Save a Penny, Save the Earth

Saving money is something everyone wants to do, but by saving money, you can also save your mother (the Earth) in the process!

March 13, 2011

Filed under: Environment,Green Living,Homemade Cleaners,Saving Money — Katie.Sewell @ 9:53 pm

I have an aversion to strange things. For example, I do not like the smell of cleaners. Some people like that smell, and more power to them. However, I hate the smell. I do not want my entire bathroom to smell like toilet cleaner for two days just because I cleaned the toilet. I was also put off by the cost of buying “green” toilet bowl cleaner. I love a clean toilet and I love trying to save the planet, but no one should spend that much on cleanser. Not to mention that toilet bowl cleaner is one of the most toxic cleaners people keep in the house.

If you are in the same boat, or if you are just looking to green up your cleaning habits and save some hard-earned cash, I have got a great solution for you! I had been using Borax for a while to clean our toilet. It not only polishes and cleans, but it disinfects as well. Today, though, I was running low on Borax, so I decided to try Baking Soda. We had a couple of boxes of it in the cupboard. I pulled out a box, grabbed a bowl, and a pair of cleaning gloves and headed to the bathroom. Following the recipe below, I came up with a delicious smelling paste that worked wonders on the toilet. The best part is that our bathroom now smells minty fresh.A Green Grass Toilet

Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  1. DumpĀ  a liberal amount of baking soda into a bowl. I used about 1/2 a cup.
  2. Add about 12 drops of peppermint oil (or an essential oil of your choice).
  3. Add just enough water to make a thick paste.
  4. Slather the paste in your toilet bowl and scrub away!
  5. Rinse.

To get rid of any stinky-ness in your toilet, simply let the baking soda paste sit on the sides of the bowl for a while. It is a natural deodorizer.

Now, I will note that I used my hands and a wash cloth to clean the part of the bowl that sits above the water line (I was wearing gloves, though). If you have an aversion to sticking your hands in your toilet (I’m just going to note that the average toilet is cleaner than most computer keyboards), wear some gloves OR water the paste into a cream and put it into a squeeze bottle and squirt it into the bowl. I did use a scrub brush for the areas below the water line.

Savings by using this recipe? I am not a mathematician, but I can tell you that entire box of baking soda and the water used cost a LOT less than buying more “name brand” toilet bowl cleaner.

We plan on picking up some more Borax on Friday and I am sure that this same recipe will be just as handy with a slight change in ingredients.


Spring March 11, 2011

Filed under: Environment,Ramblings,Weather — Katie.Sewell @ 12:45 pm
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This morning, it was 31 degrees when I left the apartment. As I walked toward the bus stop, I could see my breath. I’m not complaining, just setting the scene.

As I walked to get the bus, I realized how excited I was for spring. Warm weather means that instead of taking the bus to work, I can walk to work. Walking to work has become similar to a ritual for me in the spring. As I walk, every day, I can see the progression of spring into summer. The crocuses are coming up, then the daffodils and tulips. The trees sprout leaves and suddenly, there are baby bunnies all over the place. Let’s not forget the family of deer that wander the neighborhoods where I walk.

I can’t wait. Spring cannot get here fast enough.


Lent Draws Nigh March 8, 2011

Filed under: Religion,Saving Money — Katie.Sewell @ 3:11 pm

It is Fat Tuesday. At this time of year, I get thrown into a panic because I have not thoroughly thought through what it is that I am going to be giving up, or sacrificing, for lent. Not that I have to put a TON of thought into it, but I do want to think about it a little. I mean, c’mon. Jesus died on the cross for us. I can at least think for 5 minutes about what sacrifices I am going to make for 40 days.

I made my final decision this morning.

  1. Meat – We have been doing this on alternating years. I am pretty sure we gave up meat last year, but hey, why not every year? It gets easier every year, so it is not so much of a sacrifice anymore as it would seem. If anyone else does this, be sure not to make the mistake we did our first year. We gave up meat and replaced it with cheese. BAD IDEA. Don’t do it.
  2. Soda – I love soda (or “pop”). Very much. Pop is not good for you. Period. I am going to try to do without. I have not given this one up since I was 12, so I give myself one week before I go into spastic episodes and bounce off my office walls.
  3. I am not going to purchase anything that is not absolutely necessary. I realize that food is a gray area. Do you really NEED cheesy popcorn? In the end, my guilt will get the best of me and I will stay away from food items that I consider to be “splurge” items. Other things, though, are very cut and dry. Do I need new clothes? Certainly not. Do I need that candle I have been eyeballing? Nope. It is going to be tough. I am an impulse buyer through and through.

I will be chronicling my experiences here. If I am lucky, I will be able to carry some things, like the soda and impulse purchases through past lent.

So there you are. Lent – I am ready for you. Give me your worst.


Growing Up March 7, 2011

Filed under: Ramblings — Katie.Sewell @ 8:57 pm

Having just celebrated another birthday, I figured it was time to graduate from “Blogger” to WordPress. I feel more like an adult now. So, here is my first post.

I am not entirely sure how I feel about the whole “growing up” thing that we all must do. However, I feel like 28 is a more wholesome number than 27. Not sure why. I already have a good feeling about this year.

Just to show you how I feel about growing up, here is a picture of a monster.

I will never actually grow up, per se. I think I will grow wiser, maybe more mature, but I will never really feel like an adult. I am okay with this fact.