Daily Dose of Thrifty

How To Spotlessly Clean Shower Heads and Faucets With Ease

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie

3-step-faucet-shower-head-deep-clean

Shower heads and faucets are a breeding ground for bacteria.  Many times, we don’t even often look at the end of the spout to realize how dirty and the amount of build-up that has accumulated.

And then, once we look at it, we realize how gross it is! Well, it is the type of cleaning job that needs a good deep cleaning…like a good long soak in a good cleaning solution.

But… we also want as natural as possible, while being effective cleaning.  Deep cleaning with harsh chemicals is bothersome to me for my family as we shower and use the water coming from those faucets.

And, like every case of homemade natural cleaning, it is actually cheaper to make the homemade version, so it is a total win-win.

When it comes to cleaning my faucets and shower heads, this is not a daily task and so only I only make the solution for the immediate time of use and don’t make it to store. There really isn’t much to it to justify needing to make it before like many of our other homemade cleaner recipes.

The supplies you need are:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Original Blue Dawn (this is the only dish soap I have tried for this and original blue dawn has many non-dish cleaning wonders)
  • Toothbrush for scrubbing

supplies needed for step 1 of stainless steel sink cleaning1

  • Ziploc – for thriftier ideas, reuse the same ziploc for all the faucets/showerheads that day. We have even recycled bread bags for this purpose too! They are nice and long for long faucets.
  • Rubberband

It is really, really simple to make the solution.

  • In the ziploc bag, add 2 TBSP of Baking Soda and add 4-5 drops of blue dawn dish soap.
  • Place the bag around the faucet/showerhead.

faucet11

  • Then add enough vinegar to the ziploc to cover the surface you wish to soak (about 1/2 cup). It will foam up!
  • Secure the ziploc in place with a rubberband.
  • Let soak for at least 30 minutes, but 1+ hours is great too!

faucet21

  • Then remove the baggie and rubber band (and then place on the next faucet if it didn’t get too dirty or make a new solution and the same bag for the next faucet).
  • Then, using an old toothbrush, scrub away!

faucetscrub1

  • To rinse, I just pour cups of hot water over it until the soap residue is gone.

The GREAT thing about this type of faucet or shower head cleaning process is that no matter how many crevices, nooks and crannies there are or the type of faucet, this works super well!  It is also not very time consuming, although very effective.  It can sometimes be a lot of work to scrub and scrub and scrub the faucets and shower heads, but by giving them this presoak, the gunk really breaks down nicely.

Find many more cleaning tips, recipes, shortcuts, hacks and tricks in 

the cleaning section of our site here

{ 0 comments }

Alex & Cassie
 

How To Get A Great Deal On Fresh Bulk Chicken Nationwide (No Added Hormones or Additives!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie

how-to-get-a-great-deal-on-bulk-chicken

YAY! This Nationwide Chicken Deal is available again.  We get to tell you about this a couple of times per year and the last time was back in December of last year, so it is certainly over-due and we are glad that they are selling this again.

This is the main way that we have bought chicken for 3-years now.  It saves loads of money and is a bit better option that just any ol’ chicken from the grocery store.

So let us tell you about what we do for bulk chicken supply a couple of times per year.  This is a smart frugal option vs. buying chicken in the grocery store. 

A popular company called Zaycon Foods offers different meat offerings a couple of times a year.  Once they sell out, it is gone until the next sale in about 6 or so months.  They have a different offering all of the time, but we have only purchased chicken and ground beef.

The prices for boneless, skinless chicken breast is $1.89 a lb., which is really, really good price compared to the grocery store.

But EVEN BETTER is the quality of the chicken compared to many grocery store options. This chicken has no added hormones, additive or artificial ingredients.   It is NOT organic.  We just wanted to make that clear. However, here’s how we see it: this is a good alternative to organic when you can pay $1.89 for good boneless, skinless chicken breast vs. the $5-$7 per lb. price for certified organic chicken.  Would we LOVE to get certified organic – YES, but it simply does not fit in our budget.  There have been a few rare opportunities where we have gotten certified organic chicken for a great price, but certainly not enough for our family size for a long term solution.  But you bet we will grab it when it fits in our budget. 

