Sunday, 27 March 2016

Home made laundry detergent powder

It seems like I am getting views for this blog. That is a pleasant surprise!
Since I don't receive any comments, I was not looking on the statistics.  Thank you to my anonymous  readers. 
I was trying to make laundry detergent powder  and was talking about it here.
Since the ingredients were hard to get, I almost gave up the laundry detergent project.

It is funny, when you keep on looking, things come to you. I was at Cedarbrae mall No Frills, just checking the laundry isle. To my delight, they have the Borax and So Easy super washing soda.
I had 3 bars of ivory soap from Dollarama for $1.50. The recipe called for grated soap. I was concerned to use my box grater for this project. Make Your Zone has the solution to microwave soap. It really worked. My advice is to microwave it on a big platter and to may be put more than a minute. We have to experiment to find the correct timing. Make sure you don't touch the puffy balloned soap until it is really cool. It may take a couple of seconds. Then I used my hands to crumble it. You can put it in an old zip-lock bag and crush it too. 
I used one bar of soap, 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of Borax. Mixed everything together and keep in an old  plastic container. It smells like ivory soap. So a bit worried about the dried laundry going to smell like that...

Yes, I used it to wash my bed sheets today. My soap was not really powdered. So, got a few crumbs when the load is washed. So, I had to put it back and run the rinse cycle again. After that it was fine. There was no smell of ivory soap.

With the added confidence I did second load of regular clothes. This time the powder was added first, let the washer filled(mine is top loader), then added the laundry. I just let it soak for about 15 minutes and then run. Not much problems this time. I used the measuring cup from my previous laundry detergent. Probably about two spoons for a medium load. There is still a lot of the small batch  left. I didn't see any soap bubbles when doing laundry. 

One problem with washing soda is it is like a ball in the box.  The ball was not that hard, but just annoying when trying to get the powder from the box. I had to cut open the top. I am going to try keeping a small pack of rice in the box to see how it works.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

March is almost done...

March is the month we start to think about doing tax. When I started working part time jobs and my employers stopped cutting tax from pay cheques, I am not looking forward to do that chore.
Even though, I was trying to put money in RRSP, still I have to pay tax. Yeah, you heard it right, There is no refund, and on top of it I have to pay.
With an online calculator, if I put about $12,000 in RRSP, my taxes will be zero. With the annual income $28,000, how can I make this much RRSP contribution?

That is going to be a big challenge. Remember my first post? I should have places that money in the RRSP, right? So, that is a mistake.

I might be paying around $1000 as taxes in April when I finally submit it online. There goes  income from March.

On a plus note, the last electric bill is is lowered. Last time it was $66. This time it is just $62. That is making me feel great. Waking early to finish cooking and line drying laundry just worked. 

The budget is out and if you have kids less than 18 years old, check this calculator to see how much benefit you can get.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Update on DIY detergent

You know that I was having trouble in making laundry detergent at home.
Still not made it.
I bought Borax from Walmart. Then, happened to see the same brand, and same quantity is available at Food Basics for about a dollar less. Since it was a cold day and we drove so many places, I decided not to return the pack to Walmart.
There is no washing soda in Walmart, Canadian Tire or Food Basics. Oh, I checked the Bulk Barn too. They don't have it either. The label on Borax says it can be added as a detergent booster. 
We bought a cheap laundry detergent on sale less than $5 from Food Basics. 
I used the detergent along with borax to wash the towels I use in the kitchen. My top loader machine worked just fine. The towels came out fine. But, some persistent yellow stains didn't go. 
Things I learned:
1. Washing soda is not available in any nearby stores.
2. Borax can be used to clean many things.
3. Many people in Toronto never heard of washing soda.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

March Dividends.or passive income

After starting my own investments, I made $18 in March as dividend.
That is not much compared to many other people doing personbal blogging. To me it is more than one hour of income.
That makes it very sweet. Even though I asked to do DRIP, the dividend was not enough to buy one whole share/unit. So the money will stay in the account.
The regular earnings of February was out in the checking account. Now, I don't have to check it everyday to see the balance. Few minutes of free time will be sweet.
How much passive income you got this month?

