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The 6 Surprising Money Savers Hiding in Our Homes


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This article was sent to me in an email and thought it would be a good thread to start. Anyone have any ideas to contribute?

First Person: The 6 Surprising Money Savers Hiding in My Home

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/First-Person-The-6-Surprising-ac-1760244206.html?x=0

Bex Barker, On Friday July 1, 2011, 5:00 pm EDT

Household spending is a complicated aspect of nearly every budget. If only there were a way to use products already in the pantry to help alleviate this monthly strain. Well, good news: There is! Many items you currently have in your home can serve more than their original purpose. The following are a few I use regularly.

-- The mesh bags onions and potatoes come in from the grocery store generally end up in the garbage can. Instead of tossing them, I save a few and use their naturally abrasive texture to scrub pots and pans. The bags are far more gentle on hands than S.O.S pads filled with chemicals.

-- Paper towels are ridiculously expensive. Many people have moved to cleaning with old washcloths or a sponge, and that is certainly a great alternative. However, I am one of those people who prefer to throw away things I have used to wipe the toilet. If you are like me, try using cheap coffee filters. They clean better than paper towels (especially mirrors), and are way cheaper.

-- Speaking of cleaning, "going green" is in these days, so why not hop on that bandwagon for some of your kitchen and bathroom cleansers? Simple ingredients like baking soda splashed with vinegar are terrific for cleaning showers and toilets, and they're especially great at opening drains. If your bathtub drains are clogged with hair, replace the Drano with a few shakes of baking soda, a splash or three of vinegar, and a kettleful of boiling water. These products are generally in the pantry already, and when combined they make amazing cleaning agents.

-- I love baking soda. It has so many uses. Another of my favorite tips is to pour about half a cup of baking soda into a small dish, add 12 drops of essential oil (or your favorite scented oil from Bath & Body Works), and place the dish wherever a little freshening is needed. I like to put a dish in the car after I've forgotten to bring in a cup of coffee and the spoiled cream has left a distasteful odor.

-- While I'm discussing cleaning, I would be remiss in not bringing attention to the most amazing corn cleaner ever. I love corn on the cob, but I hate the corn silk that can seem impossible to remove. Now I just use an unused toothbrush to brush the corn. The bristles do a great job of cleaning out all the silk, and I don't have to spend half an hour per ear of corn.

-- Finally, the easiest of them all. Outdoor activities like concerts or picnics can be less comfortable if you are sitting on a blanket in soggy grass. I like to keep a cheap shower curtain liner with my picnic blanket for these occasions. The liner keeps the blanket dry, and my family and I no longer have to worry about wet bottoms after our picnic.

It's surprising how many things you already own that can serve multiple purposes. Try these, and venture into the realm of repurposing. As you find even more new uses for old objects, share your knowledge with all of your friends.

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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  • Elders (Admins)

Some good tips there. I particularly like the baking soda and vinegar ideas. I get the impression over here in the UK that there's a movement back to the more basic cleaning materials that our grandmothers used - partly because they are cheaper but also because using the old-fashioned materials can be better for people and the environment, especially in terms of minimal packaging. These days it seems that for every cleaning job there's a separate cleaning product (each with its own advertising budget). Some time ago, my husband stocked up with what he thought was dishwashing liquid, in large containers. In fact it was powder, and the size and weight of the containers meant that every time I tried to add the powder it went everywhere. So, that was a bit of a mistake. Except it wasn't. It's a non-foaming cleaning material that I use just about everywhere - it's great for mopping the kitchen floor because it's non-slip. And, incidentally, whose idea was it that washing-up liquid had to have bubbles?

My money saver in my home is my husband. Being an accountant of the old-school he's a wizard with numbers. When he started, back in the 1960s, the use of calculators wasn't standard practice, so he learned lots of mental calculating tricks which are very handy in working out which is the better offer in the supermarket, e.g. 2 @ b grams at £d per gram -vs- 3 @ h grams at £m per gram. When he explains the arithmetic (which he does in his head), I can see exactly how that works, but I couldn't do it myself. Fortunately he does the food and household shopping so I don't need to bother, thank goodness, as I'd only get a headache.

The tip I like the best is the use of the mesh bags. That's brilliant alternative thinking.

Libby

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

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Guest Mikal C Johnson  KtCym ECA

Potatoes and onions come in mesh bags?

Haven't seen a coffee filter in ages. We have a Keurig.

I have no idea where I'd get corn silk. Corn comes pre-shucked.

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Mikal, I googled corn silk and it seems people at Amazon sell it, and the tea, as well as other sites. Here's the link.

Corn Silk Search

Libby, 3 cheers for your husband. One of my majors was math, but I've tried not to be spoiled with calculators and use my head instead. Good to keep it stimulated. I consider it a challenge to balance out my checkbook without using a machine. So good so far.

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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  • Elders (Admins)

I thought corn silk was just the annoying thin threads that you either pulled out from between the rows of kernels, or from between your teeth if you missed one. I had no idea that people actually make tea from them. But given that I'd been told stories about war-time use of dandelion roots as a coffee substitute, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised at the inventiveness of people making good use of nature's bounty.

As for the Keurig - I had to google for that. Very interesting, though as I only drink a small cup or two of decaff coffee in the morning, and the rest of the day enjoy tea freshly brewed in a teapot, the Keurig (notwithstanding its technological excellence) wouldn't work for me. Except for the chocolate... mmmm. But not only would that not be a money saver, it wouldn't do much good for my waistline.

Libby

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

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  • Elders (Admins)

Libby, 3 cheers for your husband. One of my majors was math, but I've tried not to be spoiled with calculators and use my head instead. Good to keep it stimulated. I consider it a challenge to balance out my checkbook without using a machine. So good so far.

That's impressive, and more useful than most people realise.

Although I can't do the complicated stuff my husband does (he does a Soduku puzzle every day) I can do some of the mental arithmetic which avoids getting ripped of by some of the techniques that shops use. £3.99 + £4.99 + £5.99 doesn't mean 3+4+5 (12), it means 4+5+6 (15, with a little bit of change that could get lost in between the cracks in the floorboards, or down the back of the sofa.) I wonder how many youngsters these days don't realise that because they can't figure it out in their heads.

For my mental stimulus, because I'm better at words, I attempt complete a daily online concise crossword puzzle. It's one where the first two clues combine to produce a homophone as a kind of joke:

Line of people waiting (5) - queue

Sleep rough (informal) (4) - doss

Joke: put the two together and you get kudos. :oneeyedwinK

Libby

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

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Young people don't even know how to give change anymore without the register telling them. Pitiful.

I enjoy Cryptograms, especially when they give me at least one clue.

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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