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-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

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!)