greenbackgrazers


How can I get that smell out of my car? The power of vinegar
June 15, 2012, 9:01 AM
Filed under: Healthly Living, helpful household hints, Life style

Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them. This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.
Give acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, Hydrangea and gardenias a little help by watering them with a white distilled vinegar solution now and again. A cup of white distilled vinegar to a gallon of tap water is a good mixture.
Stop ants from congregating by pouring white distilled vinegar on the area.  This one my mom always used and it really works! Pour into spray bottle and use near walls and doorways and kitchen area.
Discourage cats from getting into the kids’ sandbox with white distilled vinegar.
Preserve cut flowers and liven droopy ones by adding 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar to a quart of water in a vase.
Get rid of the water line in a flower vase by filling it with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar, or by soaking a paper towel in white distilled vinegar and stuffing it into the vase so that it is in contact with the water line.
Clean out stains and white mineral crusts in clay, glazed and plastic pots by soaking them for an hour or longer in a sink filled with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar.

To shine chrome sink fixtures that have a lime buildup, use a paste made of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar.
Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.
Clean counter tops and make them smell sweet again with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
Clean and deodorize a drain by pouring in 1 cup baking soda, then one cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let this sit for 5 minutes or so, then run hot water down the drain.
Deodorize and clean the garbage disposal by pouring in 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes then run hot water down the disposal.

For cloudy glassware, soak paper towels or a cloth in full-strength white distilled vinegar and wrap around the inside and outside of the glass. Let sit awhile before rinsing clean.
Get rid of lime deposits in a tea kettle by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the water and letting it sit overnight. If more drastic action is needed, boil full-strength white distilled vinegar in the kettle a few minutes, let cool and rinse with plain water.

Remove wallpaper easily by using a paint roller to wet the surface very thoroughly with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and hot water. Or spray on until saturated.

Stave off high blood sugar and other Alzheimer’s risk factors with a daily dose of vinegar.  According to researchers, there is evidence that vinegar sinks risk factors that may lead to memory decline and dementia — namely, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, diabetes and prediabetes, and weight gain. While vinegar does not confront Alzheimer’s directly, studies at Arizona State University have found that vinegar can curb appetite and food intake, helping prevent weight gain and obesity. Swedish investigators agree. In one study, downing two or three tablespoons of vinegar with white bread cut expected rises in insulin and blood sugar by about 25 percent. Pour on the vinegar — add it to salad dressings, eat it by the spoonful, even mix it into a glass of drinking water. Any type of vinegar works because it’s the acidity that counts.

Stop insect stings and bites from itching by dabbing them with a cotton ball saturated with undiluted white distilled vinegar.
Soothe sunburn with a spray of white distilled vinegar, repeating as often as you like. Ice-cold white distilled vinegar will feel even better, and may prevent blistering and peeling.
For cuts and scrapes, use white distilled vinegar as an antiseptic.
Get rid of foot odor by washing feet well with antiseptic soap daily, then soaking them in undiluted cider vinegar for 10 minutes or so. Remember that cotton socks aid odor control more effectively than wool ones.
Clean a hairbrush by soaking in a white distilled vinegar solution.
Tone facial skin with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water.
If commercial aftershaves cause rashes and itching, try using undiluted white distilled vinegar as an aftershave lotion.
Lighten body freckles (not facial freckles) by rubbing on full-strength white distilled vinegar.
Eliminate bad breath and whiten your teeth by brushing them once or twice a week with white distilled vinegar.
Make nail polish last longer. Wipe fingernails with cotton balls dipped in white distilled vinegar before putting on nail polish.

Keep car windows frost-free overnight in winter by coating them with a solution of 3 parts white distilled vinegar to 1 part water.
Polish car chrome with full-strength white distilled vinegar on a soft cloth.
Remove unwanted decals and bumper stickers by covering them with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar, or by repeatedly spraying them with full-strength white distilled vinegar. They should peel off in a couple of hours.
Rid the windshield wipers of road grime by wiping them with a white distilled vinegar-soaked cloth.

Remove the leftover odor after a rider has been carsick by leaving a bowl of white distilled vinegar overnight on the floor.