So, this is the second best thing and this is the only chicken we have to buy, except for the rare organic deals.  In fact, it is actually cheaper than many grocery store low quality, unnatural chicken breasts.  You really cannot go wrong.  

What is Zaycon Foods?

This chicken is sold via Zaycon Foods which is a nationwide company that provides fresh chicken, beef, pork and seafood to families at an affordable price. Their meat is higher quality and in some cases a natural option. They only have meat offerings at certain times of the year and for a certain type of meat. The last natural chicken breast sale was in the winter.  You do not know how often or when they will have these sales

If it’s not sold in the grocery stores, how do I get it? 

The way that this works is that you place your order online and then you will pick up your order from a local pick-up site as they are delivered to the area fresh in a cold truck.  The chicken comes right from the processor and is not frozen beforehand, so it is super fresh. The pick-up spot is usually within a few minute drive of your home and they are in a parking lot of a private business/organization (like a church parking lot) and the pick-up time for your area will be on a certain date and a small window of time (usually 30 minutes) on that day.

To get this chicken for the price of $1.89 per lb., you do need to order in bulk.  The bulk boxes comes in 40lb. cases and you can get multiple cases or split a case with several people. Whatever your needs are! Currently, you order today through the next few weeks (or until they sell out, which they do!) and then pickup is in mid-October. For the specific date/location/time, you will need to check your area on the website.

This comes out to be $75.60 each 40lb. box. This is an AMAZING price per lb. for this quality of chicken breasts.

zaycon-chicken-sale189

We often get two 40-lb. case boxes as this is pretty much the only chicken we have.  We also have a growing family and our little kids are getting bigger, so we are starting to need to make more per meal.   One 40 lb. box will last our family for about 3 months.

We freeze half of the chicken raw in ziplocs and the other box we cook it all up and chop it up and have cooked cubed or shredded chicken which makes dinner so much easier as this is always the hardest part for me (defrosting and cooking the meat).  So the days I have very little time, the cooked chicken is the answer.

how-we-prep-bulk-chicken-plus-tips-and-tools-to-make-it-easier

Read our post HERE on how these come packaged and then how we prep them for the freezer

We highly encourage you to look into this and to place your orders soon as they sell out of this product. One time, I waited too long and the locations that were 3, 15, 25 minutes away were sold out and I had to go with the fourth option that was 45 minutes away, when I literally had an option up the road.  It was still worth the 45 minute drive, however, I don’t wait any longer because I want to pick-up close to home and order before they sell out. 

Here’s details about the chicken that they offer (this information is from their site):

Our Trademark Event

• 100 % natural chicken with no added hormones, additives or artificial ingredients

• Comes directly from the processor and has never been frozen

 • Sold by the case — 40 lbs in each case

 • Case dimensions—18 in wide x 12 in deep x 7 in tall

 [NOTE: Our chicken is delivered in its original wholesale packaging, a water resistant cardboard case containing three or four plastic bags of fresh chicken breasts. The smaller bags are typically sealed in a larger plastic bag. The smaller bags are not uniform in weight. There will be small amounts of naturally occurring liquids (i.e.,"chicken juice") in each bag and case. Chicken breasts typically come in double-lobed pairs ("butterfly") and will have small attached amounts of fat.]

Just as we have mentioned many times in our classes, we rarely buy meat at the store.  Between our beef supply from a local farmer or the ground beef from Zaycon, and these opportunities to buy chicken in bulk, we are set for most meals.  Most all of our weekly budget goes to the fresh produce and dairy and small portion to the coupon items that we use!

Head to the Zaycon Site HERE and register (or log-in if already a member). 

You have to be registered to see the prices, pickup and delivery details and dates for your area and additional details. 

Don’t miss this event as it is only open for orders the next few weeks or until they sell out and then it will be gone again for a while!

