Today’s thrifty living tip is to use a paste of baking soda to get stains out of plastic containers. It will also get out some funky smells. I use cold water to make a thick paste and let it soak overnight and rinse it out in cool water. You may need to do a second soaking but it usually gets out the stain on the first go rounds. Using hot water sets in the stains just like it will on your clothes. I wash it in warm water if the stain is out or mostly out.
Today’s thrifty living tip is decrease your amount of laundry. How do you ask? There are two simple tricks I use in my household. First is to use a towel more than once. We don’t use washcloths, but the towel that only dries hands can be used for a week. The same thing for the bath towel. I make sure to hang it so it will dry between uses. We also wear our pajamas for 2-3 nights before calling them dirty. I have 2 pairs that I rotate nightly so I only have to wash 2 each week. I don’t wear my pajamas all day and only for bed. I also don’t wash clothes that I only wore for an hour or two like dress clothes for church. Unless I got sweaty, there is no need to wash them since they aren’t dirty. This has helped cut down on the amount of laundry we do each week.
Today’s thrifty living tip is make your own cleaners. You are literally pouring money down the drain along with caustic chemicals. I put vinegar in a small spray bottle to use for counters, the sink, and cutting boards. It disinfects and won’t hurt anyone if ingested including kids and pets. This would also be great for high chairs and cleaning kids toys. I also use vinegar in the toilet bowl and bathroom sinks. Vinegar makes a great fabric softener and disinfects my towels and sheets. To clean vinyl floors I again reach for vinegar. It cleans my floors well and the smell usually goes away within twenty minutes.
For my stove top, I make a paste of baking soda and water. Just be careful not to get it close to the burner openings. I let it sit for 20 minutes, and just remove with a cloth and warm water. I may have to use a little elbow grease on the burnt on stuff, but this usually loosens it up making it easy to clean. There are lots of great recipes on the internet so just google homemade cleaners.
Today’s thrify living tip is to thin out those ultra concentrated dish liquids. I have noticed this new trend with the ulta concentrated liquids like dish and laundry detergents to even hand soaps. Of course the bottles are getting smaller so I’m not sure how much more you getting for the price increase. I also noticed that the coupon amounts have shrunk (ok pun intended). I used to be able to find $1 and 50 cent coupons, but now I noticed the manufacturers are issuing 50 to 25 cent coupons. I decided to battle this by adding water to thin it out. I found more was being wasted. I put 1/3 liquid into an empty bottle and just add water then shake to mix it up. I can now make a bottle last for several weeks which makes my stockpile last much longer. I recently bought 18 bottles from a CVS sale for $2.xx so this will last well over a year. I find that it bubbles better and the dishes are just as clean.
Today’s thrifty living tip is use a pencil eraser to remove scuff marks from vinyl flooring. This works great since we have vinyl floors in our kitchen. I find it easier than applying lots of elbow grease. Another way to eliminate scuff marks is to use a Brillo pad. Just make sure to rinse very well afterwards. You can also make a paste of baking soda and water and use a scrub pad on the marks. All of these work but I find the eraser is great for small marks. The other methods are better for big or several marks.
Lately I’m noticing a new trend. More people are turning to books or sites about frugal living or living more simply. Many of these same people also want to help the environment. You can actually do both. For centuries people have practiced both, and it’s only become more of a trend in the last few decades. I do find it funny how thrift was considered cheap, but being “green” is cool and hip. I love these new buzz words. Most of the frugal tips I practice daily, not only save me money, but they are good for the environment. I wrote an earlier article about Reduce, reuse, and recycling. All of these ideas save money and are good for the environment.
Many companies are also trying to cash in on being green and “All Natural”. Clorox has come out with a whole new line of natural cleaners. I don’t have a problem with companies using non-toxic ingredients. I think it’s great, but you will pay a lot more for them. If you really want all natural ingredients, then just make your own cleaners or use these ingredients to clean your house. I use baking soda and vinegar on a regular basis for all my cleaning. The bottom line is research many of these new cleaners, and you might be surprised by the actual ingredients. Lessen your use of energy and resources like water will also accomplish both goals. There are tons of ways to your reduce your consumption so I’m not going to list them. Many of these ideas are very old fashioned that have been practiced for generations.
Today’s thrifty living tip is use Hydrogen Peroxide to get out blood stains on clothing. This works really well even on older stains. It works better before the stain has set in, but I have had luck with getting out older stains. I just pour a small amount on the stain, and you can see the peroxide bubbling. I just keep applying until the stain is gone.