Home & Family Articles

Sometimes home, sweet home can seem like a money pit. But your house and family don’t have to cost you tons for care and upkeep when you use ingenuity, creativity, shopping sense, and savings sense to bring out the best without breaking the bank.

In this category, you’ll find some sweet and sensible ideas, tips and ideas—from how to make your own cleaning products (yes!), wash a down comforter (forget the dry cleaners); the worst and best ways to clean your eyeglasses,  the very best way to kill weeds ( it’s not Roundup) and so much more.

Here you’ll find so many sweet and sensible ideas for making your house a wonderful home with money and time to spare!


We needed to bring in the outside ladder for a little job inside the house.

The ladder is dirty on the bottom, so I took some old socks and slipped them onto the ladder’s “legs,” securing them with a rubber band.

This kept the floor clean and protected the finish, too. Davena







Coffee Filter Switcheroo

I had a good supply of basket-style coffee filters when I switched to a pot that takes the cone-style. I decided to try a little tweaking to see if I could possibly use the filters I had already.

I set the basket filter on the counter, measured in the coffee, gathered the top and set it in the new pot. Viola!

Basket filters work just as well and I get 200 filters for $1.89. Cone filters are nearly $6.00 for 200. I can find a better use for that money! Nancy

Always Prepared: Car Sickness Bag

One simple addition to your car will keep your car ready for a car-sickness emergency. When my daughter was young, she at times suffered from car sickness. I needed a solution to prevent a big, smelly mess! To be ready for such an event, I placed a large, leak-free trash bag in my vehicle. I selected a place where both driver and passenger would be able to grab it quickly. My bag is located in the back pocket of a front seat.

Before placing the bag in your vehicle, check to make sure it is leak-free, and remember to replace the bag once it’s been used so that your vehicle is always ready.


Longer Life for Cut Flowers

Here’s a tip to make cut flowers last longer.  

My husband buys me a single rose for different occasions and dissolving an aspirin tablet in the water as a substitute for plant food lasts for about 3 days. When I change the water, I add another aspirin.

My flower stays like new for about two and a half weeks. I can persuade cut flowers from the supermarket to last close to a month using this method! Jeannie

Thaw Detector

Always keep a quarter on top of a frozen ice cube tray. If the quarter has sunk to the bottom, you know the things in the freezer thawed and refroze during a power outage and may not be are not safe to eat. This tip is especially useful if you were away from home for a few days or more.


Keep Those Cords from Tangling

This tip (courtesy of my mom) helps keep all those cords in the bathroom from getting tangled. Don’t throw those empty toilet paper rolls away, put them to good use! Fold the cord of your hair dryer or curling iron over a few times, then push the cord half-way through the tp roll. It sure saves me time when I’m trying to get ready in the morning!



Flat or Fluffy Comforter?

I was frustrated with the fact that I was replacing my queen-size down comforters after only a few years of use.  It didn’t make sense that they went flat so quickly.  I stumbled upon a great way to make them last longer.

Instead of buying a queen-size comforter the last time, I bought a king-size one…and put it in a queen-size duvet cover.  This way, the down doesn’t migrate to the edges as much, so I’m not losing feathers or down.  I regularly launder the duvet cover and have cleaned the comforter itself many times.  8 years later, the comforter is still fluffy and keeping us warm on cold winter nights.


Handy Trash Can Liners

I put several trash can liners at the bottom of all of my trash cans. Then when I need to empty them I just remove the full bag and insert a new one at the same time. No more hunting for a new liners because they are already in the can.