Friday, May 29, 2015

Cheap Effective Homemade Laundry Soap

 
For years I have been buying very expensive all natural laundry soap from the store because my eldest son has horrible allergies to any synthetic cleaners.  I have learned so much about natural versus synthetic products directly because of his horrible eczema .  It turns out his eczema is caused by any soaps, cleaners, and even air fresheners that are not all natural.

Laundry detergent was one of the most difficult things to find back when we started our journey towards all natural.  It also was the most important because of course clothing rests right on the skin and would cause instant rashes to break out.  The worst was fabric softener or dryer sheets so I haven't used those in nine years but instead use Wool Dryer Balls which work just as well and has the bonus of keeping being all natural.  Click HERE to buy them.  They really are a great investment.  I have had mine for SIX years and they are still working to soften my laundry.  To add scent just put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on them.

Back to the laundry detergent.  I read on several blogs on how ladies made their own and how it was not only all natural, but also ridiculously cheap working out to less than 10 cents per load!  For some reason I never tried it, mainly thinking it would be to complicated, would take lots of time, and it would not work as well as store bought.  Well I was wrong on all counts!  It takes me about ten minutes to make it and the stuff works great and leaves a very pleasing scent on the clothes.  This is nice because we haven't been  able to use fragrance on our clothes since eldest son was born.  Oh and of course it has not aggravated a eczema breakout in the least!  Click HERE for a complete package deal.

I would recommend this to anyone wanting to use all natural laundry detergent that is cheaper than the cheapest regular laundry soap! 

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1 bar fels naptha laundry soap

Grate fels naptha and mix with the dry ingredients. I use just a regular cheese grater. Make sure to mix well!  Use 2 to 3 tablespoons for large loads.  It will not suds up like other laundry detergents do so it is safe in your front loader.  I also add a scoop of oxy clean because we have small children who get their clothes really dirty!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliates from my amazon partner.  By clicking on/or purchasing an item you will be helping to support my blog by the small commission I earn.  This does not affect your price in the least!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pics around our place

Roses Growing On Our Fence


 
An Abandoned Farmhouse in the middle of an old orchard

Woodstove in a vintage train we rode


Antique Art Nouveau Door Knob on the train


 
Some of the bags I made from vintage Handkerchiefs for my Etsy Shop




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Invisible Dog Fence Review and a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

I am a dog lover.  I think my first best friend was a dog, and growing up the comfort of my dogs unconditional love and understanding was a God send.  We now have two dogs.  A large golden lab, and a mixed small breed.  The small dog Lizzy is a terrier mix and loves to roam.  She was raised on a farm so we are now having to train her to not run off when outside.  So when  Dog Fence DIY contacted me about their inexpensive fencing system I was really interested!
 
Things I like about the Invisible Dog Fence DIY
 
  • Budget Friendly
  • Can be used in a variety of ways to keep your dogs safe, keep them out of the chicken yard, keep them out of your garden, or out of a pasture of animals
  • Adjustable intensities for different dogs
  • Dog Fence DIY Has Other Great Products Like these LED Collars.  If you live out in the country those would be great!
  • A large selection of systems so that you can tailor to your needs and budget.
 
 
How Much Does an Invisible Dog Fence Cost?
  
It’s so important to invest in the safety of your pets. If you’re a dog owner, fencing in your property may be necessary to keep them out of harm’s way. Traditional fencing, however, can be expensive, especially if you have a large yard. An invisible dog fence is another option that’s relatively inexpensive. Let’s take a look at the average invisible fence cost.
  
Purchasing the System
When selecting an invisible dog fence for your yard, the biggest expense is purchasing the system itself. Typically, an invisible fence system comes with the main fence unit, 500 feet of boundary wire, and one e-collar. The cost of the system varies, but the most popular invisible dog fence, the PetSafe YardMax, is approximately $300. Other fences may cost slightly less or slightly more. Wireless dog fence systems tend to be a little more expensive, up to $800 total.
  
Extras and Accessories
Sometimes it’s necessary to purchase additions to the basic wired dog fence system. A wireless dog fence doesn’t usually require any extras, unless you have more than one dog and need another e-collar; although most wireless systems can support only one or two e-collars total. Here’s a look at some of the extras and accessories that you might need:
  
-E-collars: You will need one e-collar for each of your dogs. Some dog fences have limits on the number of e-collars they can support at a time, but many underground dog fences can be used with an unlimited number of e-collars/dogs. If you have a dog that weighs less than 10 pounds, or if you have a particularly aggressive/stubborn dog, you may need to purchase a specialized e-collar that uses a lower or higher correction level, respectively. E-collars usually cost about $60-$100 each.
  
-E-collar Batteries: Many e-collars are rechargeable, in which case extra batteries are not required. If your system uses replaceable batteries, however, you’ll need to purchase 2-4 replacements per year. E-collar batteries usually cost about $7-$10 each, for a total of $14-40 per year.
  
-Boundary Wire: If you need to enclose a perimeter that’s a total of more than 500 feet, you’ll need to purchase extra boundary wire. Depending on the type of wire used, it will cost approximately $22-$150 per every additional 500 feet.
  
Installing a Dog Fence
You can save a significant amount of money with a DIY electric fence. Professional invisible fence installers typically charge around $1200 for an average-sized yard. You can eliminate that cost by installing your own electronic dog fence system. Anyone can install their own system over the course of a weekend. With an underground dog fence, you’ll need to dig along the perimeter of your yard before burying the wire. If you’d like to rent a trencher to help with this task, your local home improvement store may charge about $50 per day.
  
Operation and Maintenance
Most people are surprised to learn that an electronic dog fence does not cost that much money to run on a daily basis. For an average-sized yard, you can expect your electric bill to raise only about $1-2 per month. If you do not have an electrical outlet in a convenient place outside, you can purchase a solar panel for about $100-$200. In this case, your dog fence will be solar-powered and will not use any extra electricity. If you install your own electric dog fence, you’ll also be able to repair any breaks in the wire that may occur, which is rare. Professional technicians will charge at least $100 just to find the problem, but you can do it on your own for little to no extra cost. In general, invisible dog fences are relatively maintenance-free.
  
Cost of Traditional Fences
The average invisible dog fence system costs less than $300. If you require any extras or accessories, you may spend a couple hundred dollars more. Running the fence and buying replacement e-collar batteries, if necessary, can cost less than $50 per year. When you compare this to the average cost of a traditional fence - $1500-$2500 - the savings is obvious. If your yard is very large, you will save even more money with an electronic dog fence, because every additional 500 feet of wire is much less expensive than 500 feet of fence.
  
With a DIY electric fence, you can save money without compromising the safety of your dog(s) or other animals like chickens, goats, and sheep.  Some people even use them around their bees! No matter what your budget is, it’s possible to find a dog containment solution to fit your needs.
Published in partnership with www.dogfencediy.com. We encourage you to share your experiences with a variety of dog containment systems in the comments section. Commenters and those who share the post in social media qualify for a drawing of a $25 Amazon gift card!  Make sure to use the entry form so that we can verify.
 
 
The Giveaway!
 
Dog Fence DIY is being super generous by giving one lucky Thrifty Housewife reader a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card!  Use the Entry form below to enter the giveaway  All entries are optional, all winning entries will be verified for completion.  Good Luck!
 
 
 
The Thrifty Housewife was  compensated for this post. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the giveaway form which uses Random.org.  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen.  Open to US only.  All Entries are verified.  The Thrifty Housewife is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

5 Free Kindle Cook Books, Slow Cooker, Gluten Free, Diabetes, Coconut Oil Bible, Tea At Downton

Here are some great cook books of all kinds free from my Amazon affiliate partner.  Hurry and get them while they are free! Just click on the picture to be taken to the book.  I may receive a small commission if you order something but it doesn't effect your price.
 
Slow Cooker Recipes: 30 Of The Most Healthy And Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes: Includes New Recipes For 2015 With Fantastic Ingredients
 
 
 Product Details
Product Details
 
Product Details
 
Product Details
 

Review/Giveaway Father's Day Gift Idea Earth Easy Solar Lamp And Phone Charger!

Eartheasy.com

The SunBell Solar Lamp and Phone Charger
Are you looking for the perfect gift for the dad in your life.  Well I am super excited to introduce you to the Sunbell Solar Lamp and Phone Charger from Eartheasy!  Eartheasy is a company with a mission to help people improve their quality of life by offering information and products for sustainable living. When I got to review this cool solar lamp and charger I knew it would be perfect for the man in my life.  We love to camp and are also very serious about being prepared for natural disasters.  This lamp fits both of those categories to a tee.

Features & Benefits of the Sunbell:

  • An “all-in-one” solar lantern and cell phone charger
  • Task light – when the lamp shade serves as a table stand
  • Ceiling light / lantern – when the lamp head is inserted into the lamp shade
  • Portable light / neck light – when the light unit and battery pack is detached from the lamp
  • High quality DC/DC USB adaptor that can be used with any mobile phone with a USB charging cable
  • 1 LiFePO battery, 1.400 mAh / 3.2V with 2.000+ cycles (5-7 years)
  • 3 High quality LEDs with adjustable light from 5 to 50 to 150 lumen, 5.500-6.000 kelvin
  • SunBOOST3 Technology for Max Powerpoint Tracking / battery protection
  • 1.8 W Solar panel with 3m/9ft cable rolled up in solar disc
  • UV resistant ABS plastic housing
  • Splash proof covers for plugs
  • Shade can be used as a sound amplifier for mobile phone speakers
  • Comes in 3 bright colors: red, green and yellow
  
This lamp comes with everything you need to get it started. No buying of batteries and having to worry about if they are dead when you get up to your camp or when the power goes out. It is very easy to use and charge which I really like because I am not the most technical of people. It also puts out allot of light! We used it on a recent camping trip and it is perfect when you are having to walk around in the dark woods. I also love that I can charge my phone with it.


This is perfect for camping so that your emergency phone doesn't die. Also if you get stuck in your car or if your power goes out you have a back up way to keep your phone charged for contacting help. This would be such a great gift for Father's Day!  My husband loves it and thinks all the features are pretty cool.




 

The Giveaway!

 
Eartheasy has been amazingly generous in offering to give one lucky Thrifty Housewife reader their very own Sunbell Solar Lamp and Phone Charger just in time for Father's Day!  Use the entry form below to enter, all entries are optional, all winning entries are verified for completions. Good Luck!
 

The Thrifty Housewife was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the rafflecopter form which uses Random.org.  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen.  Open to US only.  All Entries are verified.  The Thrifty Housewife is not responsible for prize fulfillment.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

In The News -Prepare For A Hike In Egg Prices - Plus Pics of our new Chicken Coop

The Chicken Coop and Enclosed run
which I painted forest green. 
 
There are now articles in the news warning of egg price hikes.  Every time I go to the grocery store I notice a small but steady increase in prices.  With the new bird flu epidemic sweeping through commercial egg laying facilities causing mass eliminations of flocks I foresaw that egg prices were going to go up. 
 
 
 

The door that opens for egg collecting
I also designed an automatic door
opening device so we don't have
to go into the run to let the chickens
out every morning, or close them
in the evening.  The easter eggs
are to encourage the chickens to lay
So we went and got some egg laying chickens and built a cute (if I do say so myself) chicken coop  for only $20.00, the wood was given to us by a neighbor who didn't need it. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It is very easy to keep a few chickens in your backyard without mess or smell.  We use an automatic feeder and waterer that don't run on electricity so we only have to fill it maybe once a week on the water.  And once every two weeks or less on the feeder.  Hens do not crow or make much noise.  I found that life without at least chickens is not as fun, a fact that my extended family cannot understand.
 
The rope you see coming down is what
opens and shuts the sliding door
to let the hens out in the morning.

  When we moved back into town I was really depressed at selling my animals.  I had raised them from chicks, watched them hatch and grow, and even assisted the birth of one of our ewe's. It was very hard to let them go.
 


Pansies and lettuce mix growing in the
window box above the chickens.

  Not only do I like raising them and the food they provide, but I see it as a good sound investment.  With our family size and the fact that I do much of our baking at home we use allot of eggs.  I would buy now if your going to buy egg laying chickens or chicks.  When demand goes up so does price.
 
 
Read the news article below by clicking on it.
 

Prepare for a hike in the price of eggs  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Toockies Organic Handmade Housewares Review/Giveaway!

Sinko Corp
 
 
Asura BibiI love hand made items for my home.  They are usually much better made than store bought with the added bonus of supporting a family business.  So when Toockies offered to let me review their handmade organic household products I was so excited! 
 
Toockies is a company that works with  women and their families in Nababpur, India to produce these lovely hand crotcheted dishcloths, potholders, hot pads, trivets, and washcloths.  This helps these women who struggle with desperate poverty earn money for themselves and their children. You can see the artisans HERE.
 
I have to say I love the idea of this company!  The women who founded it have such a heart to help  women in third world countries earn a living.  Not only that, but the products they produce are beautiful and extremely well made.  The pot holders and washcloths I received are made from 100%  organic cotton with no chemicals or dyes.  They are all hand crocheted by women in India.  I think its pretty cool that I am getting something made by a woman in India anyways!
 
 
I really liked all of them but my favorites are the pot holders because they are extra thick.  These are certainly thick enough to pick up anything hot and work great at hot pads too.  I use allot of cast iron for my cooking and the handles get super hot so an extra thick pot holder is essential.   The washcloths are durable and clean dishes extremely well.

They are affordable and I have washed them several times already and they are still in perfect  condition.  These would make a lovely  gift.  Think of it, not only are you buying something useful, beautiful, and unique, but you are helping a mother support her family!  You can purchase their products HERE.

 

 

Connect with Toockies

 

Giveaway!

 
Toockies has been super generous in offering to give one Thrifty Housewife reader two the same items I received for review!  Use the rafflecopter to enter, all entries are optional, all winning entries will be verified for completion.  Good Luck!

 
The Thrifty Housewife was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the rafflecopter form which uses Random.org.  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen.  Open to US only.  All Entries are verified.  The Thrifty Housewife is not responsible for prize fulfillment.



Monday, May 18, 2015

Todays Free Kindle Books - Home Canning, Soap Making, Gardening, Chicken Raising, Beer Brewing

Here are a few great looking kindle book that are free at the time of this posting so hurry!  Just click on the book you would like to go to the amazon affiliate page for it.  I may receive a small commission if you buy anything but it doesn't effect your price!
 
 
The Working Chicken: Learn everything you need to know to become a backyard egg and meat producer in 30 minutes or less!
 
Product Details
 
http://www.amazon.com/Soap-Making-Guide-With-Recipes-ebook/dp/B00NI9FK3C/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=lettfromahome-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=JEY3DDY3CVJ4UYXI&creativeASIN=B00NI9FK3C
 
http://www.amazon.com/Gardening-Without-Irrigation-without-anyway-ebook/dp/B0082VKRXO/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=lettfromahome-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=BB26BTCQ3O52W6CX&creativeASIN=B0082VKRXO

 
Product Details
 

 
Product Details