Frugality Gal http://frugalitygal.com Life on a Budget Thu, 28 May 2015 10:02:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.5 $10 DIY Food Photography Backgrounds http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/diy-food-photography-background.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/diy-food-photography-background.html#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 10:02:31 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2868 Blogging Tips: $10 DIY Food Photography Backgrounds. Make two food photography backgrounds for just $10. No special tools required!

If you post recipes on your blog, you’ll eventually want some options for your food photography backgrounds besides your kitchen table. I was in need of some new backgrounds myself, so I decided to show you how to make your own backgrounds for food photography! This is a super frugal DIY – just $10 for [...]

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Blogging Tips: $10 DIY Food Photography Backgrounds. Make two food photography backgrounds for just $10. No special tools required!

If you post recipes on your blog, you’ll eventually want some options for your food photography backgrounds besides your kitchen table. I was in need of some new backgrounds myself, so I decided to show you how to make your own backgrounds for food photography!

This is a super frugal DIY – just $10 for two backgrounds. And the best part is that this is completely customized to your tastes, so you can choose any style you’d like.

What You Need:

You can use any plywood you’d like – just make sure it’s relatively smooth to avoid splinters!

I opted for a single tile for the backside of the board. But feel free to use the planks on both sides of the board if you find two styles you like!

Also, just totally ignore the knife in the picture above. It didn’t work very well and I had to improvise with kitchen scissors and eyeliner (it’s easy to wipe off). Yep – I like to keep things super professional around here!

Line up the vinyl plank with one edge of the plywood and lay the plank on top of the board. Make a straight line across the edge. Use a scissor to trim the vinyl plank to size.

You’ll be using the entire piece of the vinyl plank, so try not to take too much length off of one side.

Line up the cut vinyl with the edge of the board and slowly peel off the backing to expose the adhesive side. Firmly smooth the plank down with one hand as you go to make sure the adhesive sticks well.

This is not easy to re-position because you’ll yank up pieces of the plywood if you try to move the plank, so keep things slow and accurate.

Now you’ll repeat that process until the plywood is completely covered. I cut two vinyl planks in half and adhered them to the board to make my food photography background – super simple!

If you look at the bottom edge, you’ll see that my cuts are pretty off – but that’s okay. When taking your photos, the edges don’t make it into the picture. So as long as the middle of the background is straight and accurate, you’re good to go!

And here’s a picture of our lunch just to demonstrate what the photography background would look like in use.

Here’s what the set up actually looks like in person. See? No one will see the uneven edges but you, so it isn’t a huge deal.

For my second food photography background, I flipped the board over and stuck a piece of vinyl tile onto the back. Because I was only working with one tile here, I adhered it to the center in order to prevent an uneven/wobbly surface when working with the wood plank side (because this side would technically be the bottom when using the other background).

And here’s what it looks like in use. I definitely would’ve preferred a larger tile, but 18×18 was the largest one available and it still works just fine. You can use any style of vinyl – so get as creative as you’d like! I just recommend opting for a relatively matte surface.

Even if you’re just starting out with your blog, I highly recommend making your own DIY food photography backgrounds. It’ll help you simplify your pictures – and a clean background and a couple of other inexpensive tweaks will help you improve the quality of your photos even if you’re taking pictures with your smart phone!

If you make some of your own feel free to snap a pic and tag me on instagram. Would love to see how your backgrounds turn out!

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Easy Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/caprese-pasta-salad-recipe.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/caprese-pasta-salad-recipe.html#respond Tue, 26 May 2015 10:02:30 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2845 Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe. A quick and tasty summer recipe for a crowd or just an easy dinner to toss together on a busy night!

Summer is just around the corner and around here that means that we go a little caprese crazy! Today I’m sharing an easy caprese pasta salad recipe that is perfect for family get-togethers, barbecues, cookouts or just a quick dinner to enjoy at home with the family. The only actual cooking that is involved is [...]

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Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe. A quick and tasty summer recipe for a crowd or just an easy dinner to toss together on a busy night!

Summer is just around the corner and around here that means that we go a little caprese crazy! Today I’m sharing an easy caprese pasta salad recipe that is perfect for family get-togethers, barbecues, cookouts or just a quick dinner to enjoy at home with the family.

The only actual cooking that is involved is boiling the pasta – so this caprese pasta salad recipe is super quick and easy and would be perfect for little helping hands to help mom with the various mixing steps if you have kiddos.


