Sunday, July 31, 2011

Laundry Detergent

Here's the run down.

76 oz Borax $3.97
55 oz Washing Soda $2.98
Fels Naptha bar $0.97
1 batch of powder laundry detergent:
1 C Borax ($.42)
1 C Soda ($.44)
1 bar soap grated ($.97)

I tend to cut my hands up a lot, so this is as small as I felt comfortable grating my soap.  I thought I would use it for stain removal so it wouldn't be wasted.
My husband didn't think I should leave it out of the detergent.  Fortunately, he knows how to use a knife.  Actually, I think he saw it as a challenge.

Then I mixed it well. Hmm, sorry about the messy table.  I usually hide our piles on the bed when we have company.  I'm sure you don't have clutter on yours.

Total cost $1.83 for approximately 48 Tablespoon loads.  Even if I call it 36 loads figuring in for settling it's still around 5 cents a load.  In my quick look on and I found Purex liquid detergent for $6.25/32 loads ($.20/load) and a 35 lbs bucket of powder detergent for around 10 cents a load, and you had to spend close to $100 to get that good of a deal!

I used it today.  I forgot to get a load out of the washer before it got stinky...usually pretty hard to get that smell out, but I couldn't smell the sour laundry after running it again with the homemade detergent and my picky husband commented on how good the laundry room smelled after rewashing and drying the load...we were more than satisfied!  If you decide to make your own laundry detergent, tell me how it works for you.
The DIY Show Off

Friday, July 29, 2011

Burning the Midnight Oil

I'm not a night owl.  But propping my eyes open until midnight is easier than chasing a 3 year old and a 1 year old out of the kitchen.  My dear husband loves to plant a huge garden and even helps me can.  I scare both of us when I have a knife, so he cores and skins while I scald, cool, and stuff jars.  We have a row of Roma tomatoes and a row of slicing tomatoes, but we think we'll just plant Romas next year as they are so easy to prep for canning--scald, slice of the top, slice them in half, squeeze...out pops the tomato ready to go in the jar.  No circling with your knife to get the core out, the skin slides off, and there isn't as much juice running all over the counter.
I suppose it isn't as healthy as freezing them, but it's more economical and less messy (think leaky plastic bag thawing in a pool of tomato juice).  I don't add salt though.  From what I've read it is optional and we don't need the sodium anyway.  I use quart jars because I normally use that much at a time anyway, and it means less time processing since the same number of quarts as pints fit in my hot water bath pot (I only pressure can if I need to--green beans).  So far we have 24 quarts and that is after having to throw a lot of bad ones out.
If you can get some hand me down canning supplies (pot, jars, rings, jar tongues) and only have to buy lids every year (less than $2-3 for 12), its a good savings.  If you have a place to start seedlings seeds would be the way to go, but buying some good plants would be the next best thing as once they start producing fruit they will continue until frost.  We have been extremely dry, but our tomatoes are still producing, and they should do a lot better once it starts raining again early this fall. 

I would suggest spraying for bugs too (grasshoppers will destroy the plant pretty quickly).  My city friends are pretty sold on organic, but my ag background husband tells me that the natural pesticide that a plant produces after being bitten is more toxic that the pesticides that are available.  Something to look into.  Of course make sure and follow withdrawal guidelines if you choose to use chemicals.

The process I use is similar to this but I don't add any lemon juice and instead of adding tomato juice or hot water, I just smash the tomatoes as I'm packing them to make their own juices.  It doesn't sound as pretty, but by the time they are cooked and I am taking them out of the jar, I don't notice that they are smashed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stylish Onesies

At the beginning of the summer it didn't seem like my youngest had enough going to town worthy shirts, but we had an overabundance of screen printed onesies.  So I decorated some of them.  See!
I got the idea for this one here.  Actually I've been reading Ruffles and Stuff.  Disney does a lot of clothing re-purposing and was largely my inspiration for all of these.

See the screen printing.  I wasn't fond of it.

For this one I cut a long thin strip of white t-shirt material, ruffled it by stitching down the middle on my machine's longest stitch length and highest tension.  Then I rolled the ruffle around itself as I hand stitched it to the shirt from the inside.

The leaf is a piece of green ribbed t-shirt that I machine sewed to the shirt down the middle.

For the green shirt I cut 2 long 1 1/2" strips of t-shirt material and pleated haphazardly one at a time on the shirt and zig zagged to attach.

The green one was my favorite until I soaked it in oxy clean and it faded in spots.  :(  Not go to town worthy anymore, but maybe I'll try it again sometime.  I liked it and it was a more gender neutral decoration.

Todays Creative Blog

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saving Money in the Laundry Room

My husband's friend makes his own laundry detergent.  And we were thinking we would try it to save some money...but it has to be boiled and that just hasn't sounded very appealing (and I haven't needed any more until now), but I found this recipe for powder laundry detergent.  Looks pretty easy, and it's basicly the same stuff that is in our friend's liquid detergent minus the boiling water!  So while I'm out of town this week, I'll be off to the store.  I'll let you know how it all turns out.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Title Track

When I get it all together I will:
  1. Not do silly things like put the ice tray in the fridge part of the refrigerator.
  2. Not waste all of nap time thinking of all the things I could be doing.
  3. Study my bible everyday (and not forget what I read 5 minutes later) out of love and longing for Jesus my Lord.
  4. Stay calm when my darling children become obnoxious.
  5. Teach my children everything they need to know.
  6. Always support my husband.
  7. Provide for my family with the foresight to know how it will all turn out.
Okay, not entirely realistic, but in a perfect world...  Still, if I can get number 3 I'll be a whole lot closer to getting it together.

So here's my adventure in mothering, with some guilt and some inspiration, and now some world wide accountability.  Maybe if you haven't gotten it all together yet either, we can encourage each other on the way.