Thrifty Tips from the Pigeon’s Nest

It’s that time of year again, when I am finally on Summer Holidays! Woohoo!

I know that British school holidays began 3 weeks ago, and most of you out there with kiddies are probably tearing your hair out by now, but after having my youngest two brothers for the first week (See here & here) and popping back into work for the next fortnight to do Summer School, it finally feels that my holidays are here.

So, seeing as I’m going to prance about for the next couple of weeks, being a house-pigeon, I thought I’d share a few of my thrifty household tips with you all.

My ‘Thrifty Tips’ have been gleaned from a variety of sources, some from friends, some from family, some from books and some from the deepest darkest recesses of my common sense. Perhaps ignore those created by the latter!

Thrifty Tip #1

‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’

I am strangely proud to announce that I have never bought a window cleaning product in my life. Well… I told you I was strangely proud.

I was taught (and given a since lost secret recipe) by my dear friend, Aimee, when we worked together at the local pub, the best way to clean the massive mirrors and windows, that took up hours of our Sundays and elbow grease.

I have since losing the secret recipe, had to come up with my own mix, which has been tried and tested throughout the Pigeon Nest.

You Will Need:

  • A clean and empty squirty nozzle bottle.
  • 1 part Washing Up Liquid
  • 2 parts Vinegar (any kind)
  • 3 parts Water
  • Some newspaper

Ok…this IS NOT rocket science. It is in fact just science. But don’t ask me what the science is…I just know that it works a treat.

What To Do:

  1. Pour all your ‘parts’ into the spray bottle.
  2. Ensuring the top is screwed on tight, give it a good shake.
  3. Spray offending smudgy window or toothpaste covered mirror liberally.
  4. Scrunch up the newspaper and using it like a cloth, work the homemade cleaner around the window in small firm circles. You will need elbow grease for this.
  5. Stand back and admire your streak-free windows.

Thrifty Tip #2

‘Never Waste Wine’

I never, ever, ever throw wine away. Even the quarter full bottles left after a party…NEVER.

I measure it out, pour it into a Tupperware, label it up and then freeze it.

Yes – I freeze wine.

The beauty is, whenever wine is needed for a recipe, I have it to hand and I don’t have to open a new bottle. So many stocks, stews and casseroles have benefitted from this little gem! AND I don’t throw away good tipple. RESULT.

Thrifty Tip #3

‘Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?’

If only Lady Macbeth had known this Thrifty Tip…

Blood-stains are easier to get rid of than most people think. At University, I saved a friend’s favourite jumper when he was stabbed (for real) on stage.

(He was stabbed in the arm…just a little bit…he survived…as did his jumper!)

This works on small to medium amounts of blood (think cuts and nose bleeds – anything more may result in you having to either throw the item away or hand it to police as it may be part of an investigation….)

You Will Need:

  • Bloodied item
  • A sink of lukewarm water
  • Table Salt

What To Do:

  1. Get bloodied area wet.
  2. Squeeze most of the water out of the item.
  3. Directly to the stain, pour on a large amount of table salt.
  4. Work the salt into the stain, with your thumb and fingers.
  5. Rinse and repeat.
  6. Once the stain has lifted, whack it in the washing machine as you would normally.

Please, please, please be careful using this tip. It’s probably not a good idea to use this tip on silk, as it is so delicate. Dry cleaning does NOT get rid of blood-stains. In fact it gets ingrained in the fabric.

Thrifty Tip #4

‘Coffee Ring Junkie’

As those who know P & I personally, we are a little hooked on our hot drinks. P is addicted to coffee, and his shiny red coffee machine gets used frequently during the day as proof. Me, I like a nice black tea, Earl Grey preferably, made by my whistling hob top kettle. Just don’t dilute it with any sugar or milk.

This also means that all our mugs get that horrid stain line around the top. It also doesn’t help that a lot of our mugs are from our Uni days or from Mama Pigeon’s back catalogue.

The best and easiest way to clean off these tide lines is with lemon juice. You can use squeezy lemon or real lemon.

When I have a real lemon, I cut it in half and rub it on the inside of all the mugs, before washing them up normally.

With squeezy lemon (lemon juice from a bottle etc) I just pour a bit onto a clean cloth and wipe it round and wash up as normal.

Easy peasy…literally lemon squeezy.

Thrifty Tip #5

‘My Carpet Smells like Wee!’

I recently shared this tip with a friend who had moved into a new house, and found their living room carpet a touch pongy!

Lightly sprinkle bicarbonate of soda across the pongy area, leave for 20 minutes and then hoover up…simple.

I also add a few drops of scented oil to my ‘floor cleaning’ bicarb before I sprinkle it, so it smells nice after!

Thrifty Tip #6

‘Nasty Fabric Softeners- grumbles P’

I can’t use fabric softeners to give my washing as nice smell, as P is allergic and comes out in an awful rash when I’ve ever used them. To get around this, and still have yummy smelling washing, I add a few drops of an essential oil to a damp washcloth and chuck it in with the washing! VIOLA – nice smelling washing without the cost or blotches.

Have you got any thrifty tips you’d like to share? 🙂


6 responses to “Thrifty Tips from the Pigeon’s Nest

  1. Never throw away a rusty looking pan! Chop a potato in half, squeeze a couple of drops of washing up liquid onto the starchy part of the potato and rub that onto the offending area. I don’t know WHY it works, but it gets rid of that nasty orangy rusty patch that plagues my iron wok. – Source: Mumma P (of “knitting socks for her chairs” fame!)

  2. I hate the horrendous price of cosmetics so make my own face cream. Boots E45 cream (or any basic cream you like), plus the contents of 8 – 12 Vit E capsules squeezed out, plus 3 – 4 drops of essential oil of a perfume you like (I use lavender, but could be rose, neroli, whatever.) This works very well, but I like to use a pretty jar and last time failed to notice that although jar was perfectly clean, it had previously contained garlic in oil. Anybody who has a use for Lavender and Garlic Face Cream ,DO let me know.

  3. I’ve found that basically ANY shampoo gets rid of blood stains. Whatever shampoo you use squirt about an inch diameter circle of shampoo into it and scrub the fabric together then throw into the wash and wash normally. Voila!

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