Skip to Content

Being Frugal

Homemade cleaners: simplified and still non-toxic

August 15, 2010 • Paige

About a year ago I made a post about Homemade Cleaners.  It is still a good post,but these days I am all about simplifying my life so I have even fewer cleaners in my cabinet. 

All I really need for general house-cleaning is vinegar and sometimes baking soda.  I still have homemade laundry soap, *commercial dishwasher detergent, and some bleach. That’s it. 

I clean with a disinfectant spray made up of 50/50 white vinegar and water, and a sock-rag.  The sink, stove and bathtub get scoured with baking soda.  I just don’t need anything else. 

* Note Re: commercial dishwasher detergent: I’ve tried the homemade recipes online and none of them have worked for me. You can bet that if I ever find a recipe that does work, you’ll see it here.

Comments Off on Homemade cleaners: simplified and still non-toxic

Growing sprouts at home: update

July 28, 2010 • Paige

We have come a long way with sprouting since my last post about it!  Here are some pictures and the basics of how we’re sprouting at home.

You need:

  • a jar with a lid that allows air-flow
  • pantyhose and a rubber band works if you keep it pulled tight, or use a mason jar with some screen from the hardware store.
  • dry lentils (a quarter cup makes a jar full)

Rinse lentils well and soak in plenty of water for 12 hours.

Dump out the water, and rinse the lentils well.
Drain and set the jar on its side at an angle so water can drip out and does not “pool” in the jar.
– you can leave it on the counter. Don’t worry about dark or sunlight – it works no matter what!!

Every 6 – 12 hours, rinse in cool water and dump the water out.
Make sure plenty of air can flow through whatever lid you are using or the sprouts will go rancid, fast.
After your first or second rinse, lentils will look something like this:

This (below) is about a day and a half.  Let them grow for about two to three days before eating

This is about four days:

The same method works for Black Eyed Peas, however after the first day and a half (or so), you will need to dump them in a large bowl of water and pick out / pull off the hulls. It is labor intensive, and most people won’t bother. You also MUST to use a good brand of Black Eyed Peas – not the cheap store brand.

We use a dish rack because we make so much. The one in front is lentils, the other three are black eyed peas, all have been going for about four days when this picture was taken.

A tablespoon of black eyed peas will grow to fill a large mason jar after about four days – see?

Comments Off on Growing sprouts at home: update

tie-dye with water from black beans (free vegetable based fabric dye)

July 25, 2010 • Paige
This one’s a little silly.

The water from preparing black beans always turns such a dark purple and I’ve wondered if it would make a good fabric dye. When I started making dinner last night I just grabbed a hopelessly stained shirt and tied it up with rubber bands.

This first photo is before I poured the second half of the black water in.  I let it soak for about three hours. And here is my tie-dye shirt after I rinsed and washed it.  Cute, and you can’t really find the stains any more. woo hoo!

Categories: Being Frugal

Shampoo alternatives – yes, they work.

July 7, 2010 • Paige

I quit using shampoo and conditioner, and so far I love it!!

I  have very thick hair, and I’ve shampooed and conditioned every single day.  I won’t skip a day unless I’m not leaving the house at all.   That is a LOT of chemical crud I can’t even pronounce being rubbed into my scalp and rinsing over my entire body.

Your hair is greasy the day after shampooing because the natural oils are stripped and so your scalp reacts by pumping out more oil.  Switching to a gentler hair washing routine keeps this from happening.

I tried skipping shampoo and rinsing my hair with an apple cider vinegar solution once or twice a week.  That worked pretty well and stripped off the build-up of crud in my hair but I was still shampooing most days. What I got from that was a glimpse at what my hair is like without all the crud in it – and I decided I’m going for it: no more shampoo!

Here’s what works for me:  
I rinse and gently scrub my scalp with my fingers every day, as before. Just plain water.

Every other day or so: Dissolve a tablespoon of baking soda in two cups of water, and pour over my head, rubbing gently into my scalp, and rinse. It feels really nice.

Once per week or so: 
Rinse with a weak apple cider vinegar solution, then follow up with baking soda solution if necessary. Try about a tablespoon of vinegar in two cups of water, and adjust strength to your liking.

