What am I, a Rockefeller?

by Katy on November 19, 2015 · 38 comments

Cut sponge

Yes, I cut my kitchen sponges in half. What am I, a Rockefeller?!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Marilyn November 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Good idea! Since I am not a Rockefeller either, I always cut the Brillo pads in half. And if I use the dryer, I cut the fabric softener sheets in 4 pieces using 1/4 sheet per load.


Teri November 19, 2015 at 5:30 pm

I do the same with dryer sheets. This the only blog that I read the comments!


Elizabeth November 20, 2015 at 8:36 am

You may already know this tip for brillo pads, but if you freeze them after each use, they will last a really long time, instead of turning into balls of rust.


Jill November 20, 2015 at 9:34 am

I reuse the softener sheets. I can generally use one 3-4 times, depending on the load size. Sometimes more in line-drying weather.


Ave November 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

No dryer sheets used here. I just put white vinegar in fabric softener cup of the washing machine. Please do not use vinegar, if you use bleach as this will produce toxic fumes. We have family members who are sensitive to bleach and use hydrogen peroxide instead.


Sharon H. November 19, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Heehee! This is why we keep coming back. Clever ideas, good writing, packaged up in a big roll of cheekiness. 🙂


Mariana Cisowska November 19, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Same 😉


Tracy November 20, 2015 at 12:32 pm



Susanne g November 19, 2015 at 3:26 pm

You keep this up you’re GOING to be a Rockefeller!


Karen November 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm

My husband came from a very frugal region overseas, and he even tears his Kleenex in half! That’s too zealous for me. I cut the Mr. Clean pads in half, hang dry laundry (inside if necessary), wear and extra sweater in the house so the thermostat can stay low, etc. All the usual. We have 2 kids in college and they (and we) will graduate debt free. Praise the Lord.
I love the inspiration I find here.


Bettypants November 20, 2015 at 4:40 am

I misread that as “hang dry Kleenex” at first. For a second, I thought you were the tippy top of frugal.


Celina Boulanger November 19, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Cut my dryer sheets in half..drives hubby nuts, lol. I also water all cleaners, hygiene products ..they squish the same amount and effect..


Jennifer November 19, 2015 at 4:21 pm

I tear paper towels( can’t seem give these up just yet)in half even when they are the kind that are already a half peice. Also, squish your toilet paper roll. I tried squishing mine because my kids kept rolling it off for fun but it turns out we all use less if it doesn’t roll off so easily. Another thing I have been doing is skipping the laundry detergent in my clothes if it’s something I am washing with bleach. This seems like double duty since both things are a “cleaner”. I personally like my clothes to smell like “nothing”, so I don’t miss the detergent smell and a small amount of bleach leaves no smell. I dumped fabric softener years ago. Just give it try and see if it works out for you.


Lucy November 20, 2015 at 5:29 am

Bleach, in fact, is not a cleaner. Bleach is inactivated by contact with organic matter. Clean first, then disinfect clean items with bleach.

Uh, science nerd, moi?


Tracy November 20, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Really? I have never heard that before about bleach. Frugal AND educational.


Jennifer November 21, 2015 at 7:27 pm

I gues if we are splitting hairs technically calling bleach a “cleaner” is inaccurate. The agitation in the washer is a cleaning process since the movement does, in fact, removes debris. I have a lot of experience with laundry, I’m sure we all do, so this method works for me and maybe only me, lol. Of course, certain loads will always require more attention than others. Hey, thanks for the science though!


Maureen November 19, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Since we’re cold and staticy(?), I have to use something in the dryer. I grow lemon-verbena on my deck in the summer, dry it and tie it in little muslim bags. They last for ages, smell wonderful and are really good with the static. I throw in 2 or 3 bags at a time in the winter. Btw, tie them Really well if you try this.


Jennifer November 19, 2015 at 6:45 pm

I have heard of these reusable dryer “balls” for lack of better words that supposedly work as well as a dryer sheet or the like. I have never tried them though but lots of people use them.


Alison November 19, 2015 at 11:29 pm

We use two old tennis balls, each wrapped in an old sock. Haven’t used fabric softener in years – it’s bad for your clothes anyway.


Bettypants November 20, 2015 at 4:42 am

I have read that wool laundry balls decrease dry time and reduce static. I cut a holey wool blanket into strips and wrapped those into balls. I have no idea if they are working.


Jill November 20, 2015 at 9:37 am

I have used wool balls and they worked pretty well. You can even put a couple of drops of aromatherapy oil on them if you want a scent. They are super-easy to make. I always use them with towels because the dryer sheets leave a film or something that seems to make them less absorbent. Also good for things like sleeping bags and winter coats, to break up the filling.


MS November 20, 2015 at 6:22 am

Dryer balls are much better for your clothes- and they reduce dry time- thus saving energy. The reason that most people have static with them is because they aren’t adjusting dry time. I personally use the green Norwex ones that have lasted me for nearly 5 years, but you can make your own with wool- which I will do if mine ever die. Fabric softener sheets are bad for clothes (and you! hello chemicals that you wear on your skin- yikes!)
Line drying is not a very do-able option on a regular basis for me.


