Frugal is Sexy. Even when it Itches.

I got this note from one of my friends the other day :) I asked if he got it from a story somewhere, and he said no – he had figured them all out himself!  If that’s not frugality at its finest, I don’t know what is.  (Maybe people who pop their own corn twice?)

Check out these pretty cheap hacks:

Castor oil (yes, a laxative haha) works very well for blackheads (particularly on your nose). Buy a bottle from Wal-mart (real cheap there) and use a q tip. Leave the castor oil on for about 5 minutes and then wash it with lukewarm water. You will immediately notice the blackheads popping out! I was skeptical but gave it a try. I noticed immediate results! I brought some home and it actually worked immediately for my mom and dad. My mom couldn’t believe that it worked so well for her because she has used strips, creams, etc.

Baking soda works extremely well for a sore tooth ache. Pour a few teaspoons of baking soda in warm water, then gargle it. You will notice the pain go from a 10 or 9 to about a 1 or 2. In fact, it is better than any pain killer. I have recommended it to several people and they have all said that it has worked for them. If you think about it… There is such a thing called baking soda toothpaste… I bet dentists don’t want patients to know how well the baking soda trick works, though.

Listerine mint mouth wash gets rid of intense itching. Put Listerine mint mouth wash on a cloth and rub it on the itching area. You will notice that the itching will immediately go away! I unfortunately got scabies from my fiancees ex-roommate =/ WORST itching of my entire life! I could not function because the itching was sooo bad. Listerine saved me from itching myself into a bloody mess. (TMI!!)

Have any of your own secret formulas to share with us?

I use sharpies to touch up anything with black or brown or cherry paint ;)  Works great on furniture too – you’d never know.  (Or at least no one’s ever told me)

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  1. Kevin @ January 4, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    If you get water stuck in your ear, put a drop or two of rubbing alcohol in your ear, and it will pull the water right out. I don’t know why it works, but as a longtime competitive swimmer, I can guarantee it works wonders.

  2. Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog January 4, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    I use Salt, Baking soda and vinegar to clear my slow drains (never tried on a complete clog). It’s simple – pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup salt, then 1/2 cup vinegar. Let that bubble for a while then pour down a few quarts of boiling water. Clears up the drain like a charm!

  3. Jonathan January 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    Great tips. Many people may know this but just to throw it out, hydrogen peroxide is great for whitening teeth. Just gargle with it for a minute or two in the morning and evening. Who needs a $30 whitening kit when you can buy peroxide for a couple bucks!

  4. Jessica W January 4, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Thanks for the tip on the toothache. I’ve got a killer one right now. Going to find my baking soda ASAP!

  5. J. Money January 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    @Kevin @ – really? i wonder if that helps with wax build-up too? every now and then my ears get clogged and have to use that $8 bottle of who knows what to clear it up. but it works, so I like it :) maybe i’ll try this one next.
    @Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog – my wife is going to love you. we’ve had a sink clogged for a cple months and nothing seems to work (don’t want to call plumber yet cuz so expensive, but it just may be there’s a problem we can’t fix?). so thanks! will give ‘er a shot.
    @Jonathan – what? really?? hahaa.. that seems to easy :) will try that too! haha…

    btw, I have no idea if any of this stuff is all safe. so proceed with caution! don’t want anyone coming back later telling them J. Money made you do something stupid ;)

  6. Cassie January 4, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Similar to Kevin’s, we used a 50/50 mix of vinegar and rubbing alcohol after swimming as kids. My sister was badly prone to ear infections, and this cut down on them considerably.

    Listerine also works wonderfully on canker sores (not cold sores). Either hold it in your mouth for as long as you can stand, or put it on a q-tip and press it into the sore. This always clears mine up really quickly.

    Vinegar will help stop a burn from progressing, whether it’s from nicking a hot pan when it’s cooking, or a sun burn. My mom had a severe sun burn as a young kid (blistering), and her parents bathed her in vinegar as soon as they saw it (not sure where she was when she got burned). The hospital said if it hadn’t been for their actions she would have been scarred, but she healed well. I’ve used this trick in the kitchen too. I burned myself on the finger one day and used cold water to cool it. It ended up scarring. The next week I did the EXACT SAME THING *facepalm* on the other hand, but bathed it in vinegar instead. No scar on that hand :)

  7. Money Rabbit January 4, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    I use vinegar or lemon juice as a cheap way of cleaning countertops … obviously not sufficient if you’ve had raw meats sitting there, but I feel more confident cooking on surfaces that have been cleaned naturally.

