I've found that one of the greatest ways of making homemaking work with only one income in a two income world is to develop the knowledge and skill of making food or household items myself. Recently, when the handsoap in our home ran out I searched for an alternative to having to purchase it from the store. The less items I'm dependent on the store for managing our home, the better. When I did a cost comparison between the store refill bottle and the homemade version, the difference was laughable. See for yourself:
56oz refill bottle (large store brand soap, nothing special) = $3.88, which is $0.069/oz
1 gallon (128oz) = $1.18, which is $0.0092/oz!
The supplies necessary to make homemade handsoap are simple and with some smart purchasing they're really inexpensive. I purchased the glycerin in an 8oz bottle from a local craft store and used an online 40% off coupon. So, it's cost was only $2.08, which is $0.26/oz. The soap was $3.72 for eight bars, which is $0.46/bar. With a total unit cost so low I could even go for the fancier soaps if I wished and still have a better value than purchasing it pre-made! I already had the fragrance, but if I hadn't I would've also used another 40% off coupon or waiting until it went on sale. Buying in larger quantities or using coupons/sales is a smart way to trim cost for homemade or DIY projects.
The recipe isn't my own, but was found at The Farmer's Nest. Consequently, I'll offer the steps to the process but refer you to the original site for specific quantities. The original recipe doesn't include a fragrance and I didn't use any in my batch since my soap was scented. However, if you wanted to use an unscented soap and add your own fragrance, then I'd recommend adding it drop-wise and determining incrementally the amount you'd prefer.
1. Supplies: Large stock pot, empty gallon jug or other container, glycerin, bar soap (x2), essential oil fragrance (optional) and dispensers.
2. Grate soap bars.
3. Melt soap bits in a gallon of water on the stove. Add glycerin.
4. Allow to sit until cooled (approx. 10-12 hours). It will be thick when complete, and so use a mixer or whisk to combine until a smooth consistency.
5. Pour into container.
6. Finished! A gallon of handsoap for less than a penny!
Linked to: Homestead Revival, Time-Warp Wife, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Thankful Homemaker, Growing Home, Far Above Rubies, Women Living Well, Little House in the Suburbs
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