Survival Tips for One-Income Households

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

Results are amazing… So using pretty much the same ingredients as my DIY Laundry Detergent omitting the bar of soap and adding dish soap and True Lemon.   You can find True Lemon packets at Walmart near the Kool Aid.  You can also substitute Lemon Kool Aid (no sugar added is crucial).   The original recipe called for Kosher salt too, but I didn’t have any… I suppose you could try that as well in the mix to see if it helps with hard water issues.  I also put straight white vinegar in my rinse compartment or splash it on the bottom of the dishwasher before I start the load.

Here is my recipe and you can see for yourselves the results.

1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer SUPER WASHING SODA (not to be confused with baking soda)
3 drops (NO MORE) of your favorite dish soap
2 Tablespoons of True Lemon


and of course fill your rinse compartment up  with white vinegar.

Here are the before pictures…  ewww gross don’t judge me… they are WAY dirty going in to prove how well it works.


Here are the AMAZING RESULTS!!!


So, you tell me… Does this work?  I am still on my first batch and this has been such an awesome money saver to me.  I am so thankful I joined the Green World!


DIY Laundry Detergent

One of my biggest concerns lately is how much bad stuff is in our everyday products.  If it weren’t for my mom who died from cancer 5 months ago, I would not have looked into this myself.  I realized something in my research… Most companies just care about money and not what they are selling.  I have learned of many harmful ingredients in our everyday products that contribute to feeding cancer cells.  So why are we still using them?   Probably because we always have used them.  Maybe because they are convenient.

I felt the same way until my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  I am not okay with taking a pill or going through chemo because of my lifestyle.  So, I started doing my research and found a few surprising details…  It COSTS WAY LESS to make my own products that don’t have these ingredients, THEY WORK WAY BETTER and I know THEY ARE SAFE.  I never made these items because I thought they wouldn’t be as effective, I thought it would be hard to find the ingredients and I thought it would take too much time.  WRONG!!!  It is was easier than I expected!   If you are like me, you will say that you have sensitive skin and you are scared you will react to this stuff.  I have the worst case of skin issues (I think).  I have eczema, dry skin, allergies to dryer sheets, allergies to animal fur and feathers, increased sensitivity to salon chemicals and allergies to some antibiotics.  This does not react to my skin.

So, I am here to tell you which recipes work, where to find the ingredients, tell you how much time it took to do them and most importantly ask you, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!???  You will soon be addicted to the savings that making them will become fun to you!  You might even whistle while you make them!  AH HA HA

I searched online for Homemade laundry detergent and fell in love with this one.  Find original recipe HERE.  I read every review and fell in love with the comments and feedback right away.  I finally went green that day.  Of course I still had back up Laundry Detergent in case this was a Pinterest FAIL. lol

Here is the recipe…  All ingredients easily found in the laundry isle at Walmart.  Cost was around $10 for all of it.

1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer WASHING SODA  (not baking soda)
3/4 bar Fels-Naptha

Use a cheese grater on the finest setting and shred the Soap bar.  Then mix all the ingredients together and put into an air tight container (this part is important).

Only 1 Tablespoon (wrote it out so you are not confused)… YES, ONE TABLESPOON per load.  HOLY TAMOLI!!!!  I used 1 1/2 Tbs on really soiled loads.  I also fill my Laundry Softener cup up with White Vinegar to save a ton more!

UPDATE TO RECIPE…  The original recipe called for the entire bar of the Fels Naptha.  I only did about 3/4 of the bar before I gagged on the strong smell.  It worked beautifully on my clothes and made them clean… However… I did more research and found that any bar of soap will do… But since I sell a natural skin care line (HERE for details) and know the harmful effects of ingredients, I decided to use a much safer bar of soap.  I was still saving a ton of money and I wanted it to be Natural, so I chose to change it up to this…

1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer WASHING soda (not baking soda)
3/4 bar Dr. Bronners All-One Hemp Lavender Soap

Use a cheese grater on the finest setting and shred the Soap bar.  Then mix all the ingredients together and put into an air tight container (this part is important).

Results were still amazing.  I use 1 – 1 1/2 Tbs per load and fill the cup with White Vinegar.  No, your clothes will not smell like vinegar… White Vinegar will kill the smell of pee and mildew.  I have 2 kids potty training.  I need something that works!  White Vinegar is amazing!  I will NEVER use anything else as a fabric softener.

If the dry laundry soap is not your thing, I found the same ingredients in a liquid form that you can make HERE I will be trying this out on my next batch of laundry soap.  I really think you could make your dollar stretch even farther this way because I am always so tempted to use more than I need.  With all the laundry I do in this house, I need any savings I can get.  I will update you on results after I make and try it.

Some additional Tips on saving money in your laundry room…

1.  Cut your drying time down by at least 10 min by throwing a dry towel in with your load.  If your load is small enough which mine rarely is… throw in 2 towels.  You could also go through the pain of making your own wool dryer balls, but the towels work just fine.

