There are many ways to ease the budget crunch without sacrificing quality.  You can plant a backyard garden. You can make your own household cleaners and detergents.  You can hang clothes out to dry on a clothesline. You can wash clothes in cold water only. Walk whenever and wherever you can, or ride a bike.  You can buy in bulk and repackage items into smaller quantities at home. Every little savings makes a difference to your bottom line.

When  the leading brand of laundry detergent rose to $20.00 per bottle, my family began making our own detergent at a cost of about a dollar per load.  An added bonus was having control of the ingredients and reducing allergies. There are many recipes on the internet to choose from.

Remember that most detergents are composed of simple, inexpensive ingredients.  Our grandmothers knew that if you added citrus peels to water, you made vinegar.  Vinegar is an excellent glass cleaner. Add baking soda to vinegar, and you get toilet bowl cleaner and bathroom surface cleaner.  Ammonia added to vinegar and lemon juice makes an excellent floor cleaner.

Grandmother knew how to preserve and can garden fruits and vegetables.  She knew how to stretch recipes to feed her family health, nutritious meals without breaking the budget.  She knew how to make her home warm and welcoming with refurbished second hand items or homemade items.

My son will no longer eat store bought tomatoes.  He tasted home grown garden tomatoes and realized that store bought tomatoes did not compare for great taste.  You may find, like he did, that doing things yourself results in higher quality as well as savings to your budget.  You might even find that you enjoy the process. Hobbies are great stress relievers.

Do a little research.  Have fun with it. Make it a family project.

K Ewing

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