Thursday, November 1, 2012

Here comes the Holiday Season....

Ahhh (insert long sigh of contentment)....November 1st. Here in Maine, the weather is still gray and damp, and relatively warm for the start of what I consider the "Holiday Season"...mostly from the remnants of Hurricane Sandy. I am anxiously awaiting the return of colder weather we had a glimpse of a couple weeks ago, it seems to match up to the hustle and bustle if you are from New England.

Since our racing season has come to an end, I find myself getting organized again. Renewing all of the frugal tips and restoring the balance in the checkbook, haha! I hope to be blogging more and sharing some information on how to save some dimes over the next several weeks.

I love to cook and the many months we spend on the road I miss being in the comfort of my own kitchen with everything I need at my fingertips. Which brings me to "stocking up"....

If you haven't already noticed the stores take this time of year to promote the things that go hand in hand with the Holiday Season....BAKING, COOKING and ENTERTAINING! ♥
Often so do the manufacturers of the products. So, one of the things I recommend is taking the time to do some sale/coupon match ups over the next few weeks. This is a great time to stock up on all of the baking essentials that you need from now thru New Years, but also can carry thru all of the holidays in 2013. Many of these items have a long shelf life.

To help save dimes and time it also helps to plan out your menus for the upcoming entertaining events. Make a list of the items you would like to serve, the number of people attending, what your guests are bringing to the get together. Compile a grocery list from these menus early, that way if there are particular items on sale in the next couple of weeks you can take advantage.

Get planning and stay tuned for more tips on how to save a few dimes....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grocery Exile!

Good Morning Readers,
This morning I am working from home and although my mound of paperwork is toppling over, I wanted to take a quick moment to update you on another little way to save a few dimes.
Right now, in the height of my busy season it is very easy to resort to eating out or running to the grocery store every day. I am trying very hard to fight this. We returned home from another busy race weekend on Sunday and I did make a trip to the grocery store but with a very rough list to go with a very loosely planned menu. My items made dinner and lunch thru last night and now I feel stuck. I am going to turn on my stubbornness and refuse to go to the store today, maybe tomorrow too. (Although we will need milk) MAYBE I can even make it thru Friday...ahhhh, that would be perfect.
SO, I am on a grocery exile. The way to go about this is to take a rough inventory of what you have in your fridge, freezer, cupboards....look WAY in the back. Make a list of all the meats, proteins you have. Then start pairing them up with grains, veggies, fruits on hand. Get creative, bake your meats with sliced apples for a yummy side dish. Create a casserole with tuna, pasta, fresh or frozen peas and a homemade cream sauce.  You will be amazed at what you can incorporate without having to go to the store time and time again for just a few items.
I will report back with my dinner plan...and if I have the time after conquering the paperwork, I may list out a few meals from items I have on hand!
Happy Hunting!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spa Day on a dime!

So recently I found myself looking for a little pampering. However, during race season I am quite careful with my budget for those types of things. I found myself browsing Pinterest (a VERY useful frugal tool) and found a pin for a bath recipe that helps detox the body and relax the mind. Well that's all I needed to set forth and find helpful pedicure and manicure tips, facial mask and a homemade body scrub. I will describe my spa set up, just try and stay with me as you picture the peace and solitude....

To begin make sure your bathtub is nice and sparkly clean. I LOVE my cleaning solution of baking soda and a bit of dish detergent and water. Since the only bathroom with a tub in our house is my son's, I did take a 1/2 hour or so and cleaned it up, so that is was extra SPA like! He appreciated this, haha!

Next, make your after pampering area nice and relaxing. I chose my bedroom. I shut my shades, placed a bottle of water next to my bed (hydration is key when detoxing) made my bed with a couple of heavy blankets and sprayed my linens with a nice lavender spray (my favorite is found at Bath and Body Works) ...placed my Whole Living magazine in reach and set out a comfy set of clothes to slip into after my spa appointment down the hall.

