Category Archives: How To: Homemade

How To: Homemade Protein Bars

Need a tasty, healthy snack that will fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth too?  Here is a recipe that does just that.  Made with just a few simple ingredients this will save you a ton of money compared to the $3 protein bars you can buy at the grocery store.  Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Cups Oats – Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 15 oz Jar All Natural Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of Honey
  • 5 Scoops of Whey Protein Powder (I use Chocolate)
  • 1.5 Cups (12 oz) Skim Milk
  • 1 Tsp of Salt

To make, melt the peanut butter in a large bowl in the microwave on high for 1 minute.  Add all other ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  The mix should resemble a slightly wet cookie dough texture.  If it’s too dry, add a few tablespoons of milk at a time.  If it’s too wet add a 1/4 cup of rolled oats at a time until you reach the right feel.  When the mix is ready line a 9×13 pan with parchment (wax) paper and spread mixture evenly.  Refrigerate for 8 hours.

Cut into bars and use parchment paper or aluminum foil to wrap.  You can cut the bars to any size you would like, but I typically cut them into 20 pieces and they come in at about 14 grams of protein each.  If you like a bigger bar cut into 12 pieces and they will be at 22 grams of protein each.  The recipe is right at 280 grams of protein and 2500 calories in total.  They keep for as long as the milk does not spoil, so 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.  I have taken them with me on the go, out of the fridge, for up to 6 hours and they still tasted as fresh as when I made them.

You can also add to this recipe if you enjoy things like nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, or anything else that adds to the protein and nutritional content, but I like simple and cheap so I just gave you basic foundation for a great homemade protein bar.

These taste exactly like chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies so they are delicious, in my opinion, and it’s a great healthy alternative to a sugary, processed cookie to help those cravings.  Not to mention the entire recipe costs right at $6 to make.  Whey Protein at Sam’s Club costs $32 per 5 lbs bag and you use $2.76 worth.  Peanut Butter is $2-$3 depending on brand the milk, honey, salt is less than $1.  So why pay $3+ per protein bar when you can make a healthy, non-processed, homemade bar quick and easy at home?

How To: Homemade Shampoo/Body Wash – Great For Dandruff Too

I know the “No-Poo” fad has come and gone for the most part, but people recently have been trying to go more all natural when it comes to put soaps and shampoos on their bodies.  I wouldn’t call this No Poo but it certainly is a healthy all natural alternative to this commercial brands that contain chemicals and dry out your hair when they specifically advertise against that.  Here is a great hydrating recipe that costs a lot less than most shampoos and works amazing.  It doesn’t lather like commercial brands, but if you can get over that then you will never want to go back and will love how this makes your hair feel.

This recipe makes about 30 fluid ounces so it can be halved if you do not have a container that can hold that much.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Distilled/Boiled Water
  • 1/2 Cup Castile Soap – Choose Your Favorite Scent
  • 1/2 Cup Aloe Vera Gel – Can Be Bought Online Easily If You Cannot Find It In Stores In Your Area
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Glycerin – Easy To Buy Online
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Oil – I Also Bought This Online
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Baking Soda – I Use Until When The Recipe Is Mixed Together It Makes A Good Shampoo Like Consistency

I put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well incorporated.  It will not look like a typical shampoo, but the consistency will be similar.  When playing around with this recipe I have found the more aloe vera gel you use, the better the lather.  Also, some people like to use jojoba, avocado or grapeseed oil in place of the olive or almond oils, but I use what I like best or have on hand at the time.  I also find the almond oil and olive oil to be cheaper.   I use this as body wash as well.  Cleans great!

This recipe is extremely hydrating for the scalp.  I suffered from dandruff and it works great for that too along with my all natural conditioner, recipe follows.

All Natural Conditioner

This may sound crazy to some but this is a extremely simple, extremely cheap homemade conditioner that leaves your hair feeling great, hydrated, and keeps the scalp dry.  Just mix 1 part Distilled or Boiled water with 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar.  That’s it.  Work it into your hair and scalp and let sit for a few minutes and rinse.

All natural and cheap, just the way I like it.  I provided some links to the products to show you where I have found these to be the cheapest.   Let me know what you think about this or what variations you have tried that work as well.

