Sunday, June 26, 2011

Money $aving Mondays {No. 1}

This is a new series that I plan on adding tips, tricks, and ideas to each week in order to $ave you money and hopefully, time, too.

Around the House:
1) Contain Pot-Lid Clutter: If you have not been fortunate enough to have the newest kitchen organizing cabinets, then this tip is for you {& myself, too}. Dinner prep would be smooth sailing if only we could find the right lid for each pot without pulling everything out of the cabinet while we search. In order to avoid those lovely search parties: In a deep drawer, insert 2 or 3 tension rods from front to back about 1-1.5 inches from the top. The rods will divide the drawer in 3 slim sections so the lids are stored on their sides and stay securely in place. Use this tip in a not-so deep drawer for plastic lids, too!

2) Turn Yellow Plant Leaves Green: High pH levels in the soil typically caused by hard water are to blame. To resolve the problem, combine 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar and 1 qt. of water, then water the plant(s) with this mixture as soon as you notice yellow leaves. Do this once/week for three weeks. The mixture will lower the pH level in the soil by increasing its acidity, turning the yellow leaves to green in a matter of weeks.

3) Salt Stains on Hardwood Floors: Do you have salt prints on your harwoods after every snowfall? Give them the boot with this trick: Pour 1 Tbs of apple cider vinegar onto a soft, damp cloth and dab at the marks, starting at the edges and working toward the center. The acid in the liquid will neutralize the salt particles, removing the stain without damaging the wood's finish.

4) Freshen/Clean Your Coffeemaker: Run a half pot of white vinegar, followed by two pots of water through your drip coffeemaker. The vinegar helps prevent the buildup of mineral deposits.

5) Got Belt, Scarf, or Tie Clutter? Use the plastic rings from a 6 or 8-pack of soda to organize them. Simply hang one of the rings over a hanger, then loop belts, scarves or ties through the remaining rings. Great way to reduce and re-use!

Beauty on a Budget:
1) Out of Dandruff Shampoo & Having a Bit of a Flaky Issue? Reach for the apple cider vinegar once again. Apply 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar to dry hair and gently massage into your scalp, rinse thoroughly with cool water. You can use this trick prior to shampooing. The alpha hydroxy acids in the vinegar will loosen the buildup of sebum that causes the embarrassing problem. Within a day or two, you'll be flake-free and have fabulous body, too! {OK for color-treated hair and there is no residual odor}.

2) Banish "Bacne" With a Bubble Bath: This protein-honey soak contains astringents from egg whites and natural antibacterial agents from honey.
1/2 mild liquid soap {Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille is fabulous!}
1 egg white
1Tbs. Honey
Stir ingredients and pour under running water. Soak for at least 15 minutes.
Note: Don't want to use an egg white? Use a packet of powdered milk instead.

3)Feeling Like a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? Cool down with this refreshing cucumber mist.
In a blender, combine until smooth:
1/2 fresh Cucumber, chopped
1/2 Cup Distilled Water
2 Tbs. Fresh Mint leaves or 1 Mint Tea Bag
Cheesecloth or coffee filter
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour through cheesecloth or coffee filter into clean spray bottle. Chill in the fridge and mist onto skin after bathing. Mist should be good up to 5 days.

4) Whittle Your Waist & Prevent Viruses: Sound too good to be true? Extra Virgin (Unrefined) Coconut Oil is the most powerful virus-destroyer experts have found. It's the monolauric acid - the same protective fatty acid found in breast milk - which attacks germs such as staph, strep, and influenza. Your Rx: Add 3 Tbs to your daily diet. It does have a slight coconut taste and can be used in any recipe that calls for butter or oil. {When I diet, this is my #1 weapon and the only additional fat I use}. It's great for baking, stirring, sauteing, or try spreading or drizzling it on toast. It is solid unless it is below 70 degrees. It won't raise your cholesterol (as long as you are eating healthy = Lots of veggies, lean cuts of meat, fruit). It's one of the healthiest fats around {MUFA ~ Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid = think olive oil and nuts}, but a proven weight loss aid. Cherie Calbom's Coconut Diet book explains this in-depth.

5) Want To Banish Oil Without Looking So Matte? Oil glands go into overdrive in higher temperatures. To smoothe skin and dry up the oil slick, combine 1/2 Cup Orange Juice {Fresh or Florida Naturals ~ NOT concentrate}, 1 Tbs. Corn Starch, and 1 tsp. Salt. Massage over entire face and leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse. Repeat twice a week. The citric acid in the juice melts dead skin cells, while the cornstarch and salt soak up the surface oil without drying out skin. Your oil glands will give up and say, "We're not needed here".

Until next time, Keep it simple, keep it frugal, and keep it chic!

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