Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cheap meat tenderizer

Frugally priced beef and pork is often tough, but you can make it as tender as the most expensive roast or steak by marinating or cooking it with vinegar. That can taste a lot better than it sounds! Barbecue sauce made with vinegar or mustard sauces with vinegar will do the trick, as well as cooking pork with sauerkraut. For a nice roast, though, splash a little plain apple cider vinegar over it before you add spices or salt and pepper. The taste will go away, but the vinegar will nicely tenderize the meat.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quick floor cloth

Need a quick and cheap way to brighten up a room? Use a floor cloth... or rather, a blanket as a floor cloth. Some blankets are quite pretty and stylize, especially the nonwoven kind. If you don't have any extras handy, thrift stores often have them. Even if you have to buy one new, they're cheaper than buying a floor cloth or area rug.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Frying bacon without curling

Ok, I'm back... just couldn't stand it when I have only a little to say. :)

You could buy something to hold the bacon flat when you're frying it (it can curl even in the microwave, I've found!), but simpler and cheaper because you don't have to buy anything extra: Lightly dust the bacon strips with flour before frying. The fat will fry out of it, and the flour will lightly crust and make the bacon hold its shape. It tastes great, too!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Look over there...

I have enjoyed writing this blog, but time just gets away from me and I haven't been posting nearly as often as I intended. So... I am going to ignore this one for awhile, and maybe permanently. I will post extremely frugal tips on my original blog when I can. I might change my mind and if so, I'll post that on my other blog.

Thanks to all of you who have followed me here. I'll see you over there!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Treating laundry stains

The cheapest way to get stains from fabric is to use bar soap and scrub. It will remove "ring around the collar," grease stains, ball point ink stains and a lot more. Wet the fabric, rub the bar soap into it, scrunch the fabric and scrub it against itself hard. It may take a little work, but most of the time it will happen.

(Do NOT dry a stained item in a dryer as the heat will set a lot of stains so they'll never come out.)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Tenderize meat

You can make a cheap, tough cut of meat as tender as an expensive one by mixing a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water. Make as much as you need to barely cover the meat, pour it over and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, rinse the meat thoroughly and then cook.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cookie and biscuit cutter

Need a cookie cutter? or a biscuit cutter? Save the next tuna or cat food can. They're the perfect size, wash well and last forever. If you're handy, you can even drill a hole and attach a handle to the center of the bottom (which would be the top when you use it for a dough cutter) with a small screw and nut.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Corn silk tea

In the spirit of using it all up, save the silk from sweet corn that you buy in the husk (or grow yourself). A handful, about equal to the silk from two ears of corn, boiled in a cup and a half of water for about 15 minutes, makes a delightful drink. Try it. If you like it, you can dry the silk in a dehydrator, in the hot sun or on very low in the oven, and save it for cold weather. Use a little less of the dried silk, but it doesn't shrink much.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Don't like that tea?

If you buy tea or coffee and don't care for it, use it to dye fabric. Even herbal teas can tint white cotton - good for scarves, light curtains, etc. Just make it up as if you were going to drink it, then put the material into it while it's still hot. Let it set for 30 minutes or so and rinse in cool water. Set the dye with salt and always wash in cold water.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Drink Mix Sherbet

I came across this somewhere... don't remember where, so if anyone knows, let me know so I can give proper credit.

1 cup sugar
1 package of Kool Aid or generic drink mix
3 cups of milk

Stir all together until sugar is dissolved, then pour into a shallow freezer container. Freeze for about an hour, then beat until smooth and freeze until firm. Let it stand at room temperature a few minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dehydrating food with free solar energy

If you come up with too much food, whether it's cooked or fresh, fruit or vegetable, the chances are that you can dehydrate it for future use. If you have a vehicle, place food (check to see if it needs pretreatment first) on trays or food safe screens (screens with cloth placed over them are fine) and set them inside a vehicle parked in the sun. Open a couple of windows an inch or so. Or set trays directly in the sun and cover them with loosely woven cloth to keep insects off of them. Sun drying takes a little longer, but it's a lot cheaper (as in free)!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Get the most from farmer's markets

If you have a local farmer's market, go (or stick around until) nearly closing time. When the vendors begin packing up leftover produce to take back home is the time to strike good deals. Don't be shy about asking and don't be put off if they decline. You'll never know until you ask. Most producers would rather sell their stuff than take it home to feed to the chickens.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Putting freebies to work

If you have samples of shampoo that you don't like, don't toss them. Put them in a pump bottle, add half again as much water or even as much water as you have shampoo and use it for hand soap at the sink. Bonus is that some of it smells great! Each sample is usually around 2 tablespoons, so if you add 2 tablespoons of water, you'll have around a quarter of a cup of free liquid soap for each sample.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Save the zucchini!