One of the tips I found for pedicures was to soak your feet in apple cider vinegar before scrubbing, this helps fight bacteria and leaves them soft as well. So, beside my bed I set out a large bowl and filled it about half full of apple cider vinegar (that my sweet husband was kind enough to run and get for me, he is a fan of me being relaxed! haha) and set out a clean hand towel beside it to allow me to dry off before heading down to the tub.

I mixed up my homemade face mask:
2 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp nutmeg and cinnamon

This smelled heavenly, and the instructions were to leave this on for 30 minutes, I however tend to have sensitive skin and found I could only leave this on about 5 minutes. It started to burn. I do think it did wonders while it was on though and the spices were great at exfoliating as I rinsed it off with a washcloth. So don't hesitate to try it, but maybe start out with just a few minutes.

The body scrub on the other hand I LOVED!
1/2 C dark brown sugar (although any would do)
1 Tbsp honey
splash of olive oil
1/4 Tbsp of lemon juice

I doubled this so that I could be sure to have enough for my feet and hands.
THIS was amazing. I highly recommend doing this a couple of times a week. My skin still feels great a couple of days later.

Once you have these two things made, find a candle and deliver them all to the Spa....
Fill yourself a nice hot bath and throw in the following:
Handful of Epsom Salts (which my husband also had to get)
1/2 C of Baking Soda
and about 10 drops of lavender essential oil

Once you have the bath filled light the candle and shut off the lights, shut the door and let the room get warm, moist and spa like while you soak your feet in the pre-treatment/recovery room (see you just have to pretend). I soaked my feet for about 15 minutes while browsing my magazine.

Then head to the tub, sit, soak and relax. Candle light, relaxing spa music (courtesy of Pandora) and the calming scents will really take you away, I promise. I applied the face mask first and after letting that sit as long as I could I rinsed that off and then started exfoliating with the body scrub. After about a 30 minute soak...dry off and head to your recovery room. I turned on my fan and promptly fell asleep for over an hour. THAT is how relaxed I was. If you feel like you can't nap then pick up your favorite magazine and just enjoy the peace and quiet and sip your water.

When I awoke, I drank my water, took a shower and gave myself a manicure and pedicure.
I would say the whole spa treatment cost less than $5.00 and the fact that I had happened to have the afternoon to myself was priceless.

I think days like these are so important to whole health and I plan to take advantage more often. Now if I had just had a massage in there before I fell asleep that would have been heaven.....hmmm...I'll have to figure out a frugal option for that too.
I hope you take the time for yourself, to rejuvenate and replenish your soul...on a dime!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Balance...the ups and the downs!

Good Evening Readers,
This post is both an apology and self taught pep talk.
I apologize for the lack of posts these days. I started out thinking I would share tip after tip on at least a weekly basis. OH MY!  I sometimes bite off more than I can chew. So hear comes the pep talk...

Balance. Do you have it? Do you know what it is? If you are like me you HAVE felt it before in your life. When things are in check. You feel "together"....and then there is chaos, "balance's" evil sibling.

In my life I prefer balance and recently I went way off course. One thing was different this time though...I just went with it. (well in my organized, type A way) Simply because, even though I didn't feel like myself, life had to roll on. I had a son finishing up a busy 7th grade academic/athletic year, whom we were also on the road with every weekend racing. With a multitude of other responsibilities it was inevitable I was going to feel run down. I typically fight it. I over do. Well this time I threw up the white flag and rested until I felt like I could tackle my world again. I was so excited when I woke up a few mornings ago and I had "IT"!!  My energy, my focus, my desire for balance. Unless you have had these ups and downs you probably will not understand and it is likely you will not understand if your normal way of life is out of balance to begin with. It is my comfort to know I share this same philosophy with so many great friends. Some who are struggling with this right along with me.

My balance is: meal plans, budgets, finances in order, a properly completed calendar, reminders set, a clean home, laundry caught up, a happy & healthy family and environment. I had none of that for a few weeks. I forgot important meetings, appointments, ate out due to complete disorganization.
I guess my point is....In so many things in life there are times when you need to fight and then there are times when you need to step back and realize everything has a way of working itself out. I am not 100% back in check but I am left feeling more like someone of my equal weight is on the teeter-totter with me.