Revanche November 20, 2015 at 9:38 am

I use them (like this: http://amzn.to/1PEBa4g) and it works great! And if I really want some scent, I drop a few drops of tea tree oil on a couple of them.

There’s no static on the clothes with these, and usually when your dryer hasn’t gone bonkers and simply won’t turn off *glares at dryer*, the drying time is shorter.


Martha November 20, 2015 at 5:50 am

I have a rental that needed the dryer fixed several years ago. The repair man told me to make sure to wash the lint filter about once a week or so. The lint filter is clogged due to the fabric softener ( sheets or liquid). He said that softener is made from animal fat. Yuck. I never used the stuff again and I haven’t missed it. I never researched what he said and I am assuming he is correct. Either way, I am not spending money on softener. I will call that a win.


Jill November 20, 2015 at 9:38 am

Yes! I never knew that you had to wash (with soap and water) the lint filter. Once I read that, we started doing it regularly. It makes a big difference.


JD November 19, 2015 at 7:21 pm

It sounds like a good idea to me, especially since some products are so large to start with. I like something that fits in my hand.
Off topic, but I make my own laundry detergent, and the other day I spilled some on the floor. I finished what I was doing with the laundry before wiping it up. To my surprise, it took an old stain off the vinyl floor with no scrubbing. Now, I just have to determine the correct amount to use on my floor for stain removal without leaving a lot of detergent to clean up or wasting it!


Bee November 20, 2015 at 2:52 am

Do you make a liquid version of the detergent it a powder? Please share your recipe.


Isabel November 20, 2015 at 3:03 am

Did cutting the Brillo pad sharpen the scissors? Cutting sandpaper is supposed to and cutting aluminium foil!
I am reading Miserley Moms by Jonni McCoy ….. Very good read!
Think reading this column keeps me alert to the principals of non consumerism and thrift!
Saying I have up on my cupboard ….. Cannot people realise how large an income is thrift!
Admire tremendously the efforts all of you make that your children do not have gigantic debt for education!


Anne November 20, 2015 at 3:31 am

“What am I, a Rockefeller?” Hilarious, and many years from now your children will be passing that saying on to THEIR children while saying, “My mother always said, ‘ What am I, a Rockefeller?’ “


Elizabeth November 20, 2015 at 5:12 am

Absolutely! I’m expecting a free O-cedar sponge in the mail soon. Two free instead of one. 🙂


Lesley November 20, 2015 at 5:50 am

I too cut my green scrubbies into 4 pieces. They fit my hand better, as one commenter also said. I use vinegar instead of fabric softener, and if I’m bleaching I barely use any detergent (which is already watered down). Lovely to be among so many like-minded people. Happy Friday!


Jennifer November 20, 2015 at 7:12 am

I used to work with a doctor that had his own private practice so he had to buy all his own supplies. He made us cut all the cotton balls in half. We used cotton balls soaked in alcohol out of a glass jar to give injections instead of the prepackaged ones hospitals and clinics always use. I used to grumble as I cut all the cotton balls but now I am older and wiser, lol.


Beth November 20, 2015 at 7:34 am

I don’t use sponges, but I do have quite a large attachment to freezer bags. I’m starting to wash/reuse the ones that hold bread/fruits/veggies/thoroughly cooked foods, but am nervous to wash/reuse the ones that I use for raw meat. If anyone has any ideas about whether this would be safe, or knows of any non-disposable options for storing raw meat in my freezer, I’d be grateful. Those freezer bags are so expensive!


Revanche November 20, 2015 at 9:40 am

Confession: I have a similar attachment. So much so I’ve asked for them as my birthday present 🙂 I personally wouldn’t reuse the ones for raw meat if you can’t wash them out well with soap and water. Some things aren’t worth the risk.


Anne November 20, 2015 at 9:53 am

I could be wrong but I wash the plastic bags that have held meat. For one thing the meat was also wrapped in a plastic wrap first. But most importantly, I don’t throw away and plates or knives that have come in contact with raw meat, so I figure if the washing of those things are okay, then the washing of plastic bags must be, too.

Full disclosure – I’m not a scientist, but also don’t believe I have ever caused a food prep illness. 😀


Shevaun November 23, 2015 at 7:00 am

I turn my zipper-freezer bags inside out, then toss them in with the laundry (usually with the whites, to be bleached). I hang them on a line in the basement to dry … don’t put them in the dryer! I usually get 5-6 uses out of each bag before the zippers give out.


Ruby November 20, 2015 at 9:06 am

I also cut scrubby sponges in half! And I am going to put some old tennis balls and old socks to use to make dryer balls. What a great tip!


Revanche November 20, 2015 at 9:41 am

Our dryer sheets are cut into quarters too, and that does the job just as well as we need. I also have dryer balls which I love, so we’re set on the dryer front for a long while. We’d airdry more but clothes can’t dry in this weather fast enough so one fusty smelling load of wash was enough to teach me to at least half dry most things.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: