5 Household Uses for Alka Seltzer!

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5 Household Uses for Alka Seltzer

When you have heartburn or stomach discomfort, you know the saying. Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, oh what a relief it is! is an old tried and true motto that many have come to live by.  Sure Alka Seltzer is great for treating your symptoms and making you feel better faster, but did you know that you can use Alka Selzer for so much more? This little tablet can really pack a punch and help you in other ways around the house. Want to know more? Take a look below at 5 household uses for Alka Seltzer that you can  try today!

5 Household Uses for Alka Seltzer:

1. Make your toilet sparkle.
If you want to clean your toilet in a hurry, all you need to do is grab a few Alka Seltzer tablets. The citric acid in them works hard at removing stains and built up gunk. Just toss two in the bowl, wait about 15 minutes, and flush. No scrubbing required!

2. Make your own all purpose cleaner.
You can make your own all purpose cleaner using Alka Seltzer in a variety of ways. When mopping, just drop a tablet in your mop water. When cleaning the bathroom, fill your sink with water and add a tablet. Or, when cleaning various rooms of the house, fill a spray bottle with water and add 1-2 crumbled tablets. In all cases, just use the solution on your messy surfaces, scrub, and rinse.

3. Remove burnt food from dishes.
If you have burnt sauce or other food particles stuck to your dishes, just fill your sink with warm water and add 3 tablets. Allow your dishes to soak and watch the baked on food just melt away. This is so easy and gentle on your dishes.

4. Whiten your laundry.
Fill your sink with warm water and add a tablet or two. Then, soak your dingy shirts, socks, undershirts, etc. The powerful effervescence will brighten your whites and get them looking nice and clean. Adding the tablets to your washing machine is not advised. Be sure to soak first as directed and then toss the items in your machine.

5. Freshen your fridge.
If you have garlicky foods or fish in your fridge it can really leave a stench. Banish the smell by placing a coffee cup full of warm water and one tablet in your fridge. Allow it to sit in your fridge for a couple hours to help combat the smell. If it is really bad, use the solution in the cup after the few hours is up to wipe out the fridge shelving.

See how easy and fun it can be to use Alka Seltzer in various ways? It can sure come in handy around the house when you need to do a little cleaning and freshening up. Alka Seltzer can be found at your local retail store for less than a few dollars (and often FREE), so be sure to stock up and in turn, enjoy a frugally fresh and clean home!

How to Clean Stainless Steel!

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Stainless steel is one of the most popular types of cookware and currently a popular finish for kitchen appliances. What they don’t tell you at the store how difficult stainless steel is to keep clean and to get clean once its dirty!

They do try and sell you expensive stainless steel cleaning products, which may be effective on the appliances, but they’re not very helpful if you’re on a tight budget.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 4 easy ways you can clean your appliances:

  • Just water (and a microfiber towel)
  • Water with a bit of dish liquid mixed in
  • Glass cleaner
  • Homemade stainless steel cleaner

Homemade Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner Recipe


  • Rubbing Alcohol or White Vinegar
  • Water

In a spray bottle, mix 2 parts alcohol or vinegar to 1 part water. Give it a shake and spray on your stainless steel appliances to clean off those finger prints!

Note: Stainless steel cleaners will not remove hard water stains.

Maybe you don’t have stainless steel appliances but just have stainless steel cookware. If you do, you know that over time it tends to get build up on the bottom of the pans. Here’s how to keep that stainless steel cookware looking brand new.

  • Wash right away. Don’t give grime time to get stuck.
  • For tough stuck-on stains,  fill your pots with 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water and boil on the stove for a few minutes.
  • To keep your pans looking shiny try Bon Ami Polishing Cleanser or Bar Keepers Friend (print a coupon!), nonabrasive cleaners.
  • Don’t leave any water spots on your pans, these are actually caused by minerals and will discolor your pans over time. Instead of letting the pots and pans drip dry, make sure to wipe them with a towel before you put them away.
  • To clean burn marks, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the wet pan. Let this sit for a few minutes before you try and wipe it off.
  • If burn marks are on the inside of the pan, fill the pan with a small amount of water and baking soda and put it on the stove on a medium heat for a few minutes to try and “cook the burns” off.

There are many ways to effectively stainless steel.  It’s not a one size fits all proposition either.  Try them out to find  which one seems to work for the kinds of messes that you tend to have.

What is your favorite method for cleaning stainless steel?

Amazon: Ivory Bar Soap 16ct $4.99 Shipped! Plus, Easy Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe!

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Savings are stacking to make Ivory Soap just $0.30/4oz Bar at Amazon.  Since it’s available as an Add On item and Subscribe & Save, the 16 count pack is $4.74 with Subscribe & Save.  And since it’s a Subscribe & Save item, it ships free.

If you’re subscribed to 5 or more items, your final cost is $4.74 or $0.27/Bar.

