Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tonight's Frugal Dinner FEAST, 7/31

Happy Birthday to my little sister, Becki, in Michigan! I hope you are enjoying fairer weather than we are! (Over 100 degrees today, even in the shade!) I wish you and Rob and Terri could be here to share our yummy dinner! A celebration feast is what we're having, in your honor. :)

Our dinner tonight is cost us just under $10, including all sides and condiments and even dessert!

Here's the menu:

Zesty Herb marinaded steak - $2.87
Garlic & Herb marinaded chicken -- $2.40
Rice-a-roni -- $2.00
Applesauce -- $.20
Carvel ice cream cake -- $1.99
I think we're throwing in some leftover sides from last night's dinner. So, mac n cheese and coleslaw joining the menu, at no cost. :)

Total: $9.46 for a FEAST for 3 adults and 3 kids!

Publix, 7/31 - 95% Savings!

A great trip today! I haven't done much shopping at all in the last few weeks, so it was exhilarating to get back to couponing and to get such great deals.

Thanks to mysweetsavings, clippingtosave, and addictedtosavings for posting these great deals.

No picture, because I had to get the cold things into the fridge/freezer asap, since it's a billion degrees outside.

Here's how I did:

1 Shoulder steak -- $4.85
Paid: $4.85

2 Stouffer's family-size entrees -- $3.99 each
Used 2 $2/1 printable coupons.
Paid: $3.98 for both, or $1.99 each!

4 Yoplait Whips yogurt cups -- $.50 each
Used 2 $.55/2 printable coupons
Paid: $.90 for all 4, or just $.23 each!

2 Old Orchard frozen juice concentrate -- BOGO -- $1.50 for 2
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: FREE, plus $.50 overage!
Okay, I think this was a mistake that neither I nor the cashier caught. I think the coupons were $1/4, not $1/1. So I actually should have paid $.50 each, and I should have bought in multiples of 4. Oops.

8 Sprouts baby food -- BOGO -- $.99 for 2
Used 4 BOGO coupons from the Publix Smart Savings coupon booklet
Paid: FREE for all 8!
(I used the banana flavored one in mango smoothies I made for the kids breakfast. It was a hit!)

4 Kellogg's Pop Tarts -- BOGO -- $2.45 for 2
Used 2 $1/2 printable coupons
Paid: $2.90 for all 4, or $.73 each!

4 Sundown Vitamin D -- $2.99 each
Used 2 $6/2 Publix coupons from the Green Advantage Flier
Used 2 $3/2 printable coupons
Paid: FREE for all 4, plus $6.04 overage!
(Anybody need Vitamin D? I've got, like, 8 bottles that I'll most likely never use.)

2 Whitehouse white vinegar -- $1.39 each
Used 2 $1/1 coupons from the Publix Smart Savings booklet
Paid: $.78 for both, or $.39 each!

Used a $5/$30 coupon I got in the mail.

Total paid: $2.87
Total savings: $55.90
Percent of savings: 95%!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Frugal Day 2 at Disney -- Epcot

At the Mexico pavilion in Epcot at Disney World.