Got zucchini? Even with the unusual weather this year, many gardeners (and their friends!) have a glut of zucchini. A good way to eat up the bigger ones is to scrape out the seed cavity, stuff it with a cooked ground meat mixture and bake. Don't throw out the seed/pulp, though! Add it back to the stuffing mixture and it will stretch the meat, but nobody but you will even know it's there.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Witch hazel

Witch hazel is very inexpensive and one thing you should have around all the time. It can't be beat for skin irritations, insect bites, sore muscles and poison ivy. It will immediately take the pain out of a bee or hornet sting, and reduce the swelling. And as a bonus, it's a mild astringent so it's great for a quick face cleanser. It's also a very good aftershave, I'm told.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Quick, cheap sachet

Put dry potpourri in the middle of a napkin or handkerchief, bring up all four corners and put a rubber band around it, then tie a ribbon around that. Use for a lingerie sachet, or use it in the car - or even give it as a gift. A small bag of potpourri (if you buy it) will make many sachets.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stay cool tip #2: Evaporative cooling

Hot enough for you?

If that phrase has you ready to strangle the next person who says it, you might want to try some personal evaporative cooling. Evaporative coolers work best when the humidity is low, but this method helps even when it's high. You have to do it only when you're at home, to be polite.

Wet your clothes, wring them out and put them back on. That's it. You'll feel a lot cooler instantly and if you move around, that helps even more.

Try it. It works.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What not to buy

Paper towels, paper napkins, plastic wrap, dishcloths, potholders, minute rice, plastic wrap, tv dinners, canned soup... you get the idea. There are good substitutes or homemade versions that are cheaper and better.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Out of milk?

Any dairy or dairy like product can be used in baking. Non dairy coffee creamer, mixed with water (try one part creamer and 3 parts water), ice cream (thaw first and cut back on sugar), cream or half and half (add three times as much water as cream). Use potato water in bread instead of milk.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Ultimate Cheap Shower

I can take a shower and wash my (long) hair in two gallons of water. It's a lot easier than it sounds. Fill two one gallon containers with warm water then stand in the tub or shower. Pour enough water over your head to wet your hair, put down the container, shampoo and pour enough water to rinse. You'll be thoroughly wet by this time, so lather up all over. Pour the remaining gallon or so over yourself to rinse and you're done.

Monday, June 29, 2009

On becoming more frugal

What we don't buy defines us, at least at times. Here's a challenge:

Every month for the rest of the year, decide upon one new thing that you now buy that you can make yourself or substitute for something cheaper.

Ideas: Napkins, paper towels, canned soup, popsicles, pudding, note pads, potholders, dishcloths, rag rugs, iced tea...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What saves the most?

What's your best frugal tip?? I think mine is "do nothing." When I don't go anywhere, don't get involved in a project, don't do much of anything except read what's already in the house, or knit or sew with what I already have... I don't spend any money at all. And that's pretty frugal!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stay cool tip # 1

Run cool water over your inside wrists or at any pulse point when you get overheated. This drops your temperature and makes you feel cooler fast. Do NOT use really cold or iced water. Too quick of a drop in temperature can make you sick.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Microwave cleaning

I've read "tips" where people microwave lemons or a cup of vinegar to clean the microwave... but why? When you can just wipe it clean every time you use it for something messy, why would you go to the extra expense and trouble of doing it the hard way? It's like a stove. Keep it clean instead of waiting until it's really dirty then you have to resort to buying cleaners for it and/or spending a lot of time scrubbing it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Disposable coasters for free

