Sunday, October 19, 2008

Homemade Cleaners

General Purpose Cleaner: 2 teaspoons borax, 1 teaspoon dishsoap, and 1 liter of water. Mix into a spray bottle.

General Purpose Cleaner #2: Fill a spray bottle 3/4 full then add hydrogen peroxide. Put in a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent (Dawn is a good choice since it is a grease cutter)

Heavy Duty Cleaner: 4 liters of hot water, 1/4 cup cloudy ammonia, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Double ingredients except for water if you need a stronger mixture.

Oven Cleaner: For a fresh spill, wet and sprinkle with baking soda and scrub with a soft nylon scrubber. For normal cleaning, make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to a warm oven. Leave to dry. Clean with a brush or a scouring pad and hot water.

Pot and Pan Cleaner: Borax with hot water

Wall and Floor Cleaner: Borax with hot water.

Saving a Little Here and a Little There (it adds up)

1. Reduce your water-heater temperature to 120F and you'll reduce your costs by 10 to 15 percent.
2. Replacing storm windows or covering windows with plastic in the winter will save you 2 to 7 percent on heating costs.
3. Install a low-flow shower head to reduce your water use 30 to 50 percent.
4. Fix leaky faucets to stop the waste of water.
5. Wash your clothes in cold water and save 10 to 20 cents a load.
6. Turn down your air conditioner when no one is home.
7. Maintain proper tire pressure, for better gas mileage and to extend the life of your front suspension
8. Drop expensive collision insurance on older cars
9. When you get new glasses, tint your old ones for sunglasses, or donate them to the Lions Club, who uses them for the needy.
10. Check you local restaurants for advertised specials. Usually one night a week is set aside for specials, or kids may eat free one night a week.
11. If a store runs out of an item that is on sale, ask for a raincheck. Not all stores offer this. Walmart doesn't.
12. When you buy something large from a store that offers free delivery, ask if you can get a discount for picking it up yourself.
13. Always weigh prepackaged fruit and vegetables before you buy. Since the bags sometimes weigh more than the listed weight, buy the heavier bag.
14. Cool hot food at room temperature before putting it inside your refrigerator.
15. Store refrigerated liquids in covered containers. Otherwise they release moisture, which makes the refrigerator work harder.
16. A freezer works more efficiently when it is full, even if you use plastic containers full of water as fillers.
17. Wait until there are full loads of dishes or clothes to wash instead of doing many small loads. Each consumes the same amount of water.
18. Barter services with friends and neighbors. Example: one can sew curtains while you weed her garden.
19. Look through the wholesale listings in your local yellow pages for items that you buy frequently or in bulk. Many wholesalers do sell their products to the public but do not advertise.
20. Local police, sheriff offices as well as the post office and US Customs office, often sponsor auctions to get rid of lost, seized, or abandoned goods. Keep an eye out for these in your local paper. Also, look for advertised auctions at mini storage sites. They auction units that are not paid for or removed after several notices. You can pick up a whole house of furniture for next to nothing.
21. If you are in need of office equipment, the best time to buy used equipment is right after a political election when the campaign offices are closing up. Contact them right away.
22. If you believe you have a leak in your toilet, dump a little laundry bluing or food color into your tank after it has filled and stopped running. If the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
23. Instead of putting bricks in your toilet tank to conserve water, which may crumble and clog the plumbing, use a 1 quart plastic jug instead. Fill the jug with water, screw, screw on the lid and place it in the tank. You can reduce water consumption considerably.
24. Buy frozen juices and add your own water. That is all the bottle juices are anyway, so why spend all the extra money.
25. Check your local restaurants for advertised specials. Usually one night a week there are specials, such as Kid's eat free night, a special price for all you can eat, etc. You may want to call first and find out if there is any restrictions before you go.
26. When you want to go out to celebrate a special occassion, go out for lunch instead of dinner. Meals are usually a lower price at this time of day.
27. Another way to eat out and save is to go to a happy hour that serves appetizers and a variety of snacks. For the price of one drink or a soda and a tip, you can eat and enjoy the company of family and friends.
28. Before you head out to the supermarket, make out a check for a little over your food budget. Any difference between the final total food bill and the amount of the check, stick in your savings account. Using coupons, store specials, two-for-ones, and careful shopping, your savings could add up quickly.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spend Less for Gas