Remove winter road salt residue on car carpeting by spraying with a mixture of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water, then blot with a soft towel.
Remove the hazy film that builds up on inside windows by spraying with white distilled vinegar.
Remove dirt and stains from car carpeting with a mixture of half white distilled vinegar and half water.
When doing car maintenance, soak rusty bolts and screws with white distilled vinegar to make them easier to remove.
Loosen chewing gum stuck to carpeting or upholstery by soaking it in white distilled vinegar.
Create an all-purpose window cleaner with a few ounces of white distilled vinegar in a quart of water.
Give leather upholstery an extra shine by cleaning it with hot white distilled vinegar and rinsing with soapy water. Make your car extra shiny by adding a few drops of white distilled vinegar to your bucket of water.

Keep a dog from scratching its ears by wiping them out regularly with a soft cloth dipped in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
Remove skunk odors by wiping down the animal with a 50-50 solution of white distilled vinegar and water, followed by a plain-water rinse. Repeat if necessary. Discourage a cat from sitting on a certain windowsill or other surface, or from scratching upholstery, by spraying white distilled vinegar on the item. Test first on an unnoticeable area to be sure there won’t be a discoloration.

Kill fleas by adding a little white distilled vinegar to your dog or cat’s drinking water.

Make perfect, fluffy meringue by adding a teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for every 3 to 4 egg whites used.
Perk up any can of soup or sauce with a teaspoon of red or white wine vinegar.
Eliminate the greasy taste in food cooked in a deep fryer by adding a dash of white distilled vinegar.
If you’ve added too much salt to a recipe, add a spoonful of white distilled vinegar and sugar to try correcting the taste.

To make basic vinaigrette salad dressing use 1 part white distilled vinegar to 4 parts oil.
Make creamy vinaigrette by adding some plain or whipped cream to a mixture of 1 part white distilled vinegar to 3 parts oil.
Tenderize meat with white distilled vinegar. Use it in marinades or when slow cooking any tough, inexpensive cuts of meat.
When poaching eggs, add a little white distilled vinegar to the water. The whites stay better formed.
For extra tenderness with boiling ribs or stew meat add a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar.
To add a zesty new taste to fresh fruits such as pears, cantaloupe, honeydew, or others, add a splash of rice or balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately to prevent the fruit from becoming mushy.
Freshen wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water containing a spoonful or two of white distilled vinegar.

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How to Save Money on Produce and Meat
June 13, 2012, 8:31 AM
Filed under: couponing, Financial tips, Healthly Living, Holiday Fun, Life style

Summer is the best time for fresh fruit and grilling out on the Bar-b-q and spending time with family and friends.  This year we have watched as prices for these items have soared and it seems that we might have to forgo those extras this year.  But not so fast…I have a few tips that will help you save at the checkout and bring home the tastes of summer you cherish.

Produce:

1) Tomatoes- rather than buy the cherry tomatoes buy the larger round ones these can be up to a $1 cheaper.  You can also grow your own whether you live in an apartment or condo, rent or own this is a cheap and easy alternative.  Just ask at your local nursery personnel for hints and tips.

2) Corn- unshucked corn is cheaper (it also lets the kids help preparing dinner).  Buy on the day you want to eat it, my husband’s family used to have a farm and he says that corn becomes less sweet the longer it sits around.

3) Mushrooms- instead of Portobello mushrooms, buy Creminis they are smaller versions of the Portobello.  In some stores it may save you as much as $3.

4) Strawberries-Here is a great idea, pick your own usually that saves you half the price.  It is also a fun way to spend time with the family.  Check in your area for some farms and stands where they advertise this feature.  It saves you money and creates lasting memories for your children.  A little hard work never hurt anyone:)

5) Salad greens – Don’t buy the bagged versions, Buy by the head.  To make it last and stay fresh longer up to a full week, wash the leaves and dry throughly.  Then store in a plastic bag that you have punched holes in with a fork.

5) At roadside stands, buy your stone fruit that is slightly bruised.  While you discard the bruised portion you still save about half of what the unblemished cost.  Buy at roadside stands as a rule for all produce this will be like buying direct.  No middle man in this case the store.  Fresh fruits and veggies have the most nutritional value anyway.

Meats:

1) Buy the “market grind.”  Rather than the national brands it is often a higher quality and is local.  It usually costs about a dollar less per pound.

2)  This one I had never heard.  Buy a 2 lb ham from the refrigerator section.  take it to the Deli counter and have them slice it.  You will get more meat and can use for sandwiches it will also cost about $1 less per pound.  Check with your store not all grocers will do this.

3) stock up on b-b-q  meats and rolls and ice cream around holidays these items are usually 60-70% off and using coupons always helps.

