Wednesday, February 21, 2024

More Use It Up ....Hedging Inflation

 Here we are mid-week again.  It is a beautiful sunny morning here. Today will be lovely.  Hope this finds you all well and safe.

Today will be a few more ideas to USE IT UP!  We are at a point in time, that anything we can do to hedge inflation, if just a tiny bit, is important.  It is also very important to pass our knowledge on to others.  Many ideas and ways have gotten lost over time - I think those of us that still do them need to educate others!!
It really could help someone out in the best way.

Yesterday cloth napkins and linens were mentioned in the comments.  There are other uses beside being used as napkins.  I get them super cheap at yard sales or thrift stores and have all sorts of them.
I use on some of my chairs to keep the kitty hair off the cushions!  Yep, they love the chairs and the chairs are a pain to vacuum and clean.
Here is Bitsy modeling this technique!!  LOL.  It sure helps keep the seat fur free and they are easily washable.
Use as simple little table covers.  You can use them to line baskets as well.  SO many uses.
You could find some unusual ones and utilize in a quilt or bed cover as well.  Great resource of material for pennies.

When making potatoes - don't throw away those skins!  Once washed and dried, spritz with oil and a little salt and bake until crispy - super tasty chips for FREE!  Those of us of a certain age remember when loaded potato skins was a huge thing at restaurants.  We paid good money for those!!  You can make them at home.  Clean and dried skins - top with cheese (whatever you have) maybe some bacon pieces and bake.  Very tasty, and free.  The skins contain vitamins as well!

Watermelon rinds - pickle them! That is a pricey delicacy when purchased.

Apples - keep those peels and cores when you use apples for pies, etc.  You can make jelly with them, you can make vinegar, you can also sprinkle with a little sugar and bake the skins for a yummy treat.
Click on pic to enlarge for easy reading!

Tomato skins - when canning tomatoes - save those skins.  Dehydrate in dehydrator or low oven until dry and crispy.  Grind in a processor or coffee grinder until it is a fine powder.  Makes great added flavor for soups and casseroles.

Old bread - not moldy - but stale.  Dry even more and make breadcrumbs for coating foods.  You can make bread pudding, croutons or dressing cubes.  French toast is another good use or just toast it!
I use for grilled sandwiches as well.

Garden decor and projects - you can use things you have and not spend any money.  I like eclectic things in my gardens - it makes it fun and whimsical to me.  I know that isn't for everyone.  I have an old red metal bed headboard in the center of my back perennial garden.  It is a flower BED!  LOL.  It is a cute accent.
I have used an old wagon that has rusted to hold my many rocks and fossil rocks.
I gave my neighbor a lot of the good wood from tearing down the ramp out front.  He is very crafty.  Well, he used some of it to make seats for his firepit and made myself and others accent benches for our gardens.  So, I still have a bit of the ramp.
Old wood from other things can be made into birdhouses or feeders.  You can make raised garden beds, or any kind of yard displays.  Many people use old skids for the wood.  Many very neat ideas can come from used wood.

Ladders or step ladders can be used in gardens.  Great for flowerpot accents (set those pots on the steps of a step ladder) or use ladders as a trellis.  Just because you can no longer use the ladders safely for climbing, doesn't mean something else can't climb on it!  Paint them bright and pretty colors!
Paint some rocks for the garden or for flowerpots.  Big ones for accents or small ones for cute.  This is fun to get the youngin's involved with as well!
Broken flower posts can be broken more and used as drainage in the bottom of other pots.  Make a frog refuge in your flower garden with a broken pot on its side!
Big pots with cracks or leaks can be laid on their sides and planted - to look like a spilling pot of flowers.
Old statues or wooden or metal chairs can be used in gardens.  Just get creative.  It is getting to that time of the year!!

