Skip to Content

Reusable Packaging

July 31, 2009 • Paige

When you are comparing prices in the grocery store, also take a good look at item packaging. Can you reuse the container? Will it stand up to repeated use? How many different ways can you put it to use? But don’t forget to take into account whether or not you have room to store a few of the empty containers.

In the South, most grocery stores carry jam and jelly packed in drinking glasses. The jam is the same price as the other low-priced products but once you’re finished with it, you have a drinking glass to add to your collection instead of a jar to throw away. Jelly is the one item which I purposefully buy in glass jars. For everything else I stick to plastic containers when I can. You can be as hard-core a spendthrift as you want. You can reuse everything including your glass jars, but if you have kids the risk of injury outweighs a thrifty benefit.

Plastic tubs and jars are great for saving leftovers in the refrigerator or freezing soups and sauces. I use my large plastic jars to store dry goods like rice and sugar. My family is still using the sturdy plastic butter tubs that my father started saving in 1965!

Categories: Being Frugal
Comments Off on Reusable Packaging

Dressing Well on a Budget

July 14, 2009 • Paige

Dressing well doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. If you stick to the basics and accessorize to fit the look you want, you won’t be spending much to look good.

Start with at least three pair of solid color slacks or skirts in neutral colors like black, brown, and grey and you will have an easier time choosing tops that match all of your bottoms. A clearance rack dress might be a great deal, but it is a single outfit that won’t mix-and-match. Look for solid color turtlenecks or tank tops to pair with cardigans and blazers.

These basic items are the foundation of your wardrobe, so you need quality clothes that will last. Find a reasonably priced department store which carries good brands and watch for sales. Don’t shop at Low-Price-Mart for the basics because you won’t get a lot of use out of “cheap” clothes. Good quality is worth a few dollars more.

Dress up your look with scarves and jewelry found at garage sales and thrift stores. You might also find trendy clothes for a fraction of the original price. It won’t matter so much that these items are slightly worn because the style won’t last very long.

Categories: Personal Posts
Comments Off on Dressing Well on a Budget

Free Summer Fun: Water Painting

July 10, 2009 • Paige

Have you run out of sidewalk chalk?

Don’t set foot inside a store… if you’re like me you’ll be tempted to pick up all kinds of goodies for the kids.

Instead, give them a bucket of water and some paintbrushes to “paint” the sidewalk. or driveway. You can let them stamp the sidewalk with sponges, give them old socks to make silly footprints or “snake prints”.

Hold speed-painting contests or challenge your kids to see who can paint shapes with their eyes closed, or write messages for airplanes to see. With simple tools to play with, kids will naturally use their imaginations to invent all sorts of fun. Spray the kids down with the hose and have them lay down and make body prints on the cement.

The only cleanup involved is putting away the brushes and hanging up some clothing to dry. Don’t be surprised if you enjoy ‘water painting’ as much as the kids!

*Don’t forget the sun screen and some clean water for drinking!!

Categories: Being Frugal
Comments Off on Free Summer Fun: Water Painting

Lowering Laundry Costs

July 8, 2009 • Paige

Cut the amount of soap you use down to 1/3 of the recommended amount. Chances are you’ve been using too much detergent all along. Try running a regular load with no soap – you will see suds. Wash without detergent again, and you will still see suds!

Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to the rinse load in place of fabric softener. Vinegar helps the soap rinse out more completely, removes odors, and softens your clothes naturally for tenth the price of commercial softeners.

Hang wet clothes on a line or over a curtain rod, then tumble for a short time to finish drying. You can lower your energy bill by running your dryer on shorter cycles.

To make your clothes last longer, make sure to zip up all of your pants and jackets before tossing them into the washer. Open zippers cause extra wear and tear on your clothes in the washer and the dryer. The same goes for button-fly, too.

Try home made laundry soap. It costs a whole lot less than commercial detergents. I tried it and I’m never going back!!

Comments Off on Lowering Laundry Costs

Sabered Out

July 5, 2009 • Paige

Connor had another really good experience at the US Fencing National Championships. They let in far fewer fencers than the Junior Olympics – I didn’t realize this was more er… “elite” or whatever. He won a bout and scored FAR More touches in each bout than he did at the JO’s, a definite improvement. There were some bad calls, and a really terrible ref but that is how it goes.

We were too tired to do anything touristy. After the first competition, we went back to our hotel room to eat and watch Zorro the Gay Blade. After today’s competition we just headed home. See?

Categories: fencing
Comments Off on Sabered Out

Dallas Bound

July 2, 2009 • Paige

We’re off – headed to the Fencing Nationals. My paycheck came through, D’s back is a little better, and it turns out Connor doesn’t need new fencing shoes or a glove afterall. WOO HOO!

Categories: fencing
Comments Off on Dallas Bound