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.