Thursday, January 20, 2011

Frugal Tips-Laundry

Friday's Frugal Tips—Related to laundry.  It may sound crazy, but laundry is one of my favorite housekeeping activities. Not sure why, but it may have to do with having clean clothes, using my frugal tips and also being outside to hang clothes. Tips I use consist of:
  • Hang dry clothes either outside on a clothesline or inside on clothes racks. 
  • Use 1/4 cup of vinegar in rinse water for fabric softener; Brightens clothes and gets rid of static cling. 
  • Use cold water instead of warm or hot water; Clothes get just as clean.
  • If you use a dryer, use a gas dryer. Gas is cheaper than electric (In many areas of the country).
  • At the end of a wash-cycle, turn the knob back to spin (to wring out the extra water.) Clothes will dry quicker this way.
  • After hanging clothes to dry, if wrinkled either dry in dryer for 10 minutes or hang up on a shower curtain to expose the clothes to steam (gets rid of wrinkles.)
  • Use a little less laundry detergent than what the package recommends. I usually use 2/3 to 1/2 of what is recommended.
  • Make your own laundry detergent (To help save more). Recipes here.
  • If laundry wash water is not too dirty, dip out some of the water, before it drains out, to mop with. 
  • Never buy dry-clean only items. 
  • To preserve clothes, make sure you zip up zippers and button buttons to decrease friction on fabric.
  • Use dryer lint to make fire starters in your wood stove. Find out how to make fire starters
  • A little dish soap is a great stain remover. 
  • Wash only full loads.  
  • Reuse jeans and bath towels more than once to decrease laundry.
  • Wash comforters in commercial washers only. A comforter is too big for a standard washer and can actually damage your machine. 
  • If using dryer sheets, cut them in halves or even thirds. 

Accident, Illness and "Homey" Activities

The last week and a half has been a little hectic. Last week on Monday my son went for a bike ride and had an accident. He attempted to apply the back brakes which failed (on a brand new bike), then proceeded to put on the front breaks. He went flying over the handle bars. When he used his arm to shield his face, he fell on his right elbow fracturing it.

Off to the urgent care clinic we went. At the clinic Chris underwent an assessment, an X-ray was ordered, a splint applied and an orthopedic referral made. Of course, there is only one orthopedic doctor in town and he happens to be my doctor too. He was a little surprised to see us in his office. I'm sure having two family members, different accidents, three months apart who are patients is not the norm for him. He ordered an MRI. On our follow-up visit he told us the right elbow joint was fractured. It will take four to six months to heal. Some gentle bending and flexing of the elbow in the shower is needed and physical therapy will begin in three to four weeks. The next visit for Chris's elbow is in two weeks.

Oh, before I forget we went to our family doctor on Tuesday, and my son is also being treated for strep throat.

All the running to doctor appointments, x-rays and pharmacies hasn't left much time for my daily homey activities which I enjoy. That is, until today.

Today, with my son feeling better, I was able to do some things on my to-do list. One thing I have been slowly working at is de-cluttering. On my back porch I have an old refrigerator and a freezer which I use for storage.  I put items in there I don't use every day but use frequently enough I want them nearby. The fridges also serve as storage units for sales items and additional pantry stock.

Refrigerator storage
More stuff for refrigerator storage

Another task on my to-do list is splitting and replanting my spider plant. The task doesn't take long but I haven't been in the mood to do it. The original plant had been split and replanted more than a year ago.  From the first plant I made five cuttings. I kept three and gave two away. My three have now turned into seven. They grow so fast. Now I'm making plans on who to give those to. I also decided to plant one of my peach seeds. We will see it if grows into a tree or not.

Spider Plants
Pot with planted peach seed

Last I did a little baking. Not my typical frugal recipe of making things from scratch. Wait!  Let me explain. My husband found a really good sale on loss leaders at our local IGA. I believe he got the cake mix around 39 cents. Something outrageously cheap. In an inexpensive case like this I can go along with it not being made from scratch. However, I did use frugal, homegrown eggs.

Baking cupcakes and mini-cakes for sharing
Baked and Cooling 
Frosted. Ready to eat and share

At least my chickens have kept up on the homey activities of laying eggs. I've had almost six dozen eggs recently. Now, I'm down to four dozen. I used some for baking and cooking and gave a dozen away to my Christian Mentor when she visited on Monday.

Product of six busy chickens
 five of my busy girls (Sixth Not Pictured)
Things are getting back to normal. I feel complete again.

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