Get your car prepared. Make sure your tires are filled with the proper amount of air and that they are aligned properly. Take any extra weight from your trunk or even take off your luggage rack if you do not use it. In the winter, remember that snow and ice do weigh alot, so remove snow and icycles before you drive off. Extra weight means extra gas is used to get the car to move. Get a tune up. If all the parts are working correctly, you will spend less on gas. Change filters and oil regularly.
Go to the gas station in the morning while it is cool. Cooler gas is more compact so you get more for your money. Fill up with the octane you really need. Your car may not need the higher octane, so you may save some pennies by going lower. Check your owners manual for this information.
Now for when you are on the road:
Plan your trip. Make sure you know where you are going and plan the best route. You don't want to stop and start a lot if possible and you don't want rough roads. You want to run all your errands on one go-around so have a list of all you need to get done. Car pool if you can. Does your best friend need to go grocery shopping? Do it together. It is more fun that way anyway.
Drive at the posted speed limits. The faster you go, the more fuel is used. Also, paying for tickets is not a frugal thing to do.
Use your overdrive gear while traveling on the highway
Use cruise control to control constant speed and reduce fuel consumption.
Don't tailgate. All the braking isn't good for gas or tires. Hitting the car in front of you isn't good for your wallet or your insurance either.
Don't idle your car unneccesarily. Turn off the car if you have a long wait. Put your car in neutral if you are at a long red light, traffic stop or in a fast food line during lunch time.
Turn off your air conditioner and open windows if you are traveling at speeds under 40MPH. Any higher, it causes air drags and makes your car work too hard, which causes more gas consumption.
Park in the shade when possible, and try to park forward. Reverse uses more gas.

Strange cures. Try at your own risk

In the midst of research, I have found this list from various sources. Thought they were fun and may help a historical writer or two in the process. I am going to go search out an acorn today, but may have to fight a squirrel or two. They are busy at collecting them right now.

1. Eating nettles mixed with the white of an egg cured insomnia
2. To cure ague swallow a spider wrapped in a raisin
3. To cure baldness rub goose droppings over the affected area
4. To cure a toothache, touch a dead man's tooth
5. To make freckles disappear, cover them with blood from a bull or hare, or use water distilled from crushed walnuts
6. Place an acorn in a window and your house will not get struck by lightening. If a woman carries an acorn in her pocket, she will not age.
7. Nose Bleeds: Rub the insides of your nostrils with the juice of a leek.
8. Carrying an amethyst prevents drunkenness
9. For cramps, tie an eel skin around you knee
10. For wounds: Hold the wound closed and chant, "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Mary. The wound was red, the cut deep, the flesh sore, but there will be no more blood or pain till the blessed Virgin bears a child again."

Bread even I can make!

Beer Bread

3 cups self-rising flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 can beer

Pour ingredients into a bowl. Mix well. Pour into a greased bread pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

13 Ways to Clean with Salt

Get your clothes brighter by adding 2T of salt per load of wash. Fabric colors hold fast

Mix salt with turpentine to whiten your bathtubs and toilet bowl.

Boil wooden clothespins in salt water before using them and they will last longer.

Clean brass, copper, and pewter with a paste made of salt and vinegar, thickened with flour.

Clean your iron by rubbing some salt on a damp cloth, and scrubbing the ironing surface

Use a mixture of salt and lemon juice to clean piano keys

Salt and lemon juice removes mildew

Oven Cleaner: Clean regularly with a mixture of baking soda and warm water. Use steel wool or a butter knife to clean large food chunks. Pour salt on fresh spills, let oven cool and then clean. To minimize clean ups, place aluminum foil on the botton of your oven.

Use salt to clean a discolored coffee pot

Soak discolored glass in a salt and vinegar solution to remove stains

Clean greasy pans with a paper towel and salt

Remove offensive odors from stove with salt and cinnamin. When there's a spill, pour this solution on it to keep from giving off odor and it will be easier to clean.

Remove odors from drains by pouring hot, strong salt water into the drain.


Fertilize your garden naturally. Banana peels and eggshells are great for plants. They also enjoy a drink of flat club soda occasionally. Place a small amount of old fat drippings at the base of your rose bushes to make them healthier and bloom more frequent. After you use up all the milk, put some water in the container, swish it around and water your plants. It is a growth booster.

Recycle ruined cds, dvds, or the internet software you receive in the mail. Nail them to stakes in your garden. The suns glare will keep out some of the unwanted birds and animals.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Money Saving Tips

1. Unplug unused electrical items around your house. This can save you up to 26% on your electric bill each month.

2. Look at the magazines you are getting in the mail. If you find you do not read them because you don’t have the time, cancel your subscription. You can get a refund for the unused months. Don’t throw away magazines. Recycle or pass them on

3. Check the air in your tires. Keeping your tires properly aired will help the gas mileage of your car.

4. If you have access to the internet, go to, click In Stores Now, then click free samples. Free samples change all the time, and this is a good way to try before you buy.