How To: Homemade Window/Mirror Cleaner (Windex)

Four Simple ingredients to make the best Mirror and Glass cleaner you have ever used, no streaks, non-toxic, all natural.  You probably have all of these on hand, but get a spray bottle and mix in:

  • 2 oz White Distilled Vinegar
  • 2 oz Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (Or Arrowroot Powder)
  • 2 Cups Distilled or Boiled Water

That’s it.  It makes 20 ounces of cleaner for less than $0.50.  Can’t get better than that.  It is also antibacterial too.  You can add some blue food coloring to make it look more like the commercial brand if you like that sort of thing.

Use with newspaper or paper towels.  Costs 1/5 of commercial brands.  Awesome.  Do it Homemade!

How To: Homemade Dish Detergent

Here is a quick way to save 50% or more on your dishwasher detergent.  It’s made with easy to come by ingredients you can find at Wal-Mart and you can increase your savings if you purchase some of these online in bulk.

Here are the ingredients.

  • 2 parts borax
  • 2 parts washing soda
  • 1 part citric acid
  • 1 part kosher salt
  • 1 part baking soda

I mix all of these ingredients in a gallon zip lock bag, shake well, and leave for a few days before use.  The ingredients tend to cake together and it is easier if you shake the bag once a day and break apart anything that is starting to stick.  It’s easier to do in the bag instead of another air tight container where it can become hard as a rock in a corner of the container (trust me on this, I learned from experience).

I use 1 tablespoon of dish detergent with each load of dishes.  I live in an area where we do not use water softeners and I found that when I used this detergent alone it can leave a slight residue on your dishes.  So if you try this soap, I recommend that you add 4-5 drops of your favorite dish soap, like Dawn, to the detergent when putting it in the machine along with a rinsing agent.  To keep my dish cycle as all natural as possible, I use distilled white vinegar as my rinsing agent, I think it works as good if not better than the commercial kinds, not to mention there is a huge cost savings there.

Try it out and save some money.  When I purchased these items in bulk I ended being able to make this for about 1/3 of the cost of commercial dish detergent when I bought it in bulk from Sam’s Club.  Check out how to make your own washing soda from this linked video and blog.  Also, there are links provided where I bought some of these ingredients in bulk off of Amazon.com.

Let me know how this worked out for you in comments below.

How To: Homemade Bug Repellent

Homemade bug repellent is a safe alternative to the commercial brands containing DEET.  DEET is an insect repellent that can cause large irritations and rashes on the skin and has caused serious complications and death in a select few reported cases.  You probably have a better chance winning the lottery than you do dying from DEET, however, I would rather put something on my body that is cheap and healthy as opposed to a commercial brand that is expensive and may cause severe irritation or death.

To make the bug repellent you will need just a few ingredients.  This recipe for repellent is very effective and inexpensive, and probably the easiest to make. You will need:

  • Witch Hazel (Can be bought at Wal-Mart by the peroxide) 16 oz costs $3.19

o   This is a beauty product that is used for moisturizing and ailing skin irritationswitch hazel

  • Spray Bottle 16+ ounces
  • Boiled or Distilled Water
  • Essential Oils (100-125 drops) or about 1 teaspoon – I use a combination of 30 drops peppermint, 40 drops tea tree, and 40 drops eucalyptus. More drops the stronger it is.

That’s it! The recipe is 8oz of witch hazel and 8 oz of boiled water then add the essential oils in.  Shake before each use.

This makes 16.167 ounces of repellent.  Here is the cost breakdown.

  • Witch Hazel cost $1.60
  • I reuse spray bottles from cleaners and other things but you can buy one for $2.24 at Wal-Mart and maybe cheaper in bulk on Amazon
  • Boiled water costs a fraction of a penny
  • Essential Oils can be bought for a 60 ml variety pack for $18.99 and you use 5ml in the recipe for $1.58Ess Oils

Final Cost is 1.60+2.24+1.58=$5.42 for 16 ounces and you can reuse the bottle or; 1.60+1.58=$3.18 if you can find another bottle to reuse. Commercial brands cost $4 for 6 ounces that’s on the cheap end.   So you can save minimally $5.26 per 16 ounces of repellent (6oz*2 1/3*$4=$10.68-$5.42=$5.26) or $7.50 if you reuse a bottle.  Most brands cost much more.

There you have it.  Cheap, effective and super simple bug repellent recipe in minutes that is safer and much less expensive than the commercial brands.  Go out and Make it Homemade.

