a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What If . . . You Want to Go "Greener" in Your Garden?

3 PERCENT Hydrogen Peroxide, purchased over-the-counter is a cheap and handy item to keep on hand. It has multiple uses. 

Yesterday's post addressed the household uses of  three percent hydrogen peroxide. Today's post will address just a couple of its many garden uses. If you want more information on garden uses and specific amounts to use for different garden and outside applications type "hydrogen peroxide for gardens" in your search engine.

The life cycle of one of my favorite flowers! A bane to many----a delight to children.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide In The Garden
Gardeners keep it handy because of its horticultural values that include:

Spanish water, which is basically just a weak hydrogen peroxide solution, is used to treat root rot and to encourage root development. Although there is little scientific evidence to support the claim, gardeners swear by its anecdotal properties.

Mix an ounce of hydrogen peroxide with a cup of water, which can then be used as a “green” pest controller as well as a rich source of oxygen for your plants. Just spray whenever and wherever necessary.

If you have an aquarium, or a fishpond outside the house, you can use hydrogen peroxide to control fungi present in fishes and their eggs. And since it has been classified safe for fish use by the Food and Drug Administration, it should not kill your fish.  Use moderately for this purpose.

These past three posts have shown you just a few ways to save money and go "green" by simply using the hydrogen peroxide in your home and garden. These will get you started on this cheap and versatile product. Check out internet sites for more.

Just remember, keep hydrogen peroxide, as well as any medicines and household cleaners, away from small children! They can't tell the difference between a jug of apple juice or a jug of a similarly colored toxic cleaner.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What If . . . You Suddenly Need A Safe and Cheap Multi-Purpose Cleaner

3 PERCENT Hydrogen Peroxide, purchased over-the-counter is a cheap and handy item to keep on hand. It has multiple uses. 

Yesterday's post addressed the medicinal uses of  three percent hydrogen peroxide. Today's post will address household uses. (The first one falls into both categories---depending upon how you feel about pets!)

For Your Pets
A small dosage of hydrogen peroxide often induces vomiting in cases when toxic substances have been swallowed by animals. NEVER give hydrogen peroxide to a human who has ingested a toxic substance! Humans need to be rushed to the emergency room as soon as possible if they swallow it!

A Greener Substitute for Chlorine Bleach!
Hydrogen peroxide has antiseptic and oxidation properties best used in cleaning your homes. In fact, it is a greener substitute to using chemically-laden chlorine bleach!

Peroxide as a Disinfectant
Since peroxide is a disinfectant, the three percent solution can be used in a spray bottle to clean garbage cans, cutting boards, and other bacteria-laden surfaces. Use the same solution to attack fungus, mold, and mildew found around the damp areas of  your home, like the basement, garage, windows, or bathrooms.

Due to its germ-killing properties, hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean the kitchen and the bathroom. Just use diluted hydrogen peroxide to clean counter tops and cabinets, sinks and tubs, appliances and utensils. You can dilute the peroxide 50/50 with water and put in a spray bottle for this purpose.

Peroxide breaks down into hydrogen and water, leaving no toxic residue, whereas other cleaning products that contain bleach leave toxic elements in the environment.

Peroxide can be used to clean children’s indoor and outdoor toys—just be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterward.

Routine Household Cleaning
The most common uses of hydrogen peroxide in cleaning are:

  • Three percent hydrogen peroxide is great for routine housework such as cleaning walls, grout, tiles, tubs, toilets, counter-tops, and other surface areas. (Be sure to test in small area before using to check for bleaching.) 
  • It can be effective in removing carpet stains and odors from pets, spills, vomit, blood, or other common mishaps.
  • It can remove blood stains from white clothes and other items before these can set into the fiber. Soap and cold water are then used to remove both blood stains and hydrogen peroxide.

For normal stains, do not apply the hydrogen peroxide directly on clothes as its bleaching properties are often stronger than chlorine bleach. Instead, pour about a cup of hydrogen peroxide on a washer load to achieve cleaner-looking clothes that are also germ-free.

To clean fruits and vegetables of pesticide and herbicide residues, pour in salt and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide into a container full of water. Use the resulting mixture to soak food before cooking and eating. Just remember to wash with cold water and drain after soaking them. This process also kills harmful bacteria like E. Coli. Alternatively, you can use a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to spray the fruits and vegetables. Don’t worry about flavor because hydrogen peroxide does not affect the foods’ taste and texture.

Skunk Spray!?
Wish we had known this one a few months ago.  We can't guarantee this one but we can guarantee that the old stand-by of tomato juice does not work! Not on the dog, the human who was with the dog, or the clothes of the human who was with the dog!
It is said that if clothes have had the misfortune of being saturated with skunk odor, just mix in baking soda, hand soap and hydrogen peroxide. Soak the clothes for a few hours,wash as usual and the smelly residues will be removed.

These are just a few of the uses for hydrogen peroxide for the home. Again, stay safe by using 3 percent grade hydrogen peroxide at all times. Even then, keep it away from small children!

Tomorrow you will learn ways to use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in your garden.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What If . . . You Need a Substitute for Common Medicine Cabinet Items?

3 PERCENT Hydrogen Peroxide, purchased over-the-counter is a cheap and handy item to keep on hand. It has multiple uses. 

Today's post will address medicinal uses.

