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To those of you on SNAP/Food stamps- I have something I would like to tell you!

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post

I have heard many people on FS/snap benefits complain about not being able to buy certain items on their FS card.  Necessities like laundry soap, house hold cleaners, and even personal products.  Let me share with you this...

When I was on FS, I ran into the same problems.  But I ran into a solution that I had never considered before ( no it wasn't get a job, because I already had one of those)  No, it was alternatives!  I learned a way to get around the whole system.  I thought, If I can't buy necessities like soap and cleaners on the FS card, I wonder if there are "food" items that I could use! And there was!  Now I know some of you already know this, but you will be surprised with how many people do not know this.  Or maybe they have heard of it before and just plain forgot.  In that case let me jog some memories!

Now, I'll admit that buying those brand names were a little bit comforting to me, because 1, I didn't have to make anything, 2 I knew what to expect, and 3... I didn't have to make anything lol... But being on the kind of budget I was on ( I had no more than 5-15 dollars to spend on cleaners out of pocket) and spending 3-5 dollars for everything, that wasn't going to cut it.  Even buying off brand or store brand household items were too expensive.  So!  I did what I had to do.

First!  I looked up recipes. And I found that the majority of the cleaners and personal items were made up of things that I could buy with my FS card!  Things like baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, and alum even!  And the other things, like rubbing alcohol and peroxide, I found at the nearest one dollar store ( or sometimes in the clearance bin at the grocery store for less than a buck)!  There were a few items where I had to pay a little bit more than a dollar for, but it stretched.  Things like borax and washing soda.. I believe the borax was under $5  and the washing soda was under $4.

I would like to give you a list of recipes I have looked up for you to use.  In case you are in the position where I was a while back.  Thinking.. well great!  My kids are fed, but what am I going to use to clean my house, or wash my clothes.  I only have 20 bucks to my name... I will also post the websites where I got this information...

All-Purpose Cleaner
    Club soda
    1 part white vinegar
    1 part water
Mix in a spray bottle

Furniture Polish
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar (or 1/2 cup lemon juice)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
Mix and polish with soft cloth

Air Freshener
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda (add an essential oil or cologne for fragrance if you want)
Mix in spray bottle

Carpet Cleaner/Deodorizer
Sprinkle carpet with baking soda. Let it sit for a half-hour and vacuum

All-Purpose Floor Cleaner
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 gallon water
Mix and mop (Note: Vinegar should not be used on grout or marble)

Garbage Disposal Freshener
Grind orange and lemon peels in the disposal.

Fabric Softener
Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to rinse cycle

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
Flush the toilet, sprinkle in the baking soda, spray with vinegar and scrub

All you need for this is hydrogen peroxide diluted with water. While you cannot buy this with food stamps, since it is usually priced under one dollar, it can be obtained fairly easy. Use equal parts peroxide and water. Keep a small cup or container near the sink or in the medicine cabinet. Each time you need mouthwash, fill the cup halfway with warm water and then the rest with hydrogen peroxide. Rinse your mouth as you would with regular mouthwash. The peroxide will bubble a bit, but this okay. Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes afterwards, just like with regular mouthwash.

Hair Shampoo
All you need for this is baking soda. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of warm water. The baking soda has natural cleansing and moisturizing properties. Rub the mix over hair and scalp. Leave on for a few moments and rinse. You'll need to follow up with the homemade conditioner for best results. After the first wash, the hair will be a bit dry, but after several washings and/or use of the conditioner, it will improve.

Hair Shampoo
All you need for this is baking soda. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of warm water. The baking soda has natural cleansing and moisturizing properties. Rub the mix over hair and scalp. Leave on for a few moments and rinse. You'll need to follow up with the homemade conditioner for best results. After the first wash, the hair will be a bit dry, but after several washings and/or use of the conditioner, it will improve.

Hand Soap
This hand soap is exfoliating as well as moisturizing. It can also be used as a facial cleanser and body wash. For this, you'll need 2 teaspoons of oats, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. The coconut oil can usually be found in the organic section of your grocer or in with the other cooking oils. Grind up the oats with a blender or coffee maker. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Keep mixing until it has formed into a paste. When you have finished, massage it onto the wet skin for a deep, moisturizing cleanse. Triple the ingredients if more than one person will use this or if you need a good body treatment. For the body treatment, massage the mixture all over the body and leave on for a few minutes. Then, rinse gently. The body will feel smooth. Refrigerate any leftover portions. It can last up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Do not leave this out for long or it will separate and some portions will harden and spoil.

