Entertain A Toddler For Hours With A Frugal Sticker Book

Filed under: Kids — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:45 am on Thursday, January 15, 2015

I took a quick picture of this sticker book my mom gave my son before it became a little too well-loved, let us say. On the left is a sheet of stickers. On the right is notebook paper that has already been decorated by my son.

This is one of the cleverest gifts my son received this Christmas, and it cost under $5 to make. It’s a sticker book: a binder filled with blank pages, along with lots of stickers to put on the pages.

My son, who is 2, loves this gift. He has spent long periods of time taking stickers and putting them on the pages, and then coloring all around his design. It’s great for creative development and a nice way to occupy him when I’m busy. Plus you can keep adding to the sticker as you go along by replacing stickers and pages as needed.

All my mom did was get a white binder (she had one lying around–you can also frequently get them at thrift stores, unused, for under a buck) and fill it with white printer paper. Then she bought some stickers from the Dollar Store and stuck them in the envelopes on the front of the binder.

So if you’re in need of a new activity–or a fun, creative gift–give a DIY sticker book a try.

Hot Drinks Round-Up

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:30 am on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Is it snowing where you are? Well, obviously you need to have a nice hot drink.

Here’s a round-up of alcoholic AND non-alcoholic drinks I’ve covered.

Alcoholic Hot Cocktails


Hot Buttered Pumpkin Rum

Hot Buttered Rum


Gingerbread Toddy


Non-Alcoholic Hot Drinks

DIY Hot Chocolate


How To Make A Chai Latte

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

Make Your Own Copper Pipe Icosahedron Light Fixture

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:24 am on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Gathered Home took inspiration from a $1,200 light fixture and made their own for $50 out of copper pipes.

You know what? I like their version better.

DIY Organizing Round-Up

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:50 am on Monday, January 12, 2015

I’m making a lot of progress with my New Year’s Resolution to organize the house. In fact, I’m almost done. I just have to do the following:

1. Jewelry Box
2. Bookshelves (ugh)
4. The Blanket Chest
3. Garden Tools

I think I’ll tackle the jewelry this week and then the rest will follow. It’s nice to have an organized house. Here are some posts to help you out if you’re doing the same:

5 Ways To Organize Blankets

Organize Kid Bath Toys With A Recycled Mesh Bag


Organizing On The Cheap: Make Your Own Drawer Dividers


Four Ways To Store Plastic Grocery Bags


Paper Towel Holder To Store Garbage Bags


My $.55 Under-The-Sink Toothbrush Holder


4 Uses For A Magnetic Strip


Use A Pillow Case To Organize Your Sheets
(This works great.)


Use A Shoe Organizer To Organize Cleaners


Use Shower Rings To Organize Your Closet

Turn An Old-Fashioned Spice Tin Into Easy, Cheap Bathroom Storage


Use Buttons as Earring Holders


4 Clever Yarn Storage Ideas


5 Creative Ways To Store Wrapping Paper

Three Ways To Store Christmas Lights


Framed Organizer For Spools Of Thread


Keep Drawer Organizers From Sliding With Adhesive Velcro

Keep Drawer Organizers From Sliding With Adhesive Velcro

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:59 am on Friday, January 9, 2015

I love these pen organizers from the Dollar Tree–as I have demonstrated here and here. I also use them to hold my pens in my desk drawer. The problem was that every time I opened the drawer, the organizers slid around and messed up my pens. It was annoying.

Professional organizers use museum putty to solve this problem. They stick a little bit of putty underneath the organizer so it doesn’t move around. I didn’t have any museum putty, but I did have this:

This is adhesive velcro. It has a tacky back on each side that can stick to most surfaces. I put it on the back of my organizers and stuck them to the bottom of the drawer. Hurrah! No more sliding.

The whole project took five minutes. Here’s how to do it:

1. Measure the organizer

2. Cut two pieces of velcro to the size of the organizer.

3. Stick one piece of velcro to the back of the organizer.

4. Stick the other piece to the velcro, like so:

5. Peel the backing off the velcro.

6. Carefully press the organizer back into the drawer where you want it to stay in place.

That’s it. No more sliding organizers in the drawer.

Great Rainy Day Kid’s Activity: DIY Laser Maze

Filed under: Kids — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:53 am on Thursday, January 8, 2015

Here’s a great winter activity for bored little ones: DIY Laser Maze. All it takes is a hallway, red crepe paper. and some tape. Pretty great.

My $.55 Under-The-Sink Toothbrush Holder

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:44 am on Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I don’t like having toothbrushes and toothpaste on top of the sink in the bathroom. For ages, I looked for a basket that would fit on the inside of the door of the bathroom vanity, but they were always too wide or too big.