2.  Use dryer balls… HERE.  I found mine at Walmart. I think it helps keep things from getting all twisted up and helps dry them faster.  It is also supposed to cut back on static, but I haven’t noticed a difference.  Probably because of how dry the air is in the winter time.  I like to think that they are helping still.

3.  Make your own dryer sheets.  HERE.  I still have yet to try this one.  I will update you when I figure out a more SAFE ingredient list.  I feel I need it though.  I use the dryer balls and I still have static.  I will let you know how it turns out.  The recipe calls for conditioner and I worry about it putting greasy stains on my clothes.  I really can’t wait to try it though!

4.  Don’t overfill your load… Easier said than done when you do SOOO much laundry.  It really does help wash and dry each load.

That’s it for now!  Thank you for following me!  I will update you on my results soon!


Great Links for your Recyclables!

Spend some time at… There is so much information jammed into this site!  Here are some direct links to Reusing things you have laying around.

1.  Save your old toothbrushes!!!!  Check out this link to see neat ways to use those old brushes!  I also like to clean my lint trap out every time I use my dryer.  I hear that you should really clean your lint trap good (until water can flow through the holes).  If it doesn’t, you have a build up on it from your dryer sheets.  This is considered a fire hazard if the air can not move freely through the holes.  So, I brush hard every time with a toothbrush to get into the holes of the vent (it is a habit now and easier to get a hold of the lint anyways)… I will check it every so often by running water through it too.

2.  Neat ways to reuse those mesh bags your produce comes in!

3.  10 Ways to Craft with Old Sweaters + 5 New Ideas  Also you can make cup cozies and mittens and hats too!

4.  Here is a great resource with TONS of ideas

5.  Reusing Rubber Bands…

6.  Reusing Milk Cartons

Until next time…

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Ammmmmmmmazing! Slow Cooker Honey Chicken!

Mother tested, Kid approved, FOR SURE!!!!  Not only are you saving money by NOT ordering Chinese, you can have a similar recipe in your home for a fraction of the cost AND because it is made in the slow cooker???  Yea, saving you time and energy.  Isn’t that what we all want?

This is the first (well close to it), Chinese Chicken Recipe that I can find that didn’t have all sorts of weird ingredients in it.  I loved this!  AND so did my kids!  So much so, I started blogging before I sat down to eat…  I am waiting for the rice to cool a little.  Find original recipe here…

Amazingly, I had mostly EVERY ingredient on hand!  I left out the sesame, but it tastes great anyways!  VERY easy…

It smells and looks AMAZING TOO!!!!  So much so, I put testers for the kiddos on toothpicks just like they do at the mall or grocery store!  he he… my kids got a kick out of that one!

Here are some really happy kids…Have fun trying it yourself!  LOVE IT!!!!

Just waiting for the final approval… My husband!  lol

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Tami’s Freebies

This post will be an ongoing post of free stuff… per my sister’s request.  This is a great way to get free samples to stock up on items for your purse or emergency stock when you run out of what you normally use.  I only have time to post a few, but I will keep this going.  Don’t forget to post your finds as well…PLEASE NOTIFY ME IF ANY DEALS END OR ARE INVALID

WALMART SAMPLES This changes every once and a while (I think monthly) so check back often for more deals… TOTALLY SAFE… This is where I get most of my freebies.  BOOKMARK THIS ONE.

EMERGEN-C SAMPLES This stuff ROCKS to keep colds from invading your body.

HAIR CARE PRODUCTS (who couldn’t use travel shampoo/conditioner/gel/etc…)

HEALTHY STUFF This is an energy health drink


FAITH For a FREE Christian book




Great Sites for Creative Inspiration

Below are a list of my favorite sites if you are the creative type… or not so creative but would love to learn a few things on how to do a project.

CUT OUT AND KEEP THIS IS MY FAVORITE SITE  This is one of the coolest sites I have discovered so far.  It is an unbelievable list that goes on and on with “how to” craft tutorials on just about EVERYTHING!!!!!!!  No joke, stop by and you will be absolutely amazed that you got this information FOR FREE!!!!!

YOU TUBE As posted in my last blog… Awesome resource for making items on a budget or to start your creativity flowing.

FAVE CRAFTS This is an awesome site on free patterns for crocheting, sewing, knitting, candles, glass, painting, pet crafts, wedding crafts, wood crafts, quilting, leather crafts, storage and organization crafts, etc…

LION BRAND YARN This is a great site to not only get some free patterns for crochet/knitting, but to purchase yarn through as well…  BUT… I know you will want to be smart and go through Ebates and find JoAnn Fabrics (or even WalMart to save even more–no shipping) instead, right?

That’s it for now!  Have fun getting creative!

Update… Newest member to the creative family….
PINTEREST  This is by far my most favorite website.  I have to say that it is an information highway and you can be lost in creative heaven for hours if you do not control yourself.  lol  Finally a place to spark your creativity and have a “place” to put all your ideas and your DIY projects.  You are able to bookmark “PIN” your favorite websites and view MANY of your friends bookmarks “PINS”.  They are put into categories of your choice in which anyone has the choice to follow you or your individual categories.  Very addicting and FUN!

