Product Information

Avon Skin So Soft: Multi-Tasker 2

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Product Information | 52 comments

Avon Skin So Soft: Multi-Tasker 2

Ever since my post about Avon Bubble Bath I’ve had readers asking me to do a similar one about Avon Skin So Soft. Since these are such fun articles to write I am more than happy to oblige, so here we go…..Avon Skin So Soft, the sequel. Avon Skin So Soft first appeared on the market in 1961 as a bath oil and as such it was a huge success. Skin So Soft has a wonderful fragrance and really does what it claims – leaves your skin feeling soft and silky smooth. But as its users soon discovered, it does so much more. I remember the buzz when it was first discovered that Skin So Soft kept mosquitoes away – imagine, an insect repellent that actually smelled nice and wasn’t harmful.  That was the beginning of its many non-traditional uses of which I’ve listed 40 of the best. NOTE: With Avon Skin So Soft a little goes a long way. Often all you need is a smidgeon, about the size of a dime, for it to do the job. Start with this small amount – you can always add another drop if needed. Avon Skin So Soft for Personal Care: After shower moisturizer – just put a drop on your hands and wipe all over, especially trouble spots like elbows and heels; Makeup remover – a drop on a cotton wipe will gently remove makeup and moisturize your skin at the same time; Hair conditioner – after shampooing apply a smidgeon to your fingertips and work it thoroughly into your hair until it is completely absorbed, leaving hair smooth and shiny (not greasy); Massage Avon Skin So Soft into your feet or add a drop to your foot-bath to really pamper them; Hand Cream – a small drop applied to hands will soften and hydrate them; Cuticle softener – warm a little Avon Skin So Soft and use as a hot oil treatment for cuticles; Soothes dry skin – apply a dab to dry skin for relief from itching; Hand cleaner – apply some to hands before tackling dirty jobs and again when finished, before washing hands. This will make it easier to get hands totally clean; Remove chewing gum – apply a smidgeon of Avon Skin So Soft to the chewing gum and rub to remove the gum from hair or skin; Remove a child’s bandage – take away the ouch factor by gently removing the bandage with the help of a little Skin So Soft. Avon Skin So Soft for Household Use: Wood furniture conditioner – apply a small dab to a soft cloth and use to wipe wood furniture. Polish with a second clean soft cloth. Removes soap scum from shower doors and curtains – spray on (can be diluted 1 Skin So Soft, 4 parts water) then wipe off with a clean damp cloth; Cleans bathtub surround – spray (dilute as above) to remove hard water deposits and water spots from the surround, wipe with a clean damp cloth; Cleans taps and other chrome fixtures – apply a drop or two of Avon Skin So Soft to a damp cloth, rub to remove lime and hard water deposits from fixtures, finish by wiping with a clean soft cloth; Dissolves grease – spray on greasy surfaces, like range hoods, and wipe down with a soft damp cloth. Finish with a dry cloth, spray very lightly, do not wipe off to make future clean-ups easier; Ink stain remover – Spray Avon Skin So Soft on the stained surface and wipe with a damp cloth to remove ink...

Read More

Coffee Makers – A Buyer’s Guide

Posted by on Aug 16, 2015 in Frugal For Everyone, Product Information | 44 comments

