Sunday, December 28, 2008

Being frugal is fun!!!

I'm usually pretty good at getting stains out of clothing... wouldn't call myself a wizard at it, but I can usually find a way to win over the stubborn blotch. Having kids has increased the challenge for me, some of those stains are so durn stubborn! Aren't "washable" markers really supposed to be washable?!

I had an idea about a year ago and I'm not even sure that it originated in me own little head, but it's a grand idea nonetheless! I had fought the good fight with a couple of stains and been beaten... I was sad... these were some really cute clothes of my girls! You know, little white frilly skirts that, for some reason, they thought would be perfect playing-out-in-the-mud garb. Where was I? Oh, probably reading your blog. Then it hit me!

Just dye them! I ran out and picked up a couple of boxes of Cocoa Brown dye and decided to turn them little white frilly skirts into Heehaw brown cowgirl skirts! I will post pics of the final product when I finish! I'm giving meself a pat on the back for thinking frugally and not just running out to replace the clothing.

For a superb post on more frugal tips, hop on over here to my cousin Katy's blog.

I'm curious if you have any more frugal ideas I can steal and call my own! Do share!

~christa jean


christa jean said...

Yes, I am still pregnant.
Will someone please throw a tantrum for me? 'cause I can't even move my rump to do that.

Youthful One said...

WHAT does your comment have to do with your post?!?!?!? ;-)

Okay, I don't have another frugal tip to offer just yet. But your post brings up a couple of comments outta me.

First, I want to hear more of your tips & tricks on getting stains out. The stain removal stuff I use is not terribly effective on YELLOW stains - namely mango or mustard or cantaloupe (but especially mango.) I have no problems getting red out, or oils (if I catch them.)

Second, I attempted to do something similar a couple of years back. When CM2 was doing a tie-dye thing, I thought I might just redeem a stained shirt or two by tie-dying them. In my search for something stained for each of my children, I found a pair of light khaki colored short-alls for Seber. Everybody else got a shirt. In the tie-dye process at CM2, they had us soak the clothing in a potash solution after tying and prior to dipping into the dye. When I did this with the shortalls, SHOCK! - the stain disappeared. Then I was faced with the great decision -do I still tie dye these shortalls, now that they are stain-free?!

I think it is also very wise that you are frugal with kids' clothing because it allows you to do the age-old hand-me-down thing. I know some kids balk at it, but mine are usually pretty excited to wear something they know came from a loved one (older sibling or dear friend.) I'm frequently impressing on my children how they must care for their clothing so that somebody else can wear it after them (or a few somebodies!)

Oh -just remembered something frugal I'm doing - and you might just consider is too eccentric for you:
I'm hanging 80% of my laundry on a line to dry. I don't hang towels, socks or jeans, and some blankets. Otherwise everything else gets hung on an umbrella clothesline we moved into the den for the rainy season. Our woodstove keeps it company and helps dry things quickly. (Oftentimes faster than the dryer - for sheets, at least.) Our utility bills have dropped DRAMATICALLY this year - VERY SIGNIFICANTLY, and this is really the main difference. I tend to run the dryer once/day, but am doing between 4-8 loads of wash every day.

christa jean said...

Hahaha, my comment had NOTHING to do with my post, but I figured someone would be wondering why I didn't post more complaints about being pregnant STILL! ;-D

I typically use Spray 'n' Wash, the kind that pours. I will soak the stain wtih that and then sometimes pour extra borax on it and scrub with the back of a sponge.

I'm lovin' this dying idea, I just wonder if it will cause me to not work as hard on stains, because, heck, I can just dye it now!

I would love to be able to hang my clothes to dry! I just can't think of a good place to do that yet. Our dryer is so ineffecient, it takes 2 cycles to dry a load. :(

Youthful One said...

Are you certain it is your dryer?
If your washer isn't getting all the liquid out on the spin cycle, the dryer will have to work extra hard and long to get things dry.

Also, my dad has done extensive dryer overhauls a few times in the last year or two - mine and a friend of his. It may be as simple as just opening it up and getting every last bit of lint out of all the exhaust lines. It could also be a slipping drum - if the belt has become loose. Those would be fairly simple fixes Carter could handle, I'm sure.

Borax. Something I still have yet to try.


The Everett Family said...

Not sure this is all that frugal, but speaking of stains I am a fan of ZOUT. It seems to get most everything out. I use another cleaner specifically for grease stains. It really works well. I am too lazy to go upstairs and you the name of it right now.
I once bleached a circle on a red dress by accident. I bought the red dye (as per your post) and it worked beautifully!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the link.

I too line dry, but only when it is "weather permitting." I've thought about indoor line-drying, but our bathroom towels don't even dry! Silly wet Oregon!

RE: the haircut -- I'm coming by tomorrow for my own "layers."

Miss O is a cutey, and I think she knows it.

Cousin Katy