Save A Penny

OK, I have been looking for as many ways as possible to save a penny, reduce waist and reuse as much as possible. 

So on this page I will list my projects, how they turn out and if they seem to work or save me money at all. I will list my most current projects just bellow this intro but scroll down and check out all of the other "Crazy" things I have done.

Childrens cloths even cheeper
So as a surprise to me I am expecting another baby in three months. And as another big surprise it is a girl so low and behold I am not prepared for such a thing. With very little extra cash around I started looking for alternatives to new cloths. I found a great local facebook group that had people selling their new or gently warn cloths for great prices. There are also toys, furnature and other things. I got a brand new un-unsed breast pump for just $15 bucks. A box of baby girl cloths for just $20 bucks. So take a look around, beyond the childrens second hand stores and you may be surprised. 

I have also been frequenting a local Carters store and looking into their clearnace racks. I found 5 piece outfits for only $4.99 and many other things for $1.99 and $2.99. Stay out of the full price cloths and you can find yourself some great bargins. The trick is not getting sucked into some really cute $40 dress. Oh, and dont forget your coupons :)

Baby Wipes Solution
Here is my favorite baby wipe solution. I use Burts Bees baby shampoo/bodywash. The smell is wonderful and babies bum loves it to. There are many more recipes at Zany-Zebra.

Olive 'n' Tea Tree

Cloth Wipe Solution Recipes - Olive Oil
A great natural wipes solution.
1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin not necessary)
1/8 cup gentle baby bath
A few drops tea tree oil
4 cups water

Cloth Diaper UPDATE
 Cloth diapering has gone quite well. had an issue with repelling but once i figured out a good way to strip all is well again. Spike really loves his night time sleep and will sleep through the night every night. A cloth diaper can not handle this even when  doubled up. So I got some overnight diapers just for night time. Now I get sleep too. More on stripping to come.
Juice Jello

So I don't know if this will actually save you money but it is healthier. So you can make Popsicles at home to cut sugar and preservatives. Why not try this with the all so loved Jello? So I measured the gelatin that came in the "flavor your own Jello" box. So here it is.

Boil 1/2 cup water or juice of your choice.

Mix into 1 Tablespoon gelatin

Mix 3 min.

Add 1 1/2 cups juice ( the same you boiled or try mixing for a unique flavor)

Put in fridge and chill for 4 hours or until set

The same warning applies to fruits that will prevent setting.

I tried apple juice today. I'll let you know how it turned out.

Nursing Cover

OK, so here is what you will need to make your own Nursing cover: 1 yard fabric, 16 inch piece of boning, 2- 1 to 1.5 inch "D" rings and thread. I would write out all of the directions but there is a great You Tube video for you visual learners. Click here to visit it. Why spend the time to make one of these. Its way cheaper. It took me maybe 1.5 hours to make it and that was with walking back and forth to watch the video. I could probably do it now without it. Did this save me a penny? YES!!! I spent about $8.00 and a new one made by a company costs anywhere from $29 to $40. So I would say it is worth it. This was easy enough I think I could make these as gifts in the future.

Handmade baby car seat cover

So I have realized that I still have plenty of things to do to get ready for baby. One thing I noticed while a play group is all of the nice infant carrier car seat covers. These were not around when I had my last one and it is a lot nicer than just throwing a cover over the baby. So I found this great YouTube video on how to make one. The actually has 3 or 4 different patterns. Wal Mart only had so many cloths to choose from and it was actually a challenge to find anything to patch the polka dots that I liked. So I went with a very loud animal print.

It really did not take me that long to make it. I was surprised. I chose not to deal with cording or decorative buttons though. This is nice because it actually wraps around the handles and Velcros into place. It will be nice for windy days. Check out the how to video on YouTube by So did this save me money? Heck Yeah! I saw these for as much as $50 and I spent about $15 on mine. I could have picked a cheaper cloth and probably have made it for almost half of the price but I care what I am looking at.

OK, I stayed up and made my sock dryer balls and they were pretty easy. This is what you will need to make two dryer balls:

2 yards of cotton fabric ( I used cloth that I have been hanging onto for years)

2 socks long or short (Old ones work fine)




Pictures of almost every step are above.

1. Snip along the short end of your cloth every 3 inches and then rip your strips of cloth apart.

2. Take one of the strips and fold it in half bringing short sides to each other so you only see right sides

3. Tie a knot in the center of it and pull tight

4.Tie a second knot right next to it and pull it tight

5. Tie one more knot and pull it as tight as you can

6. Now take a new strip of cloth and place the short end on top of the knot holding in place with thumb

7.Now start wrapping the cloth around the knot as tight as you can, changing directions slightly to start creating your ball.

8. Now you will have a small little ball. REPEAT with 4 more strips of cloth.

9.Now you have a ball. Tuck the loose end into the ball. You may have to use your scissors to do this if your ball is really tight.