4) Buy a chuck roast it is cut from the same muscle as rib-eye, and tastes similar.  Ask the butcher to cut 2 steaks out of the first 4 inches of the eye of the chuck roast, then have him grind the rest into hamburger.  You could save almost $10.

Other products:

1)  Salsa- Shop the international isle.  Lesser known Latin brands are up to 30% cheaper than our national brands.

2)  Make your own marinades and dressings.

3) Buy hot dog and hamburger rolls at dollar store or discount stores.

 

 



Seven Ways to Save

1.  Save money with the library

Normal = Pay for things that the library offers for free

If you can get past the frequently outdated décor, public libraries are home to a wealth of resources. Of course you can borrow books instead of buying them, but they also often have subscriptions to high cost services or publications like Hoovers or Valueline. Our local library has grown a huge collection of popular CDs and DVDs over the last few years. So, it can be a cheap (free) ways to catch a few good movies. If you must be “Normal” and buy used at least.

2. Simplify your wardrobe

Normal = Buying clothes that you like without looking at the wardrobe as a whole

Don’t buy clothes that will only work as one outfit. Look for clothes that you will be able to wear with many other things, creating multiple outfits. Instead of buying that green and purple striped coat that will only go with one or two outfits, you could get a solid color gray that will work most of what you wear. Spend less money on the trendy items that won’t be in style long, and spend more on quality items. You really can do this and still be stylish at the same time. Simplifying your wardrobe is just one way you can save money on clothes.

3.  Make money with your clutter

Normal = Garage sale or throw away clutter

It is easier than you may think. eBay and Amazon.com make the process a breeze. Sign up for an account, take a few digital pictures, post it, and watch the buyers come to you. HINT: The biggest key I have noticed is selling brand name items and taking a few seconds to think, “If I wanted to buy this item, how would I search for it?” If you do this, you will be much more successful.  Of course, some of your junk won’t be worth the effort of selling it online. For that stuff – maybe garage sale, maybe just save yourself the hassle and give it to the thrift store.

4. Maintain stuff

Normal = Buy new, don’t maintain, it breaks, then buy new as cycle repeats again and again.

Even if you buy the best stuff, if you don’t maintain it you will not save you as much money as it could. You’ll then spend less on buying new stuff. When you buy something worth maintaining, take a few minutes to read the maintenance manual, and create a maintenance checklist that you can attach to the item. For important things like your car’s oil changes or tune-ups, put them in your calendar. To make it even easier schedule most of your maintenance all on one day with a Car Day.

5.   Saving energy = Saving money

Normal = wasting energy

Even though, “Being green is so IN right now,” the “normal” thing to do is waste energy. So not only will everyone think you are cool, ;) but you can save money as well. Check out these 10 Energy saving tips.

  • Use compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of traditional bulbs. Kiplinger’s mentions that, “if every U.S. household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, the emissions savings would be comparable to taking three million cars off the road for a year.” Supposedly the bulbs pay for themselves (from the energy savings) over the course of a year or so.
  • Add extra insulation to your water heater. If you have a water heater built before 2004, you can wrap it with an insulating jacket and save about $30 a year on your water heating bill.
  • Have your furnace tuned every two years and you will, “save about 1250 lbs of carbon dioxide and 10% on your heating bills.”
  • Lower the temperature on your thermostat. For every degree that you lower your home’s temperature during the cooler months, you can subtract about 5% from your bill.
  • Use cold water to wash your clothes and you can save 50% of the energy that you would use if you used hot water. I honestly don’t know what effect this has on the clothes themselves, so I will have to check with my wife on that one :)
  • Get a programmable thermostat. This wonderful tool allows you to program the temperature of your house on an hour by hour basis. So, it can be cooler when you are gone or asleep and warmer when you are around.
  • Use a weatherstrip around your front and back door and you can save about $30 a year on energy costs.
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees (Fahrenheit for the international folks). Even if you don’t have a temperature gauge on your water heater, they suggest turning it down, “until the water feels hot, not scalding.” My husband always says this to me all the time.
  • Adjust your lawnmower to the 3-inch setting. They say that longer grass holds moisture longer, so you will not have to water as much.
  •  Wash your own car.  This saves you gas to the wash and money paying for something you can do yourself.  Unless you live in a place with no outside hose.  In this case take it to a friend’s house or if you must pay someone, this time of year lots of kids hold car washes to raise money for sports or trips.  Plus it makes you feel good and encourages the kids to work for the money and help.