Fabric Softener – Quick, Cheap, & Easy

Sounds like the perfect date huh?   This homemade fabric softener works great for all types of washing machines and is free of chemicals you have never heard of that is included in commercial brands.  It’s extremely gentle on clothing, easy to make and can save you a ton of money compared to commercial brands. Here’s what you will need.

  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 6 Cups White Distilled Vinegar
  • 7 Cups Of Water
  • Essential Oils (Optional)

That’s it!

Now how to make;

  • Get a gallon sized container (I use old laundry detergent containers or a gallon sized vinegar containers)
  • Add the baking soda
  • SLOWLY add the vinegar.  This will cause a chemical reaction and fizz, so slower the better with the vinegar
  • Once all vinegar is added, swirl to make sure all baking soda is done reacting
  • Now add all the water.  Close lid and swirl again
  • Open the lid to allow the gases to vent out
  • Once all gases have been released add your desired essential oils if you desire, 20-40 drops is more than enough for a good strength of fragrance
  •  If you used Essential Oils shake the container before using to make sure it is incorporated before use
  • Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load of laundry (I vary the size depending on the size of the load)

This batch will make around 20 loads of laundry depending on your use and Costs around $1.38 to make.

Batch Quantities Package Cost
Ingredients Quantity Weight / Volume Cost Total Quantity Where Bought?   Cost per Recipe
Baking Soda 1 Cup 16 oz  $    7.57  192 oz  Wal-Mart  $    0.63
Vinegar 6 cups 48 oz  $    1.98  128 oz  Wal-Mart  $    0.74
Essential Oils 25+ 1.25 ml  $  17.19  118 ml  Amazon  $    0.01

Compare that to your commercial brands and you can easily save good money every load and not have to worry about what’s in your fabric softener.

Whitening Toothpaste – Homemade and All Natural (Kind Of)

Homemade whitening toothpaste – how to make… A Cheap, quick, simple way to whiten once a week.

Ingredients:

  • Hydrogen peroxide – 3% solution

hydrogen_peroxide

  • Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Peppermint Essential Oils

Mix 2 tsp. of hydrogen peroxide into 1 Tbls of baking soda along with , mix together to form a paste similar to toothpaste and can adjust baking soda to find a good consistency.  Add 2-3 drops Essential Oils. You can add more or less depending on your taste.

Apply the mixture gently to your teeth with your toothbrush using circular motions.  Cover all of your teeth with the paste and allow to sit for two minutes.  Rinse your teeth thoroughly.  Brush with your normal homemade toothpaste to get rid of any hydrogen peroxide left.

To help whitening, you can use the Hydrogen Peroxide as an oral rinse every morning.  Use 1-2 Tbls and swish around in your mouth for one minute.  It will foam when it comes in contact with the bacteria in your mouth.  After one-minute, spit out the peroxide and brush your teeth as normal.

Side Note: Swallowing hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous, when it decomposes in your stomach it releases large quantities of gas 10 times the volume of the amount you swallowed, which can lead to internal bleeding.  So please be careful.

I found this kid friendly demonstration, you can use for a classroom volcano erupting or it can be a demonstration of this in your belly… Put Dry Yeast and Peroxide in container and stand back.  Fun!  But remember, do not swallow this!

How To: Turn Baking Soda Into Washing Soda

Having a hard time finding washing soda?  Do not buy it online unless you can find it for under $4 a box for 56 oz.

baking soda washing soda

Or you can use this simple trick to turn your baking soda into washing soda.  Baking Soda is “sodium bicarbonate” and washing soda is “sodium carbonate.”  Slowly cooking the baking soda causes the chemical reaction to turn it from bicarbonate to carbonate.  Here’s how its done:

  1. Preheat your oven to approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pour a box of baking soda onto a baking sheet, spread evenly over the pan and put it in the oven.
  3. Bake the baking soda for 60 minutes. It usually takes anywhere from 45-75 minutes just to assure that the chemical reaction is complete.  You will be able to see the difference in the two sodas.
  4. After pulling the baking sheet out of the oven and letting it cool, store the washing soda in an airtight container. The washing soda can turn back into baking soda if it’s exposed to air for too long of a time.

That’s it!  Pretty cool and cheap way to get washing soda if you cannot find it at your local store!

