Cleaning With Food Stamps – YES YOU CAN!

Full disclosure: this post includes a handful of affiliate links, which I do benefit financially from. Thanks to those of you who opt to support me and this blog by buying through the links!

I’ve been sitting on this for almost as long as I’ve been sitting on my cookbook, and I’m super excited because it’s totally doable!


STAY WITH ME. I know that there are a LOT of blogs out there posting recipes and how-to’s for making your own cleaning products, but hear me out. I’ve done a LOT of research, and I’m confident that there aren’t any recipe collections, and in some cases, any recipes AT ALL out there like these. I’ve taken great care to not to just cut and paste from other sources, and I’ve looked up and learned WAY more about cleaning ingredients than I ever thought I’d want to know. And I’m passing all the best parts on to you! Aren’t I awesome? XD

Now I have to confess, there are a handful of ingredients that you can’t actually buy with food stamps because, well, they’re not edible. [Sorry friends, you can’t eat dish soap, shampoo or laundry detergent. Try to contain your disappointment.] But these ingredients are still super inexpensive, and I’ll show you were to get them [mostly Amazon, it’s the easiest and cheapest source, after all] but for the most part, food stamps will cover it.

For those who are still worried, yes, I’m also including options that are completely food-stamp/SNAP-benefit friendly. I totally get that money is tight for lots of folks, so fret not, friends – your house can yet be clean!

No matter what, all of these ingredients are super inexpensive, readily available, environmentally friendly and biodegradable, and the recipes/batches themselves cost literally CENTS to make.

The best part – I’ve stripped all your favorite household cleaners down to their barest of bones – JUST the active ingredients. No fillers, harsh chemicals, or any other unnecessary fluff-n-stuff. Just the good, hard-workin’, keep-earning parts.

This series will cover the following: [including but certainly not limited to – I welcome requests!]

  • Laundry Detergent, Liquid & Powdered – Brightens & Whitens WITHOUT Borax!
  • Mirror/Window Cleaner-&-Fabric Softener-In-One… WHAAAT!?
  • Homemade OxiClean® Stain Fighting Laundry Booster [No Liquid Peroxide]
  • Homemade Washing Soda
  • Homemade Scented Purex® Laundry Crystals
  • Dishwasher Detergent & Homemade Finish® Rinse [No Castile Soap]
  • Homemade LemiShine® Dishwashing Booster
  • Hand Washing Dish Soap That Actually Works – No Residue!
  • Hand Soap [NON-Antibacterial]
  • Sanitizing Floor Cleaner & All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Reusable Mop Pads & A Swiffer Wet-Jet® Hack
  • Cleaning “Stink-B-Gone” Toilet Fizzies
  • Homemade Clinging Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Lemon Dusting Spray & Reusable Cloths
  • Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner [No Castile Soap, ACV or Baking Soda Here!]
  • Bonus week: How I Went Paper-Less & Saved Over $70 Per Month!

The ingredients all come from this list: [bonus points if you already have any of these around]

  • Edibles:
    • water [tap, unless specified as distilled]
    • white vinegar
    • lemon juice & peels
    • baking soda
    • kosher salt
    • citric acid
    • coconut milk [I have a recipe for making this bad boy too!]
    • olive oil
  • In-edibles:
    • castile soap [I’m partial to Dr Bronner’s]
    • Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds
    • washing soda [technically inedible, but we’ll make it from edible ingredients]
    • sodium percarbonate
    • epsom salts [also available at WalMart and Target, if you’re into that sort of thing 😉 ]
    • essential oils [completely optional, especially if using scented soaps – doTERRA and Mountain Rose Herbs are both great brands, my favorite scents are orange, lemon and rose]
    • My Super Secret Ingredient – stay tuned to learn what it is! Or cheat and click here to find out early. Either way, you’ll be floored at the things you can do with it!

Hmm, did I miss anything? I think that’s everything in the series… anyway, tune in next week for the next installment! Or better yet, just subscribe [form at the bottom of the screen] and get the updates sent right to your inbox – trust me, these are updates you’re not going to want to miss. Yes, I’m THAT proud of them!

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Best Buys: Scotch Thermal Laminator

In getting ready for B to start kindergarten this year [okay, really it’s going to be more like a third year of preschool] and C to start preschool too, I’ve been furiously working on getting lots of ready-to-hand games and activities to use for both of them so that when it comes time to actually commence schooling operations, I have a good portion of my planning and readying work already done.

I’m also trying to do it on the uber cheap. Cuz, let’s be real here… my kids are going to use or do each activity at MOST, 5-10 times, and at worst, less than once. I don’t have enough moolah to dish out $20 a pop for each activity, especially with the spectre of non-use constantly hanging over my head. So, what to do…

Enter this beauty.

I got the idea from observing my Mom, who actually uses one of those sticky-roller laminators, but since I didn’t have quite enough shekels handy to get myself one of those, I researched my other options.

Amazon did me a solid and found this baby for me. After dithering about whether it would be worth it for [ahem] 3 weeks, I finally took the plunge and bought it. And oooh baby am I having a ball! Sure, some of that is the “I’m five years old, it’s Christmas morning and dangit, I want to play with my new toy” factor, but aside from that it’s meeting and even exceeding my expectations.

Why I’m Loving On This Guy:

  • It doensn’t bubble.
  • It hasn’t jammed yet.
  • The plastic is nice and clear, and not streaky or grainy.
  • It has done 20 pouches in a row with no hiccups or slowing-down-ings.
  • The finished pouches are nice and rigid.
  • They’re dry-erase marker friendly.
  • They cut easily, and don’t peel apart [or at least, they haven’t yet].
  • They don’t discolor the pages during the heating/adhering process.
  • It’s pretty teeny, so it stores nicely in its box on a shelf between other boxes of tools and craft supplies.

The only “downside” [which isn’t really a problem, I’m just impatient]:

  • It takes 5 whole minutes to heat up.

So yeah. Totally worth the $37 – I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of it in games and reusable activities that the kids have already played with!

What all do you do with your laminators? What is your favorite reusable game or activity that you’ve made? Did you laminate something from another site that you and your kids love? Share your ideas – I can use all I can get!

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The Problem With Pinterest

This pretty much sums up how I got through last weekend:

social-media-anxiety-pinAnd yes, I pinned it.

This post brought to you by still-getting-my-medication-right-osis. Happy pinning, all!

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