This weekend I spent a happy hour checking our finances were in order. I regularly make sure that I have entered every little purchase to make sure we know exactly where every penny has gone to. This helps us to save money in the long term as we can see if there are any problem areas that we need to concentrate on.
Unfortunately we are not perfect and one thing I noticed this time, is we are starting to visit the shops more and more often. Each time is for something I have forgotten to buy on my ‘big’ shop at the beginning of the month. This wouldn’t be quite so bad if we just bought what I needed, but the supermarkets are clever and we nearly always come out with an extra something that we don’t really need and it uses up more of our food budget.
Recently, I have been working so hard on my allotment (due to being poorly in Autumn) that I have started to take shortcuts when I come home and I have been making ‘easier’ meals and not sticking to my meal plans. So I know this is at the root of the problem and this has got to stop and it’s back to strictly keeping to a meal plan for us. Luckily I have just about ‘caught up’ with my winter jobs at my allotment, so hopefully I can get back to normal now.
Regular visitors to my blog will know that one thing I do regularly to save money, is to make laundry liquid. On Saturday I ran out of my last batch of liquid, so I made some more.
I prefer to wash our clothes using homemade laundry liquid, as I know what goes into it….I suffer quite badly with excema and I used to find that shop-bought powers and liquids always made my excema worse. My homemade laundry liquid doesn’t seem to affect me all, which is great and it is really really easy to make.
The laundry liquid only takes 10-15 minutes to make and it lasts for weeks. It is great for every day washing and the last time I worked it out a few months ago, it cost me approximately £1.75 to make and I managed to get 71 washes out of it. This works out at a staggering 2.5p per wash….the supermarkets can’t beat that!
The recipe for the liquid is here.
I use old ‘pop’ bottles to store the liquid in, which I label and keep under my sink.
This weekend I also made some more dishwasher liquid using ‘soapnuts’:
I know there will be people reading my blog today who use them regularly for washing clothes, but unfortunately I didn’t think they washed our clothes very well even though I followed the instructions to the letter and I did try using them various times before I decided to give up.
So my soap nuts sat unused for ages, but I couldn’t bare to throw them away as I had paid good money for them.
In January I discovered that you can use soapnuts to make a dishwasher liquid and this is something I have been trialing since January and I have found it works really well. When my stash of soap nuts finally run out, I will definately buy some more.
I find that if I use the liquid in my dishwasher every wash, then grease builds up inside my dishwasher, so I have found that it works best if I use it for two washes and then wash once with a shop-bought dishwasher tablet once and then use the dishwasher liquid twice etc. This way it still saves me quite a bit of money.
You can find how to make it here.
Incidentally, I also topped up the rinse aid compartment in my dishwasher this week. Again I don’t buy a shop-bought rinse aid, I use white distilled vinegar which is very cheap to buy from your local supermarket and works just as well.
Another thing I did at the weekend was to make some more ‘multi-purpose vinegar spray’. I use this to clean down my work surfaces in my kitchen, our table mats, my cooker hob etc. Again it is really cheap to make and it lasts ages, but more importantly I know what goes into it.
All it is made of is distilled white vinegar (which most supermarkets sell), with a few drops of ‘Tea Tree Oil’ (which I buy from Wilkinsons).
Distilled white vinegar is great as it’s cheap to buy and cuts through grease and dirt and is antibacterial too, so it kills most germs. It does smell when you first spray it, but the smell doesn’t linger and no one will know you have used it. White vinegar is milder than malt vinegar and dries odourless.
I mix the vinegar with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil which has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties too.
This makes a fantastic natural multi-purpose cleaner and it lasts for ages:
I use a lot of ‘old fashioned’ cleaning methods as I like the thought of not using chemicals and saving money at the same time. I wrote about all the ‘old fashioned cleaning methods’ I could think of here if anyone is interested.
I find that I feel rather smug now when I see people with expensive chemical cleaners and washing powders in their trollies, knowing that I wash and clean for a faction of what they are paying.
My cleaning cupboard consists of only a few things that clean eveything in my house…and that’s the way I like it..
Thank you for reading my blog today.
I will be back on Friday at my usual time.