5 Frugal Ideas For Bag Clips

If you are like my family, you are always searching for a bag clip to close something up, but it seems you can never find one.  I’m not really sure what “eats” those bag clips, but they seem to disappear for a while only to reappear later.

Instead of buying bag clips at the store, that most of the time end up breaking because they are made of cheap plastic, why not use some items you already have around your home?

bag clips

5 Frugal Bag Clips that may be hanging around your home.

Rubber bands

Don’t go running out to buy rubber bands for this reason, but instead look around your home.  Many people get rubber bands on their newspapers, bulk green onions, broccoli bunches and many other things that come into your home.  Start collecting them in a place you will remember in your kitchen, like that ever so popular junk drawer.

Clothes Pins

Use those clothes pins you thought you would use for hanging out laundry for something else like keeping bags closed.  At least they will be serving a purpose or two (if you sometimes do manage to hang out clothes).

Paper Clips

We all have paper clips hanging around the house in the office, desk or even that popular junk drawer.  Paperclips work well to hold many bags closed.  If you can’t find any, just wait a little while and you will notice some start coming into your home on important papers and such.  Keep them in that junk drawer and you will have them to help keep your bags closed.

Tape

You can also use a small piece of tape to hold down many bags when rolled or folded. The great thing is that if you use them on coated bags and boxes, it becomes just like peal and stick, allowing you to use it over and over a few times.

Hangers  

I figured this out by accident a few years ago.  I was hanging up clothes and one of those pant hangers I got from the store broke of right next to the clip.  As I was looking at it I realized that I could keep it to use for bag clips.  I then went to cutting on the other end to use it as well.  Since I have quite a few extra pant hangers around the house, I decided to make several more.

To do this you will need a knife or box cutter and a cutting board.  I just carefully scored a line across the hanger right next to the clip.  Do this on front and back.  After doing this you should be able to easily bend and break it at that spot.  Be careful because if the plastic gets a jagged edge (you didn’t score deep enough) it can cut you.  You can also cut all the way through if your box cutter or knife will do it.  Remember to be safe at all times.  

pant hanger clipsNow you have two more bag clips in your home.  Time to run and find more hangers!

Be proud for you have not only repurposed something, but you saved money by not buying something.  You made do.

What do you like to use for bag clips?  Have anything to add?  

making a habit out of living frugal…..

Practicing Frugal Tip: When There Is Not Enough Money In The Grocery Budget

Sometimes our grocery list ends up much bigger than the actual grocery budget.  The needs end up larger than the money.  It can get overwheming if you let it, but rest assured there are a few things you can do to help out.

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  1. Plan cheaper meals – changing up some of the main items in your meals can help alot.  Make your meat protions smaller, increase your vegetables and beans.
  2. Plan your meals by what is on sale, not what you want.
  3. Use coupons to save even more on items you buy regularly.
  4. Make a plan – planning what you will eat will save more money than you even know. Proper planning is the biggest key in saving money.
  5. Make some items wait – I keep a list of items we need, but I don’t always buy them right away.  You may not need the items right away, so keep them on the list until they fit in the budget.

What do you do if you already practice these ways of saving and you still seem to go over?

It’s time to examine your groceryu budget and see if it’s working for you.

Is it just that you overspend or are you just not giving yourself enough to make it for your fmaily size?

You may need to consider adding more to the grocery budget by taking it away from somewhere else.  Maybe you can save on utilities, tv or some other monthly bill to help with the grocery budget.

How does your grocery budget work for you?  Do you feel you are constantly going over?  

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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Practicing Frugal Tip: Keep Your Car Clean & Maintained

Maybe you recently just got your family out of debt, or maybe you just cannot afford any new payments, the last thing you need to do is cave in and buy a new car.  Besides the fact that it’s just another payment you really don’t need, buying a brand new car can be a waste of money.  Not only do you take a big hit on the price, but you pay years of interest on these vehicles.  Why not save up and buy something nearly new?  Studies have shown that new cars lose thousands of dollars within the first couple years of life.  Why not let someone else take that big hit?  Why not buy a slightly used car?

Car Wash

photo credit

So what do you do to keep from getting the urge to buy a new car?

You keep your car clean.  I don’t mean just keep the car clean on the outside, but keep the inside clean.  Keep the trash picked up, and empty the car of things that don’t belong each time you get home.

Keep a cloth or wipes in the car to do some quick cleaning while waiting in traffic or picking your kids up from activities.

Clean up spills as soon as they happen.  Often just a little spray cleaner and water will make a big difference.

The cleaner you keep your car the less likely you are to want to get rid of it.  Getting in a dirty car just makes you want a new clean one.

Another way to keep yourself from wanting a new car is to properly maintain the one you have.  Have your oil changed as recommended.  Learn how to check your fluids, battery water level and air filter.  Check your tire pressure to make sure your tires are properly inflated.  Have your brakes replaced as needed before further damage occurs.  Many times the squeaking when you apply brakes is telling you that it is about time.  Fix things as they quit working or break.

Many times there are small fixes like door handles, latches or mirrors that you can repair yourself.  A quick internet search engine search should provide you with all the help you need to fix your minor repair.

Proper maintenance of your car will help keep your car around for a longer period of time.

So why not save yourself that monthly payment for as long as you can buy keeping your car around for as long as you can?  I promise that you will not mind if you keep it clean and maintained.

Have any other tips for staying away from buying a new car?  