What You’ll Need:

  • 1 box Barilla® Ziti (available at Walmart)
  • 16 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, cubed
  • 1 pint Grape Tomatoes
  • 3/4 oz. fresh Basil
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Raisins
  • 1/2 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for the vinaigrette)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to toss with pasta)
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Recipe inspired by Simply Scratch

Start a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and mix in 1 tbsp. of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside and let cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Slice tomatoes in half, cut fresh mozzarella into large cubes/chunks and give the basil a rough chop. You can also slice the basil into ribbons if you prefer – I mixed things up and did both ribbons and a rough chop because sometimes I just want to live on the wild side. Set ingredients aside.

I initially only used 8 oz. Of fresh mozzarella in this caprese salad, but it simply wasn’t enough – so I decided to bump it up to 16 ounces for this recipe. A little extra cheese never hurt!

Now for the vinaigrette! Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, brown sugar, onion powder and salt and pepper together – my preference is to use a jar, snap the lid on and shake, since it’s quicker.

The traditional ratio for vinaigrette is 3:1 EVOO to Balsamic. That ratio is a little intense on olive oil for my taste buds, so I typically lean towards a 1:1 ratio or even a little under, as I did in this recipe. I encourage you to play around with your own ratio until you get the perfect blend for your tastes!

And now we put it all together. Place pasta in a large bowl, pour tomatoes, mozzarella, basil on top. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and combine.

Then we add my favorite fun addition – raisins! It’s unexpected in a caprese salad, but it’s such a good fit because the sweetness plays well with the brown sugar in the vinaigrette and the acidity of the balsamic.

If you’re hesitant to add them, serve yourself a tiny test plate with all of the ingredients including the dressing and raisins just to see if it’s for you. The salad stands well on its own but the addition of the raisins really kicked it up a notch for us!

Finally add in the vinaigrette and give everything one final stir.

This salad is best served chilled, so if you have the time, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

This goes well with almost anything (from burgers to salmon, so it’s seriously versatile). But if you’re making this to eat at home rather than for a get together, this would serve well with chicken (you could even make a little extra vinaigrette to cook the chicken in and melt a couple of pieces of mozzarella over top – yum!). Or serve with some homemade bruschetta if you want to get a little fancy!

I’d love to know if you tried this recipe and what you served it with!

Easy Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 box Barilla® Ziti
  • 16 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, cubed
  • 1 pint Grape Tomatoes
  • ¾ oz. fresh Basil
  • ⅓ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • ⅓ cup Raisins
  • ½ tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for the vinaigrette)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to toss with pasta)
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Start a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and mix in 1 tbsp of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside and let cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Chop tomatoes in half, and cut mozzarella into large cubes/chunks and give the basil a rough chop. You can also slice the basil into ribbons if you prefer. Set ingredients aside.
  3. Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, brown sugar, onion powder and salt and pepper together – my preference is to use a jar, snap the lid on and shake, since it's quicker. The traditional ratio for vinaigrette is 3:1 EVOO to Balsamic. That ratio is a little intense on olive oil for my taste buds, so I typically lean towards a 1:1 ratio or even a little under, as I did in this recipe. I encourage you to play around with your own ratio until you get the perfect blend for your tastes!
  4. Place pasta in a large bowl, pour tomatoes, mozzarella, basil on top. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and combine. Then add raisins and vinaigrette and give everything one final stir.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Frugal Real Food Meal Plan http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/frugal-real-food-meal-plan.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/frugal-real-food-meal-plan.html#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 10:02:31 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2836 Frugal Living : Eating healthy foods on a budget using a frugal real food meal plan.

A couple of months back I tried the Frugal Real Food Meal Plan and I’m excited to tell you about how it went for us! If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a monthly meal plan geared towards eating healthy real food on a budget. Lots of from-scratch recipes, homemade staples and it includes [...]

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Frugal Living : Eating healthy foods on a budget using a frugal real food meal plan.

A couple of months back I tried the Frugal Real Food Meal Plan and I’m excited to tell you about how it went for us! If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a monthly meal plan geared towards eating healthy real food on a budget. Lots of from-scratch recipes, homemade staples and it includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as some homemade desserts!

The Gist:

  • 55+ Meals for a full 30 day Real Food Meal Plan
  • Includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Desserts
  • Main bulk shopping list + short weekly shopping lists for perishables
  • Most of the shopping will be done at the beginning of the month
  • Weekly Meal Prep task lists that allow you to prepare in advanced without having to do it all at once!
  • Highlights which meals are best for hosting company and meals that freeze well

If you want to learn more about the specifics, check out the website. Plans start at $10 per month.

The Meal Plans:

Healthy and tasty meals were the focus of the meal plan, and we were definitely not disappointed! The recipes were a nice change of pace to what we usually eat, but were approachable and all ingredients were easily found at chain stores like Target or Aldi. Out of the entire meal plan there was one meal that left us a little nervous to try – and as luck would have it, that turned out to be our favorite recipe from the meal plan and we’ve made it several times since then!

