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Old 04-03-2009, 12:36 AM
 
51 posts, read 146,521 times
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I have an idea about the line-dried clothing and linens being stiff. It could be that you canít mix methods; itís either all line or all dryer.

An English friend of mine is death on the dryer and only uses it when the weather makes line drying impossible. Iíve spent time in her house, and her sheets and towels are nice and soft. When she was staying with us, I put towels in the dryer and she warned me that once theyíve gone through the dryer, they get stiff when theyíre hung out to dry.

Taking this thought to the far end of a fart, maybe new things are soft when line dried, and continue to be soft as long as they continue to be line dried. If they go through the dryer, though, the heat might do something Ė my friend said it sucks the life out of the fabric Ė I donít know, maybe it does something to the fibers. Anyway, after that, they canít be line dried again without becoming stiff.

A flimsy theory, yes, but I believe anything told me in an English accent
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
4,852 posts, read 8,321,656 times
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Smile Another cleaning tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmobizmo View Post
Most of us know we should ......
Save more, spend less.
Pay down debt.
Look for better rates on Credit Cards and Mortgages.


What about cost-cutting measures around the house? Do you have any that you've tried that have helped to cut down on household expenses?

I've tried a couple that work well, save money over time and are easy.

Dryer Sheets: Cut them in half. They still do the job they are meant to do but now go twice as far.

Liquid Fabric Softener: Instead of putting it in the wash, put it in the dryer. Add a capful to a spray bottle then fill the rest of the way with water. Spray on a re-usable rag and throw it in the dryer. The Liquid Fabric Softener will last a long time.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Ditch the expensive TB Cleaner and buy a bottle of "Comet" powder at the dollar store. It works every bit as well as the liquid TB Cleaner and is less expensive. White Vinagar also works well and isn't toxic.

Concrete Cleaner: Use a small amount of bleach, water, dish detergeant and a broom to restore the appearance of a concrete sidewalk or porch. It removes most stains and doesn't harm surrounding grass or plants.

What cost-cutting measures have you tried?
I heard about using Baking Soda rather than Lysol, TB cleaner, etc. Seems to work well so far
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
4,852 posts, read 8,321,656 times
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Smile Living less expensively but....

I think often of my dear mother in law who passed away from Alzheimers at age 74. She got it at 66 so she never really able to enjoy her retirement and all the years she scrimped and saved.

So, moderation and balance here.

She spent so much of her life worrying and for example, she worked for a large company, would bring her lunch, get a glass of water (free) and go out to her car and eat. Needless to say, most of the staff thought she didn't want to know them (which was not the case); she was just shy but at the end had very few friends which I thought was sad.

I always tell my kids there's the middle - not too much, not too little, just right in the middle
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:03 AM
 
410 posts, read 934,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
I think often of my dear mother in law who passed away from Alzheimers at age 74. She got it at 66 so she never really able to enjoy her retirement and all the years she scrimped and saved.

So, moderation and balance here.

She spent so much of her life worrying and for example, she worked for a large company, would bring her lunch, get a glass of water (free) and go out to her car and eat. Needless to say, most of the staff thought she didn't want to know them (which was not the case); she was just shy but at the end had very few friends which I thought was sad.

I always tell my kids there's the middle - not too much, not too little, just right in the middle
I agree. Same thing happened to my parents. They saved like misers for most of their working years, Dad kept working past his retirement age to increase his nest egg, even though he had plenty, and ended up getting hurt severly on the job at age 60. They had intended to travel in an RV but now things have certainly changed and they are not able at all to enjoy all they worked for. They finally have the nice home they denied themselves for many years but they are tied to it because of my dad's disabling injuries.

There is for sure a middle ground. Although I like to save whenever I can, I don't deny myself occassional pleasures like dinners with friends or something I really want for myself or someone else. Life should be enjoyed.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:52 AM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,721,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soonerguy View Post
I've quit buying:

Paper towels
Garbage bags (Even if you take your canvas totes to the market, it still seems as if you end up w/ a bunch of plastic shopping bags, so I just use those or empty boxes)
Hair conditioner (you don't really need this)
Shaving cream (soap and water works fine)
Toothpaste (baking soda works well, unless I have a coupon that makes it almost free)
Most cleaning products (I'm down to using baking soda, bleach, pine-sol, and a little comet now and then)
Bleach is also good for unclogging drains and much cheaper than any other option.
My sis has a daycare and she uses only bleach in the dishwasher, the Health Dept. people suggested this. But I don't have a dishwasher.
Wash in cold water.
Cable TV (many shows are now available on the Internet)
My Landline phone was gone long ago.
Kleenex (toilet paper is the same thing, and I buy Scott which is great bargain because it goes a long way and you can often find coupons for it)

