Category Archives: Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tip…Buy Bar Soap for Less

In today’s world I don’t think there are many of us who prefer to do without soap. Even if we don’t bathe every day, at SOME point, we’re going to reach for a bar of soap to get washed up. Since we all must buy it at some point in time, why not save a few dollars along the way?

A while back I discovered that literally anyone can buy soap bases from online soap making supply stores. Really! They sell “melt and pour soap bases” that are literally what they say…you can melt them down, add whatever embellishments you want, pour them into a mold and allow them to harden back up. This is how many people sell “handmade” soaps online. It’s really easy AND you don’t even have to go through all the melting process. These bases are wonderful on their own and can simply be used just as they are. No embellishments needed!

These soap bases come in bulk bars, ranging from one pound increments up to 50 pounds. The varieties available are wide, ranging from clear soap base made with organic oils, olive oil, goat’s milk, honey, oatmeal, and much more. A typical bar of soap weighs four ounces, so a one pound bar will provide four bars of soap. My video (link below) shows just how simple it is to yield four bars of soap (or even eight small bars of hand soap) from a one pound block of soap base. These bases can be used just as they are. There is really no need to melt them down unless you truly want to add something to them. It’s not mandatory.

In the description box of the video, I have listed a number of online soap supply stores. I have no connection with any of them, so I am providing the list to help my viewers. If you want me to add a store to the list, please let me know and I’ll be happy to do so.

I have been buying and using soap bases for our bar soaps for years and have saved a good bit of money by doing this. I urge you to give it a try! Check out the video below.

I hope this helps!
Judi

Cheap, Effective DIY Bug Spray

If you’re like us, you don’t enjoy sharing living space with uninvited small flying creatures that make their way inside your home. Flies, mosquitoes, wasps…you name it…they’re no fun inside the house!

I discovered this do-it-yourself, cheap and VERY effective bug spray years ago. I always keep a bottle of straight rubbing alcohol (70%) in my bathroom near the tub to spray tile grout after a shower. One day a fly made its way into the bathroom. I grabbed the alcohol bottle and sprayed the fly. It dropped dead in no time! Really! It was the fastest, most effective bug killer I ever found!

We have tried this on fruit flies, wasps, flies, and mosquitoes. It literally has killed any insect we’ve ever sprayed with it! So…for a cheap, really effective do-it-yourself bug spray, just find an empty spray bottle and fill it with 70% rubbing alcohol. Do not dilute the alcohol. Use a quick spray or two on any unwanted insect in the house and you’ll quickly be rid of it.

ONE WORD OF CAUTION: Be mindful of what you’re spraying the alcohol on in your house (other than the bug). Rubbing alcohol WILL TEMPORARILY soften paint. If you do spray some on paint, such as on a fly in a window, simply do not touch the paint with anything until the alcohol dries out (this includes leaving the dead fly alone). This won’t take long at all as alcohol dries quickly. Once the alcohol dries out and the paint hardens back up (usually in less than a minute), you can pick up the dead bug.

Also, be careful about spraying this over finished wood furniture. Some finishes might be damaged, if only temporarily, by the alcohol. If in doubt, test a very small area with the alcohol in an inconspicuous area before spraying any bug that lands on your fine furniture. Otherwise, just wave the insect away from the furniture and spray it in flight or when it lands on something that can safely be sprayed.

No more bugs in the house! Yipee!

Hope this helps,
Judi

Overcharged on Produce at Walmart in Carroll, Iowa

I don’t normally write such a post, but this one is warranted. We shopped at the Walmart store in Carroll, Iowa yesterday (October 29, 2016). We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, so of course, I purchased a number of items that needed to be weighed at the register.

When checking out, I didn’t watch the prices as the cashier rang up our items (my mistake). It wasn’t until this morning that I actually looked at our receipt. What really caught my eye was the fact that I saw the price for the ONE honey crisp apple that I bought. I’ve never tried one and since they’re expensive, I just bought one to try. I noticed that the ONE apple cost $3.60. “What??” I yelped! I looked at the weight and according to the receipt that one apple weighed 1.35 lbs. I have an accurate digital kitchen scale. I weighed the apple and it weighed less than 8 ounces. Hence, I was charged more than double what I should have been for that one apple. (Note that at the store, I put the apple was in one of those produce lightweight plastic bags that you can grab from a dispenser, which I had removed after bringing the food home. So the “tare” weight was not added in, but there’s NO way that little plastic bag weighed over 8 ounces. I’m sure it weighed way less than an ounce.)

Then I got out the eggplant that I purchased and have not yet cut in any way. It too rang up for a lot more weight and cost than it should have. Then I checked other items that we had not used, and they ALL weighed more on the receipt than they actually did…way more…sometimes double the weight or more.

I called the store and spoke with someone in customer service. She said they check their register scales every other day. She got the register number from my receipt and said she would go check the scale right away.

This may be an innocent problem, but I’ve heard of such schemes in the past (where stores alter their scales to show items weighing more than they actually do) and I know from reading online that the law has cracked down on such things. I don’t know if this was deliberate or not, but knowing how Walmart does their best to make as much money as they can, any way they can, I suspect that they might deliberately calibrate their scales so they overcharge customers on items that must be weighed.

So…it’s time for all of us to check this out and make it known to any store that overcharges that you caught them in the act. We could go back to that store and easily prove our point by carrying the items back to have them reweighed. However, we live in a different town and that store is about 30 minutes drive from here (country driving, so we’re talking about 30 miles one way). If I lived closer, I’d carry the produce back and have customer service weigh them again and prove my point. I’m estimating I was overcharged $10 to $15 or more (total) on the assortment of produce I purchased that had to be weighed. Because of the cost in gasoline and time factor in going back to the store, I’m opting to make this event known to the public this way, and absorbing the loss rather than driving back to the store. I doubt I’ll ever purchase anything that must be weighed at that store again. AND I’ll watch prices on items as they’re rung up at any store I shop in from now on.