That’s it!! My hair is not greasy.  It’s soft and shiny and smells good.  I wasn’t spending much on hair products in the first place but now I’m spending only a few pennies to keep my hair clean.

Comments Off on Shampoo alternatives – yes, they work.

Some observations about using home made laundry soap.

July 1, 2010 • Paige

I stopped washing our clothes with store-bought detergents about year ago. Now I can’t walk down the detergent aisle. The whole aisle is a nose-stinging cloud of perfumed chemicals. I had no idea till I quit the stuff!!

I’ve unearthed a few shirts from before I quit using commercial detergent and they feel waxy and gross.  I have to wash them in my home made laundry powder immediately.  

It is the same with liquid fabric softener.  These days I use a little bit of white vinegar and that’s it, sometimes half of a perfume free dryer sheet when the weather is dry and static is a problem.

How to make home made laundry soap

Comments Off on Some observations about using home made laundry soap.
Comments Off on Denim Circle Quilt

More garden pics

May 19, 2010 • Paige

We bought two blueberry bushes for $9.00 each, and they are already putting off blueberries. 

We have seven tomato plants – this one is “husky” cherry tomato!

Cucumber in the back, several different kinds of basil, oregano, dill and an un-identified shrub.

Comments Off on More garden pics

Food in the pantry: Better than money in the bank?

May 12, 2010 • Paige

I’ve come across this saying a few times:  “Food in the pantry is better than money in the bank.”

For a long time, I didn’t agree with it.  I thought that having money in hand (or in the bank) meant that my family was secure in case “anything happened”. In some ways, that can be true, however – you can live without everything except food, water, and shelter. 

If something catastrophic were to happen as some people are predicting with the US economy and money system – the dollars in your wallet and the bank would potentially be worth absolutely nothing, yet the food in your pantry would suddenly become an extremely valuable asset. We need only look at what happened during the Great Depression to know this is true. In any true emergency, the last thing you want is for your family to be hungry.  If your family is fed, you are free from that worry and can focus on the situation at hand. 

Don’t want for an emergency to occur to begin preparing. It is easy to build up an emergency supply of extra food. Simply buy a couple of extra cans of a sale item, or an extra bag or two of dry beans every chance you get. Don’t worry about your efforts being “too small”, just get started however you can.

Comments Off on Food in the pantry: Better than money in the bank?

Spring Cleaning – treasures in the trash!

April 6, 2010 • Paige

Everyone is doing their spring cleaning inside and out right now, which means that there are all kinds of  useful things on the curb just waiting for the trash truck. 

There are bags upon bags of leaves and hedge trimmings that could be used to start a compost pile.  I have rescued several large plastic buckets for planting, and if  anyone needs a couch or some chairs there are plenty to be found right now.

Categories: Being Frugal
Comments Off on Spring Cleaning – treasures in the trash!

Grow your own sprouts: cheap fresh veggies

March 17, 2010 • Paige

I love bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts on salads and sandwiches, but I am not going to pay $3 – $5 per package for them.  Right now I’m sprouting things I already have on hand: wheat and lentils, which are almost ready to eat. I think sprouted lentils are my new favorite food.

Growing sprouts is easy. You can sprout dry beans and grains from the grocery store in two to five days in a bowl or jar on your kitchen counter.  Place two or three tablespoons of seeds in a jar.  Rubberband a piece of  netting, mesh, or pantyhose over the mouth as a breathable lid. Rinse the seeds thoroughly, then soak over night.  Drain and rinse, then place the jar on its side in a semi dark place. Rinse and drain every 12 hours to keep mold from forming.   

Sprouts will keep in the fridge for up to six weeks.  They must be rinsed every 7 days and kept dry. Some sprouted beans and grains need to be cooked before eating, but they cook up in half the time. 

Next I’m trying black eyed pea sprouts, black bean sprouts, and brown rice sprouts.  I found this great recipe I want to try, for sprouted beans and rice!  They cook in about half the normal time. Sprouted black beans cook in about 45 minutes.  Sprouted brown rice cooks in about 15 minutes, and requires less water.

Comments Off on Grow your own sprouts: cheap fresh veggies