Frugality Wise

Tips, ideas, and resources for living frugally

Frugality Friday: Pantyhose – Dust Your Way to a Cleaner Home (And Other Uses)

I’m sure all of us ladies have appreciated at one time or another how flattering our legs look in a pair of pantyhose. And men, I’m sure you’ve admired the smooth legs of a woman walking by and don’t even realize that she’s wearing pantyhose! This common item found in almost any home in which a woman resides can be used for so much more than just legwear.

Keep Hair In Place

When I was younger I used to sleep in a stocking cap made of pantyhose to keep my hair in place when I went to sleep in order to prevent messy, tangled bedhead when I woke up in the morning. A stocking cap is also a good alternative to a hair net if you are preparing food for guests and want to keep your hair out of the way and prevent any lose strands from falling. (No one wants to pull a strand of hair out of their now unappetizing plate of food!) A stocking cap is simple to make:

  • Take a clean pair of pantyhose and tie a knot where the legs connect to the “panty” part of the pantyhose. Make sure the knot is tight.
  • To finish, cut the legs off leaving only about a couple of inches length from the knot.

Instead of a full pair of pantyhose, another option is to use knee-high pantyhose. Take one of the knee-highs and put it over your head ensuring proper coverage of your skull. Tie a tight knot close to the crown of your head, and cut the leg off leaving behind a couple of inches.

Here are other ways to use pantyhose and save money:

hair bun - stockimagesAs a ponytail holder. Are your current ponytail holders frayed and so stretched out they’re hanging on by a thread? Instead of running out to buy a new pack, grab a pair of old pantyhose and cut a 3-inch thick horizontal strip across the leg. Use the strip as you would a store-bought ponytail holder. Simple!

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furniture - Studio Cl Art - photlAs a duster. Use pantyhose to dust furniture or anything else that needs dusting. To create a makeshift duster to get rid of dust bunnies, ball up a pair of pantyhose and fasten it with a rubber band to a coat hanger, a knitting needle, or any other long, thin object you have around your home. Instant duster, MacGyver style! Dust clings to pantyhose material, and the pantyhose can be washed after dusting for reuse the next time you need it.

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shoes 2 - Gualberto107Buff your shoes. Don’t have a shoe buffer around? No problem. You don’t need to go out and buy one. Freshly polished shoes can be buffed with pantyhose to bring out their shine.

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teddy bear 2 - Stuart MilesAs stuffing for soft toys. Has your child’s favourite teddy bear seen better days? If teddy has lost a little “weight” (i.e. some of his stuffing has fallen out after months or years of wear and tear), plump him back up again by stuffing him with clean balled-up pantyhose and then sew him back up. He’ll be good as new!

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Photo Credits for this blog entry (in order of appearance):

Image 1: Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image 2: Image courtesy of Studio Cl Art / Photl.com

Image 3: Image courtesy of Gualberto107 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image 4: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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How to Give Your Mom a Happy (Frugal) Mother’s Day

I Love You Mum - Stuart Miles

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s no one like mom. In good times and bad, moms are there when you need support, strength, guidance, and love. On mom’s special day, Mother’s Day, show her that her mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual investment in your well-being is appreciated by doing something special for her. Doing so doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are five frugal things you can do to give mom a special and meaningful Mother’s Day.

Get crafty and make her origami flowers.

Floral bouquets are expensive, in part due to the demand for them. And Mother’s Day is one of the most high-demand (and high profit) days for flower shops. Rather than spend a ton of money on a bouquet, make her an aesthetically-pleasing origami paper bouquet instead. Admittedly, this does take some knack and patience, but the end result is lovely. You can even add an extra touch by gently spraying it with her favourite perfume. She will be mightily impressed by your ingenuity. (See the links in the Additional Resources section at the end of this post for tutorials on how to do this.) While you’re on a crafty roll, make her a card from scratch, as well, with a thoughtful hand-written message.

Give her a small gift bag of homemade soaps.

It’s easier to make soap than you might think, especially if you use the melt-and-pour method (see the link to a basic tutorial in the Additional Resources section). All you need is a melt-and-pour soap base, a decorative soap mold, fragrance oil, skin-safe soap colourant, and a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol. Put the completed soaps in a cellophane gift bag and tie with a decorative ribbon.

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Quick Update

Update - Stuart MilesYou may have noticed that there wasn’t a Frugality Friday post yesterday. I’ve been sick all week and too exhausted to post. Regardless, I may need to experiment with the frequency of Frugality Friday posts, as sometimes it is a challenge to have a new post up every single Friday because of my personal schedule or other things I need to attend to in my life. I feel that blogging should be a fun activity, and it becomes less fun when it feels like there’s an obligation to meet a deadline every week. I already have deadlines to meet at my full-time 9-to-5 job! So there may be times when there isn’t a Frugality Friday post on a Friday (and who knows, there may be times when I’m on a roll and can post every Friday for a period of time). With that being said, thanks to every single one of you who support this blog by following it. It means a lot to me!

Although, there was no Frugality Friday post this week, I will be making a Mother’s Day post following this one, because it’s such a special day that warrants a new post. After all, I’m sure we all want to spoil dear old mom without blowing our budget!

