Frugal Friday Recipe-Make your own dryer sheets

Frugal Friday Recipe: Making your own dryer sheets

Making your own dryer sheets is easy, great for the environment and uses so few ingredients.

Here are my top reasons to make your own dryer sheets 🙂

1-easy, easy, easy -About 5 minutes of “prep” for a years worth of dryer sheets

2- Healthy! Avoid many of the potential dangers that fabric softeners could pose for your family

3-very economical. Savings of .0677/load if you do five loads a week that is a savings of $17.60/year! (see geeky calculations at the bottom of the post

4-You can create your favorite scents

Step 1: Gather your ingredients:


White distilled vinegar (1-2 cups)

Essentail Oil (your favorite scent) 6-12 drops

spray bottle and old rag

Step 2: Mix 1-2 cups of vinegar with 6-12 drops of oil (put in the amount of oil for desired “scent”). Put on lid and mix


Step 3: Spray a rag 5-10 times with mixture and throw in dryer

Step 4: Repeat. You can use 4-8 times before you need to re-apply. 1-2x/month wash rag to remove build up!

FAQ

What does the vinegar do?

Vinegar is a natural fabric softener. You can use it in your washer as well (baking soda too) but I find that just using my homemade dryer sheets gets clothes soft enough.

Do your dryer sheets reduce static ?

The number one cause of static is over drying 🙂 I do find that this reduces static. Another trick is to attach a safety pin to the edge of your home-made dryer sheets. This eliminates static (not sure why should ask my husband, the chemist 🙂

Do your clothes smell like vinegar?

Nope they smell like lavender, or vanilla depending on the scent I am using 🙂

GEEKY CALCULATIONS:

16 oz white vinegar $1.32

-price / cup = .52 centse

-price / batch = .52 cents

Essential Oil (5ml)= $6

-price / drop (approx) =.02 cents

-price / batch =.12 cents

Spray bottle: $.50 cents at the dollar store

Electrical Costs: NONE

Number of loads of laundry/ spray bottle (what I can get) 488

Total cost for 1 batch: $ .64 cents (or $1.14 if you have to buy the spray bottle)

price/ load of laundry = .0013 cents (that is alot less the 1 penny / load)

The average of cost / dryer sheet = .069 cents

Savings of .0677/load if you do five loads a week that is a savings of $17.60/year!

Frugal Recipe Friday-Homemade Yogurt

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Frugal Friday Recipe: Making your own yogurt

Making your own yogurt is surprisingly easy and sooo affordable.  I make my own yogurt several times a week because we eat so much of it. But it can last up to two weeks in your fridge!

Here are my top reasons to make your own yogurt 🙂

1-easy, easy, easy -About 5 minutes of “prep” and 10 hours of doing absolutely nothing

2- Healthy! No additives or preservatives or high fructose corn syrup (even so called “healthy” brands are adding HFCS be on the lookout!)

3-very economical. My average savings including electrical costs saves me  $2.24/32 oz (the huge containers) of non-organic yogurt. The cost is 55 cents (including electricity) for 32 oz (again the big carton) of yogurt. For our family that is $ 117.98    /year on yogurt. (see bottom of post for calculations) and that savings is if we buy non-organic…the organic (which we make) would be much more expensive (as would buying in ready to go cups instead of large containers)

4-Tasty-It is not over powerfully sweet and delicious. We can make as many varieties as we want 🙂

Step 1: Gather your ingredients:

3 cups milk

1-2tbs plain yogurt

Glass bowl

Yogurt maker

OR glass canning jars (quart size), heating pad, small box and a few towels

Candy thermometer

Step 2: Take 1-2tbs of plain yogurt and leave out on the counter until room tempurature. Plug in your yogurt maker to preheat or plug in an electric heating pad to approximately 115-120 degrees. Place in the bottom of a box.

I take my leftover yogurt and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then when its frozen I store it in the freezer in ziplock bags. One ice cube worth is the perfect amount of starter. You can also use 1-2 tbs of “fresh” yogurt…once you’ve made some just use some of the yogurt you’ve made to start the next batch.

