7 Ways to Keep Your Home Smelling Great

Looking for easy ways to keep your home smelling fresh? Take items you already have in your pantry and produce bin to naturally eliminate odor from various areas around the house. These natural ingredients are the key to a great smelling home!

Make Your Home Smell Good
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  • DEODORIZE THE TRASH CAN

  • Make your own super-simple deodorizing discs with 4 parts baking soda to 1 part hot water. Combine into a thick paste, adding more water if necessary, then press into parchment-lined muffin tins or silicone molds and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Top with a couple drops of your favorite essential oil, if desired. Leave in the bottom of your trash cans or diaper pail for up to a month.

  • USE ESSENTIAL OILS TO REFRESH THE BATHROOM 

  • Add a few drops of pure essential oil to the inside of your toilet paper roll—the scent releases as the paper’s used. Lemon, eucalyptus and peppermint are all fresh choices.

  • REFRESH THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL WITH CITRUS PEELS

  • Pour half a cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by about a cup of vinegar. Let sit for ten minutes, then flush with boiling water. Now, toss citrus peels and a few ice cubes into the disposal and turn it on. Consider freezing citrus slices in ice cubes to keep on hand for regular quick disposal refreshers.

  • LAVENDER & CHAMOMILE OILS: AROMATIZE THE BEDROOM

  • To freshen your mattress, sprinkle with ¼ cup baking soda that’s been mixed with a few drops of lavender pure essential oil. Let sit for about half an hour. Vacuum. Keep your personal dreamland smelling fresh with a calming homemade pillow and linen spray made from distilled water, a little vodka and 10 drops each lavender and chamomile oils.

  • DIY: AIR FRESHENER

  • Freshen the rooms in your house with this do-it-yourself natural air freshener. In a small glass spray bottle, combine distilled water, a little rubbing alcohol, and 10 to 20 drops of your favorite pure essential oil or oils. Some of our favorite combos? Orange & clove, lavender & vanilla, or peppermint & rosemary.

  • FRESHEN THE CARPET

  • Use this DIY carpet freshener to get rid of any lingering carpet odors in the main rooms of your home. Empty a box of baking soda into a large bowl. Add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oils, mix, then, using a funnel, return to container. Sprinkle on carpet and let sit 10 minutes before vacuuming.

SAVE ON CLEANING SUPPLIES WITH THESE DIY PRODUCTS

An American family spends an average of $504 per year on cleaning supplies. That’s a lot of money, especially toward products that are made mostly of water! In the spirit of saving, Sparkle® paper towels brings you a way to seriously scrub down your cleaning budget: homemade household products. If you cut 75 percent of your cleaning-supply spending (which many of the following ideas do), you could save up to $378 a year. That could cover 2.5 weeks of groceries, 10 months of air-conditioning, or 47 movie tickets. Pick your jaw up off the floor and get ready to DIY!

  • ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER

  • This cleaner is the solution to so many messes — in the kitchen, bathroom and the dinner table where your little one (perpetually) spills some milk. Vinegar is a homemade cleaning heavyweight and the star of this potion, with disinfecting properties thanks to its acidity. A batch of this miracle worker cost its inventor 52 cents, or a sixth of what leading cleaners sell for.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 1 part water
    • 1 part vinegar
    • 10-15 drops essential oils of choice
    • Spray bottle
  • Pour all three ingredients into the spray bottle, shake, and bam – you are done creating your all-purpose cleaner! Make sure to shake before each use to ensure ingredients are well mixed.

  • GLASS CLEANER

  • Save lots with this easy-to-make glass cleaner. It’s as simple as vinegar + rubbing alcohol + water — three ingredients already in your house! The gamechanging ingredient in this concoction is rubbing alcohol, which works to dissolve dirt and oil and dries quickly for a streak-free finish.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • ½ cup rubbing alcohol
    • ½ cup white/distilled vinegar
    • Water (Clean tap water is fine for short-term use. Use distilled or boiled and cooled water for long-term use.)
    • Essential oils of choice (optional)
    • 16 oz. glass spray bottle
  • Add the alcohol and vinegar to the spray bottle first. Then added water into the bottle until it is full. If you do not care for the vinegar scent (which goes away when the surface dries), add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. When using, spray the cleaner on windows and mirrors, then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Store spray bottle at room temperature when not in use.