It's so easy to go way overboard with spending at Epcot. There is an abundance of food, and the souvenir possibilities are nearly endless! We
had a blast today, and kept our spending to just $22.30, aside from the cost of groceries that we already bought. Pictured here is our first "snack" purchase of the day -- 2 pieces of candy from the Italy pavilion. Cost us $1.39. The one in the red wrapper had hazel nuts inside -- very much like Ferrero Rocher.
Here is a picture of our second snack -- a pretzel and two cups of ice water from the Germany pavilion. It was pretty good. I liked the fact that they gave us big cups of ice water. This snack cost us $4.59.
Not pictured is the snack we had a Sunshine Seasons food court in the Land pavilion. We ordered a kid's meal of sweet and sour chicken. It was NOT fried chicken, which was nice. It came with rice and another side -- we chose jello -- as well as a drink. The total for this snack was $6.92.
Here is our last snack of the day. We ordered a quesadilla. It came with black beans with cheese on them and rice. The little container is fresh pico de gallo. This was AMAZING! It cost us $9.34.
We got so full from all our snacks, that I don't know if I am going to have to make dinner!
Here's what we did when we weren't eating!
  • We arrived at the International Gateway to Epcot at 7:35 this morning.
  • We redeemed a special voucher we had for a fast pass card that gave us 6 immediate fast passes each. There were some limitations on the fast passes, but they were very easy to use.
  • The gate opened at about 7:45. We walked through the United Kingdom and Canada portion of the (empty) World Showcase, and into the open courtyard area near Innoventions in Future World for the countdown to Extra Magic Hour opening.
  • We walked behind the cast member directly to Soarin' in the Land pavilion. There were about 15 people ahead of us in line. The stand-by time was 20 minutes (that must be the minimum). Our wait and ride time was 15 minutes.
  • We got a fast pass for Soarin'.
  • We rode Mission: Space, Green Team. Stand-by time was 5 minutes. Our wait and ride time was 17 minutes.
  • We rode Mission: Space, Green Team. Stand-by time was 10 minutes. Our wait and ride time was 15 minutes.
  • We used our special fast passes for Test Track. Stand-by wait time was 65 minutes. Our wait and ride time was 15 minutes.
  • We rode Living with the Land with no wait. Ride time was 15 minutes.
  • We got Fast passes for Soarin'.
  • We used the fast passes we got earlier in the morning to ride Soarin'. Stand-by wait time was 40 minutes. Our wait and ride time was 25 minutes.
  • We watched Captain Eo. Our wait and watch time was 29 minutes.
  • We rode Journey into Imagination. Stand-by time was 5 minutes. Our wait, ride, and shop time was 15 minutes.
  • We rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Stand-by time was 5 minutes. Our wait and ride time was 11 minutes.
  • We saw Turtle Talk with Crush with no wait. Show time was about 17 minutes.
  • We visited Club Cool for a FREE refreshing drink. I love the drinks from China and Japan.
  • We returned to the hotel for lunch and nap.
  • We were back in Epcot by 4:10.
  • We saw the Voices of Liberty at 4:15. We also got a phone call through a cast member from Mickey and the gang to wish us a happy anniversary. The cast member gave us a keepsake card as well. Very neat. The Voices of Liberty were awesome as always. Some work was being done in the rotunda of the American Adventure pavilion.
  • We visited Italy.
  • We visted Germany.
  • We visited China long enough to catch the end of the acrobat show. We want to catch the whole thing again soon.
  • Used our special fast passes at Test Track. Stand-by wait was 40 minutes. Our wait and ride time was 20 minutes.
  • We got 3 immediate fast passes each for Mission: Space as well as one regular fast pass for Mission: Space.
  • We rode Green Team 2 times, then Orange Team 1 time, then Green Team 1 time. A total of wait and ride times was 1 hour, 6 minutes.
  • Got fast passes for Test Track. (We never did use them. Even the fast pass line looked about 40 minutes long.)
  • We rode Soarin' using fast passes obtained earlier in the day. Stand-by time was eighty minutes. Our wait and ride time was 24 minutes.
  • We rode Gran Fiesta Tour at the Mexico pavilion.
  • We watched Illuminations: Reflections of Earth as we made our way out of the park.
  • To recap: We rode Test Track 2 times, Soarin' 3 times, and Mission: Space 6 times, plus a bit of this and that mixed in!
It was a wonderfully full day. We are planning to go to Hollywood Studios in the morning then back to Epcot in the afternoon. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Frugal Day at Disney


What a fun day! We did so much today. And, as Disney standards go, we did it all fairly frugally.
We opted not to go with the Disney Dining Plan. We would have had a plethora of food on the plan, and the Plan is a good deal, but we decided that we could do better on our own. We stretched our buck today, but we also pushed ourselves pretty hard, too. That's why we're getting ready to bunk down for the night at just 9:15 pm!

