Quick Tip: Frugal Hair Rinse

hair rinseI unfortunately don’t remember where I first read about this, but it is the easiest and most effective hair rinse I’ve discovered, especially for those of us with many allergies and sensitive skin.

This rinse seems to help with itchiness in my scalp and makes my hair look shiny. And you can’t beat that, right?

To make it up, I put a couple of drops of rosemary essential oil in a bowl, add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, and then fill up the rest of the bowl with water.

Carefully pour over your scalp and hair, making sure to avoid your eyes. Rinse with regular water, and you’re done!

 

Easy DIY Lip Scrub

Easy DIY Lip ScrubThis winter has been tough on my skin. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit older now, or perhaps possible peri-menopause. No matter the cause, my typical beauty routine isn’t working.

While I have a body scrub and lotion, I was lacking something for my lips. And boy, did I need something! No matter the amount of lip balm I applied, my lips were rough and bleeding. So I decided to try something new.

I didn’t want to spend money on an expensive lip scrub, so I did a bit of searching and found this recipe. With all ingredients from my pantry, how could I go wrong?

Mixing up the recipe was quick and easy. The only change I made was to use coconut oil instead of olive oil.

I massaged the scrub on my lips for about 20-30 seconds. And the result? It worked! I admit that I will most likely have to repeat it within a few days, but I think it will make a huge difference over time.

And with at least a few more months of winter ahead, I will definitely need it. Here’s to frugal beauty care!

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Frugal Cat Toys Made with Paracord

frugal cat toys made with paracordI knew very little about cats when I adopted my oldest one; I naively assumed that she would be similar to dogs as far as her needs and desires. Consequently, during my run to Wal-Mart for cat supplies, I purchased a big bag of the catnip-filled mice so that I could make her feel welcome. Seeing the new toys, she walked away in disdain. Obviously, I had a lot of learning to do.

Since then, I have realized that cats often prefer frugal, homemade toys over the expensive ones found at pet stores and mass merchandisers. Too, with their claws and sharp teeth, they can easily destroy the poorer quality toys, making these toys a needless expense for you and a possible health hazard for them. By making your own toys from materials at home, you can avoid these problems and provide your cats with hours of safe and cheap fun.

When I looked for ideas for frugal cat toys online, I found many websites that referred to toilet paper rolls, foil, milk rings, and such, but very little in the way of something new that could be achievable by anyone. Below you will find some tips for making paracord toys for your cats.

Paracord Toys

You may be familiar with paracord in relation to the survival bracelets that are so popular right now. Paracord is essentially a “tube” of material with smaller strings inside to provide strength. Although paracord can be found at your local hobby store, you will most likely find a better bargain by purchasing it online at one of the larger websites that specialize in it. Many of them regularly run sales for the larger quantities, thus making the purchase a bit more frugal. To get updates on their sales, I recommend following the company’s Facebook page as they will often post their latest bargains and coupon codes on Facebook.

GrantwithtoyWhen you are shopping for paracord, you will find several different weights, including nano, micro, and 550. I prefer 550 paracord for making toys for our cats as it is strong and thicker than the others. You can also find many different knots to use in making your toys, and your cats will most likely enjoy all of them. As far as videos and instructions on tying knots, I can recommend FusionKnots.com. You will find many exciting and inspirational guides on this site.

As you make your toys, one thing to keep in mind is varying the length of each toy as well as the knots used will provide your cat with an assortment of choices, thus eliminating boredom. Too, be very careful in securing the ends of any cut paracord. The ends should be melted completely so that the inner strings cannot come loose and endanger your cat. Always monitor the current condition of these toys for any fraying or the loosening of these inner strings. Personally, I prefer to keep these toys out of the cats’ reach unless we are playing with them.

Adding Found Objects

We have made several cat toys made of paracord alone, but we have also tied on objects for added interest. For example, my husband added wires to one toy so that our cats could have “ribbon” that could not be shredded. Other items to look for might be milk rings and plastic caps. The only limit is your imagination. wirecattoy

One important caveat: make sure that any attached item is securely knotted onto the paracord. Also, as with the above toys, always observe the condition of the toys and keep them out of your cats’ reach when not in use.

