Thursday, April 30, 2009


I love this stuff. I really try to go low chemical and low odor in my home (youngest child has milk asthma), so this stuff works well. Yes, it has chemicals, but not too many and there is very little smell. It's also been around for about a hundred years, and YES!! it cleans wonderfully!! Sinks, tubs, microwaves, grout, toilets, toaster ovens, faucets, and so much more. Plus the best thing - IT"S CHEAP!! It costs only about a buck a can and the can lasts a looooooong time!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Frugal Friday - Envelopes

You know how every piece of mail you get nowadays comes with it's own envelope, well do you just toss the envelopes? Save them! Use their backsides to make lists, plan meals, doodle, brainstorm, let the kids draw, or just use them as envelopes. No matter what you do with them, they were free for you, they have already been made into a piece of paper, so you might as well use it instead of throwing away that perfectly good piece of scrap paper to reach for a piece of 'pretty' scrap paper that you paid good money for - Remeber, every penny saved counts, especially if it's not a painful way to save the pennies!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring has sprung, and so have sprouts!

Vegetables are one of those things that elicit 2 types of reactions: yum and yuck - mostly dependant on your age group. If you are one of those people who likes to serve veggies to your spouse, your kids, yourself and pretty much anyone else that comes along, try growing a few. I planted a few things in my flowerbed right along with my flowers last year and had a great return. For instance I had 3 grape tomato plants, that probably cost about $2.50 each, but it yielded at least 600 tomatoes over the course of about 3 months. Now, in the grocery store a pint of conventional grape tomatoes is about $2.50, and the organics are about $4. Each pint is worth about 40 grape tomatoes. So, let's do the math:
  • 3 plants at $2.50ea yielded 600ish tomatoes = 200ish per plant (.013 each tomato, about 16 per week for 3 months in the summer)
  • 1 pint at $2.50 = 40 tomatoes (.063 each tomato)
  • A tomato plant in the Southern US will yield fruit for about 3 months
  • 1 pint of tomatoes a week for 3 months = $30
  • 2 plants that produces for 3 months = $5.00

You can save about $25.00 by having 2 plants that produce during the summer, plus you make your plants as organic or not organic as you want depending on the water and fertilizer you use. If you want to go even cheaper, plant the tomatoes from seeds inside about 4 weeks before the last frost - then you get probably 20 plants for about $1.50 - you'll be giving away tomatoes! Or better yet, let your kids open up a front yard produce stand and you can sell the surplus and teach your kids about money. I personally also planted basil, rosemary, parsley and oregano in my flowerbed because the cost of 1 plant is generally equal to the cost of 1 of those little plastic prepaks of the same herb, so if I just use each plant one time I'm even, if I use it twice or more, I'm saving money already. And as an added bonus, my rosemary, parsley and oregano have survived the winter to give me a second year of fresh herbs!!!

This year, I have also planted green beans, broccoli, mixed lettuce, greeen leaf lettuce, spinach, green onion, chives, cilantro, and bell peppers. My husband is going to till up a portion of the backyard so I can have a small garden to work with the kids. We'll both be learning this year, but I think it's a good lesson for both them and me. If you can't have a garden due to space and or time, go for just a couple of herbs in some flowerpots, they'll be easy to maintain, and give you lots of savings since fresh herbs are so expensive anyway - more bang for your buck

PS - If you're local, I'll be happy to give you some clippings of my own herbs for you to root and grow yourself. I'll also share a few sprouts if you want to pot something.

***If you feel intimidated by the thought of 'gardening', please don't. It is not that hard - but start small. I think most people feel like failures over this because they start too big or too complicated. Find something you like - maybe tomatoes and green beans and just plant 2 of each to start. Next year, you can go onto some more adventurous stuff. You need the encouragement of having a few plants do well in order to gain the confidence to work with many.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mascara Remover

A few months ago, I was reading a book entitled "Cheap Talk with the Frugal Friends" and came across this tip - it's a great one.

If you wear mascara and want a macara remover that is easy, effective, safe for your eyes, clean rinsing, nonirritating and recommended by pediatricians - (drum roll please) - baby shampoo, especially the tear free kind. The cheap brands are about $1 a bottle, but if you have sensitive eyes, I would go ahead and splurge on the $4 per bottle brand - it's gonna last you a long time anyway!