Reducing Food Waste Round-Up

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:12 am on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I’ve talked about reducing food waste quite a bit on this blog, but it looks like the issue is getting worse. A new study says that Americans waste 40%–almost half!–of their food, according to the Natural Resources Defence Council. An average family of four wastes $2,275 in food each year, or 20 pounds per person per month.

Even though my food waste isn’t anywhere near half of my food bill, this is an issue everyone can do better on. I’m already doing better, too. Instead of tossing some old pears today, I put them in the food dehydrator and am making dried pears instead. However, there was no saving that 1/3 of a watermelon that had mold on it. Into the compost it went!

Here are some posts on reducing food waste:

How to Reduce Food Waste

Using Up Commonly Wasted Foods

Fridge Eat Me First Box

10 Things To Do With Overripe Fruit

100 Things To Do With Lemons

5 Things To Do With Stale Bread

What To Do With Milk and Cream

How To Freeze Tomatoes

Use It Up

Use It Up II

Save Money Update: Fossil Purse and JLab Headphones

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 10:20 am on Thursday, July 16, 2015

Making companies replace things that malfunction feels like a full-time job around here. I’ll kept it up, though.

As you remember, my new year’s resolution was to
Save Money By Contacting Companies When Things Break.

So far this year, I’ve had a frame replaced by Michaels and a temperature probe replaced Taylor Digital.

Now I’m working on a few new products that fell apart on me. Here’s the low-down.

1. JLab Pink Headphones


My husband got these for me for Christmas. In less than four months, one ear stopped working and the foam fell off the other ear. Great. Another piece of junk.

I emailed Jlab and they said I could return the headphones and they would give me a new pair.

The only catch was that I had to mail the broken headphones to them, which meant putting the headphones in an envelope, going to the post office, and paying $4 in postage. Pain in the butt! I’m waiting for them to get back to me.

2. Fossil Purse

I bought this purse in January. I was so happy to find one I liked that I spent $100 on it, thinking that it was an investment for something I would have with me a lot. But then last month, vinyl on the purse started peeling away around the top. Look at this:


This isn’t normal wear and tear, but poor construction. It had been six months since purchasing the purse, but something that you pay $100 ought to last more than half a year. So I contacted the company and told them about the problem.

We’ll see what happens.

It’s frustrating that things fall apart so quickly. No one seems to care about quality these days. Well, I do.

Penny Pinching Tip: The Best Way To Keep Salad Greens Fresh

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:40 am on Friday, July 10, 2015


The Kitchn tested three ways to store salad greens to see which method kept them fresh the longest. They tried putting them in a puffed up bag, wrapping them in paper towels and then putting them in a bag (my current method), and putting them in a box with a paper towel over them to absorb the moisture.

The winner? A Container with Paper Towels. After 10 days, the salad greens were still usable.

10-2014 Final Lettuces-2

That’s a long time to store lettuce. I’m going to give it a try.

Penny Pinching Tip: Wash Your Laundry In Cold Water

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:18 am on Tuesday, June 16, 2015


It turns out that 60% of Americans still wash their laundry in warm water. According to this article, an easy way to save $60 a year is simply to change to cold water washes.

Personally, I switched to cold water awhile ago and never noticed a difference in the cleanliness of the clothes. Saving $60 just by moving a dial from “warm” to “cold” is a pretty good deal, if you ask me.

Pay $6.95 For Your Eyeglasses

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:18 am on Tuesday, June 9, 2015


I’m back! Sorry for the break. I had some other work that I had to get finished, but now I’m done and back to posting.

I wanted to share this site I ran into. A lot of people have to buy their glasses out of pocket, which can get pretty expensive. Zenni Optical has dozens of cheap eyeglasses options, some as low as $6.95 for the frames. (Of course, you may have to pay for the lenses too.)

For that price, I’m sure the quality isn’t the best. Then again, for that price, it may be worth the risk to find out.

DIY Dehydrating Marshmallows

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:57 am on Monday, April 27, 2015


Marshmallows can end up in the back of your cupboard, slowly fossilizing until you end up throwing them out. Still, they’re nice to have around, especially if you make your own hot chocolate.

Why not try dehydrating them?

Mom With A Prep has a guide to drying marshmallows in the oven and in a dehydrator.