Safety Precautions:   It is important that the hydrogen peroxide you use for these purposes is THREE PERCENT! Do Not Ingest! and Keep Away from Children! 
3 percent hydrogen peroxide is a good first aid solution!
Small Wounds
Apply directly to wound to disinfect it.  It will "fizz"
and doesn't hurt much. You can use a cotton-tipped
swab dipped in peroxide to swab a wound inside the
mouth.  Or you can swish it around inside your mouth.
Remember not to swallow it!

Tooth Paste
Mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda until the desired consistency to use as an effective homemade toothpaste with whitening properties.

Mouth Wash
Use once or twice daily to free mouth and teeth of bacteria and germs.  Use one tablespoon of 3 percent peroxide for every glass of water, swish for about a minute, spit it out and rinse well with tap water afterwards. Do not swallow! When used at least two times a day as a teeth gargle, hydrogen peroxide can whiten teeth as well as make them free of bacteria and germs. Use a tablespoon of peroxide for every glass of water, swish for about a minute and rinse well with tap water afterwards. It is suppose to whiten teeth also.

Tooth Brush Sanitizer
Toothbrushes harbor many germs. Storing them in hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant. Discard peroxide frequently and replace with new. If you prefer you could put the three percent peroxide in a spray bottle and spray your toothbrush after each use.

Ear Wax Removal
Prevent waxy buildup on the ears by using hydrogen peroxide. Tilt your head to expose the ear to be treated. Using an eye dropper, you should put 2-3 drops into the ear and allow it to settle for a several minutes. With a syringe filled with warm water, carefully flush the ear out. Then dry your ear using a soft dry cloth.

Germ Killer
Apply or spray on area of skin that needs sanitizing. Keep away from eyes.

For Nail Fungus
They claim it will kill fungus on fingernails and toenails by soaking them in  hydrogen peroxide, diluted 50/50 with water. From what I have read and heard from medical professionals about hard nail fungus is to treat, I have my doubts, but it is probably worth a try before trying the heavy duty prescriptions.

And once again----It must be emphasized that only 3 percent grade hydrogen peroxide can be used on the skin and for medicinal purposes.  Otherwise, you can end up with severe skin damage that offsets peroxide uses.

My next cheapskate post will cover household uses for 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Season to Harvest . . . Corn

This actually looks good enough to eat!

Autumn is candy corn time.  Even though you can buy it all year round I try to hold off until the season is right. You will probably think I am crazy but I find it sad that many things we used to anticipate are now available all the time. It seems to take a lot of the excitement and fun out of it.

Fireworks are another example. Wasn't it more fun when they were rare and eagerly awaited?

My final gripe is with wonderful squishy once-a-year Peeps.

The way I saw it, there was a special treat for each of the four seasons: candy corn in the last quarter of the year, fireworks at the very beginning of the new year and as the middle-mark of  summer, with yellow Peeps, coming into their own in Spring.

I love love love candy corn but I am getting too old to handle its sweetness.

Daughter Heidi solved that problem by introducing the combination of candy corn and peanuts!

One of our family year-round stand-bys was "gorp," our name for the now-called-trail-mix-combination of peanuts, raisins and M&M's. It was a great snack for watching ball games, playing board games, or----any reason was good enough for us.

I used to make a ton and divide it into eight bags before we took to the road for a vacation. (Some of us ate faster than others!)  Another time I sneakily made two batches, one batch divided six ways for the kids, and two where I extravagantly substituted cashews for the peanuts. An expensive disappointment as the cashews were overpowered.

Recently I discovered that butter-mints and/or those little pink, green, yellow and white pillow-looking mints are a great addition to the traditional combination.

'til we eat again,
          Simply, Gail

Monday, October 3, 2011

More Simple Penny-Pinching Extenders

Before I offer more cheapskate suggestions I want to bring to your attention something that was brought to my attention yesterday. I learned that readers have tried to leave comments but they have not shown up. If you are in that category I apologize.

I am still new at this blogging stuff and I will try and figure this out. I am simple and I want it to be simple for anyone to make comments. I think it can be done without all the crazy-shaped-type-in-letters or needing to sign-away-your-life but I have to find out how.

I welcome comments and suggestions. Please know that if I have not responded to a comment, I did not receive the comment. I will never ignore them. In the meantime, you can reach me at thecreativecheapskate@gmail.com

As the food budget gets tighter it helps to find ways to make it s-t-r-e-t-c-h a little further. 

My last post covered butter. Here are some others.

Cooked Pudding
Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and one additional cup of milk to a 3 ounce package of cook-type pudding mix. Cook as directed. This will make six servings instead of four.

Add 3 cups of water to a 3-ounce package of gelatin rather than the called for two cups.  Will take a little longer to set up and is a little softer than regular gelatin but it makes two extra servings.

Add a little extra water to juices (either ready-to-serve or when reconstituting frozen). You will need to experiment with the amount of extra water you "can get away with!"

Cream Cheese
You can refer to my previous extending butter post because you can extend cream cheese basically the same way, but without using oil. A block of cream cheese, after it has been allowed to soften, can be beaten, adding a little water or milk at a time until it is the consistency you want.

Beating incorporates air, making it spreadable----and more expensive! You can also make the expensive-to-buy specialty cream cheese spreads by simply stirring in any ingredients you want. They can all be quickly, easily and cheaply created once you have softened the cheese.  The ideas listed on the butter post will give you ideas for flavored cream cheeses. Think of all the delicious spreads the bagel shops and bakeries provide --- then make your own!

'till we eat again
           Simply, Gail