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.
Category: Green Living
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.
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 reuse your newspapers before throwing into a recycling bin. There are many ways to reuse your daily newspaper, but I’ll highlight a few of the more popular ideas. None of these ideas are meant for the colorful glossy ads.
Make packaging material by shredding them. This is easier if you already have a paper shredder.
Use it in the garden as a way to stop weeds. Again only use the black and white sections. Open the papers and lay them flat on the row or area you want to use them and wet them down with the garden hose.
Use shredded paper in the compost pile. You don’t need a lot but it makes a great addition.
Use sections of the paper to wipe glass or windows. It doesn’t leave any streaks but you will have to wash your hands afterwards.
You can use the Sunday comics as gift wrapping paper.
Of course old paper can make great hats for kids. There are several great sites that will show you how to do this on the internet.
We use old paper when we have crawfish or any kind of seafood boil. My inlaws just chunk the paper along with the peelings into a hole. It breaks down so it doesn’t go in the trash. Of course he does this in the cane fields that he owns. This idea might not be viable for just anyone.
Today’s thrifty living tip is use a pumice stone to clean hard water stains. This works really well with porcelain sinks, toilets, and even tubs. You can buy them at Lowes or any hardware store. We have an older toilet plus hard water. So deposits will build up over time, and it’s the original toilet to our 50 year old house. You do have to apply some elbow grease and it took out all the old stains. The inside looks brand new again. They are relatively cheap and I think I paid under $4 with tax. It’s a lot cheaper than most chemicals and it’s not toxic. I would recommend putting on a pair of latex gloves first.
Today’s thrifty living tip is extend the life of your shower curtains. I wash mine in the washing machine on a short cycle with vinegar and hot water. I also throw in a towel to help weight it down. The curtain comes out clean and it’s easier than scrubbing it by hand. I have been able to keep a curtain for at least 2-3 years. These are the cheap vinyl ones. I do eventually throw them away once they start ripping or starts looking like swiss cheese.
Today’s thrifty tip is cut old towels into new rags. I like to use them for cleaning the house and cars. This way I don’t have to spend money on new wash cloths. Old t-shirts also make great rags. I even use old socks as dust cloths.