Got business cards? I mean the kind that someone gave you that you have no intention of needing or some of your own that aren't useful any more. Put the long edge of one barely on top of the long edge of another one and staple both sides. They're then just the right size for coasters for either glasses or mugs. When they get too wet or worn, toss them and make more. For free.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Soup and salad from throwaways

When you have broccoli and/or cauliflower, don't throw away any of the stems. Peel the larger ones and shred for a salad addition or slice into soup; smaller ones can be used as they are. Slice and freeze them in water until you have enough for a broccoli/cauliflower/cheese/ham soup.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Free green onion sprouts

Put the bottom quarter or so of an onion in a container filled with dirt and keep it watered. It will develop roots and give you green sprouts for salads or sandwiches. Tip: don't cut it all the way down, and you can continue to harvest it for several weeks.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Free bulletin board

Take a piece of cardboard the size of the bulletin board that you want and cover it with cloth. To be extremely frugal, use a piece of an old sheet or other cast off fabric. You can have it as fancy or as plain as you like. Wrap the cloth at the corners and fasten with staples or thumbtacks and there you have it. You can staple or thumbtack a string to hang it or make a small hole in the top center for a nail.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stocking up, extremely frugal style

When you come across a great sale (they don't happen often, but when you find them, you'll know), ask yourself three things.

1. How much can I afford?

2. How much do I have room to store?

3. How much can I eat/use before the expiration date?

The answers to these questions can determine how much to buy. Don't overdo it, but don't underdo it, either. A penny saved is truly a penny earned.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Passive cooling

Got a window that lets the hot sun in during the summer? Plant annual vines to shade it. It's still early enough in most parts to plant morning glories, black-eyed Susan vines, cup and saucer vines or a double duty vine like (edible) scarlet runner bean. You'll need to offer some support - a light wood or metal system of some kind, but that needn't be expensive if you make your own or creatively use old grills, stakes, etc. Plant the vine so that it will shade the window during the hottest part of the day and take into consideration the angle of the sunshine later in the year.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Using old socks

Got old cotton socks? Cut the toes off and cut them along one side, then sew a zigzag stitch around them to use for cleaning rags. I've even used them as dishcloths. The tops make good sweat bands for cold drinks. Put the rest of the sock over your hand to dust with, or sew a piece of lace or ruffle onto the top and use as a personalized wash cloth in the shower. OR... sew velcro to fasten the top, then use up those soap slivers by putting them inside the sock.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Twist'em ties

A peeled twist'em tie wire is handy to have around! Strip it to the wire and use it as an emergency repair to replace a screw in your glasses, hang pictures, repair jewelry... or use it without stripping to hold things together. Let your imagination run with it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sunburn remedy

It's getting about that time of year again - time for sunburns. No matter how careful we are, it still happens. When it does, reach for the apple cider vinegar and splash it on. Not only will it help relieve the burn, it will keep your skin from blistering and peeling and that means a better tan.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vegetable oil saver

Yet another use for those empty liquid dish detergent bottles: Rinse on thoroughly and put vegetable oil in it. It allows a little better control of how much you use, so it saves on oil and calories, too. And you can buy those humongous, frugal containers and won't have to drag them out every time you need oil.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Get the most for your grocery money

Did you know that the color of the fastener on a bread sack can tell you how fresh the bread is? Or that by reading the PLU code you can find out how produce was grown? Read Grocery Codes and Tricks and find out more.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Make a kite

This is the perfect time of the year for kite flying! You don't have to buy a kite or even a kit to make one, though. I came across this eHow article that shows you how to make one from an ordinary piece of paper:

How to Make a Kite by Folding Paper

Talk about frugal fun!

