Household Ideas for Pinching Pennies and Stretching Your Dime

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I apologize for being offline for that past week or so. My wireless connection has been spotty at best, but it seems to be rolling along smoothly for now. I've got my fingers crossed that I can squeeze another year out of my wireless router since I've only gotten 14 months out of it so far. Luckily my ex-husband is still willing to fix things computer related for me on occasion. However, knowing now that cheap consumer wireless routers last only 1 to 3 years tops - the ex switches his out every two years - it means I'm going to have to budget for some new hardware soon. Which of course means finding ways to save money.

While I've posted about how to save money on laundry and dishes by making your own laundry and dishwasher detergent and even household cleaners, here are a few others I've run across lately that I felt were worth sharing.

Natural Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipe from Tidy Mom

Tidy Mom has an excellent recipe for making an all-natural, homemade drain cleaner using just baking soda and vinegar. Not only is it a LOT cheaper than buyer chemical drain cleaners, but it's nontoxic and won't harm the environment. Plus, it really does work. My parents use this method to clear their drains whenever the water starts to drain slowly. I'm not sure how well if at all if it works on standing water - anyone tried this before? - but if you use this solution on a regular basis you should have no worries.

Febreeze seems to be a household staple for most everyone since gaining popularity for its ability to neutralize tough odors after being introduced some years back. In fact, this past March this air freshener created by Procter & Gamble hit the billion sales mark. The price for this product isn't cheap, though. At a retail price of $5.59 each, it's not budget-savvy for those on fixed budgets facing rising food and energy costs. But if you have pets or even kids into sports, it's not necessarily something you want to live without. So I was super psyched to find a knock-off recipe for Febreeze at Fake It Frugal. A 32 oz. bottle of the knock-off costs just 15 cents. I haven't tried this yet, but would love to hear feedback if you decide to give it a shot.

DIY Wallflowers Scented Plugin from Holy Crickey

If you enjoy scenting your home but want a cheaper alternative, then turn to Holy Crickey for her DIY idea for refilling your Wallflowers Scented Plugin with natural essential oils. Buying your essential oils in bulk will save money in the long run and you always know just what is going into your air because you choose the ingredients. Be sure to check out Holy Crickey for a photo tutorial of the process. You can also check out this recipe for DIY gel air fresheners from Soap Deli News.

If you by chance have a bottle of cheap vodka left at your house from your last shindig that you don't plan to drink - I mean, I wouldn't use Grey Goose or Ciroc for this - you can finish it off with twelve great household uses for vodka found at Apartment Therapy. Vodka is great for things like keeping aphids off household plants, cleaning, removing stains on fabric, and even getting rid of the smell of cigarette smoke.

Don't throw out your leftover soap slivers. Instead, use the leftover soap bits from your shower to create a DIY pre-laundry stain treatment. The recipe for this laundry stain remover is available on Tip Nut.

The next few ideas probably aren't going to save you money, but they will make your life easier. So you may want to also check out the following household tips as well.

  1. When painting a room, keep some of the paint aside in an old baby food jar for quick touch-ups. (via New Uses for Old Things: Kids Edition from Real Simple.)
  2. Make salad in a jar and keep it fresh for up to 14 days while making enough to last for ten days at one time. Find out how at Salad in a Jar.
  3. Use citrus oil to remove sticky residue from jars and other glass you want to recycle. (via Green Your Way.)
  4. Add drawers to the bottom of your kitchen cabinets in order to create more storage space. You'll find the DIY for building under-cabinet drawers at The Family Handyman.
  5. Unexpected fruit flies? Trap them using a jar, a paper cone, and a banana. Find out how to make your own fruit fly trap at The Idea Room.

Looking for more household tips? Check out these articles from Soap Deli News for ways to make homemaking easier.

  1. Household Tips for Organizing and Living.
  2. Home Office Organizing Tips and DIY Projects.
  3. Helpful Tips for Everyday Success.
  4. Everyday Homemaking Tips.

What's your favorite way to save money for your household? I'd love to hear your tips and solutions to common everyday problems as well!


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