  • FABRIC SOFTENER

  • It’s worth repeating, vinegar is the cleaning superhero that conquers all. This recipe for fabric softener uses it as a softening agent and static cling fighter, while a measure of conditioner incorporates your favorite scent. And at as low as $2 per batch, the price can’t be beat.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 12 oz. container of hair conditioner
    • 1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar
    • 3 cups warm water
    • Whisk
    • Mixing bowl
    • Storage container
  • Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour ingredients into a storage container (e.g. glass jar with a lid), and that is it! You are ready to use your homemade fabric softener.

  • FABRIC REFRESHER

  • This DIY makes use of the simple ingredients to fight unwelcome odors. Baking soda acts as a deodorizer, while essential oils add your favorite scent. Essential oils are another concentrated ingredient; a little will go a long way. Mix the ingredients and place in a small jar to make this easy room freshener. Perfect for bathrooms, your pet’s favorite chair and teenager’s bedrooms everywhere.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 1 TBSP of baking soda
    • 2 cups warm water
    • Essential oils of choice
    • Spray bottle
  • Start by adding the baking soda to the spray bottle, followed by adding in the 2 cups of water. Put the lid on the spray bottle and shake well. Once the baking soda has dissolved, take off the lid. Add 10 drops of essential oil. Shake all ingredients together, and you are ready to deodorize your house. Spray your chemical-free refresher on fabrics or in the air to leave your house smelling…refreshed!

  • WOOD POLISH

  • This two-ingredient furniture polish employs olive oil for shine and lemon juice to help remove any buildup or stains. Leaving your furniture shiny and lemony-fresh will only cost you $1.55 per bottle, a fraction of leading commercial wood polishes.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 2 parts olive oil
    • 1 part lemon juice
    • Spray bottle or empty jar
  • In an empty spray bottle or jar, mix 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice. Shake well! Now you have yourself some natural, chemical-free wood polish. Spray or pour sparingly onto wood and in circular motions, rub the polish into the wood until it is well buffed with a soft cloth.

  • OVEN CLEANER

  • Cleaning out the oven is not for the faint of heart. Between the crouching, scrubbing and nauseating fumes, we tend to avoid it for as long as possible. This oven cleaner is nontoxic and fume-free, and budget-friendly. Just mix baking soda and salt for ultimate grease-cutting, scouring power. Let it sit and work its magic!

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • ¼ cup castile soap or concentrated dish detergent
    • 1 cup baking soda
    • ½ cup coarse sea salt or kosher salt
    • Warm water
    • Distilled white vinegar
    • Sponge or scrubbing brush
    • Spray bottle
    • Mixing bowl
  • First, mix the soap, baking soda, and salt, adding a little water, if needed to make a paste. Then apply your paste the interior of the oven and let sit for several hours, preferably overnight. When ready, dip a sponge or scrubbing brush into the warm water and wash the interior clean. Spray interior with some distilled white vinegar to rinse away any excess paste residue.

  • BLEACH PEN

  • Bleach pens are the laundry room sidekick we can’t live without. But they’re a little pricey! This homemade bleach pen will cost you a minuscule 25 cents. That’s not a typo. Cornstarch, water, bleach and a little bit of stovetop magic make for a household product that’s cheaper than anything we can remember buying … ever.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 1 cup cold water
    • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 5 tablespoons regular bleach
    • Medium sized sauce pan
    • Container of choice (e.g condiment bottles)
    • Container of choice (e.g condiment bottles)
    • Whisk
  • Mix cold water and cornstarch and whisk together in a medium sized saucepan. It’s important that the water is cold so that the cornstarch doesn’t cause any lumps in the gel. Over medium high heat, stir the mixture continuously until it is very thick and pasty. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Add the bleach to the gel and blend well. Carefully pour the gel mixture into container of choice like an empty glue bottle or condiment bottle. Bada bing! You have your own gel bleach pen. Use the same way you would a regular bleach pen on dirty areas like grout. Also, when working with bleach it might be a good idea to use gloves!