Step 3: Bring milk to just below a boil.

I do this in my microwave. I cook it for about 6 minutes. You want it to be just before boiling approx 160-180 degrees.

Step 4: Your milk will have a thin layer of “skin”. Remove skin with a spoon.

Step 5: Place thermometer in the middle of the milk and allow to cool to between 110-120 degrees (warm to the touch).

I check on mine about every 10-15 minutes. It usually takes about 20 minutes for this to occur.

Step 6: Remove any “skin” that has formed on the milk. Your milk should be between 110-120 degrees

Step 7: Whisk in milk starter just until mixed (don’t over beat!)

Step 8: Pour into yogurt containers for your yogurt maker or into quart canning jars. Distribute evenly among your containers and place lids on.

Step 9: Place in preheated yogurt maker, or in box with the heating pad on the bottom. Pull the heating pad around the containers and surround and cover snugly with towels to keep the heat in.

Step 10: Allow to “set” overnight in a non-drafty location. approx 8-12 hours. Yogurt should be a bit like a thick jello at this point.

Step 11: Place in the back of the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to “set”. Serve with brown sugar, or add your favorite fruit and honey to sweeten!


FAQ

How do you flavor your yogurt?

My families favorite way is to buy frozen fruit and chop it up. We bring it to room temperature and then add it (juice and all for color) to the yogurt. We add a bit of honey to sweeten it..yum!

Another favorite is just plain yogurt with a bit of brown sugar (thanks for the tip Jennifer!)

How do you store your yogurt?

We store ours in small Tupperware containers (ready to grab for a lunch) or old yogurt containers in the fridge

GEEKY CALCULATIONS:

1 Gallon of milk $2.22

-price / cup = .13 cents

-price / batch = .42 cents

32 oz of yogurt for starter = $2.79

-price / tbs =.05 cents

-price / batch =.10 cents

Electrical Costs: Microwave = .01 cents according to this site

Yogurt Maker (running on 40 watts a high estimate…for 8hrs) = .02 cents (see above site)

Total cost for 32 oz of plain yogurt =.55 cents. THAT IS A SAVINGS OF $2.24 / 32 oz container of organic yogurt!

Frugal Recipe Friday-whole wheat honey oatmeal bread in your kitchenaid

Frugal Friday Recipe: My favorite whole wheat bread recipe

Making your own bread can seem daunting but it is quite simple once you get organized. This recipe I have adapted from several different recipes to have all my favorite elements, honey, oatmeal, wheat and of course using my kitchenaid. Here are some of the reasons I make my own bread:

1-easy, easy, easy -20 minutes of “prep” and then 5 hours of waiting.

2- Healthy! No additives or preservatives

3-very economical. My average cost per loaf is $1.63 (including electricity) for organic healthy bread. That saves me a little over $1 a loaf for the wheat bread we were buying.

4-Tasty- nothing tastes better then homemade bread, mmmm

Step 1: Gather your ingredients:

2 cups milk

1 cup oatmeal

3 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups white flour

2tbs yeast

1/2 cup honey

oil

salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

Step 2: Heat milk

I heat my milk in the microwave. It takes approximately 6 minutes. You want to heat your milk to just below boiling.

Step 3: Remove milk “skin” from top of the bowl

I just find it makes better bread. Just take a spoon to pull of the “skin” from the milk being heated

Step 4: Add oatmeal and hot milk into kitchenaid blender and allow to sit for about 1/2 hour or until lukewarm to the touch

Step 5: After oatmeal has cooled down to “warm”. Take a  separate bowl and  pour  1/2 cup very warm water, 1 tsp honey and 2 tbs yeast into it.

Whisk these together just until mixed (don’t over whisk). Let rise 5 minutes. Mixture should begin to foam up (see picture) if it does not work try again!

