by Texas Homesteader ~
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Five is not a large number, and 5 frugal things aren’t difficult for most households to accomplish. I’m hoping this short list of easy frugal things we did at our own home one day might inspire you to look at your own tasks. Perhaps you’ll start tackling just 5 easy things to save money in your own home.
As an added bonus, almost always those money-saving tasks are environmentally friendly as well. So without doubling your effort you’re able to double your effect! Gotta love it, right?? See what today’s short list of 5 frugal things are in our home…
- Keeping My Beautiful Bedspread – First if you Follow us on Facebook you know I repaired our bedspread instead of just tossing it and buying another one. You see, these days bed coverings have almost completely gone to comforters and while those can be beautiful it’s not the look we wanted. Do you know how hard it is to find an actual bedspread anymore??
Anyway, we bought this one oh-so-many years ago & I’ve always loved it. It reminds me of the ones I had on my bed as a child. But over the years the top suffered several torn / frayed places where we’d pulled it up to cover ourselves or make the bed each morning.
Now back in ‘the day’ I might have simply shaken my head over the lost spread, tossed it in the trash and gone shopping for another to replace it. But over the past several years I’ve become very aware of my environmental self and it no longer makes sense to throw away this ‘whatsit’ to buy another ‘whatsit’ to replace it when I still LOVE this one.
So I folded down the top & sewed several reinforcements along a very thick 6″ deep hem thereby reinforcing the top, stabilizing the frays and giving my favorite bedspread many more years of faithful service! Don’t you think it looks great with my grandmother’s handmade quilt folded at the foot of the bed?
- Soup Bones For Broth – I made broth with wild pork soup bones returned to us from the meat processor. I’ll chill the broth overnight so I can skim & pressure can it for the pantry tomorrow.
- Sun Tea Brewed For FREE! – I also took advantage of a warm sunshiny day & made sun tea. I use this large picante jar to make my sun tea because the hourglass shape just makes it easier and safer to carry in & out of the house.
I simply place filtered water in the clean jar, add my tea bag & set it outside during a sunny day. Even though the temps only got to the lower 60’s the solar effect in the jar still brewed my tea for me.
Tea is a very inexpensive beverage choice in our household. And the used tea bag simply goes into my *tumbling composter. So there’s not even any waste heading to the landfill. Using a repurposed container & sending nothing to the landfill makes my crunchy green heart happy.
(see notice about sun tea at the end of this article)
- Sell Unused Items For Someone Else To Love – RancherMan & I scoured our garage for still-useful items that we were no longer using and took them to the local auction. They will sell those items, take a small percentage for their efforts and we’ll get a check. Garage cleaned plus cash in the bank? Double win! (high fives all the way around, y’all!)
- Simple Clothing Repairs – I repaired the shirt RancherMan snagged on the barbed wire while he was running the rototiller in the garden in preparation for veggie planting. I am first attempting to repair it using a patch cut from a dryer sheet (similar to the way they use this type of patch for embroidery) and some fabric no-sew glue. I’ll see if this holds it and if not I’ll have to buy matching thread & try to sew the rip closed. But actually sewing the repair would make the repair much more visible. Fingers crossed that this seam-glue patch works!
There are many more things that we do in the natural rhythm of our days that can be considered frugal. Things such as cooking supper from scratch and putting on a light sweater instead of turning up the heat during the cool of the morning. But this is a quick list of 5. I figure five frugal things is easy for anyone to incorporate into their day. And the more you do so, the more it just becomes part of life.
What frugal victories did you accomplish today? Are you finding it easier to incorporate frugality without giving it much thought anymore?
Other Frugal Tips
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- Build Financial Security With Less Effort
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- Thriving Financially Without A Corporate Paycheck
- Make Your Slow Cooker More Efficient
- Is Food Past The Expiration Date Safe To Eat?
- Make A Cute Gift Box With A Repurposed Greeting Card
- MYO Minty Mouthwash
- Repurposing Empty Coffee Canisters
- Keep That Broccoli Fresh
- Don’t Waste Onion Trimmings
- Cleaner Vegetable Chopping
- Using Frozen Water Bottles In The Kitchen
- Don’t Waste It – Free Vegetable Broth
- Make A Cute Dish Carrier From Old Jeans
- MYO Crispy Taco Shells CHEAP
- Paper Napkins In A Paperless Kitchen
- Use ALL Of Your Spray Cleaner
- Quick Coffee Stain Cleaning
…and many MORE!
