Contest Over — Thanks For All The Great Tips!

by Katy on November 12, 2008 · 36 comments

The contest to win a copy of “Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me” has ended. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue sharing all your great money saving ideas with the Non-Consumer community.

Congratulations to Marj!

And thank you to everyone who shared their wonderful ideas. I think I may have picked up a tip or two!

-Katy Wolk-Stanley

The Non-Consumer Advocate




Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me


Hey there Non-Consumers, it’s contest time!

I reviewed a library copy of Paula Begoun’s Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me in July, and was recently sent a brand new seventh edition from Paula’s Choice.

I was kind of tempted to just keep the book. Or maybe give it as a gift. After all, this great book retails for $29.95. And the book is all about being an informed consumer and not spending too much money. Two concepts I can stand behind.

But then I had an idea for a contest.

Tell us your best money-saving ideas and strategies in the comments section below.

I will randomly pick a winner from all entries.

Here’s the rules:

  1. All entrants have to give at least one money saving idea.
  2. You can only enter once.
  3. My blood relatives may not enter. (You know who you are, so no sneaky business!)
  4. Entrants must reside in The United States. (The book is truly heavy!)

I will keep the contest open until November 19th, midnight PST, at which time I will pick a winner.

Tell your friends and family. (Not interested in cosmetics? Give it as a gift.)

Good luck!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Piccola November 12, 2008 at 8:43 pm

I just found your blog! Hmm, let’s see…..I used to buy tea every morning from Starbuck’s, costing me about $60 a month. I decided to invest $25 in a nice Thermos travel tumbler and $3 for a box of tea bags that last me a month, saving myself a total of $57 per month.

Another thing I did to save some money was to get a library card. I was spending an obscene amount of money on books (somewhere around $200 a month!). I sold some of my books back to Powell’s (I kept the important one’s of course!) and now I have a credit there that is going to last me for quite some time. I figure I’ll be giving books as Christmas presents this year 🙂


BohoBelle November 13, 2008 at 12:38 am

I can’t officially enter because I’m in Australia – and yes I know the book, I was just reading it in the library last week and it is amazing!

So here is a tip from the Simple Living Organisation which I have been trialling over the last week (plus its in keeping with the topic – bonus points!);

Use Dove soap bar to wash your HAIR.

I know, I had my reservations. But it’s great! You can then buy value packs and use it for … ahem, soap too. Savings, only probably about $5 a month though, nothing huge.

For me the value is to have one less product in the bathroom and space saving when travelling.

Good luck with your competition!


S.R. November 13, 2008 at 3:10 am

one of my best tips is, since i like to cook, is to shop at ethnic grocers or even look for your spices in the international aisle of the regular grocery store. I once did some math and found out a 12 oz huge bottle of crushed red pepper flakes bought in international aisle $1.99 would cost me over $20 if i bought that same amount the next aisle over.
also 5 oz of Cardamon pods costs me about $2-$3 at the Indian grocer, the same amount bought in the grocery store would cost me $60-$71.50 depending on the current price.

its also a good chance most stuff you get from an Indian grocer is organic


Maggie November 13, 2008 at 6:59 am

Hello Katy! Don’t count me in the contest as I live in Montréal. My favorite is using very very cheap dish detergent for my laundry. I buy the huge jug (that pink stuff) and it works great. I use about 1/8 of a cup for a large load. I didn’t do the math about the price for a load but a jug cost around 4.00$ can. and It las for at least 6 weeks for a family of 4. Not bad! It washes very well believe me….


Gerard Kiernan November 13, 2008 at 7:09 am

Okay, I like to save money.
1) if you wear eyeglasses, get them online for 10-30 dollars a pair instead of 300-400 dollars at opticians.

2) find a place to live that is close to your work and stop driving so darn much. Walk. Bike.

3) Go mostly bald and use one of those lawnmower-hair clippers to deal with what is left.

4) Insulate the attic well, then repeat. Watch the heating costs go way down.

5) Learn to cook!

6) Don’t hang out with people who are upwardly mobile in the conventional sense. it is tiresome and expensive.


Deanna November 13, 2008 at 8:23 am

Here are a few that I do:

1) When mailing gifts that can be counted as “media” (such as books) request “Media Mail” at the post office. It might take a little longer to get to the destination, but it can save you a few bucks.

2) On that note, go through your dvd, cd, and book collections to find ones that you don’t want or need any more. Sell them on (you can decide your own price) and watch the clutter disappear!