I fill my shampoo bottles with water and shake when I can't get anything else out and end up w/ 2-4 more uses.
Don't go to Wal-Mart (just about anything you need can be found like new at garage sales, thrift stores, estate sales, or occassionally stores like Kohl's or Big Lots if you really need something new for the house).
Learn to haggle at garage sales and flea markets. Not obnoxiously, but I've learned that 95% of the time, if you see something that has, for example $10 on it, ask the owner, "Will you take $8?" and usually they will come down. Or you can ask if they will take so much if you buy this item and that item.
Birthday cards and greeting cards I buy at dollar stores (2 for a buck)
Stock up on Christmas cards and other seasonal stuff after the holiday is over (often saving 75% or more)
Same with gifts (I keep a gift closet. When I find something totally dirt cheap that I know will make a good gift, I buy it and put it in the closet)
Recycle envelopes, gift bags, etc.
Turn it off and unplug it if not in use.
Keep the thermostat off, as much as possible. (I've gotten used to wearing sweats, socks, and woolly slippers around the house and it is fine, in the summer I'll wear shorts and go barefoot).
I buy mainly what is on sale (check the mark down bins at the grocery--I found Nestle chocolate bars the other day that were slightly out of date, and the label was in Spanish, for 20 cents each. It's fine, I'm having one now. Also canned goods for 25 cents.)
Lots of stuff is thrown away at work--I bring home boxes, envelopes, whatever I can reuse.
I have a Pur water filter and I use it to fill my water bottles that I carry with me.
Use what is in your pantry before buying more.
Use the leftover condiments and utinsels from fastfood for lunches you take to work.
Use the farmer's markets.
Coupons for anything you can--from groceries to fast food to whatever.
Check the mark-downs in the bakery at the grocery store--lots of good deals here for cents.
Buy meat on sale and freeze.
Move closer to work (I moved 4 minutes away and it is saving me over $100 a month in gasoline).
I'm a booklover and I find just about everything I want or need either at garage/estate sales, library book sales, thrift stores, or free online book swaps. I doubt if I go to Barnes and Noble or other box stores more than once a year.

Estate Sales--I can't say enough about these little gems. Often if you go on Sunday or the last day of the sale, things are marked 50% to 75% off. The other day I got a large art deco chest of drawers for $25, in great shape (and they delivered). I also got a small mission-style bookcase, a stack of brand new hand towels, and two figurines I knew I could resale all for $5! Some people think estate sales are morbid or weird but I think they are full of bargains. Often on the last day, the people who run the sale will practically give the stuff away so they won't have to deal with it. People often put stuff up and never open it. I find lots of new towels and linens and all kinds of things still in the boxes for literally pennies. Not too long ago I found a brand new VCR still in the box for $15. Now I buy videos at garage sales and watch movies I've missed over the years. Usually I give 25 cents to $1 for the movies and I resale them for $1 each. And I don't go to the movies.

RESALE-since I know books, I keep my eyes open and resell some books and other items on ebay. It is so simple to do, just by reselling junk I pick up here and there, never hardly paying more than $1, I can easily make $300-$400 a month. If I spent more time on it, I could probably make more, as I know some people do make a living doing this.

Garage Sales--I also keep a garage sale/donation box for other stuff. Sometimes my relatives or friends have garage sales and I may make a few extra bucks by putting stuff in. I've had my own in the past and made several hundred. But now I don't have as much stuff, I've sold it all, I guess! LOL! Sometimes I'll just take the box to Goodwill if it gets full or donate it however I can.

Keep an eagle eye--I don't go out scavaging garbage on big trash days, although I don't think there is anything wrong with it and people often make good money at it. Americans will throw anything away. But I do keep my eyes peeled--I used to live in a small apartment complex that was mostly college students. They were notorious for leaving things behind. Just by taking my garbage out, I found at different times: A big garbage bag full of Levi 501's (over 20 pair, in great shape), which I would have sold online but ended up giving to someone who needed them; a large box of CD's, which I sold; a vacuum cleaner that I used for over a year; several settings of Fiesta dinnerware which I sold; a big box of canned food, some of which I used and some of which I donated; I could go on.

A person can live very frugally if the effort is put out.
I am so on the same page as you except for a few things: bleach/comet, hair conditioner, toothpaste. But, soonerguy, we are totally on the same wavelength with everything else!

