Sunday, July 12, 2015

The 3 R's

Howdy everyone.
We have talked about saving water from the rain, and from sink run off and brown water.
I have shown many ideas for re-using items in the yard and garden.
Today I am going to list a few ideas that many save a buck or two and helps prevent being wasteful.
  • Save the liquid from watermelons - from the rind or from the serving bowl.  Freeze it into ice cubes - it's great in tea! (any fruit juice is good in tea).  I have also frozen and used it with strawberries when making jelly.
  • Keep the peels from tomatoes when you are canning.  Put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer.  Place in a 200* oven till dry (an hour or so).  Cool, then grind in blender and place in a sealed jar.  This is great for adding some extra tomato flavor to a dish.  There are also tons of nutrients in the skins.
  • If you are having a crowd for breakfast at home or camping - here's a trick to stretch a dozen eggs for scrambling.  Crack 12 eggs into a bowl, add seasoning, milk, and a crushed sleeve of crackers.  Whip up and fry.  No one will ever know there are crackers in them.  Cheese crackers are also yummy.  We used to do this all time when camping.
  • Citrus peels are great for many things.  Zest and place in freezer bags for use later.  Throw them in a pot of water on the stove for a great air freshener.  Throw a few down the garbage disposal for a fresh smelling kitchen.  They also make a great cleaner when mixed with vinegar.
  • All skins and rinds and veggie and fruit scraps can be composted OR blended with water and used on your garden plants for extra nutrients.
  • When canning with a water bath - when you are done with your last batch and need to throw out the water - carefully take the scalding pot of water outside and poor on weeds.  They pretty much die instantly (don't get on anything you don't want killed!)
  • Keep your TP tubes and drier lent.  Stuff the lent into the tubes and use as fire starters for either fireplace or campfire.
  • Keep you candle scraps (bottom of the jar), and use it in your melt pot.  I try to keep like scents (fall - summer - fruity, etc.) in baggies seperated.  I put a small piece in the melt pot and it smells lovely.  I sometimes make new candles with the scraps as well.  Mix a bunch off fall scents together - melt in double boiler - and pour into jar with a new wick.   You have a new candle with a designer scent!!!!
  • Most people use old t-shirts as rags.  I also cut them into 12" - 15" squares and use them as hankies.  They are so soft on the nose.  Washable - no waste.  I also cut some longer pieces about 4" wide to use as sweat bands when working in the yard.  Place them hippy style around your forehead and tie in the back of your hair.       T-shirts also make great quilts/throws.  Cut logos in 12" or so squares and sew together for a topper.  School shirts, athletic designs, religious shirts, etc.             T-shirt material is also great for tying up garden plants as it stretches.  Cut into strips and use to tie up tomatoes, etc.
  • If you have a dehumidifier - use that water in your laundry, or use to water outdoor plants.  DO NOT drink it or give to animals to drinks.  It is basically like distilled water.   You could also use it for flushing toilets or as the water in your water bath canner.
Hope some of these tips help you re-purpose, re-use, or recycle a few things and maybe save some pocket change!  Do you have any helpful hints to add?
I will try to do a post every week or so with helpful tips.


  1. Hey Cheryl, I printed off this list, great idea on the tomato skins! And so true about the T-shirts and using them as sweatbands. They will be a stocking gift for dh this winter (snow removal and summer lawn mowing and fall wood chopping and spring digging...).

    My frugals? the seeds I planted for a fall crop of squash are UP! I am so glad I got them in the ground. Why do I hope for so little when time and again God proves his positive energy and love by making things grow so freely and happiily! Now it is up to me to weed that patch. I also heaped up some soil around the volunteer potato to try and get more yield.

    I went to a PA arts festival and was able to buy two handmade wooden bowls. They have flat bottoms so if you flip the bowl over, it becomes a cutting board. The artist even routed a grove so anything drippy would be caught. I was able to save $40 on these two gifts for the two August weddings, versus spending the full amount using BBB or PB.

    The studies monies have come in handy. There is $85 to go to the tax bill. It would have been $90 but I splurged and got a $3 snow cone (yes a real splurge!) and left a $2 tip at a diner when my sister in laws bought food we all shared and I ate some and then got a glass of water (yes, I felt a little guilty, but more good than guilty so that was an okay splurge too). Although I must caution myself and not let the dam works breach. I still have two more yellow light months and another four green light months before I can say saving is a habit. The four red light months of January through April were a success, so that is a good step in the right direction in my one year rehabilitation plan.

    These tips you posted will help also.

    DH took apart the motor on my stand mixer. It was making a clicking noise. We looked at you tube and parts listed on and I think we can fix it when it does go for good. I think even I could fix it as the instructions are so good. We will need to buy a special tool, a spring clamp something or other. So now we have a heads up on what to expect.

    I carpooled to a bridal shower and the driver didn't want any fuel reimbursement so for me that was a real blessing. It would have been $25 to $30 otherwise.

    I think I will be able to get some plants and berries from my mother in laws house before it is sold so I hope dh will go over with me. He doesn't like being there anymore, makes him sad.

    1. Ellen the bowls sound really cool. Those will make lovely gifts.
      It is amazing at how much info one can find on YouTube. There isn't much that can't be found.

      OK explain yellow and green light months!!! I know you had some no spend, so assuming those were the red months.

      On the head bands - I usually just tie a long strip around my forehead/head - but they could be sewn or breaded for more stability. All I know is they sure keep the sweat out of my eyes.

      Hope you get some freeby plants!