3) Save all your errands for one outing. That way you’ll use less gas than you would if you went back and forth from home.

4) Unplug gadgets that you don’t use on a regular basis so they don’t use up “phantom” electricity by staying plugged in.

5) When you go out to eat, cut your meal into two meals (this is easy since so many restaurants give big portions). Eat one half and then have the rest wrapped up for another meal the next day. This can save money and cut down on your calorie-intake in one sitting.


thenonconsumeradvocate November 13, 2008 at 8:42 am

Great ideas folks.

Keep ’em coming!

-Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Marj McClendon November 13, 2008 at 9:47 am

First, we make our own laundry soap.
Next, we like make a mix gifts to give at Christmas.
Next, I cook. Real meals, the crock pot is a lifesaver.
Also, we utilize our deep freezer. Stock up if it is a good sale.
We use coupons when they are useful. Otherwise, it is generic for us.
Next, I am going to try making my own hand lotion. I love making things.
Oh yes, reading your blog saves us money. You post lots of great ideas, Thanks.


Marj McClendon November 13, 2008 at 9:58 am

First, just reading your site saves me lots of money. You have given me lots of money saving tips. Thanks.
We make our own laundry detergent.
I enjoy cooking and baking so we do not eat out. We utilize our deep freezer by stashing extra cooking and baking in it.
Christmas gifts are usually wonderful baked goods or make a mix jars of goodies.
My sister sent me her dehydrator. We love banana chips for healthy candy.
Clothing gets washed in cold water.
Coupons get used only if they are useful otherwise it is generics for us.
Making hand lotion is next on my list to try.


Martha Gunter November 13, 2008 at 10:14 am

An elderly friend of mine makes a pot of coffee every morning for her house plants! I don’t do that, but I pour any cold left over coffee that i don’t drink into plants, and I discard the coffee grounds by sprinkling them in my flower beds.
This makes plants very green! It does not make them flower – just have very green foliage.

I have made several lovely cake stands, plant stands or even a small birdbath by glueing various saucers, bowls, plates, frying pans, large plant saucers, etc. together. I make a “tower” that then becomes an attractive serving item for a buffet, a distinguished plant stand, a bird bath (if the top item is a shallow bowl), or a container for jewelry or fruit. I will be giving some of these for gifts.
This is a delicious way to use an item that has sentimental value but is no longer useful or has a chip. Some of the combinations are delightful!


Erica December 31, 2011 at 12:31 am


I realize this post was YEARS ago. However, I would be interested in seeing some pictures of your cake stands/plant stands. I keep trying to picture them in my mind & am not coming up w/anything. 🙂 If you;d be willing to send the pics, my e-mail is

Thanks in advance!! 🙂


Susan Dillon November 13, 2008 at 11:35 am

Ditto to all the forementioned tips.
Speaking of beauty tips, I have a few to look as if you can afford plastic surgery.

For instant face lift and the smoothest skin around. take an avocado and coffee grounds, blend well, Get the tempurature of your face up by splashing with warm water. Put mask on and keep on face 20 minutes and rinse. Avocado smooths and exfoliates, while the coffee tightens the skin. Use lotion afterwards, because the coffee is drying.

You can use plain cornmeal as a safe exfoliant. Just mix with a little water and scrub. Hair can be washed with a mixture of 2 tsps of baking soda in a glass of warm water and rinsed with vinegar for beautiful results.

In warm weather, you can put a rinse of lemon juice on your hair and sit in the sun to get a safe mild bleaching effect.

To avoid laser surgery for age spots and skin tags (those annoying little flaps or mole-like bits of skin some people get on areas your clothes rub,
use a simple generic alpha-hydroxy cream, cheaply at your pharmacy. There are safe inexpensive skin bleaches out there for age spots.

To get cheap color, I buy Natural Instincts color. Because there is no ammonia in it, you can mix it, use what you want and refrigerate the rest. I have mine fresh and safe to use any time you want it. I have kept mine up to 6 months. And because of this you can buy it when it’s buy one, get one and mix your own unique color. Just keep all the color bottles in the fridge and they’ll last a long time.

I use washing soda and borax one to one mix for laundry detergent. It is dry, easy to store and the combination is great on grease stains and keep the color nice.

When I switched to baking soda from my old toxic shampoo, I kept the shampoo around. I mix it with the eco-friendly detergent as a degreaser.

One more, because I live in the great frozen North, I have learned to keep utility tablecloths and tarps in the car. When winter storms come, I hook them on the windshields. The next day, they come off with most of the ice and snow. This save a lot of gas that would be used defrosting the car.

