I’m all for making my own stuff if possible. Especially if it saves money. Having parrots in my life costs money for their care and I’ve had to find ways to tighten up and save a buck here and there. So I actively searched for ways to save money. I did an extensive post about some ways years ago and you can find that here: Not Your Usual “Parrot Nation”Post.
I had heard of this before, but I’d never tried it. But I did it. I finally did it. I made my own laundry detergent. And it was easy! I simply grated up a Fels Naptha bar soap with a cheese grater, (any bar soap will do) to make up two cups of shaved soap. I then added one cup of 20 Mule Team borax, 1 cup of washing soda and put it all in my food processor. I spun it up for about a minute to get it well mixed and finally ground up and poured the resulting powder in a tupperware container.
You use one tablespoon per load; 2 tablespoons if you’ve been working out in a barn somewhere. I did the math on this and based on my calculations it will cost me about five or six cents a load to do my laundry. Or about $3.60 for 60 loads. That’s quite a savings over the cost of buying the soap at the grocery store where the cost is about eleven-plus dollars for 60 loads of laundry.
Here’s another thing I do to save tons on something. Years ago I stopped buying toilet bowl cleaner. I don’t use it. I use bleach. Why in God’s name would I want to pour, or spray some fancy-pants stuff into my toilet just to clean it when bleach works just as well? Pour some in, swish it around with a toilet brush and let it stand for a while. Then flush and brush and you’re done.
I don’t get jiggy with all of the budget living tips I see. For instance, I once saw instructions on how to make my own welcome mat by crocheting plastic grocery bags together. Umm…no.
But I do try and make my own lunches to carry to work and that includes making my own soup. I can barely stand canned soup anymore once I began making my own on a regular basis. I’ve also begun making more things with beans which have a lot of protein and are relatively inexpensive.
This is one of my favorite sandwiches and my crew always likes this as well. It’s a mozzarella, basil, tomato and avocado sandwich and it’s really good!
It certainly beats any of the crap you find at the airport and it’s better for you.
These are just some of the ways I find to save money. If you have any suggestions or know how to really crunch on the budget let me know!
November 1, 2012 at 8:30 am
Thanks for the reminder about the toilet bowl cleaner … I won’t purchase any more once I use up what I just bought.
I don’t like canned soup either with the exception of Campbell’s tomato and that’s a comfort thing. It accompanies a grilled cheese sandwich and hopefully someone to make it for me, stroke my hair and tell me everything is going to be ok …
I love that sandwich as well. I find I’m putting avocado on more and more things and it’s a good thing!
Years ago I had an assistant (I so miss those days!) and she and I would take turns with lunch. She would bring lunch on certain days and I would bring on others. I don’t know how to cook in small quantities, so this was ideal. As a single mom of 3, she really knew how to stretch a dollar!
I don’t see me making my own laundry soap anytime soon, but I am a make it yourself devotee …
Speaking of … can’t wait to get a print version of the chop recipe … there has to be a ton of savings there as opposed to the rising cost of pellets and those darned Nutri berries that Buster and Greybird both have taken a shine to, well … if you don’t try to introduce new flavors, that is … ugh … life with a Grey …
November 1, 2012 at 8:38 am
I loved reading this. DIY and saving money? I am all for it.
November 1, 2012 at 9:18 am
I’m 100% in agreement on the soup. Once you start making your own, you can’t go back. The commercial soups just taste too salty or just not good enough. Even the soup brand that claims it is for adults is too salty now for me. I also love to make all kinds of chili, mostly the kind with black beans but other beans and ground beef or turkey too. My birds pick the beans and corn out of the chili.
Do you know if your laundry recipe works for HE (water saver) machines? The savings you mention are certainly tempting. However, do you need to use a separate food processor than the one you actually use for food? I assume so, since in my other hobby (rock tumbling) we are always advised to be so cautious about disposing of used borax. I think I freecycled my extra food processor…but I suppose I can always pick up another one.
I love to DIY stone ornaments, jewelry, and mosaics. Won’t necessarily recommend it as a way to save money but I end up with a higher quality collection than I would have if I just threw cash at it.
November 1, 2012 at 9:25 am
A few years back at with the economic downturn my spouse was laid off, so we were back to one income for the five of us. I started making our bread and have found two methods that are easy for making baguettes, rolls, buns. There are only four ingredients; flour, water, yeast and salt. Mix them up and put the dough in the fridge and on baking day form the loaf, let rise for 45 mins, heat the oven and bake for about 20. Best bread and for pennies. An additional bonus the birds love it. The other easy breads are naan and Pita, Epicurious.com has a wonderful Wholewheat pita recipe.
November 1, 2012 at 9:46 am
I’ve not bought commercial household cleaners in years (with the exception being Dawn). Between white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide & Dawn – I can clean darn near anything & everything for next to nothing costs per use & it’s not full of questionable chemicals & headache-inducing fragrances.
Microfiber cloths (my fav brand is ecloth) are also my go-to favorite for cleaning the house & makes cleaning the bird cages a easy peasy event.
I’d rather chew my own leg off before I have to futz with clipping coupons or shopping the sales flyers. I’ve no patience for that so I found other ways to save coin without going that route by making my own cleaners as well as making my own kitchen staples such as salad dressings, dips, spice blends, etc.
I also finally stopped straightening the hell out of my wavy/curly hair & that alone has saved not only time, but the number of products & tools to keep it “straight”…well as straight as the humidity gods would allow.
November 1, 2012 at 10:10 am
Great ideas! I might even try the making the homemade laundry soap just to say that I tried it. Now a comment about those photos of your soup and sandwich…now I am hungry! They looked delicious. I can’t wait for the Sund’s CHOP Receipt Cards to come out!!!!
November 1, 2012 at 10:39 am
The other secret toilet bowl (and other cleaning) miracle is pumice stone. You can find one in the foot-care aisle in the grocery store, and it’s the only thing that *really *works to remove mineral deposits. I’ve never found anything else that will erase rings like pumice. You have to keep it wet to avoid scratching the porcelain (it works on sinks and showers, too), but since there’s water in the toilet that’s not an issue. Best cleaning info I’ve ever discovered, living in states where there’s always a ring no matter what you clean with.
On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 5:36 AM, Parrot Nati
November 1, 2012 at 11:36 am
Jane, what do you use hydrogen peroxide for?
November 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm
I use H2O2 for mostly whitening whites (especially the husband’s white tee’s) as a bleach alternative. Bleach irritates my nose enough to cause nose bleeds. I also use it to sanitize my cutting boards & clean the oven (mixed with baking soda) as commercial oven cleaners are not bird safe I’m pretty sure of. Great for cleaning the pesticide funk off strawberries (rinse really well). Yep, but mostly I use it to whiten all our whites.
This lady seems to sum it up pretty good in these 2 posts.
http://bit.ly/Se1YHV and http://bitly.com/PFKaUd