Today’s thrifty tip is use a Brillo pad to clean tarnished brass. I have a front door handle that was from 1949 and was pretty tarnished. We lived here for 11 years and never once cleaned it so it was overdue. We didn’t want to replace the door since it’s a solid door and original to this 54 year old house. We tried polishing it first but then the carpenter suggested a brillo pad. Darned if it didn’t work. I couldn’t believe how it just melted off the brass. I was so impressed and of course it did need some elbow grease around the corners. Once it was all cleaned and dried, then we used brass polisher. I wished I had taken before pics but here is an after picture. I also read on the box that it would work on silver.
Category: Frugal Living Tips
I have a nice size walk-in closet with lots of shelves. I love having an older home since there is so much space in the house. I’m actually going to move my gift closet to the spare bedroom soon. I have a box filled with body wash, lotions, candles, shaving cream (usually the smaller travel size ones), razors, and so on. These are items I collect from sales and free items I get in the mail. I give out several gift bags filled with these items for Birthday and/or Christmas presents. I usually spend less than $50 for all these items in the box. I give out close to 10 bags per year which makes them around $5 each or sometimes a little more. But never more than $8 each. The recipients love them, and look forward to getting one each year.
I also buy toys that I find on clearance for those last minute invitations to a party. All of my nieces and nephew are too old for toys so I don’t buy as many as I once did. I give all my nieces the gift bags, and my nephew will now get either a DVD or a game for his system. I also like to buy really nice picture frames that I find on clearance for wedding presents. Now that I’m selling Tupperware, then I am giving more of it for presents. I can get sets much cheaper with my 25% discount. I might break up a big set of many items, and just give a few items to one person, and the rest to another.
Having the gift closet has been a really big money saver for us. Many times we get last minute invites for something. Instead of stressing about having to shop and spend money we might not have, then all I have to do is go shopping in my closet for the right gift. I also have a couple of gift cards if all else fails. I get these from several pay to click programs I do daily. It might seem like a lot of work but it’s really not. I shop all year long so I don’t have to spend a lot of money at once. I would suggest putting even $25 a month to the side to stock up on great sales when you find one. I spend less than $400 a year on gifts and that includes presents for ourselves.
Today’s thrifty tip is use vinegar as a fabric softener. I started using about 1/4 cup with each load and have noticed that the towels and clothes are softer. They also smell fresher. Vinegar is a great way to neutralize odors. If you have dark colors that would bleed like red or purple, then soak them in a sink or basin of vinegar. It locks in the color so it won’t bleed on your other items.
Today’s thrifty tip is to use vinegar as a disinfectant for cleaning counters, the sink, and even your bathroom. I also use vinegar to mop my vinyl floors. It’s safer to use and much cheaper than chemical based cleaners. There are also no toxic fumes. I find the odor usually dissipates in an hour or two.
Today’s thrifty tip is use an old toothbrush to clean your sink faucet. I do this weekly and it really does get all the grime out that is hard to reach with a bigger brush. I also use it to clean the lip on the inside as well as around the drain opening. You can even buy a cheap 50 cent one to use just for cleaning. Just make sure to keep it with your cleaning supplies.
Today’s thrifty tip is clean your jewelry with toothpaste. This works wonderful and a huge tube of Ultra-Brite is 88 cents at my Wal-Mart. Even a tube at a dollar is cheap and will last for months. The expensive cleaners are at least $4.00 a box. I just use an old toothbrush or a cheap 50 cent one from the store. My rings come out sparkling, but just be sure to close the sink drain before cleaning.
Today’s thrifty tip is to use baking soda, vinegar, and boiling hot water to clear a clogged drain. What you do is pour a cup of baking soda down the drain first. Then pour a cup of vinegar behind it which will fizz. Then put the stopper in and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Then take out the stopper and pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. This works for me pretty much every time, especially, in the kitchen sink. The bathrooms don’t always work since it’s usually a hair clog so then I usually use a bent wire hanger to get to the clog. I do use the baking soda and hot water mixture to keep them clear and smelling clean. It’s cheaper than using expensive drain cleaners plus safer.