Monthly Archives: June 2014

Frugal Friday’s – Envelope System

The envelope system isn’t new, it’s been around for a while. But there are still people that don’t know anything about it or how it works. I didn’t until I started listening to Dave Ramsey, he’s a financial advisor with lots of advice and opinions. He promotes using cash to control spending because you spend money differently when you use cash. When your  breaking bills and watching the money disappear your more mindful of your purchases. Not to mention there’s no way to overspend or go off budget. When you pay for things with your debit card you don’t see the money so you don’t feel it as much as when you use cash. I know that’s the case with me, when I have my debit card I may end up putting that really cute “thing” from Target in the cart or maybe make a quick stop at Home Good’s because it’s right there. When I have cash and a list I stick to the list and never spend more than I want to.

envelope system

If your interested in using the envelope system I would suggest you start with a budget so you know how much money you have to allocate to your envelopes. Then you need to assign categories, examples include groceries, transportation, fun money, clothing and so on. Then you fill the envelopes with money, draw half from bi-weekly paychecks and quarters from weekly paychecks. Remember to take your envelopes and spend cash.

When I first started using the envelope system I’d forget to take them and would end up having to use my debit card anyway. My envelopes were plain and ugly and I wanted pretty ones. I mean, sure you can buy some from Etsy and tons of other places online but what’s the point of creating a budget and using cash to control spending just to buy pretty envelopes?  I took a peak in my craft stash and realized I already had everything I needed.

Supplies:

  • envelopes
  • pretty scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge
  • label maker (optional)

Envelope System

I grabbed some scrapbook paper, traced the envelopes on the back and cut them out. I brushed Mod Podge on the envelope and attached the scrapbook paper. Once it was dry I Mod Podged the scrapbook paper to seal and protect it since they get plenty of use. I made labels for each envelope with my P-touch.

envelope system labels

I love using the envelope system and my pretty new envelopes make me  smile every time I pull them out in the store.

envelope system

Frugal Friday’s – Vinegar Extraordinary Uses

Hello everyone, the weekend is finally here!!! I’m back with my second Frugal Friday post and today I’d like to talk about vinegar and its many uses in and around the house. Some of you may be thinking vinegar doesn’t smell good and it doesn’t but the smell dissipates quickly and once you start using it often enough the smell wont even bother you anymore. I can honestly say that because I only use vinegar and baking soda to clean my home. I stopped buying expensive cleaners last year and I don’t miss them one bit. They were costly; the chemicals are harmful if inhaled without proper ventilation (read the label on any bottle), poisonous to children and pets if ingested and harmful to the planet. My homemade cleaners work just as well for half the price. The acetic acid in vinegar is a good disinfectant, it’s effective against E. coli, Salmonella and Straphylococcus. If you cant stand the smell of vinegar but want to try some of the suggestions below I found a solution on Pinterest , you can find it on my board and it works! Pour two cups of white vinegar into a glass bottle, take the skin from one peeled orange and add that to the bottle as well. Let it sit for two weeks and when you open the jar again it’ll have a citrus smell. The vinegar doesn’t bother me but my tween doesn’t like it so I tried this.

Around the House

  • Clean chrome and stainless steel – apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a spray bottle, buff with a soft cloth.
  • Unclog and deodorize drains – pour 1/2 cup baking soda, then one cup of vinegar. After foaming flush with hot water. Wait five minutes  and flush with cold water.
  • Remove light carpet stains- rub a mixture of 2 tablespoons of salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar in the carpet. Let dry, then vacuum
  • Steam clean your microwave- place a glass bowl filled with 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 cup water, microwave five minutes. Once bowl cools, use liquid to wipe stains away
  • Cut grease- pour 3-4 tablespoons white vinegar into your favorite brand of liquid dishwashing detergent and give a few shakes.
  • All Purpose Cleaner- equal parts vinegar and water, you can add castile soap or tea tree oil if you’d like.
  • Sanitize jars, containers and vases- to get rid of the slimy residue in a bottle or jar fill with equal parts vinegar and warm water, let stand 10-15 minutes. Use bottle brush to scrape off remains before rinsing thoroughly
  • Wash store bought produce- before serving fruits and vegetables rinse in 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar dissolved in 1 gallon cold water. It eliminates hidden dirt, pesticides and insects

In the Garage

  • Remove bumper stickers- saturate the top and sides with undiluted distilled vinegar and wait 10-15 minutes for it to soak through. Use an old gift card to scrape it off
  • Clean windshield wiper blades- to make dirty wiper blades as good as new, dampen a cloth or rag with some full strength white vinegar and run it down the full length of the blade once or twice
  • Keep car windows frost free- during the winter months spray your windshield with a solution 3 parts white vinegar 1 part water. Each coating may last several weeks.