I hope this helps you as a reader in some way, if nothing more than making you aware that such things can and do happen and that we should ALL watch the monitor as items are being rung up at any cash register. As I’ve learned, it pays to watch.

Easily Remove Ring Around the Collar

The other day I was ironing my husband’s shirts and discovered a BAD case of ring around the collar! It seems I should have noticed this well before now, but it just snuck up on me. I did a little research then got creative and came up with a VERY easy and EFFECTIVE way to get the stain out. This works whether the shirt has been worn (and not laundered), or even freshly washed, dried AND ironed. (Yes, really!)

Supplies needed: One old toothbrush, a small bowl of water, a little dish detergent that is a good grease fighter, and one dirty collar.

Lay the shirt so the collar lays open and flat. The shirt can be dry…no need to wet it down first.

Dirty shirt collar

Dirty shirt collar

Put a little bit of dish detergent on your toothbrush and scrub the dirt line along the collar.

Scrub collar with dish detergent and toothbrush

Scrub collar with dish detergent and toothbrush

After you’ve done a little scrubbing and worked the detergent into the fabric, wet the toothbrush and scrub the dirt line some more, working up some suds.

Wet the toothbrush

Wet the toothbrush

Work up some suds

Work up some suds

After you’ve scrubbed the dirt line to your satisfaction, the shirt can be laundered immediately in your usual laundry detergent in whatever water temperature you normally use. IF the shirt was exceptionally dirty and you feel your dish detergent is not a great grease fighter, it may help to allow your shirt to sit for a while (up to 1 hour) before laundering it. Note that the collar does not need to be rinsed out before placing it in the washing machine. IF you feel you used a LOT of dish detergent and need to rinse some of it out, go ahead and rinse.

Washed, wet shirt...See how clean!

Washed, wet shirt…See how clean!

After it comes out of the washer, take a quick look to be sure all the ring was scrubbed out. If not, repeat the process. If so, dry it as usual.

Dried shirt...good as new!

Dried shirt…good as new!

This is a fast and easy process that makes shirts look good as new! The real benefit is that you don’t need to buy extra chemicals to do the job. You should already have what you need on hand!

To see my video on this process, click below. Enjoy! Judi

Safely Remove Odor From Dishcloths (No Bleach!)

I recently stumbled upon this easy way to remove lingering odor from kitchen dishcloths. It works with any type of cloth…crochet or knit cotton, microfiber, standard kitchen dishcloths…whatever!

It’s better than bleach for a few reasons. First, bleach is quite toxic so should only be used when absolutely necessary. It will quickly remove color from any cloth it comes in contact with if you use too much (which is very easy to do).

Also, (and I know this for a fact), bleach destroys cotton fiber. Yes, really. I learned this during my undergraduate degree in a textiles lab. We took a small piece of cotton fabric and soaked it in 100% bleach. The fabric disintegrated! Moral of the story…Don’t use bleach on cotton if you care about the fabric!

New trick…boil those smelly yet laundered dishcloths. Place them in a pot of water. Bring it to a boil and boil them for a minute or two. Then leave them on the burner and turn it off. Allow them to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to cool down some and continue killing any remaining germs. Then drain the cloths and add cool water until they can be safely handled. Wring them out and (if desired) dry them further by wrapping them in a clean dry towel. Then toss them in the dryer until they are dried. Done!

It’s really very easy and effective, AND no toxic chemicals involved! Here’s a video on the topic! Enjoy, Judi

Baking, Cooking, Food, Cleaning Questions Answered

I recently had someone ask me a question, which sparked an idea. Since I have a lot of food, nutrition, and Family and Consumer Sciences education and experience, I’ll put that to work for YOU!

I’ve decided to make myself open to researching answers to YOUR QUESTIONS related to food–be it cooking, baking, preparation, preservation, or nutrition– and household issues, such as cleaning.

Most people know HOW to find answers to their questions, but simply don’t have the time for the research. I’ll do it for you. Answers will likely come in the form of a video. They may also be in a blog post, or simply a reply to a posted comment. Whichever is most appropriate will suffice.

Below is a link to my video offering this service. Feel free to comment below the video on YouTube or below this post! I’m happy to help!

Judi

Save Money (!!) with Reusable Dryer Sheets

So who’s not interested in saving money on expenses?? We have fixed expenses and discretionary ones. We don’t have a lot of flexibility in those fixed expenses, but we have many choices in our discretionary options, like what we buy at the grocery store. Honestly, if you look at what you spend in a month, most people spend the majority of their discretionary money at the grocery store. It really adds up, so I look for any way I can cut that back.

So, why not make reusable dryer sheets? That not only saves money on buying them over and over, but also helps reduce what goes into our landfills. All you need are two old T-shirts that are a medium-weight fabric (one light colored and one dark colored), a pair of scissors, and your favorite fabric softener. (In another write-up, I’ll share how to make your own fabric softener).

Simply cut a 6-inch square of fabric from each T-shirt. When you’re ready to use it, moisten the cloth with a little of your favorite fabric softener and toss it in the dryer with your wet clothes. Use the light colored cloth with your light laundry, and the dark colored cloth with your dark clothes. Simple! They can be reused over and over again! How easy is THAT?

Check out my video on making these cloths. Enjoy! Judi

Simply