I have a few questions and I am curious about your answers... answer 1 or answer all 4, but I'm just looking for your suggestions and perhaps you have wondered as well.

1. Is it worth it to have on two pairs of socks, two pairs of sweats, a t-shirt, turtleneck and sweatshirt and then have to wash them all or is it better to bump up the temperature 2-3 degrees higher?

2. I’ve got a bar of fels naptha soap that I have never used – was going to make my own laundry detergent but that was nixed by my partner – what are some other ways I can use it besides stains and hand soap?

3. I have decided to try the following: Postcards, gift tags for next year (punch a hole for ribbon), grocery or to do list, hold onto them for next year and send them back out (use paper to cover the written area). What would you do with all the holiday card that are left over?

4. I’ve got a shoe box full of incense that we are slow to get through – any alternative ideas on what do to with them?


  1. Katherine // Saturday, January 31, 2009 11:45:00 AM  

    1. Personally, if I am cold with one pair of pants (sweets or jeans) on, I would rather turn up the heat 1 degree until I am comfortable. However, if I owned (which I don't) a pair of thermals, I might (if they are comfortable under my pants) do that instead and keep the heat lower. As for socks, I wear heavy socks and slippers around the house if my feet are cold. Same for the kids or we wear our shoes. However, if you are cold with shoes or slippers on with one pair of warm socks on (not thin "summer" socks), then I would say that it is time to turn up the heat. I feel that if I am uncomfortable in my warm clothing (and have the money to afford to raise the heat a bit), I would rather turn up the heat than *feel* (emotionally) that I am depriving myself and suffering. If the extra layers don't make me feel this way is then, I don't mind!

    3. I cut the covers off from the Christmas cards that we received that were flat, had no personal writing on the inside of the cover (or front!), and didn't have any embellishments that would come off. I used them to as post cards to send thank you notes out for our Christmas gifts that we received. I am also saving some of them for the kids to use for craft next year. (They can cut them and make them into mini-puzzles or use them as part of a picture they want to create.)

  2. Theresa // Saturday, January 31, 2009 6:20:00 PM  

    1. I hate being cold. I have been finding my feet cold with socks, so I started wearing slippers which helps. If I am bundled up and still cold, I turn the heat up one degree until I'm warm and turn it back down one degree. (Our house is normally at a comfortable temp, but I find it chilly quite often because I love the warmth.)

  3. Talitha Borealis // Saturday, January 31, 2009 7:17:00 PM  

    1. If you have to wash that much extra, it probably doesn't make for many frugal savings. Rather than rewash lots of layers, I wear some "extras" indoors - a sweater or robe and slippers are great as Theresa said. Much less laundry then.

    2. Fel's naptha is great for poison ivy/oak/sumac! It does wonders for most skin rashes like that. It also helps get the resins out of your clothes that are residual.

    3. I cut off the fronts of greeting cards and reuse them with cardstock to make my own, or you can also donate them to St. Jude's children charity. They use them to make and sell for fundraising. Money back on taxes never hurt!

    4. Old incense is great to pack with stored cloths - provided you like the smell. I keep some with my stationary to scent it, too. I stopped burning incense for health reasons, and this way I've managed not to waste too much of it.

  4. Mrs. Accountability // Saturday, January 31, 2009 8:03:00 PM  

    I'm going to try the homemade laundry detergent and did a little research. Trent over at The Simple Dollar broke down the cost in June 2007 and says it costs ~3 cents per load. The recipe I have, which uses the same ingredients as he does, says to dilute the recipe, which would cut the cost to 1.5 cents per load. Since the cost of everything has gone up, it will be interesting to see how much it will cost in today's economy. I am sure it will still be quite a savings compared to buying commercial brands. Why did your partner nix the idea to save money?

  5. ~Dawn C // Saturday, January 31, 2009 8:18:00 PM  

    I was going to send out thank you notes but I was to busy and now it is february.. who sends thank you notes in february!?

    I love the warmth as well, I think it is because I am part reptilian. he!

    Thank you for your advice... the donation idea for the cards and putting the incense with clothes is also a strong possibility. Thanks.

    @Mrs Accountability~
    Well, it isn't so much about saving money but about brand loyalty to Tide. To quote, "It always works, why change and waste money?"

