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Returning to Old Ways – Homemade Soap

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Years ago, I made all my own homemade soap, all my own laundry detergent, only used vinegar (and occasionally bleach) to clean my home. That coupled with my aversion to doctors would probably classify me as homeopathic. (My kids are vaccinated and we do go to the doctor when necessary, but in general, I will try a home remedy before that.)

And aside from recent allergies (last year Princess was tested) and a broken bone, it worked for us. Then life got busy and stressful and I stopped.

I’ve been buying the $8 bottles of Arm and Hammer laundry detergent, a variety of cleaning sprays and Irish Spring soap…all from Family Dollar. But even so, money out the door.

We have recently transitioned back to Vinegar diluted with water for most cleaning.  It is great for floors, as fabric softener, on mirrors/windows with newspaper and even for cleaning countertops.

Back to the Basics – Homemade Soap

Yesterday, Gymnast was cleaning the bathroom and dug into my old soap making supplies for a mask and rubber gloves. All my supplies are kept in a large plastic bin in the laundry room. A constant reminder of the way things used to be.

As he dug them out, he asked if I would start making soap again. When asked why, he said it feels better. So this morning, I added it to my to do list for this weekend.

I don’t make the pretty soap you see at festivals. I use hot press recipes in a crockpot I have just for soap, set it in a silicon bread mold and slice it with a miter saw and box. (These are NOT affiliate links, just there for educational purposes.)

The ingredients in my homemade soap are pretty basic: lye, shea butter and an oil. Sometimes I use coconut oil, sunflower and others. While I order the lye and shea butter, most everything else I get locally. (What I have now is what I had in Virginia. I haven’t made any soap since our tiny living days in the apartment.)

Extra Money

I already have EVERYTHING I need for a several batches of soap. And with the process being so easy and quick, I’ve decided to do a bulk soap making day and then offer bars to my friends. When I was making it regularly, they always wanted to buy it.

homemade soap

This isn’t my soap, but this is what my soap looks like when complete. No color, no additives, and bumpy on the edges.

I never made enough to do that. I just made it for my family. I started because of eczema and sensitive skin issues, and allergies and just wanting a simple way to clean my house without the harsh chemicals around my then toddlers and dogs.

This will not be a side hustle, but maybe give me some pocket change. And since I’m always home anyways while working, it won’t take much away from my other work. I’ll just have to set a timer to check the crockpot for each phase.

Not to mention, the chemical reactions can be fun to watch. I might even be ready to let the kids take on more of the process. Lye is extremely dangerous to work with, thus the assortment of rubber gloves, masks and safety goggles in my soap making bucket.

Do you have any homepathic tendencies? I’ve been an essential oil fan for 6-7 years now, cleaned with vinegar since the little kids were just a couple years old and also preferred natural remedies to prescriptions?


How Self Employed People can Get Health Insurance

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An independent worker is a person who does business for himself or herself and does not need to work for any company. When you decide to become a freelancer, health care coverage is an important thing to consider.

Should Freelancers Worry about Health Insurance?

With the relentless talk of changes in health care, the cost of healthcare has become a major concern for most people. As a freelancer, you are at risk because when you fall ill, you will lose income and have to deal with medical bills. Without the insurance that comes with being an employee, you will have to get your own health plan.

Places to Get Insurance as a Freelancer

You can always find insurance through different places if you are self-employed. Here are your options:

Freelancers Union

This union offers freelancers a health insurance plan as well as supplemental medical plans such as dental coverage. If you want this plan, you should do your research first to see whether it will be enough to cover your needs.

Convert Existing Plan to individual Plan

If you have recently left your employment to be self-employed, your health insurance plan might allow you to convert the group plan into an individual one. However, you should know that individual plans are more expensive than group ones, but the money you will be making as a freelancer might cover the difference.

If you are quitting your job, you should check whether you qualify for the special enrollment period and make the right choice so that you can save on money.

Find Individual Plans

Since the ACA, you can always find a health insurance plan through a marketplace as a small business or an individual. If you are planning to start your own small business, you should consider the small business health plan.

Your Partner’s/ Spouse’s Health Insurance

If you have decided to start freelancing, you should consider joining your better half’s health insurance plan. Even if the two of you are not legally married, you can qualify as a domestic partner if you live together in a domestic setting. As long as you are not married to another person, you can qualify as a domestic partner.

Business Groups or Professional Association

If you join an independent worker association or the profession you are in has an association, you might qualify for group insurance through such memberships. This type of insurance allows persons who are self-employed to band together to form a group insurance.

Health Savings Accounts for Freelancers

If you are wondering what self-employed HSA is, it is an IRA for health care coverage. Basically, it is a type of consumer-directed health insurance. HSAs pair low-cost and high-risk health coverage with a tax-free savings account. They are made to lower small business health insurance costs  and they are attractive to healthy workers and young employees who need irregular care.

Before applying for an HSA, you would need to enroll in a high-deductible plan with a minimum deductible of 1,200 dollars for individuals and 2,400 dollars for families. This model of low premiums and high deductibles encourages people to be frugal while protecting employees from burdens brought on by huge medical bills.

Benefits of HSA Coverage

–          Your savings roll over from year to year and accumulated ones do not expire.

–          Contributions are tax free.

–          Employer contributions to these accounts are not liable to payroll taxes.

–          Dividends and accumulated interest are tax-deferred.

–          HSA savings are usually tied to individuals instead of businesses, which allows you to hold onto the account after the business closes.

 


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