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Cheap or Thrifty?

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 7.41.37 AMI’m all for saving money when something inexpensive works as well as something high priced. That’s why I have clothespins in a kitchen drawer and an ice cube tray in my clothes closet.

I’ve seen those fancy decorative clips to secure opened bags of chips and bread, but I just can’t shell out a dollar or two for one when I can buy a package of 24 metal spring clothespins for $1.19. I do have two fancy clothespins decorated with rhinestone jewels and blue painted flowers and every time I fasten a bag chips with one, I think of and appreciate my friend Cathy who gave them to me. But the wooden pins with wire springs work just as well for five cents each! Maybe I could have a craft day and decorate my plain clothespins. With markers, a bottle of glue, and some fancy jewels, those ordinary clothespins could be transformed into art, but they wouldn’t keep my chips any fresher.

A white plastic ice cube tray on a shelf in my closet holds my earrings. Expensive and beautiful and cute jewelry holders have never tempted me. When I was a teen I had a jewelry box – just like every female in the 1960s – that set on my bedroom dresser. Now that white box lined with pink satin is stored away with other treasures, like my diary and report cards. For forty years I’ve kept my earrings in the same white plastic ice tray.  It’s perfect. I can put one or two pair in each of the 16 places that was really made for an ice cube. And if I need to replace this tray, it’ll cost less than a dollar. That’s cheap enough!

One of my favorite penny-pinching tricks is making garlic and onion salt. When I learned that these salts could be made from garlic or onion powder and regular table salt, I couldn’t use up the bottles of garlic and onion salts in my cabinet fast enough so I could make my own inexpensive mixture. I made extra batches of Chex Mix at Christmastime and coated pork ribs and chicken breasts – everything I cooked – with seasoned salts until finally the bottles were empty.

It’s a simple 1 to 3 ratio. Use 1 part garlic powder or onion powder to 3 parts salt and mix well. A 2.6 ounce bottle of garlic salt costs $2.19 and the same size bottle of garlic powder is $3.39. A box of salt, that hold ten times as much, costs $0.99. There’s about 5 tablespoons in a 2.6 ounce bottle so for $4.38 I can make more than seven bottles of garlic salt and still have enough salt to fill every salt shaker I own. A 2.6 ounce bottle of my mixture of garlic salt costs about sixty cents! $2.19 or $0.60 cents for garlic salt? The $1.59 difference makes it worth my one minute to measure a tablespoon of garlic powder and three tablespoons of salt into an empty store bought garlic salt bottle and shake the bottle.

I like to think I’m thrifty, not cheap. Thrifty sounds so much better than cheap.


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for these thrifty ideas, particularly the garlic salt. I make my own house seasoning and also have a taco seasoning recipe if you ever need it. And, clothespins are my favorite clips too😊. Let’s play soon. Hugs, Kat

    Kat Rust Bobkats@frontiernet.net



  2. I have to admit it…I am just plain cheap! 😝


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