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The Warm Weather Staycation – Frugal Activities to Have Fun and Keep You Entertained

beach - Sura Nualpradid If you’re like me, then you plan all of the vacation days that you will be taking off from work for the calendar year as soon as the New Year begins! Nothing beats the feeling you get when you know you have vacation time scheduled from work that’s coming up very soon. Like a kid during the last week of school before the summer break, you impatiently start getting into “countdown mode”. However, as exciting as it is to have a break in your regular work routine, vacations can really drain your wallet. From airfare, to hotels, to rental cars, vacations can become very expensive. Enter the staycation! A staycation is a vacation you take locally without going abroad. So this can mean you stay within your country, province/state, or city. The most frugal staycations, like the ones that I usually take, are those taken within your city, that way your own home is your accommodations, rather than a hotel. There are many frugal activities you can do while on a staycation in your city. If you have a week off from work, here are a few recommendations of activities to enjoy.

Take in a street festival.

In the summer, particularly in large metropolitan areas, there are always a plethora of street festivals. There’s a street festival that appeals to various interests, from food, to arts and culture, to family and kids-oriented. Money-saving tip: Set a budget of how much you want to spend at an outdoor festival. There will be many vendors to choose from. Take a look at all vendors and what they’re offering first, rather than spend money at the first vendor you come across. Vendors selling similar items might have different prices, so take the time to browse for the lowest price.

Go to the Beach.

Pack up your swim wear, sunglasses, sunscreen, and reading material and hit up your local beach. It may not be the beaches of the Caribbean with their unparalleled beauty (unless you actually live in the Caribbean right now, in which case, lucky you!), but there are many great local beaches where you can spend an afternoon playing beach volleyball, or just lounging on your beach towel and living a life of leisure for a few hours. Money-saving tip: Bring your own food to the beach in a cooler, rather than buy food at a nearby food cart.

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Frugality Friday: Tea – A Remedy for Smelly Feet (That’s Right!), and More

I love tea. I love the myriad of health benefits that drinking tea provides. I have boxes of assorted organic teas in my kitchen cupboards. In a world where people can’t seem to get enough of their coffee to wake them up (and line up a mile long just to get a brew from Canada’s beloved Tim Hortons) I can’t get enough of my favourite warm beverage, a calming cup of tea, to relax me. If you drink tea you probably just throw the tea bag in the trash once you’re done. But hold on, not so fast! That used tea bag can be re-used in a variety of ways, both around the home and for personal health and wellness.

A Home Remedy to Reduce Shedding Hair

My favourite way to use tea in an unconventional way is to prepare a tea rinse for my hair to combat shedding. If, like me, you find that your hair is shedding a little too much for your comfort, try the following regimen which can be done weekly or monthly.

  • Brew 2 cups of green tea and allow it to cool.
  • Transfer the brewed tea into a spray bottle (an applicator bottle or a simple bowl can also be used).
  • Shampoo and rinse your hair, and then apply the brewed tea to your hair, focusing on the scalp.
  • Leave it on from anywhere between 5 to 30 minutes, then rinse it out.
  • This last step is extremely important. It is essential to deep condition your hair after applying a tea rinse, as a tea rinse on its own can make hair hard. A deep condition will keep your hair soft and moisturized after the tea rinse.

Be sure to clean your tub afterwards to prevent any tea stains!

Rather than spending money on products to treat or address the following issues, you can grab tea that’s already in your kitchen and use them in these additional ways:

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Frugality Friday: The Toothbrush – A Trusty Tool For More Than Just Oral Care

Everyone knows that good oral care is important, and having a good toothbrush is one of the essential items to use in maintaining your oral hygiene. However, there is a lot more you can do with this trusty tool than brushing those pearly whites. A toothbrush can be used in a multitude of useful ways that I’m sure its inventor never even thought of!

Bye-bye Dry Flaky Lips!

Lips - sippakornYears and years ago I became aware of a new product that one of my favourite skin care companies was selling that would exfoliate flaky lips. I was immediately intrigued. It was in the shape of a tube of lipstick, which seemed so convenient. I purchased it….and wasn’t overly impressed with it. It didn’t seem to do the job I needed it to do. Perhaps I wasn’t using the product properly. I abandoned the product and never felt inclined to return to it. There are many beauty and skin care lines out there that offer lip scrubs and exfoliators, and while most might not break the bank if you purchase one of them, it seems pointless to purchase one when a simple toothbrush will get the job done. The Winter months can be especially hard on skin in cold climates, drying it out almost chronically. When my lips get flaky in such instances, in order to get them soft and smooth again I use the following simple, no-fuss technique.

  • Splash warm water onto my lips to soften the flaky, dead skin
  • Put on a generous amount of lip balm (The Vaseline brand has always worked well for me, whether I’m using it to exfoliate or just to moisturize.)
  • Use a soft and straight bristle toothbrush and rub the toothbrush around your lips and over the flakes in a gentle circular motion
  • Wipe away with a tissue any loose flakes that might be sticking to your lips because of the lip balm, and any flakes that might be trapped in your toothbrush
  • Add a layer of lip balm to rehydrate your lips (This step might not be needed if after exfoliating you still have enough product left on your lips.)

When I do this regularly, especially in the Winter, I’m able to keep my lips smooth and hydrated just by using a tool I already have in my home.

Here are other ways in which you can use a toothbrush:

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