cycle – This is actually the one that I use the most often.  I stopped using a commercial liquid fabric softener and have been using vinegar in its place.  It gets rid of odors, softens fabrics, and helps to get rid of static.

3. Clean Your ShowerMy friend, Jami, shared directions on how she cleaned her shower with vinegar with great results.

4. Get Rid of the Stink in Your Garbage Disposal – Make ice cubes with vinegar (full strength), and then run them through the garbage disposal.

5. Remove Build Up from Faucets – Use a mixture of four parts vinegar to one part salt as a scrub for these faucet areas.

6. Freshen Stinky Hands – If your hands are less than fresh from chopping pungent vegetables, pour vinegar over your hands to get rid of the odors.  (This was a life saver when I was a teenager working at Subway after we would work on prepping those strong onions.)

7. Cut Through the Grime on the Top of Appliances – Use a cloth and full strength vinegar to wash off that disgusting grime that can build up on the top of appliances like the refrigerator.

8. Get Rid of Germs – If you’ve had a lot of sickness running rampant around your house (as can happen during these cooler months), use full strength vinegar to clean areas that receive a lot of touches, such as door knobs or toilets.

9. Clean Your Microwave – A mix of two parts water and one part vinegar, heated to a boil in the microwave, will not only loosen stuck on food, but will also help to clear out undesirable odors.  (As with any time that you are bringing a liquid to a boil in the microwave, please be careful with this.)

10. Safely Clean Toys – A mix of vinegar and water is a great way to clean germy toys without harsh chemicals.

11. Remove Stickers and Decals –  To help remove these, spray on some vinegar and let them stick for a few minutes before trying to peel them off.  Try again with the vinegar, if they can’t be peeled off after the first soaking.

12. Shinier Toilet Bowl – Instead of using harsh chemicals, try spraying vinegar into your toilet bowl and then clean with a brush, as you might normally.

13. Clean Mineral Deposits in Automatic Coffee Makers – If you’re noticing a build up in your coffee makers, you can run a cycle with vinegar to help clear that out.  Make sure to rinse well after that cycle, however.  (Be sure to check your owner’s manual to check for cleaning notes.)

14. Get Rid of (or At Least Deter) Ants – Using vinegar for cleaning might help to deter ants.  (Although, let me share a quick tip, as someone who has received the stink eye from an exterminator: If you are planning to call an exterminator because of a large ant problem, try to not disturb the ant trail, as it may make it difficult for the exterminator to find where they ants are coming from.)

15. Clear Shower Heads of Build Up – Take off shower heads and soak in vinegar overnight to remove build up.  If you can’t take off the heads (or just don’t want to), you can also soak a cloth in vinegar and wrap it around the shower head overnight.

49 Uses for Baking Soda

    1. Armpit stain remover
    2. Toilet cleaner
    3. Oven cleaner
    4. Stove burner cleaner
    5. Garbage disposal cleaner
    6. Clean the microwave by wiping with baking soda applied to a sponge
    7. Refrigerator deodorizer
    8. Diaper pail deodorizer
    9. Shoe deodorizer
    10. Trash can deodorizer
    11. Laundry booster
    12. Dish washer detergent (emergency)
    13. Shampoo
    14. Soak brushes and combs in baking soda and water to clean
    15. Deodorant
    16. Facial scrub
    17. Remove hair spray from hair
    18. Toothpaste
    19. Soak up liquid in rugs/ carpet
    20. Unclog drains
    21. Bath water softener
    22. Use in bath water to sooth diaper rash or mosquito bites
    23. Mix with water to curb heartburn
    24. Wash delicate produce
    25. Clean white boards
    26. Clean baby toys
    27. Sprinkle on carpets before vacuuming to absorb odors
    28. Mix with vinegar to remove burned on cheese from pans
    29. Add baking soda and water to a scorched pan, boil on the stove top, and it will scrub right off
    30. Removes grease from cookware
    31. Remove coffee and tea stains from coffee pots
    32. Removes crayon from the wall
    33. Removes markers from the wall
    34. Removes hair dye from counters
    35. Clean stainless steel (sinks)
    36. Combine baking soda and cracked corn for kitty litter
    37. Clean battery corrosion
    38. Make a paste with water and apply to skin to sooth bug bites
    39. Add a teaspoon to water in a vase to keep flowers fresher longer
    40. Make a volcano erupt (homeschool project)
    41. Soak stinky rags in baking soda and water to reduce the smell
    42. Clean dirty shower curtains with baking soda and water
    43. Soak fish filets in water and baking soda for one hour to remove the fishy smell
    44. Serve fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs (you can also achieve fluffy omelets by using room temperature eggs)
    45. Use to treat acne by combining with water to make a paste and applying to the trouble spots
    46. Clean retainers by soaking in baking soda and water
    47. Clean dentures by soaking in baking soda and water
    48. Remove grunge from grills
    49. Cookies!