Here's the breakdown of the day:
  • We ate ham, turkey, and cheese sandwiches for breakfast in our room. (We stopped at Walmart on the way and picked up deli meat, cheese, bread, bottled water, and a few other things. We spent $32.)
  • We left the room just after 7:00 am, and had no wait for the bus. We stopped at Blizzard Beach before getting to Animal Kingdom at 7:30.
  • After entering the gate, we followed the rope drop on the left side of the path until we got to Expedition Everest, which was ready for us just before eight am!
  • We rode Expedition Everest. The stand-by wait time listed was 5 minutes. We made it through the queu and the ride in 7 minutes, 22 seconds.
  • We picked up fast passes for Expedition Everest, with a return time of eight:40. (Sorry, my eight button doesn't work.)
  • We rode Expedition Everest. The stand-by wait time listed was 5 minutes. We made it through the queu and ride in 5 minutes, 57 seconds.
  • We rode Expedition Everest. The stand-by wait time listed was 5 minutes. We made it through the queu and ride in just under 9 minutes. Yes, we did ride it 3 times in a row!
  • We took a quick restroom break just outside of Expedition Everest.
  • We rode Kilimanjaro Safaris. The stand-by wait time listed was 5 minutes. Our time for queu and ride was 26 minutes. This was one of the best safaris we have ever been on. I don't know if it was because it was so early, or what, but we saw so many animals.
  • Our fast pass time for Expedition Everest had begun by this time, so we got fast passes for Kilimanjaro Safaris.
  • We rode Primeval Whirl. The stand-by wait time was 5 minutes. Our time for queu and ride was 22 minutes. A large tour group got in line just in front of us, which I believe is the cause for our wait being more than triple what was posted.
  • We saw the first Festival of the Lion King show of the day, at 10:00 am. We arrived at 9:50, and the theater was already open and more than 1/2 full. We sat in the elephant section. This was the single best performance of that show that we have ever seen. Every element was superior.
  • We took a quick restroom break at Asia near Yak & Yeti.
  • We had a delicious snack at the Local Anandapur Cafe. A side order of chicken fried rice and two cups of ice water. We paid $4.25. What a treat. We ate outside in a little secluded portion of the dining area that most likely gets filled during lunch hour, but was quiet and empty - except for us - at 11:00 am.
  • We watched the first Finding Nemo: the Musical show of the day, at 11:30. We arrived at 11:10. The theater was open and was already 3/4 full. An okay performance. I'm not crazy about the actor playing Nemo, but Marlin was super.
  • We left the park to return to the Beach Club Villas for lunch. We waited less than 5 minutes for the bus to arrive. The bus ride took 29 minutes, with stops at Blizzard Beach, Swan, Dolphin, and Yacht Club, before getting to the Beach Club. The bus continued on to the Boardwalk. (Is it just me, or does that many stops seem extreme for a deluxe hotel?)
  • We stopped at the resort's market place (I'm sure it has a name.) and bought a resort mug. We paid $14.37. We have already filled it 6 times, so it's nearly paid for itself already.
  • We arrived back at the room at 12:55. We ate sandwiches in the room with Stacey's pita chips and Sabra roasted garlic hummus. We had Ghirardelli chocolate for dessert; we found it on extreme rollback -- just $1 for a bag -- at Walmart yesterday. (Since our shopping cost $32, and we have made two meals out of it so far, we are at an average price per meal of $16.)
  • We rested (too briefly, it seemed) before leaving the room at 3:20.
  • We waited less than 2 minutes for the bus. The bus ride took 19 minutes, with stops at Boardwalk and Blizzard Beach before reaching Animal Kingdom again.
  • We rode Expedition Everest with our fast passes from earlier in the day. Stand-by time was 25 minutes. Our queu and ride time was 11 minutes.
  • Animal Kingdom is doing this limited-time afternoon event (today was the last day; I hope they make it a permanent thing) called Taste of Africa: Eats, Drinks, Culture. The street party event takes place daily from after the parade until closing. After Expedition Everest, we stopped at the Harambe fruit cart and bought a coconut macaroon to share. We paid $2.12. This macaroon was so delicious. I can't even describe it. I was expecting something light and dry. It was dense, moist, and so coconuty-amazing. So worth $2.12.
  • We rode Kilimanjaro Safaris using the fast passes from earlier in the day. The stand-by wait time was 15 minutes. Our queu and ride time was 34 minutes. We didn't see as many animals this time, but we did have a great view of the cheetahs, which we hardly ever see. I also saw a hippo under a little waterfall with its mouth wide open. Kind of neat.
  • We stopped at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Africa and bought a Kenyan pork slider with coffee-barbeque sauce on a whole grain bun and a mango shake. We paid $7.44. I was expecting a tiny little sandwich, but it was really rather substantial for a "slider." And it was delicious. All the food in the Animal Kingdom was a home run for us today. I love that we shared so many snack-type foods. It really enabled us to try a lot of things without spending too much.
  • We ate our sandwich and shake while we hustled back to Camp Minnie Mickey for the day's last showing of Festival of the Lion King. We arrived just before the doors opened for the 5:45 show. We sat in the warthog section, in the first row of the bleachers behind the wheelchair section. I liked the different vantage point, but I LOVED that we were RIGHT NEXT to the exit doors. Literally, we were the first people out the doors after the show. I want to sit in that exact spot every time from now on.
  • We waited for a bus back to the hotel. We actually got tired of waiting and decided to get on the bus to Hollywood Studios and then transfer to transportation to the hotel. Over all we waited eighteen minutes for a bus. The bus ride was 13 minutes.
  • We waited eight minutes for a boat. The boat ride was 14 minutes with a stop at the Swan/Dolphin. This method of transportation was probably not faster than the bus to the hotel, but we enjoyed it.
  • We ate dinner at Hurricane Hanna's at the Beach Club. We ate at about eight pm, so the temperature was mild enough to enjoy sitting outside by the pool. We split a cheeseburger and fries. We paid $7.45.
  • We had dessert at Beaches and Cream. We got a hot fudge sundae to go. It was dripping down my fingers by the time we got back to the room to eat it, but at least we didn't have to pay tip for a server. Also, we didn't want to wait TWO HOURS for a table inside, which is what we were told the wait was. CRAZY!! The ice cream cost $eight.34.
  • Other than the cost of the groceries, we spent $43.97 today. This does include the cost of the resort mug. This is also much less than we would have spent for the dining plan for one day.

