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Sunday, June 17, 2012

More quirky little frugal things

I save what's left of my pot of tea in the fridge for the next day. Not so quirky, right?

I buy ketchup in gallon size cans, when I open a can I scoop the ketchup into large plastic containers for the fridge, and fill our family bottle.  I scrape out the can, but also I rinse it with water, and save that ketchup water to add to baked beans or soup.

I know that I can not be the only one doing this. When the box of laundry detergent appears to be empty, I put the box on it's side on the floor and stomp on it a couple of times. This exposes the area under the bottom and top tabs, glued to hold the box shut. Then I dump these grains of detergent into the wash. As a bonus, the box is now flattened for recycling!

Also, laundry related, having to do with the plastic soap dish in the shower.  When the soap dish gets all gummy with glopped on soap, I put the dish in the washing machine with some towels, and have the water fill to the lowest level, leaving the door up (so the machine is not running).  I leave it like this overnight. In the morning, I swish the soap dish, then take it out, as it's clean now. I fill the machine with more towels and the like, add about 3/4 the usual amount of detergent, and have the machine continue its fill up of water and wash a load. Crazy or sensible?

If a friend is coming over in the AM, and there's still cheapo coffee in the pot, instead of dumping that coffee out to start a fresh batch, or worse, serving this brew to a friend, I pour it into a cup and refrigerate.  Then I make a "good" pot of coffee.  The refrigerated coffee is then added to the next day's pot.  I may be extremely frugal, but I have no intention of forcing my quirky ways on my guests. Guests deserve the privilege of the very best of what I have to offer, as I am honored to have them in my home!


  1. One thing I've done with leftover coffee is freeze it in ice cube trays. I'll fill a glass with the cubes and pour fresh milk over it for a delicious treat in the summer. (I ripped this off from Mr. Donuts in Osaka, Japan. The ones here don't do this but they sold this every summer there and it was fantastic!)

    1. Hi Pamela, that does sound good! I'm also going to try making my own frappuccinos starting with coffee cubes. Last summer I used regular ice cubes and the drinks were a bit watery. I think frozen coffee might be what it takes! And I'll definitely try the coffee cubes in milk. That sounds very good!

  2. Being a tea drinker, I re-use my teabags (I'm like you, Lili, I would never expect a guest to have "used" tea). I like it strong so I add 2 used teabags to one mug. I think this is a common form of frugality--I've known lots of tea drinkers who do this!

    1. Hi Kris, When I drink tea, I do pour additional hot water over a used bag. But I'd never thought to double up on the used bags. I'll have to try that, I do like expensive tea and I try to get as much out of each bag as I can. I save the less expensive tea bags for iced tea in the summer. I've found that iced tea is a great way to use up all those unusual tea bags that I don't care for hot. I'll put a couple of bags of plain black tea into a large pot with one of the less favorite teas.
      I will give the two used bags per cup trick a try. I think it would give even better flavor to my cup. Thanks for the idea!

    2. Lipton has come out w/some really yummy teas lately! The pyramid-shaped teas are great (but the teabag doesn't break down well for composting, I have found). Their flavored green teas have also been good. I also like expensive tea and since I drink very little soda pop, I consider it my treat to myself. I believe in "selective" frugality! :)

    3. To get my expensive tea, I ask for it for birthday and Christmas gifts. And selective frugality, that's a good way to look at it, since you don't drink soda, this is your treat. I've not done the math yet, but I'm wondering if even expensive tea is maybe about the price of cheap soda. My favorite tea is Earl Grey extra bergamot. I make a mock Earl Grey with lavender buds when I'm out of my favorite, and it's pretty close in taste!

    4. Mmm, I'm liking the coffee ideas I'm reading.

      Lili, I have to admit, I have no idea what lavender buds are or where to find them. I am constantly amazed at the ideas you come up with.

    5. Hi Kris, lavender buds are the blossoms just before they open on lavender plants. I grow lavender in my garden and pick a bunch each year. But you can also buy lavender buds at World Market (formerly Cost Plus Imports). I think a small bag of culinary lavender is about $2 there. So I really don't know if it would save any money if you had to buy the buds, over just buying Earl Grey tea.

      There's a type of Earl Grey called Victorian Earl Grey. It contains rosemary, lavender, rose petals and Earl Grey black tea. I enjoy making a mock version of that as well, just add a pinch of rosemary, lavender and rose petals to cheap Earl Grey or even just plain black tea.

      My other favorite Earl Grey is also easy to duplicate, Cream of Earl Grey. Just cheap Earl Grey tea with vanilla added. I have yet to try my mock Earl Grey (lavender and black tea) with the vanilla. I think I'll have to give that a try this week!

    6. Hey Kris, I reused my tea bags today and had a great cup of tea. I kept mine in a cup in the fridge,( I use half water half milk for tea, and didn't want mold to grow), until I had 3 bags--I like my tea strong, as well.

  3. We save the "leftover" coffee for iced coffee. I mix it with reconstituted powdered milk, a tad of sweetener and ice cubes. (maybe a little vanilla extract) Turns it from leftovers into "something" you can only use cold coffee for. :-)

    1. I'm really going to have to start with the cold coffee drinks this summer, and save the reheating coffee for next winter. Another good use for cold coffee, have you ever made hermit cookies? The recipe calls for cold coffee. Also, cold, sweetened, strong coffee is good over plain cake, with some whipped cream -- a bit like tiramisu, but without all the work.

  4. I like the soap dish idea! My building has shared laundry so I don't think that would work, but maybe I could do something similar to clean my handwash-only clothes...

    1. Hi CF,
      Wow! Someone else doesn't think I'm totally off my rocker! I tell you, I get a lot of strange looks from some people, when I do these slightly unconventional things, that to me seem sensible.
      I like your site, BTW. The two of you seem to have your goals all set. Good luck with them (and I mean that in a sincere voice, sometimes "good luck" reads sarcastically). Thanks for the comment.


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