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Old 08-29-2020, 09:49 PM   #61
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We just use cloth napkins and wash them.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:50 PM   #62
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Isopropyl alcohol, or even hydrogen peroxide, work great. I found this out when we forgot to buy stick deodorant. I figured germs cause odor, so disinfectants should keep it away. And, in a pinch, they do! No good as anti-perspirants, unfortunately.

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Homemade spray deodorant.
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:17 PM   #63
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I do Most All The Things. I read the Tightwad Gazette all the way through once, and about half of the things she wrote in there were things that I thought were just normal because that's how my Mom did stuff when we were growing up.
I'm pretty happy we never changed our blue collar habits. It helped us to retire early. I have all the Frugal Gazette books, bought at library sales either for $1 a book or fill a bag for $5 on Sundays. I likely have hundreds of things I do that our neighbors probably think is cheap as we live in an area that has been getting increasingly expensive over the years.

Instead of dryer sheets I use drying racks. After the clothes are dry, I tumble the clothes for a few minutes to get the wrinkles out with wool dryer balls. If we have a long rainy stretch where I can't hang clothes outside, I use a spin dryer that gets most of the water out and then hang the clothes on racks inside the house, and the clothes are dry by morning. I have a low energy, low water washer so the whole process is pretty environmentally friendly.

For hand soap I use diluted Dr. Bronner's Castille soap in mason jars with soap dispensing lids (available from Amazon). I like the idea of using reusable mason jars for as much as we can. If the pump breaks I just have to replace the lid and can reuse the mason jar for soap or something else like a solar lantern.


I use cloth napkins. DH likes paper towels so I buy trifold napkins by the pound, online, in bulk usually with recycling rewards and deal stacking so there is usually not much out of pocket costs. I think the last box I bought was February and we haven't used it up yet. I find the prices for things like TP and paper towels to be much cheaper online and buying by the pound in large boxes than getting the consumer packages, even at Costco.
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:37 PM   #64
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- Wife cut my hair and I cut hers .. doing it for 30 years.
- Since I got own a home, I cut my own grass every week
all my neighbors now have someone mow their grass for $45/$50 a week
- Use filtered water - so saved on bottled water for day drinking. At night, I do drink
Alkaline water to wash out the acidity.
- Never bought lunch food when at work. Made a sandwich or ate at home. Now wife
cooks almost everything at home.
- Bought solar lights for exterior lighting, so I don't spend any lighting electricity from
dawn to dusk
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:49 PM   #65
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We use microfiber car cleaning towels instead of terry washcloths. They last forever, don't stain, and when they become threadbare, they are put into service as dustcloths or rags. They can also be attached to a Swiffer for floor cleaning.

To minimize unnecessary laundry, if a garment still looks/smells clean after wearing, I hang it up and put a rubber keyring on the neck of the hanger so that I know it's waiting to be worn again.

We reuse aluminum foil (fold it over so food bits are hidden) and I cover bowls with a plate instead of plastic wrap when it's feasible. And I cut open tubes of toiletries/cosmetics to get the last bit out.
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:02 PM   #66
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I’m so glad I read this thread! I spent 30 min this evening cleaning up soap that our DS managed to get everywhere while he was playing with it. First thing tomorrow morning I’ll be diluting the soap! I do that with shampoo and conditioner too, especially when the bottle is running low.

Cloth napkins and half paper towels here as well. I wish I could get rid of the paper towels too, but we just use them so much. I’m generally cheap on consumable items like trash bags, etc... It kills me to fill up at our corner station—I will almost always try to stretch to get to a cheaper station.

I too will buy in huge bulk when things we use regularly go on sale. Costco had our favorite tuna for 11.99 vs 15.99 last month, with a 5 pack limit. The amount of tuna we now have in our pantry is embarrassing. But I know we’ll eat it.

Also lots of making from scratch. I’ve been making and slicing our own deli meat. It will take 6-8mo before the slicer has paid for itself, but longer term it will be a big cost savings. And we know what we’re eating. Homemade yogurt is so much cheaper, better tasting and super easy. Chicken and veggie broth, as others have mentioned. Next on tap is to learn how to make beer.

When I add up the $ saved, much of it is so minimal compared to the other stuff I know it’s nuts to spend the extra time, but it just feels wasteful.
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:48 AM   #67
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I quit using dryer sheets in the 1990's! They're not even good for you.

