Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

 UPDATE:  After using this for 2 weeks I am sad to say it has failed!!!  In other words, don't make it... not so much a frugal find.  I guess that will happen every now and again.  After about a week my dishes began to get cloudy.  Then, after not opening the soap for a week it decided to clump together.  Sadly, I threw it all away.  Back to Great Value brand for me. I will stick with the homemade laundry detergent instead!

After having success with making my own laundry detergent, I decided to try my hand at Homemade Dishwashing Detergent.  Over the past few months I had pinned a few recipes on pinterest.  After weighing the pro's and con's of each recipe, I decided on a recipe from Simply Designing and I must say, so far so good!  Not only was it easy to make but it seems to be doing a fantastic job getting my dishes sparkly clean.  The best part though, it's frugal.  Here are a few price comparisons to consider:

Cascade Dishwasher Cubes- 18cents per load
Cascade Dishwashing Powder- 16cents per load
Finish Dishwashing Powder- 10cents per load (comparable to most off brands)
Homemade Dishwashing Powder- 5cents per load

Homemade Dishwashing Powder Recipe
makes enough for 96 Loads

2 Cups Borax
2 Cups Washing Soda
1 Cup Lemi-Shine*
1 Cup Kosher Salt

Vinegar as a rinse aid*

Combine borax, washing soda, lemi-shine, and salt in a container.  Use 1 Tablespoon per load (70% in wash and 30% in prewash compartment)

*  If you have hard water you can use up to 2 cups of Lemi-shine for best results.
*  I have yet to try the vinegar as a rinse aid, but I am betting it works well.  If you try it, comment below and let me know what you think.  

All of these items can be found at Walmart.  The best part is, you will have leftover borax, washing soda, and kosher salt for future batches or other household cleaning needs.

Just one Tablespoon a load will last a while- If you run your machine everyday it will be 3 months before you need to make more.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hot Deals

So far this summer has been hot, hot hot!  I have been so very thankful for my working air conditioner and that these temps don't stick around for long.  I am use to being "trapped in doors" due to the cold, but due to the heat?... huh?... what do you do?  I don't know about you, but what I do is a simple 4 letter word.  SHOP!

Off to the mall I went but instead of looking for a tank top or a new set of flip flops which would certainly be appropriate attire to be shopping for this time of the year, I was on the lookout for sweaters and boots...... why you might ask?  Because they are cheap!  Who wants to buy thick layers of clothing when wearing little to nothing sounds more appealing?......Answer- no one except me.  Bingo, frugal finds galore.

Last year around this same time of the year I blogged about some fun off season finds I found for my husband Paul.  This year was my turn.  If you know me at you know I pretty much live in boots from about mid fall to early spring.  Going into this season I was hoping to replace my black boots that are literally falling apart and have permanent salt stains decorating the sides.  Also on my wish list was a pair of snow boots for those rare sledding adventures and winter hikes in the woods.  It was my lucky day because I walked away with 3 new pair of boots, originally totaling just over $100, for a whopping $21. I was, and still am, pretty excited about this frugal find...... now, bring on the snow!

$39.80 marked down to $5.98.  Sold!

$42.80 marked down to $11.98. 

Hear me out on these.  They were $3.... and for $3 I can deal with the Bling these boots bring!  Plus, I plan to mainly wear them with snow pants which will only reveal the tops of the boots. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Desk turned Vanity

Is it really July already?  Summer is moving along at it's usual pace.  At the beginning of the summer we had a garage sale and in a spur of the moment decision decided to sell my vanity which I have had since late elementary school.  It has followed me from place to place over the years and despite the floral padded seat and the yellow gold that has clashed with pretty much every room it has resided in, I used it faithfully day in and out. 

Besides the fact that it was in style a few decades ago, there were a few negatives to the function of this particular piece of furniture.  For one thing, there were no drawers of any sort so my make-up, curling irons, and other random items could never really be hidden away.  Another symptom it deveolped over the years was a broken leg.  This made for a balancing act most of the time while I tried to apply my makeup.  Needless to say, it was time to begin looking for a replacement and where other would I turn than to my new lifeline of information, pinterest

After only a few clicks in I was drawn to the re purposed desks, end tables, and decorative tables that now took on the new identity of a vanity.  After a few seasons of garage sailing (yes, you heard me correctly, it takes a while when you are looking for something specific via garage sales)  I found just the thing for $5.  I also picked up a little chair along the way for 75 cents which received a facelift as well.  I am very happy with the end result and not only that, but the frugal find it turned out to be.  I actually came out $1.25 ahead after selling my old vanity.  That's pretty much a McDonalds hot fudge sundae which sounds amazing on this hot summer evening......Anyway, the vanity....

The Desk Before..... I think it is a desk at least.  Not sure what those "arms" were all about on it. 

My 75 cent chair that I am pretty sure was a garden ornament in it's previous life.

Nothing a little wire brush, spray paint, and fabric scrap couldn't help!  I found the fabric on clearance at our fabric store in town.  It was a discontinued sample. 

I wasn't a fan of the original hardware so I went to Rebuilding Hope, a construction thrift store here in Eau Claire, and found a few pieces with "style".

The finished product!  I LOVE all the storage space in it.  I didn't even come close to filling it up and the shelves along the back are even better! 

I found this IKEA spice rack at a garage sale for $1 with 6 of the glass jars (2 pictured here).  After a little paint this was a great way to store my "everyday" items.  I may add another one in the future. 

Eventually, I would like to find a mirror to hang on the wall behind it.  For now I am stealing the one out of my guest room in the basement.  Maybe the mirror will be my next frugal find??..