Category Archives: household

Broiling my troubles away

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Cost: electricity
Success: 4.5/5

Does the broil function really get the love it deserves?

I still haven’t replaced my microwave, and I think I can hold off for a while. In the meantime I’m figuring out creative ways to warm stuff up.

One thing that’s been right under my nose the whole time is the broil function on my oven. I never really gave it a second thought until I realized it makes a pretty good replacement for a toaster oven. I’ve toasted some very tasty scones and crumpets with butter so far. So much tastier than the soggy versions that would have come out of the microwave.

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Toilet paper the old-fashioned way

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Cost: Free!
Success: 5/5

Toilet paper is kind of a waste if you think about it. With its bleached brightness and quilted layers of softness, it comes across as pretty pompous for the crappy* job it has. If toilet paper were a person, it would wear a sequined gown to the bottle depot, or a diamond-necklace to McDonalds. It only makes sense to kick toilet paper off of its high horse by using a more frugal alternative.

From what I have read, wiping one’s butt with catalogues used to be a luxury. And what’s good enough for my dad and grandparents on the farm in Saskatchewan is good enough for me!

I get four free papers a week, and that makes more toilet paper than I can possibly go through.

To make the rolls, I started ripping the newspapers sideways. As long as you rip with the grain, they should tear into neat strips. I used my toilet paper roll to measure the width.  I taped each new length of newspaper down so the roll wouldn’t unravel.

The result is something practical and also fun to read, in case you get bored.

*Hehe! Pun!

PS: April Fool’s!!

Vinegar, my bitter friend

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Cost: cheap
Success: 5/5

Vinegar is a little weird, because everyone has some in their cupboard but not everyone is sure why.

One of my favourite uses for vinegar is as a glass cleaner. It’s ridiculously easy. I make a mix of  about 10% vinegar and 90% water, with some drops of lemon oil to mask the vinegar stink. I put it in a spray bottle, shake it up, and clean away!  Sometimes I put vinegar right on the cleaning cloth to get rid of grease and fingerprints.

It works because it’s acidic and it breaks up the grease. It’s water-based, so it evaporates. I like to keep my mixture in a little bottle from a soap supply store. Plant sprayers work well too. If you add a citrus essential oil, be sure to shake it each time to distribute the oil. The citrus oil actually lends some of its own cleaning and disinfecting powers. The citrus smell stays around a little while after the vinegar has evaporated.

Come on… give ‘er a try!  (You can practice on my windows if you’d like.)