Well, that’s all I could think of off the top of my head. Plus of course reading this and many other frugal blogs online


Barbara Shoham November 13, 2008 at 2:25 pm

I used to think I lived a fairly “simple” lifestyle, but reading your blog has helped open my eyes to some excesses that had crept in.

I walk the kids to school, take the train to work, and rarely use the car (which is 9 years old and I have no plans to replace it) except on weekends. The heat is set at 62 degrees, and we don’t have central air conditioning. We are frequent users of our library, many of our items are bought used, and I am known among my friends as the hand-me-down queen.

But, I find that the question of food and meals requires constant attention.

As a single parent, working full time in a job that requires a commute, food planning and preparation is an ongoing challenge. All too often, I was solving the problem by grabbing dinner from a local restaraunt, or using mostly pre-packaged food from the supermarket. A muffin from the bakery for breakfast, bought on the way to work, happened about twice a week. And I am too embarrassed to admit how often I would purchase lunch.

But for the past few months I have been focused on home-cooked meals made from fresh ingredients.

In addition to the cost-savings compared to eating out, I also feel better knowing exactly what ingredients are going into my kids’ growing bodies. Plus, I love leftovers for lunch — easy to pack and much tastier than the for-purchase items available near my office.

The most difficult thing is the rush when we all arrive home at 6:00pm and the kids are starving. One of my kids is a rather picky eater, which only adds to the challenge. I’ve been working on improving my recipes that can be made in advance as well as super-quick items such as fish. Plus my sister-in-law gave me a crockpot cookbook, which I’ve tried a few times now that the weather is getting cooler.

In the last two months I’ve cut down to restaraunt food less than once a week (that includes the occasional lunch when I haven’t packed anything) and have completely eliminated purchasing breakfast out. We make muffins at home (half whole wheat), which can be eaten calmly in the kitchen if time allows, or in a rush as we run out the door if necessary. And I’ve stashed a selection of teabags in my desk, which eliminates all need for Starbucks.

I’m not sure about the savings (though the saving on the cost of lunch alone is significant), but I am happy to have freshly made food and I think it’s good for the “family-feeling” in the house to have a lot of cooking going on.

So while it doesn’t really answer your question about reducing costs, well, I guess I just wanted to say thanks for all the great ideas and the… um… motivation (or shall I say “kick in the tush”) that I needed.

Looking forward to lots more great ideas and smiles. Thanks for the great blog.


Razz Reid November 13, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Fascinating tips! Lots of good ideas, but I haven’t seen anyone mention Freecycle and Craig’s List yet. I give away a lot of things on Freecyle, especially home grown plants and I get quite a bit that I need, too. I have received everything from food to my computer desk, all for free. Most of my clothing comes from a thrift shop; did you know that you can get new clothing, often with the tags still on, for a dollar or two? Right now I’m wearing a pair of Reeboks, a pair of Lee jeans, an Eddie Bauer sweater and a Bobbie Brooks blouse—-total cost was $3.25—and three of those items were new.
I am a big reader and get most of my material either from the library (those library bag sales are wonderful, too) or from Freecycle.


Eva Smith-Furgason November 13, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I manage a small health food store and one of my favorite money saving tips is buying spices in bulk. If your health food store carries bulk spices – bring in your empty spice bottles and have them weighed. Then fill ’em up!

Most spices run from 35 to 99 cents per ounce. Some are more expensive of course – like cardamom, but most are very cheap. Customers are often pleasantly surprised when I hand them a big spice jar and it only costs 50 cents. The spices are rotated often, they are fresher, more potent and not irradiated like most grocery store spices.
You can buy just what you need so there is no need to get a whole jar of some rarely used spice and over all eco-nomical, eco-logical and (can’t think of a word that means delicious and is spelled with eco in it!)

You also use less of the spices because they are more potent – another savings.



Jessica November 13, 2008 at 6:25 pm

My favorite money-saving, non-consumer tip is STOP USING PAPER TOWELS. ( This is also an environmental tip.) I use old wash cloths, cut up tee-shirts, even (ha ha) cut up boxer shorts instead of paper towels. Just use a two basket system (clean/dirty) in your pantry and wash dirty cloths with your normal loads. Easy. And cheap!!!