Most of the recipes took longer to cook than I typically spend in the kitchen. I’d say about an hour per recipe, sometimes more. This is because every meal includes homemade components. So naturally, it’s going to take longer to prepare.

Most importantly, for me at least, is that it’s “real” in the sense that these are meals that we would actually eat and were comfortable preparing. It wasn’t wasteful, and while the meals were interesting, it doesn’t try to get so fancy that it’s impractical for someone that already shops frugally. So aside from the time savings, the realistic menu was probably my favorite feature.

The Shopping Lists:

There are four shopping lists… one for each week, which includes the fresh perishable items that you need to complete the meal plan. These are very short and you can likely pick these up in about ten minutes at the store. There’s also a larger pantry/staples bulk shopping list which you’re supposed to shop from at the beginning of the meal plan.

The shopping list is laid out very well and things just make sense. It isn’t assumed that you’ll have most of the pantry staples on hand, everything is included in the shopping lists and includes suggested price points to help steer you in the right direction. I was very happy to see this because I’ve tried meal plans in the past where not-so-basic items were expected to be in the pantry, and it really drove the cost of the meal plan up for us.

What I Loved:

I loved that Tiffany (the creator of the meal plans) stresses using what you have. You all know I’m such a big believer in shopping your pantry first. And she encourages you to meal plan flexibly by shopping your kitchen first and offering suggestions for possible substitutions. Also, just about everything is made from scratch. This includes things like yogurt, salad dressing, bread, etc.

Obviously, I also loved that the work was done for us and that we were eating creative meals every single night!

What I Didn’t Love:

As much as I love this meal plan, there were two things that personally didn’t work great for us. It required a lot of butter. Speaking as someone that doesn’t typically eat real food to this extent, it was a bit of a shock for us to use so much butter on a weekly basis.

The meal plan is also not meat-heavy (which is a great way to control grocery spending!). But I did feel as if a small portion of the money allocated towards cheese would have been better served for purchasing an extra pound of meat. These are clearly our own personal preferences, since we don’t typically spend much on cheese and do most of our cooking with just a bit of olive oil.

Overall, I can’t say enough positive things about this! I totally recommend Frugal Real Food Meal Plans to anyone that wants to prepare healthier meals on a budget and wants to save time in the process.

Though we did receive a review copy of the meal plan, the cost is only $10 per month and we definitely saved more than that so the cost is more than made up in the savings at the store.

There is also a free 14 day sample meal plan if you’d prefer to give it a test run to see if it’s the right fit for you!

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4 Must-Haves When Setting Up Your New Blog http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/tips-for-new-bloggers-setup.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/tips-for-new-bloggers-setup.html#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 12:04:32 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2812 Blogging Tips for Beginners : 4 Must-Haves When Setting up a New Blog. Set yourself up for success by taking these 4 things into consideration when setting up your new blog.

Setting up a blog can be overwhelming – there are so many options and opinions on which things are absolute necessities! Well, today I will be throwing my own opinion into the mix and provide you with a list of my four must-haves for new bloggers. These must-haves will ensure that your site is set [...]

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Blogging Tips for Beginners : 4 Must-Haves When Setting up a New Blog. Set yourself up for success by taking these 4 things into consideration when setting up your new blog.

Setting up a blog can be overwhelming – there are so many options and opinions on which things are absolute necessities! Well, today I will be throwing my own opinion into the mix and provide you with a list of my four must-haves for new bloggers.

These must-haves will ensure that your site is set up successfully, and looks as professional as can be. You can set up your site with much less, but in my opinion, being able to check off these four items will create a proper foundation for growing your blog into a business down the line, if that’s your goal.

Must Have #1: Domain Name

Purchasing a domain name (e.g. example.com) rather than using a free one provided by your blogging platform (e.g. example.blogspot.com) will make your site look more professional. Even if you choose to forgo paid hosting, you can typically still use your own custom domain name. So I highly recommend making this a priority if it’s within your budget.

Many bloggers use sites like GoDaddy to purchase domain names. But word of warning – if you do that, you will need to point the nameservers over to your hosting provider. If you’re not very techy, I recommend just purchasing your domain name directly through whoever you choose as your hosting provider.

Must Have #2: Self-Hosted WordPress

WordPress is by far the best option and most bloggers I know, myself included, are self-hosted WP sites. When I first started my blog, I started on WP, then I switched to blogger, then a year later I felt limited on blogger, so I paid for a pro to do a Blogger to WP transfer for me. I made it unnecessarily hard on myself! And while it is absolutely possible to grow a site successfully on blogger, it’s easier to do on WordPress due to the increased functionality.

