Monday, January 17, 2011

Money Saving Monday...Cleaning Up for Less

Okay, I admit it.  I'm cheap.  It's true, I cannot bring myself to pay full price for anything or waste anything.  I use coupons for just about everything, stalk items I want until the price is reduced and just generally count each and every penny as if it were my last.  The flip side of this neurotic behavior is that I save a TON of money every year.   Reducing the amount of cleaning products we buy not only saves us money, but keeps our homes free of unwanted chemicals and helps protect our environment.  My mom is queen of dollar stretching (without the neurosis!) and we're always sharing ideas about how to make our dollars go farther.  Recently we discussed using white vinegar for cleaning.  I have always used it to clean my tile and wood floors, but there are a million other uses as well.
  • Dilute 1/2 cup per half gallon of water for floors
  • Use in place of rinse agent in the dishwasher
  • Run through automatic coffee maker on brew, then run another brew cycle with water to remove hard water deposits
  • Mix with equal part of water for general cleaning/deodorizing 
  • In a spray bottle, the half and half solution will help keep mildew and hard water stains out of your shower
  • Two tablespoons to a pint of water to clean fresh fruits and veggies.
A few more ideas for stretching our cleaning supplies: 
  • Use half or a third of a dryer sheet and/or use it twice.
  • Buy 'select-a-size' paper towels.  I love Bounty paper towels!  I can use a half of a 'select-a-size' for almost any small job and I can reuse a towel for covering food in the microwave again and again.  Bargain paper towels are no bargain if you go through a roll a week.
  • Reuse parchment paper, foil, ziplock bags and plastic wrap whenever possible.  Sometimes a quick wipe is all you need to make these good as new again.
These are just a few of the thing I do to save.  What ideas do have for cleaning up for less?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Some of the Menagerie...Meet Ranger!

Ranger is one of the smaller members of our family, although he doesn't think so.  He was a gift from my beloved neighbor and friend.  She had gone to get a puppy and Ranger was going to be left by himself.  He
hadn't been adopted yet (he was at that awkward puppy stage) so they just gave him to her!
Ranger has grown up with all big dogs, including our great dane and our german shepherd.  He has no idea that he is small, NONE.  He has no fear of any other animals with the exception of our matriarch chicken Rosie. He loves to eat, ride in the car, eat, play with our youngest, eat, play with the german shepherd, eat, chase chickens, oh and did I mention he loooooves to eat?  

Before and after his summer haircut!

We don't really let him drive the boat, he hasn't passed the test yet!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Television Worth Watching

It seems today with our hundreds of channels on cable television that there is so little worth watching. When I actually find something enjoyable, I have to talk about it!  Yesterday I recorded a new show on Hallmark Channel called Pet Keeping with Marc Morrone.  We watched one episode during half time of the Orange Bowl (this should give you an idea of who holds the remote around here!)  I have seen Marc on Martha Stewart over the years and liked his natural connection with all kinds of animals.  His pet ferret Splash receives more fan mail than he does. You gotta love a guy who's not afraid to admit that!  I love that he is a shelter adoption advocate and that he lives with all kinds of pets of his own.  This show is geared toward a younger audience but it is entertaining as well as educational.  If you have your own menagerie, would like to or just love animals, this is thirty minutes you won't regret spending in front of the tube.