 

{ 5 comments }

Alex & Cassie
 

Free Amazon Prime for College Students (Plus Earn Unlimited $10 Credits)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie

college-students-get-free-amazon-prime-for-6-months

Amazon never ceases to amaze us.  We actually do a good bulk of our grocery, baby, household and any other needed, non-perishable shopping on Amazon throughout the year because of their highly competitive prices – often much lower prices than even going to Walmart or Costco.  We even end up using the digital coupons on Amazon and not have to cut out coupons and drive to the store.  Our items arrive to our door in a couple of days and we are just happy thrifty campers.

We have a great guide on how every household can maximize Amazon Prime HERE to get better than Walmart or Costco prices. 

Well, they have an even more attractive program for starving college students – the Amazon Student program.

It is basically just like Prime, only you get it for free for 6-months, then if you want to continue, it’s half the cost of Amazon Prime at only $49 for a year.

If you or anyone in your household is a college student to anywhere then this is the WAY TO GO for sure!

So, we love our regular prime that we pay full price for (because it is that worth it!), but we wanted to share the benefits with you again in case you are not sure of the Prime benefits that also equate in the Amazon Student program:

amazon-student-benefits-chart

Basically, you get the first few options totally free the first 6 months – the benefit of the free-2-day shipping is alone worth it!

Then after 6 months, the Prime membership for most households is $99 for one year, but for students you get it for $49 – then you get the benefits of the movies, books and songs all year for free.

PLUS…. this is where this is really cool, and only for students who are using the Amazon Student program. You get to earn a little extra money too! After you join, you can tell all of your buddies about this and then you get $10 referral credit added to your account for each college student friend that also signs up! It does not appear to have a limit, so refer away and earn your college living, because you really can live off Amazon. ;)

We aren’t referring as we are not students, but this is a definite triple-plus of the whole deal for you college students!

So, by joining Amazon Student, you will receive many benefits. To be qualified to sign-up, you will need to enter your school and major and have an email address ending in .edu.  My own mom even qualified for this same free Amazon Student Membership.  She is in her 50′s and went back to school after all her kids left home.  She is very happy with this freebie and brags about it to everyone. :)

Get signed-up for free Amazon Student HERE today to start reaping those benefits!

Don’t you just love Amazon :) Saving others money and giving others opportunity to earn money too! Those are the sorts of things we get excited to tell you about! 

If you are not a student……

If you are not a student, don’t sweat it…there is another way you can get a FREE Prime Membership: Everyone can get a free 2-month trial of the Amazon Prime program here. I know, it’s not 6 months, but 2-months is still great. Be sure to read the details!

{ 0 comments }

Alex & Cassie
 

How to Cook Perfect Corn on the Cob in a Cooler

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Alex

how-to-cook-perfect-corn-on-the-cob-in-a-cooler

Cooking corn on the cob in a cooler? Weird, right?!?  Well, it is actually awesome because it cooks perfectly without hardly any effort!

We recently had a big gathering with many friends and corn on the cob is sold everywhere around here with all of our local farmers and farmer’s markets.

Well, it is a lot of work to cook up tons of corn on the cob on the stove.  A few pieces work out well, but a lot is a lot of heat and back breaking, time consuming cooking!

Well, one of our friends had this idea that she had seen some where about cooking corn on the cob in a cooler.

So we put it to the test!

There was 18 full cobs or 36 half cobs in a cooler at once to be cooked.

How To Cook Perfect Corn on the Cob in a Cooler

Boil about 10-14 quarts of water on the stovetop (varies based on cooler size and amount of corn).

While the water is coming to a boil, shuck the corn and place in the cooler.  We like our’s split in half for ease in eating and smaller portions for littles.

Once the water is boiling, pour it over the corn in the cooler until the corn is fully covered.

Then close the lid and don’t open it for 30 minutes as it “cooks” in the cooler.

After 30 minutes, open it and check it to see if the center of the cob is soft and can be pierced by the cob holders or forks.  This means it is done!

If it isn’t quite done, just close the lid for a bit more time.

30 minutes was perfect for us. The corn was not over done at all, but rather just barely complete and was the crisp perfect taste that makes corn on the cob so great!

cornincoolercooking

Party Guests Grabbing The Perfect Grub

We just let our party guests use tongs and the cob holders to grab their corn.  We had a stick of butter on a butter dish with flavored salts of all kinds to “dress-it.”

