a post i've been meaning to do sometime while stuck in front of the computer: all the random things i (and anyone else) can make or do themselves to save money or improve quality...
1) Toothpaste- mix equal parts of sea salt, baking soda and xylitol (available at health food stores). Shake a little into your hand, wet the brush and scoop it onto your brush. brush teeth as normal. good clean feeling, safe for kids, no flouride, and been using for a year now with my dentist having nothing but good to say about our teeth.
2) Yogurt- spend a fraction of money on organic yogurt. start with store bought live cultures plain yogurt. buy a gallon of organic milk. put a scoop of yogurt in a jar and fill the rest with milk. i use our excaliber dehydrator set at 115 for 10-12 hours, but prior to owning that, i put the jars in the oven, turned the oven on for a minute, left the oven light on and just monitored the temp. turn oven on when getting cool, open the door if too warm. more work, but could make a lot more than the dehydrator will hold. make sure lids are loose as there are gases that will need to escape to keep cultures active. When you get low and need more, simply use a scoop of yogurt from your previous batch in each jar. eventually it will get very tangy- indicating its loaded w/ good bacteria! but if its too tangy for you, merely start over using store bought yogurt for your culture. When goats are dry, this is the kids morning drink... puts something good back into pasteurized milk!
3) laundry detergent- this recipe is about 1/20th the cost of other detergents! i must say, it appears to be causing some film build-up on my pocket diapers... indicating i'll need to "strip" them more frequently than i've had to w/ arm-n-hammer. if you're a pocket cloth diaper user and need more info, e-mail me. other than that its great! easy to make even.
All ingredients can be found at your local grocery store in the laundry isle.
1 bar of Fels Naptha soap, shaved
4 cups of hot water to melt the soap3 gallons of hot water
1 cup of borax
2 cups of washing soda
1 cup of baking soda
1 large Rubbermaid container about 4-5 gallons size (or a 5 gal bucket)
Here’s what you do: Grate the soap into a saucepan. Add 4 cups of hot water. Simmer on low until it melts completely. Add borax, washing soda and baking soda to the hot water. Simmer on low until it desolves with the soap. If the mixtureis not melting, add more water if needed. Add 3 gallons of hot water to the large container. Add the mixture to the hot water. Mix with a large spoon until itcompletely dissolves. Let cool overnight. Turns Into A Thick Gel.Use 1 cup per load. Works great!
4) Chicken broth- After eating a chicken, even store bought chicken, whole or pieces, save the bones. You may think its gross to put a bone someone gnawed on and boil it for several hours, killing all the germs. If that's the case, read about how they make the canned stuff. I know, out of sight out of mind... but really, think about it. Anyway, take all your bones, chewed on or not, and toss them into a crock pot. Fill the pot with water, add a tablespoon or so of vinegar (takes the calcium out of the bones and puts it in the broth!) and let it run all night... or as long as you need it. I always make broth and may let it simmer in the crock pot for two whole days before I use it. Right now I have the whole crock in my fridge because I haven't gotten around to either using it or pouring it into jars. No biggie. Stays good for a good while... its always gone before I can determine how long it takes to go bad. :-> Make rice or other grains with it if you're not into soup. Adds great flavor and FABULOUS nutrition!