My friend, Alicia, brought me an old copy of The Tightwad Gazette last week. I have been thumbing through it for the last few days and just marveling over how much has changed, and how much has not changed over the course of 16 years. The book is broken into seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall) and is jam packed with tips.
Here are a few of my Summer favorites so far:
- Holey Rubber Gloves – “Cut the tips off the fingers to use for picking blackberries or raspberries. The gloves prevent your hands and arms from being scratched but you can still pick the berries with your fingertips.” (Note: This is fabulous for the growing contingent of urban homesteaders out there!)
- Old Metal Beds – “The head and foot boards can be reused to make great gates, especially around vegetable gardens.”
- Styrofoam Meat Trays – “Put them behind wall outlet switch plates for insulation. Trim to fit, and screw tightly for a snug fit.” (Note: One of the most popular energy saving tips is to insulate the wall outlets. What a great, cheap way to do this while reducing household waste.)
- Reduced Fat Margarine – “Take 1 pound of regular margarine or butter, soften slightly, and gradually add skim milk while beating with an electric mixer. You can add about 1/3 of a cup of milk to a pound of margarine. The result is a light spreadable product that has increased in quantity by 50%, stays soft in the refrigerator, tastes the same, and has fewer calories.”
There are outdated references to expensive long distance calls (most telephone companies and cell phone plans offer unlimited long distance for very little money these days) and most definitely the prices of bulk foods have risen over the years, but this book is still a fabulous resource. I’m not going to wait until I’ve read the entire thing to start implementing some of the really great frugal tips in here. I see some results posts in the future.