Sunday, October 23, 2011

Frugal Living - Substitutions

We all have favorite products that we can't live without, but there are many things that we CAN substitute things for and save ourselves some money.

Fabric Softener - Vinegar.  Add 1 cup to your wash when you start it. It softens fabric, gets rid of smell, and gets rid of build up on clothes as well.  This is especially helpful if you are sensitive to scents and dyes.

Weed Killer - Vinegar (again.)  Weed killer costs about $20 a gallon.  Vinegar costs about $2.50 a gallon.    Pour some into an old ketchup or mustard bottle and squirt it down at the base of the weed.  In a day or two, no more weeds.

Shaving cream - Hair conditioner.  If you use coupons, and watch sales, you can get conditioner for under $1.00.  Much cheaper than shaving cream.  Use it exactly as you would the shaving cream.  Spread it on and shave.  The conditioner softens the hair, making it easier to shave, and softens your skin as well.  You might be able to skip your lotion, saving even more money.

Vegetable wash - One of my dear friends writes the Two Men and a Little Farm blog.  It's a good blog about a couple who has bought their first "country home."  Anyway, he wrote about a vegetable spray that they use that's home made.  

1 Cup water
3/4 Cup distilled white vinegar 
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp baking soda

Mix it all up and put it in a spray bottle.  Spray the produce, rinse, let it sit a few minutes and enjoy.  

All purpose cleaner - Vinegar (again), dish soap and water.  This is a hand me down from my great-grandmother.  Mix your normal soap and water and add some vinegar to it. It cuts grease and shines at the same time.  She used this for everything from cleaning floors, to windows and mirrors, to lights to just about anything you can imagine.  No need for all different types of cleaners, and you know what's in it. She also used old newspapers in place of rags or paper towels when cleaning any type of glass.  It doesn't leave lint.

Cake Flour - Just under 1 C all purpose flour combined with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch.  Use it cup for cup for cake flour.  This is especially helpful if you don't bake cakes or use cake flour all that often.  Cup for cup, cake flour is about twice as expensive as plain flour.  

As you can see, vinegar can be used for so many things.  It's a staple to have in your house.  

You can Google all sorts of substitutions.  Some people make their own laundry detergent.  I haven't tried that yet, but those that use it, love it.

If you have favorite substitutions, please share them!!!

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