Gigi November 13, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Hi Katy! A fellow Portlander here….this is my favorite frugal tip that has saved me over $1000 this year. My fiance and I canceled our cell phone plans ($90/month) and got a VoIP instead which costs only $20 for an entire year. We started at the beginning of the year as a trial and so far haven’t missed our cell phones one bit (ok, maybe a little…but the savings make it totally worth it).


prairiepastor November 14, 2008 at 6:20 am

1. One of the best things we did was get rid of our Dish Network. We already have high speed internet, so many t.v. shows and movies are already available to watch there. That saved us over $50 a month. The DSL comes with the parsonage, so there’s no cost there.

2. We also cut out all magazine and newspaper subscriptions. I now get my news from internet sources–including the online version of the newspaper I used to receive. Savings? Over $200 per year.

3. We use the library and for books, and I sold most of the books I didn’t actively use (except for some reference books) on I have found that small libraries will often order a book you recommend to add to their collections; you get to read the book you want and so do other people in your community.

4. In rural areas, driving is often a necessity. To cut down on costs, keep tires properly inflated, perform regular maintenance, and drive 60 mph or below on the highway. Of course, planning and combining trips and errands helps, too.

5. In the winter, if you do use a clothes dryer, use it in the morning to add some heat to your house. If you don’t, do your baking in the morning instead of turning up the thermostat.

6. Remember that small things do make a difference, and they add up significantly!


Alison November 14, 2008 at 6:49 am

My best money-saving tip is to not go shopping! I’m not trying to be facetious, but rather than trying to uncover bargains at stores, I find that not going shopping at all is the best way to save money. I found this out by necessity recently, but also learned that by not using shopping as my entertainment or as a fixed part of my weekly routine I had uncovered more time to do activities that I really enjoy and that are important — like being outside, going on hikes, spending more time with my kids. I also pulled out clothes I hadn’t worn in a long time, rearranged my closet and drawers and just started wearing my “new” outfits. Looking through the things we had stockpiled I found plenty items useful for crafts, games that had been forgotten but were still a ton of fun, and even realized that I had enough ingredients to bake snacks and make casual dinners.


Shymom November 14, 2008 at 6:51 am

One of the ways we save money is to borrow from a friend. Our next door neighbor loans us garden tools from time to time and in exchange we rake and deliver our extra leaves for compost. We are always sharing left over seeds from planting and passing on plants that have been divided. Not to mention veggies from the garden and extra bowls of soup, etc.


Leah November 14, 2008 at 10:54 am

hmmm such wonderful stuff to read while my son “puts himself to sleep.”

at our house we have found one of the best ways for us to save in the food area is:
use up what you got!
when we plan our meals and eat leftovers we do this well, however there are times when people in this house complain, “we have nothing to eat…”
yet if you look in the pantry, freezer and fridge they are not empty..
so we get creative and see who can come up with the tastiest meal using what we already have…


Heidi November 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm

I am looking forward to reading through all these replies in more detail. I hope my ideas are not duplicates.
1. I use a breadmaker and buy flour and other ingredients on sale. Haven’t gotten store-bought bread in over 6 months.
2. We got a drying rack for laundry and I rarely use my dryer anymore.
3. We installed a pellet stove 3 years ago and it has cut our oil bill by more than 75%.
4. I shop sales and cut coupons like crazy. Stock up on non-perishables when they’re on sale. Have cut my grocery bill by more than 2/3.
5. We don’t eat out all that often.
6. I use credit cards for almost everything (never have been late with a payment or carried a balance) and I use the “points” to get free gift cards (like for restaurants).


Elizabeth November 14, 2008 at 8:29 pm

1) Pay bills on line – easy to keep track of, and no stamps or envelopes required.
2) No internet at home – emails from the office, at the end of the workday.
3) No cable/ dish at home – TV is just for watching movies, often borrowed from friends.
4) Eat vegetarian – beans, grains and tofu are much less expensive than meat.
5) Get local organic veggies from the city-subsidized farmer’s market, where prices are lower.
6) Veggie leftover make great (free) compost from the garden – which also provides lots of (essentially free) veggies. Leafy greens, right now, here on the west coast.
7) The garden also provides a good place to air-dry clothing.
8) Borrow and share.
9) Bike and walk.


Jinger November 15, 2008 at 7:48 am

I recycle, reuse and repurpose everything I can, such as taking apart a wire candle holder to turn it into 2 new items: a hanging stand for bananas and a cell phone holder! I also turn curtains I am tired of into pillow covers and chair cushion covers. I use old clothing for quilt squares and right now I am sewing newborn caps made from gently worn T shirts. I will donate them to a service project.