Tomorrow, we are headed to our favorite park, Epcot. I am so excited to have Epcot within walking distance. We plan to keep our dining costs down again tomorrow while maximizing the time in the park. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Make A Meal Deal at Winn-Dixie, Starting 7/14

Here is the current Winn-Dixie Make-A-Meal deal for July 14-20.
You must use your WD Customer Rewards Card in order to receive this deal.

Purchase ANY two (2) Tyson bagged chicken nuggets, patties or tenders, (excluding any’tizers, wings, tenderloins, strips and fillets) for 2/$13.98, and receive the following items FREE:

• Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, 18 oz.
• Steak, shoestrings, golden or golden crinkles Ore-Ida fries, 19-28 oz. bag
• One 2-liter Pepsi product
• Blue Bell ice cream cups, 12 ct.
(substitute 23-36 oz. Edwards premium pie in La.)

Make this deal even sweeter with these coupons:

-$1/1 Tyson breaded chicken 6/20 SS

$1/1 Ore Ida tear pad

Various Pepsi tearpads

Blue Bell peelie, or $1/1 printable (must register)

(*excluding any’tizers, wings, tenderloins, strips and fillets)

Limit One (1) Offer Per Transaction With Your Customer Reward Card.

Lots of opportunities to get this deal for around $10 or less with coupons!

Walgreens, 7/13 -- 72% savings

Boy, it has been a long time since I've been to Walgreens! I didn't have any RR going in, and I didn't leave with any, either. I got some pretty great deals, though.

I saved $56.57
Here's what I got for $21.81

6 packs of papermate mechanical pencils
Used in-ad coupon
Paid: $2.34 for all 6, or $.39 each pack!

