frugal housework

Frugal Microwave Cleaner

Microwaves need a little TLC too, especially if, like me, you had a mini baked bean explosion that has dried on to the sides. I have a quick and simple way to loosen dried on food, clean, and freshen your microwave with little elbow grease.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

What you will need:

  • Water
  • White Vinegar
  • Slices of lemon
  • Microwavable bowl

Method:

  • Fill a microwaveable bowl half way with water
  • Add a 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 3 slices of lemon (if you have lemon essential oil it will work too)
  • Place the bowl in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Once finished, leave the door closed for a further minute to let the steam do its magic.
  • Remove the bowl and wipe clean with little effort required.

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Frugal gifts

D.I.Y Gift Ideas Using Magazines

Are you looking for ways to create inexpensive, personal gifts for friends and loved ones? Have you thought about upcycling old magazines? I’m here to show you the beautiful presents you can create from magazines. *Links to original sources and images included.

Rolled Paper frame

Doodle Craft Blog have a wonderful tutorial to create a unique photo frame from rolled paper. Magazines work well for this and give a glossy sheen.

Magazine Wreath

What better gift to give at Christmas than this stunning wreath that is made of recycled magazines? Addicted to Decorating can tell you how to make your own.

Butterfly Garland

Sum of Their Stories have a tutorial for a beautiful butterfly garland made from magazines that would look amazing in a child’s room.

Magazine Strip Art

I had never heard of strip art before I saw Running with Sisters post on Pinterest. How gorgeous is this bird art? You could tailor the colours to suit a specific decor for your recipient.

Coasters

Homestead Lifestyle have a simple tutorial on turning magazines into coasters. These are a great craft to get your children helping with.

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There are links to original sources for images and ideas in this post

Frugal Tips

How to Winterise Your Summer Wardrobe

Autumn and winter are fast approaching, and for many that means updating the wardrobe. This can be costly, especially if your weight has changed since the previous winter or your winter clothes look a little worse for wear.

I have some tips on how to modify your summer wardrobe into a winter one to save spending out on a whole wardrobe of more clothes.

Cardigans/ Zip Up Jackets

We all have t-shirts and short sleeve tops for the summer, and rather than putting them away for another year, just add a long sleeve cardigan or jacket. cardigans instantly change your look to a winter one whilst keeping you toasty. One or two neutral colour cardigans should do the trick.

Photo by Pedro Sandrini on Pexels.com

Tights

Ladies and girls love a good dress or skirt during the summer months. I have some lovely skirts that I want to enjoy all year round, so I simply add a pair of tights. The thicker the tights the warmer you’ll be. Plus, the dress with boots look is in fashion at the moment.

Tights also look great under denim shorts and teamed with boots.

Tops Under Dresses

A long sleeve top or turtle neck can look very sophisticated under a short sleeve dress. A neutral/ black top should compliment many colours and patterns of dress.

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Scarves

Adding a scarf to any outfit instantly screams autumn and winter. Lighter scarves work well for autumn and thicker for winter.

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

Sandals with Socks/Tights

Bold contrasting socks and tights paired with sandals are all the rage at the moment. This is great news for us because that means we can carry on wearing our sandals and summer shoes throughout the winter.

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Frugal Houework

Clean Your Washing Machine the Frugal Way

You’d think a washing machine would be efficient at self cleaning, right? Wrong. Washing machines need cleaning and maintenance just the same as any other appliance. Mineral deposits and soap scum can build up inside the machine and cause damage.

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I have a simple frugal cleaning hack to keep your washing machine in tip top condition… white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).

  • Pour 1/2 a cup of bicarb into the main drum of your empty machine.
  • On a front loading machine pour 2-3 cups of white vinegar into the dispenser drawer. Pour it inside the drum of a top loading machine.
  • Run the machine on the hottest setting for your machine.
  • Do this every 3 months or so.

It really is that simple to help keep you machine clean and potentially save yourself engineer fees.

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Frugal Tips

End of Summer Car Cleaning and Maintenance

A big part of frugality is maintaining what you have. Our car is a big asset to us, one we can not readily replace, so we try to maintain it as much as possible. While I recommend a garage for all mechanical maintenance, there are some we can all keep on top of at home.

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The end of the summer is a great time to clean and maintain your car. Long journeys and over stuffed boots can take its toll. I have a list of the steps I do for an end of summer car clean and maintenance project:

Wash Car

Washing your car might not seem like a necessity, but did you know sea salt, certain tree saps, and even bird poop can damage the paint work on your car if not cleaned off. It also allows you to clear debris and mud from mud guards and alloys.

Hoover and Dust

I do believe that general cleanliness inside the car is important for maintaining good habits such as removing rubbish, and helps you keep a sense of pride about your vehicle.

You may not find many frugal benefits to cleaning the inside, but I enjoy the way it makes me feel knowing my car is looked after, and it is a good idea to check under the driver’s seat for any stray, potentially dangerous, objects (especially if you have kids).