  6. silveredfern // Sunday, February 01, 2009 11:15:00 AM  

    I would push the laundry soap if possible. I mix it up dry (1 bar fells naptha, 1c. super washing soda, 1c. borax) I keep it in an old tomato sauce jar (looks pretty) and it lasts me six months. There's nothing more satisfying than walking by the high prices of laundry detergent and not having to buy any let alone carrying it home :)

  7. teresajoy // Sunday, February 01, 2009 1:30:00 PM  

    Make the laundry soap!!! It is soooooooo quick, easy and cheap!!!

  8. LynnMarie // Monday, February 02, 2009 5:35:00 AM  

    If I'm cold in my home, I turn up the pellet stove first, then add a bathrobe over me until I feel warmer.
    I would try the home made laundry detergent because it is so easy and works great.
    For the holiday cards, I cut off the cover and add them to folded card stock and now I have new cards to send next year. I hold on to the written part for the verses to use on the new cards.
    Try using the incense in the closet or even in the car. Hope these help.

  9. Anonymous // Monday, February 02, 2009 2:42:00 PM  

    If you cannot convince him to change, send the Fels Naptha to me. I am almost out after making my own detergent for a year now. ; )

    No, really. Why NOT change? Tide is expensive and made from a bunch of chemical garbage.

  10. Innahouse // Tuesday, February 03, 2009 11:16:00 AM  

    It seems to me that it would be cheaper to pile on additional layers, as you get colder, because you'll probably wear those same clothes for several days (or am I the only one who wears the same thing for DAYS?). That way, you only have the cost of washing them once. If you turn the heat up, when you are cold, you are doing that every day. I really don't know how much that amounts to, though. ......just my 2-cents worth!

  11. Sondra // Tuesday, February 03, 2009 9:17:00 PM  

    I never understood the difference - really of keeping your house at one temperature and another. One year I kept my heat low thinking I would save money. I didn't - I just froze. The next year I kept it at a comfortable 72 and it was the same amount of watts used. Does it really make a difference if you keep it at 68 all the time - the furnace runs to stay at the temp all winter long the same amount to keep it at 72. What is the difference if you keep it at the higher degree and it stays that temp through the winter? I don't see any savings when I freeze.
    Plus if you get sick and have to go to the doctor -where are your saving? I don't freeze anymore - I never seen the savings or lower watts from freezing and being comfortable. Turn it up!

  12. pennypincherpolly // Thursday, February 05, 2009 8:58:00 AM  

    I opt for more layers and extra laundry which I air dry. The damp clothes add humidity to the air and that feels warmer then arid air. I have a high-efficiency front loader. I buy dry detergent at shop and save and it's cheap. I can't find washing soda to make my own detergent but when I do, the store-bought stuff goes.

    Also, the fiber content of what I war makes a big difference. The 100% lambswool hoodie from Old Navy that I snagged for a buck at the thrift store is substantially warmer than my fleece robe. The hoodie washes just fine in the front loader, no hand washing required. I also scored a down bathrobe for ten bucks at a surplus catalog outlet. The down robe does make me look like the Michelin Man but it's warm without being heavy.

    With the sub-zero windchills lately, I pulled out some wool pants (also scored at the thrift store for a buck a pair). I can wear them at least a half dozen times before they have to be cleaned. One pair, a little short on me so I can't wear them as street clothes so I experimented with hand-washing them and they were fine for lounging around the house. Admittedly very wrinkled but who's looking at me sitting at the computer?

    I have dozens of pairs of wool socks found on clearance at the farm supply store and I wear two or three pairs at a time under a pair of fleece lied booties I intentionally bought a size too big to accommodate all the socks. If the socks get damp and they do because of sweat, I hang them up to dry and wear them again. These farmer socks wear well too since they are designed as work socks.

    I also found ready-made dog coats, fleece lined on clearance for 75% off this week and the critters love them. I have a dog with chronic heart and kidney problems but keeping the thermostat up for a dog seems silly.

    Keep an eye on clearance racks. Soon, all those thermal under garments will be marked down. I scored several sets for two bucks at Walmart and since they are not worn that often, these ought to last us for a good long time.

    Finally, I've found I can get a lot accomplished from under a blanket. Wireless laptop gets toted to my bed often. I knit from bed, I read and watch TV in bed.

  13. teejay // Friday, February 06, 2009 12:26:00 PM  

    I reuse old xmas cards as gift tags next year as you said. I know nothing of fels-naptha or incense but putting on a close fitting, thick, knit cap will make an enormous difference in how warm you feel.