Fun and Frugal Friday: Organize Your Power Cords

photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy

This is only fun if you love organization and I do.

If you are tired of guessing at which cord goes to the TV or Wii or Blu Ray etc. Apartment Therapy has an easy solution.  Label the cords at the top and at the bottom.

Super simple and your life just got a little less complicated.

Happy Friday!

~Laura

 

Clean Your Coffee Pot

Have you ever thought of your coffee pot as a habitat for germs?  Well, it probably is.

When is the last time you cleaned your water reservoir?  Think about it.  It’s dark and wet in there.  Perfect habitat for things to grow.  UGH!  Sounds super gross, huh?

 

Never fear.  You can still enjoy that cup of delicious coffee without thinking about germ habitats.

If you still have your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, clean your water reservoir that way.  If you are like me and threw the owner’s manual out years ago, follow these easy cleaning instructions.

  • Pour 4 cups of vinegar in the reservoir.
  • Let the vinegar set for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the coffee pot on and let the vinegar run through.
  • Follow the vinegar with water until the vinegar smell is gone.

The cleaning gurus out there recommend cleaning your water reservoir every month.

Vinegar can be used to clean many areas of your home.

Do you start your day with a cup of coffee? What’s your favorite brand?

~Laura

 

Fun and Frugal Friday: Faux Stone Flower Pot

I have several cheap plastic flower pots that I bought years ago.

They are so plain and boring. I wanted the look of a more expensive flower pot without the price.

Enter Stone Textured Spray Paint.

 

This stuff works like a charm!  It’s for indoor use only, so I am taking a risk of it not lasting long outside.  However, since I’m using it on flower pots that will only be outside for a few months, I think it will be OK.  Time will tell.

After spraying my flower pot with a few coats of the stone spray paint, this is my result.

I love it!  You can’t see it in the pic, but the seeds I planted are starting to sprout and will be beautiful plants in no time! (I know the picture quality isn’t the best.  It was super cloudy out.  Sorry!)

Total Project Cost = $3 per flower pot

  • Plastic flower pot = $0.  I used one that I already had.  You can reuse the ones that plants come in when you buy them, or find some cheap ones at Walmart for around $3 or $4.
  • Spray paint = $6.  I bought the stone spray paint at Walmart.  I was able to paint two flower pots with one can.  How many pots you are able to paint with one can will depend on the size of your flower pot and how much coverage you want.

Have you started planting flowers?

~Laura

Pin It

Clean With Vinegar

Vinegar isn’t just for dyeing Easter eggs. It’s a cheap and effective way to clean.  Vinegar is an excellent de-greaser and odor eliminator.

photo courtesy of Michelle Grimord Eggers

In the Kitchen:

Clean Your Fridge – Mix 1 part water and 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray shelves and walls and wipe clean.

Remove Coffee and Tea Stains – Rub stains with 1 part vinegar and 1 part salt or baking soda.

In the Bathroom:

Germ Killer – Place full-strength vinegar in a spray bottle and spray around hard surfaces in the bathroom.  Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Clean the Toilet -  Pour 1 cup of diluted vinegar in the toilet bowl.  Let is set several hours.  Overnight is best.  Scrub with a toilet brush and flush.

Through the House:

Grill Cleaner -  Spray grill with 1 part vinegar and 1 part water (use the same spray bottle you made for cleaning the fridge).  Will help remove burnt on food.

Carpet Stain Eliminator – Combine 2 Tbsp vinegar and 1/4 cup salt or baking soda.  This will make a paste.  Rub on the stain and leave it overnight.  Vacuum the spot the next day.  Make sure you test for color fastness first!

Remove Labels -  Remove sticky residue from bottles and jars by placing a cloth soaked in vinegar on the spot overnight.  The sticky will wipe right off the next day.  (Goo Gone also works well, but vinegar would be a great alternative).

Remove Paint – Forgot to rinse your paintbrushes before the paint dried?  No worries.  Place the paintbrushes in a pan filled with vinegar.  Let the brushes soak for one hour.  Place the pan on the stove (with the paintbrushes still soaking) and bring to a simmer.  Brushes should rinse clean.

You can add essential oils to vinegar cleaners to help cut the vinegary smell.  I haven’t found one that completely hides the vinegar smell. Lavender is my personal favorite for cleaning products.

Looking for more cheap ways to clean?  Learn how to clean with baking soda.

Do you clean with vinegar?

~Laura

 


Fun and Frugal Friday: Painted Terra Cotta Pot

 Spring time has me in the mood for gardening.  I’ve been spending a lot of time outside!  Check out this tutorial for creating your own painted terra cotta planter.

What is your favorite flower?

I like Gerbera Daisies.

~Laura

Clean With Baking Soda

Baking Soda makes a great inexpensive cleaner. Chances are you have some in your pantry right now.