Coffee Makers – A Buyer’s Guide

September sales are basically a repeat of  August sales, with coffee makers among the sales items listed. Rather than repeat the same information, I thought if would be of greater benefit to discuss the different coffee makers available. Choosing the right coffee maker can give you long-term pleasure, reduce replacement cost and quite often, eliminate waste. Knowing the choices available – types, sizes, features, uses, etc. – makes it easier to make that perfect choice. First, some general information about coffee makers: Manufacturers measure cups in 5 oz. size, while many coffee drinkers use mugs which hold 8 oz. Therefore a 10-cup coffee maker means 50 oz. which provides 6 mugs of coffee, not 10; To get the best cup of coffee, the temperature of the water is important and should be between 195F and 205F. Temperatures above 210F may burn the bean and you could end up with burnt tasting coffee; Always use cold water in the coffee maker, unless it specifically tells you to use hot, as for the French Press, or Pour-Over. BEFORE YOU BUY, ask about the store’s return policy and check the manufacturer’s warranty. It’s not uncommon for you to have to pay shipping to return a product. Here in Canada that can easily cost around $20.00. As far as I’m concerned, that is a very unfair practice if the product is faulty.                             TIP: When buying a new appliance, tape the bill to the box it came in, then find a place to store the box along with the original packing material and keep the manual handy. Doing these little things can save you a lot of hassle if you do need to return the product; Permanent coffee filter – this is a super feature – if the machine doesn’t come with one, it’s very much worth your while to purchase one. This is a green act that saves money by eliminating the need for paper filters – it also makes it easier to add the coffee grounds to the compost bin; Some coffee makers have built-in carbon water filters to remove impurities. This is great, but only if you need it since it costs to replace filters (it is recommended to change filters every 60 days); There are also coffee makers that come complete with a coffee grinder. Think twice before buying one of these because it may be more trouble than you like. Often the coffee grounds spillover to the machine, making cleanup difficult. You may actually have to turn the unit upside down to get all the grounds out. Much better to buy a coffee grinder as a separate appliance; Coffee makers come in different sizes and it will help to measure the space between counter and upper cabinets to make sure you can place the unit where you want it. Another thing to consider – if the reservoir needs to be filled from the top, can you do so without moving the unit? I am not affiliated with Amazon but found they have the largest selection of coffee makers at the best prices. The links here are simply to make it easy for you to compare products and prices:  For Cdn. shoppers – Amazon.ca For US shoppers – Amazon.com Different types of Coffee Makers: Percolators have stainless steel or glass pots with a tube that runs up from the bottom of the pot to the top. A perforated basket sits on this tube and is filled with coarse coffee grounds. When the water boils it forces its...

Read More

Ice Cube Tray: 20 Tips for Best Frugal Use

Posted by on Jul 26, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Product Information, Recipes | 42 comments

Ice Cube Tray: 20 Tips for Best Frugal Use

In many homes, the ice cube tray is an often overlooked item tucked away on a high shelf in the back of a cupboard. This is especially true nowadays when many refrigerators come equipped with ice-makers. It certainly isn’t something considered to be a money-saving kitchen tool. But it sure can be. Before starting on the list for best frugal use of the ice cube tray I thought it worthwhile to first provide some basic tips: Know how much each cell of the ice cube tray holds. That way you will know how many cubes you will need for a specific purpose. Each cell in the ones I use for serious freezing equal 2 Tbsp. (1/8 cup); Once the cubes are frozen, transfer from the ice cube tray to freezer bags, seal, and label. I freeze mine in small batches 4 (1/2 cup) or 8 (1 cup) cubes to a baggie, then I place the baggies in a larger bag, keeping them all together. That way it’s easiest to grab the right amount without having them all frozen together; When working with sauces like Pesto and Persillade (recipe below) you can do a cleaner job if you spoon the sauce into a ziplock baggie, cut off a small corner and squeeze to fill the cells; It isn’t necessary to blanch foods frozen in an ice cube tray (and transferred to freezer bags) since they are normally frozen for short-term. My rule of thumb for this is: Less than four months storage ideal, six months maximum; It is totally necessary to label the bags properly. Once frozen, everything looks the same; For plain cubes – To make them clear and not add a nasty taste to a drink, boil the water first before using it to fill the ice cube tray. Now on to the list. The Ice Cube Tray as Money/Time Saver: If you have a small amount of wine leftover after a party, what do you do with it? Turn it into ice cubes to be prepared next time a recipe calls for a little shot of wine; Have you ever bought one of those little cans of tomato paste and used only a tablespoon or two of the paste? Make ice cubes and store them for the next time you need a small amount; How about those recipes that call for ½ a cup or so of buttermilk and buttermilk only comes in quart/litre size? Use what you need and cube the rest; Stop wasting food – it’s quite amazing how much you can save by using up your leftovers. The smallest amounts can be frozen in ice cube trays to be added to soups or stews; You probably won’t find a better price on herbs than right now. Take advantage of that and freeze herbs for winter use. Finely chop the herb, place in the cells and cover with extra virgin olive oil, water or herbal tea, depending on how you plan to use the herb; Parsley is growing rampant in my garden so I’ve been freezing loads of Persillade. This is a great addition to add zip to sautés, tomato soup, chicken soup, mashed/roast potatoes, and tired carrots. You can stir a cube or two into pasta – with or without the optional choices of parmesan cheese or pine nuts. It can be spread on french bread which can then be toasted or it can be spread on fish or meat before baking or grilling. A truly versatile sauce. PERSILLADE RECIPE: So easy. Blend together 4 cups parsley, 4 garlic cloves and 1/4 cup extra virgin...