Link for Homemade Feminine Sanitary Pads:

Farming On Faith’s Laundry Soap Cast of Characters~
1 bar of Fels Naptha
1 1/2 cup of Borax
1 1/2 cup of Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA)

4 cups of water

Easy Directions~


1*Grate bar of soap. Put in an pan and cook with water until completely dissolved on medium heat.
2*Next~ add the Borax and Washing Soda and whisk. It will start to thicken like frosting. Whisk and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. (Use an old pan so you can whisk it good.) It will begin to thicken.

3* Pour the soap in a large mixing bowl and let it cool. This will take a few hours~ whisk it when you think about it. As it cools it will thicken~ a lot. Keep adding small amounts of water as you whisk it until it completely cools and you get the texture you like. Mine resembles cream cheese frosting in texture. Remember this is very concentrated so only use a couple Tablespoons for an HE Washer and maybe 1/4 cup for a regular washing machine. It works wonderful and no more goop!

67 Homemade All Natural Cleaners:

Getting Started with a home grain mill:

Homemade Dishwasher pellets

Materials and supplies:
2-gallon bucket
measuring cup


large glass mixing bowl


3 – 16 cube plastic ice cube trays

1 – 54-55 oz box of washing soda / detergent booster (3.89)
1 – 76 oz box of borax (4.49)
1 – 2 lb carton of epsom salts (.99)
1- bottle reconstituted lemon juice (32 oz for .99)
$10.36 for over 300 pellets

I used a 2 gallon bucket to mix the following dry ingredients;
1-54 oz box of washing soda (you can substitute a box of White King Detergent booster (no chlorine or phosphates) for the washing soda)
1-76 oz box of Borax
1- 2 lb carton of epsom salts

I measure out 2 to 2 1/2 cups of the mixture into a large glass mixing bowl and add lemon juice a a tablespoon at a time and stir until it begins to clump. It will fizz a little bit but not very much. If you squeeze the clumps between your fingers it will feel slightly sticky.

Place enough to loosely fill each of the ice-cube molds in a plastic ice cube tray (you will need 3 trays with sixteen molds per tray)

Put on disposable glove or cover your thumb with a thin plastic shopping bag (this is very drying to your skin) and press the damp mixture into the mold until it is level in each mold. The tops of the molded

pellets should be moist and slightly sticky.

Put them in the back seat of your car in direct sun – it will take several days to dry out depending on the temperature and humidity. (Do not microwave – it will prolong the drying time and the cubes will stick, do not put them in your oven – the trays might melt) You could also use a food dryer, or if it is summer set them on a table in the sun. We have very low humidity in the Central Valley, so I often set the trays on the trampoline when it is not in use. I bring them in at night as the dew re-wets the cubes.

They are ready to tap out of the trays when they pull away from the sides of the mold.

If you haven’t tamped your cubes down firmly, some will crumble. Don’t worry about it. Crumble up the cube and let it dry until it is like a clod. They grind it in a mortar, put into a shaker bottle. This is the best abrasive cleaner that I’ve found. A little sprinkle (takes very little), hot water, wait a few minutes until the
detergent starts to dissolve, then use a rag to scrub. My broiler pan came clean so easily.

Also, if you are making just 48 pellets at a time, what do you do with the powder that’s left? I asked for a large empty whey powder container and stored the extra powder there.

From what I can figure, it costs me about three to four cents per dishwasher pellet.

You should use some lemon juice as a rinse aid in your dishwasher to avoid spots.

How to make your own laundry soap

If you’ve never made your own laundry soap you don’t know what you’re missing.  The laundry soaps that are available commercially are expensive, and filled with ingredients that I’m not even going to attempt to pronounce.

The recipe is:

2 bars Fels Naptha laundry soap fels naptha

2 cups Borax

2 cups Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

6 cups water (plus a little more as needed)

grated fels napthaTo make the laundry soap the first step is to grate the Fels naptha bars.  Place the grated soap into a large kettle on the stove and add the 6 cups water.  Heat the mixture–but do not boil–to dissolve the Fels naptha, stirring occasionally.  This part takes about 20 minutes.

Once the grated soap has completely dissolved, add the Borax and the Washing Soda, stirring well to dissolve and combine the mixture.

60 Money Saving Tips for the Frugal Family…


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