Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I made it!

Over the last few months, I have been trying to find ways to make things better for my family, and save us some money as well. There are two major things that have changed, and have made a big impact.

1. I have made all of our bread for the past 2 months

2. I made laundry detergent

1. I picked up a breadmaker at an excellent price and decided I would no longer buy bread from the store. Normally I tried to spend as little as possible, and would often pick up the $1 loaf from Kroger, even better sometimes I would get it marked down to .50 . Decent price for a loaf of bread. But do you know what is in it? Either do I.

Right now, I can tell you exactly what is in the bread used to make my kids sandwiches. 3 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, 2 tbs mollasses, 1 egg, 1 1/3 cups of water, 1 tbs honey, 2 tbs dry milk, 1 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 tsp yeast.

Literally, it takes about 2 minutes to put the ingredients in the bread maker. Every single loaf I have made has turned out great. I make about 2 loafs a week. We have tried French Bread, Country White, Graham, Whole Wheat, Sourdough, French Baguette, and I have even made hotdog and hamburger buns.

It's better for you, and cheaper. It's a win, win situation.

2. Even though we currently have around 10 bottles of Tide and All in our laundry room, it's going to run out someday. Eventually, I am sure it will. Even though each of those bottles were purchased for less than $2 (most around $1), it still adds up. Even though we use cold water to wash most of our clothes, they still fade a lot. I have been wanting to do this for a while, so I researched a few recipes and decided to make my own laundry detergent.

It was much simpler than I imagined.

1 bar of soap (grated)

1/2 cup Borax

1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda)

We used Ivory soap because I had 3 free bars, and I made a triple batch. You only need to use 1-2 tbs per load. So far it has been working great. The clothes are coming out clean and smelling good. I think the next batch I make I am going to use Fels Naptha soap. I bought a bar, I think it will help keep Mike's work shirts clean and the kids clothes.

It's simple, and a great way to use up some of the free bars of soap I can get with coupons.

My next goal is to make dish detergent, when my last 8 boxes run out.