Ever wonder if you could make your own detergent, spice mixes, or anything else? Here are some of the easiest things to put together in just a few minutes with easy-to-find ingredients, many of which you probably already have on hand.
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Hair Detangler Spray
Make your own detangler spray with directions courtesy of RainingHotCoupons.com. Save an empty hair detangler spray bottle and add 3 tablespoons of hair conditioner, then fill it the rest of the way with warm water and shake vigorously. Now you can always have spray-on conditioner for your kids’ hair or your own.
Make your own dishwasher detergent with a handful of cheap ingredients – 2 cups baking soda, 2 cups Borax, 1/8 cup OxiClean. Mix it all together in a large, airtight container and use a tablespoon in each load of dishes.
Whipping up a batch of laundry detergent takes a bit more elbow grease, since you need to grate a cake of laundry soap (such as Zote pink laundry soap) to mix with 1 1/4 cups OxiClean, 2 1/2 cups laundry washing soda, and 1 1/4 cups Borax. Use about 1/4 cup per load of laundry.
You won’t believe how delicious these homemade doughnuts are. My husband said they were better than Krispy Kreme! Try them and see.
Restaurant Style Salsa (Chili’s Copycat Recipe)
Think you can’t get great restaurant-style salsa without spending a lot of money dining out? Actually, you can use this recipe to make salsa that beats anything from a jar and rivals what you find at Chili’s.
Seasoning Packets for Tacos and Chili
If you love seasoning packets but not the carbs and sometimes significant amount of sodium they contain, you can make your own chili seasoning or taco seasoning mix at home with spices you probably already have on the rack. These recipes taste better than store-bought packets and are flexible enough to allow cutting back or eliminating ingredients you don’t like or want.
Hot Chocolate Mix
Spices aren’t the only types of packets you can imitate at home. If your family enjoys instant hot chocolate, try a batch of homemade mix, which you can easily double or triple to make larger amounts. Combine 1 cup powdered milk, 1/3 cup sugar or Splenda, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, 1/4 cup fat free coffee creamer powder and a small pinch of salt. Store it in an airtight container and use 1/4 to 1/3 cup per large mug of hot water. You may want to experiment with the amount of cocoa powder and sweetener. Some people like it sweeter and/or more chocolaty.
Multi-Purpose Cleaning Spray
How about making your own multi-purpose cleaning spray? Save an empty spray bottle and fill almost to the top with warm water, then add a couple of tablespoons of oxygen cleaning powder such as Oxiclean. Mix thoroughly and allow to dissolve for a few minutes, then you have an awesome carpet spot cleaner, laundry stain pre-treater and general household cleaner, all in one bottle.
You don’t have to buy those expensive microwave popcorn packets to make quick and easy popcorn at home. In fact, quickie microwave popcorn packets could post some scary health risks due to the chemicals in microwave popcorn bags. Fortunately, you can easily make your own microwave popcorn with this recipe. You just need some regular popcorn kernels, paper lunch bags and tape.
Delicious Pita Chips
Pita chips from a store cost so much, you’d think they were made from gold. However, you can find bags of pitas at Walmart for about $1.50, or pay even less at bakery thrift stores and freeze them for later. Use this homemade pita chips recipe to make pitas that taste better than store-bought pita chips. Plus, they’re quick and easy to make, and fun for kids to help with prep work.
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This post was originally published in July 2014 and updated in April 2020.