Rewind: My husband and I dated for over four years before we were married. Over the course of those years we discussed everything we wanted for the future. We both felt strongly that we wanted a family and that I would stay home to raise our children instead of returning to work. As a young couple, we knew this would be a challenge. We decided that from the day we were married, even though I was working a full time job, we would budget and live as if we only had one income. That way, when I left my job to raise a family, we would not go into shock from having been use to living on two incomes. (Plus my income, set aside, made for a good down payment on our future house.)
Fast forward: Three children later, I never dreamed I'd still be at home, now homeschooling my kids. When my children were young I'd have people tell me how lucky I was to be able to "afford" to stay home with them. Let me tell you, luck had nothing to do with it... sacrifice and doing without did.
So now as a mom of three, I no longer cry at being called a tightwad. I fully embrace my ability to stretch a dollar. Times and the economy have only gotten harder for my husband and I, not easier... but we still manage. I fully admit now to being 'a little bit crunchy.' The crunchy in me makes everything from scratch whenever possible. Many times it is because I feel I make things better, healthier, and less processed for my family (not necessarily cheaper.) Other times, it simply costs less to make it myself!
Here are a few of my (tightwad) homemade cleaners for the body, clothes, and for all around your home. I'll be adding more great cleaning tips as I come across them so keep checking back!
~For the Home~
Homemade Daily Shower Spray
3 cups water
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
2 teaspoons original blue Dawn dish detergent
2 teaspoons Jet-Dry
Homemade Glass and Countertop Cleaner
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar
Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated (I use a cheese box grater.)
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1/4 cup baking soda
Use 1-2 tablespoon. I've read that this is a low sudsing recipe and works well for HE washers. (But I do not use a HE washer.)
Homemade Fruit and Veggie Wash AND Countertop Cleaner
lemon, lime, and or orange peels
Fill a glass jar with citrus peels. Fill with vinegar and soak for 2 weeks. Fill a spray bottle with half citrus vinegar and half water. (Or, you can use straight vinegar.)
Laundry Stain Pretreater
2 parts hydrogen peroxide
1 part original blue Dawn dish detergent
Mix together in a spray bottle.
~For the Body~
Homemade Foaming Hand Wash
This couldn't be any easier! Pour about 1 inch of a clear liquid hand soap into an empty foaming soap pump and fill then fill with water. Be careful not to fill with too much water or it will spill over when you add the pump back in. Swirl gently to combine.
Clear liquid hand soap (not the cloudy moisturizer kind)
Homemade Facial Astringent
This is a great 'recipe' I have been using for years now. If you think your face is clean using soap, go over it again with the recipe and you'll be shocked to see all the dirt you left behind. Even my kids approaching the 'acne years' are using this to clean their face before bed.
Mix equal parts of all of the above in a bottle. Using a cotton ball and apply as needed. In the winter months when my skin is drier, I will use a higher ratio of witch hazel to rubbing alcohol. In the hot and sweaty summer months I will use a little more rubbing alcohol.
Facial Mask for Acne
Combine baking soda with a small amount of orange juice (or water) until you have a thick paste. Rub on your face and allow it to dry. Rinse. For spot treatment of acne. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and place directly on your 'trouble spot'. Allow it to dry and then rinse.
Vinegar in the Shower (Vinegar Hair Rinse)
I also keep a bottle of vinegar in a spray bottle by the shower. When I am finished with my shampoo and conditioner, I follow up with spraying my hair lightly with vinegar and then rinsing it out with cool water. Trust me, this will NOT leave your hair smelling like vinegar. The vinegar helps soften my hair and also makes it more manageable. I can't take a shower any more without this step!
Body Scrub (and Shaving Scrub) for the Shower
Light Olive Oil (or any olive oil)
Combine sugar with a little bit of olive oil. Take in the shower with you as an exfoliant.
For extra smooth legs: Shave as usual and follow up with the sugar scrub on your legs. Rinse and shave one last time. Lightly towel dry and follow up with moisturizer.