6. Buying used stuff always saves money

Normal = Buy new

This is one of my favorite creative ways to save money. I wish we had this when I was in college, I have discovered that you could get textbooks for free, by buying and selling them at Amazon.  Send out an email to family or friends, or just ask around. You might be surprised. I was about to buy a printer, and then found out my mom just bought a laser printer and didn’t need her old inkjet.  Freecycle.org and craigslist.org are also good places to look. And of course, you can always check out garage sales and thrift shops.

7.  Go out to dinner for half price

Normal = Go to the same few restaurants all the time and pay full price

I love to try new restaurants, but since it is quite an expensive hobby – it is nice when you can save a few bucks. Enter the Entertainment Book. This wonderful tool costs about $25, but will pay for itself quickly if you use it a couple of times. It is available for most large U.S. cities and has thousands of coupons to participating restaurants – most of which are buy-one-get-one-free. This is one of my favorites ways to find new places to eat and save money in the process. Also consider Groupon.com or Restaurant.com and www.livingsocial.com who sells $25 gift certificates (with restrictions) for $10 to thousands of restaurants across the country.  Also check your mailers in the Val-pac and local mailers.  You can find lots of new places you haven’t tried yet!



Who likes to party?
June 5, 2012, 12:28 PM
Filed under: Fun on a budget, Healthly Living

Once again its time for Fun for Free with the Greenback Grazer team!  Johnny tell all the good people out there what they can do this week without spending a dime!

This week you can cruise the classic car scene, shop till you drop, peruse antiques, you can party the day away, attend a gardening class taught by professionals, even audition for a theater production.  Is this a free Disney Cruise?  A time share gimmick? Nope.  These are all free events that are happening in our area this week.

Check out the classic car scene at Zion Mennonite Cherry Lane in Souderton from 8-2 June 9th the Strawberry Bash includes flea market as well.

Floral and Hardy are having a free gardening seminar on June 9th.  Scent additions and making the most of your garden will be this weeks topic.  Just RSVP 610-584-0797 4007 Skippack Pike Skippack, PA.  Also for children they will hold a free terrarium workshop at 10am.

Antique farm and tractor show 10am-3pm hosted by Skippack Historical Society at Allenbach-Cholet Farm 4109 Cremery Rd (behind Cremery Tire), Some items will be for sale  and while admission is free donations are appreciated.  610-724-5664

Also on the 9th in Lansdale party the day away in an old-fashioned block party at the Family Worship Center  1000 Troxel Rd. 11a-4pm.  Food, fun, music and more.  This is a family friendly event.

A Community Giveaway-Everything is free at North Penn Church of Christ from 8am-10am only.  Come and take what ever you need!  call 267-421-9113 for more details.

June 10-11th Auditions for Charlotte’s Web are being held at 7:30pm on Sunday and Monday www.dcptheater.com

There are a few other events that cost minimal cost so check out the following:

Touch a Truck- Admission is $5 kids under 2 free.  June 9th 10a-2p  held rain or shine at Red Hill Fire Company  all benefits will go to Youth and Family Services.  There will be food and games and the first 200 kids will get construction hats.

Pancake Breakfast 8a-11a Lansdale United Methodist Church 300 N Broad St.  Proceeds go to global missions.

Perkiomen Creek Sojourn-June 9th 9am-2pm rent a canoe and join the Conservancy team on 7 mile trip along the creek.  For more info visit www.perkiomenwatershed.org

The Country Store Museum at Red Men’s Hall is now open Sundays from 1:30-4pm.    The Country Store Museum is located on the ground floor of Red Men’s Hall, housing the ‘Historian’s collection of post 1870 manufactured goods in a setting of fixtures  from the old Niantic Store. It exhibits a late 19th century general store where  local families shopped for necessities. Nostalgia pervades this museum with its  clutter. Yard goods, crockery, ground coffee, tobacco, clothing, garden  implements and an apothecary shop surround a pot belly stove where a friendly  game of checkers could be played next to the spittoon.

The shelves of The  Country Store Museum are stocked with fabric on bolts, sewing accessories and lace,  hardware, blue Mason jars, kerosene lamp globes and period boxes of goods.  Portrayed at the store is country commerce bartered homemade soap, baskets, home grown produce as well as pottery and tin ware from local tradesmen. The museum’s  original 1890 ledger from the Hereford Store reveals a great deal of this  barter.