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Shoo, fly, don’t bother me

By on July 3, 2010


DEAR SARA: How do you repel flies? Every time we sit outside or eat outside, we are bombarded with flies. How do you keep them away? — Julie, Florida

DEAR JULIE: We have mosquito problems here. Flies aren’t really a problem. They’re mostly an occasional pesky nuisance. My cat gets any flies that get inside, and we have a screened-in porch, so we can eat outside in peace. Fly strips work well. You can make your own. Here’s a recipe.

1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
brown paper bag

Mix ingredients together. Dip strips of brown paper bag into the mixture. Coat the strips well and set them on plastic overnight to dry partially. Poke a hole in the strip, loop a twist tie through it and hang.
You can plant mint and basil in your yard; burn citronella candles; or soak cotton balls in a combination of tea tree oil, lavender or eucalyptus and water or vinegar. Place them in a shallow bowl.

DEAR SARA: How do I find a good balance when stockpiling? I usually do one big grocery shopping trip a month. I hit the grocery outlet (and stock up on the deals), the bread outlet and Costco all in one day. Then I hit Wal-Mart the next day or two. I then go to the local market and get my produce there each week. I also keep an eye out for major sales/loss leaders and pick those up throughout the month if they are too good to be true. This system has worked well for us and really helped reduce our grocery budget. Here is my dilemma: Our house is currently on the market. While I still want to keep my grocery budget as low as possible, I don’t want to have to move an enormous stockpile, either. I don’t want to run out of things, but we aren’t sure where we’re moving yet (we’ll be renting while we build our new house), and I don’t know how big of a pantry we’ll have or how much additional storage. — Jessica, Washington

DEAR JESSICA: Eat from the stockpile because it will be less to move. If you have professional movers, be sure to ask them their policies in regards to food. Many will not move food or will charge by weight. Keep the money you would have spent, and once you’re settled, use that money and start adding to your stockpile again. You’ll have less food stored, which can be helpful as you’re trying to sell your home (less clutter). Plus, you don’t know how much storage you’ll have available in your temporary home while your home is being built. If you’re looking to strike a balance between continually building your stockpile and dwindling it down, then stockpile only what you know you’ll use in the short term versus long term. In other words, let’s say spaghetti sauce is on sale and you normally buy 10 jars. Buy five. Cut your stockpiling efforts in half, anticipating that you need to move the remaining parts of your stockpile and might not have as much storage space. At the same time, eat from your stockpile (using older and already opened items, such as pasta or cereal items first) so you’re not building it as rapidly as you normally would but you aren’t depleting it completely.

photo by onezzzart

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