10.Now get your sock

11. Place your cotton ball into the toe of your sock and give it one or 2 twists.

12.Now force the ball backwards into the sock. Your sock is now inside out. Keep repeating this till your sock is right side out and just covers the ball. If you are already out of sock then you may need to start with your sock inside out so you end up with a clean look.

13.Now take a needle and thread and sew up the end. Your sock ends will either just be meeting (like shown in the picture above) or you may have to tuck one end and fold it over and sew the open end to the side of the ball.

I was able to assemble 7 while watching My Fair Lady and then it took me about 40 min to sew them while watching a bit of HULU. Pretty brainless and satisfying. Now I just have to do a few runs and see how much these cut my dryer time by. One lady said it took her load of towels from 1 hour to 45 min. If that is the case I will be plenty happy.

Cloth Diaper and Family Detergents

OK, so am so getting everything ready for baby. So I am going to try this Detergent out and see how it does. Yes I know, I wont even get to try it for a couple of months but I am ready it is so easy and I did research online if this is good for cloth diapers. From what I can find it will work great.

For the Cloth Diaper Detergent you will need

1 Cup Borax

1 Cup Washing Soda

1 cup Oxyclean

I had a large disposable plastic container. I put all three ingredients into the bowl, put on the lid and shook it up. Then using a peace of paper as a funnel I poured it into the Quart size mason jar. This little bit will last me 24 large loads. I added an extra tablespoon that I had to stay in the jar.

For the Family Detergent you will need

1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap (you may use other bar soaps such as Ivory, Castile, Zote)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup of Oxygen cleaner powder, such as Oxyclean

So this is how I did it.

1. Using my food processor I grated the bar of soap. With my hands I rubbed the soap to break it up even smaller (see picture above).

2.Then I mixed it with the other ingredients in my plastic bowl and then dumped it back intomy food processor. I was still not happy with how big the soap slivers were. I left it in the blender for about one minute. You can see in the picture the detergent is well mixed.

3.Again I used paper to create a funnel to pour it into the mason jar. I also included a tag with all instructions on it.

As sown in the picture above you can either attach the tag with ribbon or tape it to the jar as I did with my dryer sheets jar. This will also make me 24 loads of detergent and will last me longer than a month. I still have a lot of Borax and Washing soda left. I even have two more bars of soap.

If you would like the tags for your jars just let me know and I can email them to you. Just leave me a comment asking for them. Note about your soap choice: Do not use soaps with moisturizers in them.

If you know of a better homemade soap please let me know.

Handmade Burp Cloth

I decided to make some handmade flannel burp cloths for new coming baby. They measure 14X18 and are no nice and soft. They are also big enough for putting on your lap.

How did I do it.?

Place 2 pieces of flannel 14X18 wrong sides together and sew about 1/2 inch all of the way around not forgetting to back stitch. Then sew two straight lines 4 inches in from the sides traveling from short end across to the other short end. For an extra cute touch snip the edges just shy of the seam about every 1/3 inch. I snipped out a small square at every corner. You can see it in the picture if you look closely. Now wash and feel the softness. I did 8 different patterns one each. Even the stiffer flannel turned out very soft.

OK, here are my handmade dryer sheets. Now they do not reduce static but will add a nice smell to your cloths if you are using a homemade detergent. Mine measure about 5.5X6 and it made 24 sheets. I figured that this should be enough for one month.

Items you are going to need:

Leftover cotton cloth

Pinking sheers (or scissors)


Essential oil of your choice

Mason jar or reusable leftover plastic container

1. Collect the items you will need. From the folded cut edge of your fabric measure 6 inches and cut a small notch. Do the same on the other side. Now fold on the notches. Fold one more time so you will have 3 double layers of cloth. Using your pinking shears or scissors cut down the folded sides of the cloth and strait edges if using pinking shears.

2. Now lay ruler along long edge and measure off 5.5 inches and cut strait across. Repeat this until you have cut your rectangle 3 times leaving you with 4 little piles.

3.This is what you should have

4.This is a pic of my cloth, jar, and essential oil. I am using Tea Tree Oil. But lavender, sweet orange or other oil would also be very lovely.

5.Put one drop of oil on each piece of cloth. On some of mine the single drop leaked through to the cloth under it. I just let that drop count for both sheets.

6.Fold the cloth into fourths

7. Place each cloth in the bottom of the jar

8. Now you have a full jar of dryer sheets

I still had some more room so you could probably fit another dozen or so in the jar. I used a wide mouth jar so it would be easy to reach in and get them out. I also chose to use a glass jar because we are trying to use as little plastic as possible. But you could reuse a food plastic container or diaper wipe container. This could make a great gift for an environmentally conscious friend.

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