Monday, February 22, 2010

Make It Yourself Monday: The Return - Re-purposing Household Goods

The Frugal Hostess kind of forgot that she used to do this Monday column about making stuff yourself.  Oops.  Sorry about that.

It's back!  For one week only.  Or, you know, until the next time FruHo remembers to do it.

This time, we're going to talk about re-purposing things you already have so that you don't have to buy other things.

Item One: Liquid Soap for Your Guest Bathroom

Here's what you do.  Get a squeeze bottle - sort of like the ones for ketchup and mustard, but clear.  Fill it with: dish soap; gel shampoo; shower gel; or Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap.  Presto - you have liquid hand soap!  And then people actually think you wash your hands!  When, of course, you totally don't, since you're trying to cultivate the good bacteria.  Or whatever.  Yuck.

Item Two: Bath Oil (or moisturizer)

Fill a small jar with canola oil.  Add several drops of orange, almond, or other non-floral essential oil.  Shake like hell.  Drip into bath water and/or rub on skin.  Actually, you can use floral scents, TFH supposes, just don't give her any.  Gross.  Sneeze-o-matic.

Item Three: All-Purpose Surface Cleaner

Take a squirt bottle (feel free to use an old cleaning product bottle, but just wash it well to get rid of the nasty chemicals and chemical smell).  Fill it with half vinegar and half water.  Spray it all over anything dirty.  Wipe and repeat.

Item Four: Buttermilk

Hardly anyone ever has buttermilk hanging around.  Although, given it's extraordinary ability to improve baked goods, maybe we should.  Either way, if you don't have any buttermilk, just use regular milk with one tablespoon replaced with white vinegar.  In other words, if you need a cup of buttermilk, pour a cup of milk, scoop out one tablespoon of the milk, and add a tablespoon of white vinegar.  Unlike many substitutions, The Frugal Hostess can honestly say that this is exactly the same and results in no change to your final product.

Item Five: Leather Cleaner

This may be somewhat controversial, but FruHo has heard - from the horse's mouth, no less - that cobblers use lemon Pledge to put a shine on your briefcases.  That's right; you pay $10-$20 to have your Coach Legacy briefcase freshened up, and the dude sprays Pledge all over it and calls it a day.  Shocking, but certainly frugal to do yourself.

Item Six: On the Spot Blemish Treatment

You do not need to fork out for a special mask or cream or potion for the occasional pimple.  Cover it with toothpaste, sleep, and wake up with less of a problem.  (Don't, however, rub toothpaste all over your face.  As TFH can attest, that is just a bad idea.)  Please note: the toothpaste needs to be paste and not gel.

Item Seven: Cuticle Oil

See bath oil above.  Or, drip some olive oil on your cuticles.  What a ridiculous thing to spend money on.

Item Eight: Labels

You don't need to buy a P-Touch Label Maker.  You can use masking tape and a Sharpie.  Duh.  Full disclosure: The Frugal Hostess is having a torrid affair with her P-Touch label maker and is absolutely head-over-heels in love with it.  So, you know, this is more do as TFH says not as TFH does-style advice.

Item Nine: Furniture Buffer

According to this article on Lifehacker, you can use a walnut to take care of scuffs on wood furniture.  Hmmm.  That looks awesome, but FruHo hasn't tried it yet, so caveat emptor.

Item Ten:  News

Twitter.  It's much faster, more accurate, and usually more hilarious than the news.

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  1. Old Sour Cream, Yogurt and Other Similar containers make a good replacement for Tupperware.

  2. I do use actual buttermilk, but never need the whole container, so I freeze the rest in 1/2-cup sized portions. It's still fine for recipes when thawed. (You could use ice cube trays, too, if your freezer is not as precariously loaded as mine.)

  3. I use pieces of duct tape as wart remover. It's true! Cover wart with duct tape, replace duct tape when it loses its stick until wart is gone. Usually a couple of weeks.

  4. You probably already know this one - but I've only just found your blog:
    Instead of windowlene, I use vinegar in the water and wipe with newspaper. The only reason I know of for buyign newspapers these days is for cleanign materials and lighting fires. Luckily other people in my family read them first, so it's not a total waste.


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