Tag Archives: Lifestyle

DIY Dishwasher Detergent and Rinse Aid – Update

I posted a few weeks ago about making my own dishwasher detergent and rinse aid and I just wanted to update on my experiment.

Well at first it was great and the dishes were coming out clean, brilliant we thought. However as time went on we noticed that the mugs were becoming very stained inside. I don’t think that my home made powder has the power of the usual shop bought stuff 😦 

For now we are back using our “usual” brand until I have time to play around with the “recipe”. On the other hand, the white vinegar rinse aid is working really well 🙂


Saved by Bicarb!

Apologies for the silence, various health issues and commitments have kept me occupied…

My appreciation of humble Bicarbonate of Soda has just deepened. Tonight I forgot I had vegetable oil heating in a pan, the end result was a nasty stain on my pan – eek!

Some “googling” suggested applying a liberal amount of Bicarbonate of Soda to the area. I duly did this, added a wee bit of water to make a “paste” and rubbed the area with a cloth.

After a lot of rubbing I am amazed that the mark has gone and the pan looks “normal”

Id definitely recommend this!





DIY Dishwasher Detergent & Rinse Aid

Since my homemade laundry detergent has been successful I have branched out into making my own dishwasher detergent and rinse aid. I have a little bit of shop bought powder left then I will run a trial of the homemade batch.

Watch this space for an update next week 🙂

The “Rinse Aid” is simply white vinegar with some lemon essential oil mixed in and the Dishwasher Detergent is a 50/50 mix of Bicarbonate of Soda and Borax Substitute.



Month of Organising – Getting Started


Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up

A.A. Milne 

I have decided that February is the month in which I am going to have an organising blitz, my husband is already taking refuge! I do find life easier when I can find things and everything is “sorted”. A little effort now should free up my time giving me more time to play and do fun things with the little ones.



Since we had a dry day yesterday I took our son out on his scooter, there’s a cycle path close to the house and the railway line runs alongside it, he loves trains so its a winning combination!





How am I going to plan?

Time (and energy) can be in short supply so my idea is to spend anything from 15 minutes to an hour each day “sorting” something out. That way it’s not taking up too much of my day and I won’t dread doing it.

This weeks achievements

Our spare bedroom is a bit chaotic, it’s the dumping ground for all sorts of stuff and its the room that we put of doing anything about, I guess that we all have one of those places!  There’s no bed so it is mainly used for books, filing cabinets, the ironing pile, sewing machine and that kind of thing. I spent an hour on Wednesday filing paperwork and tidying the bookcases and it already looks better. I will try to spend another hour next Wednesday doing some more.









I have also been refilling my cleaning and laundry supplies this week. A couple of weeks ago I found some large labels for 29p a pack and have been using these to label the jars that I keep my supplies in. I had previously just written on the jars in pen but this was prone to rubbing off so I’m much happier with this now. As each jar needs refiled I will add a label.









We were given several calendars at Christmas, one is in the kitchen with all of the family info on it and I have used the other to make a note of the renewal dates for household and car insurance policies and contracts. If I was being super efficient I could add reminders to submit meter readings and other things…..hmmm maybe next week!







The final bit of organising I have done this week was I have made some “bread mixes”, I was making bread and weighed out most of the dry ingredients into tubs so the next time I make bread I only have to add yeast and wet/fresh ingredients.














I have a few ideas about what I would like to do next week, hopefully I can make some more progress. When I am busy at home I’m not shopping or spending 🙂

This weeks shopping 5th February 2014

Towards the end of last year we “found” a greengrocer fairly close to home, Im sure it was around September. Since then we have not bought any fruit or vegetables from the supermarkets. We also started using a fairly local butcher around the same time and again we haven’t bought any meat from the supermarkets since.

Yes it probably does cost a little more but there are so many benefits to shopping local. When we go into the shop they know our names, we can have a chat, the kids are encouraged to look at things and are made to feel really welcome. I can buy as much or as little as I like and the produce is always fresh.