Read More

August Sales – Big Savings on School Supplies, More

Posted by on Jul 19, 2015 in Frugal For Everyone, Product Information | 49 comments

August Sales – Big Savings on School Supplies, More

One of the easiest ways I know to cut costs is to buy at the right time. Every month offers sales on a variety of products and August is no different. Of course, much of the August focus will be on back to school supplies, but since this also takes in the college/university crowd the savings opportunities are tremendous. Before I go any further, I have a favour to ask. If you are reading this on a mobile device, and if you have the time, would you be kind enough to let me know what device you’re using and how the blog/post shows up on it? Is it easy to navigate and read? Do you see the comments? Could it be improved? Thanks so much, really appreciate all help.  Now on to the sales – Back to School Supplies: There will be huge savings on paper (watch Walmart – in the past their three-ring notebook paper was almost a give-away), binders, pens, pencils, markers, and all other necessary supplies; Backpacks; Lunch boxes, Cold packs, Thermos and Reusable sandwich/snack containers; Jeans, jackets and other wardrobe basics (underwear, socks, etc.); Sneakers; Uniform requirements (shirts, ties, and more).  Sales on Dorm Supplies: There will be great sales on bedding, but mostly the twin size. You can expect to find savings on mattress protectors, sheets, blankets and pillows; You’ll also be able to find really good deals on towels, all sizes; Small appliances – Coffee makers, Kettles, Microwaves, Toasters/Toaster Ovens, all the kind of small stuff you expect to find in a dorm room; You will be able to find some of the best buys of the year on computers, tablets and printers. It will definitely be worth your while to check Consumer Reports Computer Buying Guide before you head to the store or the online shop. Here, however, are a couple of tips I can give you based on my own experience: If you need a laptop or other computer, why not check out a refurbished one? The savings can be in excess of 50% AND you help the environment through recycling. The above also holds true for printers. Used and refurbished are NOT the same thing. Refurbished products must meet certain standards. If you buy from an outlet with a good reputation you really can’t go wrong. Check to see if the product comes with a warranty. The other point to make about printers is: Do Not Buy Cheap. I have two printers, one I paid quite a lot for and the second one is a cheapie purchased just for convenience. The print cartridges for my good printer last a long time plus I can buy compatible print cartridges for it at Amazon for a very low price. The cheapie one uses up a pile of ink, the cartridges are very expensive and I can’t find compatible ones. Needless to say that one doesn’t get used very much. So be careful – where you may save on the cost of the unit, you will more than pay for through the price of the ink. The third tip: Don’t worry about buying a computer that doesn’t have Windows 10 installed on it yet. Microsoft will be offering upgrades to Windows 10 free of charge. Right now my name is on a waiting list and as soon as it is available, Microsoft will let me know. Another area to look for savings is at the SPA. They could very well be offering back to school sales. They have come to realize that for many people stress is associated with the big change of...

Read More

Salad Dressing Doesn’t Require Chemicals

Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Do-It-Yourself, Frugal For Everyone, Green Living, Health and Safety, Product Information, Recipes | 39 comments