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

DIY Laundry Detergent dilemmas

My laundry detergent is going to finish soon. I happened to remember about reading homemade laundry detergent recipe  on David Suzuki's website. 
A search on the internet gave me the basic ingredients are some sort of bar soap, washing soda and borax. The authors/bloggers who tried the DIY laundry detergent assured me this will save money for sure.

Now, where can I get the ingredients? A search suggested, there is borax at the nearby Walmart. But, I couldn't find washing soda.

Internet has suggested to turn baking soda into Washing soda by baking in the oven. 

I am a little scared to try that. My house is just a small condo. If something went wrong and kitchen got fire, it is going to affect a lot of people. Without knowing more about it, I am not willing to try that.

So, for the time being, will look for the washing soda in nearby stores. Have any of you Canadians, especially in Toronto, found washing soda in No Frills or Walmart or Bulk Barn? 
Till finding the washing soda, my DIY laundry detergent project must wait.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Reducing one paper towel at a time

I used to have paper towels in kitchen all the time. It was very convenient. Very tempting to take a new one for each small spill and toss it out.
We used to buy them in bulk from Costco. then stumbled on the never homemaker website. With an article on banishing paper towel, I was thinking, I can do that. There are plenty of small towels in the closet(from my mindless spending days). Stop buying paper towels and that money can be used to other necessary things like food. Will it save the world? Honestly I don't know. 

So, I cut some old cotton T-shirts in to manageable squares and added them to the towel stash, which is kept above the small place on top of the stove.

Now, cleaning the kitchen is easypeasy. To keep the dirty ones under the sink, I found a plastic tub. (No new purchase here). 

It is not that hard. Not very inconvenient either. One more thing is off the kitchen counter is an added advantage. 

Are you ready to go without paper towels? At least to reduce the use?

Thursday, 3 March 2016

February in a glance

The leap year February was the hardest February ever for Pellrides.
It challenged us to reduce spending out of necessity. It motivated hubby to look for jobs all over the places. It challenged me to have hard look on bottom line and forced me to learn about finances.

The total spending on grocery for the month was $219. We started buying food once a week. I have to admit that we had a lot of lentils and legumes from previous month. So the expense on food may not be correct. Then the utility bill came to $66. I think, I cannot reduce it any further. 

Since hubby was expecting to get interviews, we invested in a set of clothes for him. He hadn't got any yet. Then we decided to spend some money on his certifications. That can be considered as an investment, right?

We took over draft protection from the bank. Now, I am working on to cancel that one. The OD protection costs us $4/month. We were good in having the balance to pay the bills in time. If  everything goes well, we will be able to cancel that in April.

I am spending more time on reading blogs like Canadian Couch Potato, Mr. Money Mustache, My own advisor etc. I urge you to have a look on those blogs, if you like to invest for the future. 
How was your February? Did you put money in RRSP? 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Flossing is Frugal

Being frugal is always a way of life, don't you think? 
When I talk to people, they all seems to be doing frugal things like hanging the laundry, instead of using the dryer. That includes one friend who has a million dollar house.

When it comes to dental hygiene, most people don't mind brushing two, even three times a day. I started flossing a decade ago. The only thing I insist on my family is to brush and do flossing before going to bed. 

My teeth are not that strong and I am a sweet lover. The flossing is helping me to prevent cavities in between the tooth. At least that is what the hygienist says. 

The dental insurance is gone with hubby's job. I asked the dental office how much to pay for the cleaning and they offered to do it for $150. I am going to make it happen. In the mean time, decided to do flossing more. 

Flossing everyday can prevent gum disease. Bleeding gums are not fun, right? Since I started flowing more, there is no bleeding on my gums.  Bleeding gums can cause bone loss and eventually to lose the tooth. In my profession, I can see people struggling to adjust with dentures. 

A cavity can cost you $100 minimum and what about the pain?  So taking care is better. Guess, you all agree with me. 

What other personal care things you do to save money?