6 packs of lined 3x5 index cards
Used in-ad coupon
Paid: $2.34 for all 6, or $.39 each!

2 Crayola markers
Paid: $1.98 for both, or $.99 each!

4-pk Expo white erase markers
Paid: $1.99!

2 Elmer's jumbo glue sticks
Paid: $1.98 for both, or $.99 each!

4 pairs pantyhose
Paid: $1.40 for all 4, or $.35 each!

4 pairs of little girl's tights
Paid: $1.68 for all 4, or $.42 each!

2 3-pk men's socks
Paid: $2.58 for both packs, or $1.29 each!

2 packs Scuncii elastic hair bands
Used in-ad coupon
Paid: $1.99 for both, or $1.00 each!

16 2-pocket folders with prongs
Used in-ad coupon
Paid: $2.00 for all 16, or $.13 each!

This is a great time to stock up for the school year!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Great Give Away Going On!

Check out -- she's got a great challenge/giveaway in the works. She's picking the winner tomorrow morning, so you've only got today to get the challenge done. You won't be sorry!

On-Line Couponing Seminar

Heather over at is hosting a free couponing seminar on Saturday, August 14. If you don't live in central Florida, you can attend her seminar by live internet streaming, just like I am! I hope Heather gets a lot of interest and attenders! Go to her site and click on the Events tab at the top of the page. Go ahead and register and send her a message or comment on her post here to let her know if you'll be attending through the live internet stream.

If you haven't checked out Heather's site before, you'll want to become a follower of her blog and a fan on Facebook. She is amazing at finding great deals, especially at my favorite store of all, Publix! She has give-aways pretty regularly, too. In fact, I recently won my very first give-away from her site!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Free Subscription to Woman's Day?

Go here to see if you qualify for a free subscription to Woman's Day magazine! I just filled out a little information, and (they say) I will get a year for free! I hope I actually get it! Let me know if you do!

A Not-So-Good Publix trip, 7/9

4 pks Publix hamburger buns -- $1.29 and $1.23 each
no coupons
Paid: $5.04

2 Boca Burgers -- 2 for $6.19
Used 2 $1 blinkies
Paid: $4.19 for both, or $2.10 each

fresh broccoli -- $2.59

Green onions -- $.60

Publix vegetarian baked beans -- $2.09

6 assorted Pepsi product 12-packs -- B2G1 -- 3 for $9.78
Paid: $19.56 for all 6

24 pk Publix bottled water -- $4.49

Total paid: $40.03
Total saved: $12.64
Percent saved: 24% yech.

Publix Savings as of 7/8

I don't have all my Publix receipts available. I am reporting on those I have available, and will try to do a better job of keeping track!

Here's my new total, including last night's shopping trip:

Amount spent: $480.78
Amount saved: $1,570.18
Percent savings: 76.6%

Shooting for an average savings of 80%!

Publix, 7/8 -- 90.8% savings!

I went to three Publix stores last night looking for Fisher Fusions snack mix. Last week, every Publix I was at had tons. Now that I've spent $3 having coupons shipped to me, each store I went to was out. At the three stores I went to, I found a total of 1 bag!
So, I'm still on the hunt for $1 Fisher Fusions snack mix. If you see it locally, let me know.

Here's how I did:

8 Musselman's natural apple sauce -- 2 for $1.89
Used 8 $.75 coupons from the Publix Smart Savings booklet
Paid: $1.56, or $.20 each!

1 Fisher Fusions snack mix -- $1
Used $1 coupon that I bought from the coupon hunters
Paid: FREE!

Total paid: $1.56
Total saved: $15.35
Percent savings: 90.8%

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Publix Savings as of 7/7

I don't have all my Publix receipts available. I am reporting on those I have available, and will try to do a better job of keeping track!

Here's my new total, including my last two shopping trips:

Amount spent: $479.22
Amount saved: $1,554.83
Percent savings: 76.4%

Shooting for an average savings of 80%!

Publix, 7/4 -- 0% savings

Yikes! I bought a few things I needed at Publix, and I didn't have a single coupon. And nothing I bought was on sale. It's been months since I went shopping like that. I don't care for it. Nope. Not a bit.