Emily November 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm

We’ve switched back to bar soap. I don’t know exactly how much we have saved, but it seems like my husband and I would each go through a bottle of shower gel in a week and a half – the kids used even more. The $1.50 bar of ivory soap lasts at least twice as long. And I was constantly refilling the pump soap at the sinks. Most of our soap dishes drain well so the soap doesn’t stay wet, and for the one (hand-me-down) soap dish where the bar sits in a little pool of water, I use good milled soap and it stays hard as rock – no mushy soap bars.


Shannon November 15, 2008 at 8:41 pm

I save back my son’s worn out jeans to make various items — a purse for my daughter out of two pockets sewn together, a carrier for crayons and coloring books to take in restaurants.

When I use my dryer, I keep an empty tissue box next to the dryer sheets. After using a new dryer sheet, I pop it in the tissue box. When it gets full, I start throwing them in two or three at a time until they finally stop working. I can usually get at least 4 or 5 times the use out of a box of sheets.

I use heavily diluted Dawn dishwashing liquid as my laundry pre-treater. It does a great job of taking out stains, particularly the greasy ones, and a small bottle lasts forever.

I primarily use vinegar and water as my cleaner. I use various dilutions depending on the job and it’s much cheaper, as well as being more environmentally friendly.


Shannon B. November 16, 2008 at 9:57 am

Hello. I have been enjoying your blog for some time now. I think this contest is a great idea.

One of my favorite things to do is to try to find as many ways as I can to save money. We have a very low-income, my priority at this time being to raise and homeschool my daughter.

Here are some of the tips that I have to help people to save money:

1. Pick up (at the library or second-hand), or borrow from a friend, a copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczen. This, in my opinion, is the best source of tips ever. The prices are outdated, yes, but the ideas work for my family even today.

2. Walk everywhere you can. The article at If you scroll down a bit you will see the financial reasons why this important.

3. Living in Maine, I know that the winters can be extremely bad. To prepare my trailer (manufactured home, and people with houses do these things as well), I plug in the heat tape, bank the trailer, and put plastic in the windows. It is also a good idea to see about filling any holes in walls, as a lot of cold air can leak into your home this way. I am also looking into getting the foam inserts for the outlets, as this will also help to keep out unwanted cold air.

4. Freeze all of your leftovers, even the vegetable and past water could be used in making stews. Use it in place of broth/stock in soups/stews. With the vegetable and meat leftovers, you can make soups/stews/casseroles and fry-pan meals. With the fruit, you can make smoothies. With leftover potatoes and rice, you can make casseroles and fry-pan meals. Leftover beans can go into a bean soup or casserole.

5. Use the slowcooker as much as possible. If you don’t have one yet, check out yardsales and thrift shops. You can make almost any meal in a slowcooker. Small appliances use significantly less energy that a stovetop/oven will use.

6. By the cheap cuts of meat, if you are still eating meat. The butcher at the grocery store saw me comparing prices on roasts one day. He handed me the biggest, cheapest roast and told me to, either in the oven or the slowcooker, set it upside down, add liquid and whatnot, and roast. He assured me that it would turn out great, and he was right!!!!!

7. When you use the oven to bake a loaf a bread, do your other baking as well. A second rack comes in handy for this. I kept mine from the old stove when I bought the new one, so I have two racks. You can bake your bread once or twice a week this way, and baked bread is freezable. I sometimes bake a yeast bread, muffins and a couple of loaves of quick bread at a time. I freeze the quick breads and muffins, and thaw them the day before we want them. We use the yeast bread up first.

8. I grow as many fruits and vegetables on my tiny lot as I can, mostly in containers. Great fertilizers are used coffee and/or tea grounds and crushed egg shells.

9. I have a daycare, so I use the water that the children neglect to drink to water my houseplants. This saves a little, because I do have to pay for water. I also have buckets outside to catch water, and have a bucket under the shower to catch water. These bucket tactics save me a lot of money during gardening time around here. Also, I use pasta and vegetable water for this purpose, and used dishwasher is dumped on flowers.