As always it is great to have a support system who can see when you are off track and can gently guide you home. My hope is that anyone who reads this and is feeling the same way.....take the time to rest and clear your mind. It will all be there waiting for a refreshed and balanced YOU!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Time Flies....and the house is dirty!

WOW! It has been almost two months since I sat down and blogged. I apologize to all of my loyal followers. It is a very busy time of year for my family. Our son races go-karts and a Legend Car and well race season means many, many miles on the road.
That leads me to this post....
When we travel I feel like the couple of days before we leave I am prepping for race weekends... doing laundry, packing, running errands, meal planning, grocery shopping, food prep. Then the day or two after we get back I feel like I am unpacking, catching upon laundry, running errands, meal planning for the week, grocery get the picture. Some weeks those days before the race weekend and the days after the race weekend run together. Leaving me with just one or two days to clean the house and feel organized.
Today I need to tackle the bathrooms. Honestly my M O S T dreaded chore in the house. I was browsing Pinterest this morning while sipping my tea (yes I have to have this down time, my mind and soul thank me for it) and found an interesting link form another blog where a reader who has cleaned houses for over 20 years has a simple procedure for a quick cleaning routine in the bathroom. I will share this link and then get to work....I do need to wash the floors as well and really a spring cleaning is in order but I thought I would share in case any of you are in the same boat. Happy Disinfecting! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Smart Choices!

Hope this new post finds everyone feeling well! April showers have hit our area and I am anxiously waiting for the beautiful green grass and flowers that follow.

In the past couple of weeks I have been reading and watching many documentaries on fresh food, organic meats, local options and ways to make wonderful meals for my family on a budget. Food is most nutritious in its whole form, fresh is best.
We have changed our lifestyle greatly over the last few years and I am committed to continue tweaking it to ensure I am doing the best I can to provide a whole food menu. As the warm weather begins I am hoping to start a small garden. We lead a busy life in the warmer months and I hope to be able to manage a small crop to help create meals. If you are unable to have a garden yourself I highly encourage you to visit your local farmers markets and support your area farms.
I wanted to share some of the documentaries I have watched with you so that you can determine your own thoughts on the foods you choose to feed your families.

All of these I found on Netflix:

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
Forks over Knives
Food Inc. (Not for the faint of heart!)

I hope to blog about the cost of the garden and the cost of fresh items that I find at Farmers Markets over the Spring and Summer months and how I use the items to make meals for my friends and family!

Keep Fresh.....and save dimes!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In the know...

Good Morning Savers!
Did you know that stores sometimes have their own coupons as well? Did you know that most stores allow you to stack their store coupon with a man. coupon for even more savings?
Well this was something I had heard about and will honestly say have only tried at Target but it did work!
Many stores, including Target and Walgreens have their own coupons. Target's coupons can be found on line at and are printable. Walgreen's typically puts out a coupon book, available in store.
Both of these stores near my home allow stacking. The other thing I have noticed is much of the time when Target posts a coupon, they have the item on sale that week too. Pair that with a man. coupon and save big!

Another great savings is register rewards. You will have to look into how stores in your area work, but here at home I shop at Walgreens and if you note in their flyer that a particular item is on sale and there are register rewards available, this means that when you check out you will receive a slip of paper much like a coupon that can be used for your next purchase. It's almost a "thank you" for buying particular products. You can use those rewards on any items the next time you make a purchase. Many stores do have a limit though, saying you can use 3 register rewards if you are purchasing 3 items. etc.

This leads me to store policies. Many stores have their own coupon policies, so I highly recommend asking for a copy at the Customer Service desk. If you plan to do some extreme couponing it is wise to carry that with you on your shopping trip. Unfortunately not all employees are aware of the policies and may try to deter you from using coupons or stacking them, and it can be embarrassing to have to call over a manager and hold up the line.

Okay, so you know where to find them....what to do with to handle them....are you using them? I am guilty, I recently went shopping and forgot my coupons and instead of turning back I just went ahead and bought the items. While saving is a full time job, no one is perfect. I am however working on using cash and budgeting as we start a very busy season in our lives and that is helping too.

My tips may be less frequent as we enter the racing season, but I am here anytime you have a question. Keep saving those dimes!! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

To coupon? or not to coupon?

Is that a question you ask yourself often?

To be perfectly honest I go back and forth with the little slips of free money. I find that when I have the time, I can really crack down and save more than my usual weeks. Then there are some weeks when I fall short on time and lack the effort to sit down and line up sales and coupons.

However, I did attend a couponing class recently and although my husband asked "Are you going to teach it?" (he proclaims I am a great saver) ....I did learn a thing or two and I am happy to share with you my knowledge from before and my new found tips on couponing.


They come to us in MANY ways....
The common way is to get the inserts in the weekend paper. These coupons typically come from SmartSource and RedPlum (referred to as SS and RP thru the rest of this post) and they tend to be targeted towards the area that the paper is marketed for. In the class I found out that this means that sometimes in more urban areas the coupons have higher values, leading to a more desirable savings when matching sales and coupons. So when you find sites on line (which I will list) who give you a break down of stores, sales and matched up savings you will notice that sometimes we do not benefit from those same coupons at the same amount. No fear, the deals can still be found. And I will show you how...
Okay so I have found that most sites will list the company producing the coupons (SS or RP for instance) and then a date. Example: SS 3-18-12 This means that this coupon may be found in the in the SS pull out of the 3-18-12 paper. My suggestion (since class) is to take a manilla folder, the plain office type... and put the date on the outside and then in that folder put all inserts from that date.
This will save you time since you may not need every coupon in the insert, so you might as well not clip every one of them AND if you clipped only the ones you thought you might need you may miss out on a free product or a money maker. (These can always be donated if you won't use them in your home)
Now set that thought aside...
Coupons come in many other formats, you may find coupons attached to products in the store. There are ENDLESS sites online that you can print coupons from. Coupons can be found on manufacturers websites and Facebook pages. Ever see those ones that get printed for you at the grocery store when you are checking out? Those are called "Catalina Coupons" (learned that terminology from class, apparently it's the name of the company who produces them).Then there are store coupons....confused yet? Don't worry it's alot of information, and you may need to refer back to this post a few times to get the hang of all of it.

The best advice I can give you is take a few weeks and just collect coupons. If you have the inserts from the paper put them in your manilla folders and then just take any other loose type coupons and put them in a safe place.

The World Wide Web:

After you have a small stockpile, take an hour (or two) and find a quiet place with a computer. If you have Facebook go to a couple of pages and "like" them....I recommend "Money Saving Mom" and "Thrifty and Thriving" both of these sites have their own websites as well and give wonderful information how to match up sales and coupons each week. There are dozens of these types of pages, so just search around when you have the time and find a couple you like. These are great because you will typically get an alert in your news feed when there is a good bargain to be had.
Then look up the web. Not only does she have an easy to follow couponing format, she also has tutorials on how to start out saving. I suggest "favoriting" her site, you will want to refer to it often.
Coupon Mom for instance is a site I use to both print coupons and match up savings. Do yourself a favor, take a few minutes and explore the site. One tip that I learned a long time ago is to use the zip code of an urban area when printing coupons on the web. The market is more competitive in bigger cities and manufacturers will produce larger denomination coupons. An easy one to remember is "90210"...Beverly Hills, BABY!
But obviously use the proper zip code when searching for the deals in your area. They do a great job tallying all of the savings at stores such as Shaw's, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.

Gather and Go:

Now the next step is to match up sales and coupons.
An example would be: Take the current Walgreen's flyer and browse the ads and see if you can locate any items that are on sale that you also have a coupon for. (Colgate is on sale 2 for $3.00 and you have 2 coupons for $.50 off 1....then you can get 2 packages of toothpaste for $1.00 each) If so, at that time clip your coupon and start an envelope for Walgreen's and place your coupon in it. You now have them all together to take on your shopping trip.
Do this with each of the stores you plan on visiting, or at least browse each flyer and see if there are any items you need or can stock up on.

The next post will dig a little deeper into store coupons, matching those with manufacturers coupons, store policies and register rewards!

Until then...I hope you all take a moment and save a few dimes!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Price Book Pics!

This is a Price Book....
I am in the process of updating mine, so I only have the information for a couple of stores and a few items, but over the next few weeks I will have it completed. You'll get the idea....

My book is just a small softcover journal, about 4" across and 5 1/2" tall. It fits easily in my purse.

Once you start using this tool you will realize it is worth it's weight in dimes! Okay GOLD!
If you happen to stop buy another store, or perhaps a wholesale club you will be able to tell right off hand the best price!

I am attending a coupon class tonight, I will be sure to share that information as my next blog will be CONQUERING COUPONING!
Stay tuned.......

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Name that price....

Good Afternoon Everyone!
Hope you all are doing well, joyfully springing ahead and saving some dimes!

Now that we have spoke of de-cluttering, menu planning, stretching your food budget and some homemade goodies. We can slowly dive into saving & couponing. When I say's because again this takes some time and organization. Of course, you CAN just read a flyer, cut a coupon, save a couple of bucks and be done. You may do this from time to time and trust me ANY money saved is great, but if you take a little bit of time and organize yourself you will see that it will pay off. One of the things I utilize is a pricebook...I will post a photo of an example soon. (I need to update mine, so this is great!) 

The best way to do this is to get yourself a small notebook, something you can easily tuck in your purse while shopping. And from your list of staples and menu plans, write down your most commonly purchased items along the left hand side of each page. Beside each list make 3 the top of each column write the initial for the stores you commonly use. For example my pages all have "H", "S" and "W" at the top. (Hannaford, Shaw's and Walmart)

Now comes the part that is a little time consuming, but well worth it. Spend some time at each place, you can go and do this some afternoon or each time you happen to stop into these stores you shop at simply make a few entries. The goal is to have an idea of how much an item costs at each of the stores so you are well equipped with this knowledge when sales arise and coupons are released. Once you see an item is on sale, you can then refer to your price book to see if it indeed is a bargain. You won't be tricked into thinking it's a deal, you will know! If a coupon comes out for an item you know you use, you can check and see where you might save the most money. Not to mention some stores double coupons and some don't. Here near my home Shaw's doubles coupons up to $0.99 so if they show an item on sale and it's the same price as I would purchase it at Hannaford, BUT I have a $0.75 coupon AND they DOUBLE that, well then I am definitely getting a deal. We will work into coupons but for now, gather your information and do your research...

Does it go without saying...check unit pricing? If there is an item you KNOW you are going to use alot, PLEASE pay attention to unit pricing. (example: 24oz of chocolate chips: $3.68, 48oz bag of chocolate chips: $4.68) if you know you use chocolate chips on a regular basis it saves you some dimes by buying the bigger bag and pay less per ounce.

While I do think it is important to compare prices, I do think it is wise to group purchases and shopping trips together so that you are not chasing small savings all over town. With the price of fuel these days it may not pay off in the end.

I plan to work on updating my price book this week, when I have it ready I will post a picture...keep on saving!

I hope this is helpful, if you have any questions please let me know...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Clutter BE GONE!

This may not seem like it applies to saving money, but I will tell you how it does.

When we live a cluttered life it makes it difficult to save. Organization is key to being empowered with a clear mind ready and willing to take on the steps to frugality.

When you clear out clutter you may find items you no longer need. There are so many ways these days to get a bit of return on investment. Or, you can donate these items to a great cause and although that may not fill your wallet, it will fill your heart and that can feel even better. When we are unorganized we spend more because it is easier...why look for something for hours when it only costs $5.00 to replace...haven't we all been there? Well no more...pick a hot spot in your home and see what you can find!

I am taking this weekend to do some de-cluttering myself and I know that doing so will help me fulfill all of these things! Baby Steps...that's what I want you all to remember.