Getting your site set up on self-hosted WordPress is ideal, in my opinion. There are two versions of WordPress – .com and .org, and there is a big difference between the two.

  • WordPress.org has no restrictions, but you’ll need to pay for monthly hosting in order to use it on your site.

More info on the difference between WP .com and .org here.

A word on hosting: I currently use RFE hosting and am very happy. I have a VPS plan, but if you’re just starting out, their shared hosting plans would be a great affordable option for you. I’ve used several hosts in the past, and this is by far the best experience I’ve had. There are tons of hosting companies out there, so do your own research, but my vote is definitely for RFE because Aaron provides amazing support!

Must Have #3: Google Analytics

This is likely THE most important thing in this entire list! The number one mistake I see bloggers make is relying solely on their dashboard stats, which are typically unreliable and don’t allow you to dive in deep enough to truly be useful! Google Analytics may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but in order to grow, you need to know how your site is currently performing, and more importantly, how it has performed in the past.

In my opinion, learning Google Analytics, and learning it well, is one of the best advantages you can give yourself as a newer blogger. You don’t need to be an expert right away. But I do recommend you set it up immediately because GA starts tracking from the day of install, meaning if you install it six months into blogging, you won’t have access to six months of valuable data!

Must Have #4: Personalized Design

Finally, the fun part – designing your blog! Even if your budget doesn’t allow for a premium theme just yet, getting away from the standard themes that come with your WordPress install goes a long way in jazzing up your blog design! There are plenty of options and I think this free theme is pretty snazzy.

If you can swing it, a premium theme is definitely worth the cost. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or even custom, but generally, a premium theme looks more professional than most free options. I’m working on my own site redesign at the moment and I chose the Divine theme from Restored 316 Designs (which requires the Genesis Framework at an additional cost). Etsy is a goldmine for reasonably priced themes from indie designers as well!

Note: Be sure to look for a responsive (mobile-friendly) theme. Mobile visitors make up a significant portion of overall traffic, and Google recently announced that it is taking mobile-friendliness into consideration when ranking search results.

While the set up of a blog isn’t fun, it’s necessary to give yourself every advantage you can by starting your site off on the right foot. The good news is you only have to do this stuff once! Now that I got the more technical stuff out of the way, I will share some tips for new bloggers on creating content, monetization and traffic later in the month!

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Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce Recipe http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/spaghetti-with-meat-sauce-recipe.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/spaghetti-with-meat-sauce-recipe.html#respond Thu, 07 May 2015 10:02:23 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2786 Easy Recipe : Homemade Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe. Takes just 30 minutes to make!

There’s something so comforting about having a big pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. I enjoy my fair share of elaborate recipes, and usually the more flavors the better (I am Puerto Rican, after all, you all know how much I love my sofrito)! But it’s usually the recipes that simmer longest and [...]

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Easy Recipe : Homemade Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe. Takes just 30 minutes to make!

There’s something so comforting about having a big pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. I enjoy my fair share of elaborate recipes, and usually the more flavors the better (I am Puerto Rican, after all, you all know how much I love my sofrito)! But it’s usually the recipes that simmer longest and are the simplest that remind me of my grandmother’s cooking.

And though everything has changed so much – it’s been over two years since my grandmother’s passing, my mom has moved on from our childhood home and I live a thousand miles away (literally!), it’s the little things like a simmering pan of homemade pasta sauce, or a boiling pot of chicken noodle soup that keep them close when seeing each other just isn’t possible.

So today I’m sharing a recipe that I can almost guarantee will bring on some scent-induced flashbacks of mom’s cooking!

This easy spaghetti with meat sauce recipe would also be great to serve for a Mother’s Day gathering – I promise you can pull it off, even if you’re not the most experienced cook! Serve with a side of salad, bread sticks and perhaps some wine, and you’ve got an entire frugal meal in under an hour.

Barilla® Spaghetti with San Marzano Tomato Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Barilla® Spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 stem celery, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved

Directions:

Start a pot of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, saute onions, carrots and celery in a large skillet with the olive oil. Once the vegetables begin to soften, add the ground beef and cook until well browned.

Incorporate tomatoes, being sure to mix them well into the sauce mixture. Add water and continue to combine. I like to lightly mash the tomatoes with the back of my spoon to bring everything to a relatively uniform size. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Then bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Add your pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Drain pasta, toss with sauce and top with cheese.

Optional: Once meat has browned, you can deglaze the sauce by adding the white wine and letting it reduce all the way.