In the Medicine Cabinet

  • Treat an active cold soar- use a cotton ball saturated with vinegar 3 times a day to dry out
  • Treat a bee sting- pouring undiluted vinegar on the sting will take away the pain, and let you scrape out the stinger with a plastic card
  • Clean your eyeglasses- apply a few drops of vinegar and wipe. Don’t use on plastic lenses.
  •  Ease sunburn and itching- dab the area gently with cotton or soft cloth saturated in white or cider vinegar. The technique works on both
  • Control dandruff- apply 3 tablespoons to your scalp and massage before washing
  • Banish bruises- if someone you care about has a nasty fall, speed healing and prevent black and blue by soaking and applying a gauze to the injured area and letting it sit for one hour

In the Laundry

  • Soften fabrics, whitens & eliminates static- a cup of vinegar will; keep your clothes soft, brighten a small load of white clothes, added to the last rinse will keep clothes lint and static free
  • Removes odors- spray half parts vinegar and water under the arms of any shirt and wash, the odor is gone
  • Clean your iron’s sole plate- to remove scorch marks scrub with a paste made by heating up equal parts vinegar and salt in a small pan. Use a clean wet rag to wipe away the rest
  • Remove rings from collars and cuffs- scrub with a paste made from white vinegar and 3 parts baking soda. Leave the paste for 30 minutes before washing

Good to Know 

  • Keep cut flowers fresh- mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vase before adding flowers.
  • Exterminate dandelions and unwanted grass- Spray  with full-strength white or apple cider vinegar. Spritz in its midsection, another near the stem, enough to soak down to the roots. If it rains the next day, you’ll need to repeat
  • Add to a pets drinking water- a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar will give it a shinier and healthier looking coa, and act as a natural deterrent to fleas and ticks
  • Directly protect against fleas & ticks- fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar and spray directly on the dogs coat and rub it in.
  • Remove wallpaper- Spray equal parts white vinegar and water on paper until saturated then wait a few minutes. Zip it off with a wallpaper scrapper

Who knew vinegar could be so useful and it’s so cheap, at $3 a gallon how could it not be part of the Frugal Friday installment. I hope you found the information useful and maybe you’ll decide to start using vinegar in more places than just your kitchen and save some money while your at it.

Frugal Fridays- Vinegar extraordinary uses

Information obtained from Reader’s Digest extraordinary uses for ordinary things; 2005

Re-Upholstered Ottoman

Hello, and Happy Hump day to you all. Do you have any special plans for the coming weekend? In my Living Room Redo post I showed you a glimpse of my re-upholstered ottoman. If you don’t have an ottoman I’d suggest you pick one up, they can serve double and triple duty. First and foremost it’s a good spot for your feet, they provide hidden storage, an extra seat for company and an added tray turns it into an instant coffee table. In my home we use it for some of my sons toys. With the right fabric they can also make quite a statement.

reupholstered ottoman

Mine is one of those cheap $25 deals from Target, have I mentioned how much I love Target… The ottoman started off in my sons room, it was navy blue and used to hold his video games and movies. Then it was moved to the living room and covered in brown fabric to go with my green theme. Now it’s covered in a beautiful aqua chevron pattern I got from Fabric.com, they have a large selection, easy sorting options and hassle free returns. Before we move on to the actual instructions let’s take a look at a before picture.

before ottoman

  1. I highly recommend ironing the fabric to get rid of the wrinkles. If that doesn’t bother you, you can skip this step.
  2. Remove the feet. Mine had plastic sliders on them so I popped them off with a screw driver before unscrewing the feet.
  3. Many instructions will tell you to remove the existing fabric. However, I think that’s a waste of time and an extra step I just avoid.
  4. I measured the length and the width of the top piece accounting for the depth of the cushion and added about two inches to the length and width. For the bottom piece, I wrapped the perimeter of the ottoman until the two ends met and added about an inch and I measured the height (top to bottom) adding two inches. I used those measurements and cut the fabric.
  5. I placed the fabric for the lid of the ottoman right side down (so the back side was facing me) and pulled tightly while stapling the fabric to the inside of the lid. When I got to the corners, I folded the fabric like I was wrapping a gift, repeating until all four sides were stapled. reupholstering corner
  6. For the bottom piece, I wrapped the fabric around the ottoman and aligned the pattern where the two sides met in the back. Then I  stapled the top and bottom at the center of each side of the ottoman. For the corners, I overlapped them and stapled them down. Working from the center out, I pulled tightly and stapled all the way around. reupholstering visual
  7. After that I screwed the feet back on and filled with toys.

reupholstered ottoman w toys reupholstered ottoman

What do you think? I love the chevron pattern and the color helps lighten up the room. I think the dog loves it too, that’s her head in the right hand corner 🙂

Can you think of anything you may want to re-upholster now?