Fruit & Veg Shopping






This weeks fruit and vegetables shop came to £14.00 which I think is great value. I got some extra veggies at the weekend and have some frozen veg so there are no potatoes, broccoli or cauliflower this week. A portion of the fruit will be used to make fruit purees for the littlest one.







All I needed from the butcher was cooked meat and some beef to make a casserole with at the weekend. Total cost £6.50







The remainder of the shopping came from Lidl and Asda and came to around £39.00. This is expensive for us but it included Baby Milk at £9.99 and as Asda had a baby event on I stocked up on some baby essentials which accounted for around £6.50. This will result in a lower spend over the next few weeks.








We did not need any toiletries or household items this week.

Total  Shop: £59.50

Weekly Budget is £90.00

Remaining: £30.50 (until Monday)

£2014 in 2014

I have decided to participate in the £2014 in 2014 challenge with afrgugalwife and other bloggers. Granted I am a month late in joining I have some catching up to do!


So the idea seems pretty simple, save or earn £2014 this year. When I actually sat down to break it down it seems a lot more than I first thought.

Here are my thoughts on how I might achieve this.

  • Savings from our weekly budget and other household costs
  • Round up monthly direct debits to nearest £1, this works out at £3.57 but we have agreed to make it £5
  • Round up our Visa Debit transactions to the nearest £1 each time
  • Try to use a cash back site for any online purchases and for car insurance etc
  • Earn extra cash by completing online surveys where possible
  • Reduce Gas and Electric consumption, any savings from our bills will go into the fund
  • Sell baby items that we no longer need, this will be a tough one and there may be tears
  • eBay / Car boot sale with unwanted household items
  • We finish buying baby milk at the end of February, this will give us a saving of £20 per month
  • Any donations we receive for eggs will go into the fund
  • “Spare” coins go into glass jars then usually end up at Coin Star, this total will be added

Change Jars

So thats my thoughts so far, of course I will update if I have any brainwaves. Anyone else participating in the challenge?

Heres the link to the update page on afrugalwife



Meal Planning Monday 27th January 2013

I thought I would share our meal plan and hopefully link up with some other bloggers to share some ideas 🙂 We ended up eating out a couple of times last week so some meals have carried over.  Sorry its late, littlest one is poorly just now 😦


  • Monday: Pork Casserole & Dumplings
  • Tuesday: Pasta & Garlic Bread
  • Wednesday: Fishcakes
  • Thursday: Baked Potatoes
  • Friday: Lasagne
  • Saturday: Chicken Dippers
  • Sunday: Home Made Pizza

We will have either salad or vegetables with each meal and normally some yoghurt and fruit or jelly for dessert 🙂

Im going to link up with At Home with Mrs Ms meal planning monday so that we can all share ideas. http://athomewithmrsm.blogspot.co.uk


Our Weekly Housework Schedule

Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door. —Marcelene Cox

Housework, nobody likes it but its got to be done. I try really hard to keep onto of it and am beginning to realise that a little regular effort goes a long way. We have some tasks that are done every day and others that are done on a weekly basis.

Some days I just didn’t know where to start or I got rather fed up of trying to remember which tasks I still had to do. I made myself a schedule, boring I know but it means that I now have a list of what needs to be done each day.

Please do not think that I spend all day cleaning, far from it! I like to spend as much time as I can with my family during the day so most of the list is completed when our son is at nursery in the morning or when our children are in bed. Our house is certainly lived in and is by no means pristine!

I should also point out that these tasks are in addition to the housework that we feel needs to be done each day such as wiping work tops, sweeping the floors, loading / unloading the dishwasher etc.

Heres a screen shot of my list, Ive linked to the attachment so you can download and amend as you wish 🙂 Hopefully it works! Please let me know if you decide to use my template and how it works for you.

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 10.31.41PWM Cleaning Schedule







13th February 2014: Updated laundry days to Monday and Thursday to ensure that the machine is as full as possible.

I love finding things I forgot I had!

I found this blackboard in the loft and it’s great for writing down some of the jobs I need to get done. I was going to buy a white board but this saves us a few pounds