With recipes like these, the longer the simmer, the better the taste! So I really prefer to cook it low and slow.

And here’s a little tip from my husband – when you have a free moment, do yourself a favor and sprinkle a bit of the shaved Parmesan on a small plate. Microwave for about 30 seconds. Best snack ever!

All products are available at Walmart, and that’s where I purchased all ingredients for this Barilla® recipe.

Barilla® Spaghetti with San Marzano Tomato Meat Sauce
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 1 box Barilla® Spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oila
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 stem celery, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved
Instructions
  1. Place a pot of water to boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onion, carrot and celery with the extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Add the meat and cook until browned well.
  4. Incorporate the tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cook pasta in the boiling water, according to the package instructions. Drain pasta, toss with sauce, and top with cheese.

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Frugality Gal Turns Two! http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/frugality-gal-turns-two.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/05/frugality-gal-turns-two.html#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 10:02:27 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2802

Can you believe Frugality Gal is turning two this week?! These last two years have absolutely flown by and it has been so fun to be able to share my frugal tips and recipes with you! This is my excited face, by the way. A big sincere thank you to those of you reading this [...]

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Can you believe Frugality Gal is turning two this week?! These last two years have absolutely flown by and it has been so fun to be able to share my frugal tips and recipes with you! This is my excited face, by the way.

A big sincere thank you to those of you reading this post right now, or to anyone that has ever taken the time to read even one post on my site!

What’s Next?

Frugality Gal has officially reached the point of producing a full time income. And while blogging isn’t the only thing I’ll be doing, it will continue to be my main focus. I have plans to turn my printable shop into actual physical items including art prints that I can ship out. So I have a crazy few months ahead trying to make that happen!

I will also be writing a few posts on blogging tips within the next few weeks, so keep an eye out in case you’re interested! I’ve been getting more and more emails asking for blogging help, so hopefully what I have to share will be helpful to newer bloggers!

Redesign

I’m currently working on a blog redesign. I’m coding and designing everything myself, so it’s a slow process. But the new look will be launched within the next few weeks (I am so excited!). Here’s a sneak peek.

A photo posted by Frugality Gal (@frugalitygal) on

I am so excited to see what’s in store for the next year! THANK YOU a million times for occasionally stopping by my corner of the blogosphere, without you Frugality Gal wouldn’t exist! <3

 

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Homemade All Purpose Cleaner http://frugalitygal.com/2015/04/homemade-all-purpose-cleaner.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/04/homemade-all-purpose-cleaner.html#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2015 10:02:54 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2776 Make your own homemade cleaner with ingredients you likely already have on hand!

I’ve made my own cleaners for quite a while now. But I didn’t totally love it until I started using essential oils. No matter what I tried, there was always a lingering vinegar scent that I just couldn’t kick! There is still a slight vinegar scent even with EOs, however, it’s faint and disappears quickly. As [...]

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Make your own homemade cleaner with ingredients you likely already have on hand!

I’ve made my own cleaners for quite a while now. But I didn’t totally love it until I started using essential oils. No matter what I tried, there was always a lingering vinegar scent that I just couldn’t kick! There is still a slight vinegar scent even with EOs, however, it’s faint and disappears quickly.

As you can see in the recipe below, I’m not using exact measurements because the volume of each liquid changes depending on the size of the bottle I’m using for my homemade cleaner. For a smaller bottle, like the one pictured, I’d use about 20 drops of EO. For a larger bottle, I’d use 30.

You’ll Need:

  • Water – 2/3 way full
  • White Vinegar – 1/3 way full
  • Orange Essential Oil – 20 to 30 drops (or use your favorite scent!)
  • Dish soap, a few drops. (I’d say a loose 1/8 teaspoon if you prefer to measure. You don’t need very much!)

Pour all ingredients into spray bottle. Fill with water. Shake. And that’s all it takes!

I add the essential oil for scent. If you prefer not to use EO, you can also scent it yourself with citrus peels using a technique similar to this. I’ve tried that in the past and it’s better than no fragrance at all, but you can still smell the vinegar a bit (but the benefit to using this over EOs is that it’s free and allows you to use something that you’d otherwise toss in the trash!)

The orange essential oil I used does a nice job in masking the vinegar smell. Lemon smells great too! Feel free to use any essential oil you’d like as it’s just being used for fragrance.

I’m always experimenting and my recipe is always being tweaked. So I encourage you to play around with the ratios after you become comfortable making your own cleaners!

You can also make this in larger batches if you’d like. But I prefer making just one bottle of cleaner at a time so I can switch up my scent every few weeks.

Be sure to check out my homemade carpet freshener recipe as well!

 

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