    I also add lemon juice to my hair in the summer for a sunkissed look … I do have highlights in my hair, but it doesn’t damage it at all.

  8. Investing Newbie January 4, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Omg, I didn’t know that about Castor Oil for blackheads. Now, I just need to find a ride to Walmart!

  9. Sarah January 4, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    I dunno if alcohol works for ear wax build up, but baby oil sure does. Just put it on a q-tip or in a dropper, one or two drops it should literally fall out… It’s gross, but effective.

  10. SophieW January 4, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    We used mineral oil for my daughter’s ears. It worked really well – when we could get it in there… It’s hard to hold an infant still for drops in the ears lol

    And it was a doctor that recommended it.

  11. Melissa January 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    A great acne home remedy is using an egg yolk mask. Every night break up an egg yolk, smear it on your face and leave it for about 10-15 mins. 1 egg can last several nights if you cover it. I did this as a teen after trying retina-a and other perscriptions and it was the only thing that helped. Doing it with my 12 year old daughter now and helps much better than all the expensive creams.

  12. Everyday Tips January 4, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    I also use the clogged-drain formula mentioned above and my kids love to watch.

    I am going to have my son try the Listerine solution for his eczema. His arms are so darn itchy right now. Why didn’t you see a doctor for your scabies problem? Or did the listerine fix it right away?

  13. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff January 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Off brand baby shampoo works great for my sensitive skinned dogs instead of $7-$15 a bottle dog shampoo. :-)

  14. J. Money January 4, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    @Cassie – HAH! It all happened for a reason. So one day you could leave a comment on a blog and tell us all about it ;) haha… thanks! And be careful!!!
    @Money Rabbit – Lemon juice? in your hair? haha… wow. that is awesome. (better than the bleach and the beez waz i used to use back in college!)
    @Investing Newbie – I’d take you if you lived closer :)
    @Sarah – REALLY?? Cuz i’m going to try it then!!! Thank you!
    @SophieW – Great, thank you too!
    @Melissa – Hahhahahhaha… i thought you were telling a joke at first ;) if it works, it works!
    @Everyday Tips – good question – probably cuz it was gonna be expensive? just emailed my friend the link here so we’ll see if he comes and answers :)
    @Budgeting in the Fun Stuff – good to know :)

  15. Jenna January 4, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Hydrogen peroxide after swimming gets water out of your ears. Best feeling in the world.

  16. Face Guru January 4, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Castor Oil does NOT work. I tried it tonight. Bought it at Walmart (like suggested) and put it on my nose for 5 min and wiped off with warm face cloth. No improvement.

  17. thewanderingbudget January 4, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Butter removes lots of sticky substances! Old labels, glue, etc.

    Baking soda will remove stains from countertops (berries, red wine, tomato sauce, etc.).

  18. J. Money January 5, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    @Jenna – I’m gonna try that one too!
    @Face Guru – Well that’s unfortunate. Maybe you woke up today with them all fixed? :)
    @thewanderingbudget – Butter?? haha nice.

  19. Michelle January 5, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Dispite face guru’s negativity, I’m still going to try the castor oil. I pay … wait for it … a facialist … wait for it … about $100 (including the tip) about twice a year to take care of what a dermatologist and acne meds can’t – the dreaded black heads. I’ll be back tomorrow with some constructive feedback if it doesn’t work. (not a threat, just PSA-servicey!!). Maybe if face guru – you could steam your face first, dry off and then coat with castor oil?

  20. J. Money January 5, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    hah! Showdown, Showdown, SHOWDOWN!

    $100 is no joke, wow. i really hope this works!!! :)

  21. Miss T January 6, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Great tips. I have heard about all the things castor oil can do. I just haven’t gotten to trying it yet.

  22. Alice January 8, 2011 at 6:42 AM

    Genius tips, I will be buying caster oil on my next shopping trip for sure.

  23. aj January 10, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    I have found some great advice/tips/tricks over at
    Not only have they saved me money, but they are natural cures for things…I feel much better about using them/giving to my kids. And I use no harmful chemical cleaners anymore either. I use vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and vodka…Yes, I have a bottle of “Cleaning Vodka” in the fridge, lol!

  24. J. Money January 10, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    I have a different kind of Vodka in my fridge ;)