Re-evaluate frugal tips
Some frugal tips aren’t practical for everyone. There are some that you probably think you’d never want to do. You might think they’re not worth your time or you’re simply not interested in doing them. Or maybe you might think they’re downright gross. As you master money-saving strategies and progress in your frugality, you might be more open to trying those same tips you thought you would never try. For example, you might be used to buying only boneless, skinless chicken, so buying a whole chicken isn’t appealing. But after a year or more of being frugal, you might revisit this option and then wonder why you waited so long to boil a chicken carcass to make homemade soup.
What tips won’t you use? Why?
Here are a few of the most commonly resisted frugal tips.
COLD-WATER LAUNDERING: Many people refuse to wash laundry in cold water because they don’t believe their clothes will be clean enough. Most laundry detergent doesn’t dissolve as easily in cold water. So add your detergent to the washer as the water fills. Use warm water until it fills a few inches to dissolve it, add your clothes, then switch the water temperature to cold. If you’re concerned about stain removal with cold water, pre-treat and soak stained clothing. Worried about germs? Hang your laundry outside in the sun or wash using a laundry detergent designed for cold water.
SKIP FLUSHING: The ick factor prevents many people from skipping a toilet flush to save water. For those who aren’t devout flushers, they tend to skip flushing when they’re home alone or at night.
REUSING BAGGIES: It’s not worth the time for some people to wash a baggie. You don’t have to reuse them for food. Heavy-duty freezer bags work wonderfully to hold various household items. And cereal bags? They replace wax paper easily, and all you have to do it shake them and make a couple of cuts with scissors.
SECONDHAND SHOES: You’ve seen them at garage sales or the thrift store and might pass them right by. You can clean and disinfect them. Use Lysol spray or bowling-shoe disinfectant or simply replace the insoles. To deodorize, use baking soda. You can also call your local shoe-repair shops and ask whether or not they clean shoes and how much they charge.
HOMEMADE CLEANERS: Some people think making homemade laundry soap or household cleaners is a bit over the top. But once they try a few recipes and get favorable results, they never look back. Supplies such as vinegar, baking soda, castile soap and Fels-Naptha become household staples. Visit www.frugalvillage.com/forums/just-tips/4046-131-uses-vinegar.html and www.frugalvillage.com/forums/just-tips/94174-baking-soda.html for tons of tips on how to use vinegar and baking soda in your home.
REGIFTING: This crosses the line for many people. But if you don’t like it or can’t use it and know someone who will appreciate it, give it. Just be as careful and considerate as you would be if you were giving any other gift.
POWDERED MILK: What is it about nonfat dry milk that makes people twitchy? It has a longer shelf life than fresh milk, and it’s fat-free and high in calcium. You can use it in cooking and baking. Look for the book “Cookin’ With Powdered Milk” by Peggy Layton (Peggy Layton, 1994), or visit www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/recipes/hhp/NFDM-Recipes.pdf for recipes.
photo by clairity