Give Me Back My Dryer Sheets!

  Last month I bit the bullet and decided to try soy dryer sheets-the Whole Foods store brand.  One of the reasons was to share an honest review. And as thrifty as I am, if I find something works better than what I am using,  I will pay a little more. Especially if it is worth it or on sale. So, I gave up my Up brand from Target, and pulled out the new Whole Foods brand. 

My take on their product is I had to use twice as many to get rid of the static, and the sheets often got stuck over the vent in the dryer. I know that isn’t a good thing.  With my regular dryer sheets, I was able to reuse them after drying clothes with then, but with the Whole Foods brand, I only ended up with a wad of paper.  What I didn’t realize was how much I would miss my Up brand! I really use them to clean more than I thought. After using up the box of soy sheets I was actually glad to go to Target and buy a new box! And the Whole Foods box had cost me about $6, vs. $3.50 for the big box.  So, while I was willing to pay a little extra to try them, I won’t buy them again.  On a positive note, I liked the subtle lavender scent.  

Now that I have my old/new box of dryer sheets, I will enjoy using them for all kinds of things. Here is how I use them:

And the winner is...


Car- keeps the lint of the dashboard and vinyl. Dipped in water, slightly, they will clean up some spots on upholstery. Keep them in your glove compartment to clean windows, windshield wipers, chrome, and the mirrors. 

Clothing-for deoderizing leave then in shoes, or dresser drawers, for a clean scent. Also use them when storing blankets, sleeping bags, or seasonal clothing. Stick one over a hanger before hanging the garment, or stick in a pocket. 

Suitcases-when packed away toss of few inside.

Wastebaskets-add a 1/2 cup of water and use a dryer sheet to clean the baskets inside and out. Toss one in before lining with a new trash bag.  

Windows, blinds-dryer sheets are great for dusting window glass, sills, woodwork.

General cleaning-dusting vent covers, baseboards, tv screens, mirrors. Also use for dusting ceiling fans, wood furniture, wrought iron, computers, and all other electronics.  

Kitchen-great for shining and polishing stainless steel, chrome, fiberglass, and porcelain. Also removes greasy residue wonderfully. Use two and put on Swiffer for a quick dustmop.For cleaning pots and pans, wad several together and use as scouring pad. For seriously greasy hood vent filters, soak them with 2 new dryer sheets overnight.

Mosquito repellant- have tried used (and new) dryer sheets for this, but it hasn’t worked. Maybe it’s because we live in Memphis where the big mosquitos live!

Pet hair-use to wipe the cat or dog to collect the hair.

Books-place in books to freshen if they smell musty.  

Static hair-rub a dryer sheet on your hands, and then run your hands over your head of hair to calm winter static.

I’d love to hear what you do with your dryer sheets! Let me know.


Why I Buy Organic


10 Ideas for a Thrifty Valentine’s Day

     Finding ways to enjoy your time with your Valentine a bit more challenging in this economy?  But don’t worry. It’s not impossible, and I have some ideas on how to make that happen. Read on.

  • Find a spot where you can watch the sun rise or set–together.  This could be outside the city, close to water, or someplace with a nice view.       And if you love stargazing, like me, find a place away from city lights, so the beauty of the constellations are as bright as possible.     Or, try a different approach… Often, you can find a group in your area with free observation times. College campuses sometime offer special observation times, and often have high-powered telescopes usually unavailable to the casual star-gazer.( If the weather is too cold for that, and you live near or in the Memphis, the Pink Palace’s Sharpe planetarium , offers incredibly educational shows using the Gallium technology in a 130-seat domed theater. The superb sound system helps provide projections of visual images, star maps and patterns which are projected on the ceiling.  Check ahead for times before your actual date, by heading over to their website. As the website says, the programs are a “treat for the eyes and ears,” and are all for under $5. That is a treat!  Here is the website … 
  • See a matinee. Try either @ a very nice movie theatre, or go to an evening movie @ the ‘thrifty’ theatre in your town. You might still be able to afford a bite to eat afterward, because of the lower cost.
  • Browse thrift stores or flea markets for inexpensive items with good bones.   Who knows, you might find something that would suit your space better than what you own, and that you absolutely love.   (Mimalism doesn’t necessarily mean you can only have a bed and a toothbrush, but that you don’t have stuff just to have stuff.  Just remember that if something comes in to your house, something else should go out.)     
  • Enjoy a coffeehouse or bookstore.  Often musicians or poetry readers entertain in these places. You can simply listen, or browse the reading sections while you listen. Your choice.
  • Visit a museum or zoo. Check locally to see the days they are free, or less expensive. Those days may not fall on Valentine’s Day, but part of showing love is about year round ways of showing appreciation, right?  
  • Ride the trolley, or the city bus. This is fairly inexpensive way to see places you might not have yet seen from a different perspective of being in the driver’s seat. You also might see places in your town you rarely frequent or have never been. 
  • If there is an amphitheatre in or near your area, you can often listen to bands having practice sessions. This is usually free, and a great way to enjoy spending time together. 
  • And if you want to stay in…..Make  a quick dessert together. If you are like me, I don’t consider an entire evening of cooking a fun thing, but choosing a quick treat makes it doable.  Starting with organic strawberries, and topping them with organic whipped cream is a quick and delicious way to spend some time with each other.  Using organic whipped cream, which comes in those cute little cartons at the Whole Foods store, is the way to go. It will take only 5 minutes to whip the cream, with a hand mixer, and the sugar is already included. Whip just until the cream peaks and then dip the strawberries in. Top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and you have an organic yet simple treat which is somewhat healthy. Yes, you had whipped cream but at least it was organic!  Plus, if you want really fast cleanup you can just get a can of whipped topping, too.
  • Share the gift of music with your Valentine. If cooking isn’t what you call soothing, get out all the music you haven’t heard in a while, without turning on the TV.  Music can take you back to wonderful places, and this can spark more conversation!  Don’t turn on the TV. Too distracting.   Oh, and did you find some CDs you don’t just love anymore? Put them in the Goodwill pile with that something you are donating, (since you found that cool thingy from the thrift store/flea market.)
  • Last but not least: Write a letter or a poem to each other.  While the internet is a fantastic communication tool, there is something about a handwritten note on a piece of paper you can touch with your fingers.  Use candy hearts to write sentences if you want. They are cute and tasty!  Or on a more serious note….Start it with 10 things I love about you are… If you are more romantically inclined try…. How do I love thee, let me count the ways…. Either way, it is a tangible way to express your love and affection with your Valentine.    

Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is thrifty and beautiful!  I hope you will show some love by leaving comments sharing your own ideas. You can also share this post with others on Facebook or Twitter!   


As Valentine’s Day approaches, I thought I would share some tips I found while purging through some old newspaper articles, especially for the gals.  Keep these tidbits in mind when you meet or begin dating your guys.  These tips, adapted from an old newspaper article, were sent in to the Ann Landers advice column, and written to a daughter from her parents:

  • You will probably find Mr. Right in a grocery store, at church, or through a friend, not bar. 
  • If he is married, seperated, or his wife “doesn’t understand him” that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E. It might as well be plastered on his forehead. 
  • If he tries to borrow money from you, or tries to move in, be careful. He may a con artist.
  • If his family doesn’t like him and avoids him, maybe you should too. They may know something you don’t.
  • Check out his car to see if it is clean, serviceable, and insured.
  • If he has children, decide now if you want to marry them too, because that is the way it will be. Be aware that they are a direct link to the ex-spouse.
  • You don’t need a man to complete you. You choose the man—-don’t let him choose you. Be selective. 
  •  No one has the power to make you happier than the right person, or more miserable than the wrong one.
  • Find someone who shares the same kind of humor as you, and who makes you laugh. It will make the good times better and the bad times less difficult.
  • If you want several children and plan to stay@ home and raise them, choose a man whose skills and education will put him in a high salary category.
  • If you want a career, don’t marry a man who hates his job. He will resent the time and attention you give yours. 
  • Two red flags:  Does he have a short fuse or a hot temper? Is he hung up on his mother? These are 2 negatives that inevitably get worse after marriage. Both can be disastrous.
  • Don’t get married(or stay in a bad relationship) because you are afraid to be alone. No woman is more alone than one whose husband or significant other pays no attention to her.
  • No matter how wonderful his other qualities may be, do not marry a man who has threatened , humiliated, or hit you.  In fact, don’t go out with him a second time. Such a man is hazardous to your emotional and physical health and should be avoided.
  • Pay attention to how he treats his mother, and to how his father treats his mother. Chances are good that he will treat you the same way.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Minimalist Presents for Teachers


As I was blogsurfing today, I noticed much of the talk in February, is what to get your child’s or children’s teachers for Valentine Day. Most of the ideas were at least twenty dollars or higher. Much of them had apples on them, and were trinkets, or food.  Having been a teacher for many years, I wanted to weigh in on the subject.  

Tip 1.  Most teachers don’t need any more stuff.  We would rather you encourage or help your child (or children) in writing a note telling how he or she likes the class, or whys he or she appreciates being in the class.  As I think back to all the ‘things’ I have received over the years, the things I haven’t been able to part with are the handwritten notes, and pictures I have received, and the memories for that matter. 

Tip 2. Invite the son or daughter’s teacher over for dinner. Now that is a yummy way to show the love. It may take a bit of maneuvering, since teachers spend lots of evening time on lesson planning in the evenings, but it will be a lovely memory for your child and your family for years to come.

Tip 3.  Make some homemade treat with your child to give to the teacher.  Funny story. I remember one time I got a tin of brownies from a kindergarten student which were really delicious!  The next time I saw him,  I gave him the ultimate compliment and asked him if he would see if his mother would share the recipe with me. So ..the next day he  prouldly walked in with it. There was the recipe –cut from the back of the Kroger cake mix. He was so happy as he handed me the card, that I had to smile to myself, while thinking  what a wise woman his mother was! You see, as a kindergartener he didn’t read enough to realize…..that the fabulous dessert was a brownie mix. He told me he and his mom had made the brownies together. I know it made him very happy that I was happy, and enjoyed the brownies.And my guess is, he didn’t realize until later, how great a gift that was.  Not only did his teacher(me) love the gift, he also received the give of time from his mother! 

Tip 4. Please, please, please, don’t give any apple stuff! Most teaches have TONS of it, and we are over it!  Unless you are going to give a gift of a bag of organic apples, I mean.  Do we really need to buy any more trinket junk out of the -Made in-China section in Target and support the child labor over there?  I don’t think so. 

So, it may take a little more creativity, but I hope some of these tips have been helpful. The gift of time and appreciation is the BEST gift of all!  More  ways to be thrifty in your gift-giving coming next week!

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