Saving a dollar here and there can add up to big money over the long run. Our resident frugalista, Amrita Singh, loves to find ways to save and shared these do-it-yourself ideas to help you do the same.
Make-Your-Own Instant Oatmeal
Frugal way: $0.10/package
Instant oatmeal packages are a great convenience. But did you know you can assemble your own at home? It's simple and healthier. Here's what you need:
1/2 cup quick-cook oats
1 tbsp ground quick-cook oats (Use a food processor to grind oats into a coarse powder.)
1/2 tbsp dry skim milk powder (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
Combine ingredients in a small baggie. Add whatever additional flavours you like (e.g. brown sugar, sweetener, dried fruit, coconut, chocolate chips, etc.) Seal the baggie and store in your pantry. When you're ready for breakfast, pour contents of one baggie into a cereal bowl. Top with 3/4 cup boiling water, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover, stir and enjoy!
Note: It's easy to turn this recipe into a family affair! Set up an assembly line and make as many single-serve packets as you like. Allow everyone to customize their flavour according to taste.
Make-Your-Own Fabric Freshener
Frugal way: $0.50/bottle
Who doesn't love a fresh-smelling home? Instead of buying room and fabric fresheners, why not make your own? It's more eco-friendly, and you can customize the scent to your liking.
1 part vodka
3 parts water
Sprinkle of baking soda
Dash of pure vanilla
Drop of essential oil (any scent you like)
Combine all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake to mix. Store mixture in the fridge. Simply spritz onto anything that needs freshening. (It may need a shake before use.) Works on clothes, carpets, drapes, sofas—and the air in general!
Note: The baking soda, vanilla and essential oils are just nice-to-haves. Using purely vodka and water will work on its own. The alcohol smell disappears almost immediately. Do not use near open flame.
Make-Your-Own Makeup-Brush Cleaner
Store bought: $4
Frugal way: $0.10
This is a handy trick that artists use, and it works like a charm. It's super easy to assemble and fun to use!
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp anti-bacterial dish soap
Pour each ingredient side by side onto a plate. Dip makeup brush into soap first and then give it a quick dip into the olive oil. Swirl brush around on your palm to loosen the gunk on the brush. Rinse the brush under warm water and then rub it gently on a paper towel to blot dry. Ideally, you should hang-dry your brushes with the bristles facing down. Wrap a hair elastic around your towel rod and secure the brush handle in the loop so that it hangs downward and can air-dry properly.
Note: Anti-bacterial dish soap is nice to use because it will help kill bacteria on your brush. You could also use a drop of tea tree oil if you have some in your house. This cleaning method works on both synthetic and real-hair brushes.
Are you a frugalista, too? Amrita would love to feature your money-saving tips on the show. Send her an email at email@example.com or direct message her on Twitter @frugalocity with your saving strategies.