See ALL Our Frugality Articles
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Potential Sun Tea Concerns
There are some who have commented that brewing sun tea does not allow it to get hot enough to kill the bacteria in water. It’s said that it must be boiled 3-5 minutes in order to be safe, then refrigerated immediately until consumed. So as I typically do, I went to the experts – my extension agent.
Apparently according to my extension agent (who is an AWESOME resource) the source of potential problem microbes isn’t the water, it’s the actual tea leaves. She recommends bringing the water to 195 degrees and steeping the tea for 3-5 minutes, then pouring into a pitcher over ice & refrigerating.
Of course you’ll want to use your own judgement about making sun tea. If you have concerns about your individual health, your doctor is always your best source of advice.
For us, sun tea is still king. I continue to make sun tea several times each week, the same as I’ve done for years.
Great tips! I love sun tea, but I haven’t made it a long time because I’m the only one who drinks it — never thought to try a small jar! That way, no waste! 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday. 🙂
I’ve never been a fan of instant tea and love the taste of sun tea. I’ve been keeping the fridge stocked with fresh sun tea to entice RancherMan away from drinking so many colas. I’m successful… some of the time! LOL ~TxH~
Great tips for saving money! I try to repair clothes when possible, and I definitely don’t throw jars away. I find so many great uses for jars; making salad dressing, cocktail mixers, and refrigerator pickles are just a few ways I use them up. And, yes, I love your bedspread with your grandmother’s quilt and shams! So pretty! 🙂
Jars are so versatile, and I hate to admit that I didn’t always see the value in them. My perception changed when we moved out here and I became even more environmentally aware. Thanks for your compliment on my grandmother’s quilt, I know it makes her smile in heaven! ~TxH~
Great post! I have been doing some mending as of late too… That barbed wire does reek havoc! Thank you for sharing this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth!
YEAH it does, JES! LOL I’m constantly dealing with barbed wire caused clothing mishaps. ~TxH~
I totally agree with you on the comforter thing. My grandma used to sew quilts and had dozens and dozens of them. She would often give them to the family, and when she passed away we got even more. I love them! So much character and beauty (and history). Much better to repair them than to replace for sure.
We love to drink sweet tea with our supper. I’ll have to try the sun tea method when we get the sun back here in Ohio. 😉 The kids would love that!
YES Jamie, what comfort to snuggle under grandma’s handmade quilt. Even after all these years, I can feel her love. 🙂 ~TxH~
Hi Tammy, Interesting post with great ideas! While reading it I thought of my grandmother, who lived through the great depression and saved things like aluminum foil and rubber bands. I thought it was strange when I was a child but as I grew up and understood how awful the great depression must have been then I “got it!” Thanks for sharing, Janet
I often think of my grandmother as well, Janet. I learned so much from her! ~TxH~
Great ideas. I’m packing my lunch with remnants of things in the fridge to not buy lunch at work! Also meal planning from the pantry the last week of the month and trying NOT to go the grocery store! 🙂
Love the brown-bagged lunch Angela, you can save so much money (and CALORIES) by doing that. When I was in the workforce I always brought my lunch – I saved much of my lunch hour since I didn’t have to drive to a restaurant, wait for my meal and then drive back to the office. I used that time to listen to some music in my office & relax. ~TxH~
Go Tammy! You have some great ideas here. I plan to follow you blog, since we love homesteading and rural life too. Thanks for sharing your post on the #HomeMattersParty
Awesome Jeanne, so glad to hear it. if you’re blogging about homesteading or simple living, be sure to skip down to the “Calling All Homesteading Blogs” post and add your name, website and a brief description of your typical subjects. I’m hoping to complete that list soon! ~TxH~
We repair whatever we can and that really helps. We just got rain gutters (houses in So Calif don’t come with them), it only took up 4 years to do. Anyway, DH saves old screws and I used them for adding a screw to the “snap in” mesh gutter guard. The product said not needed but I figured it couldn’t hurt so I used them up and don’t have to worry about the mesh blowing away.
Something else I do: I buy detergent tabs for the dishwasher (Electrocel brand) and I break them in half for each load. All dished get sparkly clean.
