I use white vinegar to clean greasy kitchen cabinets. I use two cups to a gallon of hot water. It is very thrifty as a gallon of white vinegar costs about $2. White vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner. It’s also great for floors and windows. There is no need for all the expensive cleaners.
A “New” Living Room
Want to do something new with your living room but don’t have much money? Try painting just one wall a contrasting color to the rest of the room. Rearrange your furniture and you’ll have a whole new look for the cost of a little paint and one afternoon’s work.
It’s Cold Outside!
Every time we open our front door, I feel cold air rushing into the house. Our entryway seemed to tunnel it right into the living room. Last week, I took a tension rod and hung a bed sheet on it between our entryway and the living room. That has really cut down on the cold air entering our home. It feels warmer without adjusting the thermostat!
Cleaning Granite Countertops
I wanted to find a homemade recipe for a cleaner for my granite countertops. I looked at the ingredients on an expensive brand and found the ingredient list. Now, I use equal parts water and rubbing alcohol with a squirt of dishwashing soap. It works great!
For the first time in our 37 years of marriage, I started making out menus for the month. I wanted to be sure to use up what is in the pantry, which is well stocked with home canned food from the garden last summer. We are amazed at how far the pantry food is going and how little meat we actually use. We enjoy leftovers, so we have one meal of leftovers most days. Some days are no-cook days because there is food we need to use. My hubby is very easy to please, and we eat very healthy. We’ve been doing this for two months with grocery money going mainly for fresh fruit and dairy. I’ve budgeted between $150 and $200, depending on the month. We’ve easily stayed within the budget.
They’re Not Entering Here
Home robberies have become more common in our neighborhood, so I was looking for things I could do to protect my home. Then I had a brainstorm. I love to garden. One of my favorites is the rose. I decided to plant roses under all the windows of my home. I figure that no burglar wants to fight with rose thorns while they’re trying to sneak in through a window! I can’t say that’s why we haven’t been robbed, but it makes my home prettier, gives me another reason to garden, and might even help keep us safe.
I love to window shop, but I’ve learned (from painful past experience) not to buy impulsively. If I’m in a store and see something I like, I take a picture of it with my phone. It only takes a second, and once the picture is taken, I walk away from the item. Later, I take a look at the picture and think about whether or not I really want to go back to the store to buy it. I’ve avoided many unnecessary purchases this way.
Protecting My Entryway
Each winter, our entrance hall became a mess. Between the boots and the snow that was brushed off of coats, the floors were always a mess. By spring, I’d find it necessary to refinish the wood floor. This winter, we used a couple of long rubber floor mats that were meant for the back of an SUV. I put them down on the entryway floor. Now the snow doesn’t get to my floors. Next winter, I may go down to the home center and buy some clear plastic runner. I figure it’ll look a little better than the black rubber mats and still protect my floors.
Leftovers for Breakfast?
I finally found a way to solve two problems. It’s always a struggle to get our six person family out of the house in the morning. I don’t really have time to cook up a proper breakfast and get the kids ready, so we were depending on instant this and that. I noticed that one of the favorites was frozen breakfast burritos. I began to make them myself out of the leftovers from dinner. Some nights I even scramble up a few eggs to add to the leftovers. I bag them, mark what they are, and put them in the freezer. Each morning, the kids can choose one and pop it into the microwave. The results? A healthy, balanced breakfast that cost me almost nothing!
It is good that people take home what they don’t eat at restaurants and also the clean napkins that would be thrown out. I take home the sliced bread that they would throw out and feed it to the birds. My friends, who at first made fun of me, now collect half-pieces and uneaten slices from the open bread basket for me. The birds are thankful and the bread is not wasted.
Also, if you do not eat the food you bring home from a restaurant, the birds will eat that too. Stale cake and cookies are also appreciated, as are the fats skimmed off your meats. Clean the pan by gathering the fats on ends of bread and throw them to the birds. Fats build up birds’ heat in cold winter months, which is why suet cakes are so popular. You can use an old aluminum tray to hold the “goodies” until you have time to throw them to where the birds eat.
Terri in Ft Lee
Less Expensive Wedding Dresses
A friend of mine is a fashion student. She was touring a dressmaking company. At the end of the line, they sorted dresses for weddings, proms, and formal wear. Naturally, wedding dresses were the most expensive.
So when I started shopping for a wedding dress, I looked (and found) a white strapless, floor length “evening gown” that looked very similar to a wedding dress I’d seen that was twice the price.
Most of our friends knew that we didn’t have much to spend on a wedding, so they were all surprised to see me in my “expensive” wedding dress!
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