I bought:

egg roll wrappers

And I spent $9.87.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Fun Blog to Check Out

Go here to get some super cheap recipes! This is an adorable blog with lots of great info. So cute!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Don't Miss This All Oxi-Active Stainlifter Deal at Publix

The All Oxi-Active Stainlifter laundry deterget priced at $5.99 is part of the BOGO sale at Publix until Tuesday.

If you have the $2/1 coupon from the 5/16 Red Plum, you can get these for just $.99 each.

That just might be cheap enough for me to go for. :)

(Thanks, mysweetsavings!)

Target, 7/3

It seems I haven't been to Target in a while! At least, not to bargain shop. I only had a few minutes tonight, but I found some good deals. I found these items at the Target on Blue Angel Parkway. Here's what I got:

2 Airwick air fresheners - $1.99 each
Used 2 $1 coupons from ?
Paid: $1.98 for both, or $.99 each!

2 Archer Farms organic strawberry fruit snacks -- $.39 each
no coupon
Paid: $.78 for both
Keeping the kiddos happy in the car on the way home -- priceless. :)

2 Ortega taco seasoning -- $.74 each
Used $1/2 Target printable coupon
Paid: $.48 for both, or $.24 each!

5 Michelina's Lean Gourmet frozen entrees -- $1.02 each
Used $1/5 Target printable coupon
Paid: $4.10 for all 5, or $.82 each!

2 Ziploc Evolve 50-pk sandwich bags -- $1.77 each
Used 2 $1 coupons from ?
Used 2 $1 Target printable coupons
Paid: FREE for both, plus $.46 overage

Total paid: $8.34
Total saved: $10.00
Percent savings: 54.5%

Food World, 7/3

I don't shop at Food World very much at all. I just kinda don't like it. But, I was stopping by Food World today to get a copy of their weekly ad (there's a coupon for Coke products that I want to use with the great Buy 2 Get 2 sale at Publix this week) and I decided to look for Marcal toilet paper with my three "FREE" or $1 coupons. (How did I end up with an odd number of these coupons? I don't know.)
I was able to get . . . .

2 Marcal single roll paper towels -- $1 each
Used 2 Free coupons from ?
Paid: FREE for both!

1 4-pk. Marcal toilet paper -- $1.49
Used $1 coupon from ?
Paid: $.49

There was a bit of tax involved.

Total paid: $.76
Total saved: $3.58
Percent of savings: 82%

Publix, 7/3 -- 65.7% savings

Not the best trip today. I should have broken my purchase into two transactions. I could have used another $4/$20 coupon and made my savings 70.2%. Oh, well. My husband is happy if I save at least 50%. Thank you Buy-One-Get-One-Free deals for making it easier to please him in this area. :)

Here's what I got:

2 Breakstone sour cream -- 2 for $1.89
Used $.55 printable coupon
Paid: $1.34 for both, or $.67 each!

2 Crystal Farms Bettern n Eggs -- 2 for $5.00
Used B1G1 coupon from Yellow Advantage Flier
Used $1 from Smart Savings booklet
Paid: $1.50 for both, or $.75 each!

2 Yoplait Fiber One yogurt 4-packs -- 2 for $2.50
Used 2 $.50 coupons from ??
Paid: $1.50 for both, or $.75 each!

Publix butter -- $2.99 (does that seem like a lot to anyone else?)
no coupon
Paid: $2.99

Top Sirloin steak -- $14.74
no coupon
Paid: $14.74

4 Carvel ice cream cakes -- 2 for $9.99
Used 4 $3 coupons from the June All You
Paid: $7.98 for all 4, or $2.00 each!
Hooray for cheap birthday cake for Talani! He's always wanted an ice cream cake!

4 Kraft Sandwich shop mayo -- 2 for $1.99
Used 4 $1 from Yellow Advantage flier
Used 2 $1.50/2 coupons from 6/20 SS
Paid: FREE for all 4, plus $3.02 overage!

