Eco friendly cleaning with Baking Soda – Frugal, Organic & Green!

They say ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ – well with these tips and a jumbo tub of baking soda, you can feel positively saint-like when you achieve a sparkling home, whilst saving money and helping the environment along the way.

Have a look in any house-proud woman’s cleaning cupboard, and you’ll probably find an array of cleaning products which are a. expensive, b. full of chemicals and other nasties, and c. totally unnecessary! Get yourself the biggest tub of baking soda you can find and prepare to be amazed at all the household cleaning tasks it can take on.

In the kitchen:

Instead of using a costly spray to clean your worktops, simply sprinkle them with baking soda and wipe with a clean damp cloth – no nasty smells, and no leftover chemicals to worry about when preparing food later! It works for scuffs and marks on floors too!

A small pot of baking soda placed at the back of your refrigerator will act as a natural deodoriser to keep nasty smells at bay.

To clean silverware – make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to one part water, rub it over each piece, rinse in warm water & buff with a soft cloth.

To budge burned on food from the bottom of pans, sprinkle in some baking soda, pour on boiling water and leave to soak overnight – your pans will soon be good as new.

Get rid of stale smells in plastic food containers by rinsing with warm water & baking soda.

For Laundry:

Don’t waste money on an expensive fabric softener – half a cup of baking soda added to your rinse cycle will act as a natural softener without any need for harsh chemicals – great news for anyone with sensitive skin.

For brighter whites, forget bleach – just add half a cup of baking soda to your regular detergent to naturally rejuvenate greying white shirts to their former glory.

Stubborn stains? Make a baking soda paste (3 parts soda to one water) and rub directly into the stain before washing as normal.

In the bathroom:

A baking soda paste makes a great cleanser for all bathroom surfaces and taps – it’s naturally abrasive and cleansing, so will help you achieve a sparkling shine with no bleach.

Once a week, pour 1/4 of a cup of baking soda down the drain and rinse with warm water to keep blockages at bay.

Keep your brushes & combs in great condition by giving them a baking soda ‘bath’ once a week.

Everywhere Else:

To get rid of ‘wet dog’ smell from the family hound – simply sprinkle their coat with a little baking soda and brush through – it’s 100% natural so not harmful at all.

Stale odours coming from your carpet? Sprinkle with baking soda, leave to settle for half an hour, then vacuum as normal – nasty whiffs be gone!

A baking soda solution is the perfect cleanser for children’s toys – you can even decant into a spray bottle to make life easier – and it’s 100% natural, so you don’t need to worry about using it around younger members of the family.

So next time you’re at the supermarket, bypass the cleaning products aisle & stock up on baking soda instead – the uses are endless, it’s eco friendly & it’ll save you a small fortune!

Extreme couponing: Clever saving or organized hoarding ?

So after watching the new TLC show “Extreme Couponing” I’ve been doing some research about different ways to save money on groceries. Turns out there’s a lot of information to be found to maximize savings at the check-out counter.

But at what point does the quest to save money become unhealthy? I think it’s when you have over 1,400 rolls of toilet paper under your child’s bed, yet you keep buying toilet paper simply because you have coupons. Actually, I think it becomes unhealthy long before that point, but that’s just me.

I mean, who really needs 1,400+ rolls of toilet paper, 200+ boxes of cereal, or 1,700+ sticks of deodorant? And is it really saving money if you’ll never use it? Sure, getting a huge bottle of mustard for 39 cents is a great savings, but will anyone really use 77 jars of it?

And where do they get all these coupons anyway? Even if I dive into every recycling bin in town I doubt I’ll score enough coupons for this type of a shopping trip. But I hear some people actually pay for their coupons! Could someone please explain to me how this figures into saving money? I mean if you’re spending money to save money on something you don’t need, why not save that first money and not stock up like some cold war doomsayer.

Let someone else who has a coupon for that item, who will use it, save some money. Or if you insist on buying it, donate it. And not just the mustard, but all of it that’s just too much for one family to use before it can go bad.

So, dear readers, please weigh in. At what point does the idea of saving money become ridiculous? Is it when you buy an extra pack of toilet paper when it’s on sale, when you stock up on chicken at a good price, or when you have to install special shelving units in the kids’ playroom to accommodate a food bank’s worth of chicken noodle soup?

Would you buy more than your family could use just because it’s on sale? And what would you do with the overage? Keep it? Donate it? Have a bargain price yard sale? (Would that even be legal?) But seriously, what do you think of all of this extreme couponing stuff?

What You’re Wearing: 5 Quick Ways to Save in Style

Let’s take a quick look at your clothes closet for a moment. Are your shopping standards outstretching your wallet? Have no fear. You can make your dollar go farther while still keeping your clothing options chic and stylish. Try these five on for size:

1. Try limiting your wardrobe to a few basic colors. Mix-and-match gets a whole lot easier and you can maximize your clothing options. Face it: those pink socks you bought on impulse and the fuchsia-colored neck-tie are gathering dust. Your goal here is getting a bang for your buck, and the more you can utilize an article of clothing or accessory, the better. And think of the time you’ll save trying to decide if “this” goes with “that”.

2. Buy clothes in the off-season. Nothing wrong with finding a great bathing suit – in October. Or maybe a great deal on a winter coat – in May. Retailers don’t have the space, and they need to move surplus product. Take advantage. Seasonal wear eventually gets worn. You’ll just be ahead of next season’s curve!

3. Avoid purchasing clothing that needs dry-cleaning. Not only is this is a major time-saver, you’ll be happy to avoid costly dry-cleaning bills. If you must, try some of the do-it-yourself products on the markets for dry-clean only fabrics.

4. Head to the back of the store. It’s a fact that we all will admit: we’re attracted to the first line of clothing we see. But that usually means you’ll be paying full-price. If you can pull yourself away just long enough, press-on to the clearance rack that almost always sits in the back or to the side of the department. You may have to do a little hide-and-seek, but there are always great buys to be found.

5. Shop online. Good deals on the Internet aren’t just for Cyber-Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving when online sales/deals supposedly spike). Online retailers are trying to turn a profit throughout the year. Seek-out bargain websites, as well as your favorite retailers’ online. Many have separate pages for their “outlets” which offer deals just as good as being in-store.

So take heart. There are deals to be found and ways to make a few dollars go a long way, and still be runway-ready!