Here in Florida, we use the solar dryer (deck railing) all year round, unless it rains.
Yeah, that was my first reaction to this forum - I donít even use dryer sheets!
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:50 AM   #68
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BJs brand napkins are way cheaper than name brands, and just as good. My thrifty way is to buy the smaller luncheon napkins. We don't make a big mess when eating, and the smaller napkins sometimes are not even soiled. Then I use them to wipe the kitchen counters!
OMG, we usually reuse paper napkins unless they are dirty.
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Old 08-30-2020, 05:15 AM   #69
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I do woodworking and keep almost every bit of my cut off scrap pieces of wood. I have several buckets, bins, and shelves full of wood pieces.

Sometimes Iíll make something from the scraps, but I rarely make a dent in my supply of scrap wood.
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Me too!
Old 08-30-2020, 05:28 AM   #70
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Me too!

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I've been known to do that too, especially in the last few months when I had a hard time finding liquid hand soap!!

I have washed and re used zip lock bags, which has gotten me looks from my kids.
I wash and reuse zip lock bags too - not only for cost savings but so that I am not using as much plastic.
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Dryer sheet
Old 08-30-2020, 05:33 AM   #71
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Dryer sheet

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DW reuses dryer sheets. Seriously.
I don't reuse but I do tear them in half.
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Old 08-30-2020, 05:39 AM   #72
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When I was w*rking, I used to borrow the daily newspaper from an associate director, who bought it every day and read it in her office while drinking her $3.50 Starbucks. She would laugh and say I was cheap not to buy my own. Yet, she used to ask me for a mid-year raise based on her diminishing financial situation. I told her it wasn't an approved reason for a raise and she should drink the office coffee like I did. But buying the paper was still okay :-)
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Old 08-30-2020, 05:47 AM   #73
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I've begun to tear the half sheets into two pieces. DW refers to me as "Old quarter sheet"
Thank God I'm not the only one! Sometimes I even rip the half sheet into thirds!

This all started with Covid. DW got out our 30 year old cloth napkins. They are a joy to use!
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:11 AM   #74
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My DW refills the foaming soap pump container, it only takes a tablespoon or so of liquid soap + water to make a container. But my dad had a drawer in his desk that was dedicated to used carbon paper. When he needed to make a copy of something he would pull out a sheet and find a spot where there was still carbon left and trace it out onto another (used) sheet of paper, usually onto the back of an envelope!
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:18 AM   #75
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We use dove bar soap in the shower. For as long as I can recall, whenever the bar shrinks down to silver dollar size, DW will mold it onto a new bar instead of throwing it away.
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:21 AM   #76
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We use dove bar soap in the shower. For as long as I can recall, whenever the bar shrinks down to silver dollar size, DW will mold it onto a new bar instead of throwing it away.
Always. And I add the 1/4th used bar from the hotel on the trip we took. Yes, I take our open, used soap bars with me and meld them into the bars at home. I hope I'm not the only one!
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:05 AM   #77
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Always. And I add the 1/4th used bar from the hotel on the trip we took. Yes, I take our open, used soap bars with me and meld them into the bars at home. I hope I'm not the only one!
Nope- I do that, too! I just bought soap for the first time in ages because I hadn't been traveling so didn't have a stash from hotels.

Like others, I also make my own veggie broth from the inedible fibrous parts of vegetables and use torn-up T-shirts for cleaning. I have paper towels but use them mostly for wiping out my cast-iron pans.

I'm also very careful about not wasting food. My grandparents raised 5 kids during the Depression and their way of not wasting food was to encourage each other to "eat up that little but that's left- can't let it go to waste". Not good- they were both overweight. I have plenty of refrigerator and freezer space and can find ways to re-use or re-purpose leftovers.

And, as Lucie noted, "frugal" is frequently "Green" as well.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:51 AM   #78
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We tear paper dinner napkins in half for almost all meals.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:59 AM   #79
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I do take home the unused soaps and used/unused hair products from the hotel, but not the used bar soaps.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:17 AM   #80
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^ We do as well, but last year at a yard sale we bought two tall old fashioned looking three gallon lidded glass jars, one mostly full of dusty dried rose petals and the other 2/3 full of hotel soaps. We just wanted the jars as kitchen decoration. Dumped them out and ran the jars through the dishwasher. Then spent some time sorting through the hotel soaps and we now have bags of soap from different hotels. Some are very nice, some I just get profligate and dispose of if they aren't up to our high standards (does it make suds? Does it smell like bargain day at the $2 whorehouse).
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