We don't use bleach because it's bad for the environment. The "earth-friendly" bleach is actually hydrogen peroxide. So, when something comes up and it needs "bleach", we just use hydrogen peroxide... but we don't buy the oxicleans and seventh generation bleaches or whatever because they are overpriced for what they are. We use baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils to clean everything in our house.

We do use hair conditioner because I have very long, thick hair that is naturally a bit wavy and without hair conditioner it becomes a frizzy, tangled mess. (I guess I could go for dredlocks! ) Luckily, though, my husband does a lot of traveling for his job, so he brings home the hotel shampoo/conditioners and so I just use those!

And toothpaste... we live in an area where there they do not put fluoride in the water. We've noticed that many people in this area have really bad teeth. I know the fluoride in the water thing is very controversial, but having lived in places with fluoride in the water, and without fluoride in the water, and having seen the difference - we buy toothpaste with fluoride and also see our dentist every 6 months - and our children receive fluoride treatments for their teeth at each visit as well. Our teeth are very healthy. I would worry that switching to baking soda in a place without flouride in the water might lead to dental problems. But if you have flouride in your water - and see your dentist every 6 months - that would be a great tip!

I have never tried thermal curtains, but they sound like a good investment. We do put up dark curtains (they are a dark navy blue color) made of a thick, heavy material. They seem to keep those rooms cool in the Summer, and warmer in winter.

We live in Oregon, without air conditioning. In the Summer it can sometimes get in the 100's for a few days. In the rooms where we do not have the curtains the heat can be awful, but the rooms with the dark curtains hung it is really nice and cool! In winter, we keep the curtains open during the day so that sun can come through to add warmth, and then we close them at night. They seem to help keep the chill right at the window (between the curtain and the window) rather than allowing the whole room to be drafty and cold. We hardly ever turn our little heaters on. We just wear warm comfy clothes and do a lot of baking! We don't buy hardly anything for Christmas or winter holidays, we make gifts... baked goods, salt dough creations, potpourri, etc... so our oven is always on anyway for that which helps warm the house... and makes it smell good!

Very old homes years and years ago, before electricity, used to hang heavy tapestries on their walls and over windows in winter to help keep the homes warmer. It really works.

I wonder if, instead of buying thermal curtains, you could sew some kind of lining in dark curtains? What is it exactly that makes them "thermal"? Hmmm...
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:25 AM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,721,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarlaLogan View Post

A flimsy theory, yes, but I believe anything told me in an English accent
You are too funny!
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:58 AM
 
Location: The end of the road Alaska
860 posts, read 1,706,182 times
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So what's wrong with our clothes being a little stiff when you put them on? Soon as you move around they soften up. I haven't used my dryer in over a year. If I can't hang outside I have two folding dowel racks. Fabric softener is so full of harmful chemicals it's criminal -bad ones! and I, for one, think we've had just about enough chemicals shoved at us.
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,036,129 times
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We love to eat out at fast food restaurants, yes I know its bad for us but there it is.

When we do eat at Taco Bell, they always give us too much taco sauce, this we take home and put it on our home made mexican food to make it taste like Taco Bell.

We could easily spend 20 bucks a pop for pizza when that is what we crave. I take Thomas' English Muffins, top them with pasta sauce, Italian cheese mix and whatever toppings you like.
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Pembroke, GA
87 posts, read 275,223 times
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All the paper that comes in the mail - use the envelopes for scratch paper, pay the bills online - saves gas and trees at the same time.

Soap & Water is cheaper than facial cleaning products. You can make your own non-scented glycerin soap for your face, and add regular oatmeal for body bars.

A double boiler, a bag of semi-sweet chocolate, and a bag of walnuts is all you need to make your own sweets.

Make healthy, nutritional snacks by combining regular (uncooked) oatmeal, walnuts, coconut, powdered milk, and honey. Press into an ungreased pan, cover with plastic wrap, and let set overnight.

Fabric softeners make great dust cloths after they've been through the dryer.

Used coffee grounds or uncooked grits can be used to treat fire ant beds instead of the more expensive poisons.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:05 PM
 
12,607 posts, read 14,613,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimimomx3 View Post
Make a menu for the week and write up a shopping list based on the menu. It makes a difference.
Even better is shopping at a store that doubles coupons, buying only what is on sale that you also have a coupon for (and the sales run in cycles with the coupons available), build a stockpile of stuff you have bought this way, and then plan meals from what you have in your pantry that you bought on sale, rather than planning menus and buying things that may or may not be on sale that week and you may or may not have a coupon for.
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