There are a few different options for deodorant. You can either use baking soda and alum (found in the spice aisle) or rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol of course is not a food stamp option, but can be found for 50 cents or less when on on sale. To make the baking soda/alum kind, just mix about 1 teaspoon of alum with about 4 teaspoons of baking soda. Keep it in a dry, cool place. Dab it with a wet cloth and spread it on your underarms. It should last 24 hours. For the first couple days, you may need to use it more than once, but then after that, it will last quite a while. The rubbing alcohol can just be dabbed onto the underarms each morning. As with the baking soda/alum, the first couple of days may require more than one application. To make it even more effective and easier to spread, here is a recipe that uses all three. All you do is add 4 teaspoons of alum to 2 teaspoons of baking soda and sift it together with a fork. Then, pour in 8 ounces of rubbing alcohol and mix it together. It may bubble over, so I recommend using a large bowl and adding the alcohol slowly. Once it has been mixed, it won't bubble again. Just pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray on your underarms or even all over the body if you get hot easy. Adding a couple teaspoons of pure vanilla or almond extract can scent it well and make for a great body spray mist or perfume. Try experimenting with different baking extracts and candy flavorings for a variety of scents.

Bleach is a necessity for laundry as well as cleaning and disinfecting certain areas in your house. While vinegar will work as a bleach substitute for disinfection and removing some stains, hydrogen peroxide whitens better and can be purchased for around only 50 cents per bottle. Hydrogen Peroxide is a bleaching agent and will work anywhere you can use regular bleach, including laundry. It does whiten, just like bleach, but usually better, so do not use it on dark clothing or surfaces. It is an excellent product for getting out blood stains, ketchup, mustard, other food stains, urine stains, stains from a soiled cloth diaper or clothing, and much more. For more tips on the use of hydrogen peroxide, you can go here on AC.

For the laundry detergent, I am going to post one of the websites that I use.. you can go here and get the recipe =) ....

There are much more recipes you can find here on these two website, and you can do your own research feel free to share yours ...

I hope some of you would find this information as helpful, whether you are needing the extra stretch of your dollar, or maybe you are just wanting to break away from harsh chemicals and use alternative solutions  to your daily house hold needs!  Please bump.. I will be bumping this for tomorrow as well =)  night ladies!

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:28 AM
Replies (41-50):
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:17 AM
Those are great.
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by Mary on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:20 AM

Sugar Scrub

Dry Shampoo

Stain Remover

Body wash This one is not on SNAP, but really helps stretch the $$$.

by Mary on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:21 AM

Respectfully, it's the same one I mentioned lol.

Quoting Anonymous:

Thank you so much for sharing this!  I will try this one too =)

Quoting Anonymous:

Heres another one:

Add orange peels (or any citrus peel) to a quart of white vinegar in a closed container and let it set for two weeks. Then you just strain it, add water to the solution until it’s about 50/50 and put it a seal-able bottle. It works great on floors, tiles, fixtures, kitchen and bath, etc. It’s antibacterial, smells good and it’s tough on dirt and grease. Best of all, there are no harmful chemicals :)

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:22 AM
1 mom liked this
Bump for moms.
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Quoting Nikki286:

even if your not on FS those are good budget helping ideas 

I agree!! thanks so much for sharing op, I'm running low on some things so I will give it try! money is tight, were considering filing for food stamps at this point as things have been very tough lately, this will help a ton right now! My entire check went to bills this week!

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 6:03 AM
My two sons need a nebulizer and the book says to disinfect the pieces with vinegar, lol

Quoting Anonymous:

Its ok there are some things that people wont part with.. its strictly preference lol.   As for the vinegar, before I learned all this, I never knew that vinegar was a disinfectant!  Now when my kids get sick, I have my vinegar handy and ready for killing germs lol..  Its soo much cheaper than Lysol or any of the other brands. 

Quoting ForeverInLove:

I do have too giggle at bashing soda for the hair, lol. I do find budget for my shampoo and conditioner. No way a teaspoon would cut washing my hair, lol. It's about mid butt length. I must use my conditioner (tresseme) in my hair, otherwise so can't comb it. Literally. Other kinds leave my hair "sticky".

I do user vinegar to clean too!

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by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 6:05 AM
Great money saving ideas for everyone. Thanks
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by Anonymous 10 on Jan. 30, 2013 at 6:07 AM

I'm far from being on FS but this is how I am stretching the $$$ that we already have. I have been doing most of these for a few years now and you know what they work. I have been making my own laundry soap, fabric softner, etc  I use baking soda and tons of vinegar for cleaning.

Thanks for posting these for everyone.


by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 6:10 AM

Quoting Anonymous:

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by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 6:14 AM
I had never heard of rubbing alcohol. I use vinegar, baking soda, dish soap and water on our floors. It works better than any store bought cleaners I've tried. I think I'm going to try the alcohol. Thanks!

Quoting kayla7795:

My favorite laminate floor cleaner is 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup rubbing alcohol, a couple drops of dish soap put it in an empty spray bottle and fill the bottle the rest of the way with water.  It works better than any of the commercial brands of floor cleaners I have ever used (and I have tried a lot, all left my floor feeling sticky) it makes my laminate floors feel silky, and so clean.  I use it for more than floors now and many of my friends and family have started using it too and they all LOVE it!

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