Saturday, March 1, 2008

Some unusual frugal tips

The following is a random collection of frugal tips I practice in my life. While my blog reading is hardly extensive, I have not seen these particular ones mentioned so I thought I would compile my unique set for your enjoyment (laughter and comments are welcome).

I have seen many people comment on what to do with bread heels. My mom likes to eat them for toast but with the exception of my Banana Cream Bread, I really do not. One option is to make croutons, but I prefer to let the heels dry out and then store them in an empty plastic bread bag. Next time a recipe calls for dry bread crumbs, I go to the dry bread in my bag, take out a few heels to add to a blender and make crumbs. No toasting and waiting, and no waste of bread I typically do not eat.

To keep my secondhand metal snow shovel in the best condition possible, I occasionally spray the bottom edge and scoop surface with WD-40. This helps keep the snow from sticking when shoveling and inhibits rust between seasons. If the shovel is plastic, rusting is less likely, but treat any metal areas with WD-40 at the end of winter to prevent rust.

Plastic dishes are not recommended for cat use. For example, cats with plastic dishes are more prone to acne on the chin. For both my cats, I have purchased glass or Corelle bowls brand new either on sale or from outlet stores. Now that I frequent thrift stores, I know there are plenty of used Corelle bowls in great shape. I have only replaced one set of bowls for my older cat (I dropped something heavy on them and broke the bowls) and my younger cat has the same green glass bowls since I adopted her (ten years).

I have stood up in several weddings and some have used artificial flower arrangements. However, once the ceremony is done, what to do with the flowers? If you have children, I suggest giving it to them to play dress up. For a single woman like me, having children over does not happen often. Instead, I display the artificial bouquets depending on the time of year. One is red and white (I display it in the spring and summer) and the other has orange, yellow and maroon flowers (I display it in the fall and winter). This way I have a seasonal decoration in a vase and use the bouquets.

There are high-drain battery-operated devices and there are low-drain devices. When I had a CD player, the AA batteries would wear out so the CD no longer spun, but there was still juice left in the battery. Therefore, I implemented a staggered AA battery usage. I would save the batteries that no longer run the CD player and when electronics remotes or my battery-operated clocks needed a boost, I placed the used batteries in these low-draw devices. Yes, I had to replace clock batteries more often than using a fresh one, but this way, I used the batteries until they were truly dead and saved a few dollars. Caveat: the used and new batteries had to be sorted and stored but I found this method worked for me for years.

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