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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Practicing Frugal Tip: Cleaning With Apple Cider Vinegar

Last week I made a comment on another blog I read often, Living Simply Free, about how I add apple cider vinegar to my dishwasher to get a much better clean as well as elimination of any odors.  My dishes come out so shiny.  This comment and the questions about how I use it led me to write this post about cleaning with apple cider vinegar.  It’s another cheap way to clean without all the harsh chemicals.

apple cider vinegar

I first learned about using apple cider vinegar when we purchased our cast iron dutch oven. We had read in a cookbook somewhere (sorry don’t remember where it was) to make a mixture of 4 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar to spray on your cast iron to disinfect and help clean your cast iron easier.

At that point I wondered about what the other uses of apple cider vinegar could be.

Here are some of the things I found:

  • You can spray the 4:1 mixture on fruits and vegetables to disinfect.
  • You can use 1/2 cup of the 4:1 solution in your laundry loads to reduce odor and help with cleaning.
  • Add it to water when soaking your slow cooker to help clean and get rid of odors.
  • Clean all around your home with a 2 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar solution.  You can clean carpet stains (test an area first), showers, tile, trashcans, kitchen floors and counters, windows, coffee pots, microwaves, glass, door knobs and so much more.
  • You can clean the washing machine with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar ran in the washer alone (without clothes).
  • Pour it in your toilet and let it sit during the day or overnight.  The apple smell will freshen your bathroom and your toilet will be sparkling after using your toilet brush on it in the morning.

Have you ever used apple cider vinegar to clean?  Have any comments or suggestions?

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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Practicing Frugal Tip: Get Creative With Good Deals

A couple of months ago there was this great printable coupon available for $2 off Johnsonville Sausage (sorry it’s no longer available).  I’m not sure exactly where I found it, but it might have been on coupons.com.  I printed the coupon the max number of times (2).  The coupon was a great high value coupon that I knew I could use at some point, so I printed, cut and put it in my coupon box.

Just a week or two after Christmas I found that Kroger had the Italian Sausage links on sale for $3.49.  I decided to pick up to because it would be great for meat for lasagna or spaghetti sauce.  So for just $1.49 each after coupon I had over a pound of meat (19 oz).

italian sausage

Did you know you can take the meat out of the uncooked links?  Just slice them open and squeeze the meat out.  Brown in a pan and break up into little pieces with your spatula and you have crumbled Italian sausage.

Why would I do this?  Well the meat that comes in a package like ground beef is not sold at any of our local stores, just the links.  Another reason is, it’s just a great deal on meat.  It  makes spaghetti sauce taste awesome.

You can make pizza, stew, soup, casseroles, sausage balls and so much more with this meat.

When I bought them my husband said “you know that’s pork right?” and I said ” I sure do and I can use it in spaghetti and lasagna and many other things”.  He just kinda gave me that look, but the whole family raved about how great it tasted when I served it in spaghetti sauce.

The two packages I got is enough for 3-4 different meals, depending on what I use it for.

Get creative when you find good deals.  Maybe you can use a product in a different way than what you generally think of.  Try myrecipes, where you can search with an ingredient for recipes to try.

You never know what kind of meal you will come up with that your family will rave about.

What great deal have you found that you got creative with?  

Making a habit out of living frugal…..

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Practicing Frugal Tip: Use what you have to hide scratches and blemishes

Part of being frugal is using what you already have.  I have a way I like to fix things that evolved after needing to cover a scratched spot on a pair of non-leather shoes in a pinch.  I just used something most all of us have in our homes ….. a marker.

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it.  I have used markers to fix scratches and blemishes on many things. (shoes, dishwasher front, furniture, you name it) You can use sharpies or just about any other marker you have around your home.  If your house is like mine, you have a variety of color shades to choose from.

Instead of buying those expensive furniture stain pens to fix scratches, I just use a marker to carefully fill in the scratched spots.

You can barely even see where the big scratch was  and the two little ones are totally gone.  Now I didn’t pick a marker exactly the same, but you can never get a stain pen exactly the same either.  I figure the wrong color brown is much better than the color of unstained wood.  After the marker totally dried, it was barely visible.  If I hadn’t already known it was there, I probably wouldn’t be able to see it.

Just be careful to gently fill in just the scratched part.

Have a frugal tip you would like to share?  Leave a comment or email me to be featured as a guest post.  

Making a habit out of living frugal…..

Practicing Frugal Tip: Save money on books

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

Do you like to read books but don’t really need to spend money on them?  I have two ways you can save money on books.

The first is by using your public library.  Many libraries have DVD’s, e books and more in addition to the regular hardback and paperback books offered.  Many libraries also have an online site that lets you search through their inventory.  You can also request books through some library loan programs too.

If you haven’t checked out your local library, give it a try.  If your local library is fairly small and does not have a large selection, check to see if they have an agreement with other libraries for a membership with them.  My library gives us a certain paper on request to take to the larger library to get a card.

The second place I love to get books is through Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap..  You can list books and earn credits to redeem for books on a wish list you create.  If you run out of credits you can also  purchase credits to get the books you want.  I have found this is a great way to save money on books I want to read or books we would like to have for our homeschool.

New members can earn bonus credits for listing 10 books.  If you haven’t checked out Paperback Swap head on over by clicking the banners above.

Making a habit out of living frugal …..

This post contains affiliate/referral links.  These affiliate/referral links help cover the costs of maintaining this blog.  See my disclosure policy

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.