Just like 2012, most of my most-read articles in 2013 were classics published before 2013. Well, after all, this isn’t really a blog; it’s a free ebook to which I keep adding chapters, so the old stuff is still relevant.
Here, just in case you missed them, are the 10 articles added in 2013 that got the most readers:
- 10 Lessons Learned from Rewiring an Old House. Many thanks to my brother Ben for sharing his experience in this guest post, which makes the important point that while rewiring may not be rocket science, it is very hard work and takes a long time. Ben shared helpful tips on how to do it right and what not to do.
- Apple Cider Vinegar as Facial Toner. Here I explain how to control oily skin with a natural, affordable product instead of some weird chemical. There’s even a garbage-free way to do it, without cotton balls!
- Cute and Thrifty Kitchen Scouring Powder. Here’s the cheap, safe, environmentally friendly way to scrub your sink, remove tea stains from mugs, and get that dried-up pasta off the pan. I also explain how to make a convenient, damp-proof, shaker-top bottle that matches your kitchen decor, without spending a penny or having serious crafty skills. With photos!
- Freezing Cheese. Larger blocks of cheese often are a better value than the small ones, but only if you eat all the cheese before it gets moldy. Here’s the secret to storing cheese in the freezer without sacrificing quality or convenience–or spending money on freezer bags. Includes links to our favorite recipes using cheese, as well as information on why pre-grated cheese might not be a wise purchase.
- Could you feed your family on a food stamp budget? This question was raised by my pastor and led me to explore how much my family actually spends on food, and what makes our grocery budgeting different from a more impoverished family’s.
- Buying Bulk Food in Reused Containers. A large portion of my family’s thrifty yet healthy diet comes from the bulk department of our local food co-op. In this article I explain how this type of bulk buying works, where we get good containers, how we clean and store them, and how they’re superior to disposable packaging. I also get into detail about which items are a bargain when purchased in bulk and which are not. With photos!
- How I told my child the Easter story. Explaining the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus can be difficult: “He was only temporarily dead, so rejoice!! Never mind about those sins,” and somehow it all has to do with bunnies and jellybeans and tulips, and–well, it can be a bit confusing! Here’s the full story as I’ve been telling it to my son since he was very little.
- Why my kid never believed in Santa Claus–and why that doesn’t take all the magic out of Christmas, and how we avoid ruining it for kids who do believe.
- Less Acid Spaghetti Sauce. This casual experiment with my endlessly-variable marinara sauce recipe showed me that it’s possible to make a delicious tomato sauce that won’t aggravate a mildly touchy stomach.
- My Coupon Organizer. I used free, unwanted materials to make the coupon holder I’d owned for a long time into something that works better for my family. With photos!
I’ll also give honorable mention to several articles that were published toward the end of 2012 and were very popular in 2013:
- What to Serve for Coffee Hour. Would you like to provide the refreshments for after church or a similar gathering, but you’re not sure what’s the right amount or variety of food? This helpful guide is based on my many years of experience!
- How to Salvage Over-baked Brownies. One of the foods I made for coffee hour didn’t turn out so well! Here’s the simple strategy for redeeming both the food and the pan.
- What to Do with Bread Heels. Detailed recipe for Cheesy Vegetable Bread Pudding, plus 3 more ways to use the sad leftover ends of a loaf–or any other unwanted bread.
- “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” Review. My son and I spell out all the details of why this new animated show, though hardly the worst thing PBS Kids has offered, isn’t nearly as good as Mister Rogers’ original program.