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Newbie with a question...

Posted by on May. 7, 2012 at 11:59 AM
  • 13 Replies

Hi everyone! I just joined this group today because we really need to save money. I am a SAHM of 3, ages 9, 4, and 2. My husband works as a restaurant manager to support us all, so we have learned to be pretty frugal in order to live comfortably. Here is my question...What things do you make from scratch? I am a beginner cook, and I would love to make things like bread, laundry soap, and cleaners from scratch to save money. What things have worked for you that are not overly complicated? What has saved you the most money?

by on May. 7, 2012 at 11:59 AM
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Replies (1-10):
BlancosBows
by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:27 PM
1 mom liked this
Cleaner recipes

Air freshener
2 cups hot water
1/8 cup baking soda
1/2 cup lemon juice or a few drops of your favorite essential oils 
 
Put the backing soda and hot water into an empty, clean spray bottle. Put the lid on and shake until dissolved. Add a few drops of essential oils or 1/2 cup of lemon juice. If you use lemon juice, keep in the fridge. 
 
Carpet freshener
Box of baking soda
25 drops of essential oils.
Put in shaker (like empty Parmesan cheese container)
Shake on carpet, let sit at least 30 min & vacuum up
 
Mr. Clean magic eraser
Melamine foam
*Found on amazon for $0.50 a piece! 
 
Reusable dryer sheets
4 parts liquid fabric softener
10 parts hot water
Put several scrap fabric pieces in container w/ lid or new, unused dish sponges; pour liquid mixture over fabric strips & shake. Let sit 2 days. Squeeze out excess solution & throw in dryer w/ wet clothes. Put used strip back in liquid solution to reuse
 
Laundry detergent
1 bar bar soap - I used Aloe scented Ivory soap
1 cup washing soda - Arm & Hammer brand
1 cup borax powder - 20 Mule Team brand
1/2 cup oxi clean - Generic works just fine (I have a recipe for this too)
Cheese grater
5 Gallon bucket with lid (got mine at Lowe's for around $5)
 
Shave the bar of soap down using a cheese grater (might want to buy one at the dollar store just for this purpose) Boil a gallon of water in a large pot. Mix in grated soap stir until dissolved. Pour into bucket. Add rest of ingredients and stir until dissolved. Add enough hot tap water to fill the bucket. Stir again and then place the top on it and put it to the side. Let sit 24 hours, stirring 3 or 4 times.
**The mixture will thicken but there WILL be chucks that gather at the top. This is OK!
When 24 hours have passed, give it a good stir again, mushing up any big pieces with your hands. Pour in an empty, clean liquid laundry soap container half way up with the soap mixture and fill the rest up with warm water. Use as you would normally use liquid laundry soap. You can also use a drink pitcher if you do not have an empty, clean laundry soap container. I also picked this up @ the dollar store.
 
Homemade Windex
1 Empty Windex Spray Bottle
1/8 Cup (1oz) White Ammonia
1/4 Cup (4oz) Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
1 Drop Laundry Detergent
Water - To Fill The Bottle 

OR
Ingredients:

1 cup rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon liquid soap
water

Directions:

Combine alcohol and vinegar in a container. Add enough water to make 1/2 gallon. Add liquid soap and stir gently to combine. Pour into spray bottle and store the rest in a clean, well-labeled container with a tight-fitting lid. Use to clean windows, mirrors, glass tables, or even countertops. Spray on surface and wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth.

 
Fake Bisquick
1 Bag of Flour (5lb. bag)
5 Teaspoons Salt
20 Teaspoons Sugar
2/3 Cup Baking Powder
2 Cups Shortening (Crisco Style, no butter or margarine)
 
First, dump the flour into the bowl and add all of the other dry ingredients.  Using a whisk, mix the dry ingredients together.
Next, measure out the 2 Cups of shortening and put it on top of your dry ingredients.
Take your rings and your watch off, cause it’s time to put your hands into it!  Mix the shortening into the dry ingredients using your hands.  This doesn’t take as long as you might think.
Keep mixing and rubbing the shortening in until there are no visible pieces of shortening left and the mixture seems uniform.  Don’t forget to dig deep and get the dry ingredients on the bottom of the bowl, too!  I like to put some of the mixture in between my hands and rub them together to achieve uniformity and to feel for small bits of shortening.
You can tell it’s done when the mixture has the texture of cornmeal and it can form a ball when pressed together.
That’s it!  Now you can put it into storage bags.  I divided mine into one bag of 8 cups,  which is the same amount you get in one regular box of Bisquick, and two mason jars of 4 cups each for storage.
Fake Bisquick can stay in your pantry for up to one year…just like the real thing!  Use it as you would in any Bisquick recipe…or split it up into individual Shake’N'Pour Pancake Mixes.
If you wanted to use your Bisquick solely for making pancakes, you could scoop 2 Cups of mix into a Quart Size Mason Jars, yielding 12 jars of Fake Shake’N'Pour pancake mix! 
 
