Friday, December 3, 2010

Bread crumbs and cubes

Need bread crumbs? First off, don't buy them! They're just what they say: bread crumbs. If you ever have bread in the house, you have bread crumbs. If you need more than what is in the bottom of the bread sack, put a slice or two on a plate and set it on the refrigerator or other out of the way place for a few days, or put them in the oven on very low. Spread them thinly and they'll dry faster. Do you need bread cubes (croutons)? Cut into cubes, season and bake at a low temperature until they're crisp.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Don't forget the bottom line

It's simple. When your income won't cover your outgo, you have two choices. Increase your income or decrease your outgo. Neither one may be easy, but one of the two has to be done, unless you're opting for bankruptcy or homelessness.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Keeping cut flowers

Got a bouquet of flowers? Keep it looking fresh. First, cut the stems at a 45 degree angle, and get them in water as quickly as you can. Remove all leaves that are below the water level. Replace water before it becomes cloudy and recut the flowers every third or fourth day. Add something to it to delay the growth of bacteria: A copper penny, an aspirin or a few drops of vinegar.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy almost Thanksgiving!

Now (just before Thanksgiving) is the time to stock up on flour and spices and other baking things. Most stores will be having sales on those as well as good deals on turkey and ham, too. Watch the other things though... you could lose all your savings by paying too much for fruit and nuts.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Make the most of your Thanksgiving turkey

If you're having the traditional turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, you'll be needing ideas for leftovers soon! But don't try to eat it all up right after Thanksgiving. Around February, turkey starts looking good again. Pull the meat off the bone and freeze it until later, then boil the carcass until it falls apart. Take out the bones, strain the broth and pick out the smaller pieces of meat that stuck to the bones. Freeze these small pieces covered with some of the broth and you'll have excellent starter for turkey and noodles or turkey and rice or turkey and vegetable soup.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Over the river and through the woods... maybe not. But surely down the street or over the land in an airplane. Traveling with kids over the holidays can add to the stress. Don't let it; let your kids take along a favorite toy or book for comfort. Don't buy anything new for the occasion, the kids need something familiar and you don't need to add more stress to your budget.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A couple of months???

Wow, has it been that long? How time flies when you're having fun. Or busy. Or not. Old age... anyway. You did save your Halloween pumpkins? Now's the time to bake them, puree them and use the pulp just like you would canned pumpkin. Cheaper. Better. More frugal. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Are you extremely frugal?

Are you? Sometimes I am; sometimes I am not. That's human nature. With Christmas coming up in a couple of months, the shopping spirit comes alive for most of us, frugal or not. Now's the time to hold tight. Make a gift budget and stick to it. Plan now before the fever hits. If you haven't already bought gifts, make lists and pay attention to costs. Start watching grocery sales for things you will need for Christmas dinner or parties and get them while the price is lowest.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Get the last of the ketchup...

If you're frugal, you want to use up all those bits of tomato sauce, ketchup or chutney etc., that come in bottles. If you add a little vinegar and shake, the liquid will pour out. Use it for marinades or sauces. Garlic, onion and other spices makes it gourmet and no one will know.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Simple frugal rules

Simple frugal rule number one: Spend more time on the things that save you more.

Simple frugal rule number two: Spend less time doing the things that don't save very much.

Keep fake gems looking good

If you have fake gemstones (don't use this on real ones!) first, make sure they're clean and dry, then coat them with clear nail polish. That will make them shine and protect them from dings and scratches.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Forget buying expensive deodorizers for anything, including your feet, the trash can or smelly drains. Baking soda does it all. Sprinkle some in your shoes. Put some in the bottom of the trash can. Pour a little down a stinky drain and follow with a glug of vinegar. All done and everything smells fresh. You can still find baking soda here for about fifty cents a box. Pretty cheap, when you consider how far it goes and how well it works.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don't buy organizers!

Cardboard boxes, from cheese boxes and shoe boxes to refrigerator boxes, are containers. Containers. Don't buy plastic or cardboard containers when you already have them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Liquid hand soap

Buying liquid soap to wash your hands can be pricey after awhile. You can substitute almost any liquid cleaner for it: Shampoo that you don't care for, bubble bath, body wash, dishwashing liquid. Mix water with them to stretch it. Stir it in, don't shake.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nothing new

There's nothing new under the sun. Remember that next time you see an advertisement for a "new and improved" something or other. Some of the products we are offered have been improved to death. Get a sample if you can, before trying anything new. Otherwise, you could very well be wasting your money.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clean your hair dryer

If you use a hair dryer, don't forget to clean the vents now and then. If you don't, they will become clogged and cause your hair dryer to overheat and will eventually make it quit working. Use a makeup brush or something similar to clean it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Have it quick and cheap

Need a quick, but inexpensive meal? If you keep cooked rice in your freezer, you can make one. Pile it on a plate and top it with chili, soup or other dish, microwave it for a couple of minutes, top with cheese and microwave another few seconds until the cheese melts.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Frugal silver polish

