I've got another one for you folks. It's up there on the cheap factor. It rivals bathing in your compost bin, but less messy. It's free. Well, it will cost you $.50 at first, but that's about it.

I saw this latest thing on Pinterest. Actually, it is one of the few things that I have looked at on Pinterest. Not because I don't like Pinterest. I do. I could probably sift through it for hours which is the precise reason I have not delved into it to any excess. I can easily see it sucking up even more of my time and then I'll turn into a teenager except instead of texting I'll have a keyboard attached to me at all times. Nope don't wanna go there...yet

At any rate, I saw this next tip on Pinterest and loved it as soon as I saw it. It doth make my cheap little heart go pitter patter. Even my daughter thinks it's cool. It's green onions or as fancy people call them Scallions.

Actually when I think about it Scallions is a much better name. It sounds sinister, or secretive or at minimum male horses wearing scarves, but I digress. Let's talk about growing Scallions shall we?

I don't have a green thumb. Not at all. Both of my parent did, but the gene did not make it over to me. I am attempting again this year with some seeds, we'll see how that turns out. But Scallions I can do! And if I can, trust me so can you.

I purchase green onions, as I"m sure we all do, for a recipe or possibly a salad. They sit in the bottom of the crisper and eventually, when not used, and usually within a week begin to shrivel and then turn into that slimy mess at the bottom of the drawer. Rather gross actually. You pick it up and part of it drips back down to the drawer daring you to pick it up, which of course you can't. It's slimy, slippery and stinks. I don't like spending 50 cents on half a dozen of those damn things when I only need one or two. What to do?

My happy, recently harvested green onions. They started out as ends only.
This is brilliant I tell you! Next time you have some scallions don't throw out white ends. No! Get a glass and put the ends in the glass. I use an 8 oz glass and it works perfect. There's enough room for two groups of scallions in my glass and gives me a variety of growth options. Put some water in the glass and then put the glass on a window sill. That's it. No green thumb needed. In a couple of days you'll see them starting to grow. Really. It's amazing. In a week or two you'll be looking for something to make with the green onions - I'd suggest something Asian. You'll never have to buy green onions again. And best of all, they don't go slimy. No waste!

It really is amazing. I'm looking at my green onions, most of which were chopped down for last nights dinner (thank you daughter for making the delicious dinner by the way). But not to worry, soon they'll be green and tall once again.

Just think of the money I'll save. At $.50 per week that's an annual savings of $26. OK, so it's nothing to get too excited about, but it's a night out at the movies, or a nice bottle of wine. Or just the fact that I'll never have to clean them out of my crisper again has value.

So save a Scallion! Put it in water! You'll be glad you did!

There once was a girl from Vancouver,
Who loved baking soda so much that it moved her.
She scrubbed and she cleaned, 'til things glistened and gleamed
And she giggled when she saw what it cost her.
Oh baking soda, you're not just for pancakes after all!

I use a lot of baking soda but hardly for cooking. The stuff is just so darn handy, I'm always discovering new uses. Here are a few things that I do with handy dandy, trusty Baking Soda.

1.    Cleaning my bathroom
2.    Cleaning my floor - used it this week with grease Mac tracked in from the railroad tracks straight on to my floor. A spray of vinegar, then a sprinkle of baking soda. Magic.
3.    Laundry
4.    Washing my hair.  Yup its true.
5.    Brushing my teeth.  True dat.
6.    Facial scrub

So numbers 1 and 2 have been discussed before. No 3 is known by everybody. So let's dive straight in to numbers 4, 5 and 6 shall we?

#4 - First off - I haven't used shampoo in my hair since last summer. I need to clarify that, when I had my hair professionally lightened in January the hair stylist used shampoo and I tried some 'get out the brassy' shampoo last week one time only (and I regretted it) and that is it. Other than that no shampoo. Yes that's right. No shampoo at all. My hair. Listen people, I have rather lovely hair. I am known for my hair. It's soft. It's manageable. It's in great condition. And I don't use shampoo. What? Really? Yup really. I make a paste of baking soda and a little water in a plastic cup. Then I massage it into my scalp for a minute or two in the shower. Then rinse it out like normal. Next I pour some Apple Cider Vinegar in the same cup (a couple of tablespoons) and fill it with water. I rinse the ends of my hair with that. Sometimes I don't even rinse the ACV out of my hair.  That's it. Done. And no I don't smell like vinegar after.

My hair is in better condition than it has ever been, and it's processed. I would NEVER use regular shampoo again. It took a bit of getting used to, and I had to work through the natural oils in my hair figuring out what was going on. But do you have any idea at how little it costs me to wash my hair now? And, my hair is in better shape! It holds a curl better - something it never did before. It's shinier. When I do a show I have to put product in it, but other than that it's always just my hair. Thank you baking soda. You are the best!

#5 - It has been one year and two months since I brushed my teeth with toothpaste. I have been wary of telling any of you this as I may be labelled as crazy (which isn't far from the truth), or at minimum 'out there'. But I've got to tell you, I don't think I'll ever use toothpaste again. It started  January 2011 when I read an article in the Vancouver Sun about Dr. Gerard F. Judd author of Good Teeth Birth to Death. The article went on to talk about brushing your teeth with soap. That's right Soap. Not liquid soap, but regular bar soap. Natural bar soap. Here is a link that will give you some of the details that I read in the article. I was intrigued, I mean after all it was The Sun not the National Enquirer. I thought that I had probably done enough swears in my lifetime that a brushing of my teeth with soap for one evening wouldn't do any harm. The first time I did it I'll admit was a little odd. It tasted like soap, not mint. My gag reflex came into action. Hmmmm, not so much soap next time. Then I went to bed. When I woke up I didn't have fur in my mouth. Hmmmmm. I brushed with soap again. The taste wasn't as bad this time. I decided I was going to try for one week and make my decision after that. Each day I noticed my teeth getting cleaner and cleaner. Pretty soon they were looking straight from the dentist clean. I was liking this soap thing... a lot! But what about whitening? I missed whitening. That's where my trusty baking soda comes in. Once a week I dip my tooth brush into some baking soda, spray my brush with Hydrogen Peroxide and brush away. My teeth are very healthy. Clean and strong. They are not coated, just clean. I would never go back to regular toothpaste again. Never. Call me weird. Call me crazy. Just don't call me Grandma.