Salad Dressing Doesn’t Require Chemicals

Salad without salad dressing is pretty blah, but have you looked at the list of ingredients on the dressings you buy? It’s enough to make you want to eat your salads plain. Most of the ingredients listed are either synthetic or chemical based. Check your bottled dressing against the list at the end of this post and see for yourself. Fortunately it isn’t necessary to consume these chemical-laden products. Salad dressings are easy to make using ingredients found in most kitchens. Homemade dressings also tastes way better and cost a whole lot less. TO MAKE: Basic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing: 3/4 cup light pure olive oil 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1/8 tsp. dry mustard (optional) Salt and pepper to taste. Blend all together until smooth. Pour into a glass jar with tight fitting lid and refrigerate overnight before using. Shake well before serving.  Balsamic Vinaigrette: Replace the apple cider vinegar with balsamic vinegar and the mustard with 1 garlic clove, minced. To make any of the variations below start with ½ cup of the basic dressing and add: Italian Salad Dressing: Blend in 1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes, 1/2 tsp. dried basil, 1/8 tsp. each: garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, optional 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, optional 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes. French Salad Dressing: Blend in 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes, and ¼ tsp. each: onion powder, paprika, sugar, garlic powder. French Dressing Variation: Blend in 1/2 Tbsp. catsup, ¼ tsp each: sugar, onion powder, paprika..  Russian Salad Dressing: Blend in 1 Tbsp. chili sauce. Catalina Salad Dressing: Blend in ¼ cup catsup, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp. onion powder, pinch of paprika. Ranch Style Salad Dressing: ¾ cup mayonnaise ¼ cup milk 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1 ½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (optional) 1 ½ tbsp. fresh chives, cut fine 1 ½ tbsp. fresh parsley, cut fine Salt and pepper to taste Blend the first four ingredients together, when well blended stir in the herbs, salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight before using. NOTE: Since homemade salad dressings contain no preservatives, it is best to make them up in small batches. They should be kept refrigerated for no longer than a week. See how easy this is? It almost takes less time to make salad dressing than it does to read all the ingredients on the commercial products. Common ingredients found in commercial salad dressing: Soybean, canola or corn oil – GMO products – will increase cholesterol Glucose –throws blood sugar levels out of whack and drains nutrients from the body Flavour or Artificial Flavour – made in a lab and may contain chemicals and preservatives known to be toxic Monosodium glutamate – can cause headaches, pain, nausea and asthma-like symptoms; severe allergic reactions in some people Phosphoric acid – several studies have shown a link to decreased bone density Propylene glycol – this is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water – it is used as a solvent for food colours and flavours Potassium sorbate – an easy to make chemical preservative Sodium benzoate – a synthetic preservative that may be linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and premature aging Polysorbate 60 – common contamination with 1,4 dioxane has linked this product to cancer in lab studies Calcium disodium EDTA – currently being studied for possible link to reproductive problems, birth defects, and cancer along with a host of other health related issues. Who wants to eat that stuff? Much better to head to the kitchen to make up a fresh batch of salad dressing – better tasting, lesser cost, no chemicals. Works for me....

Read More

Duct Tape 101

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Product Information | 47 comments

Duct Tape 101

In my recent post on WD-40, I quoted the Duct Tape guys who claim that you only need two tools in life, Duct Tape and WD-40.  http://frugalforeveryone.ca/wd-40-product-with-a-fan-club/ This post is about WD-40’s partner, Duct Tape. Just think, with this additional knowledge you’ll be set for anything life throws at you – that is, according to those guys. Duct tape, or duck tape, was originally invented by Johnson & Johnson to provide the military with a waterproof tape to keep ammunition cases dry. The original colour was army green but it now comes in all kinds of colours and patterns. Odd little side note: duct tape should never be used to seal duct work as the heat may cause it to smoulder, releasing toxic smoke into the air.  So here we go: Duct Tape 101 – 50 ways to use duct tape.  Duct Tape for Clothes and Accessories: Your shoe lace broke? Not a problem – cut a piece of duct tape 3 times the length of the shoe, fold over, sticky side together, cut it so you end up with a long thin strip and there you have a good sturdy replacement – if needed, you can easily cut two or more shoelaces from the same piece; Need to remove lint or hair from clothes? Simply wrap the duct tape around your hand, sticky side out and pat over the clothes. All the unwanted stuff will stick to the tape; Is there lint or hair attached to the smooth part of Velcro? Use the same method as above; Did the kids tear their snow suit or ski pants? Duct tape it and it will see them through until the end of the season; To fix a cut in boots, duct tape it. This is only a short-term fix but should last long enough to give you time to find replacements. Just make sure the boots are dry before applying the duct tape. You’re out shopping and your purse handles break – pull the two ends together and secure with duct tape. (Never leave home without duct tape – that way you’ll be prepared for most emergencies); You notice that your skirt hem has fallen down – put it back in place with duct tape. This of course works on all kinds of hems, including jeans; It’s raining and your umbrella has a tear in it – cover both sides of the tear with duct tape; Getting ready to go on a trip? Be creative with coloured or neon duct tape to cover your luggage to make it standout for easy identification; You’re staying in a hotel and need a padded coat hanger. Cover one of their coat hangers with a towel folded over several times and fasten in place with duct tape. Duct Tape Around the Home: Have to move electrical cords every time you clean? Pick them up and fasten to the baseboard with duct tape; Can’t get that jam jar open – try this easy method – Tape a  piece of duct tape to the lid as shown, leaving a tail. Give that tail a pull and the top will come right off.   Got a hole in your bucket? Short term fix – while the bucket is dry, apply duct tape, inside and out; You need to reach up to clean out those cobwebs but your vacuum hose isn’t long enough. Insert a wrapping paper tube into the end of the hose and tape in place. This will extend your reach by two feet; Or use the tape to repair that vacuum hose; Are you losing...

Read More