Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tightwad tuesday: draft dodging

Eliminate door drafts. Install weather stripping around doors that open to the outside. If you have a large crack or gap underneath a door, you can easily (and inexpensively) block the draft by filling a leg of an old pair of tights with sand or rice until it is long enough to stretch across the width of the door way, and then cutting and tying it off with a knot. Or if you really want to be all fancy-schmancy, get some fabric that coordinates with your home's decor (fleece or terrycloth from an old towel would work nicely), sew a tube the length of your door and about as big around as your arm, fill it with rice or sand, and tie off each end with a cheerful ribbon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Learning can be fun?

Last Tuesday we took a field trip with our homeschool group to the Pacific Science Center. Here are a few snaps...

Oh, and did I mention the work study program is an integral part of our homeschool curriculum? I believe in putting my kids to work as young as possible...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tightwad tuesday: big buckets of love

Recycle used industrial buckets and use them to store dry goods: sugar, flour, salt, rice, wheat, long-term food storage, pet food or whatever else is hanging around the house that needs protection from moisture and pests. One caveat: do not use a bucket that has formerly contained any kind of detergent, paint or other chemical; stick to food-grade buckets.

Food-grade buckets are available at most supermarkets, especially those with in-store bakeries. Just go up to the bakery counter and ask if they have any empty frosting buckets or other industrial buckets they no longer need. (The two buckets pictured above actually held eggs. Go figure.) Be sure to get the lids, too, if they will be used to store food. Lidless buckets are also useful; they make great wastebaskets or containers for gardening.

Take the buckets home and give them a thorough scrubbing with hot water and a bleach-based product. They stack nicely and are easy to label and relabel (I like to use masking tape and a Sharpie to put contents and date on each bucket).

This may very well be my favorite tightwad tip ever because I love getting things free, especially things that I use all the time. Free. It feels good just to say it.