And you know me, I’m all about easy and efficient.  I just don’t have time to make Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap.  Plus, it’s messy.  Yep, I don’t need that either.  If you’ve been tempted to try your hand at making your own laundry soap, here’s an easy recipe for you.  For me, it’s a great bridge between my last super cheap laundry detergent deal and the next one if I’m running low.

Ivory Soap Laundry Detergent


  • 1 Cup Ivory Soap Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Borax
  • 1/2 Cup Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer)


  1. Grate a bar of Ivory Soap with your handy dandy grater or use a food processor. Measure out 1 cup of soap flakes. Add 1/2 cup borax. Add 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda. Mix well.


Directions for use: Use 1 tablespoon per normal wash load in standard washing machine. Use 2 teaspoons for High Efficiency washing machines.

Heavily Soiled: Use 1 tablespoon + 1 tsp in standard washing machine Use 1 tablespoon for High Efficiency washing machines


Note: As with all Amazon prices, the price on this offer can change at any time. These prices are valid as of March 12th at 10:19am EST.   

If this applies, and you need some suggestions for inexpensive items to reach the $25 threshold for Super Saver Shipping, take a look at all of the recently posted Amazon deals.

Amazon Program Information Refresher
Understanding these Amazon programs can be confusing, so I though it might be nice to break them down a bit for you.

Some items are available through the Subscribe & Save program.  What that means is that you select shipments at regular intervals (every 1-6 months) and you’ll receive the item at the 5% discounted price when you subscribe to 4 items or less.  Subscribe to 5 or more items, and you’ll receive a 15% discount on each of your subscription items.  Additionally, all subscriptions ship free.  If you don’t want to bother with regular shipments (the prices do fluctuate), sign up to receive the shipment you want and cancel (with no penalty) when you’ve received your order.  You can cancel via the Your Account dropdown menu tab “Your Subscribe & Save Items.”  Canceling is very easy to do.

Alternatively, all items can be shipped free with Amazon Prime as well. You can sign up for a free trial membership and cancel before you are charged the annual fee, if you choose.

I am a member of the Amazon Mom program.  Starting January 24, 2012, the maximum discount available on any purchase is 20%.  This comes from the exclusive discount of 15% on select items (diapers, wipes, etc.) on top of  a revised 5% Subscribe and Save discount vs. 15% for other purchased items i.e. grocery, etc.  There are often coupons that are stackable with these discounts as well.  Also, when you join Amazon Mom, you have the added bonus of Amazon Prime free Two-Day shipping for the first three months continued only by purchasing an Amazon Prime membership after the trial period ($79).

Amazon Student is free for, well, college students by providing a school and major.  You get AmazonPrime free shipping for six months and free release date delivery on video games, DVD’s, books and more.  You must have a .edu email address to confirm.

Household Recipe: Lemonade Kool-Aid Dishwasher Cleaner!

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Reader Cheryl saw this and sent it to me today.  Bless her heart, she knows just how to make me do cartwheels.  I love..no, I mean L-O-V-E tips for making my life a little easier.  I LOVE passing them on to you even more.

I sure hope I’m not under a rock here and that you haven’t seen this, but did you know that you can use Kool-Aid to clean your dishwasher?  I kid you not.  I tried it.  It works.  Of course it works (see final comment below). There are no fumes to make you evacuate your home while it’s working either….although just the thought of this super cheap solution nearly drove me outside screaming with happiness.  I know, it really doesn’t take much with me.  My son, on the other hand, was less than thrilled.    Trust me, he’ll get over it when I buy 20 more.  😉

This is so simple.  Open a packet of unsweetened Lemonade Kool-Aid and pour it into the dispenser of your empty dishwasher. Run your dishwasher on any cycle to clean stains and buildup.

It’s the Citric Acid.  Can I just say how disgusted I am that I didn’t make the connection with this?  I have a degree in CHEMISTRY.  Ugh & duh, over and over and over.  Ugh & duh.

Thanks, Cheryl & Real Simple.

Household Recipe: Save The Peel! Easy Frugal Ideas For Getting the Most Out of Your Citrus Fruit!

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This started out as a post about making scented vinegar for cleaning.  You know what happened next.  I started thinking about some of the ways I use orange and lemon peel to avoid waste.   With that in mind, give these ideas a try the next time you’re peeling an orange or two for the kiddies.

A.)  Zest it first.  You’ll want to  remove the orange part of the skin only – not the white pith.  Freeze the zest in juice cubes to be thawed and used later for recipes.  I have quite a few recipes (You probably do, too.) that call for a tablespoon or two of lemon juice AND zest, so the cubes are a  perfect solution.  And if your little one will be eating the orange, you can freeze the zest in ice cubes and place them in a fine mesh strainer over a glass to thaw them when you’re ready to use them.

B.) You can also just zip bag the zest and freeze it that way, too.  Make sure you press the air out of the bag before you seal it.  Next, be sure to lay it flat in the freezer until thoroughly frozen. You don’t want it to freeze in one big clump – just manageable pinches here and there.