Side hustles haven’t worked for me!

I always see various posts about side hustles and how they make quite a bit of cash in doing different side jobs, etc. I’ve read articles about doing online surveys, participating in data entry for a couple hours, shopping for other people.. I have tried a few things and I haven’t had any success, so far.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed today due to the fact that it seems nothing thus far has worked. I should probably make a list of the things I’ve tried and perhaps come up with some idea of why I failed.

First thing was Amazon Turk. I’ve done a few things on there and it is worth nothing. Literally just pennies. I feel I’d be paid more to pick up change outside of a fast food restaurant. I think what was frustrating is it seemed I took time and quite a bit of it to do these little assignments and it just was a huge loss of time and I really didn’t gain anything.

Second thing I tried is REV. I posted on this awhile back. I got in and really was excited. I did get paid a bit, this does take time, and quite a lot of it especially if you’re new like I am. You have to score a certain amount after being accepted to move on to make more money as a real “REVVER” My scores were great. Except, the last one I did I received 2 points lower than normal. So unfortunately I was let go. It caused the score to drop at 3.8? I think. It needed to be 4.0. (It was a couple months ago) I could be a bit off about the scoring but nevertheless you get the idea. It is automatic and there’s no one to talk to about it. So I suppose I’ll just try again.

The third side hustle I tried was/is Poshmark. I’m still trying to figure it out. I just joined last month. I’ve not made any money yet but I’m trying to be positive about it and give it time. The women on that site are really great. They’re so kind and they share and like and comment. Super sweet ladies and I’m glad to be there even just for that. I’d like to figure it out better to make some sales.

I also tried survey websites. I didn’t really get ahead on those at all. Not sure if I’m not on the correct site or if those are really just a joke. Let me know if you have a better site to make a little cash from!

I do want to find something on the side. I’m a stay at home Mom and I’d love to make a little extra for some weekend fun with the kids.

Do you have a side hustle? Give me some tips!

3 Easy Tips for Saving More Money

I wanted to share these money saving tips with you this morning.  I read a great article on Motley Fool this morning, here. So I thought I’d make 3 easy tips for you on how to save money. 

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Saving money isn’t the easiest thing to do, and this is why Americans would be more financially secure. However, the fact of the matter is that 75% of U.S. adults are living check to check and the reason boils down to a lack of savings, as previously mentions 65% of Americans have little to no savings! Are you ready to stop the insanity?  Do you want to break that cycle?  You’ll need to train yourself to be more responsible with your money. Here are a few easy ways to get yourself to save.

1. Sticking to a budget:

It’s difficult to save money when you have no idea what you spend your paychecks on. If you’re eager to start banking some cash, make a budget that works so you get a sense of where your money goes month after month. To do so, go through your bank account statements and credit card bills, list your monthly expenses and what you typically spend on each, and see how your total monthly spending compares to your take-home pay. Then, start going through that list and figure out which expenses to slash.

You might choose to tackle a really major expense, like downsizing to a smaller home or getting rid of a car with a costly monthly payment. Or, you might trim a series of smaller expenses (think to downgrade your cable package and cutting back on store-bought lunches).  Having a budget will help you better understand where you have room to cut corners.

2. Don’t buy in the spur of the moment

Have you ever walked into a store in search of a few basic items, only to come out with a high-tech gadget you never planned on purchasing? It’s easy to fall victim to buying just because it’s staring you right in the face, so much so that a whopping 84% of Americans do so on the regular. But if you force yourself to follow things like the 

The rule goes like this: The next time you’re tempted to buy an item you weren’t planning to purchase at that moment, force yourself to wait a full 24 hours before moving forward. If, after a day’s time, you still really want that item, or are convinced that you need it, then by all means, move forward. If not, save your money for something more important (like retirement).

3. Eat at home

Food restaurants are famous for charging huge markups on the items they serve. So, you might find that replacing even one restaurant or takeout meal each week could put a huge amount of cash back in your pocket over the course of a year. 