Fake Febreze
1/8 Cup of Your Favorite Fabric Softener
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
Hot Tap Water - To Fill the Bottle to the Top
 
Put everything in a clean spray bottle and shake.
Fake Comet
Mix 2 parts baking soda and1 part bleach and stir.
It should make a nice paste.
 
Natural Shampoo
2 cups liquid Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (I used the citrus orange)
½ cup honey
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Enough water to make 1/2 a gallon
 
Mix together in container. It comes out pretty runny so I put it in a foaming hand soap container and it works perfect! Even hubby who is skeptical of the whole “make your own natural products” liked it.
 
Homemade Body Wash/ Hand Soap
1 bar soap – grated (I used the Aloe Ivory bar I used to make my laundry detergent)
1 Gallon boiling water
Once soap is dissolved, let cool just so it won’t burn you and pour in a used, clean body wash container. Let sit overnight and it will gel up. Use as normal.
Yes, this makes one GALLON of liquid soap from ONE bar of soap. My cost: $0.40!
 
Wrinkle Release Spray (Fake Downey Wrinkle Releaser)
Equal parts fabric softener (I used my watered down version that I use for re-usable dryer sheets),  and water. Mix in spray bottle and use!
 
Body Butter
Coconut oil (found in the baking aisle at the grocery store)
Essential oil of your choice.
 
I scooped a little out into a tiny (snack size) plastic container and added just a few drops of essential oils of your choice. You can leave this out if you don’t mind it being unscented. It healed my daughter’s eczema overnight. I also use as a hair balm and conditioner too!

Eye make up remover
1 cup distilled water
1/4 teaspoon Dr. Bronner's unscented baby-mild liquid castile soap
1 teaspoon olive oil

Combine ingredients in a glass or plastic container & give a little shake. I used a small plastic flip top bottle I found in the travel section at Target for $0.99.

Apply solution to a cotton ball and remove makeup as you normally would.

Homemade liquid dish soap

-1 1/2 cups hot water
-½ cup castile soap (I usually use Dr. Bronner’s baby mild liquid soap, but feel free to use any scent just be sure to adjust/omit essential oils accordingly. You may want to use a variety that is already scented for a more frugal option.)
-1 tablespoon of white vinegar
-1 tablespoon of Arm&Hammer’s Super Washing Soda (used to thicken the soap)
-1/8 teaspoon of tea tree oil (optional)
Update: To really thicken the soap to be more like store-bought dish soap, add only 1 tablespoon of shredded bar soap (i.e. castile bar soap, ivory, any simple bar soap will do) to the recipe above. See my video tutorial and revised recipe for Homemade Liquid Dish Soap by clicking here.
Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and then pour in 1 1/2 cup of very hot water. Be sure to whisk/stir this mixture until all ingredients are thoroughly blended (and the bar soap is melted).
2. Allow mixture to cool completely on the counter. Stirring occasionally.
3. Store in any dish soap dispensing bottle and use as you would the commercial brands.
Note: You may choose to naturally increase the anti-bacterial qualities of the soap by adding 1/4 tsp. of lavender or eucalyptus essential oils.

Homemade oxi clean 

1 cup water
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/2 cup washing soda

Mix all ingredients together and store in a dark spray bottle. (Hydrogen peroxide loses its effectiveness if stored in a light container. I have mine in a yogurt container for now, and plan to check the dollar store for a dark spray bottle in the next few days.)

To use: Spray on soiled laundry and let it sit overnight. Or, if you have a number of clothes that are soiled, you make up a batch of this and soak them in it overnight. Then, launder as usual.

Recipe for homemade chocolate syrup
All you’ll need to make your own are these five basic ingredients:

1 cup sugar 
1/2 cup cocoa (packed)
1 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Don’t be afraid to adjust these amounts to your liking!

Pour water into a saucepan and stir in cocoa (until dissolved) over medium heat.  Add sugar and continue stirring.  BE VERY CAREFUL to continually stir and watch the mixture as it heats because it can easily boil over if you turn away even for a few seconds. Once mixture is boiling reduce heat to medium-low, continue stirring, and set timer for 4-5 minutes (the longer you cook the thicker it gets.)  Once your timer goes off remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt and let cool.  As the chocolate syrup cools it will thicken more, so if it is already thick enough then bottle it, seal it, and stick it in the fridge.  You can store the syrup in a pint mason jar, an old store bought chocolate syrup container, or any other creative container you can think of.