Heck you may even find some dimes!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 5, 2012

How to S-T-R-E-T-C-H!

Okay, I posted a few things to get you going in the homemade cleaners department. I will follow up with more of those soon....

I wanted to move on briefly to help get you started on saving at the grocery store. Something that is VERY hard to do these days. I am not going to get into couponing right now, although I think it goes without saying if you see a coupon for a product you use by all means clip away, just remember to bring them to the biggest downfall.

When I started out being budget conscious, I did a couple of things. I sat down and made a list of my families favorite entrees, side dishes, breakfasts, lunches and desserts. This may take some time, so I suggest getting a notebook and just start jotting things down as you remember. When doing this get an idea of how many meals you can get out of one purchase. (5 side dishes from one bag of russet potatoes, 3 meals from one whole chicken and so on)  Stretching these types of purchases will really give you a bang for your buck. Once you have a solid idea of the types of foods you would be making on a regular basis. Start a list of staples. These are items that you will have on hand and stock up on when you have the extra cash, usually things that have a longer shelf life. For instance, I typically have on hand different cuts of pasta, grains, baking goods, cereals, etc.

The toughest part about saving at the grocery store, I think, is the fact that much of the inexpensive items are processed and loaded with things we can't pronounce. I try very hard to budget for a trip that allows me to make my family healthy, well balanced meals and I make as much as I can from scratch.

The best way to do this is work with a budget. You may have to fuss with this at first. But if you follow the basic idea then you can get it down over time. For instance, say you want to try and spend $80.00 for the week (my typical amount...some weeks I go WAY low and some weeks I have no choice but to spend a little more depending what we have going on)  then you plan out a menu according to what's on sale and stick to your plan.

So, this week I found a pork roast & cod on sale. I have 4 nights covered with these purchases. I searched the produce section for sales on veggies and with the items I chose I will have spent approx. $6.50  a night to feed a family of three. I of course will use a couple of things from my stockpile. My total for this shopping trip was $60.16, with lunch items, snacks and milk. We buy as many local ingredients as we can afford, so this even includes Organic Maine Milk and cheese. Because my budget was $80.00, I will then save the overage and use it to stock up on items that are on my staples list, or run back and get the things that I maybe have forgotten about and still be within budget. (I am human after all, hehe!) I have enough on hand to make a couple of meals to supplement the rest of the week.

When you start a stockpile it allows you to purchase items at a lower price and combine them with sometimes unavoidably pricier ingredients and still save over all.

The one thing that will help is also knowing proper portion sizes. Before I started doing this it was common for my husband to over eat. Heck, myself too! What I like about knowing where these items are being used thru the week is that when it comes time to dividing up the goods, there is only so much allotted for each night. So we don't over eat AND we don't waste as much as we used to.

When you get into a routine it really is a breeze. It won't take much of your time to pull together a week's menu and you will get to the point where you know what you have on hand automatically.

A few ideas for S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G your foods....

Pork Roast
Oven roasted or slow cooker pork roast with mashed potatoes, gravy and steamed veggies.
Pulled pork sandwiches, oven baked fries.
Shredded tacos
Baked Beans with Pork
Pork fried rice to accompany an asian entree

Whole Chicken
Baked chicken, with side dished of your choice
Chicken Quesadillas
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken Noodle Soup

You get the idea....I come up with these types of menus and then when I see something on sale I can refer back and already have a game plan in place. And please follow the guidelines for all foods in regards to leftovers.

Again, this will get you started with a basic idea of how to collect more dimes at the grocery store! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

new at this....

Sorry followers....I am new at this. The 2 new posts are up....but you will want to read the one that gives you the list of all the things you need first! Apologies!

Mix away...

Now that you have the basics you can start creating some new cleaners....

