Rusty Wringer Washer
Wringer Washer Makeover
By Erin Huffstetler | 06/13/2019 | 1 Comment
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

Shortly after we bought our cabin, some of our back-to-lander neighbors gave us a fully-functioning wringer washer that they were no longer using. After several years of doing everything the hard way, they’d decided to buy a modern washer and dryer.

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Seasoned Cutting Boards
How to Care for Wood Cutting Boards
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/21/2018 | 6 Comments
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Take care of your wood cutting boards and someday they’ll be heirlooms. It only takes a few minutes each month to keep them in tip top condition.

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Restored Headlight
How to Clean Foggy Headlights
By Erin Huffstetler | 08/01/2016 | 4 Comments
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

If you drive a high-mileage vehicle, your headlights probably aren’t as clear as they used to be. All of that exposure to sunlight is tough on plastic, and over time it causes headlights to become foggy and yellowed. That doesn’t look very nice, and it isn’t very safe either. Foggy headlights don’t give off as much light as they should, and that really hurts your ability to see – and be seen – at night. In fact, Consumer Reports did a study, and found that foggy headlights can cut your visibility by as much as 80%. Yikes!

Fortunately, cleaning your headlights, can remove that foggy haze in a matter of minutes. My husband cleaned the headlights on our Jeep yesterday, and I documented the process, so you could see what was involved. Check it out.

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200,000 Mile Odometer
We Hit 200,000 Miles!
By Erin Huffstetler | 10/01/2015 | 5 Comments
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

Earlier today, while headed back from thrift shopping, our Jeep hit 200,000 miles. So, naturally, we did what any frugal person would do: we pulled over and snapped a picture of our odometer. Because hitting the 200k mark is cause for celebration. It might even be something to brag about. Forget about fancy cars and car payments; driving a car until the wheels fall off – that’s much more impressive.

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Uses for Corn Cobs
Uses for Corn Cobs
By Erin Huffstetler | 08/06/2015 | 5 Comments
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I’ve been shucking, blanching and freezing lots of corn lately, and that got me thinking about the cobs. I don’t really like to add them to our compost pile, since they take so long to break down, but throwing them away just feels wasteful. Were there other uses for them that I was overlooking? There sure were. Check out all these cool uses for corn cobs that I recently discovered (and can’t wait to try).

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How to Recover a Lampshade
How to Recover a Lampshade
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/22/2015 | 4 Comments
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Thrift stores are full of lamps that are just begging for a makeover.

Thrift Store Lampshade Before

I mean, take a look at this vintage lamp that I found at a thrift store a few months ago. I was immediately drawn to the color and the raised bamboo pattern. It just needed the right lampshade to bring it back to life.

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Washi Tape
Let’s Talk Trash
By Erin Huffstetler | 03/05/2015 | 9 Comments
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

I’ve shown you many of the things that we’ve rescued from other people’s curb piles over the years, but I haven’t shown you what we rescue from our own trash. And that’s as much a part of how we save money. So, let me take you through some of the things that we’ve deemed too good to throw out, and I’ll show you how we use them.

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Scrapped Jeep
Shopping for Car Parts at a Junk Yard
By Erin Huffstetler | 02/01/2015 | 11 Comments
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

High-mileage vehicles – they’re kind of our thing. We buy used cars, and then we do whatever it takes to keep them on the road. A coat of wax twice a year keeps the paint looking nice, and some basic maintenance and upkeep helps us to avoid many expensive repairs.

So, when we bought our weekend homestead, and suddenly found we needed a vehicle with four-wheel drive (our other vehicle couldn’t make the drive in), we didn’t hesitate to buy another high-mileage vehicle – a 2002 Jeep Liberty with 189,00 miles. The body was good. It drove well, and it didn’t seem to have any major mechanical issues.

We paid just $2,900 for it – taxes and all, so we figured there was plenty of room to make repairs, if we needed, too. And you know what? We’ve been driving it for four months now, and in that time we’ve only had to replace one sensor. Can’t complain about that.

