Daily Dupaco

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Frugal alternatives to household products

There are some things frugal people refuse to buy.

Paper towels. Coffee from the coffee shop. Full-price clothes.

Syndicated columnist Sara Noel, whose Frugal Living column appears weekly in Dubuque's Telegraph Herald, recently shared a list of seven things her frugal readers no longer add to the shopping cart. They've discovered cheaper alternatives.

Here are two products you can make at home, rather than paying full price at the store:

Cleaning products. Many cleaners can be replaced with vinegar and baking soda. Replace glass cleaner with vinegar and water. And swap store-bought scrubbing cleaners with this:

2 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
3 teaspoons vegetable glycerin
A few drops of essential oil if using unscented Castile soap

Mix together, and store in a sealed glass jar. When cleaning areas such as a bathtub, spray the area with vinegar to loosen dirt, apply your natural cleaner, use a loofah sponge to scrub and rinse with water. You can even grow loofah sponges in your backyard garden. Seeds can be bought cheap on eBay.

Baby wipes. Make them by cutting a roll of heavy-duty paper towels in half and adding 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of baby oil and baby wash. Or make your own from Sherpa fleece or bamboo velour on one side and cotton knit or flannel on the other. Cut them to approximately 8-inch-by-8-inch square and serge together. The same concept can be used to make household cleaning wipes.

How do you practice frugality?

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