My dishwashing method gets most food to wipe right off the dishes, but some things still need to be scrubbed--tea and coffee stains in mugs, blueberry-juice stains in bowls, and bits of pasta that stuck to the pot, for example. I also like to scrub the cutting board really thoroughly after chopping onions. Baking soda … Continue reading Cute and Thrifty Kitchen Scouring Powder
You know those metallized plastic bags that are often used to package coffee? Those have been bothering me for years: They're not recyclable and not biodegradable, so when I throw them in the trash I know they'll be in the landfill forever. And Daniel and I drink a lot of coffee! [UPDATE: We changed to … Continue reading Coffee Bags as Raw Material for Tote Bags
This is a project similar to our recipe binder, using reused materials to make something that does not look perfectly polished but is cheerful and works well for our household's specific needs. One difference is that this project started with a purchase of something specifically for the project: I bought this nylon thingy (specifically marketed … Continue reading My Coupon Organizer
I've had some shoe trouble in the past couple of years, since Keen stopped making that style I raved about. All I want is a pair of black leather shoes that are comfortable for walking, don't smash my high arches, look good with skirts or jeans, and don't have Velcro. (I hate that ripping sound … Continue reading Great Shoes at a Fraction of the Price!
In my article on line-drying laundry, I verbally described these handy clothesline hangers that can be made out of scrap lumber and installed in any place that has exposed rafters/joists in the ceiling. I finally decided to share some photos of them, since this is the kind of thing that really is easier to understand … Continue reading Clothesline Hangers for Basement or Porch
Our seven-year-old Nicholas recently had a party. He also has attended several kids' parties this year and has come home from every one of them with a bag or bucket of items that he considers treasures and his parents consider crap--you know, cheap plastic toys made in China and low-quality, over-packaged candy and gum. We … Continue reading A Different Party Favor–thrifty and earth-friendly!
Organic gardener Ben Stallings explains how pulling up ragweed before it blooms reduces allergy suffering and provides a rich source of green matter for sheet composting.
Today is the Frugal Tips Edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, so check out the money-saving ideas there! I happen to prefer the word "thrifty" myself. This is my big anthology of ways to save money! I have to start off by responding to Kristen (hostess of Works-for-Me Wednesday)'s first tip, which is to print your own … Continue reading Thrifty Tips
I have seen online many beautiful recipe binders created by full-time homemakers who have master's degrees in scrapbooking or just great skill in making things look perfect. Daniel and I are part-time haphazard homemakers, both of whom like to cook, so we have had to come up with a method of recipe storage that works … Continue reading Our Recipe Binder
Today is the organizing tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, but I have no new organizing tips to impart. Check out my articles on Organizing Girl Scout Troop Information and Things Not To Do: Home Organizing Edition. Meanwhile, here's an idea for a homemade gift kids can use to surprise their faraway relatives! In early December, … Continue reading A Doorstop from Reused Materials, Delivered By Airplane!
I wish this were a story of a big project I did that made a big difference, but this one is only about a personal choice that made a small difference. It's still better than nothing! And you can't always change what big organizations do, but you can change what you do--so maybe you could … Continue reading Greening the Employee Holiday Meal
More than 20 years ago, inspired by Earth Day 1990 and by one of my high school teachers handing out a huge amount of paper printed only on one side that was useless after a single day's activity, I designated a bin on my desk for scrap paper: full sheets of paper with one blank … Continue reading Scrap Paper Saves Money and the Environment
My six-year-old son, who is slowly learning to be more independent during the night, recently told me in the morning that he had had a nosebleed in the middle of the night. I changed his pillowcase--our linen closet is in the master bedroom, so he couldn't have done that without waking us--but he had taken … Continue reading Earth-friendly Nosebleed Care
Recently, I bought at Goodwill two anthologies of Calvin and Hobbes, a comic strip I enjoy reading to my six-year-old son. When we started reading the second one, Weirdos from Another Planet, we were surprised to find the following note written in metallic gold pen inside the front cover: Dear Corey, It was really fun … Continue reading An Unexpected Find in the Thrift Store
Like reusing glass jars, this is an idea I've mentioned before that has increased its importance in my day-to-day life to the point that it deserves its own article! When you have more of a vegetable than you can eat before it goes bad, clean and shred the extra all at once, put measured portions … Continue reading Homemade Frozen Shredded Vegetables
My ravings about the joys of reusing glass jars got too lengthy for my "What Do You Reuse?" article, so I decided to give these versatile, durable storage containers their own article! First of all, I want to rave a moment about how glass jars are much better for food storage than plastic containers! We … Continue reading Glass Jars Galore!
You know those annoying little stickers that are on most fruits you can buy individually in supermarkets? The ones that are so thin and so well-glued that they're often impossible to remove without gouging a hole in your fruit? Yeah, I always knew they were evil. In addition to being annoying on edible-skinned fruits, if … Continue reading Fruit Labels, Jar Labels, Six-Packs, Environment, and Health
Simply wash and reuse those plastic trays from frozen meals. If you are so environmentally aware and/or thrifty that you never buy frozen meals, I bet you know somebody who does and could ask that person to save some of the plates for you. Personally, although I try to plan home-cooked meals that we can … Continue reading FREE Earth-friendly Snack Plates!
Christmas is coming, so now is the time to plan your strategy for setting out less post-Christmas garbage than any other family on your block! (We often achieve that goal, and we're in a mostly Jewish neighborhood.) Reusing things not only saves you money and helps the environment but also creates a treasure trove of … Continue reading Recycling Christmas Cheer
This article is linked to the greatest tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, where the hostess explains how to get a human on the phone when you call customer service, and more than 178 people have linked to their own helpful tips on how to do all sorts of things. Here are my own greatest tips: … Continue reading How to Do Everything!