10 easy things to make at home that will save you money
If you have a few key ingredients knocking about in your home - including baking soda, lemon juice and white vinegar - you probably have a recipe for a huge range of products that could work just as well as their supermarket-bought alternatives.
It may not seem much to occasionally buy cleaning products, beauty products and other household items - but if you added it up over a year it could be a fairly hefty sum.
Good news, then, that spending money on such products might not be necessary.
Here's how to make things at home that you otherwise would've bought in a shop. It's really easy, too!
OK, so you don't strictly make vegetables - the beauty of it is that they make themselves.
You don't need much room for a vegetable garden - you could even grow stuff like herbs or salad leaves in a pot on your windowsill.
You could borrow seeds, plant cuttings and plant pots from green-fingered friends.
As a rule, you just need to know which vegetables grow at what time of year, and how much sun and water they need.
You could be reaping what you sow in no time!
2. Dishwasher detergent
All you'll need for this is some borax, which can be usually found in the laundry aisle, and some baking soda.
About a tablespoon each should do it. Just mix them both together and pour it straight into your dishwasher.
For spot-free glasses, pour some vinegar in there too every now and again.
Find more information here.
3. Window and glass cleaner
This could be used to clean your windows and mirrors, and it's really easy to make.
All you need to do is fill up a spray bottle with water, add some white vinegar and spray onto the surface - then wipe it (a lot of people use newspapers to do this, rather than sponges or cloths).
The general rule is to use a solution that’s 50/50 water and white vinegar.
Some window cleaning solutions can leave a waxy film on windows, so if you have used one recently it might be a good idea to add some washing-up liquid to the solution.
This can take off the waxy film and help you avoid streaks.
You can find more information on cleaning windows with vinegar here.
4. Air freshener
You probably know that leaving a little dish of baking soda in your fridge can absorb odours.
The same goes for rooms in your house. Leaving little dishes of baking soda around the place could soak up bad odours.
Or you could replace the baking soda with vinegar and lemon juice - whichever you prefer.
Here are some more ideas for homemade air fresheners.
5. Carpet cleaner
For minor spillages, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
Spray it directly on the stain and leave it for a few minutes, then clean it up with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
If you need some heavy-duty carpet cleaner, mix up a ¼ cup each of borax, salt and vinegar.
Rub this paste into your carpet and leave it for a few hours - then vacuum.
Mix a ¼ cup of baking soda (or two teaspoons of borax) and half a cup of vinegar into two litres of water.
You can use this to wipe bathroom and kitchen surfaces, windows, etc.
Simply rubbing a slice of lemon over a surface can disinfect it - this is good for cleaning chopping boards in the kitchen, for example.
White vinegar or lemon juice applied with a sponge - undiluted - can be used to remove mould and mildew.
Here are some more non-toxic cleaning recipes for your home.
7. Shoe polish
Apply olive oil with a few drops of lemon juice to a thick cotton rag and rub onto your shoes.
Leave it for a few minutes, then buff and wipe with a clean, dry rag.
8. Furniture polish
For varnished wood, mix half a cup of water with a few drops of lemon juice.
Spray onto a soft cloth - make sure it's only slightly damp.
Wipe the furniture with the cloth and then wipe again with a dry cloth.
For unvarnished wood, mix two tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice and put a small amount onto a cloth.
Make sure they are mixed together on the cloth by wringing it.
Wipe it onto your furniture with wide strokes.
9. Shaving cream
Mixing baby oil and moisturiser together can create smooth foam that can be used for shaving cream.
It might not smell or feel exactly the same, but it can get the same job done.
You can clean your hair with a variety of cheap, easy-to-come-by products.
You can mix white vinegar and water, or baking soda and water together in an old shampoo bottle.
It might take a couple of weeks to find the combination and strength that's right for your hair.
Another recipe to use occasionally is to mix together egg yolks, water and white vinegar or lemon juice, rub into your hair and rinse with lukewarm water.
Remember that if you use hot water the egg will start to cook!
You can also make a lovely hair mask if you mix lemon juice with mashed-up avocado.
Leave it in for a while then rinse it out.
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First image © iStockPhotos / Sean Locke; second image © iStockPhotos / Steve Cole; third image © stuartbur; fourth image © iStockPhotos/ CraftVision.