Step 6: Add the yeast mixture, butter, remaining honey and salt to the oatmeal mixture and stir using kitchenaid mixing attachment until mixed.

Step 7: Slowly add wheat and white flour. Stir until mixed.


Step 8: Remove kitchenaid mixing attachment and add kneading attachment. Add 1/4 cup flour and knead on low for 8 minutes

I just do dishes during this part so I have no clean-up

Step 9: Remove ball from the mixing bowl and spray / coat with oil. Place dough ball back in bowl and spray or lightly oil the top of the dough. Place in a dark humid place to rise 1-1.5 hours or until doubled

For this I usually place a small pie pin of warm water in the bottom rack of my oven. I then turn it on to low…and then turn it off. I place the bowl in the turned off oven with the door closed. I cover the bowl with a towel that is damp with hot/warm water.

Step 10: After dough has doubled punch down. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place in greased bread pans seam side down. Re-cover and place in warm dark humid place and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.

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Step 11: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place loaves in oven and cook for 35-45 minutes or until you can tap on the bottom and the bread sounds hollow.

Step 12: Remove from pans and allow to cool completely before eating (if you can!)

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FAQ:

1-How long does your bread last?

My bread lasts 1-2 weeks in a ziplock bag. It lasts longer if I store it in the fridge

2- How do you keep your bread from tasting stale

I slice my bread when I need it, this keeps the loaf moist. I also make sure it is sealed in the ziplock bag.

3- Can you freeze your bread?

Yes! It works great! Then I just defrost and serve. I do this sometimes when I am giving someone a meal, then I have bread on hand to give them with their soup or cassarole.

4- Can I do this recipe in my breadmaker?

I don’t think so, but I don’t have a breadmaker, give it a try and let me know. I do recommend baking outside the breadmaker though in the oven as your bread will taste better (in my opinion). Before my breadmaker died I used it for the first few processes and then I would transfer the dough to bread pans for the final rise and baking process. Be sure and let me know in the comment section what works for you!

5- what size is your kitchenaid?

Mine is just the “standard” kitchenaid not he industrial.

6-Can I make this without the kitchenaid?

YES! Just mix the ingredients by hand, and then knead by hand for 10 minutes (instead of 8 with the kitchenaid).

Have fun and let me know how it works for you!

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Geeky Calculations:

2 cups milk = .26 cents

1 cup oatmeal = .04 cents

3 cups whole wheat flour = $.89

2 cups flour = $,98

2tbs yeast = .33 cents

1/2 cup honey = .21 cents

oil = .01 cents

salt = .01 cents

1/4 cup butter, melted = .19 cents

Oven Electricity usage cost: .32 cents

Microwave electricity usage: ..02cents

Kitchenaid Electricity usage: . .01 cents

Total cost per batch: = $3.27

Cost per loaf: = $1.63

Frugal Friday Recipe: Black eyed pea soup and sausage

Frugal Friday Recipe: Black eyed pea soup

Cost per 4 adults (including power): $1.39 or .35 cents each -due in part to this great sausage deal!

Prep time: Soak beans overnight. Then 15 minutes prep

Cook time (in crockpot) 8 hours.

I am not a big fan of peas as a general rule but I must say this soup recipe (altered slightly from 365crockpot click here for original recipe) is amazing! My kiddo (ages 2 and 1) and husband would eat this every night if I cooked it. This is one of the most frugal recipe’s I have feeding four adults for only $ 1.39 (geeky calculations at bottom of post). We love eating ours with  homemade honey wheat oatmeal bread(recipe coming next Friday!)

After the soup is cooked we freeze half of it for another meal later that month.

Tip: If you will be gone more then 8 hours hook your crockpot up to a Christmas tree timer and set it to start and go off when you need it to!
–1 pound dried black eyed peas
–2 lbs sausage (can be cooked or uncooked)
–6 cups chicken broth
–1 cup diced carrots
–1 cup diced celery
–4 cloves garlic, diced

–1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
–1 tsp salt
–1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground is best)

The night before: Place your beans in your large (5-6 quart) crockpot, cover with plenty of water (remember beans expand!) and soak overnight.

