Every other week, our family grocery shops together to make it go quicker - Jason with a cart, Joy with a cart, and me with a cart. We divide our list and set out to conquer. Because we’ve figured out which stores we can get the best deals on certain products, we usually hit four different stores. Those stops include quick (one person run in) trips to get a couple of items from Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar, followed by everyone grabbing a cart for Save-a-Lot, and then Walmart. We’ve been thinking of getting a Sam’s membership since we are closer to one when we take Joy to Chinese language classes. We figure we could probably pull it off while she is in class.
Have you noticed how prices just keep inching up? To say we keep trying to squeeze and figure out ways to save is an understatement. Since Jason has been going with me grocery shopping for quite a few months now, he has also seen first-hand just what I meant and why I kept going over my budget. Things that I once paid 99 cents for are now up to $1.29 or sometimes more! Just for an example, flour tortillas used to be 99 cents in Save-a-Lot and now they are up to $1.29. Now that doesn’t sound like much alone, but when you figure lots of items inching up that much, it accounts for a pretty good hike on the grocery bill.
So, thanks to Pinterest (love it), I’ve found meals that don’t necessarily require lots of ingredients and which also make enough to last for two meals for our family. That’s one way that has helped. Another way is to make our own household products. Not having to purchase those helps tremendously.
Since I’ve noticed that quite a few families seem to be having the same problem and are pinching pennies and trying to find ways to be frugal, I would like to share more on this in the future and am eager to learn more if you have found more ways to be frugal. But for today, I just wanted to share the homemade washing detergent that Jason and I made. I know many of you have seen it, especially on Pinterest. It’s the Duggar’s recipe. Click here to see the pin link.
The ingredients to make it are really inexpensive. The cost of all three of these cost around $7.50 (threw away my receipt so can’t remember the exact cost). I still have plenty of the Borax and Washing Soda left over for more batches, or to use to make dishwashing detergent (which I plan to do). You’ll only need to buy the Fels-Naptha soap next time. Actually I think if you do the math, each load is barely over .01 a load!
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
Fels-Naptha Soap Bar
You will also need a 5 gallon bucket with a lid (can be purchased at Lowes if you don’t have one for around $4.00).
And you’ll need 10 (one gallon) milk jugs or other similar containers (such as old detergent bottles). So start saving, or begging from your family and friends. :) Of course, make sure you rinse and clean them out.
You may also add Essential Oil Drops to add fragrance. (We didn't do this because that was important to us and we were trying to save $).
And since I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients with the Fels-Naptha soap in its packaging, here’s an image to show you what the packaging looks like so you may find it easier at the grocery store. We purchased ours for 97 cents at Walmart on the laundry aisle. Actually all of the ingredients can be found on the laundry aisle at Walmart.
We also had to wait long enough to save enough milk containers, but as soon as we did, we mixed up a batch. And we’ve been using it now for nearly two weeks. The way we have it figured, this will last us until approximately September or October (8 or 9 months). So for the cost of what we pay for one container of detergent from Save-a-Lot which is a little less than $3.00 (remember we already had it figured out where we could get the best bought deal for our money so those who use the big name brands will have even more savings), we will now have enough to last 8 or 9 months.
First of all, grate your soap.
Of course, it’s nice to have cute helpers. :)
Then you put it in a pot with 4 cups of hot water. Stir it continuously until there are no clumps or lumps left. It took about 10 minutes or so to get it to this point.
It is done when there are no lumps, flakes, or clumps and looks a little foamy.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket with half full of hot water. We did ours in the bathtub.
Let me insert here that Jason was sure he could do this in our 5 gallon "left over chlorine bucket" from our pool, although I had reservations. Let’s just say, I was right because it was impossible to stir it enough without a bigger opening.
Pour in the soap mixture from the stove. Add 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and ½ cup of Borax. Stir.
We ended up digging up a regular 5 gallon bucket with a lid out of my dad’s garage next door. :) I was right. And that's all I'm going to say about that. :)
Jason had a paint stirrer for his drill which worked beautifully. Of course, it could have been mixed by hand. But since Jason was helping and men love power tools, he opted for the power tool. Just make sure that whatever you stir with reaches to the bottom of the bucket.
Fill the rest of the bucket with water until it is full. Stir again.
Cover and let it sit overnight.
When you open it the next day, the consistency will be a little more gel-like and thicker. Stir again.
Use a funnel to fill your chosen container half full of the mixture. Then fill it up the rest of the way (the other ½) with water. Shake.
Then if you’re like me, it will bug you to see the generic jugs sitting there, so you can make your own labels to spruce them up or you can print some here (found on Pinterest). Raffia always makes for better packaging too.
Use 5/8 cup for top loading machine. Use ¼ cup for a front loading (HE) machine. I just used the top of one of my old detergent jugs to measure mine out per load.
**Note** - Jason decided next time, he wanted to have two 5 gallon buckets available. After the solution has sat overnight and thickened, and you have stirred again, then pour half that solution into the empty 5 gallon bucket. Then fill each of those buckets with 2 1/2 gallons of hot water (basically filling each one up). Stir/mix both of those buckets again. Then the solution is ready to just fill the containers straight from the buckets without having to make sure you have the right amount of concentrate/water mixture in each container (because it is pre-mixed). It also prevents having to do alot of mixing/shaking of each individual container.
My next post will have the answers to the questions that were asked of me on the "Open to Questions" post last week! Thanks for the few questions I received! Actually I had all the answers written out (as I do most of my posts) and have misplaced it! So it's back to square one. Oh well.... :)
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day! :)