The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money: Folk Wisdom for Keeping Your House Clean, Green, and Homey

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Our Forefathers and Mothers knew how to keep their homes clean and homey-and live richer while spending less. Many of today's products are expensive, bad for the environment, and don't work any better than Grandma's methods, which only cost pennies.

The editors at BackHome Magazine have collected hundreds of formulas for effective cleaning, gardening, and home maintenance-as well as ways our ancestors saved on heating bills, prevented costly ...

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The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money: Folk Wisdom for Keeping Your House Clean, Green, and Homey

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Overview

Our Forefathers and Mothers knew how to keep their homes clean and homey-and live richer while spending less. Many of today's products are expensive, bad for the environment, and don't work any better than Grandma's methods, which only cost pennies.

The editors at BackHome Magazine have collected hundreds of formulas for effective cleaning, gardening, and home maintenance-as well as ways our ancestors saved on heating bills, prevented costly repairs, and maintained a cozy, charming home with little besides ingenuity.

Drawing on the advice and techniques of contributors across the country, this indispensable guide shows you the best ways to take care of everything in your home from wood floors, to tile, to stainless steel appliances-and how to get the longest life out of every household item from pots and pans to pillowcases.

The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money is chock-full of solutions, recipes, and how-to projects for living a simpler, gleaner life and keeping your home beautiful.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Freudenberger (Alcohol Fuel: A Guide to Making and Using Ethanol as a Renewable Fuel) and the other editors of BackHome Magazine have produced a comprehensive guide, filled with information to help readers clear toxins and excess waste from their homes while gaining an appreciation for self-efficiency. The projects, recipes, and general practices have all been tested by the contributors, and each entry lists necessary materials and projected monetary savings. The guide is divided into three parts. 'All Around the House' covers housekeeping practices, including instructions for making household cleaning products, as well as recipes and general advice for saving money on food preparation. This section is accessible to a wide audience, and most people could easily adopt these methods without any prior experience. Part 2, 'Those Special Interests That Make Life Special,' focuses on crafts, pets, and holiday recipes and homemade gifts. Part 3, 'Heading Outside: The Great Outdoors,' covers topics more suitable to experienced woodworkers or gardeners, but the instructions are clear and detailed enough for novices. VERDICT: This is a versatile reference for sustainable housekeeping, gardening, and DIY projects."—Library Journal
From the Publisher

"Freudenberger (Alcohol Fuel: A Guide to Making and Using Ethanol as a Renewable Fuel) and the other editors of BackHome Magazine have produced a comprehensive guide, filled with information to help readers clear toxins and excess waste from their homes while gaining an appreciation for self-efficiency. The projects, recipes, and general practices have all been tested by the contributors, and each entry lists necessary materials and projected monetary savings. The guide is divided into three parts. 'All Around the House' covers housekeeping practices, including instructions for making household cleaning products, as well as recipes and general advice for saving money on food preparation. This section is accessible to a wide audience, and most people could easily adopt these methods without any prior experience. Part 2, 'Those Special Interests That Make Life Special,' focuses on crafts, pets, and holiday recipes and homemade gifts. Part 3, 'Heading Outside: The Great Outdoors,' covers topics more suitable to experienced woodworkers or gardeners, but the instructions are clear and detailed enough for novices. VERDICT: This is a versatile reference for sustainable housekeeping, gardening, and DIY projects."—Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592334131
  • Publisher: Fair Winds Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2011
  • Edition description: paperback w/cloth spine
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Freudenberger is the publisher of BackHome Magazine (http://www.backhomemagazine.com) and has authored several books on country skills and sustainable living. He lives in Lancaster County, PA.

Richard Freudenberger is the publisher of Back Home Magazine and has authored several books on country skills and sustainable living. He lives in Lancaster County, PA.

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Read an Excerpt


Save Money and See results (really!)
Using Vinegar in the Garden

Cost savings
Between $3.42 and $22.40 depending on how you use it

Benefits
Without chemicals and with a single product, kill bugs, fight plant disease, clean tools, and more

Vinegar is a miracle product for the household—and the garden. here, Pat Kerr shares how vinegar works as a fungicide, poison, and cleaner. I can’t remember when I didn’t use vinegar for just about everything, but I started to see big results in my garden when I moved a bottle into my shed. Now I need two containers of vinegar, one bottle full strength (5 percent) and a second bottle diluted 50:50 with water.

Here are some ways I use vinegar in my garden:

Clean garden utensils.
Wipe tools clean with vinegar, and if infested with plants, soak them for 20 minutes or longer. Before storing tools, soak them in full-strength vinegar.

Remove lime and hard-water deposits. Wipe pots with vinegar to remove those tough spots; and soak persistent stains in full-strength vinegar.

Clean bird feeders.
For hummingbird and oriole feeders, I add sand and gravel and swish this around with vinegar to remove any mold inside. Rinse the feeders well with clear water after cleaning.

Repel ants. Spray vinegar around doors and windows to keep insects out.