Cardboard was also mentioned yesterday in the comments.  It makes a great ground cover/weed preventer in the garden or flower beds.  It will eventually decompose and help the dirt, it allows water through and keeps the water in the soil safe from evaporation.
You can use boxes in many ways in the house for storage as well.
They can be used in the pantry area for storage.  Use what you have or what you are gifted.  Shoe boxes make great small storage for spice jars, seasoning packets or any small items.  You can always wrap the outsides with plain paper or old gift wrap to fancy up.

Gosh, we can go on and on.  There are just so many ways to USE IT UP!  
I just hope this gets those creative juices going.  Maybe someone has seen something that can help them.  Everything is so expensive today and finding something you already have to RE-use is wonderful and saves money.  It also saves things from the landfill.
Check out free neighborhood pages or listings - you can get things for $0 very often.  Share and barter.

Good luck and happy creating and reusing!!!!
Have a beautiful day!

PS - Frances you are on my mind.  Hope you and your husband are ok - please check in!
Amelia and Elise hope all is well with your moms.  Let us know.
You are all in everyone's prayers and thoughts.


  1. Cute lil kitty!

    Lots of super ideas for using things up! We have used cardboard when making new garden beds. Years ago we got rid of an old 10 wood ladder and I wish we had saved it for repurposing. I remember my mom making watermelon rind pickles. That was kind of your neighbor to make benches from the old ramp wood and give you one. Haven't seen any frogs in our backyard but the pot idea to make a refuge is a good idea.

    Beautiful sunshine again today. Off to Harbor Freight to get some clamps and then to Lowe's to buy wood to finish the herb table and make a salad table. We watch Hollis and Nancy's homestead on YouTube and he always has good gardening ideas. Tomorrow it will rain but at least we will have the supplies at the house.

    1. Cardboard is sure great for gardens. Oh gosh, those ladders would have made great bean stakes or for anything!
      Enjoy this sunshine - it is just glorious.

  2. All great ideas Cheryl.
    I always line new garden beds with cardboard. It really does help keep the weeds down for quite a while.
    That was so nice of your neighbor to make that little bench for you. What a nice treasure to have from the wood from the ramp.
    There are a few types of candy that come in plastic boxes. I use them to line a few drawers so things don't move around so much.
    It is gorgeous here today with a high of 70. Big difference from the weekend. Enjoy your day!!

    1. Cardboard really does help the weeds. Yes, the guy across the way is so nice, as is his wife. He is kind of my handy man when I need one. Great idea on using the candy box inserts for drawers.
      A little breezy here - but beautiful!

  3. We have been using cloth napkins for almost 30 years. They were so handy when the kids were small for mopping up messes at the table. They make great toddler bibs with a clothes pin for spaghetti night and they don't think they are being a baby. :) I make most of ours but only when I can get fabric for $1 a yard. They often last for fifteen years or more. Over the years I have added napkins for holidays and we have birthday napkins, too. We really do not like paper napkins anymore so we even take cloth to the lake when we go.

    1. It is amazing how long napkins last. I use them most of the time. They are very versatile. I have to laugh - even my hubs used to use a napkin as a bib of sorts. He was forever messy, and suggested a bib. He got a napkin and a thing for his neck with a clip on each end! Solved that problem.
      Love that you make yours and even take them to the lake!

  4. I enjoy cloth napkins. I always have them on hand. You posted so many good ideas today for saving. I can get my husband to agree and practice many money saving ideas except turning off lights and other electronics. Our electric bill just keeps climbing.
    Today we are enjoying more rain. Not. I am wishing for spring and dreading daylight saving time all at the same time. I looked forward to not worrying about the time change when I retired then my son in law changed jobs and I drive the kids to school. I still have to get up early ugh. I know they will grow up and I will miss seeing them daily but after a 3 day weekend where I got to sleep to 7am everyday maybe I won’t miss it so much. Nancy in the PNW.