Saving on vacuum cleaner bags

If you have pets that shed, you know how fast a vacuum bag can fill with their hair. Put a panty hose over the end of your vacuum cleaner and go over places where the pet hair is the worst. It will stick to the panty hose and you can pull it off and put it in the garbage, saving space in the bag for other things.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Baked potato skins

The next time you peel potatoes, wash them first and trim off any bad spots or eyes. Drop the peelings in a bowl of cold water until you're ready, then drain, toss them with oil, lightly salt them and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 until crisp and browned. They keep very well without refrigeration, but make such a good snack you probably won't have to worry about keeping them very long!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Free" cooking oil

If you buy tuna or fish steaks in oil, drain it into a container and use it in stir fry or to fry potatoes or saute other foods. No sense in wasting it; it's good oil for cooking although it might have a slightly fishy taste, so be judicious where you use it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Liquid laundry detergent

Out of liquid laundry detergent? Maybe not. You can pry the spout off with a butter knife or screwdriver to get the last bit of liquid from the bottle. There's usually enough for at least one more load of laundry - two if you're sparing. When that's used up, add a little water to the bottle and use it to clean floors, tubs, sinks, woodwork - whatever needs it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Free funnels

It may be old news that you can cut off the top of a plastic bottle to make a funnel, but if you pay attention, you can have a wide array of free funnels. Soft drink bottles, milk jugs, plastic vinegar bottles and more, are different sizes, so you can have one for everything you need. If you can't find one that fits well, use the plastic backing from a package of bacon and roll it into a point of the right size.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cheap substitute for clarifying shampoo

Instead of buying clarifying shampoo (used to remove buildup so you can continue using your favorite shampoo), use a table spoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water. Work it well into your hair and scalp, rinse, then use half water and half vinegar as a final rinse. This will remove shampoo residue and leave your hair very soft.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Neat kitchen organizer

If you get tomatoes or berries in plastic "baskets," use them to hold dish cloths, scrubbers, or anything you use often, under your kitchen sink. Staple or duct tape them to the inside of your kitchen cabinet at a handy height.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Braided rug from plastic bags

The title link explains it in more depth than I have room for here. They're going to take away our plastic bags? Use bread sacks. Look around, there are plenty of plastic bags besides just the grocery store kind. Maybe it's time to stock up...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stretch shoes that are too tight

To stretch genuine leather shoes, mix equal parts water and rubbing alcohol and get the inside of the shoe wet where you wish it to stretch. A squirt bottle works great.

(Thanks to Joyous, from Dollar Stretcher forums)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sunflower seeds to the rescue!

If you like to make pesto or dishes that call for pine nuts, try substituting much cheaper sunflower seeds for them. Sunflower seeds also work in many places where slivered almonds are used. Experiment!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Age spot fader

You don't need the expensive kind - just mix vinegar and onion juice and apply to age spots. It takes the same amount of time to fade them that the commercial version does. If your skin is dry, you can use lotion or cream after the application is dry.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Repairing denim

If you have just a small hole in your jeans or denim jacket or dress, turn it inside out and put a piece of duct tape over the hole. It can even hold through a few washings. If you cut the duct tape with rounded corners it will stay on longer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Emergency rain gear

Need a rain hood and cape/coat? Take a large plastic trash bag and slit the seam on the long side about 8 inches, starting at the bottom corner. Slip it over your head and it will cover your hair and body - how much depends on how tall you are.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Use less detergent this way

Use less detergent and get your clothes cleaner, too? Yes. All you have to do is allow a 10 to 15 minute soak between the first minute or two of agitation and the rest of the cycle. Be sure the detergent is dissolved. Try using a little less detergent, and if clothes come clean then, use even a little less next time until you see a problem, then increase it just a little. Always measure!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Looking like Easter

My personal site is growing, however slowly! I just put up a few articles you might be interested in. Let me know what you think!


Peeled colored eggs

Put peeled hardboiled eggs in the leftover liquid from pickled beets or dill or sweet pickles, and let them set in the refrigerator for a few days. Pink and pale green make a cool Easter dish! It also preserves the eggs so they will keep longer.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Potatoes and Eggs

Making potato salad for Easter? When you boil the potatoes, put in some eggs, too (in the shell!) The eggs will be done before the potatoes, so just fish them out. Saves on energy, water and dirty pans. If you don't buy commercial eggs, be sure they're washed thoroughly first.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Free meat for omelets or pizza

Save all the little bits of leftover sausage, bacon, or ham - even the tiniest - and keep it in the freezer. It doesn't matter if it's not all the same type (or even flavor) when you use it on a pizza or in an omelet. You can mix it into cornbread, too, and serve with beans or dried pea soup, but that's not as frugal as using it in the main course.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gardening supplies

