Thursday, 13 November 2008

Making Liquid Soap

I'm on a roll! Yes, a couple of nights ago I used a £0.20p bar of soap, to create 2.5 litres of handwash - and it worked!

- One grated bar of soap (I used Castille, from the £0.99 store - 5 bars for £0.99)
- 2.5 litres of boiling water (maybe more, add if needed)
- Aromatherapy oils
- Jojoba oil or olive oil (if desired)

Pour grated soap into water, melt. Check next day and if still not liquid enough, remelt and add more water if needed. I used a potato masher to mash the liquid get it quite smooth!

At the point when it's cooled down add jojoba (or oilive oil, which you may already have), as well as some drops of your favourite essential oil. Do not do this whilst still hot as the oils will evaporate.

I used lime which I love for a handwash smell. I have also purchased soearmint, grapefruit, tea tree, jasmin and honeysuckle oils on ebay for my future projects involving soap and washing up liquid etc.

Next use a funnel and pour into handwash pumps or squeezy bottles (if you intend to use more as a shower gel)...

Might be a little messy, but for the same of some time, you can make enough for yourself and friends and family too. I found a nice bottle in a charity shop for £0.99p which I will fill and then seal with a cork and nice ribbon and a tag. The handwash will have to be quite liquid for this to work. Alternatively you could buy or re-use a squeezy bottle and put a homemade plastic label on. Might be a nice gift for someone, and saves them £2-£3. Plus less plastic, and less chemicals too - everyone wins!

So for £0.99p you could make 12.5 litres of handwash - makes you realise how much money and plastic is wasted by buying storebought all the time!

I also use this as shower/body wash - you could add jojoba oil or olive oil for extra luxury moisturising qualities.

My next project will be to make some washing up liquid - anyone have any deas? Do drop in and comment x

Clean, Clear and Crystal!

Today I’d like to focus on saving money on household cleaning. We used to use liquid tabs in each wash, without even thinking about it – very expensive! I then started to read up on reverting back to washing powder after reading a few posts on MoneySavingExpert and thought I would give it a go. The reason I had stopped using washing powder was the fact it left white marks, and I guess, the marketing for cute liquitabs had worked on my feeble mind… so pretty, so easy, no mess!

Once we switched back, I thought our savings stopped there – but after more reading and research, it seems folks cut their washing powder in half and top it up with half of soda crystals. I knew nothing of this but started to buy the stuff too – and it’s saved us a fortune! We now add half a measure of washing powder and half of the SC, this works a treat. As we live in a hard water area, it also softens the water which is good for the washing machine too.

More info can be found on the DriPack site:

I buy mine from Tesco online for roughly £0.50p for one KG and it lasts a long time, although this will vary of course as to how many washes your household does per week.

An excerpt from the above DriPack site:

“Soda Crystals should be used in every wash. Simply add the required amount to the detergent drawer, along with your usual washing powder, or directly in to the drum. Soda Crystals soften the water, so that less of your detergent is needed to do the water softening. This not only saves you money on detergent, but it will also help remove stains from your clothes and fabrics.

But the benefits don't stop there. Soda Crystals will help prevent limescale and other build up in your machine and hoses. Using Soda Crystals instead of biological washing powders, also helps minimise the impact on the environment.“

You can use SC all around your household from the washing machine, to cooking (!) and preserving colouring in your veg! And all for £0.50p – who knew! So get out there and spend (under) £0.50p for your wallet and the environment too…

Monday, 3 November 2008

Comfort food - make some & feel the warmth!

That's right - make some yummy homemade treats to celebrate Autumn! I discovered how easy lemon curd and rice pudding are to make, thought folks on here might like to try making some too!

Homemade Lemon Curd

• 1 large juicy lemon, grated zest and juice only
• 75g caster sugar
• 2 eggs
• 50g unsalted butter

Put sugar and grated lemon zest in a bowl.

Whisk the lemon juice together with the eggs, then pour this over the sugar.

Then add the butter cut into little pieces, and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.

Stir frequently till thickened - about 20 minutes.

Pour into sterilised jar and lid (washed glass jar then carefully dried and placed in a warm oven upside down for 15 minutes - lid can be boiled in water).

Store in fridge – lasts around 4 weeks if you can get it to stick around that long!

Costs: Lemon: £0.20p, Sugar approx £0.25p; eggs approx £0.30p, butter £0.26p.

Homemade jar of lemon curd for around £1 - can't beat that!

How about making some for relatives this Xmas as inexpensive gifts? Just save some pretty jars and enjoy the look on their faces when they have some freshly made lemon curd on toast!

Another favourite for me has to be delicious creamy rice pudding. I made this yesterday afternoon for us to have after a Sunday roast and it's amazingly easy and so tasty you will want to make lots! It can be frozen as well, or if you can bear it, given to friends and family!

Slow cooker rice pudding

For a 2.5 litre slow cooker:

• 25g butter
• 100g pudding rice
• 100g sugar
• 1 litre milk
• grated nutmeg

For 4.5 litre slow cooker:

• 40g butter
• 150g pudding rice
• 150g sugar
• 1.5 litres milk
• grated nutmeg

My slow cooker is 3.5 litre so I followed recipe #1.

Butter inside of the crockpot
Add all ingredients
Cook on low for 4 or 5 hours depending on how thick you want it
Stir halfway through cooking time

For added yummyness, put your portion under a grill with some brown sugar on top. If desired, add some homemade lemon curd for that extra touch!

Cost:Pudding Rice: £0.10p, milk (longlife semi skimmed) £0.55p, sugar £0.50, butter £0.13p, nutmeg £0.3p.

£1.31 total and made us 5 portions @£0.26p per portion approx.

You could make it more luxurious by adding clotted cream or evaporated milk but I loved it naturally creamy. The longer you cook it the creamier it is.

Again this could be cooked for relatives or friends for Christmas... start looking for and saving pretty containers!