Monday, March 31, 2008

Old Quilts to Oven Pads

From a subscriber

Take old quilts and cut them into 8" - 10" squares, edge and use for oven pads - or - using an old oven mitt as a guide, make a pattern and voila, you have new oven mitts.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Reusing Shower Curtains

From a subscriber

I haven't found a good shower curtain that will last more than a couple weeks so I buy the "shower stall" vinyl curtain available at Sears. Believe me, it is large enough to cover the space for a full sized bath tub.

I pay more money at first, but it lasts through showers and cleanings 2 years or more. When it has seen its last use in the shower, my husband will use it for drop cloths. The same is true for tired vinyl window shades. If he has small paint jobs, he can use the shade as a drop cloth for any of the spray jobs he does.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kitchen Countertops For $100

Contributed by Jennifer at

Formica countertops can be painted for much less out of pocket expense than a complete countertop replacement. There are several steps required to achieve a professional appearance, but the outcome can have a dramatic impact on the overall look of the kitchen.

Sherwin-Williams has a color visualizer that allows you to pre-select colors for your countertops online to save time choosing colors at the store. A new countertop finish can drastically change the look of your kitchen, so compare colors with your existing cabinets, appliances.

Get the directions in this article at

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Recipe: Oriental Cabbage Salad

Contributed by a Frugal Life News subscriber

Here's my fave. I've been eating this daily for the past few months, I just crave it! Plus, I've lost 15 lbs because I snack on this all the time!

1 head napa or savoy cabbage
1 package oriental noodle soup (I use Sapporo Ichiban original flavor)
1/4 cup olive oil (or any light salad oil)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Use a clean, recycled glass bottle with screw top to mix and store the dressing. Pour oil and vinegar into bottle and add the package of soup base from the noodle soup mix. Shake well.

Slice cabbage thinly and place in large bowl. Crumble dry soup noodles over (I leave some big crunchy chunks, too.) Sprinkle with almonds. Dress salad just before serving.

TIP: You can slice cabbage and make dressing ahead of time...I've had good success with storing the sliced cabbage in a clear plastic veggie bag from the grocery store, leaving plenty of air space and closing with a twist tie. This keeps in the fridge this way for about a week and is handy for single servings.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Lower Your Energy Bill

Summer not only brings higher temperatures, it brings higher energy bills. Here are a few smart ways to conserve energy and save money:

• Unplug coffeepots and chargers for electronic devices such as cell phones and MP3 players. They can add 5% to your energy bill.

• Install Energy Star appliances to save as much as $400 per year. You can also receive tax incentives and rebates.

• Buy a flat-screen computer monitor- they use up to one-third of the electricity of conventional screens. (But don't trash your old monitor. Recycle it at Staples!)

• Stay cool this summer by installing a programmable thermostat—it will feel great when you're at home and save money when you're not.
"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28