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!



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.



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.



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!


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

Image 1: Image courtesy of stockimages /

Image 2: Image courtesy of Studio Cl Art /

Image 3: Image courtesy of Gualberto107 /

Image 4: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


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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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Frugality Friday: Castor Oil – The Ultimate Oil for Frugal You

In addition to my usual posts listing money-saving tips for different types of expenses and aspects of life, starting today I will be experimenting with a new weekly feature called “Frugality Friday”. On Fridays I will post and discuss one item that you can probably find lying around your home that can be used in multiple ways. Why spend money on different items for different purposes, when you can save money by using a single item for multiple purposes? With this feature, you may discover a certain way to use an item that you hadn’t ever before considered. Or a lightbulb might go off in your head and you think “Oh yeah, I used to do that years ago. I don’t remember why I stopped. I need to start doing that again!” So without further ado, this post is dedicated to what I consider to be the ultimate oil. I’m talking about good ol’ castor oil, of course!

Kicking Acne to the Curb

The first time I used castor oil was after I did some research on the internet, looking for ways to get rid of the adult acne that was affecting my self-esteem well into my mid-twenties. I figured at that age, I should no longer have to be dealing with the skin problems of adolescents. Even though we know that acne is a common occurrence in adults, we still associate it with the hormonal see-saw that is puberty. After years of buying over the counter topical treatments that either did nothing, did something but without significant results, or made my skin look worse, I bought a bottle of castor oil and did the following regimen in sequential order:

  • Washed my face with an oil-free cleanser
  • Gave my face a 10-minute steam with my electric facial steamer to open the pores, putting a towel over my head to trap in the steam
  • Rubbed about a loonie-sized amount of castor oil all over my face (For those not familiar with Canadian currency, a loonie is our $1 coin!)
  • Went back to the steamer to steam my face for another 10-minutes
  • Massaged the oil over my face some more before rinsing off with warm water, then a splash of cold water to close the pores; then pat dry with a facial tissue

Afterwards, there was still a little residue of the oil left on my face (it is a thick oil), but it didn’t make my face look like a shiny oil slick. Surprisingly, despite it being an oil, it doesn’t clog pores. (Otherwise, that would be counterproductive as a treatment for acne, now wouldn’t it?) After doing this regimen for a while my skin finally got smoother and my acne problems were finally behind me. I know not every solution works for everybody, but it doesn’t hurt to try if you’ve never used castor oil for acne before.

Here are some other good uses for castor oil:

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