Thursday, May 13, 2010

Corn in My Coffee Pot; Post Where I talk about Family Wipes

Lots of times I've been asked to share Why That Name...
more recently I've expressed my desire to return to my old Title...and many of you have said resoundingly YES! that I should. (thanks for the support) *wink*

So I'll tell you.
Some years back, during a very dry hot summer. We were broke. "Broke-as-an-OLD-JOKE " is what I used to say as kid.
Being a homeschool family, living in the country, and always (my whole married life) living off one income; I've  tried to find ways to stretch my Honey's hard earned income. At times it's been hard, but that summer...whew!  We had barely the money to get by on and since it was summer, we opted out of buying Propane when we ran out of it around this time THAT year.
Well, that meant no HOT showers after a long hard days work. It also meant coming up with inventive ways to cook for a family of 6 and do the dishes properly.
If we didn't fire up the grill , then I used the crock pot, or the electric skillet.  Sometimes the microwave...but it just wasn't the same- I've never mastered COOKING in the microwave.  Mainly just heating. For dish washing, I would use the coffee pot to heat water to wash with. It hardly ever took much time as we would rinse them first in the cool water; so not much hot water was needed. 

Then one particular day we weren't grilling, I was cooking indoors.  One of the boys had requested Corn on the cob for  dinner...I had some in the freezer so why not.  Now, how to cook it. There it was born.
I got my coffee pot ready just like I was making a pot of coffee, MINUS the coffee of course.  Ran the water through the machine and let it sit there on the warmer and we had the crunchiest best tasting corn on the cob that summer!
Of course when Honey and the kids came into eat...nobody could believe their eyes!  (Mom! why is there corn in the coffee pot? ) Because that's just how it is around here child, there is always something where it shouldn't be, something doing what it wasn't intended for...using what God gives you and making the most of it, without complaining.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Which brings me to todays post! 

Boy! it's been hot and humid here lately.

I don't mind the hot all really. But the humidity...blech!  Drives me crazy.
Since Honey retired in December, we've cut back on a lot of things to keep life comfortable. I'm trying to wait until Memorial Day to 'officially' turn on the A/C.
However, Sunday is the Baby Shower Day at my house. I want my guests to be comfortable. So I'll have the A/C on for that. 

I hope we don't get too used to it. I don't want to have it on all the time. We still have cool nights and only sleep with a sheet and a fan.

 I've been examining where there might be waste in the budget.

That's no fun to most people; but I find it exhilarating!  I love finding ways to stretch our household income.
The thing about it does help one to be more creative.

*Creative in the kitchen: planning meals, and making use of left overs and mostly cleanup has changed.
I use Palmolive dish soap. I love the Lavender - since Palmolive is 'gentle on your hands', and I buy the concentrate.  I put a little bit in a squirt/pump bottle and add water (gently, so not to make bubbles) and that is what I use to wash my hands in the kitchen.
I am also using (have been for years) cloth napkins at meal times. No more paper napkins.
I am also using rags (ie: old t-shirts and towels) for quick wipe ups and spills. No more paper towels either.

*Creative in the Laundry: I'm still using our homemade soap.  I think I'm on 3 1/2 years now of making this soap, I've learned alot.  Add extra 20 MULE TEAM BORAX  for extra tough stains. I am also adding distilled white vinegar to my rinse cycle too.  It helps the clothes smell fresher!

These are my grand-daughters socks I was asked to post dirty vs. washed w/homemade soap. 
these came pretty clean, considering they weren't perfect to begin with. (for some reason, Mommy doesn't spot treat. urgh!) 

*Creative in the bathroom :

I've started to save the soap slivers and stuff them into a leftover shampoo bottle, add water, give it a good shake, and let sit until it thickens up.  Makes great body wash or hand soap.  No more buying hand soap.
I mentioned hand soap in the kitchen too, let me just say, the pumps you buy dispense WAY TOO MUCH SOAP in my opinion.
***Here is a tip to make your soap last longer, especially if you have kids in the house, I take a rubber band and wrap it around and around the pump, the part that pumps up and down on the outside of the bottle.  This creates a bumper, so to speak, and only lets you squirt out a little at a time, saving even more soap!
Another tip, I haven't implemented yet is to put your soap slivers in an old CLEAN sock, and tie it with a string and hang it in the shower... like soap on a rope!

Ok... now this part is going to sound odd to most of you out there. So AGAIN...As I said when posting about ; FireStarters ...From this point on... 
One of the most recent savings we are making Creatively in the Bathroom is Family Wipes.
We've been TP free for about 1 -1/2 months.  There is a true savings here. It only makes one extra small load to wash a week.
 You may email me w/ questions if you like. We are still in the experimental stages. And... we have no kids still at home. The biggest argument FOR these wipes is if you used cloth diapers to diaper your children, then you are half way there.
Maybe you've never ever heard of such a thing.  You may email me w/ questions if you like. I'll leave it at that. Otherwise just Google : Family wipes.  You may even find them listed for sale on , just look for yourself.

You were warned.

One last thing that we make a habit of now...after that long hot broke summer...
You remember it don't you ...way up front at the beginning of this long post?
*** When the temperature starts getting up there... we turn the thermostat on the water heater down to 'VACATION' even though we can't afford one anymore... we give our pocket book, and water heater one. It doesn't have to work as hard. It isn't heating WARM water that gets heated by the Texas HEAT... naturally. It makes coming in from mowing so nice, too. So REFRESHING.

That's it for my frugal post this time 'round. I know I'm leaving you with a lot to consider.
Or this may be one for the WTMI (way too much information) category!

