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Erin Huffstetler

What are Your Favorite Products?

By October 3, 2008

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Sure Oprah has her list of favorites, but who can afford them? What we need is a list of favorites recommended by frugalites for frugalites. So, share away. What are your favorite, no-fail products? Here's my list:
  • Method hand soap and all-purpose cleaner
  • King Arthur flour
  • Arm and Hammer Essentials laundry detergent
  • Bert's Bees lip balm (in the tin)
  • Kiss My Face lip balm w/ SPF (for the summer)
  • Real Lemon lemon juice (the store brand just isn't the same)
  • White vinegar and baking soda (any brand will do)
  • KitchenAid cooking gadgets

See what Other Frugalites are Saying:

October 3, 2008 at 9:55 am
(1) Stevi says:

Vileda Ultramax mop
Programmable thermostat
Machine-washable sponges
Foaming soap dispenser
Kodak rechargeable batteries
Nalgene water bottles

October 3, 2008 at 11:54 am
(2) Pat says:

Kitchenaid (expensive)

October 3, 2008 at 1:05 pm
(3) Kathy says:

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Simple, clean, cheap!

October 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm
(4) M says:

Lysol All Purpose spray cleaner – works on Everything!

October 3, 2008 at 2:41 pm
(5) Denice says:

Great Value cleaner with bleach
Equate version of Oil of Olay Regenerist
Great Value pork sausage breakfast patties
Hunt’s spaghetti sauce in a can(much better deal than Ragu and others, look at bottom shelves)
Mrs. Baird’s thrift store bread products (freeze them)

October 4, 2008 at 2:53 pm
(6) Molly says:

Popular Mechanics Magazine – I know it seems like a “guy” thing but they have great DIY articles and resources in every issue.
Light table – I have a light table that I use to grow spices, cherry tomatoes, and greens all winter.
Glues – I have a glue drawer with a variety of glues for every occasion. I love fixing stuff instead of throwing it out.
Fishing tackle boxes – Not for fishing! I use cheap tackle boxes to organize craft stuff, first aid, sewing items, any small things that need to be sorted out but stored together.
Clothes drying racks

October 5, 2008 at 10:12 pm
(7) E. Ladd says:

super clean in the walmart auto section. It cleans everything under the sun. You just dilute with water to the consistance of what you want with the empty bottles. Lable Hard, Medium and light cleaning and it is biodegradable. From grease to grim it works. It is also good to spot your carpet to get stains out of clothes. Read the back and it will tell you what it cleans it is really remarkable and cheap one bottle last about 1 year……

October 9, 2008 at 1:53 pm
(8) amanda says:

neutrogena spf 45
olive oil
brown sugar

I use olive oil as hair mask; body lotion; add brown sugar and its a shower scrub!

October 10, 2008 at 9:43 am
(9) whitefishmom says:

Bona floor cleaner for my hardwood floors- vinegar is actually really bad for them.
Wright’s silver polish
Lemon verbena anything and
Caswell Massey carnation soap- it smells like heaven to me and worth the money

October 11, 2008 at 10:23 am
(10) Donna says:

My Bread Machine
Avon Bubble Bath-any scent
reg. witch hazel vs high priced “toners”

October 14, 2008 at 11:18 am
(11) rhonda says:

Before I share, I would love to ask: what is the source of your laundry drying racks? I do not have a dryer, and I have gone through lots of racks. I rely on getting them at a yard sale and my Mom gave me hers. However, I actually have some that are tied and taped together. I live in the SF Bay area and Target, WalMart, Kmart, and the hardware stores carry the ones with really small rods and they do not hold up jeans or anything that is a little heavy. I know it is regional, as I seem to be the only person who saves energy and uses the sun! (Stupid, I think!) Does anyone have a source for the good ones? Thank you so much!

Now to share my best:
Lirio laundry soap – it comes in a bar, and it is this brand-I believe it is Mexican. This stuff is magic! It gets out tough stains and ones that have set. Okay, I do not have a dryer so I wouldn’t say my stains have been heat set, but I have bought things at my fav. thrift store and it makes them look like new! I think oil based stains are the real surprise. You find it in the laundry section and it is Lirio! Fels Natha or whatever does not work the same! This is so good that my college graduate son, working and living IN SF called to ask how to get his shirts as clean as home! I just wet the stain, saturate the area with Lirio and let it soak. If it is tough and doesn’t move, I let it soak for a few days. It always surprises me! Lirio!

I found Bath and Body Works at huge discounts (75 and 90% off) at the outlet where they call it the outlet…the stores in other outlet malls are just stores, but this one the sales associate said was the “outlet” for the area. I love their silk lotions, and I found it cheap. It IS a luxury, but I gotta have a few. We were passing through just before a holiday like Labor Day, Memorial Day, and that Friday before was when it started. That is why the discounts were so good. Bought little gifts too…discounted deeply!

Salt! I get mine for 3 for $1 at Grocery Outlet. It scrubs the gunk off my stove and cleans lots of things….there are books about that stuff.

Ammonia…I let it soak in the bottom of my oven and put a (many times re-washed) kitchen towel on top. Soon the gunk is wipeable, and the oven is clean with minimum labor.

Foaming soap! We found a Dial offer with two dispensers and a refill for the price of two dispensers at Target. We are ready to mix our own solution to refill.

Ant sticks. Okay, these are little boxes of Chinese ant chalk. I found them at the flea market and they were cheap. I draw a line around the entry location, and soon the ants are dead and gone. No smell and quite contained.

I make nylon-net cleaning balls, and my friend also swears by pantyhose. I cut the pantyhose leg parts into strips to use as garden ties and it works like a charm. I also use the panty-part cut into squares/rectangles and use it to scrub – it especially works great with silver cleaner….I do like Wright’s also. It was a bargain at the restaurant supply store!

This is the best window cleaner I have ever used….Sprayway. It is absolutely streakfree, and when I am cleaning glass that is hard to clean like the armoire where my crystal is kept, or something that has to be streak-free, I use this. The normal, daily cleaning I use diluted vinegar in a spray bottle with newspapers. This is for the real stuff. I found it at a True Value Hardware for a dollar sale item. I bought all that they had.

Gray water. I throw my dishwater out onto my flower beds. Not only do they get the water, but the soap protects them from bugs! I also “bucket” water to put into an empty plastic garbage can…it waters my raspberries and blueberries. It is not the only water I give my plants, but all I can I like to send their way. Beats down the drain.

October 14, 2008 at 11:37 am
(12) frugalliving says:

Hi Rhonda,

Thanks for the laundry soap tip. I buy a lot of our groceries from a Mexican grocery store, so I’ll look for it. As to your question about drying racks, my mom has this one: Drying rack.

It’s super sturdy and on my list of eventual purchases.

November 8, 2008 at 12:41 am
(13) jesjov7 says:

I just finished up a microbiology experiment in which I tested the Great Value (walmart) All-purpose bleach cleaner against the new Clorox Green Works. Great Value’s bleach cleaner killed almost every bacteria! Green Works killed almost none!!! On their website, it specifically states that Green Works is NOT a disinfectant- I wonder how many people are using this to actually clean their kitchens thinking it will kill the harmful bacteria, when in fact it does nothing but “cut through grease, grime and dirt.” I don’t want my kitchen cleaner to just cut through it- I want it gone!!

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