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February, 2013

  1. How to Convert LP to CD or MP3 for FREE

    February 18, 2013 by Karl

    recordberry berry berry berry berry


    This article will show you how to convert vinyl records to CD or MP3 for FREE. This assumes that you have the appropriate cable, a computer, and a turntable to play the record. This conversion can be very time-consuming (about one hour actual time per LP), but if you don’t mind spending the time, you can save lots of money in CD purchases, or in sending it out for professional transfer.  My personal reason for doing this has been to convert the approximate 150 albums that I have into something I can listen to without having all this heavy equipment taking up space in the house.  Once I am finished with all of them, the turntable is likely to go.

    Some audiophiles will tell you that this method of conversion is not going to give you the best quality recording.  This is true, but for 99% of the population this will provide a very good quality recording, and we are, after all, talking about vinyl records with all their hiss, pops, and skips.


    First, if you still have a turntable you are in good shape.  Others will need to beg or borrow from friends who still have this stuff sitting in their attics.  Check Craigslist.  You may be able to find one locally for free.

    The next thing you need is a cable to go from the turntable to your computer.  A laptop is very handy for this, but you could use any computer that you can move close to your turntable.  In most cases the cable you will need has RCA connectors on one side, and a 3.5mm microphone jack on the other.  If you don’t have this type of cable in your house, you can buy one locally from Radio Shack, or on Amazon HERE.






    Now we need some software for the computer that can be used to record and edit.  For this we use a free program called Audacity.  Download and install the program on your computer.

    The rest is fairly simple.  Just follow the video below:

    How to convert LP’s to CD or MP3 from on Vimeo.

  2. How to make laundry soap

    February 1, 2013 by Karl

    laundry detergent photoberry berry berry berry


    Why would anyone want to make their own laundry detergent?  The simple answer is money.  The cost savings are significant.  It costs about 20 cents per load using name brand detergent purchased at Wal-Mart.  It costs less than 3 cents per load to make your own.  In a home where two or more loads of laundry are being done every day this ads up quickly. Let’s say the average house does a conservative 10 loads per week.  That’s $2 per week, or $8 per month on laundry soap.  Making your own will chop this down to about $1 per month.

    Laundry Soap 001-500

    Here is the savings breakdown:

    Fels Naptha: 2 bars – $2.98

    Washing soda: 1 box – $3.49

    Borax:  1 box – $4.79

    Total laundry soap made with the above ingredients: 1536 ounces.

    At 4 oz per load = 384 loads.

    $11.26 / 384 loads = 2.9 cents per load.

    All these materials are available in the laundry aisle of your local food store.

    These numbers are actually VERY conservative.  The washing soda and borax will last much longer than the 1536 ounces of detergent in this example, but I wanted to draw some kind of simple comparison.

    It only takes about 20 minutes to make 2 gallons of liquid laundry soap.  Why would a thrifty consumer NOT do this?

    Here is the recipe:

    1/3 bar of fels naptha soap (shredded)

    1/2 cup washing soda

    1/2 cup borax powder

    Add six cups of water to a large pot.  Grate or shred the fels naptha (1/3 bar) into the water and heat the mixture until the soap melts, stirring constantly.  I use our food processor to grate the soap.  The soap is very hard and doesn’t grate easily on a hand grater.

    Once the initial solution is dissolved, add the washing soda and borax to the pot.  Continue stirring constantly.  When all is dissolved, remove from heat.

    Pour 4 cups hot water into a bucket (I use hot tap water).  Pour the soap mixture into the bucket and stir.  Now add cold water until you have two gallons total in the bucket.  (I mark the bucket ahead of time, using a milk jug to measure out a gallon of water from the tap).

    Now, I stir the 2 gallon mixture and pour it into my waiting empty laundry detergent bottles (I picked some up at the local recycle station).

    Shake before use.  You should use about 1/2 cup per load.

    This recipe does a pretty good job washing our clothes.  We’ve been using this detergent for about two years now and have been very happy with the results.

    How to make laundry soap from on Vimeo.

    Don’t forget to check out our other money saving tips!