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As part of our simple living lifestyle, I share tips on saving money and frugal living in my blog,

Our house is on a septic system and has its own well, something entirely new to this city girl.

I’ve been told by a plumber that it’s fine to throw toxic cleaning products down the drain, but I think of all the cute creatures around here (like this bull moose we saw, just down the road), and I shudder at the thought of poisoning their environment.

I’ve always tried to make my own cleaning products using vinegar, lemon juice and water, and only rely on the hard stuff occasionally, when things are really dirty.

But making homemade laundry soap was something I’d never considered until I came across this terrific Suddenly Frugal blog. It seemed hippy dippy, and I wasn’t sure it would work. But it was so cheap to make I thought I’d at least give it a try.

This is all you need to make your own Homemade Laundry Soap:

  • Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • 20 Mule Team Borax
  • Bar of Fels-Naptha Soap

It’s not easy to find these standard ingredients. These proven cleaners of yesteryear are being shoved onto the bottom aisles at the grocery store. HelMart doesn’t carry them (figures), but King Soopers here in Colorado (a Kroger store) does carry all three.

The recipe is so simple it’s ridiculous:

  1. Get a large bucket or tote.
  2. Combine 2 cups washing soda and 2 cups Borax.
  3. Grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
  4. Mix into powder
  5. Measure 1/4 cup per load.

Wear a dust mask when mixing, or be prepared to inhale a lot of powder. Ick.

It took me maybe 10 minutes to do all of this, and one batch lasts about 4 weeks for us (I only do wash once a week). Total cost of purchasing the ingredients was, $10.84, about the same as a box of Tide, and I’m going to get at least 3 months out of the ingredients (I bought 3 bars of soap). Don’t hold me to that though; I’m innumerate.

DIY Laundry Soap really does work! There’s a reason this stuff has been around forever. But if you try it, keep these tips in mind:

  • Let your washer fill up at least halfway with water, to dillute the powder.
  • You won’t see bubbles in the water, but bubbles aren’t what cleans your clothes, detergent does.
  • For stains, try spot cleaning first by rubbing a bar of Fels Naptha on the stain.
  • There are recipes for liquid laundry soap out there, but they look like a pain, and they’re messy to make. I like this recipe the best.

I would love to keep making this laundry soap while we’re on the road this winter, but I’m not sure I’ll have the space in the RV to store the ingredients. Time will tell when I get to packing again in a few weeks. That’ll be fun.

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The following article was written for the website,, an online community for three legged dogs. Many of Tripawds’ members are battling cancer, and searching for innovative new ways to fight the disease. This story was written from the perspective of Jerry G. Dawg, Founder of

My Metronomic Therapy

When I was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma, my Mom and Dad didn’t want to put me through chemotherapy, mostly because it was a six hour drive to the hospital, and, since doctors said that I only had a few months left even with chemo, we didn’t want any of our precious time to be taken up with poking and prodding and long drives.

We took our chances, hit the road, and beat the odds, but now, fifteen months later, the cancer devil has paid us another visit. We are prepared to beat the odds again, only this time, we’re going to do it with the help of something called “The Metronomic Protocol.”

Treating Osteosarcoma with Chemotherapy
Most of you know that chemotherapy can help dogs beat cancer. Usually, chemotherapy drugs are given in high doses every couple of weeks, and administered in an injection of some sort. Most of us aren’t affected by chemo drugs like people are; if the drugs are given correctly. And if a dog does experience side effects, the oncologists can lessen the doses and lengthen the treatment time. Our friends at Bone Cancer Dogs have a lot of good information about traditional chemotherapy for osteosarcoma.

When I got the bad news a few weeks ago, my Mom and Dad couldn’t rest without trying something that might give me more time on this earth. Dad did some research on different chemo treatments, and learned about the Metronomic Protocol. It’s chemo in a pill, and it can be done anywhere . . . even in an RV, on the road! It seemed too good to be true. At home chemotherapy?

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workampseminar.jpgAs part of our fulltime RVing lifestyle, my husband and I occasionally take on “workamping” positions, in which we trade a minimal amount of hours for a paid RV space. The following article discusses how to find workamping employment while living as a fulltime RVer on the road.

Did you ever wonder how campground hosts get jobs in places like Yellowstone, or along Lake Champlain? Chances are, they heard about it through the Workamper Association. They’ve been around for over 20 years, and their Workamper News is the best way to hear about adventurous job openings for everything from being an interpretive guide, to running trains for traveling carnivals!

Keep reading to see our movie with interviews from employers exhibiting at the 2008 Workamper conference we attended in Lakeland, FL.

For less than $40 a year, you can subscribe to Workamper and receive daily email updates about openings in North America, and sometimes beyond. Joining was one of the best investments we’ve made. We found our animal rescue gig through it, as well as our upcoming summer gig at a dude ranch, and our fall gig in a wildlife reserve, both in Colorado.

workampercarnies.jpgThe second best investment was going to the Workamper conference in Lakeland, Florida last week. Each year, the group hosts an expo in Florida and Arizona. For just $3.50, you can attend great seminars, talk to veteran workampers, and meet prospective employers. We had a blast learning about opportunities we never knew existed. If you haven’t hit the road yet, I highly recommend attending a Workamper Expo. It will open your eyes up to the range of possibilities for making a living on the road.