Good for you, finding a great use for something that needed to be used… And regarding your halving the detergent tabs, I think it’s common that much more than is needed is typically used because the manufacturers LIKE it that way – quicker use of product = quicker repurchase of their product. Good for you! ~TxH~
I’d really love to know how the dryer sheet repair holds up (very clever) Please be sure to keep us updated!
Colleen B has all the ideas for reusing pillows- so smart!
The dryer sheet/fabric glue worked great Laurinda and the glue held perfectly. The only problem is the shirt’s color, it was just light enough to show a darker line where it was glued. On a darker-colored shirt the repair would have been invisible I think. But I was very sparing with the glue so RancherMan says the tiny amount of darkness along the tear is not a ‘dealbreaker’ for him since he loves that shirt. ~TxH~
Great ideas! I love old linens and bedding and have collected quite a few. I use them on my guest beds and the embroidered pillowcases on my own bed pillows. My hubby and I desperately need to do a garage clean out.
I love using old linens too Debbie, and I have the pillow cases my grandmother (and great grandmother) embellished so many years ago. The fabric is so much softer than what you can buy today and I love them! ~TxH~
Oh boy – if you need another garage to clean out, come on over:) Actually, we have been making progress. We had two yard sales this past summer (from house and garage) and are beginning to breath again. We still have more to do in the shop/garage area though since the house was the priority. It feels so good to lighten the load.
LOL – RancherMan’s always been a neatnik in the garage/shop. Gotta love it! ~TxH~
Do you have any ideas for what to do with old pillows? I give used bedding to animal shelters, but they don’t want pillows. I hate the idea of just tossing them, but I don’t know what else to do.
Ugh, that’s a tough one Barbara. I’ve read about using them for dog beds or making them into floor pillows or decorative throw pillows. The only thing I’ve personally done is to make a pad for our wooden bench seat – I sewed a body-pillow to the width I wanted & used a very heavy valance that I found at Goodwill in a solid complimentary color to our room colors and sewed it into a covering for it. It works perfectly for our purpose! Does anyone have any other pillow repurposing tips for Barbara? ~TxH~
Not knowing what size your pillows are but you can recover them with old sweaters, shirts or if you’re a sewing, make new pillow covers and use as throw pillows, floor cushions, pet beds, make a cute tooth fairy pillow.
Use the stuffing to add fluff a child’s stuffed animal, or make a new one; Have a throw cushion that could use new stuffing, Use your old pillow;Use the stuffing to fluff out window valances; Use it for a mat in doing your yoga; Use pillow stuffing as “snow” for a festive holiday decoration; Use pillow stuffing (or even the whole pillow) as packing material when you’re mailing gifts this holiday season; If you have small animals like hamsters, put pillow stuffing in their cage for bedding; Give gently used pillows to your local homeless shelter; If all else fails, give the pillows away via the Freecycle Network, so someone else can use it for their own projects!
One note: You should wash and dry your old pillows before recycling them, to make them as clean as possible for their new life
Know exactly what you mean when a person can’t find bedspreads any more (in stores that is but can order on line) which is a shame cause I prefer a bedspread compared to a comforter. Some years ago I used to have a gorgeous white Chenille bedspread but when you have people helping you move it had gotten ‘lost’.
I’m all in favor of reusing, fixing, repurposing and recycling. In fact I have saved my coffee containers, soup, veggie, etc. metal cans and have painted some up and will be planting herbs in some and flowers in some.
Also have a tumbler for scraps. Egg shells; they get washed out really well, ground up somewhat and put in with the bird seed feeders. Some I save and when planting roses I would throw a small handful into the hole before planting my rose. My banana peels are saved; stored in the freezer and used the same way; good for the rose
Recycling, reusing, etc. is very common and come natural around our household.
(eyebrow up) Painted it for planting herbs? Smart girl you are – I’m intrigued. Did you have to use a special paint? A protective varnish? How well does the paint hold? I’m *SO* doing this! ~TxH~
Love the idea of using cans for planters. I have been saving cans to make luminarias. With a permanent marker draw out a simple pattern like a heart or a star. I fill with water and freeze outside. Take a hammer and large nail and make holes around the pattern. Thaw out and put in a tealight or votive and line your driveway, porch, entryway, whatever! I have painted cans before using craft paint, but did not leave them outside.
I’ve heard of that for making luminaries, Suzy – what a cute craft idea! ~TxH~