The first homemade cleaner I tried making was laundry detergent. We all wash clothes, we all have our preferences of liquid vs. powder. I have always preferred liquid, and so I started here, however I do plan to try the powder recipe I have soon and I will report back. This one here is a liquid detergent, the consistency will be quite gel like, but it works great. I add a scoop full of oxiclean to a load that is particularly grimey,

Homemade Laundry Detergent

You will need:

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha
1/2 C. Washing Soda
1/2 C. Borax Powder
box grater and the 2 gallon bucket

Grate the 1/3 of the Fels Naptha Bar and put the shavings in a  large saucepan, add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. At this point you can add a couple of drops of essential oils, lavender & eucalyptus are nice. Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon + 6 cups of water and stir again. Put the lid on the bucket and let sit for 24 hours. You will use 1/2 C. per load.
You may feel the need to stir this from time to time, but it is typical for it to be in gel form.

Homemade Glass Cleaner

1 cup Water
1/4 cup White Vinegar
2 to 3 drops Dawn Dish Soap
Empty Spray Bottle

Combine all ingredients in spray bottle. This is an amazing glass cleaner. Some people find the scent of the vinegar off-putting but rest assured it does disapate over time. In addition to this awesome glass cleaner another cost saving tip I have is using re-useable rags for your cleaning. I prefer the "bar mops" or plain white washcloths. The benefit clearly is you can wash them and used them over and over, I bleach them from time to time keep them clean. If you prefer to use paper towels, I recommend "Shop Towels" you can find these in the automotive department of most big box stores, they are great, durable towels that don't shed lint, which is nice when cleaning your windows.

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

2 Tbsp. Distilled White Vinegar
1 Tsp. Borax
1/8 cup Dawn Dishsoap
1 cup Hot Water
Spray bottle

Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle. This may be sudsy at first but it will settle.

Homemade Stain Remover

1 part Dawn
2 part Hydrogen Peroxide

When I made this recently, I made it with 1/2 C. Dawn and 1 C. HP. Combine in spray bottle.
This is something that has most defninitely saved me money. We have 2 dogs, who are a part of our family. They are allowed to sit and cuddle with us on our furniture. We have a red, canvas type sectional couch....that had MANY stains. How embarassing!!....I was hesitant at first since the material on the couch can be tricky. Very little elbow grease had to go into getting it clean with this stain remover. I soaked the spots with the solution and let sit for 15-30 minutes and then wiped the area with a rag. Repeated until clean. I was very pleased!! 

So these are a few to get you started, I will be adding more soon!  I think you will be pleased and I hope it helps you save a few dimes!


Okay, so here are some things about making your cleaners at home that I love. They are certainly better for your health and the environment, my favorite part is the cost. Once you start the process and accumulate your basics you will be able to make just about any cleaner you could need in a home. I have made many and I will share only those that I have had success with. The following are the basics I started with.
I suggest buying in bulk to save the most $$ or at least compare the unit pricing.

Baking Soda
Dawn Dish Detergent
White Vinegar
Washing Soda
Hydrogen Peroxide
Fels Naptha Bar

You will want to pick up an inexpensive box grater (dollar store style will do), a 2 gallon bucket with a lid, and 3 spray bottles. I found that in the laundry section (the section that sells laundry baskets, ironing boards)at stores such as WalMart or Target you can find empty bottles for around a dollar. These are a great size for storing in a carryall tote to keep it all neat and tidy.

...I will start with homemade laundry detergent, glass cleaner, stain remover, and all purpose cleaner.Get shopping and read on!  

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

From Scratch!

So it is my hope that while inspiring others I will keep myself on track. In life these days it's easy to get derailed. I am guilty of the weeks of convenience vs. time and preparation. Who isn't? I must admit though, they are the weeks when I feel my lowest. I am most happy when I am organized, the house is clean and I am able to take the time and enjoy the little things with my family.

So one of the first things I want to share is the simplicity of  "From Scratch" ....
I started a short time ago looking at all of the things I can make from scratch. Not only to save a dime, but to feel down home, to feel primitive and pioneer like. I am going to begin this section with SPRING CLEANING! So many times we choose expensive products with harsh chemicals because we are in a rush. I am compiling a list of homemade cleaning solutions to share with all of you, items you have right in your homes that will make your home *SPARKLE* and that you can feel good about! Thank you for stopping by....stay tuned!!