#6 - And finally, I use Baking Soda to gently exfoliate my face. About once a week  I put a trace amount of baking soda in my hand (and just a minute amount is good) and some of my cleanser. Then I gently massage it on my face, and my lips (makes for smooth lips). Rinse as usual. Smooth skin. Nice.

So there you have it. Three new things to add to your arsenal about how weird I have become. In case you're interested here are recipes for household cleaning that use baking soda.

This Mama's Floor Cleaner

1 Cup Vinegar
1/4 Cup Baking or Washing Soda
1 Tbsp Liquid Dish Soap
Hot Water

Mop as usual. It's Clean. It's Fresh. It's Easy. It's Cheap. AND it works. No toxins.

Click here for bathroom cleaning.

My husband has this dumb joke he likes to tell. Spoken in an atrocious Scottish accent that goes something like this. The old Scottish farmer looks at the slop left on the table after the butchering of a sheep. "You'rrrrrre no gonna thrrrrrow that away, arrrrre ye? I knowww I cin make somethin' with tha'!" and that's how Haggis came to be...according to my husband.

Seeing that I am half Scottish, this latest blog post is a natural for me.

I love finding new uses for things that I used to throw away. My latest goal has been to create as little food waste as possible. Not little waist as possible - that doesn't seem to want to come about. But little waste.  Over the past few months I have really tried to use what I have. Not waste anything - or as little as possible. Oh, there are times that it happens. I'll wait too long to use some parsley, or forget about the kale in the crisper. But for the most part I have been really good. This has come about by doing the following.

1.    Each week I create a family meal plan, and I stick to it.
2.    Each Sunday I purchase food based on that meal plan and nothing more.
3.    I try to use up what I have on hand first and eat out of my pantry and fridge.

The results have been this. My food budget is more under control - although it could still use some tweaking. The anxiety of what's for dinner is over. The daily stops at the grocery store has come to an end.

Now I am honing things a bit more by trying to make meals stretch. Getting more than one meal out of one chicken or pork roast. Using up everything. I now make my own broth, something I used to hate doing. But that was because I was always making a turkey broth with some humungous carcass and it was just a pain in the butt. But my weekly broth from a free range bird is a breeze. Or from a small package of chicken thighs. It takes no time at all. Tastes great. I know what went into the making of it - which may gross some of you out. And above all it's CHEAP! Once done, I have left over meat for meals, soups, lunches, salads - etc. Even better, to make my broth I seldom use items from my pantry. Its true! During the week I keep all my peels from onions, garlic, the bottom portion of the celery bunch, the ends of carrots and parsnips, the outer leaves from cabbage etc. in a bag in the freezer. Then, when it's time to make some broth I put the chicken pieces in the bottom of a pot. Add my frozen bag of leftover peels. Add a few peppercorns and a bay leaf. I may add a carrot or two, since I tend to not have too many end pieces (I have a bunny in the house). Cover with some water and brew at a gentle simmer. After 45 minutes I take out the chicken pieces. Discard the fat (sometimes I cut the fat up and put it in the dinner for the dogs), take the meat off the bones and put that in the fridge for later in the week. Then put the bones back in the broth and let it simmer away for another hour or so. Strain out the veggies and bones and discard. Put the delicious broth in the fridge to be used during the week. It's so easy and costs me nothing extra.

The thing is I was purchasing chicken broth every week. Even with coupons and buying it at Stupid Store, I was still spending close to $10 per week on broth (I use a lot). That's $40 per month! Crazy. I stopped. Now it doesn't cost me a thing. I like that. My cheap little heart goes pitter patter at the thought.

HOWEVER; I have upped myself. This latest one makes me bubble with excitement. If you look in my fridge at any given time during the week you'll see a dollar store freezer bag that has peels in it. What kind of peels you may ask? Why citrus peels of course. Lemon, orange, grapefruit and lime. I use these during the week and make sure that if I am not using the peel for a recipe I remove the peel and throw it in my little bag. Then, later on in the week I run a hot bath. I add a handful of Epsom salt (because I have some) and dump in a bunch of peels. OMG! You have no idea how fabulous it is! Now granted, at first you feel like your bathing in your compost bin, but if you close your eyes and take in the scent, tt is absolutely amazing! Your bathroom smells of this glorious citrus aroma. You slip into the bath and the scent overtakes you. It is so relaxing and invigorating at the same time. I squeeze the peels to let out even more of the oils. Your skin feels amazing at the end. Silky smooth - no need to moisturize, and it has a lingering citrus scent.  I'm telling you it is the most amazing bath and it doesn't cost a penny. I love it!

My only advise is to make sure that the peels are large enough so that cleaning up the tub afterwards it a breeze. I'm sure there is always a possibility of allergies so if things don't feel right get out. I know for me 15 minutes is about the right amount of time. After that I'll start to feel my calves a bit - nothing too much, just a little warmer than normal. That's my sign that I've been in long enough.

Orange and lemon peels are the best to use I've found. They give the most fragrance and feel luxurious. But I use grapefruit too and lime of course. They're all fabulous.

So there you have it. Bathe in your garbage! Go for it. You'll be glad you did!