Long Lasting Toys

Personally, we have found cat toys made from paracord to be very durable and long-lasting. This makes them much more frugal than the commercial alternative. Too, you are making these toys yourself, and so it is a nice way to show your cat just how much you care. Additionally, the homemade aspect allows you to make toys that will fit your cat’s personality and special needs, thus making them very personalized.

Above All, Be Safe!

Above all, consider your cat’s safety when making these toys or playing with them. The toys’ condition should be regularly inspected, and I highly recommend that these toys be kept out of your cats’ reach when not in use.

Although you may be purchasing paracord to make cat toys, you might possibly find that tying paracord is an enjoyable hobby. My husband certainly enjoys making us many different useful and fun items. Not only your cats, but you yourself may benefit from the venture. Creating cat toys—and stuff for humans—from paracord can be a cheap means of entertainment. Just use your judgment when playing with your cats and their new toys, and you both can have frugal fun.

Homemade Frozen Mochaccino

homemade frozen mochaccinoIn case you haven’t already guessed, I love coffee. Whatever the form or flavor, it is easily my favorite drink, partly for the caffeine but also for the taste. Similar to those who enjoy the entire experience of smoking a pipe or cigar, I enjoy everything about coffee.

When I was young and single, I would indulge myself in the summers by regularly purchasing coffee granitas at the local coffee place. They were cool and sweet, giving me the extra jolt I needed to make it through the day. Luckily, at the time I had extra cash to spend on myself, and I could also afford the extra calories. Those days are unfortunately no longer.

Do I need to do without frozen coffee treats? Not necessarily. If you’re like me, you’ll find a way to get what you want, even if it means making your own. In this case, I happened to see someone post the recipe for the EatingWell Frozen Mochaccino on Facebook. Although a little more work than brewing a cup of coffee, this drink will certainly satisfy any cravings for those expensive coffee treats.

Too, you make it with low-fat milk and a little maple syrup, and so the drink itself is much lower in calories. I personally used almond milk when I made our drinks, and they were delicious. This would also make it possible for a vegan or someone who is allergic to milk to enjoy their own frozen treat. Low in calories, this recipe is still sweet enough to satisfy.

Whether you’re simply trying to save some money or some calories, I would highly recommend trying this recipe. Although it takes a little effort and planning, it is definitely worth it for this homemade coffee drink.

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Homemade Coffee Syrup

homemadecoffeesyrupIn our home, coffee is more than a drink. It’s a ritual. We love everything about the process of making our cup of coffee, including grinding the coffee beans, preparing the coffee maker, heating the milk, and adding our favorite flavored syrups. Homemade specialty coffee can be rewarding in its own right and is certainly much cheaper than purchasing a drink at your favorite coffee place.

However, we have found that coffee syrup can be quite expensive, especially when you’re drinking multiple cups of coffee per day. Although we enjoyed the convenience, we couldn’t justify the expense. But do without it? Not unless the end really is near. Living frugally doesn’t mean that we have to do without all of life’s little pleasures.

And that is when my husband decided that he would make our coffee syrups. I thought it was a bit of a wacky idea at first, but then many of our best frugal endeavors have started out in the same fashion. He found a couple of basic recipes, including one from Paula Deen and a selection of recipes from Food & Family. These became starting points for our own syrups.

While the flavorings and spices may vary among the recipes, the same basic ratio of water to sugar seems to apply to all. Once you have discovered this, you realize that you can easily alter the recipes based on your own needs or tastes. Too making the syrups isn’t very difficult, just mix together and cook for a while. Although making these syrups at home takes a bit of effort, it really is much more frugal to do so.

vanillacoffeesyrup

One green idea of my husband’s was to heat the syrup in our solar oven. While the syrup didn’t thicken as much as it might have on the stove, it actually made the process of making it that much easier. We didn’t need to worry about it boiling over in the pot; we simply set it in the oven and forgot about it for a few hours. As with any solar cooking endeavor, though, always be aware of the outside temperature and your oven’s capabilities so that you don’t have a solar oven mishap.

Whether you’re making the coffee syrups for yourself or as a gift, it’s worth the little effort needed for the preparation. It is much easier on the budget and allows you to make your homemade specialty coffee especially for you.

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