The Many Lives of My Dumpster-Dived Bureau

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:09 am on Friday, October 3, 2014

savvyhousekeeping dumpster dive diving bureau

Awhile ago, I found the above bureau in a dumpster. Someone had decided to get rid of it, and instead of selling it or donating it, they decided it should end up at the dump instead.

There was nothing wrong with it, and I happened to need a bureau, so we brought it home, cleaned it up, and used it in our bedroom. Use number 1.

Not long after that, I refinished the bureau. In fact, it was the first thing I ever refinished, which means that not only did I gain a bureau from this dumpster dive, I learned a new skill. (I kind of did a crappy job, to be honest, but this is how you learn, right?) Use number 2.

We used the bureau for four years, then we upgraded our bedroom set and no longer needed it. But my husband needed something to hold his tools, so we moved the bureau to the garage and loaded it up. Use number 3.

Then last August, someone gave my husband a nifty cabinet for tool storage, so we decided to get rid of the bureau. I put an ad on Craigslist and we sold it that same day for cold hard cash. Use number 4.

So to recap: we got the bureau for free and used it for six years. During that time, it had four separate uses that benefited us, not the least of which is that we came out of the endeavor with a profit!

Compare that to people who buy furniture for high prices and then throw it out when they are done with it. This is frugality in action, don’t you think?

If you have a similar story, please share!

Halloween Decoration Round-Up

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:31 am on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy October! To get you in the mood for the season, here’s Halloween Decoration Round-Up:

Fireplace Pumpkin Arrangement

Bats As Halloween Decor

Pac-man Halloween Garland

Ghosts from tissue-paper bells

Construction paper rats on the stairs

Cardboard Window Monster

That one is just brilliant.

DIY Cardboard Camper Playhouse

Filed under: Kids — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:21 am on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So cute! A DIY Cardboard Camper Playhouse. All it takes is a big box, paint, and duct tape.

5 Apple Recipes

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:05 am on Monday, September 29, 2014

I love apples! They are so versatile. Here are a few apple recipes to consider:

Apple Walnut Tart with Maple Custard. It looks gorgeous, at least.

Apple-Maple French Toast

French Apple Cake

Easy Apple Butter

Apple Brown Bourbon Cocktail

Make Your Own Paper Lanterns

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:47 am on Friday, September 26, 2014

Who knew making paper lanterns was so easy? It just takes paper, scissors, tape, and a flameless candle or other low-energy light source like LED lights. Check out this video to learn how.

How To Make Tomato Paste

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:56 am on Thursday, September 25, 2014

Innnnnteresting: How To Make Tomato Paste.

How to Clean Enamel Cookware

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:05 am on Wednesday, September 24, 2014

After:

Before:

Not bad for a 50 year old pot.

Awhile back, I bought a set of vintage Dansk enamel cookware from a thrift store for $10 a pot. Since I use them all the time, they have gotten pretty beat up, so I decided it was time for a good cleaning. All is took was laundry soap and elbow grease.

How to Clean Enamel Cookware

1. Clean and scrub the pot as best you can.

2. Fill the pot with water and add a tablespoon or so of laundry soap.

3. Put on stovetop and bring to a boil.

4. Let boil for 5 minutes.

5. Take off the heat and scrub under running water while the pot is still warm. It will magically come clean.

Easy Roasted Acorn Squash

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:41 am on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Here’s my no-fail way to cook acorn squash. I usually serve it as a side with meat, but it can also be used in a host of other dishes–add the squash to risotto, use it as stuffing for raviolis, etc. However it’s prepared, I find this dish is well-received, even by people who are not that into eating vegetables.

Easy Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

    1 acorn squash
    3-4 Tbs butter
    2-3 Tbs bourbon
    Salt and pepper


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the acorn squash in half. Remove the seeds and lay face up on an oiled pan. Brush with bourbon (if you prefer, you can sprinkle with brown sugar instead) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Break the butter up into chunks and lay around the rim and in the center of the squash.

Put the squash in the oven and cook until soft, about 40 minutes. Serve right away. Enjoy!

Food Preservation Round-Up

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:16 am on Friday, September 19, 2014

Ah harvest. It’s time to do something with all that produce you grew. Here’s some recipes and how-tos to help:

Save Money By Dehydrating Fruit

Make Your Own Sundried Tomatoes

How I Made Blackberry Jam For $.69 A Jar

Orange Marmalade

Pepper Jam

How To Freeze Tomatoes

How To Freeze Basil

Make Your Own Zucchini Pickles

Why Plant Garlic In The Fall

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:40 am on Thursday, September 18, 2014

savvyhousekeeping garlic bulbs fall versus spring when to plant

Here’s a great tip from Mother Earth News–if you plant garlic in the fall and harvest it next spring, you’ll have bigger, better bulbs.

According to the site:

Try to plant your garlic about a month before your ground freezes, so the plants have time to get established. During winter, the crop will go dormant; then once spring and warmer temps roll around again, your plants will experience a burst of growth. By summer harvest time, you’ll marvel at the success of your crop!

The above picture, also from the site, illustrates the difference between planting garlic in the fall versus the spring.

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