Having gained some confidence in our Jeep, we decided it was time to address some of the small issues that it came with.

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How I Disaster-Proofed My House
How I Disaster-Proofed My House
By Erin Huffstetler | 09/24/2014 | 7 Comments
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In the 11 years that my husband and I have been homeowners, we’ve had:

  • Our neighbor’s tree fall on our house
  • Another neighbor’s tree fall on our garage
  • A sewer line back up
  • three gas leaks
  • A power surge fry our downstairs HVAC unit
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How to Replace Washing Machine Hoses
How to Replace Washing Machine Hoses
By Erin Huffstetler | 09/22/2014 | 1 Comment
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

Washing machine hoses. You probably bought a set when you bought your washing machine, installed them, and then forgot about them. Am I right? If so, you’re taking a major risk. Because washer hoses, they wear out.

Stand there and watch the next time your washing machine fills up, and you’ll see just how much pressure those hoses are under. It’s crazy!

And if your washing machine hoses are over five years old, you’re really flirting with disaster. Because if one of those hoses fails, guess where all of that water is going to go. Yep. Right into your house. That’s bad if your washer is in the basement, and really bad if your washer is located on another level of your home.

Because, let’s be clear on this point: If a hose fails, it will continue to pour water into your home, until you catch the problem and manually shut off the valve. There is nothing to stop it. No fail safe to save the day.

Just imagine how much damage could occur if a hose were to fail while you were at work or worse while you were on vacation. We’re talking catastrophic flooding. We’re talking call your insurance agent, pay your deductible and hire a construction crew to come tear out damaged dry wall and flooring. It is not a good way to spend your time or your money.

So, pay more attention to that washer hose. Replace it if it looks worn; and swap it out every five years, even if it looks fine. It’ll cost you $20 tops, and it could help you avoid thousands of dollars in damages.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, the average washing machine failure costs $5,308 after deductible

Suddenly inspired to replace your washer hose? Here’s how it’s done.

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Free Hangers
Free Hangers for Consignment Sales
By Erin Huffstetler | 04/01/2014 | 1 Comment
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

I’m busy getting ready for another kids’ consignment sale, but really I’ve been getting ready for this sale since the last one. To avoid paying for hangers or giving away our “good” hangers, I’m always on the lookout for free kids’ hangers. Here’s how I manage to round up enough for each sale:

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Shower Cap Bowl Cover
New Uses for Shower Caps
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/23/2014 | 4 Comments
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

When you stay in a hotel, you probably snag the shampoo and maybe even the coffee and tea, but I’m betting you leave those shower caps behind. Not me. I take them home, and use them for all sorts of things. Take a look:

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New Use for Conference Name Tags
New Use for Conference Name Tags
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/22/2014 | No Comments
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

I attend a couple conferences a year, and I’m always stumped as to what to do with those conference name tags when I get home. I mean, some of them are kinda nice. Maybe a little too nice to just toss in the trash. Which is why I’m happy to report that I finally found a use for them: luggage tags. Yes, luggage tags. I mean, think about it, they already have your name on them, so if you just stick your contact information on the back, you’ll be good to go. And if your name tag already has your e-mail address printed on it, you may not even have to do that.

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Lawn Mower
How to Winterize a Lawn Mower
By Erin Huffstetler | 10/29/2013 | 1 Comment
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

Done with your mower until next spring? Before you put it away, set aside an hour to winterize your lawn mower, so it starts right up next year. Here’s how it’s done:

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Refrigerator
How to Vacuum Refrigerator Coils
By Erin Huffstetler | 09/10/2013 | No Comments
This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

Refrigerators are expensive and a major pain to move, so take care of the one you have. Just vacuuming your refrigerator coils regularly will greatly extend the life of your fridge, and it’s a task that you can knock out in 15 minutes or less.

Not sure how it’s done? Here’s a walk-through:

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