Before you go to the store for spring gardening supplies, check out your kitchen. Old spoons, spatulas and more can be used to dig, smooth and weed plants in pots or small areas. Wax paper, foil or plastic wrap tubes, cut in pieces, make seed starting pots. Empty coffee cans make containers for bigger plants. Use your imagination.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Save flour

When you finish kneading or rolling out dough, don't just clean up with a dishcloth. Instead, use a butter knife to scrape the remaining flour into a cup or bowl, then sift it back into your flour container and throw away only the scraps.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quick clothespin bag

Bend the side ends of a wire hangar upwards, then hang a plastic grocery sack on it. Continue to bend the ends up and over the plastic bag handles to hold it in place. Use two plastic bags, one inside the other for strength.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reusing toothbrushes

Save old toothbrushes (or buy the super cheap ones) to use in place of other brushes. Use them to scrub corners and wall trim; to apply messy potions; to dust odd shapers; to reach in small jars when washing, and much more. Sanitize by soaking overnight in a quart of water with a little bleach added. Designate certain ones for certain uses so you don't have to sanitize them all the time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Choose your bank like you do your grocery store. Look for the best deals, compare prices and don't plan on getting everything from one place. Savings, checking and loan costs and interest can vary widely, so look them all over carefully before committing to anything.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Clean teeth

Run out of toothpaste? Use baking soda, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and salt, or plain hand soap - it doesn't taste as bad as you think, and it will clean your teeth.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shoulder pads

Frugal folks make their own potholders... but if you're cutting up or refashioning a top that has shoulder pads, don't throw them out. They make good potholders if they're big enough. You can stitch two of them together to make it extra thick. Some of them can be used for pin cushions or you can go for the gold and save enough to stitch together to make a quilt (maybe a baby quilt?), or a pet bed.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Free "wax paper"

Another one for plastic gallon milk or water jugs: Cut full sides from them and use the sides in place of wax paper when cooling candies or unbaked cookies, etc. They're flexible so you can pop things right off and washable for many, many uses. You may never buy wax paper again.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Modern mythology

Superstitious? Marketing myths abound. You don't have to do much of what "they" tell you to. It won't hurt you (and it won't break your mother's back, either) to use less than the recommended amount, use it less often, not use it at all...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Warm, comfy insoles for free

Draw around your foot on newspaper and use it as a pattern to cut insoles from old wool sweaters or blankets. Use a double thickness if your shoes or boots allow. If you don't have wool, use any thick cloth, or even several thicknesses of newspaper covered top and bottom with any cloth. Use glue to keep it all together.

Starch for clothes

You can make your own fabric starch by boiling a couple of tablespoons of rice in a quart of water for a half hour or so, then strain the rice out. Use it warm as it gels when it cools. Pour it into a glass jar to store and just warm it a little when you want to use it again. You'll need to rinse the nozzle of a spray bottle after using it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

If you just gotta eat out...

Authentic ethnic restaurants usually have good food cheaper than well known restaurants, even if they're local. Don't confuse "authentic" with "well marketed." The truly authentic may not be in the best part of town. It's usually well worth the effort of tracking down a real ethnic restaurant.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Save on scotch tape

Do you hate to waste scotch type tape by turning the end over to keep it from getting "lost" in those cheap dispensers? Use one of those plastic tabs used to close bread sacks or cut a small piece from a plastic lid to put under the end and you'll never have a problem again.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free washcloths and hand towels

Make washcloths or hand towels from worn bath towels or other terrycloth. Cut them to size and hem. If you have a serger, use that, or zigzag with a close stitch, or hem them by hand. You don't have to be a seamstress, or even good at sewing to do that!