It was a perfect corn party solution and a great way to feed a large crowd and it was really easy to prepare this much food! It can easily be transported too (which is what this cooler did!) from it’s original destination to the party!  The water was just poured right before leaving and perfect upon arrival!

So no matter how to plan to serve it, this might be a great solution!

What do you think of this idea? 

See more Recipes in our Recipe Art Gallery

See our Recipe Pinterest Board

{ 4 comments }

Alex & Cassie
 

How To Get Free and Cheap Haircuts All Year: The Secrets We’ve Used for Years

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie

how-to-get-free-and-cheap-haircuts-all-year

You might have noticed how expensive haircuts can be this day and age.  Well, if you are a family of 7 like us, this is a HUGE expense – at least it could be….

But it can also be a low expense.  When we shared our budget, we shared how we only set aside $10 a month for haircuts.

This is because, I cut the boy’s and daddy’s hair at home, and I cut the girls bangs at home.  I do get nervous about doing an actual trim on my girls as they have such gorgeous long hair.  So how I and our three girls get cuts is from the local beauty college.  We set aside $10 a month, because we go in about every 3 months to get a trim.  This gives us $30, which is more than enough for a cut at the beauty college and tips for our student beauticians.  Sometimes we have a little extra for a color or highlight. In the end, we figure that we average a 70% savings at the beauty college over a regular salon, not to mention more than 70% savings compared to high end salons.

We have also found that the beauty colleges in our area, use high end products and have a high end experience.  Yes, we know that they are students and that you sign a waiver and something could go wrong, but I have personally been going to the beauty college for 11 years (about the time we started our $100K debt payoff as salon services were too astronomical).  In that time, I have never had a bad experience, or a cut or service go badly. Our oldest daughter is 10, and I started taking her when she was a few years old and then added the other two thrifty princesses later.  All four of us go and have a good experience.  But, there is a risk that your cut/style/color, etc. can go badly and hair is unforgiving.  But it is a risk I am willing to take to save 70% average!  You can see our before and after results HERE as well as more details on how this can save you loads of money.

Now when it comes to cutting hair at home, I have no previous experience with cutting hair.  But I bought a simple kit from Amazon and these are very user friendly, even for the unexperienced.  It didn’t take me long to get the hang of it for giving the boys a cut.  In fact, I have been cutting Alex and our sons’ hair for over 5 years now! I use to cut all one length, but now I use two or three different levels on the boys and three levels on Alex for a more professional looking cut!

The great thing is that in our day and age, you can get information at your finger tips.  The first several times, use your computer, tablet or smart phone and watch some YouTube videos on how to cut boy’s or men’s hair.  You can even play it along side while you are cutting for the first few times while you get the hang of it!

Here’s a quick video showing how to cut men/boys hair in 5 steps:

Buying a kit is nearly the cost of a salon cut one time! So basically, in lieu of a cut this month, get a kit and get cutting at home! We recommend this very affordable kit from Wahl that is also user friendly for the at home novice!

wahl-haircutting-kit1

Wahl haircutting kit for men and boys that is very user friendly, even for novices.  You can consistently get this for under $20 HERE

Like I said, I also cut our girl’s bangs.  This is a bit harder compared to cutting boys hair.  It requires more precision and skill.  But once you do it a few times, it will become easy too! My girls’ bangs have to be cut about every 2 weeks before they start getting in their eyes.  Just a bang trim at a place like Great Clips ( a budget salon) cost $5 in our area – this alone would be $30 a month!  So again, pulling up YouTube and cutting bangs at home can be a huge savings!

Here’s a GREAT video on how to cut bangs!

By the way, the scissors included in the above kit are great for cutting bangs too! So it is your multipurpose kit!

So for cheap cuts, consider cutting hair at home, especially for the boys, and then using a beauty college for the rest and potentially save hundreds per year! 

Have you cut hair at home and do you have any tips for others?

See more Frugal Living Tips and Articles HERE

{ 4 comments }

Alex & Cassie