Imagine you currently spend $40, on average, each time you eat dinner prepared outside your home, and that you do so three times a week. If you cut out one of those meals and make the equivalent dinner at home, you’ll save yourself a good $30 a pop. Over the course of a year, that’s $1,560 in savings.

You don’t need to be a personal finance hero to be a good saver you just need to make some smart decisions and get rid of the temptation to spend. Follow these tips, and with some time you’ll see and feel the difference. 

Really we’ve gone through these separately so I thought I’d put a top 3 list together of big ones. Did you see those staggering numbers? Wow.

What do you think?  What is the one thing you would like to get better doing?

 

Weekly meal plan

Time for a weekly meal plan, We’re still doing good with our grocery budget. Although  I am definitely trying to get better with couponing, making the lists, checking the ads and saving as much as I can.  Still getting better with that.

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Last week I did the meal plan and it was a hit, I do not think I will be doing breakfast and lunch again as it makes it a bit too long.  I will only be doing dinners from now on and I will be adding in some of my favorite desserts I love to cook also.  Let’s get started!

  • MondayChili ( I make it in the crockpot)  the cost breaks down for a whopping $12 dollars total for my whole family.  I also do make spaghetti noodles on the side to put the chili on.
  • TuesdayBroccoli and Cheddar soup (also done in the crockpot) We put crackers or sourdough bread boules.  Cost of entire meal = $14
  • WednesdayChicken pot pie (baked and delicious) We really love this meal and the cost is hard to beat.  $10 for a whole pie.
  • ThursdayChicken noodle soup (Yes, crockpot again) It’s delicious and hot and ready by dinner time.  Cost of this beautiful soup is $12 for us.
  • FridayMeatloaf dinner (Mashed potatoes, and corn on the side) We really do love this meal.  The cost of this meal is $11
  • SaturdayMagloubeh (mediterranean dish)  It is loved by all of us, My husband is from Jordan so we incorporate mediterranean in our recipes at least once a week and sometimes 3 times a week.  Cost of meal = $16
  • Sunday – Pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon (more so a lunch/dinner for breakfast?)  I don’t have a recipe for this, I’m pretty sure we all know how to make this one.  Cost of this meal is $8.  We all love this meal on a Sunday, it’s nice to relax and have a big breakfast/dinner.

This sums up our week to come.  Weekly total of $83 for dinners.

What’s on your menu this week?  Have any recipes to share? (Please leave one!)

Did you know that 65% of Americans are saving little to no money?

I read an article on CNBC found here that says that Bankrate recently did a study and found 65% of Americans are saving little to no money.  Most Americans aged 55-65 retire with a mere $120,000 in savings.  That’s not going to last very long without a paycheck.

Why? Most of us have a few reasons for not saving money, or not being “able” to save money.

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Here are some top reasons for not saving money

  • I’m not sure how to save money
  • I can’t save money
  • I don’t make enough money to save
  • Prices have gone up and now I can’t save

In reality people are spending more than they are making.  This is happening everywhere and I hear this all the time.  So how can we save money if we have so little?  Cutting costs, anywhere we can. That’s how.

Saving money doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal.  Let’s go with 5 ways to help you save YOUR money.

  • Establish your budget – This is a perfect way to begin. On the first day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. Stack the receipts into categories like restaurants, groceries, and personal care. At the end of the month you will be able to clearly see where your money is going.
  • Budget with cash and envelopes – Have you heard of this one?  Here’s how it works, If you have trouble with overspending, Put your cash into an envelope for spending, then spend only the money you set aside in the envelope and once the cash is gone, it’s gone.
  • Go for short-term saving goals – Short-term? Yes! Make a goal such as setting aside $20 a week or month, rather than a longer term savings goal. People save more successfully when they keep short-term goals in sight.
  • Save your loose change. Really! Putting aside just $1 a day for over a year will get you over 75% closer to a $500 emergency fund.  It will bring you over $350 in a year.
  • Commit to eating out one fewer time each month. Save money without sacrificing your lifestyle by taking small steps to reduce your dining budget. Start off with reducing the amount you eat out by just once per month I wrote a post regarding this a little while back found here go check it out.

These 5 ways to save money should help, and we all need help with saving money, especially in this economy.

Do you save money?  What are some tips you have?