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Joan in GE

Life skills - frugal home-making & home educating

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About worry - I understand that. It took me awhile to switch my mindset around. But once I started experimenting and challenging myself to make use of what we had and what was on sale, instead of "shopping to make up a meal," it gradually got easier. It also took awhile to build up a rotating stock of pantry items and pre-cooked-and-frozen blocks of beans, shredded meat, even pre-cooked-and-frozen blocks of grain (rye, oats, kamut - which I bought at a super-duper discount months ago, etc.) that I can use for quick breakfasts. But once I got into *that* routine, too, it got easier. Going back to the other way of shopping for weekly meals would now make *me* feel worried and restless. I would be thinking, "Oh, I need green peppers for the pasta sauce, but I forgot to buy some this week!" whereas now, there are usually a few huge bags of frozen diced peppers in my freezer, to be accessed if I feel like making pasta sauce (or pizza, or chili, or...) tonight, so I don't worry about individual meals anymore.

 

I so needed this post. :)

 

I've been working towards that kind of approach but hadn't quite understood it. Never thought, for instance, of stocking up on and freezing the green peppers that might be on sale so that they are always around for a supper option.

 

I have been working at getting more and more basic items though and making items I used to buy from scratch. For instance, I'm now a little embarrassed to admit that I'd buy taco seasoning mix and tortillas when it takes minutes to make both at home.

 

Also, I'm learning some basic cooking skills that I've missed over the years. Learning to make a roux has been earth shattering for me. I've realized that once you start learning some of the foundations of cooking, building meals without the recipes is not a big deal.

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I am wondering: do you consider homemade laundry detergent really worth the trouble (plus storing a five gallon bucket that takes up space), considering how little money is saved?

I always wanted to know how much we spend on detergent, so I labeled the $8 (including tax; it is actually a bit less)-Aldi-detergent jug with the opening date. That was in mid-November, it is still at least a third full. So I am looking at less than $2 per month (I use as prescribed, with only a quarter of a cap per load).

Seeing it's this little, I do not think it would be a good use of my time and of storage space.

What am I missing?

 

 

Homemade laundry soap is a huge savings here. I make a powdered version and use, I admit, Ivory or whatever store brand hand soap is on sale (I don't like the Sunlight laundry soap scent). It's a 2:1:1 ratio of grated soap to borax and washing soda. I generally make enough to fit in a 2 litre ice cream bucket so it doesn't take up much room.

 

I make most of my cleaners. A bit of dishsoap and water, vinegar and water or some bleach and water. I do buy dishwater detergent though because I have not found a homemade recipe that works even reasonably well in my dishwasher.

 

I'll add one more key skill I think is important to running an efficient and frugal home and I've only just discovered it - regular and disciplined cleaning. Not waiting until something looks dirty but having a regular routine and sticking to it. It keeps the home running well, items in good nick and you tend to notice potential maintenance issues long before they cause issues.

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Homemade laundry soap is a huge savings here. I make a powdered version and use, I admit, Ivory or whatever store brand hand soap is on sale (I don't like the Sunlight laundry soap scent). It's a 2:1:1 ratio of grated soap to borax and washing soda. I generally make enough to fit in a 2 litre ice cream bucket so it doesn't take up much room.

 

I make most of my cleaners. A bit of dishsoap and water, vinegar and water or some bleach and water. I do buy dishwater detergent though because I have not found a homemade recipe that works even reasonably well in my dishwasher.

 

I'll add one more key skill I think is important to running an efficient and frugal home and I've only just discovered it - regular and disciplined cleaning. Not waiting until something looks dirty but having a regular routine and sticking to it. It keeps the home running well, items in good nick and you tend to notice potential maintenance issues long before they cause issues.

 

Do you have a favorite site with recipes for making homemade cleaners?

 

I started wondering about allergy free homemade laundry soap from your post and ended up on this page about 'soap nuts'....Have you heard of or used them?

 

We used to have a serious cleaning schedule, but as kids left and things didn't get so dirty, I have to say that we're behind about this one....

 

Joan

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I just wanted to let 'the hive' know that these thread encouraged me to use what I had yesterday. I was making crock pot chicken with mushrooms and was missing cream of mushroom soup.

 

Instead of running to the story to buy it I (drum roll) made my own simply using butter and flour and then adding some cream (which I did have in the fridge). It turned out great! The family actually liked it better than the cream of mushroom soup version. :coolgleamA: I guess, we don't need to buy that any longer.

 

I will try to continue the quest to use what's in the pantry. :tongue_smilie:

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Why do people heat their houses overnight?

 

 

So the house doesn't get moldy (big problem in my area) and the pipes don't freeze and burst. We do turn the heat down at night, but not off.

 

I wanted to tell you Colleen that I've gotten a LOT better about this in the past year....I'm not quite to the point that Jane is who will substitute dried mushrooms for dried tomatoes in a recipe :-) BUT I'm a lot better about not always using a recipe and getting my own feel for putting things together...

 

 

YAY!!!! It'll get easier!

 

I so needed this post. :)

 

I've been working towards that kind of approach but hadn't quite understood it. Never thought, for instance, of stocking up on and freezing the green peppers that might be on sale so that they are always around for a supper option.

 

I have been working at getting more and more basic items though and making items I used to buy from scratch. For instance, I'm now a little embarrassed to admit that I'd buy taco seasoning mix and tortillas when it takes minutes to make both at home.

 

Also, I'm learning some basic cooking skills that I've missed over the years. Learning to make a roux has been earth shattering for me. I've realized that once you start learning some of the foundations of cooking, building meals without the recipes is not a big deal.

 

 

(yes, we need to visit sometime!) Glad the post helped! The frozen peppers I mentioned - I buy bags of diced frozen peppers. It's cheaper than buying peppers around here and dicing/freezing them myself. We should go grocery shopping together sometime, and I'll think out loud so you can hear my process. :D

 

I just wanted to let 'the hive' know that these thread encouraged me to use what I had yesterday. I was making crock pot chicken with mushrooms and was missing cream of mushroom soup.

 

Instead of running to the story to buy it I (drum roll) made my own simply using butter and flour and then adding some cream (which I did have in the fridge). It turned out great! The family actually liked it better than the cream of mushroom soup version. :coolgleamA: I guess, we don't need to buy that any longer.

 

I will try to continue the quest to use what's in the pantry. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

Isn't it great?!?!?! Satisfying to solve a real-life "problem" yourself! (and probably far less salt in your white sauce!)

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Do you have a favorite site with recipes for making homemade cleaners?

 

I started wondering about allergy free homemade laundry soap from your post and ended up on this page about 'soap nuts'....Have you heard of or used them?

 

We used to have a serious cleaning schedule, but as kids left and things didn't get so dirty, I have to say that we're behind about this one....

 

Joan

I think I've heard of soap nuts but never used them. I'm happy with what I've got now but might try them in the future.

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(yes, we need to visit sometime!) Glad the post helped! The frozen peppers I mentioned - I buy bags of diced frozen peppers. It's cheaper than buying peppers around here and dicing/freezing them myself. We should go grocery shopping together sometime, and I'll think out loud so you can hear my process. :D

 

 

YES! I never even realized there was such a thing as pre-diced frozen peppers.

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