Every so often I stumble across great money-saving tricks (I especially love the ones that are not only budget-friendly but eco-friendly too). Here are five tips that I think are pretty darn cool.
1. Recently I discovered that sponges can be sterilized in the microwave. Got a funky smelling sponge heading for the garbage? Just wet it and throw it in the microwave for two minutes. You must microwave it at least two minutes to kill or inactivate the bacteria and the sponge MUST be thoroughly wet or you run the risk of it catching on fire (yikes!). Also, let the sponge cool off slightly before pulling it out of the microwave since it will be quite hot.
2. My mother-in-law freezes milk. Somehow it never occurred to me to freeze milk, although I freeze quite a lot of food to make it keep longer. When you find a good deal on milk it’s tempting to buy a lot of it, but what’s the point if you aren’t able to drink it before the expiration date? Turns out that you can just freeze it (although you might want to pour a little out of the container first since milk expands when it freezes). When you’re ready to drink it, just put the milk in the refrigerator to thaw. I’ve read online that the milk’s texture may be affected by freezing it (skim and low-fat tend to freeze better than whole milk), but as far as I know this has never bothered my mother-in-law. Just shake the milk vigorously after it has thawed in case any of the fat has separated.
3. I recently read this post on how to easily propagate herbs. I have a basil plant growing in a pot on the back deck. I’m going to try this technique to see if I can turn my one basil plant into two. Mmm, I can taste the pesto now.
4. Annoyed by the cost of laundry detergent? It turns out that most of us use way too much detergent which is bad for the washing machine, our clothes, the environment, and our wallets. Read the label on the detergent container carefully to determine the correct amount to use. (Psst: Want to save even more money on laundry detergent? Make your own. You can check out how I do it here).
5. Did you know that a bottle of vinegar might just be the most versatile item in your cupboard? With over 175 different uses, it can do everything from buffing your stainless steel appliances to controlling your dandruff. Really, go check out the list. It’s fascinating.
How about you? Do you have any favorite tricks?