10. I have pared down our personal hygeine necessities:
First, I bought myself the Diva Cup. It took a little getting used to, starting out being quite uncomfortable, but I was fine with it by the second month.
Then, I started using shampoo once every three days. And I only use a little. This saves me money. I do rinse my hair every day that I do not use shampoo, so I do not have the greasy or flaky look going on.
I only use soap on my face (I have oily skin) and the ‘important parts’, and there is no body odor problem.
The only other products that I use are toothpaste and toothbrushes. We buy the toothpaste at $1.00 or less, and only use a small amount at a time. And we buy 4-packs of toothbrushes at the $ store, and switch them out every 3-4 months. We also use lotion when necessary.
11. My cleaning products consist of: Homemade dishwasher and laundry detergent, homeade toilet and all purpose cleaner, dishwashing detergent (liquid, for hand washing).
My cleaning supplies consist of: bagless, reusable filtered vacuum, rags, broom and dustpan, a bucket, borax, washing soda, baking soda, fels naptha soap, liquid dishwashing detergent, vinegar, salt.
I save a huge amount of money using these things only.

12. I am planning to make quilts from scraps.

13. I am planning on making braided rugs from scraps.

14. I cook from scratch whenever I can.

15. I stock up on loss-leaders at the grocery stores; those items shown on the front and back of the sales paper. This is where I get the best deals, with or without coupons. Yes, sometimes these deals are on ‘convenience’ type foods, but they make a good treat once in a while. With coupons, I have been paying about .75 cents for things like rice and pasta sides, hamburger helpers and hot pockets, which will be used on our busiest days, when I won’t be home to cook. They are easy for children to prepare on their own, so I don’t mind purchasing them to have on hand when I wont be there. The only requirement is that they have 1 fruit or vegetable with their choice at lunch, or two at dinner.

16. I am searching out recipes for ‘convenience’ a,d other foods. Check out

17. I purchase most of our clothing at yardsales, $ stores, thrift/consignment shops and on clearance.

18. Put out the word that you are willing to help people with their moving tasks: Packing, moving and cleaning. I helped a neighbor do this, and she gave me tons of stuff!!!! Much of which is new and can be used as gifts this holiday season. She and her husband also gave my daughter a lot of stuff for her first apartment.

19. You could also offer to help people get organized, and may end up bringing things home.

20. I am not only making a price book, but I am also making a yardsale/other sale book. This is where I will list everything that we need/want, and a price that I don’t want to go over on each. I can then cross things off as I get them.

I hope these are helpful to some of you. I will now go and read what everyone else has posted so far.



Rosalyce Jesseph November 17, 2008 at 8:50 am

I save money by going only to the isles in stores where I know the item (s) I want are located. That way I am not tempted to buy things not on my list.


Tricia911 November 17, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Use coupons to cut your grocery budget.

Match your coupons with sale prices.


BohoBelle November 17, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Wow Katy, what a response!!! Great to see so many readers replying!

Qu: Shannon what are Dryer Sheets?

And thanks PrairiePastor I love the tip about baking in the morning to make the house warm.


Pam November 18, 2008 at 1:31 pm

This is probably my favorite thing that I discovered while remodeling our house. Don’t buy expensive, throwaway dry mop cloths. Use old t-shirt material or buy new t-shirt scraps from a hardware/paint store. They are cheap, cheap, and work like a champ. Wash them and you’re ready to go again. These also work for all those other dusting chores, but I keep these separate since I use them on the floors.


Meadowlark November 19, 2008 at 12:21 pm

It will make you seem like a nutcase, but our circle of dining friends know that any ‘dead bodies’ come to me. As in, whenever they bake a chicken or turkey, or buy one at the store for a quick meal, they throw the carcass in the freezer and the next time we all get together, I take the little dead guys home and use the pressure cooker to make broth which I then can for later use.


Ginger November 19, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Just happened upon this blog today, but I’ve been very active in the Frugal ‘Anything” movement all my life. My mother was a champion thrift and second hand shopper, having grown up in the Great Depression.

I have a few tips to share. Purchased fruit juices are very think and can be cut almost half and half with cold water without much flavor loss. I try to reuse the plastic bottles at least a couple of times.

Butter is expensive and harmful to the waistline, use a dab of jelly or jam instead on morning toast.

Evaporated milk is just as tasty as cream or half and half in soup. Look for it on sale and stock up.

Most grocery stores will slice cheese for you for free, and also slice or grind meats. Some roasts are cheaper per pound than hamburger and have less fat too.

I live in the county, so a library card from town costs 60 bucks, no way. But there are ‘book exchanges’ in a lot of different places, and they have movies and vinyl, and CD’s also. If there isn’t one where you are, consider starting one.

I crochet a lot, so am always looking for yarn at the thrift stores. Way cheaper than JoAnn’s!

Make your own wine, no sulfites, and you know exactly what goes into it. It’s fun too!

This has been great, thanks.


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