Frugal Homemade Cleaning & Food Items

I recently came across a post on a message board of The Grocery Game about homemade/cheap cleaning solutions and food mixes. I found it very intriguing. I never knew there were so many uses for vinegar and baking soda.

So, I started to do a search of more frugal recipes, if you will, with common and inexepensive household products. I was amazed!!! I've decided on many products, including cleaning ones, that I will not buy them unless they are under a certain price... ie, dish soap for me has to be free, general cleaning items around 50 cents or less. If not, I will use the homemade items!

Here is a huge post of many...

Homemade Furniture Polish

1 tbsp oil1 tbsp lime juiceMix well. I make it in a small spice jar. Apply to furniture w/ soft cloth and then wipe with a clean dry cloth.

Homemade Dryer Sheets

Pour 1-2 tbsp fabric softener on wash cloth and throw in dryer. Wash occasionally.

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (I just used milk 1 cup & 1TB vinegar to 'create' buttermilk)

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients, in another bowl, beat the oil, egg & buttermilk. Stir into dry ingredients until moist. Pour batter by 1/3 cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles from on top, cook until second side is golden brown.

Taco Seasoning

2tablespoons chili powder
5 teaspoons paprika
4½ teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons onion powder
3 teaspoons salt
2½ teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a bowl, combine seasonings and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.

Yield: 3 batches

Tile Floor Cleaner

1/4 cup ammonia
1 gallon hot water
1 tsp Dawn Dishsoap

Mop as usual

Hearty Whole Wheat Muffins

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk mixed w/ tbsp vinegar)
3/4 cup flour (I use whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter (you can sub apple sauce here too)
1/3 cup raisins

1. Combine the oats and buttermilk and let stand 30 minutes.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
3. Stir the eggs into the buttermilk mixture, then add sugar, butter, and flour mixture.
4. Stir until just combined.
5. The batter will be lumpy.
6. Fold in the raisins.
7. Spoon into a muffin tin about 2/3 full.
8. Bake at 400ยบ F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Homemade Shake & Bake

4 cups flour
4 cups soda crackers crushed (I've also subbed panko bread crumbs, dried bread crumbs, crushed cornflakes..or a mix of any)
4 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
3 Tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix well and store indefinitely in the refrigerator in a covered container. Moisten chicken pieces with milk or water. Pour about 2 cups of the mixtures, or more if needed into a plastic bag and shake until evenly coated. Bake coated chicken in a greased shallow pan at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Do not reuse extra coating that has come into contact with raw chicken.

Homemade Spray Cleaner Recipe

Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

In the kitchen, use vinegar-and-water spray to clean countertops, lightly soiled range surfaces and backsplash areas.

In the bathroom, use vinegar spray cleaner to clean countertops, floors, and exterior surfaces of the toilet.

For really tough bathroom surfaces such as shower walls, pump up the cleaning power by removing the sprayer element and heating the solution in the microwave until barely hot. Spray shower walls with the warmed generously, allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes, then scrub and rinse. The heat helps soften stubborn soap scum and loosens hard water deposits.

Undiluted White Vinegar
Undiluted white vinegar straight from the jug makes quick work of tougher cleaning problems involving hard water deposits or soap scum.

Use undiluted white vinegar to scrub the inside of the toilet bowl. Before you begin, dump a bucket of water into the toilet to force water out of the bowl and allow access to the sides. Pour undiluted white vinegar around the bowl and scrub with a toilet brush to remove stains and odor. Use a pumice stone to remove any remaining hard water rings.

Clean shower heads that have been clogged with mineral deposits with undiluted white vinegar. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar in a plastic food storage bag, and secure the bag to the shower head with a rubber band. Let stand for 2 hours to overnight, then rinse and buff the fixture to a shiny finish.

Add one cup of undiluted white vinegar to the laundry rinse cycle instead of commercial fabric softener. White vinegar softens clothes and cuts detergent residue--a plus for family members with sensitive skin.

Baking Soda
Baking soda's mild abrasive action and natural deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for harsh commercial scouring powders. Put baking soda to work in your organized home:

Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge to tackle grimy bathtub rings, scour vanities, or remove food deposits from the kitchen sink.

For tougher grime, make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to the tub or sink, and allow to stand for 10 to 20 minutes. Dirt, soap scum and deposits soften and are easier to remove.

Slow-running drains? Keep bathroom drains running freely by pouring 1/2 to 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and dribbling just enough hot water to wash the solution down. Let stand for 2 hours to overnight, then flush thoroughly with hot water. The deodorizing effect is an added bonus! [Do not use this method on blocked drains.]

Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe
Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol1 cup water1 tablespoon white vinegar

Homemade Downy Wrinkle Releaser

Fill a spray bottle with distilled water; add 1 teaspoon liquidfabric softener (go ahead and use Downey and you’ll even duplicate thefragrance).

Directions: Spray the wrinkled garment using a sweepingmotion from about 8 inches away until slightly damp. Tug and smoothaway wrinkles. Hang until dry. Use more spray for heavy fabrics orsevere wrinkles. For a pressed look, spray fabrics while ironing.

Strong Glass Cleaner Recipe
Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol1 cup water1 tablespoon clear, non-sudsing ammonia
Strong All-Purpose Recipe
Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 T clear, non-sudsing ammonia1 T clear laundry detergent2 cups water

Furniture Polish Recipe
Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 cup olive oil1/2 cup lemon juice
Shake well and apply a small amount to a flannel cleaning rag or cleaning cloth. Spread evenly over furniture surface. Turn cloth to a dry side and polish dry.

I will be making this a weekly post. Leave your frugal homemade items in the comments section to get posted!! Thanks...


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