Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Frugal Files: Substitute to Save: At Home

Hey frugal folks!!

We're back for another Substitute to Save edition of The Frugal Files!! 

In your kitchen, there’s a great opportunity for you to use your substitution skills. So many things can be made there and you don’t have to buy the latest and greatest gadget to get the job done.

First, let’s talk about cleaners. On the market, there’s a spray for this and solvent for that, and of course someone decides to combine them all into what we know as a multipurpose cleaner. Let me confess, as much of an advocate as I am for natural household products, I will get some mild commercial cleaners if I’m getting them for free with my coupons. For instance, just this week, I got free air fresheners. I will certainly use them…in moderation.

Otherwise, get some vinegar (personally, I’ve been getting lots of this for 0.12 each or less), baking soda, and lemons. Add elbow grease and your appliances are clean, disinfected and fresh. No harsh chemicals for the kids or pets to get into and no coughing or gagging from the strong smells. Want some recipes on making your natural cleaners, check out goodies from the archives: DIY Cleaning I and DIY Cleaning II.

As for things in your home...You know that pinterest.com is a wonderful thing!! Such clever ways make life much more interesting. Yes, it’s fun, but warning to the frugalicious divas, some of the fun, kitchen gadgets are not happy to you wallet!! The creativity of the pins are marvelous and although I've been sitting on an invitation for months, I still find items on there fascinating. Some fun things I saw this week were a strawberry de-stemer, an avocado slicer, and a cherry pitter.

I have to admit I like these because I was just thinking about making a blended drink and adding the cherries I got (almost free) and anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE guacamole, so this would be handy. However, you can simply use a small knife to take out the stems, a straw to de-pit the cherries and just simply score the avocado (make criss cross marks) and turn it inside out, the pieces will simply fall out and you can scrape whatever is left.

Now, about those other things at home. Here's a few items I feel are a complete waste of money because there are probably substitutes available right in your home. 
  • If you have an abundance of binder clips, they double as chip clips. You can use them to fasten anything in a bag. No need to purchase those plastic things, even though some of them are cute!!
  • Have knicks on your wooden furniture? No need for smelly shoe polish or an expensive refinish, use a marker in the same color. You won't even notice.
  • Use your TV trays as a printer stand. Cover it with a small cloth to disguise it.
  • Likewise, if you have a old bar stool, cover it with a nice piece of cloth and use it as a plant stand.
  • Use your additional storage areas in the kitchen to store stockpile items, instead of buying expensive shelving units.
My last tip for today actually is paragraph worthy. While helping a friend pack, I noticed she had a covered bowl of garlic bread on the counter. No big deal right? When I asked what it was covered in, she bragged about these being the greatest thing since sliced bread...I can't remember the name (because I thought they were ridiculous), but after some research found they are similar to the Saran Quick Covers...yeah, they are SHOWER CAPS. If you really want to cover your counter food, do yourself a favor and get the 20 pack of shower caps for 0.99 instead of buying a box of 13 for some exorbitant price. If one doesn't feel secure, wrap it in two!! 

Hope you found this helpful and I would love to hear your Substitute to Save stories!! Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter and let's chat!!

Frugalicious Diva
Follow me on Twitter at @FrugaliciousDva

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