Prevent fungus. Diluted vinegar controls the spread of powdery mildew on plants such as phlox.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Part 1 All Around the House

Chapter 1 Kitchen and Pantry

Cleaning and Organization

Avoid Toxins in Home Cleaners 9

Be a Kitchen-Sink Alchemist and Save a Bundle 12

Save on Space with a Pantry Door Storage Unit 13

Make Your Own Nontoxic Odd-Job Kitchen Cleaners 15

Clean Your Appliances Naturally 16

Simple Solutions for Shining Silver 18

Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaning Wipes 18

Freshen Garbage Pails and Disposals 19

Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer 20

Keep Pests Out of the Kitchen 21

Kitchen Tools

Take a Fresh Look at Cast-Iron Cookware 22

Wok Your Way to Energy Savings 24

Try a Wood Cookstove 25

Cooking/Stretching Food Dollar/Leftovers

Dry Your Own Herbs and Keep Your Money at Home 27

Learn the Art of Fireless Cooking 31

Return to Your Roots 33

Try the Penny-Pincher's Guide to Dutch Oven Cooking 36

Stop Buying Bread 39

Make Winter Soups 41

Fill Up on Stews for Less 44

Blend Your Own Spices 47

Economize Using Hand-Ground Grains 49

Grow Your Own Sprouts and Save 52

Make Herbal Vinegars 53

Save Energy with Combination Cooking 55

Eat Raw Foods for Enzymes and Save Energy 59

Food Storage

Pickle Foods with Appeal 62

Preserve and Economize with Water-Bath Canning 64

Observe Canning Safety Rules 67

Chapter 2 Laundry Room and Linen Closet

Know the Difference Between Soap and Detergent and Get Your Clothes Cleaner 69

Make Your Own Laundry Soap for Pennies a Load 71

Discover the Bonus of Borax 72

Use the Sun and Save on Utilities 73

Join the Cloth Diaper Revival 74

Find a Dozen Uses for Old Sheets and Linens 78

Try Natural (and Safer) Alternatives to Bleach 79

Chapter 3 Bathrooms

Make Your Own Housecleaners 81

Take a Powder and Do Plenty with It: The Power of Baking Soda 83

Make Your Own Toilet Bowl Cleaners 85

Make a Spa from Your Pantry 86

Make Home-Grown Skin Care 88

Make Homemade Baby Care Products 90

Save a Flush 92

Become Septic System Savvy 94

Chapter 4 Bedrooms and Guest Rooms

Bring Spring Indoors with Natural Aromatics 99

Make Space (and Save Cash) with Closet Storage Shelves 102

Ease Winter Woes with Heat-Saving Curtains 104

Save Energy with Seven Tips 108

Chapter 5 Basement and Attic

Use Safe and Effective Indoor Pest Control 111

Try No-Nonsense Mildew Control 114

Part 2 Those Special Interests that Make Life Special

Chapter 6 Pets: Part of the Family

Say Farewell to Fleas 119

Bake Dog Biscuit Treats for Pennies 121

Visit the Vet Less by Using Natural Healing 122

Stitch up a Futon for Fido 124

Chapter 7 Crafts: Do it Yourself

Make Recycled Sandals from Rubber Tires 127

Pound Flowers 132

Make Fireplace Bellows 134

Make a Simpler Solar Cooker for Kids 137

Make a Chair from Bittersweet for Next to Nothing 140

Make Dyes from Nature 143

Stitch up a Reversible Apron 145

Chapter 8 Holidays: Old-Fashioned Fun

Make Your Own Holiday Spices 149

Make Craft Paper Boxes for Gifts 152

Make a Traditional and Thrifty Wreath 155

Bake Pumpkin Treats 156

Make the Season with Mulled Ciders 158

Can the Gingerbread Man 159

Make a Seasoned Soup for the Holidays 160

Make Kids' Candleholders 161

Mix Up "Bomb" Effervescent Bath Treats 162

Make Your Own Homemade Soaps 163

Make Old-Fashioned Jellies 166

Craft a Corncob Doll from Scraps 168

Part 3 Heading Outside: The Great Outdoors

Chapter 9 Exits and Entryways

Make a Mudroom Cubby to Keep Things in Their Place 175

Build an Entry Vestibule to Ease Your Winter Budget 177

Stop Dirt in Its Tracks with a Simple Slatted Door Mat 180

Chapter 10 Garage and Workshop

Find the Ten Must-Have Tools Cheaply 183

Make the World's Simplest Sawhorse 185

Make Your Own Nontoxic Paint 187

Make Your Own Wood Stain for Next to Nothing 188

Preserve and Restore Your Woodwork with Natural Oils 189

Make an Heirloom Bread Box 191

Chapter 11 Decks, Patios, Porches, And Outdoor Rooms

Clean and Maintain Your Deck 195

Garden in Winter 196

Try Safe, Sound, and Easy-on-the-Purse Herbal Insect Repellants 199

Chapter 12 Landscaping

Landscape for Less with Living Mulches 201

Make Mulch from Scratch 202

Conserve Water with Xeriseaping 203

Replace Your Lawn with Edibles 204

Basic Stonescaping 206

Build a Found-Wood Garden Gate 208

Chapter 13 Growing Fruits, Veggies, And Herbs

Save Money and See Results (Really!) Using Vinegar in the Garden 212

Make a $99 Movable Greenhouse 213

Collect and Use Rainwater 216

Extend the Season with Row Covers 219

Save Money and Time with Sheet Mulching 221

Compost in Your Backyard 222

Build the World's Simplest Compost Bin 225

Learn Seed Saving Skills 227

Know the Ins and Outs of Container Gardening 229

Create a Raised Bed Garden 231

Use Beneficial Insects for Garden Pest Control 234

Companion Plant for Garden Success 237

Beneficial Garden Companions 239

Test Your Soil 241

Index 243

About the Contributors 252

About the Author 254

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