Then one day, I hit upon a solution: I took two adhesive hooks from the Dollar Tree ($.11 each) and hung a narrow pencil holder from the same store ($.33) on them. My new toothbrush holder fit perfectly on the door. I was thrilled.

But when I put our toothbrushes and toothpaste in the basket, the adhesive on the hooks didn’t hold and the whole thing fell off the door. So I looked in the household toolbox and came up with spare adhesive strips from another set of hooks we bought awhile back. Perfect. I put the strips on the back of the hooks and pressed them on the cabinet door. The basket hasn’t come off since.

So my Under-The-Sink Toothbrush Holder cost a little over half a buck. And I can remove the basket and wash it whenever I want.

Awesome And Creative Organizing Products

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:50 am on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

If you’re into organizing your house, a few organizing products can make a huge difference. Here are a few Awesome And Creative Organizing Products that have worked for me.

Single Corner Shelves. I have two of these, one for my bowls and one for my plates. This was the product got me excited about organizing in the first place, which I wrote about before.

Cupboard Shelf. I love these things. I use them for mugs, office paper, spices, and baking dishes. Why are they so exciting? They let you utilize vertical space in a cupboard, thus doubling what you can store there. You can get them at most major box stores. They cost around $7.

Dollar Tree Self-Adhesive Hooks. These hooks can’t handle a lot of weight, but come on: you get nine hooks for $1. That’s $.11 each. I use them to hold my dust pan, toothbrushes, and baby bibs.

Dollar Tree Pencil Holders. You can get three of these narrow plastic bins for $1. I use them to hold organize my junk drawer (above), pens, and extra kitchen supplies.

Lid Holder. If you get the right kind, you can use these to hold cutting boards, cookie sheets, or plates, as well as pot lids.

Small Lazy Susans. I have two of these in the pantry, one to hold herbs and one to hold oils and vinegars. They also sell a double-tier lazy susan, which I wish I’d seen before buying the other ones.

Under The Sink Organizer. I don’t have one of these, but I would if I hadn’t spent my organizing budget on all of the above. It lets you organize around that pesky sink pipe. Great idea.

What organizing products have worked for you?

How Much Money Does Making Bread Save You?

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:10 am on Monday, January 5, 2015

While I’m still working on organizing my house, my other New Year’s Resolution is to get better at making bread. While I’m certain it’s worth it to bake bread for the sheer deliciousness of it, I’m not sure it’s worth it financially to replace store-bought bread with homemade bread. Let’s investigate, shall we?

Here in California, I typically buy about three loaves of bread a month at about $4 each. That’s $12 a month, or $144 a year. In the grand scheme of expenses, that’s not very much money.

Ah, but ideally I would be making “artisan” bread, and that easily costs $7 a loaf here. (I know!) So that’s $252 a year.

For Christmas, a friend gave me the Della Fattoria Cookbook. I tried their White Boule recipe and was very pleased with it. The bread tastes great, is easy to make, and meets my definition of “artisan.”

And the ingredients were all things I buy in bulk: all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, olive oil, sea salt. Here are the ingredients and their cost per ounce:

    Instant yeast 0.28 ounce / 2 1/4 teaspoon = $.09 total
    Warm water (100°F/38°C) 16.6 ounces / 2 cups = free
    All-purpose flour 22 ounces / 4 1/2 cups = $.69 total
    Fine gray salt 0.5 ounce / 2 1/4 teaspoon = $.14 total
    Granulated sugar 0.3 ounce / 2 1/4 teaspoon = $.02 total
    Extra virgin olive oil 2.5 ounces / 5 Tablespoons = $.35 total

    Total amount to make a loaf of bread: $1.29

If I made three loafs a month, that’s $3.87 a month, or $46.44 a year.

That means, if I made “artisan” bread every week instead of buying it, I would save about $205 a year.

That means baking bread would save my about 78%.

However, the wild card here is time. Baking bread is time consuming. However, I work at home, which means that I can steal 5-10 minutes throughout the day to knead dough or put it in the oven. Instead of cigarette breaks, I can take bread breaks.

Also, I suspect that as I get used to making bread, it will become an easy routine that won’t take a lot of my brain space or effort to do.

Also, I could make two loaves at once and freeze one.

So. I’m intrigued. I think I’ll try making bread for awhile and see if it becomes a habit that sticks.

GET THE WHITE BOULE RECIPE HERE.

What about you? Do you think it’s worth it to make your own bread?

Frugal Tip: Cut Up Tubes To Get Every Drop Inside

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:15 am on Friday, January 2, 2015

Here’s a frugal tip that I can’t believe never occurred to me before. When you’re down to the dregs of a plastic container, simply cut the container up so you can scrape the excess out. That way you can get to every last drop.

I’ve got a tube of moisturizer I’m going to try this on today.

For more frugal tips, click here.

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