    1. Thanks!
      I am good with the lights, but I know many who aren't. I guess we all have some vice!
      At least it isn't snow!!! I wish for spring too, but I do like daylight savings time. I wish it would stay. OR we just stay one way and stop this nonsense.
      Little ones grow so quickly. Enjoy your time.
      Good to see you!

  5. I've been using cloth napkins about as long as I can remember. The ones I had early on my daughter now has!


    1. II have a bunch. Most I got for pennies at yard sales years ago. They are so nice to have.

  6. I agree with Nancy about climbing electric bills, my efforts to reduce seem to make very little difference. I got rid of two really old chest freezers that I was sure were chewing up juice and my bill went down by 12 cents!!!! Guess I was wrong there!!!!
    I also use cloth napkins for a million uses. For me staying away from one use paper products is a good choice for my purse and for the environment, but it isn’t for everyone.
    Your comment about ladders made me smile because it reminded me of when my kids were small and we had a ladder obstacle course around our yard for a week every summer.
    Thanks for that memory reminder, Louise

    1. Yes, things are going up. I have been on a budget plan for electricity for years (same amt every month of yr). Last many months it has decreased drastically. I keep paying the old figure - because there has to be an excuse. I am almost afraid to call! So I keep paying the old amt. We will see what happens in a month or so.
      What a fun memory about the obstacle course. I bet that was fun. Glad this helped bring that to mind for you - smiles!

    2. Gosh. I used to have the budget plan for electricity, but then the power company did away with it and made it a quarterly readjustment, so irritating. It's going to be much higher soon because of the cold snap in January. :(


    3. Yep, I bet there was a lot of power used everywhere then. Hope it doesn't hurt too bad!

  7. I love creating new clothes out of old. So fun!

    1. It really is. I have so many ideas for things I want to make for this summer and they all involve re-using old clothes!

  8. Cheryl, My mom is doing better, with her condition it can be up and down as you know, thank you for asking.

    I must admit I've been troubled by what I have seen here, I saw the reply you made to Lori: "...Some people seem to think this is THEIR private forum. It just gets aggravating. I agree with you and it seems that their homes lives may need something more.​" Does anyone ever think​ to how these kind of comments make a person feel? Not to mention these comments are untrue and to the contrary! Would people on this forum say that to a person's face? I think not.

    You wrote on Sunday in your blog: "It was just frustrating, as I was asked to be precise with an answer and I tried to answer as delicately and honestly as possible - and it still upset people." That seemed unnecessary.

    You blogging about these things has been hurtful and what is more​​ hurtful is seeing other women come and join in, especially when no one at all meant any harm and to think we thought this was a safe place. It was not Christ-like in any which way you look at it. It was not showing discretion or care for others' feelings in the least. I have been hurt in one of the worst possible ways and I did not need this in this season of life with my mom.

    I've spoken with my entire family about this, they are praying, especially, sadly, realizing I have referred to you, Cheryl as "friend". I have spoken throughout the days with my husband, a devout Christian, the love of my life and soul mate. My husband felt I needed to share today. The time has come. He thought it was such a shame the way things have gone down. We both are dealing with aging moms. None of us deserved this at all.

    To any women reading this, please think​ before you chime in, you could very well be hurting someone deeply at a time they may not need that at all.

    1. Amelia I only wish you the best and I am sorry you feel this way. I have tried to keep this friendly and open, and basically had someone that took advantage IMO. It was not you.
      Please know we care and prayer for your family daily.
      Wishing you the best.

    2. Cheryl, I've been reading the past few days worth of comments and I just feel like you need some extra support. Amelia's comment today was extremely hurtful, in my opinion. From what I gather, she no longer blogs because she doesn't have time, but on every one of your posts, her answers are very long. I also find it disturbing that she has gone and talked about you and your blog to her husband and kids. And now is coming back to chastise you. I've not seen anything that you've commented on, that has been anything but kind. Maybe you've been direct in your answer about something, but that's just how some of us are. This is your blog.
      This is your blog, where you come to share frugal living tips. That's what I come here for. This is not a place for everyone to share lengthy life stories, every single time they comment.