This recipe will yield approximately 10 ounces of syrup depending on how long you reduce the mixture over the heat.

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BlancosBows
by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:32 PM
I make all my own cleaners & a lot of bath & beauty products. I bake almost everything from scratch & even make my own bisquick. Recipe above. I then look up recipes on Bisquick's website and there you go! I made cheesy garlic biscuits Saturday night for dinner, then used the same recipe for breakfast sunday morning, but instead of cheese and garlic, added applesauce & cinnamon. They were both a HUGE hit!! Anything I need I look up online to see if there is a recipe to try to make it on my own. Also, I have a child with peanut, tree but, & milk allergies (tested & diagnosed by a dr) and so I have to watch what I make for her. Have substituted sunflower seeds & sunbutter (butter made from sunflower seeds) as substitutes for her.
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momof3josephs
by on May. 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Wow! A couple of these sound really awesome, especially the bisquick one! I will definately be doing several of these right away! Thank you so much!

chrissysnow22
by on May. 7, 2012 at 1:46 PM
Welcome to the group!
What has helped me save the most is meal planning. It saves me time and money. I waste food a whole lot less now and I rarely eat out because I know I have a meal planned out ahead of time.

I make:
bread
Bagels
English muffins
Pancakes
Waffles
French toast
Taco seasoning
Spaghetti sauce
Alfredo sauce
Gravy
Chicken strips
Vegetable broth
BBQ sauce

I also make
All purpose cleaner
Laundry detergent
Fabric softener
Shampoo
Body wash
Makeup remover
Carpet freshner
Febreeze
Dish soap
Foaming hand soap

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
DawnPratt23
by Dawn on May. 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM
Welcome to the group. I'll post some when I'm on my computer.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
tazmidgiefairy
by Silver Member on May. 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

can you send me your gravy,alfrado and spagettie sauce recipes 

Quoting chrissysnow22:

Welcome to the group!
What has helped me save the most is meal planning. It saves me time and money. I waste food a whole lot less now and I rarely eat out because I know I have a meal planned out ahead of time.

I make:
bread
Bagels
English muffins
Pancakes
Waffles
French toast
Taco seasoning
Spaghetti sauce
Alfredo sauce
Gravy
Chicken strips
Vegetable broth
BBQ sauce

I also make
All purpose cleaner
Laundry detergent
Fabric softener
Shampoo
Body wash
Makeup remover
Carpet freshner
Febreeze
Dish soap
Foaming hand soap


chrissysnow22
by on May. 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM
When I get off work I will definitely

Quoting tazmidgiefairy:

can you send me your gravy,alfrado and spagettie sauce recipes 


Quoting chrissysnow22:

Welcome to the group!

What has helped me save the most is meal planning. It saves me time and money. I waste food a whole lot less now and I rarely eat out because I know I have a meal planned out ahead of time.



I make:

bread

Bagels

English muffins

Pancakes

Waffles

French toast

Taco seasoning

Spaghetti sauce

Alfredo sauce

Gravy

Chicken strips

Vegetable broth

BBQ sauce



I also make

All purpose cleaner

Laundry detergent

Fabric softener

Shampoo

Body wash

Makeup remover

Carpet freshner

Febreeze

Dish soap

Foaming hand soap




Posted on CafeMom Mobile
tazmidgiefairy
by Silver Member on May. 7, 2012 at 3:29 PM

thanks

Quoting chrissysnow22:

When I get off work I will definitely

Quoting tazmidgiefairy:

can you send me your gravy,alfrado and spagettie sauce recipes 


Quoting chrissysnow22:

Welcome to the group!

What has helped me save the most is meal planning. It saves me time and money. I waste food a whole lot less now and I rarely eat out because I know I have a meal planned out ahead of time.



I make:

bread

Bagels

English muffins

Pancakes

Waffles

French toast

Taco seasoning

Spaghetti sauce

Alfredo sauce

Gravy

Chicken strips

Vegetable broth

BBQ sauce



I also make

All purpose cleaner

Laundry detergent

Fabric softener

Shampoo

Body wash

Makeup remover

Carpet freshner

Febreeze

Dish soap

Foaming hand soap





matreshka
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2012 at 11:37 AM

cleaning with vinegar and baking soda. I'm a vegetarian and I notice I spend less money than people who eat a lot of meat.  Going meatless even twice a week will cut down on groceries.

AzariahsMother
by on May. 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I don't make anything from scratch.

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