Friday, 27 January 2012

Frugal Friday

This week for Frugal Friday we are in the kitchen.

Just about everyone has short cuts and ways of saving things that they probably do even without thinking, in the kitchen. Things like using the left overs from a roast chicken to make a soup, or cooking double and freezing half, to make a quick meal from the freezer later on.

One of my Frugal Friday suggestions this week however, isn't really a way of doing things differently at all. Instead, it is a fact that I've discovered!
I have found, that making your own laundry powder, is NOT cheaper, than buying it. In England at least, to buy the components of home made laundry powder (borax, soda crystals and soap, with lavender or other essential oil as an optional extra to make it smell pretty) is no cheaper, than buying the cheapest ready made washing powder. From one box of borax I can only get about 2 weeks' worth of laundry. For about the same price, I can buy a box of the cheapest washing powder, which will last me almost a month. So it isn't cheaper to make home made, not where we live anyways.
However there ARE some things that are cheaper!

Here is a list ...
Ice cream. My sweet Papa Bear gave me an ice cream maker for Christmas. It is not the type that will freeze as it churns, but one where you put the bowl in the freezer for 24 hours first. After factoring in the cost of the machine (which was way less than a machine that does the freezing also), even with the cost of the ingredients, home made ice cream is cheaper (and nicer) than bought. And has less additives.

Soup - OK you won't get as many different choices, as if you were to buy the same money's worth of canned soup, as you will if you buy the raw ingredients to make your own. But you will have many more meals' worth and it will be much healthier.
Bread - cheaper, even with the cost of baking it in a bread machine, if you eat more than 2 loaves a week. Also healthier of course, and if you make it by hand, it only takes about 30 minutes to bake in an oven, and you can bake more than 1 loaf at a time.

Cleaning products - I don't make my own although I think that white vinegar probably is cheaper than using a cheap cleaner, because you have to use so much more of the cleaner. But I prefer to use ready made cleaning products because I feel, especially with our birds and other animals, that they are more effective. I use the cheapest bleach (27p from Morrisons) and a green Dettox spray which is apple scented, which REALLY gets the taps and sink shiny! And smells beautiful too. On the floors however, I just use very hot water, with washing up liquid and a drop of bleach, so a saving there. I sweep my floors twice a day (more about that another time).

Cleaning cloths - it is much cheaper to wash them over again, rather than buy those packets of disposable ones. I wash my cloths separately from everything else on a very hot wash, and have different cloths for different things. But that's a cultural thing. Other people might prefer to use those disposable ones. I think the cost of the washing is probably less than the cost of the disposable cloths.

OK I think that's it for now!
Love, Mama Bear xxxxxx