I've been reading several different blogs and websites, and have gleaned numerous ideas about how to achieve these goals. You might want to check these out: Holy-Spirit Led Homeschooling, Hidden Treasures, diy Natural.
I've been making my own laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, fabric softener, all purpose cleaners/disinfectants and window cleaner for many months now, and I have to say I've been quite pleased with the results.
Not only have I seen significant savings in our grocery budget,
but it makes me feel good to know that I am slowly eliminating unnecessary chemicals, not just chemicals but toxins as well, from our home. I mean, have you ever read the ingredients list on all these cleaning supplies we keep in our homes? Some of those ingredients are very harmful, fatal even.
I've taken to reading labels a good bit lately. And that has led me to consider what I can do about what I feed my family, aside from the obvious, like incorporating more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains into our diets. After reading up so much on this subject, I realize that it is almost impossible to get around many of the chemicals, preservatives and hormones that our food is laden with. But I decided I can do the same thing I've done with the cleaning supplies. Start slowly, baby steps, change what I can.
Which leads me to my latest homemade products -- some basic pantry staples. If you read the labels, you'll notice that most of the prepackaged food items we buy are filled with unnatural, synthetic ingredients, some of which (like msg) are very dangerous for us. I know the old adage about moderation. You know, like a little here and there probably won't do much harm. But truth be told, we consume more than just a little. That stuff, along with many other unhealthy ingredients, is in SO many of the foods we eat. So...
I have found several recipes for some of these commonly used items in my pantry, and I am beginning to experiment with them. Recently I made a batch of cream of chicken soup, since I use that in lots of dishes that I cook. (I found the recipe at Hidden Treasures.) Canned cream of chicken soup (or any other cream soup) is loaded with msg, not to mention the fact that it comes in an aluminum can. (I've recently been reading up on the dangers associated with aluminum). Making your own soup with the spices you have on hand already and your own chicken broth (not the canned variety), ensures that you don't have all those unhealthy ingredients in it. The benefits: it tastes 100 times better than the canned soup, it is extremely easy to make, and it's cheaper to make your own. It doesn't take much in the way of spices, and I already had all of them in my pantry anyway.
Unfortunately, I didn't take photos of my project as I was working on it. But here's a picture of the finished product.
I put 1 and 1/2 cups in each ziploc bag and put them in the freezer. You can also put the soup in mason jars and can them, but I'm not into canning yet. That's next on my list of things to learn to do :).
By the way, the 1 and 1/2 cups is approximately equivalent to 1 can of soup.
The next thing I'm going to make is taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix, so that I don't have to continue to buy those little packages anymore.
Yes, my kids laugh at me. Every time I start to tell them something else I've learned about healthy living, they just laugh and say, "There she goes again..."
But, you know, I just want to get back to the way God made things... more natural. It's definitely less convenient, but then, when has searching out and trying to do what's best for your family ever been convenient or easy. In the end, I feel like it will be worth it.
Well, that's some of the steps I'm taking toward healthier living in our home. I'll share more later on what I'm doing to try to be more frugal and to live simply.
So, what are some things you do to live healthier?