1.36 lb. onions $1.29/lb.
no coupon
Paid: $1.75

1 packet fresh thyme -- $1.99
no coupon
Paid: $1.99

1 bundle fresh parsley -- $1.19
no coupon
Paid: $1.19

2 Chinet napkins -- $2.15 each (reported by various blogs to be B1G1. Was not at University/9 Mile)
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: $2.30 for both, or $1.15 each!

Used $4/$20 CVS coupon received by email.

Total paid: $30.59
Total saved: $58.67
Percent savings: 65.7%

To recreate this trip, but even better:

1. Don't get the Chinet napkins unless you need napkins. This isn't the best price.
2. Use 2 of the Breakstone coupons. I couldn't get my second one to print before my trip on Wednesday. When I turned the printer on yesterday, it just printed right out. Print them both in one sitting and get an even better deal on sour cream.
3. Break into 2 transactions and use 2 $/$ coupons. There was a $5 off $50 in the mail recently for Apple Market; use it at Pubix instead. Or use 2 CVS Extra Care Bucks. Or whatever you have to do to get more money off!

Making Your Own Laundry Soap

I am very picky about how much I spend on laundry detergent. I have found some pretty good deals since I started couponing, but I really am becoming a cheapskate about it! The reason I don't have to pay much for laundry soap is that I know how to make my own! All the ingredients can be found at Publix and/or Walmart. Pictured below are the ingredients you need to buy: Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda), Borax, and Fels Naptha soap. You will pay around $7 for all three, and you will get at least 2 or 3 batches of detergent. A second bar of soap will only run you $.99, and you'll have just about enough laundry detergent for a small family for months and months!Onion and watermelon not required. :)

You will also need a bucket to store your finished product. You can buy a large bucket, like for paint, for about $5 from Home Depot or Lowes. I am using a bucket my mom gave me; it's a cleaned out dog food bucket that came with a hinged, removable lid. It's the perfect size for a batch (or two) of detergent and has a handle to carry it easily.
Here's the recipe!

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap, grated (I use my cheese grater, and it works perfectly.)
1/2 c. washing soda
1/2 c. Borax
Lots of water! (4 c. plus 6 c. plus a gallon plus 6 c.)

Put 4 cups of water in a microwaveable bowl into the microwave. Heat for a minute or so, until good and hot, then let it sit in the microwave to stay hot. In a large sauce pan or stock pot, heat 6 cups of water and the grated soap. Stir occasionally until the Fels Naptha is completely dissolved. Add the washing soda and Borax and stir until these are dissolved. Remove from the heat. Pour the 4 cups of water that have been staying hot in the microwave into your bucket. Add your soap mixture and stir well. Add a gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for 24 hours before use. It will gel, but not completely. It will have a liquidy/lumpy consistency. You may have to stir the soap up between uses. Use 1/2 cup per load.

Some notes:
*Some folks like to add more washing soda and Borax to their mix, up to 1 c. each.
*Since you use such a small amount of washing soda and Borax, you may be concerned about the effectiveness of them after the fourth or fifth batch. You might consider sharing the cost of these products with a friend. Have a soap make-a-thon! Make a quadruple batch and each take home a double. You'd only pay about $4 each, and you'd end up with months' worth of detergent!
*Some folks like to use 1/2 bar of Fels Naptha for each batch.
*Some families still add Oxy Clean to the wash. We do like this product and use it, especially with super dirty stuff, like work clothes. The detergent alone does a good job of cleaning everyday loads.
*You could add a few drops of essential oil to the mix for fragrance, but I love the smell of the Fels Naptha.
* I learned from my mom to stir the soap with the cup you use to measure. When you're ready for the detergent, just stick your whole hand/arm into the bucket with the measuring cup. Give the soap a good stir with your arm/hand/cup. When you pour the soap into the washer, let the washer water rinse your arm and hand.
*Have you seen the episode of 17 Kids and Counting (or were they up to 18 for this show?) where the girls made their own detergent? This recipe is very much like what the Duggars use. :)

I'd love to hear how the frugal, homemade detergent works for you!