Saturday, February 8, 2014

My Favorite Frugal Ideas

I vow to throw out broken rubberbands, cracked coffee cups, and envelopes when I have enough.

What does Frugal mean anyway?  prudent in saving, lack of wastefulness.  When you live on one income with a houseful of kids - frugality becomes quite important. 

So I watched TLC's Extreme Cheapskates.  Those people have some crazy ideas.  I am going to continue to buy toilet paper and won't be eating out of a dumpster anytime soon.  Regardless of some CRAZY ideas, I have found a few that'll work.  Though sometimes I feel like my hoarding grandmother. 

I do try to reuse, save and be wise with what I have.  Here are a few of my favorite frugal ideas.

Orange Bag Scrubbers

I actually saw this one on TLC's Extreme Cheapskates:  Those bags your oranges come in - they make great scrubbers.  Cut the end with the tag straight across.  Use your oranges.  Roll the scrubber into a ball.  It works amazingly!  You can unroll and rinse the whole thing out.  It lasts longer than a regular sponge with a scrubber on it.  It doesn't start to stink.  I do a LOT of dishes and it just keeps on cleaning.  If you already buy oranges in the bag, its like getting a free scrubber.  Save them up when you get orange bags.  Don't forget to add them to a Bridal Shower Gift.  Teaching young ladies how to start saving when they are young brides is a great gift.

Canning Jars vs. Leftover Jars

Just look at Pinterest.  Canning jars are gaining popularity as chandeliers, vases, containers for leftover paint.  I love my canning jars.  I use them all the time.  I can a lot of my own foods.  I use the jars for spices, salad dressings, syrups, seeds, etc.  But I won't buy canning jars to put flowers in ,or paint, or anything other than food.

What about other jars?  Why throw out that pickle or jelly jar and then go to town and buy a canning jar?  You cannot can food in leftover jars.  They aren't made to withstand the reheating that canning jars can take.  However, they are great for a lot of things.

Floral Arrangements:  With leftover jars you get a variety of sizes.  Like these huge Vlassic Pickle jars with a designed embossed on them. 

Or a skinny olive jar.  We covered them with lace, spray painted and created floral arrangements for a Bridal Shower. 

Lids Lids Lids
Lids that come with canning jars are metal and rust if you store something like salad dressing or syrups.  They sell plastic lids for a few dollars for a six pack.  I recently discovered that some peanut butter, mayonnaise, etc. lids work on canning jars.  Now instead of throwing out plastic lids I first check to see if they'll fit on my canning jars.  If they fit, I wash them up and keep them.  It's kind of trial and error.  Some lids fit on some brands of jars and some just don't.  But if I can save up a few for the things I normally need lids for I'm happy.
Here the red one is a small JIF peanut butter and the blue one is from  Kraft mayonnaise.
Benefits of Junk Mail
I mean really junk mail is a nuisance.  But we can always look for the silver lining.  Plain envelopes are just small pieces of paper ready to use for notes or small lists.  I open my mail with a letter opener so it's nice and neat.  Any envelopes that have a plain side I stack up in my paper drawer.  So instead of buying paper to write small notes or messages on I use my free paper.


  1. FYI- The black lids off of the shredded Parmesan cheese containers fit on the top of jars too! And they have a shaker top option! Great for storing your own dried herbs!! :)

    1. Well I will def have to try that. Can't wait till summer so I can grow some herbs.