In the Kitchen:

Deodorize a Drain – Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup vinegar.  Wait 15 minutes and pour boiling water down the drain. Only use this method if you have metal pipes. Do NOT do this if you recently used a commercial drain cleaning product.

Remove Baked On Food – Sprinkle baking soda on pan.  Add hot water and dish detergent. Wait 15 minutes and wash.

Shine Tarnished Silver – Combine 3 parts baking soda and 3 parts water.  Rub on silver with a clean cloth.  Rinse and dry.

Through the House:

Get rid of grimy floors – Dissolve 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water.  Mop and rinse floor.

Freshen carpets -  Sprinkle baking soda on carpet.  Wait a minimum of 15 minutes, and vacuum.  For best results, let set overnight.

How do you use baking soda as a cleaning product?

~Laura

What To Do With Leftover Easter Eggs

It’s the day after Easter.  If you have little ones at home, your house is full of plastic Easter eggs (and Easter candy/wrappers).

Before you pack all those eggs up for next year (or throw them away), check out these ideas for using your eggstras!! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

Letter matching.  I like this idea for preschoolers.

photo courtesy of Playing House
 

Word egg. I will be making these for my kindergartener.

photo courtesy of Craft, Interrupted
 

Egg snake.  Wow!  So creative!

photo courtesy of Craft, Interrupted
 

Check out Playing House and Craft, Interrupted for even more ideas!

What are you going to do with all your leftover Easter eggs?

~Laura

 

Save Money: Organize Your Freezer

We all work hard at finding ways to trim our food budget and spend less at the grocery store.  If you are like me, you find yourself wasting food because your freezer is unorganized.  I hate to buy food that we end up throwing out because we didn’t use it.  It’s like throwing money in the trash.

photo courtesy of mccmicb

I am challenging myself to get my freezer cleaned out and organized.  Food is easier to find in an organized freezer.  I want to know what I have in my freezer so I can use it before it goes bad.

According to professional organizers (I am so jealous of these people), if you will take the time to organizer your freezers the right way, you won’t have to clean it again for at least a year!  A whole year!  WOOHOO!

Out with the old.  Take everything out of the freezer.  If the food is expired throw it out.  Put the food you are going to keep in an ice chest to keep it cold.

Fresh and clean.  Defrost the freezer and wipe it out.  Clean with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water.  Vinegar is a great deodorizer and cuts through grease.  Water/Vinegar solution is also good for cleaning your fridge.  For tough stains, sprinkle baking soda and spray with the solution.  After your science experiment is over, scrub the stain with the baking soda paste.  You can also remove stains by using a lemon that has been cut in half and sprinkling the stain with salt or cream of tartar.  Scrub with the lemon.

Organize, organize organize. Place items that you frequently use on their own shelves (for my family that’s meat and frozen veggies).

Use freezer bags.  When you freeze foods, place them in freezer bags.  Lay the bag flat, leaving about ¼ – ½ inch space to allow the food to expand as it freezes.  After the food freezes, you can store the bags upright. Food takes up less space this way and is easier to find. Learn how to flash freeze your food.

Label it.  Have you ever looked at a frozen container of food and wondered what it was?  Guilty. Label and date bags and storage containers with a permanent marker.  Permanent marker will wash off your plastic containers so you can label it again later.

Rotate.  Use a FIFO approach (First In First Out).  When you put new food in your freezer, place it behind the older food.  That way you are always rotating your foods and something doesn’t get lost way in the back never to be seen again.

What tips do you have for keeping your freezer organized?

~Laura

April Fool’s Day Joke: Lunch Bugs Sandwich Bags

april fools day joke

April Fool’s Day is Sunday!!  Can you believe March is almost over?

We don’t do a lot of April Fool’s Day jokes at our house, but I think these Lunch Bugs Sandwich Bags from PerpetualKid.com  would be a big hit with my son. He takes his lunch to school almost every day. I can only imagine his reaction after seeing a “bug” on his sandwich.

They are pricey.  $5.99 for a box of 24 plus $5.99 shipping.  If you spend $45 you can get free shipping with code FS45.  If you spend $55 you can get 10% off with code RECESS.

You could also find realistic bug stickers and make your own lunch bug bags.

What is your favorite April Fool’s Day joke?

~Laura

Fun and Frugal Friday: Gardening Tips

I am so glad spring is here (except for the pollen that has been covering my car for several days)!  I have been planting seeds and am excited to see the little plants start appearing.  Soon I will have flowers growing in my flower pots and vegetables growing in the garden.

Measured by the Heart has a gardening tip that will help your plants grow larger and a great storage idea for your gardening tools.

photo courtesy of Measured by the Heart

Do you have a garden?

~Laura