Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reusable Tissues

I have been really inspired by Extreme Cheapskates on TLC.  Of course, a lot of the stuff people do on that show is just a little crazy, but then again that's why I like that kind of show.  There was one woman on the show who, instead of buying toilet paper, cut squares out of fabric and kept them in her bathroom where the toilet paper would go.  She had her family use the "reusable toilet paper" and then throw it in a bucket next to the toilet so it could be washed and reused.  While I can't bring myself to do that (I have more of a problem with the bucket of used t.p. sitting next to the toilet than with the reusable t.p. itself) it did inspire me to come up with this idea for reusable tissues.  And yes, I have heard of handkerchiefs so I know I didn't actually come up with the idea of reusable tissues.  I wouldn't exactly call these "handkerchiefs" but you'll see why.
What you will need:
Old t-shirts or other cotton fabric
Empty wipes container
Our thrift store has t-shirts as cheap as $0.09, so I went hunting for some.  I only found 3 this time, but the price was right so I bought them.  BTW, I decided to stick with the same color.  I have some old t-shirt rags that I use for cleaning, and I didn't want to get the tissues mixed up with the same scraps I use for cleaning.
Then you will need to cut the t-shirts into squares.  A regular tissue is 8 in x 8in.  I found that 8 x 8 inch squares didn't fit so well in my wipes container, so I cut them down to 8 x 7.  They don't have to be exact, you're just going to blow your nose on them anyway.
I got about a dozen tissues out of each t-shirt.  Plus I had a couple of other small scraps of cotton that I cut up.  So I ended up with about 40 tissues.  Fold each one in half and put them in a stack.

Then take a regular wipes container (or other container of a similar size)
And decorate it however you want.  I covered mine with mod podge and some denim scraps from jeans I had cut off at the beginning of the summer.
Put your stack of tissues inside the container.

And now you have a box of tissues that you can wash and reuse, for less than the price of a disposable box of tissues!  These are even better than regular tissues because they won't tear, and they are thicker so you won't need to use as many.  You could even make multiple boxes and keep them around your house like you would with regular tissues.  Just use them, throw them in the laundry, wash, fold, and put back in the container.  I know tissues don't cost a lot, and most people only use them when they're sick, so it may not save a whole ton of money, but no matter how small the amount, I would rather keep it than waste it on something you're going to throw away.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Low Carb Pumpkin Pie

Now that Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I have been getting a little nervous.  I have been nervous because you can't have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie, but I can't have pumpkin pie now that I gave up carbs, grains and sugar.  But thankfully (no pun intended) I found this recipe on Pinterest, and I tweaked it a bit.  Not only is it low carb and sugar free, it is also grain free, dairy free, Paleo-approved, and gluten free. 
Just to warn you, it is a crust-free pie.  But I don't miss the crust.  To be honest, I always throw the crust out anyway.  Here are your ingredients (I also wanted to mention that I had each and every one of these ingredients in my fridge/pantry and didn't have to go out to the store to buy any of them.)
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
3 eggs
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup stevia
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Pour into a greased pie pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Slice and serve with a spoonful or 4 of whipped cream.  Yumm!!!
**I was going to take more pictures of my delicious pie, but it didn't look very picture-perfect on my plate.  But that's ok, I got at least one picture of it, and the taste makes up for lack of pretty pictures.**

Thursday, October 25, 2012

DIY Scarf Organizer

I have been collecting more and more scarves lately.  I finally acquired enough scarves that I was in need of something on which to hang them.  First I found this scarf organizer at Bed Bath and Beyond, but I didn't need it bad enough to spend $8 on it.  Then I found a DIY scarf organizer on Pinterest using a hanger and shower curtain rings.  That would mean I have to go out and buy shower curtain rings.  Yeah, that wasn't gonna happen.  So I created my own cheap (free) version of the DIY scarf organizer.

Start with a hanger.  Find one that has the little hangy-hooks on each side as pictured.
Then you'll need a few rubber bands.
First, stretch a rubber band horizontally from one of the hangy-hooks to the other.
Then start stretching the other rubber bands across the hanger vertically, lining them up evenly.
Take your scarves and loop them through the holes.  Hang and store.  That's it.
OK, so I know I'm being kind of cheap here, but it wasn't something that I wanted to spend money on, so I found a way to make something to fit my needs for free.  Isn't that what being frugal is all about? ;)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fruit Cup Halloween Treats

One day last week, we had to bring the snack for Angie's preschool class.  I remembered seeing something on Pinterest awhile back that I knew would be cute and easy.  I actually saw the idea here, but it's so easy that directions really aren't necessary.  All you need are those little fruit cup packages (anything orange will work, but I used mandarin oranges) and a black sharpie.
Simply draw faces on the tops of the fruit cups.  I wanted to make all of them look different, so I just looked up "jack-o-lantern faces" on Google Images to get some ideas.  Here is what I came up with:
A really cute, easy, healthy Halloween-themed snack that kids love.  It was the perfect snack for a class of 3 year olds!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Candy Corn Paper Clip Earrings

These are a really cute, easy, inexpensive fall craft.  I originally got the idea for paper clip earrings from Evie S., but I put a fall twist on them and made them into candy corns.  All you need are:
2 paperclips
Embroidery floss in orange, yellow and white
Glue stick
Earring hooks
Jump rings
Open up the paperclips to make triangle shapes.
Next you will need to wrap the embroidery floss around the paperclips.  First, apply some glue to the paperclip with a glue stick.  I find that a glue stick works well because it makes the thread stick without making a big mess.  Wrap white floss around the top part of the paperclip, and yellow around the bottom as shown:
Once the paperclip is wrapped all the way around, apply more glue to the sides, and start wrapping all the way around the earring (from side to side of the triangle).  Start at the top with white thread and wrap 1/3 of the triangle, then switch to orange thread.  Wrap the middle 1/3 of the triangle, then switch to yellow until you have reached the bottom, gluing all the way.  You may need to use a needle to hide the ends of the thread inside.  Then attach the earring hooks with jump rings.
And that's it.  Really quick, easy and cheap.  It's an easy way to make a cute pair of fall earrings to wear.  It would also be a fun craft to make with little girls.
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