Sunday, March 10, 2013

Make it Do!

I like the old saying that goes, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!" I've read that it has it's origin from the Great Depression. I often find that I don't have to look far to meet my 'wants' by the items I already have on hand.

I've been out of bubbles for quite a few weeks. The grands enjoy them so. I picked up a bottle at the dollar store this week but then  decided to try and make some instead.

I had all the ingredients on hand. I can't remember where or when I purchased the glycerin.  Apparently I purchased it for a recipe a few years ago. Thankfully I hadn't thrown it out.

The bubbles turned out perfectly. They were larger than the store bought ones and we had the fun of making them ourselves. Here is the recipe I used:

1/4 cup liquid dishwashing detergent
3/4 cup cold water
5 drops of glycerin
(available in pharmacies or chemical supply houses)


I also found a use for an item that I normally throw away. We occasionally get a free newspaper thrown in our front yard and my employer (friend) saves her newspaper for me, too. I save the newspaper for my garden compost or place it under the kitty litter box. I've thought how I could use the plastic sleeve the paper comes in and I finally came up with an idea. 

I've been using plastic wrap to place on top of my planted seeds until they pop up their heads from the soil.  The plastic helps hold the moisture in the soil. I took the newspaper plastic sleeve and cut along the side and the bottom so I could open it. It became a nice size piece of plastic that I can now use as a mini greenhouse over my seeds in place of the store bought plastic. 

I've been sprouting seeds in the garage this winter. This last batch of seeds were not sprouting.
 I think that the cold discouraged the seeds from sprouting so I thought a heated seed mat might do the trick. The mat's run close to $30 which is more than I wanted to pay. I found a copy cat version of the heated seed mat on Pinterest. I love Pinterest!

I looked around and found a plastic storage container along with Christmas tree lights. The lights were placed in the container. I didn't have any sand so dirt was used and it seemed to work just fine. The warmth from the heated dirt has helped my remaining seeds to sprout.

Here is a link to a DIY instruction for the seed mat:

I love using items I have on hand. It's one of the best ways to stretch the money we have coming into the home. Have you found new use for something you already have on hand?


  1. This just shows that we can make just about anything if we just take the time.

  2. Thanks Georgene, for sharing the bubble recipe. We are definitely going to try that, especially with warmer days coming. I haven't found a new use lately for something that we've had on hand, but in continuing on our quest to save money and reduce spending, I reused some old file folders, turning them inside out to have a new tab to write on. I cut some old papers into quarters to use the backs for jotting notes on, and bought a package of huck towels to use for cleaning glass and mirrors since they are lint free. And I keep the stack under my kitchen sink and we're reaching for those instead of paper towels, which has helped to further cut our paper towel usage. I also cut open a lotion bottle and had another month's worth of lotion in it. It was a large bottle with a pump, which didn't go anywhere near the bottom of the bottle because there was lots of lotion left. Just several small things, but all these small things add up to big things, and pennies into dollars!

  3. I shop at a couple of grocery stores sometimes that still have paper bags. I always mean to get my groceries put in those each time, then use for garbage bags instead of buying plastic bags. I have the small grocery bags on hand too for wet, messy things. These are free, and my husband works at a paper mill, which should make me want to ask for paper. But for some reason I have a very hard time not buying the tall plastic bags!! Just goes to show you how good the ad companies are at convincing us we must have this product and that product.

    I was wondering why you just didn't move the little plants into your house, which would surely be warmer than the garage?

  4. I am so poor at gardening, but need to get into it now in my "Area 8" of The House That Cleans Itself book adventure. Mainly I need to experiment with weed prevention. Let me know your ideas if you get a chance.

  5. Congratulations - Hi there - I am a follower of your blog and I nominated you for the Libester Award. Read all about it here.


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