      I know I'm jumping in, probably unwanted, but I've always gleaned so much from your blog and I don't want you to be discouraged. I just felt like your blog has been slightly hijacked in the comments lately and it's not right or fair to you.

      Please feel free to delete this, if you want. My feelings will not be hurt at all! I just respect you and love your content and felt the need to defend you and your space that you've created.

      Blessings :)

    3. Thank you for your support Debbie. I am not going to be discouraged - onward and upward.

    4. Ditto what Debbie said from me too.

    5. Remember, what we read online is often *not* personally directed. It's a big world, and many folks suffer from similar hard situations, so it's easy to think, "They're talking about *me*". Maybe rather think, "That sounds like my mess, I'm not alone!"

    6. I agree with Debbie 100% and left a comment about this on the above person's personal blog. Today we are coming to read on what we can do to help ourselves during inflation and and getting ideas from others and we are once again talking about others' personal lives. We all have issues but we don't need to share them on a money saving blog. Dee

    7. Dee thank you for being here to learn frugal ways. I have NEVER discouraged comments about family or family situations. We have all talked about family at some point. Many assumptions were made about what people 'thought' I said that weren't true. I was never ever upset about family stuff. I actually asked about families.
      I really want to move on from this discussion. Thanks!!

  9. Never thought about using a napkin as a chair cover. I really must remember that when the Grandcat comes for a visit.

    I started dehydrating tomato skins this past fall. They add so much flavour.

    God bless.

    1. They do keep the chairs fur free! I have them on 4 different chairs. that the kitties like.
      I think the tomato skins add flavor as well. Great way to use something that most throw away.

  10. Cheryl, just remember stress makes people do and say unkind things. This is your wonderful blog and you should be able to discuss something that bothers you on it. I think you're just terrific ! Cindy/WV

  11. So many good ideas, Cheryl! I had an extra set of cute measuring cups in the kitchen, just taking up space, so I put them on my office desk and am now using them for paper clips, sticky note pads and other small items. They look cute and are finally being used. I use extra mason jars to store pens, pencils, scissors and rulers in my office.

    1. That is a great idea for the measuring cups. Mason jars are the bomb. So many uses and they look cute too. You can now even get ones with colors!

    2. Extra small measuring cups and spoons are very useful in cannisters. I have 1/4 c measures in sugar, oatmeal, grits, rice, flour, etc. Spoon measures are great for salt, baking soda, baking powder. My salt spoon is made of horn and it came from my mom's salt box, I can't use a salt box, it's way too humid here, so I have a big canning jar with lid and a dessicant thing, but that horn salt spoon always reminds me of her. :)

    3. Mary, I hadn't even thought about that! I could leave my extra measuring cups in my flour and sugar canisters! Thanks for the tip :)

  12. The bench your neighbor made is really nice. I like having benches around the yard to sit on from time to time. The painted rocks are so cute. I've read to put strawberry looking ones in strawberry beds and the birds will peck them, realize they are hard, and then think your real strawberries are no good when they are ready to pick. Not sure if it works or not, but definitely worth a shot. :)

    1. It was just so thoughtful of him. I have lots of sitting places to chill around the yard!
      Great idea on the painted rocks in the strawberry beds. I can just hear them telling their friends "those berries give you a headache"! LOL

  13. Thank you Cheryl. Don't quite understand what to think especially reading Laurie S, Cookie and Debbie's comment. Did anyone even *read* my comment? Or are these ladies so bent on attacking *me*. What are women supposed to think when we see things like this on a blog and have been given a "little talking to" on writing on our own blog. What am I supposed to think when my question was blogged publicly? There have *definitely* been mixed messages here. I'm very disappointed in some of the commenters here who I thought I had a good rapport with. It's just unbelievable. And Debbie, of course I talk to my family as I'm sure you would too if you have a supportive Christian family.