C.) Slice the peel into strips and steep them in a canning  jar quart of 50:50 vinegar and water.  I refrigerate mine because…well…I’m like that.  Remove them after 10-14 days and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.  Voila!  You’ve got a much better smelling cleaner by simply using something you already have in your home.  You can also use lemon peels, if you’d rather.  I’d rather, but I don’t always have lemons in the house depending upon our weekly menu.

D.)  If you’ve still got some left over, toss one in the garbage disposal.  They really help freshen things up!

E.)  If you’d rather eat them, give this recipe for Candied Orange Peel by Giada De Laurentiis a try.  I made these for Christmas using her recipe last year and they didn’t make it to Grandma’s house.

F.)  Most of the time, I skip the garbage disposal and sweet treats in favor of my flower bed.  OK, I’ll just say it.  I am not a fan of cats.  Nope, not even a little bit.  I like them even less when they become thoroughly convinced that my flower bed is a litter box.  We’ve got several mangy beasts who cling tightly to this  belief.  Last year, I bought some kind of critter friendly repellent from PetSmart and still scooped poop.  Grrrr….crummy animals.  How it didn’t deter them, I’ll never know.  It sure deterred me.  So along about the first week of September, when I nearly didn’t care about my withering flowers anymore, scattering orange peels was suggested.  Genius!  Those sniffy sniffersons do not like the smell.  And I don’t mind telling you that I giggled myself to pieces watching  *the calico cat* lift up his/her paw in disgust and jump directly out of the flower bed like he was the Michael Jordan of cats.  Good riddance, you nasty thing!

Do you have any other frugal suggestions?  I’d love to hear them!

Behind The Scenes: My Stupid, Dirty Stove (Because Everything Dirty Is Stupid)

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Are you wondering where I’ve been today?  Dollar General, maybe?  Uuuhh nope,  I had one of those flip-out-and-clean something episodes.  I get them every once in a while.  I’ll just keep walking past it (whatever it is) and think, “I really should clean that…meh, I’ll do it when I’m done blogging.”  Yeah, we both know that never happens.  Today, I decided that I was done blogging…momentarily. Blame the stove.  I walked past it, looked at it, stopped and went back.  Generally, what follows is something like, “That’s it.  I can’t take it anymore.”  The nearest I got to the computer was to Google my problem.  Here is what I found.

Her name is Anna.  Do I know Anna?  No, but she is my sister in dirty stove-ness.  In my quest to find a way to clean what remained after the flame thrower cycle I ran last week when it was warm enough to open the windows and/or run for the hills, I found her.  Again, this makes me dredge up my moldy explanation of my limited ability to creatively solve problems.  It’s a little something I like to call *book smart*  vs. *life smart*.  Yes, it’s relatively self explanatory.   If you’d like to amuse yourself, you’re welcome to read my take on this phenomena in which I own much stock.   Oh, and in case you’re wondering what happened to that series…well, don’t ask.  It’s still in progress, but I may have another, “That’s it!” episode if you ask me about it.  😉  All right, so back to my stove dilemma.  Anna and I have essentially the same stove, but mine is ridiculously dirtier than hers.  Nevertheless I was *armed*  with her secret ingredient.   Free Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, of course!  I’ve acquired a nice stash of it, actually, from rolling my UP Rewards into them until I felt I had a sufficient sprinkling of orange in my midst.  Enchanted by the notion of a free cleaning solution miracle,  I scurried my way past Mount Jammipants to my beloved basement shelving full of free to retrieve a box of this magical wonder.  Thoroughly skeptical and muttering to myself about the stupidity of this endeavor, I tripped my way back up the stairs and pulled out my trusty Pyrex measuring cup so I could mix some water and baking soda to make a paste.  Using a (free) paper towel, I spread it on the inside of the door…everywhere.  I tried to convince myself that even if it didn’t work, I was attempting to fix it.  That was my mental offering to my perfectionist alter, who was still skeptical and on the brink of insanity.  OK, now all I had to do was close the door and set the timer for 15 minutes.    While I did this, I decided to check into the possibility of cleaning between the glass, which Anna addresses as well.  Genius!  That’s all I have to say about that.  Since that was successful, I need not say more about it.  With one problem knocked to the ground,  I was very hopeful that a little baking soda would save the day.  What happened?  Hmmpf, at least it’s better than it was.  Hmmm, maybe if I do it again?  15 minutes later.  Better still, but we’re dealing with perfectionism, you’ll recall.  I WISH now that I had taken a before picture because it is infinitely more clean, but not…OK, so I miss blogging too much to mess around with it anymore tonight.  After all, tomorrow is another day, I say as I channel my inner Scarlett O’Hara.  And tomorrow, I’ll bring out Arm & Hammer’s alter ego, Vinegar.  She’s MY alter’s best friend. 😉