How To: Liquid Laundry Detergent – Saves a Ton of Money!!

Today I’m going to show you how simple and quick it is to make your own homemade liquid laundry detergent that you can use in a normal and HE washing machine.  It will also save you a TON of money.

Homemade laundry detergent is gentle on clothing and gentle on the skin.

Here are the ingredients you will need.

  • Fels-Naptha – comes in a 5.5 oz bar, you will need 1/3 of the bar
  • Borax – Half Cup
  • Washing Soda – Half Cup
  • Water

Start by boiling 6 cups of water in a pot (I use a dedicated pot for this so I do not get any soap residue in my food).  Grate the bar of soap and stir to melt completely.  Once completely dissolved, take off of heat and add your borax and washing soda.  Stir until all dissolved.

In a large bucket (I use a 5 gallon bucket) put in 4 cups warm water.

Add Soap mixture to bucket and stir.

Then add 1 gallon, plus 6 cups of water, I just use regular temp water (by regular I mean not warm or cold) and stir until well incorporated.

Allow mixture to sit overnight.  It will tighten up and become a consistency similar to egg drop soup.  Mix well so all the gelatinous parts are well incorporated and pour into old detergent containers for use.  It is recommended to use 1 cup per load, I use less for smaller loads.

The recipe will yield 32 loads of laundry.  Now let’s see how much you can save!

Laudry Det

 

How to: Homemade Deodorant with Health Benefits and Cost Savings

Homemade Deodorant

Why Make and How much does it save you?

Commercial Deodorant contains aluminum, amongst other contaminants, which is a carcinogen, and can cause cancer as well as damage the nervous system and has been shown to lead to Alzheimer’s.  Also, your armpits have lymph nodes in them.  Lymph nodes, found here (point), can transfer cancer very easily and are not a good place to put a carcinogen, like aluminum.

This deodorant is made with coconut oil, which as described in the Coconut Oil Video, is antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial so this is excellent at killing the stinky body odors that start there.

Also this recipe calls for a Non-GMO arrowroot powder, but I have also used Non-GMO cornstarch as well.

Soooo…. here’s the recipe:

3/4 Cup Coconut Oil

1/2 Cup Baking Soda

1/2 Cup Arrowroot (or Non GMO Cornstarch)

20 Drops Essential Oils

Mix first three ingredients until it becomes a nice stiff paste.  Then you can add essential oils of your liking to make the deodorant smell however you like.  One of my favorites is adding 15 drops of Lemongrass and about 5 drops of lavender.  If you have ever had Ben and Jerry’s Liz Lemon flavor with Tina Fey on the carton, this smells just how that tastes.  I use this one all the time.

Store deodorant in glass container and apply a small amount with your fingers.  Or if your bathroom is always colder than 76 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can put back into your old deodorant sticks.  Just pack it in with the dial twisted all the way down and use as your normally would.

As a side note, few people have a problem and their armpits get irritated because of the Baking soda. There are two possible fixes to this.  You can add more arrowroot and coconut oil to cut the baking soda some and in future recipes just use 3/4 cup arrowroot and 1/4 cup baking soda.  Also you can use a mixture made of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water and spray of splash on your armpit, it will balance the Ph in your armpit and should stop the irritation as well.

No let’s see how much this can save you.

Recipe Quantities Package Cost
Ingredients Quantity Weight / Volume Cost Total Quantity Where Bought?
Baking Soda 0.5 Cups 8 oz  $ 7.57  192 oz  Wal-Mart
Arrowroot Powder 0.5 Cups 2.26 oz  $ 14.00  48 oz  Amazon
Coconut Oil 0.75 Cups 6 oz  $ 14.98  56 oz  Sam’s Club
Essential Oils (Sampler Pack) 20+ drops 1.0 ml  $ 18.65  60 ml  Amazon
Cost per Recipe
 $                0.32
 $                0.66
 $                1.61
 $                0.31
 $               2.89
Cheapest Commercial Deodorant is 12 oz for $6.98 at Sam’s Club
Homemade is $2.89 for about 12 oz.
Total Savings is At least $4.09 Per Recipe Over Commercial Brands
Or About $1.02 per Stick of Deodorant

When I do price comparisons I always check at discount stores, so if you do not buy your deodorant in bulk, your cost savings will be a lot more!