The cost of washcloths is ridiculous when you look at how much material they use.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Save your clothes from bleach

If you use bleach to clean anything, keep a spray bottle of vinegar around for those "oops" times. Vinegar neutralizes bleach on contact, even on clothing. Do NOT use it in the eyes - contact a medical specialist if you get bleach in your eyes.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Free hot water

Use free solar radiation to heat a gallon of water for washing up, doing dishes or whatever. Put the water in a glass jar and set it in the sun for a few hours. Don't set it on concrete or other hard surface and not in the snow. If you can put it where there is a dark surface behind it, it will heat better. You may be surprised at how warm it gets.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Radish tops

Do you throw away radish leaves when you clean a bunch? You're throwing away good food. Radish leaves can be eaten raw in the salad but they also make a very good green vegetable, like spinach. Like spinach, too, they cook down, so plop them in boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds, then freeze them. Keep adding to your stash until you have enough for a meal. "Free" food!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Freezer help

Freeze your own ground beef patties, or reportion steaks or chops? Cut sides from plastic milk or water jugs and place between them and they can be separated easily. You can wash and reuse them.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cheapest bread and cereal

If you're where you can, buy wheat or other grains from a local feed store. (Be sure it's NOT seed grain because that's treated) Winnow it when there's a breeze by pouring it back and forth from one bowl to another. Mill into flour or cook for cereal, etc. Google Wheat berry recipes for some ideas.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Put it off

Do you need a new computer? Printer? Shoes? Stove? Whatever it is, if you can replace it now, put the money in your other pocket. The longer you can hold out the better off you are because the new item won't start wearing out until you buy and start using it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Child's apron or bib

If your child enjoys painting or other messy, fun things, use a plastic grocery bag as a disposable bib or apron. Cut across the bottom, pop the bag over the child's head with arms through holes--handles up as straps. If straps are too long and bag goes too far down the front of clothing, pull handles up and tie into a knot to make it fit better. Tie a string or piece of yarn around the waist to help hold the bib in place.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scrub and facial

A quarter cup of coffee grounds mixed with an egg white makes a toning and firming facial. Massage it into your skin and allow it to dry, then rinse. If you have dry skin, follow with a moisturizer.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Frugal Valentine's Day

If you're looking for something really cool to do with your honey, put your money back in your pocket, get all dressed up and go to a free museum or art gallery. You can treat yourselves to a coffee somewhere afterwards and still have a great time for very little cash.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grease soakers

Forget the paper towels to absorb grease from fried foods. The food tends to stick to them, and you have to buy them in the first place - not a good frugal move. Instead, use brown paper, the kind they make paper bags from. Ask for paper bags at the grocer or save the inner brown paper wrapping from bags of sugar.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Paper, paper everywhere

There's no way you could ever run out of paper for lists and notes if you just keep your eyes open - and I don't mean just junk mail. What about the backs of can labels, inside and outside used envelopes, backs of receipts, paper bags? If you look at paper as if it's paper instead of labels, receipts, old paperback blanks, you'll never run out.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Poached Eggs

Don't have an egg poacher? There's a cheap (free!) and simple way to "make your own." Just use metal lids, upside down and buttered, in a pan of simmering water, to poach eggs. The water shouldn't be deep enough to come over the top of the lid. Test it first before adding the egg.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Old fashioned savings

Have an "old fashioned" night with the family. Turn off the lights and use candles or oil lamps. Take turns reading a book or telling stories or play board games instead of watching TV or playing on the computer. Cook a homestyle meal, wash dishes by hand in a dishpan or large bowl. At the very least, you'll save on electricity; you may save on food and water, too.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Paper towels

Just can't get by without paper towels? Try pages of newspaper instead. If you crumple them hard, then smooth them out, they'll be more absorbent.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ice cubes

Most refrigerators have ice makers any more, but if you use ice cube trays and need an extra one or two for summertime or company, use a foam egg carton, or watch for those plastic coated trays that some candy and cookies come in.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Stop the cold from entering

If you need to fill in a crack or hole around windows or doors, use papier mache. Newspaper is a good insulator, so papier mache will help keep out the cold or heat better than caulking.

Press it firmly into the crack with a hard object. It will take a few days to cure, so choose a warm spell if you can.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Reusing wrapping paper

Did you save wrapping from Christmas gifts? Most papers can be ironed to get the wrinkles out (NOT the plastic or shiny types). If you save the cardboard tubes it came on, wrap it back around them, but if you didn't save the tubes, wrap it around any other paper you have on tubes - or simply roll it gently on itself. Secure it (and all rolled wrapping paper) with a rubber band. You won't waste any because of tape.