Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Frugal Tips

Here are some frugal tips that I have tried and like.  They really work and definitely cut costs!  They are also better for the environment, you, and your family!  Most of these tips take little to no effort.  
  1. Use vinegar as a rinse aid in the dishwasher - Just pour vinegar where you would put the expensive dishwasher rinse aid and save tons of money.  Rinse aids tend to cost between $4-5 and the amount of vinegar you would use just costs pennies!  Great savings and vinegar is amazing stuff!
  2. Use scented vinegar as a fabric softener - You can use just plain vinegar, but I like to scent mine.  Right now we have lemon/lavender mixture.  You can use any essential oil and combination that you like.
  3. 1 part peroxide to 2 parts water for bath and shower cleaner - Just mix in a spray bottle, shake real good, spray and let sit for 30 minutes.  Then just wipe clean.  I do this every 2 weeks to deep clean the entire shower.
  4. Freeze fresh herbs in ice cube trays - Put chopped fresh herbs in ice cube trays and then fill the rest of the way with water.  Pop the herb cubes into soups, stews, or other dishes that you need some flavor.  You can use a combination or just one single herb per cube.  However you want to do it is dine.  Super simple, but adds great fresh flavor to your dishes.
  5. Heat a small bowl of vinegar in the microwave to clean it and deodorize - put about 1/2 cup of vinegar in a bowl and heat for 5 minutes.  The vinegar loosens the grime and also helps deodorize the microwave.  Especially after burnt popcorn....YUCK!
  6. Make your own seasonings - Taco Seasoning, Italian Seasoning, Ranch Mix, etc.  They help cut preservatives, sodium, and in my opinion making your own just tastes better ;)  Check out my recipe section HERE for some of my seasonings.
  7. Make your own cleaners (good for you, your family, the environment, and your pocket book!) - I have a few recipes I have tried that can be found HERE, but you can find endless amounts of information on the internet about making your cleaners.  Tips, tricks, benefits, recipes, etc.  Seriously it only takes a few minutes to make, they clean really good, and you are cutting toxins from the environment.  Something worth looking into ;)
  8. Plan your meals and shopping trips - You will cut your grocery bill just by planning your meals and writing out a grocery list.  Take it one step further and set a budget for yourself.  It gives you a goal and helps to keep you on track.
  9. Regrow green onions - This one is easy and you will see pay-off almost instantly.  Just put the white ends in a glass of water (maybe 1/2 inch) and then set in a bright window sill.  They will begin to regrow very quickly and will be ready to eat in about 1 week.  I do this 2-3 times and then discard after that.  
  10. Canning - Veggies, Jams, Sauces, Salsas, Fruits, Pie Fillings, etc are all great things to can.  I must admit I did not can this year because we were moving during the peak of canning season :(  But this year I plan to can lots of stuff again.  It will definitely be a busy year this year!  Canning is easy and there is nothing better in my opinion.  Everything just tastes better :)  
  11. Use 2 parts borax and 1 part lemon juice to clean the toilet or 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar.  They both work and both are cheaper than the toxic store stuff and they work really well!
These are some of the tips I really like so far.  I am sure there will be more to come and I am still learning how to live more frugal.  Do you have any great tips to share?  I would LOVE to hear them.  I am always looking for a "better" way to live.  

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