Don't buy silver polish! Instead, simmer silver tableware or jewelry in an aluminum pot for a few minutes, then let it set. If you don't have an aluminum pot, add some aluminum foil to a pot and simmer, then let it set. Your silver will come out shiny and free from any tarnish.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cheap volumizing shampoo

Don't spend money on expensive volumizing shampoo. Instead, mix about a teaspoon of Epsom Salts to a quarter cup of hot water and mix it into regular, inexpensive shampoo.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Old tapes

Got some old VHS or audio tapes stashed away? Recycle! Pull the tape from the cartridge and try knitting or crocheting with it, or use it to decorate a gift or your home for the fall holidays. Think outside the box; what you have is a length of narrow, shiny brown ribbon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Remove mildew stains

Got mildew stains on your laundry? Soak it in a solution of half vinegar and half water for a couple or three days, then launder as usual. It works on colors as well as whites.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dryer sheets

If you just have to use dryer sheets (there are cheaper alternatives!), reuse them when you sew. Since they're nonwoven and washable, use them for labels on hand made items or to record washing instructions if it's not on the label. A permanent marker works fine; cut the sheet to size, write on it and sew it into the garment, quilt or whatever.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Investment: Microwave popcorn popper

While it's not recommended that you use a paper bag to pop corn in the microwave, some companies are marketing a microwave popcorn popper. It's a lot less expensive to buy a bag of regular popcorn than to buy individual packages made for the microwave. Do the math and see how long it will take for a microwave popper to pay for itself!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Receipts and coupons

Do you pay attention to the backs of your receipts? Places like CVS and Kroger often print coupons on them and they're good coupons, too, not just a few pennies here and there. Be sure to take a close look before you toss the receipt next time.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cheap shaving cream

Shaving creams and foams can be pricey. Beat the cost by using cheap hair conditioner. Just a quarter size plop spread over your legs and/or underarms will give you a smooth, ouchless shave and save you money, too.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cheap face moisturizer

Baby lotion makes a good facial moisturizer, especially if you have sensitive skin. The generic is just as good as name brands, but a lot cheaper. Compare the labels and you'll see.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Save Money on Ink

Print only the page or pages you need and readjust the size so you don't wind up printing pages with only a line or two. Set your browser to not print backgrounds when they're not important. Set your printer to utility quality unless it's very important that a document be of high quality. When gathering information from several pages or sites, copy and paste the relevant content into a text file and then print that. You'll avoid printing ads, forms and other unnecessary content.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Keep safety razors sharp longer

While vegetable oil works to keep safety razors from rusting, it can be messy. Instead, put a little rubbing alcohol in a small container and store your razor in it after each use.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Uses for old flannel back table cloths

Flannel backed table cloths can be convenient because you don't have to wash and iron them, but they look nicer than a bare table. When one starts to wear, salvage the good parts for place mats. Cut mats to size and put a "hem" of colored tape around them. Make water proof bibs from it the same way, or make a water proof apron for yourself or a child by cutting a long rectangle, then cutting a piece from the center for your head. Hem it with colored tape or zigzag stitch on your sewing machine and add ties for the sides.

Disposable foam trays (not!)

Foam trays like those that meat comes in can be useful, so keep one or two on hand. Wash them thoroughly with hot water and soap, then make your own pop dots to glue behind figures to give depth to craft projects, use them to mix and hold homemade glue or paints or clay, use them for small trays to hold potting plants or other small items that you want to move all at one time. It's probably best to not use them for food items.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Liquid laundry detergent

When your liquid laundry detergent bottle is empty, do you toss it? Don't. Use a butter knife or screwdriver to take out the nondrip spout and you'll sometimes find enough detergent to do another load. When you use that, pour a little water in the emptier contaner, swish it around and dump it in a bucket or bowl to use for mopping floors or other cleaning.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Popcorn salt

You used to be able to buy salt that was finely ground to use on popcorn or nuts, but it's not common any more. You don't need as much finely ground salt when you use it on snacks, so to save a little money and lower the salt content too, put regular salt through a coffee grinder or a blender.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ok, here we go again...

Back at it. I moved Extremely Frugal to because I kept wanting to post to it and couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how to migrate to another URL.

Anyway... tip of the day? Don't. Just don't. Don't window shop; that's dangerous to your budget. Don't get so thirsty that visions of Colas and Snow Cones dance in your head. Drink a big glass of water before you get to that point. Don't get so busy and hungry that the thought of a McD's hamburger makes you swoon.

Believe it or not, just keeping ahead of things, and NOT allowing yourself to go too far will save money.

Monday, July 19, 2010

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

How to save water, tip number 1,452

So you know to turn off the water when you brush your teeth, you flush the toilet with your bath water, water the house plants with leftover water. Do you use dish water to mop the kitchen? If you use a dishwasher, it may be harder to do, but on the occasion when you make up a pan or sink of dish water, don't let it go to waste. If there are suds left, it will clean your kitchen floor. Saves water and soap.