You’ve probably had dehydrated marshmallows before–they’re commonly in packets of hot chocolate. They’d be good in hot chocolate or cereals or trail mix.

Seems worth a try.

3 Pounds Of Dried Apples For $4

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:01 am on Monday, March 30, 2015


Here’s an example of how I Save Money By Dehydrating Fruit. My local grocery store frequently has a cart of marked down fruits and vegetables. Recently, the store had two bags for $2 each.


The apples were on the old side, but that didn’t matter because I cut them up and stuck them in my food dehydrator.


In the end, I ended up with three pounds of dried apples for $4. The same amount of dried apples in the store would have costs me a whole lot more.

Save Money Update: Michaels Frame And Taylor Digital Thermometer

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:05 am on Monday, March 23, 2015

Time for an update on my New Year’s Resolutions to Save Money By Contacting Companies When Things Break. Every time something I own breaks or malfunctions, I’ll contact the company and ask for a replacement.

So far, I’ve interacted with two companies. Here’s how it went down.

Taylor Digital Cooking Thermometer

I wasn’t surprised when my digital thermometer broke. I’ve had to buy several digital thermometers over the years; they don’t last that long. So when my Taylor Digital Cooking Thermometer broke, my impulse was to throw it out and buy a new one. I actually went so far as to put it in the garbage can before I remembered my New Year’s Resolution.

Then I pulled the thermometer out of the trash and looked at it.


As you can see in this picture, the wires pulled out of the probe. The rest of the thermometer still worked. So I contacted Taylor and asked them to send me a new probe.

They wrote back and said I could buy a new probe if I wanted.

I wrote them again and said, would they send me one for free? The thermometer was less than a year old.

They wrote back and asked if I had sent in the warranty.

I wrote them and said, no I hadn’t. Still, would they please send me a free probe?

They agreed, but I had to jump through all these hoops that included telling them where and when I bought thermometer, taking pictures of it, sizing and editing the photos so they could see them, and writing down many many serial numbers. It felt like Taylor was trying to discourage me so they wouldn’t have to send me the probe. However, I did all they asked.

They wrote again and said that the probe was back ordered until April. Well! Okay then. This was in February, as I’ve been waiting patiently ever since for my probe. I do miss having a digital thermometer.

From this experience, I got the feeling that Taylor thermometers break a lot and this is how the company deals with complaints. I also learned next time to send in the stupid warranty card.

Michaels Frame

On the other hand, I was super impressed with Michaels. As I wrote in this post, a poster frame I purchased from there exploded all over my bathroom.

In November, I went to Michaels and bought a frame for a poster. Last month, my son knocked the poster over. It flopped slowly over in a way that might have cracked the glass of a normal frame, but that’s not what happened. Instead, the glass shattered. It was like Hollywood breakaway glass. It flew all over the bathroom, into the kitty litter, behind the toilet. It was a mess, and worse–it was dangerous. The glass was brittle, thin, and sharp. Thank God my son didn’t get cut.

Here’s a picture of the glass after I cleaned it up:

I told Michaels about this situation, and they went way beyond my expectations. Not only did they send me a $25 gift card, they went to the trouble of sending a new frame to my house. Here it is:


Sew Your Own Cloth Menstrual Pads

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:17 am on Friday, March 20, 2015


I’m not sure if cloth pads are something I would do for my period, but I can see how they would save you money. Cloth pads last for years and can be used over and over, while disposal pads cost what? $8-$13 a pack? Plus cloth menstrual pads have the added benefit of being environmentally friendly.

Cleaning them, though…

Here’s a tutorial for making your own. And here’s information about using cloth pads.

10 Secrets the Airlines Don’t Want You to Know

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:10 am on Tuesday, March 10, 2015



This article 10 Secrets the Airlines Don’t Want You to Know has some good pointers on dealing with airlines when they mess up. For example:

Say ‘no’ to vouchers — you’re entitled to cold, hard cash

Do not settle for vouchers. They’re the airline equivalent of Geoffrey Dollars. If you’re bumped from a flight because it’s overbooked, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has compensation rules of up to $1,300 in cash if the airline fails to rearrange plans within two hours of your flight. The airlines often offer passengers a travel voucher instead (like every time, let’s be real). They’re also required to tell you that you can get a check on the spot. It’s like your flight delay Miranda rights.

Aren’t airlines the worst sometimes?

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