Friday, April 24, 2009

More tips from Dollar Stretcher

Water for Your Garden

Water bills can get high when you have a garden. By using a rain barrel, you can collect the water from your roof. Not only are you giving your plants water without chlorine or fluoride, but also it's water at the ambient temperature, so it won't shock your plants the way cold water from the hose can. Also, since your sewer bill is measured by the amount of water that you use, it should reduce that as well.

Many water quality groups offer special discounts and incentives for rain barrels. Look for watershed groups in your area, or contact your local library for more information. You can also make your own rain barrel, using a food-grade barrel. You can pick these up from feed stores, or even used from food processing plants. They can range in price from free to 10 or 15 dollars. Depending on how sophisticated you want to get, you can make one that simply catches water that you must scoop out or one that has a spigot and overflow valve. Use the water for plants, washing the dog, the car and gardening tools, etc. In any case, you can feel good about the money you save, because you are also keeping the rain water from becoming urban run off, a growing concern. You are also returning the water slowly to the ground, where it can recharge the aquifer. Marina

editor's note: Some communities have restrictions on rain barrels. So please check and make sure you meet all local ordinances. Also, make sure that no child or pet could fall in and drown. Note from Lucy:My dad had a water barrel and he watered his gardens for years with rain water... He was an organic gardener he preferred rain water...I guess I need to look for a rain barrel.

Afternoon Coffee

Sometimes we don't drink more than one cup of coffee in the morning. To keep the coffee from sitting and growing stronger during the day, I take a clean Thermos and pour the leftover coffee in and put the lid back on. I can have a fresh cup of coffee in the afternoon without having to start another pot. We have had hot coffee even in the late evenings. This, of course, depends on how good your Thermos is. Wanda M. Note from Lucy:I'm not a coffee drinker but this sounds like it would work...

Natural Make-Up Sponges

If you use natural sponges to apply make-up, check for sponges at art or craft supply stores, such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby. These are the same natural sponges you get at the cosmetics counter or drug store, but they're cheaper. You could buy a bag of small sponges for usually under $5 at a craft store, where you'd pay about that much for one sponge at the drug store.

Also, instead of cotton squares for removing eye make-up, I use the soft microfiber cloths that come free with eyeglasses or sunglasses. I can use one for a few days and then toss it in the wash with the towels. These cloths are soft enough for the eye area and so far they are indestructible, as I've put them through the wash a few dozen times now. Annette

Bright Kids

I just read my first issue and enjoyed that it is short And sweet! I have piles of good magazines I haven't quite Had time to get to, but yours was just right -- a snack that I'll enjoy! --Wanda in AR

"Bright Kids" provides articles and tips for fun and easy learning activities, crafts, homework helps and general ideas for involving yourself in simple ways with your child's educational development.

To subscribe to this free twice-a-month email resource, simply send an email containing any message to:
or visit

Creative Energy Savings

When you are using your oven to cook, turn the oven off five minutes before your food is to be done as the oven will retain the cooking temperature long enough to finishing cooking your food. So, you get five minutes of free energy and save money too. I also put a kettle of water over the burner that vents the hot air from the oven while cooking. At the end of my cooking, I have a kettle of hot water for free to use for tea, etc. April B. in Kentucky

Have a great week everyone!


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Oh great One said...

I was looking at some different rain barrel ideas myself (before we decided to move). I saw some that were made from those big trashcans. They put a spout at the bottom so they could attach a hose to them. Great water saver!

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

The rain barrel sounds like a good idea.

I don't like the taste of coffee and neither does my hubby. I'm a tea drinker though! I've been downing iced tea by the gallons lately!

I use Almay eye makeup remover pads. I've used them for years, and I love them. The micro fiber cloths would work well, and the fact that they are washable is a great thing.

I always enjoy reading the tips you share and the comments you offer about those tips.

I wish you a wonderful weekend!

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Jahn said...

Anyone with half-decent plumber skills could attach a spigot near the bottom of a rain barrel. They should be available at Home Depot and such stores. I'll try to remember to check next time I'm over there.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Diane@Diane's Place said...

I use a Thermos to keep my coffee hot for up to 24 hours. As a matter of fact, I made up a Thermos full earlier and do this every time I make a pot of coffee. Lamar doesn't drink coffee so this way it lasts me for a long time and I don't have to waste any.

Happy weekend, Lucy! :o)

Love and hugs,


At 2:08 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Great coffee idea Lucy! I don't usually drink coffee after the morning though. I will sometimes if I'm somewhere it's offered, but never at home...or very rarely!

I like that energy saving tip too and using the oven vent to warm some water! Great ideas Lucy!! Thanks!!

At 6:11 AM, Blogger Cliff said...

All good tips Lucy. But mostly I'd like to say I liked your last post. She said she considered it a blessing to have been asked that question. She'll go a long ways.
I closed my eyes when they keep showing her in that bikini.
Maybe I just closed one eye. I don't remember.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Susie said...

Great ideas Lucy! We use our leftover morning coffee for iced coffee with lunch.
We also use the rain barrel idea, but have had so little rain that ours is nearly empty :(

At 12:22 PM, Blogger SusieQ said...


Lucy, you are a very resourceful person. I hope you will be able to provide your readers with information about the safety of our food supply (fresh produce included) in light of this swine flu outbreak.

I am concerned about our fresh produce. How about you?


Post a Comment

<< Home