You may check the 'you're nuts' box below this post if it makes you feel better ! LOL

Either way-

God bless you and Thanks so much for reading.

if you're wondering...yes, I had to truly think long and hard before hitting the PUBLISH POST BUTTON!


Ⓙaη @ ฿◎ßßƴ℘ḯη❝﹩ ℬ◎aґdẘαʟк ツ said...

You know, I've always felt that when a person is "broke", they become resourceful and more creative than ever. You have certainly proven that to be true. I love your ideas for resourcefulness -- plus it leaves less of a carbon footprint (which is ALWAYS good). We've been doing without paper napkins and paper towels for the last couple of months -- I just make it a point to keep my rag bin handy and grab one of those for spills and we now use cloth napkins (which I really like a lot better anyway). It saves money and MUCH less waste!

Being limited on funds is not easy, but it can be empowering, and making corn in your coffee pot is sheer genius!

Great Post and great ideas!

Ⓙaη @ ฿◎ßßƴ℘ḯη❝﹩ ℬ◎aґdẘαʟк ツ said...

Also -- I remember growing up, we use to sleep "downstairs" to stay cooler in the summer. OH -- it was wonderful. Now that the kids are home for the summer and then some, I don't mind running the AC as much since there are going to be four people, but when it's down to just two, I hate to cool the entire house. I think we'll set up some kind of sleeping arrangements down there. It turns into an adventure -- a little cozy love nest (can you believe I just said that?) Good thing the kids don't know where my I comment. Even though they're "adults", they still kids to me (hahaha). We've also brought a mattress onto the screen-in porch. Now that is wonderful, listening to the frogs, crickets, and water fountain. I'm making myself sleepy now!

Coleen's Corner said...

Necessity is the mother of invention - that's been my mantra for many years! oh yes, I remember baking potatoes in an electric skillet and washing clothes by hand and making do with what I had instead of worrying about what I didn't have. I still don't buy many cleaning products. If it can't be cleaned with bleach or ammonia, it probably won't come clean anyway. I stretch the hand soap by mixing 1/3 soap, 2/3 water in the foam dispenser and snarl at the clean up wipes in the store aisles. Seriously, buy clean up wipes? I still use paper towels that double as both napkins and kleenex around here and occasionally wet a few and throw them in a baggie for road trips. Most definitely you should return to your original name - I always thought it was cool, now it's even cooler! Love your stories, don't ever quit sharing!

The Boston Lady said...

So now I know the story behind the name... Listen, I've done some crazy stuff to save money around these parts when we had to stretch those dollars. Everyone goes through a version of that at some time or other. I can remember making a small chicken last one week for the four of us through some creative cooking techniques. I always had visions of Charlie Chaplin fileting his shoes and eating the laces like spaghetti. I learned how to cut hair and we would save pennies in our Mad Money jar for the movies - dollar theatre of course. You are so clever. And creative. Bet you have always made lemonade out of lemons. Hope the shower is wonderful on Sunday.

Liz said...

Lots of great stuff! I remember one time when we were growing up here in Phoenix the AC went out in the middle of Aug. There was no money to fix it... So at night we would put a wet sheet over a floor fan and put it at the front of the hall way. We all slept in the hall way till the AC was fixed a month later. We sure had a great lesson in what it must have been like here before the invention of AC.... I don't know why anyone would have stayed here! :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi! :)

Prior said...

LOVE, love your stories. I have similar ones popping up in my memory. People who haven't had to make do,have missed out, in my opinion. Enjoy the baby Shower! Lezlee

Prior said...

Hey, I tried your link to my party, but it didn't go through... I will try again later, maybe you were just editing... But I remember your chair and that would be a great addition to the party!

Kolein said...

I checked the "Plain Nuts" box!!! But that's why I come and sit a spell....otherwise why would I even bother?! Love ya!!! And I love all your tips! I wish I was frugal. I don't know if it's genetically possible. But I can pray about it, right?

Going to look up "family wipes"....cuz I can't stand the suspense!

Kolein said...

Ok I checked out the wallypops cloth no no....cloth wipes will not they will not do at all....I can not, will not wipe my hiney or anyone else's with cloth.....altho, I'm sure it will feel oh so soft....I can not bear the thought of taking a bag or box or bucket of poopy cloths to the washing machine....clean freak, I am!!!!!!!!! however, I know that it saves bundles of money on what you would have spent on TP....but I can not, will not wipe with cloth!!! But I am oh so happy that you and Honey are happily doing this to your tushes!!! Plain Nuts!!!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Well, Kolein- all I can say, is welcome back to Casual-Cottage!
You're a trooper- really. Glad you came back to see me after doing your research. I'm not a clean freak- or a GREEN freak, yes, I called 'em both FREAKS... but, it's all in the name of being frugal (aw, who am I is nuts)
But- I've never claimed to be sane!
I told you it wasn't for the selectively squeamish. Let's all agree- we're selective- it's human nature.

I thank you for your honest comment... and giving me a good chuckle.

Kolein said...

I love that you are not sane, Pat! It's my favorite part about you!!! And if I was a different person I'm sure I'd use cloths on all the tushes that are closest to me! Hee! Hee!

Btw, I'm simply a freak in general!!!

I did try giving up paper towel once.


laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh how much I loved that story about the corn in the coffee pot! This is my first introduction to your blog, and I think the Corn in the Coffee Pot is such a unique blog name AND a condensed version of the story should appear on your side bar, because it really makes the title special. You have some great ideas. laurie