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I seriously would not know what I would be like these days, if YouTube wasn’t invented.  It is like an information highway…  Not only is it entertaining watching funny home videos, but EXTREMELY educational as well.  It will show you “how to” do just about everything.

ORGANIZING…  Numerous videos on how to organize just about EVERYTHING in your house.

REUSING… Want to know what to do with your over abundance of recyclables?  Some great examples that I found off YouTube…

1.  Reuse soda bottles/milk jugs/juice containers…
a.  Create a FREE Topsy-Turvy for your tomato plants using a 2 liter soda bottle and some string to hang…  Just paint the outside with some craft paint or glue some fabric on it to make it look nicer, and Voila!!!!
b.  Create soil pots for planting indoors!  I just started this one… I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!
c.  Make your own greenhouse… Mini style.

2.  Reuse magazine pages…
a.  Make storage bins-cover a shoe box with magazine cutouts and then roll up extra pages to glue all the way around the box.
b.  Make a vase- This one is way cool.

3.  Reuse toilet paper/paper towel rolls…
a.  Use for holding your hair ties
b.  Use as a seedling starter cup

4.  Reuse old clothes…
a.  Reuse those jeans you can’t fit into anymore by turning it inside out and make a purse. Those pockets are great for storing things.  Make a laptop bag or a shaggy area rug.
b.  Reuse those sweaters to make mittens, hats, scarves, arm warmers, leg warmers, etc…

HOW TO crochet, knit, sew, paint (watercolors, oil paints, craft paints), speak a new language, play an instrument, shave, put your makeup on and what you should buy, etc…

BUILD a house, computer, go cart, robot, deck, your muscles, etc…

Forget how to do CPR?  Watch it on here and keep it fresh in your mind.

You can watch FREE workout videos

The list goes on and on…

Let me know your favorite things to watch on YouTube!

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My Favorite Sites to Save Money

Now that we have established the couponing site… Now I can talk to you about the BEST deals you can find and how addicting it can be when you see the amount of money you are saving…

The number one site that I absolutely LOVE……  I am thrilled that I can receive CASH BACK from my everyday purchases.  Not only can I shop from home, but it benefits me to do so.  The site is TOTALLY free and you are wasting your money if you are not signed up with this.

I will give you an example (my favorite deal), hopefully you can follow me…

We have a large breed dog and and small breed dog.  Food costs a fortune.  We found a better dog food at a local animal feed store.  We could not afford the $50 for the 30lb bag that they sold.  So, we kept buying the smaller bags… WASTING money…  I went through and found the dog food at PetCareRx.  I clicked on the store, it send me directly on my way to getting 12% cash back off my purchase. I did a little research in another window on coupon codes for this site.  I was told that if you click off the site, (x completely out) that a window will pop up offering you a discount of 20% on your order… saving me even more money.  Not only was the SAME 30lb dog food priced at $37 (instead of $50 at the store), but I received 20% off, just by pretending I was leaving the site.  Then after I finish my order, I receive an e-mail from ebates showing me what they will give me back.  Guess what, I just added $4 more to my pocket.  They will send me a check at the end of the month.  I have been with ebates for quite a while.  I absolutely LOVE it.  Free money is always good.

Another site to look up is Upromise.  You can save money at your local supermarket without bringing your coupons.  This is awesome.  They can put it directly on your savers card, so when you scan that at the register, it saves you more money.   Just type in your zip code, find your stores on the list and add your saver card numbers… Sign up for weekly e-mails, click on your coupons you plan to use, print off your shopping list. (one page versus numerous pages of coupons).  Voila!

Till next time…

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The best advice I have for you is to join the  They have a section on how to coupon, easy videos, WHAT to save at your stores in your area and how to double up on coupons to maximize your savings and how much you will spend.  I especially like the Walgreens and Walmart savings.

Once you familiarize yourself with the site, you will find how useful it is.  Not only does it tell you weekly the items on sale, it will tell you the best coupons to use, how to use them and where to find the coupons.  Lucky for you, ALL the work is done.  Just sign up for the weekly e-mails and they will let you know when to log in and print off the new available coupons from your computer.  Easy.

I found through trial and error that I can pick up a newspaper (Sunday paper) at Walmart for 99cents weekly.  I just have to remember to go.  I don’t clip ANY coupons (of course I page through them to see what is there)…  What I do is fold a piece of paper in half and write the date that the paper was issued.  You will need a spot to organize these.  Just keep the coupons the way they came (Red Plum, etc…).  The site will tell you the date and the specific coupon book that it was issued from.  (Easy as pie to go back and clip one coupon when needed instead of a clipping mess and paper everywhere.  Throw out the coupon book, just keep your printed coupons (from the computer) in a folder or 3 ring binder and page through before you go to the store.

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