Monday, April 28, 2008

Watering houseplants

Put a bowl under the kitchen tap to catch water that's run to warm up or cool down and use that to water houseplants or container plants outside. You'll be surprised how much water goes down the drain unused.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sandwich meat

You can buy luncheon meat, but why would you? Instead, buy a package of chicken breasts, cook and slice them. You'll be surprised at how many sandwiches a pound of chicken breast makes. If you buy it in the large packages, you'll save quite a bit and you can freeze what you don't use within a few days. Other meats to slice at home: Turkey, ham, roasts (beef, pork).

Friday, April 25, 2008

Frugal foot care

With spring and summer comes sandals and bare feet. If your feet are still winter dry, give them a spring treatment! Before you go to bed or sit down to relax for awhile, generously rub vegetable oil or shortening into your feet (lard or tallow can be used, too), then put old socks on, then slip plastic bread sacks on over that. After a couple of hours, you can wash it off with warm water and mild soap. The price sure beats the commercial foot lotion.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Double duty for baking soda

Make a box of baking soda do double duty by using it first to deodorize the refrigerator, under sink or wherever you need it, then use it to clean and polish.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Macaroni and cheese

If you make macaroni and cheese from a box that has powdered cheese, don't use all the cheese. There's usually more than enough, anyway, so save the last teaspoon or so and put it away. When you have enough, you can make cheese sauce for your own macaroni, or for vegetables or casseroles. Mix 1/4 cup of powdered cheese with 1/4 cup of butter or margarine (or half butter and half oil) and 1/4 cup hot milk. Stir until smooth.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Got an old flannel backed tablecloth? It makes great placemats. Just cut it to size and machine or hand stitch around it to keep the layers together. Or make them from any material you have around. Use an old towel for padding, cut two pieces of material and sandwich the toweling between. A zigzag stitch will secure the edges without having to turn it inside out or do blind stitching.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Save that thread

Have you ever taken out a hem or seam that was commercially sewn and had the thread come loose in one long piece? The stitch was interlocked and the thread is perfectly good for hand sewing. The next time that happens, wind the thread on a piece of cardboard or empty spool for use when you need it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Popcorn to cornmeal

Got popcorn that won't pop? Mill it into cornmeal and make yourself some delicious corn bread! If you don't have a flour mill, put the corn in a cloth bag or wrap it loosely in cloth, then crack it by hitting it with the flat side of a hammer or something similar. Finish milling it in your blender or food processor. Sift out the larger pieces process again.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Soap is soap is soap

Most soaps and detergents can be used to clean almost anything: Laundry detergent will wash dishes, clean floors and scrub the bathtub. So will shampoo and so will dish detergent and so on. If you have a sample of something that you won't use for it's original intent, use it for something else. If you run out of something and can't or don't want to go to the store yet (where you'll be tempted to buy other things), use whatever you have on hand within reason.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

No more paper towels

Can't live without paper towels? I wonder what your grandmother used?

Some probabilities: Hang up a real towel in your kitchen to dry your hands. Use a dishcloth to swipe up counter top and table messes. Use rags for the floor and anything really messy. Cut up material that's not good for anything else, to use as throwaway rags. (Keep them separate for the really yucky things.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Make your own watch band

If you have or had a watch band with a buckle, it's very simple to make a replacement for it. Use sturdy material such as denim, canvas or fake leather and use the old watchband as a pattern for length and width. Be especially careful to cut the width exactly the same as the original, or it won't fit your watch. Measure an inch longer and turn a half inch under for the buckle pin to fit and put a slit in it, following the pattern of the old one. The other half inch will be used to fit the watch itself. Turn the fabric back on itself and sew it so you can slip the watch pins through it. Use a blanket or zigzag stitch on the edges. Use an icepick or very sharply pointed knife or scissors to make holes.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Freebies are frugal

Sending for free samples of products can definitely help you choose what you want to buy and getting products for free - well, what's more frugal than that? Just beware of getting your email address on some spammer's list. Use a special address somewhere like hotmail, or yahoo, for freebies and other offers that may bring spam. A few minutes work each day can net you some interesting and useful products, all for free.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Take advantage of your age

Getting older has its privileges! Most states have special pass rates into their parks and recreational areas for seniors, but you might have to ask to find out. There may also be bus passes or tickets to seasonal events that are discounted for senior citizens. Sometimes these things are not well advertised, so ask!

Don't forget about these possible discounts for senior citizens and if you don't think you're "senior" quite yet, ask anyway. Sometimes the discounts start at age 50.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Free yarn barn

If you craft with yarn, use an empty gallon milk jug, well washed, and cut a hole in one side. Put the yarn in the jug through this hole and thread the loose end through the top. This will keep the yarn clean and in one place as you pull it out.