Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DIY Recipes & Other Alternatives

     I have to laugh because as I thought about sharing this I realize that once again I'm eating my own words.  "I'd never make my own ____! What a waste of time.  I'm a good bargain shopper and I can't imagine I'd get this any cheaper!"  I constantly find myself doing the things I said I'd never do....and this is no exception.  So over time, in my quest for healthier, more natural alternatives (in addition to cheap!) I have slowly transitioned many things in our home to these simple DIY recipes or alternatives....and I must admit, I love them all!  I'm a super clean freak so I am always hesitant that things aren't going to clean well enough, and I'm also very skeptical about all these natural remedies as I've said before, but I really love the changes we've made so I thought I'd share......I've told many of you that I'd give you recipes for several of these and have completely forgotten who wants what, so hopefully this helps!!


1.  Laundry Detergent - RECIPE = 1 bar of Fels Naptha, 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda.  (All three can be found together in the detergent aisle of Walmart).  DIRECTIONS: I use a cheese grater to grate the bar of soap, then just mix in the other two ingredients and that's it!  Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.  I typically do 1 heaping tablespoon, which comes out to about $.05 a load!














2.  Dishwasher Detergent - INGREDIENTS = 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda, 1/2 cup of LemiShine, 1/2 cup of Kosher salt.  DIRECTIONS: Simply mix all ingredients together!  I will warn you that if you seal this up, it will harden and can be very difficult to use.  I've started keeping it in a bowl loosely covered with foil and it works much better!













3.  All Purpose Cleaner - INGREDIENTS = Fill 1/2 with water, 1/2 with White Vinegar.  Optional: add a few drops of lemon essential oil and On Guard essential oil.  DIRECTIONS:  If using essential oils, use a glass jar.  I buy a glass vinegar jar from walmart for about $1.50 and a spray bottle for $1.00.  The sprayer top from the spray bottle fits perfectly on the glass vinegar jar.  Add a label and you're good to go!













4.  Facial/Body Scrub -INGREDIENTS = 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup epsom salt (give or take a little, I don't usually measure, it depends on what type of consistency you like!).  Optional: add lemon essential oils, and/or frankincense, peppermint, and lavender EO's.  DIRECTIONS:  I melt the coconut oil so that everything mixes together well.  It will harden more once added to your jar.  I use a small glass jar with a latch which can be bought for about $1.00 at AC Moore.











5.  Moisturizer - INGREDIENTS = 3/4 cup coconut oil (again give or take, depending on the size of your jar!)  5 drops of Frankincense EO, 4 drops of Peppermint EO, and 3 drops of Lavender EO.  DIRECTIONS:  Again, I melt the coconut oil so everything mixes well.  This will harden a great deal in the colder months, but as soon as you take some out and put it on your skin, it's perfectly fine!













6.  Un-petroleum Jelly - This is just an alternative we've switched to, but can also be easily made at home with beeswax, coconut oil and olive oil (there are several variations).  I have yet to make my own, because I've found this!















7.  Tea Tree Rub - In place of Vicks, this is another one that can be DIY, but I'm happy with this and it lasts forever!


















8.  Honey - I've never used any regular cough meds for my kids, but we've tried several natural cold and cough meds out there without noticing any difference.  This honey, however, is our go to (aside from oils and Elderberry) when the kids have colds.  It's the only thing that has made a huge difference for them, it's safe (over 12 months), and they love it!













9.  Essential Oils - I literally use these for everything now....if one doesn't work, I try another, and I am so excited about how they are working for our family! You can literally replace everything in your medicine cabinet with an oil or blend of oils....it's so much fun and so much better for you!  For instance....if you suffer from headaches you can try Peppermint or Past Tense (and so many others, but these work wonders for me and many others!)  If you have trouble sleeping, try some Lavender!  I used to take sleeping pills b/c I never slept....I so wish I could have tried these then...I hated the feeling of taking that medication every day!  If you have questions please let me know, I'd love to help find you alternatives!  And if you're a skeptic like me....if one oil doesn't work, don't give up...there are so so so many options :)







10.  Neosporin - So here's an example of something I've made with oils to replace something we use regularly.  We go through a lot of band aids around here....sometimes for quite microscopic, or potentially non-existent, cuts....but the kids always want their medicine on there too (neosporin).  So I just found this super simple alternative!  INGREDIENTS = Witch hazel, Meleleuca essential oil, Lavender essential oil, Frankincense essential oil, 10ml roll on bottle.  DIRECTIONS:  Add 10 drops of each oil, then fill with witch hazel.  Shake and roll on!  For the details on the benefits of each oil, see the original site here!









11.  Elderberry - Anytime I'm starting to feel sick, I take these.  Twice a day, and I really think it makes a difference!  I've ordered a liquid version for the kids that I've yet to try (since we've been seeing so much of a difference with the oils), but I think it's a great thing to have on hand!















12.  Soaps etc. without Sodium Laureth Sulfate - I suffered with major skin problems on my hands for about 10 years.  I went to countless dermatologists who treated the problem as best they could, but no one ever tried to find the root cause.  My hands would itch and then hurt so badly that it would literally keep me up, and wake me up, at night.  One day, I saw a random post on facebook with someone questioning if they were allergic to this ingredient "sodium laureth sulfate" with a picture of their hands that looked like a mild version of mine.  I ran around the house looking at the ingredients on every soap bottle, shampoo bottle, cleaning product in the house and felt panicked as every single one contained this ingredient.  We're on a tight budget and I just knew there was no way we would ever be able to buy special products to replace each of these!  It was in the kids wash too!  I eventually searched everywhere and was able to find comparably priced products at a few stores to switch out for each of ours.  My hands healed and I only very occasionally experience a similar problem where my wedding ring is if I wash my hands too much out in public or at other people's houses.  Crazy!  All of my experiences, this being a major one, have compelled me to keep searching for more natural alternatives....and what a difference they each make!

















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