Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thrifty Thursday - Save Money by Making Things Last Longer

Paint Brushes. They are reusable, so take a good care of them and avoid unnecessary spending in the future.

Wipe off any excess paint using a cloth or a paper towel. If you are using a water-based paint, clean your brush with soapy water and then, give them a second rinse in paint thinner.

Don’t use hot water – use lukewarm instead. Air dry your brush. Make sure it is not misshapen when drying. It is better to stand it on the back of the handle.

Clothes. Wash your clothes less frequently. I am not talking about your undershirts, socks or underwear, but unless you play in dirt, washing jeans or sweaters every day is not necessary. I noticed that many people wash their clothing just because they are too lazy to rehang them.

Wash clothes in cold water. Heat destroys the fabric. Washing stuff in cold water will do job just as well. You will not only save money by buying fewer clothes, but reduce your energy bills.

Don’t fold clothes that need to be hung and don’t hang clothes which need to be folded. Don’t use dryer too often- line dry your clothes instead. Zip up hoodies and jeans, because if you don’t do this, the zippers may chew up the rest of your clothing. 

Panties and Bras. Even though panties are usually cheap, bras can get quite expensive, so you can save a lot of money by taking a proper care of them.

Hand wash your bras and panties, or at least wash them in a laundry bag. Clasp the bras before washing them.

Use cold water and gentle cycle if you are using your washing machine. Don’t use the dryer. High heat will destroy the elastic and nylon fabrics. It may also make the under wires come out of your bras. Let your bras and panties air dry. There should be a place in the house to do that. 

Jeans. Wash your jeans in cold water on gentle and short cycles. Turn them inside out before putting them to the washing machine. This will protect their color and fabric and will clean them just as well. Let them air-dry until they are a little damp and then put them in the dryer to soften them up a little.

Carpet. Carpets are pretty expensive these days, so you can save tons of money by keeping your current carpet in a decent shape.

Don’t wear shoes inside your house. In many cultures people never wear shoes in the house (only slippers). I can’t understand why Americans still do it. Why would you want to bring the outside dirt to your (or to anyone else’s) home? It is not this hard to take shoes off and you will give your feet a break.

We always ask our guests to take shoes off when they come to our house, and we even out a sign “please remove your shoes”. This is not an easy thing to do, especially when the guests look at you as if you asked them to remove their underwear and when you have to remind them to do this every single time they come. But I figured it is important not only to make our carpet last longer, but to avoid having unnecessary germs.

My kids play on the floor all the time, so I want to be sure it is as clean as possible.

It is better to walk on the carper in sleepers or socks rather than barefoot, because oils present in the skin stick to carpet and attract dirt.

Try to vacuum once a week or so. Vacuuming often will help remove damaging dirt from the fibers. 

Food. Make your food last longer and significantly lower your grocery bills. Americans waste so much food that it should be illegal.

Don’t mix fruits and vegetables in a drawer. Fruits give off ethylene, which will make your vegetables go bad.
Freeze or refrigerate all baked goodies.

Don’t refrigerate citrus fruits, potatoes or squash – it is bad for these products to be cold. 

Mattress. Save money by taking a good care of your mattress. Always use a mattress pad and don’t forget to flip your mattress once in a while (at least once a month); or at least rotate it. Mattresses are expensive these days, so this small tip may save you tons on money.

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