10 Amazing Uses for Baking Soda

Posted on March 21st, 2012 by Discount Debbie

Is Baking Soda the world’s best kept secret? Is has to be! It wasn’t until my husband’s grandma started talking about baking soda this and baking soda that, that I started doing my own research. Baking soda really is an amazing product. And the best part, it’s so cheap! Here are my top 10 uses for baking soda that do not involve baking or to┬ákeep your refrigerator fresh smelling.

1. Use it as an antacid. This was actually the first thing my husband’s grandma mentioned about baking soda. She said it would beat anything you can buy over the counter for heartburn or an upset stomach. Talk about instant savings in the medicine department. She said take a teaspoon with some water and you’ll be set. The taste isn’t that great though, but it works!

2. Skin softener. Seriously try this the next time you take a bath. Add a cup to your bath water and soak in the softness. It really works! Don’t spend a fortune on those expensive bath salts, just try baking soda. Miss the smell? Add a drop of essential oils to your water.

3. Goodbye stinky hands. I cook a lot with onions and garlic and I mean A LOT. My hands get stinky quick and that smell is hard to get rid of. After I chop my onion and garlic, I put a little baking soda on my hands and scrub with water. Poof, the smell is gone!

4. Keep your flowers fresh. Have you seen those little packets they give you with flowers to put in the water? Yep, it’s baking soda! Put about a teaspoon in your fresh flowers water vase and it will keep them fresh longer.

5. Crafts for the kids. Want to make some modeling clay? Use 1 cup cornstarch, 2 cups baking soda, 1-1/2 cups cold water and food coloring if you’d like.

6. Rain repellant. Ever use Rain-x? Next time use baking soda. Mix with such a little water and apply to your windshield. It actually repels rain!

7. Animal hair remover. Sprinkle it on your carpet and let sit for 20-30 minutes, then vacuum. Not only does it help get rid of pet odors, it actually helps the hair release from the carpet.

8. Sweeter tomatoes. It’s almost time to plant tomatoes and when you do, sprinkle a little baking soda in the soil. It will make your tomatoes sweeter!

9. Clean veggies and fruit. Don’t waste your money on expensive fruit and vegetable wash, just rinse them with a little baking soda and water.

10. Laundry boost! Oxy-clean is expensive! Instead, sprinkle some baking soda on your dirty clothes and wash.


Simple Ways to Save Money Around the House

Posted on March 13th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

Maintaining a home isn’t cheap. In fact it’s probably takes the biggest bite out of your paycheck. Between the utilities and mortgage/rent and food and toiletries, there is a lot that goes into having a home. I look for every possible way to be Thrifty in my home. Here are some ways I save money.

1. Turn down your water heater. Did you know turning your water heater down just a little bit can save you quite a bit of money? It’s true! It doesn’t have to be much to make a difference. According to some experts, “Lowering the temperature from 140 to 120 would reduce your water heating costs by 6 to 10%.”

2. Line dry your clothes. This is a practice forgotten by too many people. Spring is just around the corner and so are those temperatures that make line drying possible. If you’ve never done it, try it. Not only does it leave your cloths smelling wonderful, it cuts down your electricity bill.

3. Re-purpose old towels. Towels can last a really long time, but they do wear out. Don’t throw them away though, turn them into cleaning rags. Simply cut them down to size and reuse them.

4. Stop buying expensive cleaners! You really don’t need them. There are tons of recipes for do-it-yourself cleaners that will save you quite a bit. Keep checking with Thrifty Divas because we’ll be posting some recipes for spring cleaning soon!

5. Change your air filters. This is a seriously cheap fix, but will save you a lot of money. The dirtier your filter is, the more your heater or air conditioner has to work. Help the air flow by keeping them clean.

What are some ways you save money around your house?


DIY-My Favorite Acronym

Posted on January 9th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

If you are addicted to Pinterest and HGTV raise your hand!

How much do I love do it yourself projects, let me count the ways. If you are a Thrifty Diva, you know that doing things yourself instead of buying them is going to save you money. There are so many projects from homemade laundry soap to tiling your own floors that will save you mucho dinero in the long run.

Here are a few easy DIY projects to start with. If you are new to trying things on your own, these are easy and cheap!

1. Homemade laundry soap. We actually covered this easy project a couple of months ago, but you can check out the post HERE. It’s fast, it’s easy and best of all, it’s thrifty!

2. Homemade and natural deodorant.

I have not personally made this, but a good friend has and says it’s wonderful. And better yet, this is completely natural!
What you need:
Empty solid deodorant container
6-8 Tbsp Coconut oil (solid state)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (arrowroot is preferred)

Directions:
1. Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder
2. Slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon or hand blender until it maintains a firm but pliable texture. It should be about the same texture as commercial deodorant, solid but able to be applied easily. If it is too wet, add further arrowroot powder/cornstarch to thicken.
3. You can either scoop this recipe into your old deodorant dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. Makes about 1 cup. This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.

Recipe from Passionate Homemaking and picture courtesy of my friend Amanda who loves this stuff!

3. Liquid hand soap.

This is INCREDIBLY easy and Thrifty because bar soap is always cheap and it’s the main ingredient. Go to TJ Maxx or Marshalls and check out all their beauty section and there is more bars of soap than you can count and they are cheap. What’s even better for me is that I have so many bars of soap and I don’t know what to do with it! Now I know.

What you need: (and it’s so simple)
1 c soap flakes
10 c water
1 Tbs glycerin

Directions:
1. Grate your soap. I used a food processor with the grater attachment and it was quick and easy.
2. In a large pot, combine 1 cup soap flakes, 10 cups water, and 1 Tbs glycerin. Turn on medium-low heat and stir until the soap dissolves. This happens fast, about a minute or two.
3. Let the soap cool completely, then pour into the containers using the funnel.

How simple is that!?
And the possibilities are endless with scents and even colors.

4. Homemade scrubs.

Have you priced a good scrub lately? They are pretty spendy and in my opinion, unnecessarily. Don’t spend the money, make your own instead. It’s super simple.

What you need:
1. First you need to determine if you want a sugar or salt scrub. Sugar is generally more gentle than salt ones.
2. Choose an oil. You can use baby oil, organic extra virgin coconut oil, almond oil, safflower, or vegetable.

Directions:
1. The ratios are very simple it’s 1 part oil to 2 parts sugar or salt. Just mix it around and it will separate because of the materials involved here.
2. For an extra special add on, drip in some essential oils.

Then just use your scrub as you normally would. I bet you can’t tell the difference between store bought and homemade.

What are some things you’ve made at home?



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