Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Frugal Me

My parents raised me to be thrifty.  Honestly, my mom is one of the cheapest people I know . . . and she would be PROUD to be called cheap.  My parents both grew up poor and raised me and my two sisters to work hard and to know the value of a dollar.  The problem is, I do like "nice" things.  I would rather have one really nice thing than several cheap items.  I shop at TJ Maxx and Marshalls because I like to buy good brands of clothing at bargain basement prices.  If you aren't a TJ Maxx/Marshalls shopper I encourage you to give it a try.  Yes, you have to be patient.  And sometimes I go in there and don't find anything I want.  But, if you're willing to wait, you can get a really good quality item at a great price.

A year or so ago I started looking at what I spend money on and where I could cut back.  I don't think I have ever been what most would call a "big spender," but, sometimes we buy things without realizing that they are costly.  I have always used Tide.  I love Tide.  But when I figured out that I could make my own laundry detergent for PENNIES per load, and that it would clean my clothing just as well, I decided to give it a try and I have never gone back.  As a matter of fact, I posted on making my own laundry detergent last summer.  I used the recipe from the Duggar Family (you know, the family in Arkansas with 19 kids).

Recently, I came across a recipe for making my own liquid fabric softener.  My blogging friend, Carrie, at http://farmingonfaith.blogspot.com/ is a frugal lady too and she shared her recipe, which I am now going to share with you:

1 cup white vinegar
2 cups hair conditioner (I used Suave)
6 cups water
1/4 cup essential oil (use whatever scent you like)

I used warm water and a whisk and stirred everything up in just a few seconds to make
my fabric softener.  If you prefer "dryer sheets" (I DO!), put
3 parts water and 1 part homemade fabric softener into a separate container,
take a plain sponge (no SCRUBBER SIDE) and soak it in the diluted mixture,
wring it out a bit, and throw in the dryer with your wet clothes
and run your dryer cycle as normal.

I have been using the homemade "dryer sheets" since this weekend and I can tell you that I LOVE THEM!!!  And frankly, so much cheaper than Bounce or even the store brand of dryer sheets.   Plus, I don't have all those pesky dryer sheets flying around my house.

I was so excited about the fabric softener I used FarmingOnFaith's recipe and made homemade spray and wash.  Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup ammonia
1/2 cup powdered detergent (I used Purex as it was the cheapest)
1/2 cup water

I rinsed out my empty Spray and Wash bottle, added all 4 ingredients,
shook it up and voila'  - HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SPRAY!

Again, I am using this and I absolutely love it.  All of these homemade items are, in my opinion, just as good as what I was buying at the store AND I AM SPENDING SO MUCH LESS ON CLEANING SUPPLIES!!!  My next venture will be homemade dishwashing detergent.  As soon as I use up what I have, I will make my own. 

I would rather spend my money on something fun for my family, donations to missionaries, or on our family vacation this summer to Las Vegas (more on that later) than on cleaning supplies.  So head on over to my FarmingOnFaith friend's website for lots more ideas on how to, in her words, "live this wonderful life in a frugal but fancy way."  Frugal but fancy . . . my new motto!!!  I want to be a good steward of God's blessings in my life. 


  1. I've been making my own detergent for almost a year now. Love it! And what a HUGE cost-saver. Isn't it the best?! -Tammy

  2. i've never tried making my own; maybe some day. speaking of the duggars, i saw their recipe in their book! I LOVE THEM!!

  3. Congrats! You won my hottie giveaway on my blog, please send me your mailing info so I can get your goodies off to you! Thanks, Sue

  4. I'm hoping to start making more of my own supplies this year. I'm a Missouri girl too. Glad to run across your blog. Hope you have a great weekend.


  5. I need the recipe! Could you email it to me? My email is on my header.

    Just love coming over for visits!

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    You and I sound a lot alike! I love TJ Maxx in Jeff and Marshalls at the Lake. Only my mother grew up wealthy and loves the finer things in life.
    I'd rather donate my money to a good cause. My mom and I don't see eye to eye on things often. But hey, God made us all different! I'm enjoying your blog!
    Maybe we are neighbors???