Here are a few suggestions for saving time and money around the house:
1. Instead of aerosol sprays or expensive candles, when there is an odor in your home--from a smoker, or from cooking, whatever--try this quick method of getting rid of it: Heat white vinegar in a saucepan on the stove for a few minutes. You will smell vinegar for a few minutes, but when the vinegar smell is gone, so is the offending odor.
A slower method is just to set a bowl of white vinegar on the kitchen counter for a few hours or overnight.
2. If you have a septic system for your home, only use white toilet tissue, no colored inks which break down the chemical reactions that make the system work properly.
3. Heat-producing appliances are the biggest wasters of electricity in the home. Air-dry all the laundry you can. For fluffy towels, dry in the dryer for 5-10 minutes and then hang outside to finish drying. The same for permanent press items of clothing. Just dry for a few minutes to remove the wrinkles and then hang to dry completely.
4. Your microwave oven uses less energy to run than your kitchen range.
5. Wash your windows on a cool, cloudy day so the heat of the sun doesn't dry the glass before you can get it clean!
6. Refill empty milk jugs with water and place in the empty spots in your freezer to keep it running more efficiently. Plus, you will have ice for your ice chest in summer.
7. Save all your plastic shopping bags and use them as liners in wastebaskets.
8. If possible, route your washing machine to drain outside and water your lawn or garden.
9. Use small loads in your washer and dryer to help eliminate wrinkles. Cold water rinsing also helps keep wrinkles to a minimum.
10. When dusting, add a little liquid fabric softener to a soft cloth. Because of the anti-static properties, it helps keep dust off a little longer. Plus, it makes the room smell really good!
11. Don't throw away your old shower curtain! Use it as a drop cloth when painting. Or cover the floor or table when you or the kids are working on a craft project.
12. To remove water spots from your stainless steel sink, simply wipe with white vinegar or rubbing alcohol.
13. Instead of buying extra pillows to go in your pillow shams, store your extra blankets in them.
14. For a natural carpet deodorizer, sprinkle carpet with baking soda. Let sit for a few minutes or even over- night; then vacuum as usual.
15. Put an old sock on your hand, dampen it a little, and dust the leaves of your houseplants. Add a dab of mayonnaise and your plants' leaves will shine!
"We have succeeded in life when all we really want is only what we really need."
About The Author: Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" bi-weekly newsletter, featuring creative ideas and tips to help you "live the good life...on a budget!" Visit http://www.cynroberts.com to download a free "Recipe Sampler". Subscribe to the newsletter and receive the free e-course "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".
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Boycott gas that import middle eastern oil such as, Shell 205,742,000 barrels, Chevron/Texaco 144,332,000 barrels, Exxon/Mobil 130,082,000 barrels, Marathon/Speedway 117,740,000 barrels
Amoco 62,231,000 barrels.
Here are some large companies that do not import middle eastern oil:
Citgo 0 barrels, Sunoco 0 barrels, Conoco 0 barrels, Sinclair 0 barrels, BP/Phillips o barrels, Hess 0 barrels, Arco 0 barrels.
(This information is available from the Department of Energy and these gas companies are required to state where they get their oil and how much they are importing.
Do the math at $30 dollars a barrel these imports amount to over $18 billion! And gas now at more than $ 52 dollars a barrel!
A couple of comments - septic systems work by biological not chemical action - bacteria 'digest' the contents. In my opinion coloured toilet paper wouldn't harm them but the enormous amounts of bleach and cleaning fluids people pour down their toilets will kill the bacteria and slow or stop the septic function. There is no logical reason to attempt to sterilize your toilet - a) it is impossible and b) it is not necessary - you are only using it to urinate and defaecate into! Wash daily with a brush and use a small amount of scouring powder occasionally. If you have stains remove them mechanically with wet and dry sand paper or a pumice stone. If you have small children wipe arount the rim of the toilet with a bleach soaked cloth where they may touch the toilet with their hands.
If you are going to re route your clothes washing water to the garden use a low sodium, low phosphate liquid detergent in small amounts, better still wash in plain water, (I do). Don't use borax - boron is a trace element essential for plant growth but only needed in minute amounts. Too much will kill plants/damage the soil. Unless you are in a high rainfall area, to wash out the sodium, this will also build up in the soil. There may be no obvious ill effects initially but eventually your soil will be dead/grow nothing if sodium builds up too high. Phosphate can be used by plants but a lot washes off into waterways, (as it does if sent down the drain). This can lead to toxic algal blooms with dead fish, and can poison people swimming in the water.
I just want to comment on tip #6. Who has extra room in their freezer? LOL! I almost have to set a brick on my chest freezer to keep the lid from popping open :)
Seriously, these are great tips. If you keep your freezer full...whether it be with foodstuffs or Ice, and you have a power outage, your food will keep longer. We once had a fuse blow when we were on vacation, and were gone for a week. Because the freezer was full, everything was still OK upon our return and discovery. Partially thawed, but still contained ice crystals.
Harlean from Arkansas.
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