Frugal Wednesdays – Random Collection of Ideas With Attitude

Life is about to get very, very interesting around here.  We have our moving date and it’s only 8 weeks away!  Freaking out, yes, yes I am.  Excited?  Oh yes!  But moving isn’t a frugal activity, so moving right along here are 10 random frugal ideas (Honey Badger style) from all over the place and all over the alphabet. 😉

Honey Badger’s Frugal Wednesday Randomness 

1.  Scrubbing the dishes?  When you are using soap-filled scrubbing pads like SOS, wet the object to be scrubbed instead of the pad. The pad lasts a lot longer and doesn’t rust as quickly.  Also, unless you have a tonne of pots and pans to scrub at one time, cut the pad in two pieces before using. This will stretch the pads AND sharpens your kitchen shears at the same time.  If you just used it for a smaller job, store it in a Ziploc bag and stash it in your freezer.  This will help the pad last practically forever.  When you remove it from the freezer, a quick run under hot water will defrost the pad and make it ready to use again.

2.  You will save lots of money and prolong the life of your clothes if you use less soap and wash exclusively in COLD water.  Try it, you’ll be amazed.  Remember, the more soap you use, the more you have to buy, the more you buy, the happier the manufacturers are, the happier they are, the more they want to sell, the more they want to sell, the more they tell you to use.  The more loads you wash in HOT, the more you spend on electricity or gas (depending on your water heater).  The more you spend on utilities, the happier and fatter the utility companies get.  The fatter they get, the bigger their pensions get.  The bigger their pensions get, the bigger they want them.  The bigger they want them the more they raise the price of utilities.  It’s insanity.  It’s a vicious, dirty laundry conspiracy – choose to NOT participate.  Just say NO!  Less Soap, Cold Water!

3.  Read your weekly fliers.  Stores other than Wal-Mart price match.  I don’t visit more than two stores in any given week, so I’m not spending a ton in gas to save .20 on a tin of beans.  BUT, by just shopping the sales, and without accounting for coupon use (which would more than double my savings), I have saved over $400 this year alone, just by taking 20 minutes a week to go through the flyers and make a list.  So, over a period of seven weeks, I have spent a total of 2.33 hours of my time to save over $400 on groceries and household items that I would have needed to buy in any event (these kids, they sure do get cranky if you don’t feed ’em!).  So, if my math is right, that means the value in that 20 minutes a week is the equivalent of $172 per hour.  Holy sugarsnacks!  I’m making bank *grin*

4.  Freeze your leftovers.  Stop throwing out a spoon full of corn here, a few florets of broccoli there, half a cup of soup there.  Repurpose them in another meal later on.  One tiny cooked pork chop and three pieces of broccoli and a lonely baby carrot, together do not a meal make, but freeze them, pull them out and add them to a stir fry or soup and presto magic – no food wasted and even better, no money wasted!  It sounds weird, I know.  We’re so used to just tossing everything into the bin and washing up but next time, take a second, stop and really see what’s in front of you and think to your self “can I use this in another meal?”  More often than not, the answer will be a resounding, “YES!”

5.  Research and really know what is a legit opportunity and what is a scam when you are trying to make some extra money online.  For me, I’m all about the Swagbucks.  I use the SB toolbar (powered by Google) and search as I normally would and poof!  I earn SBs at random.  They, when I have enough (usually at least once a month), I redeem my SBs for Amazon.ca gift cards.  I have ‘earned’ over $90 without doing anything more than I would do usually online.  Oh, and I did spend some of that Amazon gift card money on a new lens filter kit and a remote control for my beloved Rebel T2i ;).  But, I’ll be posting a more complete and in-depth post on Swagbucks in the near future.

And, just because posts without pictures are kind of bland, here’s one from quite a few years back now:

A very early, failed attempt at, I think, potato-cheese bread. It tasted great, but looked so weird! UFO, anyone?

6.  Rehydrate your own beans.  One pound of dried beans makes the equivalent of 3-4 tins. Make it as you need it, or bag and freeze a whole batch for crazy days.  Always boiled red kidney beans for 10 minute or more before eating.  Make your own “instant rice”- when you’re making rice anyways, double or triple what you actually need, then freeze the extra. You just need to heat it through when you need it – such a time and money saver and is great for brown rice too.  (and in keeping with item #4, freeze your leftover rice and add it to later dishes as well) 😉

7.  Stop buying expensive laundry pre-treatments.  Make your own laundry pre-treater that gets the grease out of your clothes every time.  In a clear spray bottle fill 1/2 of the bottle with Dawn dishwashing liquid (purchased on sale with a coupon, of course *grin*).  Then fill the rest of the way up with water, leaving a bit of room to shake the bottle for proper mixing. It works really well on grease and food stains alike (and, say it with me,” it saves you lots of money and stops making the fat cats even fatter”).

8.  Have beautiful skin and money in your purse at the same time.  If you struggle with oily skin, add a little regular salt or sea salt to your regular cleanser.  It acts as an exfoliator.  If you have ‘regular’ (as opposed to elephant?) skin or suffer with dry skin, add a teaspoon of sugar to your cleanser instead.  Next time you have the time and privacy to take a bath by yourself (no kids pounding on the door or trying to “keep you company” – uh huh, as if!),  put some oatmeal into a piece of clean, old pantyhose (make sure that it is tied off at both ends) and put in your bath.  Once it has soaked in the water for a while, squeeze it and the oatmeal milk will help to make your skin so soft and also reduce any redness.  This is also non-toxic and helpful if you have a rash.  Once your bath is finished, just toss out the stocking. Quick and easy clean up – LOVE IT!

9.  Wherever and whenever you can – hang your wet laundry up to dry!  I have five kids and one husband (no husband-brothers or sister wives here *grin*) and I hang all our laundry from April through to November (in Canada, no less) and when I am forced to use the dryer, I use it at night during ‘off peak’ hours, so the electricity is less than half the cost as ‘high demand or medium demand’ times.  TOU electricity is not fun, don’t be shackled to your drier.  Your clothes will last longer and smell nicer if you hang dry them 🙂

10. Nobody likes the ends of the loaf of bread.  I don’t understand it, I certainly don’t endorse this behaviour, but it’s true.  Many people are prejudiced against bread ends.  So many people just bypass the first piece in a brand new bag of bread and skip back two or three slices.  The bag will have a couple of slices left in it but you’ll hear “we don’t have any bread!” and they open yet another bag and look to toss the (for some reason) offensive ends out.  But stop!  Freeze them.  Save them up and use them for stuffing, make bread crumbs, or other things with them.  It doesn’t matter if they’re frozen, and no one will know or care that they ARE eating the ends 😉  Or, you could save a BUNDLE and bake your own bread, but baby steps are the best place to start 🙂

What are your favourite frugal or resource saving tips or tricks?  Share, share!