Welcome to the Thursday Thirteen over at the good old MotherLoad. I thought it might be fun to come up with a few ideas for saving money at bath time in your house and also share a few frugal recipes that you can use to make bath time special for your little ones. Please remember to take this week’s poll & click our comments box at the bottom of the post to share about you & your family. I love to hear from you and there really is nothing more exciting (well, maybe a FEW things!) than seeing that people have left comments on my posts.
Thirteen Frugal Momma Bath Tips
1. Here is a recipe for homemade bathtub crayons. These can also double as a great stocking stuffer for Christmas or another fun item in your child’s Easter Basket.
1 Cup grated Ivory soap
¼ cup warm water
Food Coloring Plastic cookie cutters or hard candy molds
Directions: Mix water, soap and food coloring together in bowl. Remove the mixture from bowl and knead it until it’s the consistency of thick dough. Spoon mixture into plastic cookie cutters or candy molds. Place the cookie cutters or molds in the freezer for 10 minutes or longer. Pop the crayons out of the cookie cutters and allow them to dry overnight.
2. Don’t buy expensive bath toys. My favorite bath toys, as a child, were my mother’s Tupperware collection. The bath toys that she bought were not as much fun as pretending to cook or collecting water to dump.
3. When you wash your shower curtain liner you can just toss the bath toys in with the liner to be washed. This periodic washing will cut down on germs.
4. Use a child’s sand pail to put all of your bathing supplies in for your baby. When they get older, they can then use this as a toy. This will save you from running back and forth to get all of the items that you need for bath time.
5. Yet another recipe for fun in the tub…
Bubble Bath Finger Paints
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt,
Bubble bath (not the foamy type)
Directions: Mix water with the flour until you get a paste. Add food coloring and bubble bath until you get the thickness you like. This works well in the bath tub. They can paint themselves or the walls and it washes right off. It may turn the water the color of the food coloring but it won’t stain the child.
6. If you use the foamy hand soaps, save your pump and reuse it for your child’s bodywash. Simply refill the pump with a third of your child’s favorite bodywash and then top it off with water. Give it a little shake and you have fun foamy soap for a fraction of the price!
7. Make your own hair detangler by combining one part conditioner with ten parts water. Mix well and pour into a spray bottle.
8. Reuse an old mesh laundry bag for all storing all of your bath toys. The mesh will allow all of the water to drain from the toys and the bag can easily be hung from the string or handles.
9. Use the bubble bath finger paints as a teaching tool for your children. You can write letters and numbers for smaller children, and as they get older, work on addition and subtraction. It can make learning time fun without the investment of those foam letters and numbers.
10. Skip buying a baby tub (unless you receive one as a gift) and use your sink instead. We love bathing our little one in the sink and it is easier on my back because I am not leaning down into a tub. When they get bigger (but are still not big enough for a regular tub), use a plastic laundry basket to bathe them in.
11. Don’t buy special baby towels- these are a waste of money. You can just use the towels that you already have on hand to wrap baby in. If you really like the hood on the baby bath towels, you can easily make your own. Look here for these simple instructions.
12. Make a frugal bathtime gift for a family member. When I was in college, I made these as a Mother’s Day gift for the moms in my life. I purchased inexpensive bottles at Walmart and tied a bow at the top of the bottle. This is a very simple craft that you could do with your children and makes a lovely gift for any occasion. One warning- GO EASY on the food coloring. Don’t ask me why I know this, but just trust me! Grandma won’t think this is such a great gift if she is a dark shade of blue…
Homemade Bath Salts
1-4 lb. bag Epsom salt (this can be purchased at any drugstore)
Food Coloring or Powdered Cake coloring (Powdered Cake coloring can be purchased at a cake decorating store or craft store)
Perfume or soap safe scents
Directions: Take a 4 lb. bag of Epsom salt and dump pour it into a bowl. Then add your food coloring to the salts and mix gently with a large spoon. You can add any essential oil or perfume that you would like to the mixture (or leave this out if your family member has sensitive skin). Pour the salts into a pretty bottle or a jar and tie a ribbon at the top. For foaming bath salts, add two tablespoons of glycerin to the mixture and toss this in gently.
13. Last but not least, save yourself some water and double the kids up in the bathtub or take a bath with your baby. This will save yourself some time so that you can do a little something for yourself, and you cut down on water usage at the same time!