The morning of:

1-Drain liquid from the beans and pick out any “odd” looking ones.

2- Dice Veggies. and dump them over the pre-soaked beans

3-Add your sliced sausage (uncooked is just fine!)

4-Put seasonings in. Pour broth over the top

soup-raw

5. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (high for 6)

6. 6-8 hours later your ready to eat. Just ladel into bowls and serve. And the house smells amazing all day too…

Yummy!


soup-cooked
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Geeky  CALCULATIONS:

All items purchased at Winco

black eyed peas: .37 cents
sausage: 1.32 cents
chicken broth (I use bouillon in bulk at Winco) .25 cents
onion,
.32 cents

carrots .18 cents

celery .10 cents
Garlic .05 cents

Salt .01 cents
Pepper .01 cents

Italain Season .05 cents

Cost of using crockpot for 8 hours on low approx: .12 cents

TOTAL: $2.78 for 8 people  $1.39 for four


Recipe for laundry detergent (liquid)

Frugal Friday Recipe: Make your own liquid detergent

I know what your thinking, how ridiculous to make laundry soap. But let me assure you it is very much worth the minimal effort you put in. Here are my top three reasons to make your own detergent:

1-easy, easy, easy

2- lots of fun, it’s like creative license to make goop in your kitchen

3-very economical.

If you average 4 loads a week you will save approximately $37.41  a year.  Sounds like a fun date night to me 🙂 (geeky calculations at the bottom of this post)

This recipe is one that I find to work best, modify as needed I fiddled with a few different ones to come up with my favorite combination ( it is hard to mess up soap so be brave!)…

This recipe is enough for almost 200 loads of laundry!

Ingredients:

Water

  • 1/3 bar of soap

-laundry soap bars work best…we love using Fels Naptha Laundry Soap but it does have a lemon smell, be sure the gar soap isn’t mostly detergent or moisturizer, I heard ivory works good too-

  • 1/2 cup washing soda

-found in the laundry aisle of your supermarket. If yours doesn’t have it you can make your own by changing the chemical compound of baking soda (can you tell I’m married to a chemist?). Bake baking soda in the oven at 425 for 2hrs. WARNING: emits fumes so do in a well ventilated area / during the summer when windows and doors can be open!)

  • 1/2 cup Borax

-this is a common “green cleaning” ingredient and you can find it in the laundry section of pretty much any grocery store.

  • Essential oil for added scent (if desired)
  • 4 gallon bucket (with 2 gallons marked approx on the outside (just guess!)
  • Empty milk jugs or empty old detergent bottles for storage

How to create your soap:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler or grater grate 1/3 of your soap bar into 6 cups of water (in a pan). Heat on a low-medium heat until the soap is dissolved.
  2. Add your borax and washing soda. Stir until mixture becomes the consistency of pudding (or honey)
  3. Put approximately 4 cups of warm water in your four gallon bucket. Add your soap mixture and stir.
  4. Fill the bucket to the 2 gallon mark with cold water.
  5. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Every 15 minutes stir the soap
  6. After 1 hour set the timer for every 10 minutes and stir the soap every 10 minutes.
  7. When cool add a few drops of essential oil (if desired) and pour into milk jugs or into old liquid detergent bottles.  Use 1 tbs/ load of wash.

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CALCULATIONS: How I know its a savings…

Approximate start up cost (buying materials to make = $10) You’ll have enough though to make lots and lots of batches!

I priced out the costs and factoring in .40 cents for the amount of energy used to heat the soap on the stove for 15 minutes (a bit generous) it comes out to just under 2 pennies a load. Compare this to Sams Club price $.14 / load (this is for concentrated detergent).  If you average 5 loads a week that is $37.41/year. Of course our family washes more then 5 loads a week and we use slightly less then called for so our savings is even greater (yeah!)