    Cheryl, Please consider the past blogs and comments left and look at it from my point of view and perhaps there would be some understanding of my feelings.

    Cheryl, I hope and pray you can understand what I am trying to say.

    1. Amelia, I had no intention of attacking you and did not attack you. I simply defended Cheryl, due to the chastising you gave her. You have not been attacked. I read your entire comment, went back and read others pertaining to this, and then I commented, merely in defense of what is happening. Quite frankly, by you saying that Laurie, Cookie and I are bent on attacking you, tells me that you are quick to blame and to accuse. I think Cheryl should be able to answer comments in whatever way she feels appropriate and everyone is free to move on to other blogs that feel safer for them, if necessary.

      But I don't think telling others how to run their own space is appropriate in any way.

      I do have a loving, Christian family, but this is definitely not something I'm going to ask for prayer over. I'm simply defending someone who was being condemned for running her blog the way she sees fit.

      I will not comment any further, because again...taking up Cheryl's space in a very unnecessary way. Sorry Cheryl.

  14. Amelia,
    I wasn't going to add my two cents but since you mentioned my name and you have again commented on this I am going to.
    This is Cheryl's blog. Even after she posted that she hopes your mothers are doing well you felt the need to carry on with this nonsense when enough was already enough.
    It seems to me that the only ones being attacked here are Cheryl, Laurie, Cookie and Debbie.
    Cheryl has created a nice place on the internet for people to share ideas about frugal living, running a home, living life and so much more.
    It's very easy to just not visit the blog if you feel 'attacked', hurt or offended.
    Don't ruin it for the rest of us with this ridiculousness.
    Sorry Cheryl. I really did try to keep quiet but after this last post, I just couldn't.
    I will not comment any further though.

  15. I wasn't going to say anything either but since Lori an Debbie have defended my name also I just couldn't not comment.
    Cheryl has been my very good friend for many many years and she would never do or say anything to hurt anyone. This is Cheryl's blog, sort of like a journal. This has always been a wonderful place to come and commiserate with like minded people.
    I'm sorry your feelings were hurt. But please don't ruin this for the rest of us.
    I would hate for Cheryl to shut down this blog.

  16. Amelia. I wasn't going to comment further either, for the same reasons that LaurieS stated. Like, Debbie, I did a good deal of reading of the comments and among other things I found to be factual is in no uncertain terms it was explained that the post in question was not about you and it was stated more than once in the coming days. Yet, there has been a blatant refusal to accept this fact , an insistence that the opposite is true, and the attacks and accusatory remarks, which are undeserved and unwarranted to Cheryl and now Debbie, Laurie S. and myself. Cheryl has been more than kind to you. This is her blog which is dedicated to frugal living. She does so much for so many and she does it from her beautiful heart willing to encourage and help anyone who comes here. I will not comment any further to you on this subject. Peace be with you. Cookie

  17. Amelia - I had people ask why you hadn't blogged in a long time - I just mentioned it. Your question was blogged publicly because you asked it on a public blog. Only place I had to answer it.

    I have never once said talking about family was wrong. I never said that was why I reminding people about my true mission.
    I tried to answer honestly and openly - like it or not. We have all had family situations that have been talked about. That has NEVER been the issue.
    So much was construed into my words - you read what you wanted.
    I was being nice - and for months I have bitten my tongue with a person acting like this was their blog, and was even asked if they were a new admin!!! Maybe I should have just named them, but I didn't feel I needed to.
    You have obviously not read Debbie's blog or you would know what a sweet lady she is and what family is to her.

    I thank all the ladies who have defended me and my blog. You are very kind and I have such a lovely group - I am honored.

    I am so over this senseless bickering. Many assumptions about what I said have been made - when I was just trying to be nice and not mention a name. This all had nothing to do with family and family issues.