From Grandma's Attic
by Marenda Babcock
In an effort to do more de-cluttering in our home, my husband and I were going through a box of items left from his grandmother who died last April. Many items were thrown out. However we found a book entitled 1003 Household Hints and Work Savers written by Michael Gore in 1948. Inside the front cover, I see the price Granny paid was a whopping 50 cents. What a deal!
Some ideas are too old to be applicable in today's lifestyle, but many ideas can still be used today. The following is a montage of ideas that would still help the frugal household save a few pennies here and there.
- When shopping at a fruit stand, watch for bruised fruits and veggies to cut up. I regularly ask for bruised tomatoes at a deep discount and cut them up to use in salads, on tacos, and in other dishes. I do the same with fruit. If the price is not a deep discount, I offer the vendor a lower price. They watch for me regularly. They know I might buy up their hard to sell items.
- Prevent fruit and vegetable spoilage by lining the drawer bottom with a paper towel. This absorbs excess moisture that forms in the drawer and causes faster spoilage. I like this idea, but to save money, use a dishtowel instead.
- Use liquid from canned vegetables in soups, sauces, stews, gravies, and casserole dishes and for making a white sauce. The canned liquid is full of flavor and vitamins.
- Don't throw beet-tops away. They make a fine, free substitute for spinach greens, being rich in vitamins, minerals, and iron.
- Wrap a head of lettuce in a towel to prevent it from "rusting" so quickly.
- Don't waste celery tops. Cut them up and use in stews, soups, roasts, and in stuffing.
- You will have no tears if you peel an onion under cold running water.
- Fried potatoes will be deliciously golden brown if sprinkled lightly with flour before frying.
- Save your orange and lemon rinds, boil in water and add the flavored water to iced tea, lemonade, and fruit drinks.
- Have just a small amount of flake cereal left? Don't throw it out. Crush it up and put it in a meatloaf or meatballs. Or toss the flakes with some melted margarine and grated cheese for a delicious casserole topping.
- Cooking with a double boiler saves money. Cook boiled eggs in the bottom while cooking oatmeal or something else in the top part.
- Don't throw out the leftover coffee or tea. Pour it into empty ice cube trays and freeze for iced coffee or iced tea.
- When boiling eggs, you don't need to boil them until they crack. Once they come to a boil, turn off heat and cover with a plate for 15 minutes. If heating up a breakfast roll or muffin, put it on top of the plate and let the heat from the steam in the pan heat up your breakfast.
- To keep fine china from being scratched, put paper doilies between plates and saucers when stacking them.
- When food is fried on a gas range, popping grease frequently spatters the burners not in use. Pie pans placed upside down over the unit burners to protect them and are easily cleaned.
- When cutting fresh flowers from the garden, be sure to remove all lower leaves below the water line, decaying vegetable matter poisons the water.
- Use your double boiler to cook the vegetables in the bottom and the white sauce or cheese sauce for the veggies in the top. This saves time and fuel.
- Don't throw away those old flannels. I had a bottom flannel sheet that ripped down the middle. I cut a pair of flannel pajama pants for my son to wear made from the top sheet. The ripped bottom sheet will make some nice potholders.
- If you have two or three worn-out blankets, stitch them together and cover with a cotton print.
This fantastic list proves that even though the book was very old, many of the tips are still helpful over 50 years later.
Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!
Take the Next Step
- Can you believe you can still find it? Find 1003 Household Hints and Work Savers on Amazon.com.
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