Empty Boot

Extra weight in the boot means the car uses more fuel. It also puts added pressure on your suspension.

Not only that, emptying your boot of summer items is a great way to keep track of what you may need to buy next summer and frees up some space.

Check Oil

This is a biggie. If you run out of oil, you can wreck your engine. This is costly and so easily avoided. Check your oil level and top up if needed. If you are unsure how to do this, here is a link to the RAC.co.uk.

Check Tyre Tread and Pressure

We all know that legally tyres should have at least 1.6mm of tread, but experts recommend 3mm. This is to keep you and other drivers safe. You may want to assess your tyre tread depending on what weather you get in your area during the winter, but anything close to or below 1.6mm needs replacing.

Keeping to the correct tyre pressure affects how your car drives, improves fuel usage, and extends the life of your tyres. With the weather changing with the season, your tyres need to be at the correct pressure for safety in bad road conditions.

Most fuel stations offer air pump facilities, usually for no more than £1. Here is a link to a step by step guide to using these machines over at autoprotect.co.uk.

Check Lights

It is so simple to check your lights. Get someone to stand outside the car whilst you switch on the various lights. Remember to check your brake lights, indicators, and hazard lights too.

A broken bulb could lead to a fine if you get pulled over; a fine that is a lot more money than the cost of buying a new bulb.

Refill Screen Wash

If something lands on your screen and obscures your vision you need to be able to clear it quickly, otherwise you find yourself in an extremely dangerous situation.

If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow and freezing temperatures, you might want to consider investing in screen wash that doesn’t freeze. TETROSYL LTD Carplan Swa025 All Seasons Screenwash

Prep for Autumn and Winter

Do you have the necessary supplies to see you through winter? If not, I suggest packing a bag to go in the boot of your car. *These are winter specific items

Spare Tyre

Now is a good time to check the condition of your spare tyre. If you don’t have one, get one. Space saver tyres are common, especially in smaller cars. We have a space saver tyre or ‘a get you home’ tyre as they are known.

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*Disclaimer: I am a member of the Amazon Associates program. This post contains affiliate links to products. At no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links

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Frugal Tips

Hand-Me-Down Upcycle: Iron Applique Patches

Hand -me- downs from relatives are much appreciated in my household because I have a daughter and a son and can’t pass on clothes from one to the other. We also pass on our old clothes within the extended family and friends.

My daughter received a red rucksack in a bundle of items from a family member, and when I suggested she use it for school this year, she wasn’t happy because it was ‘boring’. Pretty things such as unicorns and glitter tend to catch my daughters eye, so I decided to search Amazon for something to spruce up the bag and give it a new lease of life.

I found the perfect thing, and you don’t even have to be arty for it to work… iron applique patches. You know the ones with the hemming web on the back that fuses to the fabric when ironed on? I found a great deal on butterfly patches that I knew my daughter would approve of.

As you can see, the finished result is much more eye-catching, and my daughter was thrilled to wear it to school. I did add a couple of stitches to ensure they stayed on, but this was probably not necessary.

You can get your own butterfly patches here: 10 Embroidery Butterfly Sew On / Iron On Patch Badge Embroidered Bag Jeans Dress Applique DIY

Iron applique patches come in many designs, even popular children’s show characters. They are fabulous for upcycling t-shirts, pockets of trousers, and even to cover snags and small holes.

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*Disclaimer: I am a member of the Amazon Associates program. This post contains affiliate links to products. At no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links

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Frugal Houework

D.I.Y Carpet Deodoriser

Is your carpet smelling a little whiffy? Do you have kids running through the house with dirty shoes on, or pets that leave lingering smells? There is a simple, 2 ingredient (could be 1 ingredient if you so wish) D.I.Y carpet deodoriser that can help.

You could save yourself a lot of money on shop bought carpet deodorisers with this frugal alternative.

What you will need:

  • Bicarbonate of Soda (aka baking soda)
  • Essential Oil (this is not necessary as the bicarb is the deodoriser, but the oil will make a pleasant perfume)
  • Bowl

Method:

  • Mix 1 to 2 cups of bicarbonate of soda with about 1-2 teaspoons of your essential oil in a bowl. Start out with 1 teaspoon to see how strong your chosen scent is
  • Shake over your carpet and lightly brush in
  • Leave for a few hours (preferably over night), then vacuum it all up.

Note: I use sweet orange essential oil from Amazon. I find 2 teaspoons is just right for me. 10ml Sweet Orange Pure Essential Oil

Tip:

Why not use old spice containers with the shaker type lids as not only storage pots but a fabulous shaker/ applicator? Ensure you thoroughly wash out the pots to prevent strong spice smells.

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*Disclaimer: I am a member of the Amazon Associates program. This post contains affiliate links to products. At no extra cost to you, I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

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Content belongs to Sensibly Frugal Living