This Month on Homemaking Organized

  It’s August! And this month we’re working on….

  • Our Back to School starts this month! Can you believe it already?!
  • 34 Weeks of Clean ended last week but you can still get the FREE Ebook. Check out the list post to find out more.
  • Make Over Your Mornings Goes on sale this week. Get a FREE sneak peak at Day 1.


Frugal Dollar Stretcher Tips for August 27, 2015


Natural Fly Catcher

If you want to rid your kitchen of fruit flies, pour some red wine vinegar into a small bowl near where they gather. Add a few drops of dish soap. You’ll find your problem solved in just a day or two.

Removing Smoky Kitchen Odors

The very best technique I have found for removing odors is charcoal briquettes. A person who worked for a company that cleaned up after fires gave me this tip. Just set them around, but be cautious of children and pets, of course.

Baking Soda Trick

I keep a box of baking soda in the fridge to soak up odors. The box says that it should be replaced monthly, but I never do. I learned that I can find out if the baking soda is still good by giving it a bubble test. I take a teaspoon of baking soda and add a little vinegar. If it bubbles vigorously, it’s still good. If it barely bubbles or doesn’t bubble at all, it’s time to get a new box.

Save Your Home Videos

Many of us have home videos on VCR tapes. We don’t want to lose them but can’t afford to pay $20 or $25 per tape to have them converted to DVDs. Here’s an answer. You can buy aconverter for about $20 that you use to connect your old VCR player to your computer. You play the tape and record it on your computer. From there, you can copy it to DVD.

Children’s Wish List

Both of my kids are grade school age. I encourage them to keep a list of things they think that they’d like to have. You’d think that would cause them to want more stuff, but it doesn’t. For instance, they’ll add toys and stuff to the list now, but by the time Christmas comes, they’ll be scratching things off the list because whatever it is lost its charm. I’m hoping they’ll learn a little patience when it comes to buying things. This could be a great lesson for when they’re grown.

The 10% Calculation

We have a couple of stores that price match with a 10% discount. I’ve found that sometimes it makes sense to buy from the more expensive store. For instance, I was comparison shopping a range hood. One store had it for $129. The second store had it at $119. With the 10% price match, the more expensive store actually sold it to me for $116.10 ($129 – 12.90). That’s not a big savings on this purchase, but it can add up if I’m buying a kitchen appliance or something more expensive.

Use By Dating

When you go to the grocery store, many items have a “sell by” date on the package. I’ve begun to do that with the things that I freeze. Instead of marking when they went into the freezer, I mark when they should be eaten by. I also keep a list on the freezer door of what’s inside. I know that I have a little leeway on when something has to be used, but since I started my new system, I haven’t found any freezer burned meat stuck in the back of the freezer!

Sweater Repairs

It won’t be long and we’ll be pulling out our winter clothes again. I always take mine out a little early and look everything over for needed repairs. I usually find a few buttons that need attention. Often a sweater or two has a snag. I’ve learned to push the snag through the back and then tie it off. It looks fine from the front and won’t unravel.

Time to Drop Coverage

We used to trade for a new car when it was three or four years old. However, we’ve found that we can save a lot of money by keeping them until they’re eight or even ten years old. We drive an average amount and most cars don’t need major repairs until after 125k or 150k miles. We’ve also found that after a car is about five years old, we can drop collision insurance. Even if we happen to total a car (which happily hasn’t happened), the amount that we’d collect isn’t worth the annual premium. Because we have an emergency fund that could pay for a replacement older car, we dropped our collision coverage.

Rejuvenated Sofa

After years of good use, our sofa was on its way out, but I hated sending it to a landfill. There weren’t any stains or rips. It was just that the seat cushions were crushed flat! Then one day when I was shopping for material for curtains, I noticed that they had the kind of foam used for furniture. I went home and looked at the cushions. They were removable, so I decided that I could remove one seam and replace the foam. I did that and hand stitched the cushions. Now our sofa is almost like new again!

Birds Only, Please!

I love to watch the birds! I always have at least two bird feeders in my yard. If you’ve ever had a bird feeder, you know that they attract squirrels and raccoons. I tried greasing the poles that the feeders sit on, but that didn’t seem to work. Finally I thought that maybe if I planted cactus plants around the pole, it might discourage them. And it did! They don’t like to push through the cactus to get to the pole. Now I’m only feeding the birds that I love!

A Master Gardener’s Advice

My neighbor is a certified master gardener. I was struggling with a small veggie garden, so I asked for some advice. He told me to take a soil sample to my County Extension office. They charged me $15 to do a soil analysis. It showed me exactly what was missing from my soil, so I knew exactly what soil additives to use. This year, I have a great crop for my effort. It might be too late for your garden this year, but you can bet that I’m going to be having my soil analyzed before I plant next year and every year.


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