Friday, October 28, 2011

Homemade Dish Detergent (For Your Dishwasher)

I stopped using  traditional dish detergents purchased at the grocery stores awhile ago and opted for natural brands that were free from phosphates.  The website explains why you want to avoid phosphates--essentially if you love the fish in the water and don't want to steal their oxygen avoid phosphates.  Unfortunately, the natural brands are super expensive and were damaging my wallet (even though they were not damaging the habitats of my fish friends).  My wonderful aunt gave me a recipe that is safe for fish and gentler on my wallet.  This formula is free of all of those heavy duty chemicals (the ones that cause respiratory and skin name just a couple of its ailments) and even more it takes just seconds to make.  I will warn you that it may not be as tough on caked on food as other formulas and so I have a handy dandy scraper by my sink to ensure the dishes are fairly clear of dried food, etc. before loading.  Are you ready...

You will need equal parts of borax and washing soda.  Both of these items are found on the same aisle as your laundry detergent at most grocers.  I put both items in a leftover lidded plastic container (mine is  an old plastic container with a twist on lid).  I screw on the lid and I shake.  Done!  I also found a small scooper from a different product that I use to dump the detergent into the dishwasher.  I do not fill my dishwasher up to the brim with soap--I fill it halfway in both the prewash and main wash compartments.  Here is the recipe I use when I make it--

Dishwasher Detergent

2 Cups Borax
2 Cup Washing Soda

Combine; Shake; Store; Use as Needed

Happy washing and feel good that you are saving money and some creatures!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Loss leaders and Foil...Savings for YOU!


I apologize for my delay in posting-- caught a "flu-like" bug several weeks ago and am now just getting over my cough.  Really that is not a good excuse for being away so long but life flies and when you break a habit it is hard to come back.  But I digress...

I want to share a few very short items with you--tidbits you should be able to use today... 

With the fast slide from Halloween to Christmas (I believe there used to be another holiday tucked in there somewhere), it is time to stock up on baking products.  This is a very special time of the year to save on those staples of sugar, flour, and even butter.  Stores often have in-store coupons for these items or they advertise them as a loss-leader (an item the store takes a loss on to get you in the doors).  If you are a smart baker of cookies, you'll shop just those loss-leaders and walk away with a bag of groceries for a few dollars.  But you say, "I won't bake enough and my flour will go bad and get buggy." You can solve this.  Freeze your flour for 24 hours, pull it out of the freezer and keep it in the paper packaging and bag it again in plastic. It will keep fine for the long haul with this method.  Bag up your sugar in plastic (do not freeze) or put it in an airtight container and it will last as well.  If your brown sugar is hard, place a slice of bread in the container or bag and it will soften up.  Finally, don't forget to freeze your butter.  I only buy butter on sale and my freezer is always stocked--with the rising price of butter these are sales to pay attention to.

If you happen to find a "quick sale" or another type of savings on eggs this time of year and you know you can use them in your baking eventually--crack them open and put one egg in each section of an ice cube tray.  Freeze these up and then pop them out of a tray into a freezer bag or container, use later when baking up seasonal dishes.

Finally, the static cling is upon our laundry--I have already mentioned using vinegar in your final rinse as a remedy for this.  If you don't love vinegar--I have a new trick--foil!  A foil ball thrown in the dryer will remove the static cling from your clothes and lasts for ages. If you really want to be green wash up some foil you already used and recycle it this way.  

Enjoy the beauty of the season--soon the horizon will no longer be a flame of ambers and goes too quick... 

October - by Robert Frost.

  O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the wall.