The Extreme Frugalista

Below is a list of non offensive ways in which some people go about stretching their dollar. These ways may be considered extreme and not acceptable by others while interestingly enough, they help protect the planet. Then again, what is pride for some people is an embarrassment for others.

• Air freshener. See soap.
• Bows. Some people save bows from presents they receive and very carefully unwrap the presents to also save the paper. Recirculate any bows that make sense and the ones that can be enhanced in a personalIMG_2030_use_web and unusual way; sometimes by adding long spiral pig tails or altering the bows themselves. The bow is what celebrates and announces the present, it can become an individual’s personal signature.
• Dental floss and dental floss picks Dental Floss Pick_web2are washed and sterilized with rubbing alcohol by many people. Is that any different than reusing the same toothbrushes daily?
• Dumps. Take a few things to the dump and see what your creative mind can bring home.
• Hair conditioner in the lack of shaving cream will shave very nicely.
• Insects are widely used as a delicacy and as a staple for survival in some cultures.
• Lint. Some people collect it from their clothes dryer to easily start fires in their fireplaces. Some other people collect lint from friends and use it for stuffing things. The same is true with animal hair.
• Lotion bottles are often cut open by many women who may discover the bottles still contain enough to go on for weeks. Often the pump is not long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle.
• Mayonnaise when nothing else is available is a wonderful sun screen and sun tanning solution. This might not sound nor smell so good being in the comfort of our homes but if stranded in the woods for days it is a welcome solution.
Mayonnaise is also known to be good for the skin.
• Mouthwash can be diluted a bit with water. Dentists do it.
• Panty Hoses are wonderful to strain oil and other kinds of paints.
• Paper towels. Most of the time we do not need a whole paper towel no matter what size the manufacturer makes it. IMG_1933_use_webA good practice is to cut it in half and often in quarters. Most of the time a fraction of the overall towel will do the job perfectly.
Paper towels can be cut even more to make napkins.IMG_1939_use_web A regular napkin can offer an attractive presentation yet be an excessive amount of wasted paper.
Some people use paper towels to wipe clean spills such as water or to dry their hands. They will then let the paper towel dry and later reuse it for a dirtier spill. A reused paper towel seems to have more absorption.
• Pencil extenders make it possible to use as much of a pencil as possible. It is fun to see how much extenderof a pencil one can use and when dealing with expensive color pencils, the extenders make much $en$e.
• Plastic bags from the produce section at the supermarket are good enough to freeze food. They are convenient, on hand, get a second chance in life and save us from using brand new bags. The image shows some hamburgersfrozen_0452_use_web with a space between them. This is so the package can be folded for storage and the meat will not stick together. Eventually the hamburgers can be removed as needed.

• Plastic bags, baggies and Ziploc bags are washed over and over and reused by many people. Small plastic bags from the produce and meat departments at groceries stores
work very well for smaller garbage cans provided your household is not a large one and you recycle. The bags are easy to tie and being small, they need to be tossed more often than the larger ones thus keeping the infectious garbage out of the house.
• Plastic ware such as forks, knives and spoons can be washed after a party, especially if they were the real nice kind say, would that be frugal? Cheap? Convenient? Eco friendly? Intelligent?
• Rags. Old socks and T shirts can be reused for dirty jobs in the garage.
• Saliva. Cleaning with saliva might sound disgusting yet those famous ‘spit shine’ words are true. Saliva contains natural mild proteins that make cleaning safe and easy. It is so mild and efficient that it is used in museums throughout the world to clean famous paintings with no damage.
Saliva is also very efficient in healing wounds through its content of protein.
• Shampooing hair daily is not healthy because it removes natural protective oils from the hair. Some people dilute their shampoo a little bit.
• Soap. Used bars of soap ????????????????????????????at garage sales, even the tiny ones, will sell because some people melt them and make new bars of soap. Smaller used bars of soap can also stick to one another if wet and pressed together.
Strong aroma bars of soap such as Irish SpringIMG_2042_web can make a great and long lasting air freshener for chest drawers and the automobile. Place in low cut socks and disperse them throughout.
• Toilet. Some people flush once a day. Some people flush overnight deposits in the morning. Some people flush by pouring recycled gray water rather than using the toilet tank lever.
• Toilet tank. A brick IMG_1954_webor jug filled with water stored in the tank can save considerable amounts of water reducing waste of resources.
• Vacuum cleaners. Attachments are usually of standard sizes and therefore they can sometimes be used with a ‘new’ vacuum. It is good to have a variety.
The cord extension cord_0630_webis usually strong and can provide an extra extension cord just by adding a plug at the end of it.
• Windex can be diluted a bit with water. It is strong enough for most tasks.
• Zipper sticking. Rub some candle wax or a bar of soap over the zipper.

*Images: see image details for credits

The Gancio

Not necessarily a new idea, this is a silly little tool born out of necessity. It consists of a serious handle from an old tool such as a shovel and a sturdy hook at the end of it. Its purpose is to be maneuvered through the tight turns of twigs and branches to knock down fruits such as lemons from a tree.
gancio_0687_usegancio_0682__ use_webIt is also very effective in knocking down dead branches from high places in trees that produce zillions of dead little twigs such as the Camellia.
It works well for raking the fallen branches because hooking one branch will pull the others.  It actually removes and pulls to your side dead branches that might hang over the neighbor’s yard.  It eliminates using a ladder in most cases.

With a hook at 90 degrees,  it can be used in garages to hang items up high and out of the way.
The sturdier it is the better.
Pre drill the hole.

Dish Soap Dispenser

Is the built in dish soap dispenser at your sink broken? Are you still reaching under the sink for the bottle?
The little contraption shown below has been pumping for 15 years. It has been performing flawlessly, precisely and consistently delivering from a tiny drop to a mother load.

dish-soap_0652_use_webThe contraption is an old Colgate bottle crossed with a pump from some of the Costco brand toiletries.
The hero here is the pump.
It has a large, long and strong straw which makes it nice when cut to size.
This pump will fit many types of plastic
Shown are a few bottle alternatives that will work. The labels peel off and clean easily with paint thinner, therefore making the clear bottles the preferred       Pour different color dish soaps slowly to acquire the shown mix.

Saving Water Damaged Cell Phones and Digital Cameras

According to the trusted sources at NPR, many people seem to drop their cell phones or digital cameras into the toilet.

Don’t just look at it! Quick pull it out!

The sources also suggested an old trick within the industry which is to bury the soaking cell phone or camera in the middle of a large bowl full of rice. Cover the bowl and wait at least 72 hours before trying to see if it worked. The rice should have been able to absorb the unwanted moisture.

Good luck!