Time saver

To keep my hands free while shopping and my grocery list in front of me, I like to use a office binder clip to fasten my grocery list to the grocery cart! There are so many places you can clip your list on the cart also. Be sure to share this idea with your friends who like to use a shopping list!!


Emergency Swamp Cooler

Dump a bag of ice into a dish pan of water and place in front of fan for a temporary way to cool off during extreme heat! Be sure to secure fan to avoid falling into the dish pan. Use common sense and safety precautions with electricity of course! Seems we often hear of deaths in summer heat due to heat exhaustion. Maybe this could save a life! This is cheaper for short term use than buying a air conditioner. As the summer heat is here, it is a good time to share this with your friends! Stay cool!frugal swamp cooler

Dump Fees

Many refuse dump sites charge by the weight and can be costly if your garbage is wet. With these type of charges always make sure your garbage is either kept dry or dry it out first so you do not pay for the weight of the water in your garbage!

Coconut scraper from re-bar

coconut scraper

This kitchen tool scrapes the meat out of the coconut shell much like a grater, making it a one step process for fresh grated coconut. It is made out of a small piece or rebar. One end of the re-bar is hammered out flat and tines ground in, while the other end is more pointed and bent towards the wood like a stinger. This way it only requires one hole the middle for a nail or screw to mount it securely. It is usually mounted on a low bench to sit on while a pan is placed under it to catch the grated meat. This was purchased for very little in the Philippines but with a small number of tools you could make one too.

Finding loose change


In some countries there are coin operated machine such as at laundry mats or car washes that sometimes people forget to pick up their change by the machines or from the coin dispensers. At car washes, some vacuum machines have coins laying around or inside the vacuum waste trap. Also fast food places with a drive through drop change by accident and do not bother to pick it up. Do not forget to check around in cushion chairs or the ground around picnic tables for lost pocket change. At parks coins are often lost beneath swing sets and other such provisions of entertainment. Dirty laundry hampers may have clothes with change left in the pockets too. Fairs, Flea markets, open markets and such are vulnerable to loosing change where vendors give change and customers dig in their pockets. In grassy parks or on beaches, a metal detector with a coin probe often works well. A ice pick works for a cheap coin probe. For a cheap hand held metal detector for a small search, a calculator and a small am radio can be taped together. Under car seats have yielded coins too. Always be aware that used clothes and purses at garage sales and thrift stores have yielded money to the buyers before!

Automatic Animal Feeder

automatic animal feeder

This feeder is made from 4 inch PVC pipe and a Y. A cut up 2 liter pop bottle fits nicely as shown for plugging the bottom and covering the top fill. Of course you will need to glue it all together with the exception of the lid cover made from the bottom of the 2 liter bottle. If you plan to use it outdoors, you will need to add some small drain holes at the bottom. After assembly, you can paint it what ever color you like too. This can easily be used for pets, wild life, and even small farm animals.

Free WiFi or longer WiFi reach with a cantenna

wifi cantenna and diish

Cantennas that are built efficiently will give much greater distance or stronger signals. Basically, they are made from a can and a WiFi stick and best mounted on something like a tripod or mast. I have found that the 40 oz. soup or stew can is best for me. Using a dremmel tool with a small cut off wheel I cut a rectangle hole for the USB plug on stick into the can about an inch from the bottom of the can. The bottom of the can is the back of the cantenna and the open end is the direction of the WiFi source. In the middle of the can is good place to drill and mount a camera tripod base for it.  For outdoor use you may want to cover the open end with plastic and use silicone sealant around USB attachment. Also by using a parabolic dish with the cantenna, some have reported  miles of distance gained! To do this you will have to mount the can on the dish in the same relationship as the dish head was mounted. This is great for those hard to reach places in coffee shops or RV parks!

Mechanic charges

Now I know many of you DIY (Do It Yourself) repairs on vehicles like I normally do, but when traveling, I do not like to carry heavy tools. So, when I took a 6 hour drive to the big city I had a reminder of the importance of how they charge. To estimate, they use a book rate to determine the labor cost. But the dirty trick is to charge you for each labor that overlaps the same labor for another job. When my water pump went out they were going to charge me for the book rate on the water pump replacement, belts replacement, thermostat replacement, and hoses replacement. When I caught this I explained to the manager that the car was not even in the shop for the total labor time on the estimate as well as that the time in replacing the water pump included time to replace belts, and shroud over the hoses. After, bringing this up, the manager took off the extra labor charges and took 10% off the bill which reduced the bill by $300!

Soda savings

Believe it or not…this was suggested by a restaurant owner that my partner and I share a refillable (bottomless) soda pop rather than buy 2 sodas. We still both drink as much as we like. For the more squeamish (or heavy lipstick), with a pocket knife cut another X in the lid for a second straw if you like. Restaurants pay very little for commercial pop machine beverages and charge a very large mark up that would seem like gouging. Of course this may not be for everyone. One could use some of the change you save to tip bigger?


Treasure Hunter?

Seems to be lots of ways to find a treasure of value, such as antiquing, thrifting, garage sales, metal detecting, classified adds, mining, scrapping, and so much more! So many types of valuable items could put money in your pocket! What kind of treasure do you look for? What is your favorite treasure find?

Treasure chest