Meal Plan Monday

The past few weeks I have not set down a meal plan. Wow! I had forgotten how much stress that can cause my family. We do much better with a written plan.

Sunday, June 28:

Lunch (after church)
Pork ribs in the crockpot
Mac n cheese
Green beans

Orange Juice

Monday, June 29:

Mashed potatoes
Fruit Salad

Tuesday, June 30:

Build a mountain (Mexican stack up)
Taco seasoned ground beef
Diced tomato
Sour cream
Shredded cheese

Wednesday, July 1:

Leftover roast sandwiches
Homemade sandwich rolls
Cheese cubes
Fruit salad

Thursday, July 2:

Salmon patties
Green beans
Apple sauce

Friday, July 3:

Turkey breast in the crockpot
(we'll probably use the turkey for sandwiches)
Homemade sandwich rolls
Cottage cheese
Fresh peach slices

Saturday, July 4:

Lunch (picnic)
Hotdogs/ Hamburgers

Chef salad with,
Boiled egg
Shredded cheese
Ranch dressing

For more meal plan inspiration, visit the Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday.

Meal Plan Monday

I have been planning my weekly meals for some time. It is a huge blessing to my family when I am not stressed out about dinner! My husband was recently diagnosed with a wheat allergy so meal planning has become more vital than ever. Here is our menu this week.

Monday: Build a Mountain
Tuesday: Rotisserie style chicken in the crockpot
Wednesday: Tuna melts (omelet for hubby)
Thursday: Salisbury steak
Friday: Appetizers at Bible study
Saturday: Breakfast
Sunday: Baked chicken in the crockpot
Monday: Beans and rice

For more menu inspiration, visit Meal Plan Monday at

Dawn Direct Foam Refill

I've come up with a suitable refill for the Dawn Direct Foam dishwashing soap. I'm really pleased with the results. The homemade refill is not as sudsy as the original but I like it better. I don't feel like I am wasting incredibly overpriced soap.
Refill Recipe:
One empty Dawn Direct Foam bottle
6 Tablespoons Dawn dishsoap
Pour the Dawn dishsoap into the bottle. Fill to the refill line with water. Swirl to mix. Let sit a few minutes before use.
Super cheap and super effective. Especially when you get the Dawn dishsoap for free with coupons.

Too Many Kool-Ade Packets!?

Here is a recipe for all of you coupon ladies out there. Several of us have acquired lots of Kool-Ade packets in recent weeks. This recipe is for homemade gatorade or pedialyte. Yes, they are the exact same product sold in different containers! When I worked at the pharmacy in high school, the pharmacist strongly discouraged parents from buying Pedialyte. She recommended Gatorade. I recommend this recipe. These are ingredients you can easily keep on hand and make when needed.

Homemade Gatorade

1 packet unsweetened kool-aid
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 quarts water

Combine ingredients in a pitcher. Stir well. Chill before serving.

Here is an alternate version:

Party Punch

1 package unsweetened kool aid (any flavor)
2 quarts water
1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

Stir together and serve cold. This punch is sweet without crazy amounts of sugar. It is tart and refreshing. I invented it on accident last night when I forgot to add salt to my Gatorade. My family enjoyed it very much! I am going to make the party punch for my daughters' birthday party next month.

Homemade Foam Soap Refill

Two weeks ago I bought a bottle of foaming handwash, exactly like the one pictured. Except I bought the grapefruit scented one. Mmm... but alas, with little girls in the house, we go through handwash very quickly. I didn't care to purchase a refill so I googled a recipe for foam soap refill. Here it is!
2/3 cup water
3 Tablespoons liquid soap
Pour liquid soap into empty foaming soap dispenser. Pour water into the dispenser. Replace the lid tightly. Do not shake!!! Swirl the soap dispenser around the mix the water and soap. Let sit at least ten minutes. Pump several times to prime the pump. Use soap as usual.
I used Burt's Bees green tea and lemongrass hand wash. I keep this handwash in my bathroom, free from little hands. So it lasts a long, long time.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

To go along with my previous post, here is my recipe for laundry detergent. I have used it for six months and I am very pleased with the results. I no longer use Clorox2 but I still like Shout for stains. This detergent is suitable for washing cloth diapers (in my experience). I have not tried this recipe in an HE washer. I found this recipe on a blog that is no longer available.

1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap
1 box borax
1 box washing soda

Grate the soap with a cheese grater. Get a HUGE mixing bowl. Stir the grated soap with the borax and washing soda until all ingredients are evenly mixed. Store mixture in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid.

Directions for use:

2 or 3 Tablespoons per load of laundry
I have found that 2 Tablespoons is plenty of soap for most loads of laundry. This recipe yields 19 cups which is 304 Tablespoons. If you use 2 Tablespoons per load, this recipe will wash 152 loads.

Cost Analysis:

Fels Naptha soap $0.99
Borax $2.59
Washing soda $2.29
Total cost $5.97
less than $0.04 per load!!!

Questions? Leave a comment!

Dishwasher Powder

One of the best ways to be frugal is to constantly discover new ways of doing things. This week I discovered a new way to wash dishes in the dishwasher. I made my own dishwasher powder! It is super easy and works great.

Homemade Dishwasher Powder

1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax
1/4 cup salt
2 packets lemonade flavored kool-aid
30 drops lemon essential oil

In a medium mixing bowl, stir all ingredients together. Stir well until oil is throughly mixed with dry ingredients. Store in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid (gladware works great). Use 2 Tablespoons per dishwasher load.

This recipe also works great to scrub crusty pots and pans. Just shake a little into the pot and scrub. You could also use it to scrub your sinks. It smells great and works like a charm.


  1. Where can I find borax? Borax is sold in discount stores and grocery stores near the laundry detergents. 20 Mule Team is a common name brand. It is sold in a greenish box with red lettering. Borax is a laundry additive and is suitable for a variety of cleaning needs.
  2. Why does the recipe call for salt? I'm not real sure how the salt works but it reduces the film on the dishes (esp plastics). My dishes have been film free, without using a rinse aide.
  3. Lemonade kool-aid?! Yeah, it seems weird. The original recipe called for a 1/4 cup of citric acid. Citric acid is hard to find and can be expensive. The kool-aid packets are primarly citric acid. Choose lemonade so that there is very little food coloring and it smells nice. Do not use presweetened kool-aid. Use the 20cent packets.
  4. Where can I find essential oils? Essential oils are sold at health food stores. They are a little expensive but you use very little at a time. One bottle of lemon essential oil will last forever! You can also use grapefruit essential oil.
  5. More questions? Leave a comment and I'll be happy to help.

The New Year

Since I was 15, I have written resolutions every year. I typically complete half of them. I have found it to be a wonderful way to focus my goals for the New Year. So, for 2008...

1. Read my Bible from cover to cover.
2. Memorize the ABC Verse songs from Rebekah Pearl.
3. Complete (and use) my Home Management Binder.
4. Set forth behavioral and educational goals for 2008 for each of my children.
5. Exercise regularly.
6. Go on a sugar-free diet.
7. Study and practice ASL.
8. Create a reading list and read!!

9. Begin my children's book.
10. Create a blog to help other mothers (like myself) find resources and information that they may need.