Tuesday, April 24, 2012

sing with me: silver balls, silver balls ...

In the never ending quest to save the money I have become a bit obsessed with making my own versions of things when and where I can.  In order to do this I have discovered that the "faux" item needs to meet these three conditions:

1.) Something we use often.

2.) Something I can make for substantially cheaper than the bought-version

3.) Something that does not take an enormous amount of time/effort/skill or require me to purchase strange products over the internet that put my on a special FBI list somewhere.  I do not need to be in their database for dish soap, thankyouverymuch!

If we don't go through it regularly or if I can't make it for a heckovalot less than the store version I don't think it is worth my time.  Time is money, if I am only saving a penny or two, forget it.  I may call this the One Cheap Bitch series, but even cheap bitches have standards y'all!

So remember my Ghetto Drier Sheets?  Well they met all three of the critical conditions for OCB-worthiness, and they were working great.  But -- there is always a but isn't there? -- the washcloths I used were bulky and I felt like I was wasting the fabric softener solution a bit.  Not wanting to cost me more money I asked Meatball if he had shirts he had outgrown because his closet is reaching epic crapalanche proportions (that is on my to-do-list).  He had like 8 undershirts that were short enough when on that they revealed his belly button so they were quite perfect.

each shirt made 16 sheets
Now with all those shirts I had a butt ton of "drier sheets."  The only flaw in the drier sheet recipe is that there is nothing to reduce static at all.  This meant as a family we all felt a bit like human Tesla coils walking around all the time.  A quick but desperate google search yielded this valuable gem of cheapo goodness: aluminum foil balls tossed in the drier reduce static cling.  Word!

So here is the new and improved (and oh so effective!) drier set up!

I have two Ghetto Drier Sheet containers because one if for the ones that are "new" and the other is where the used ones go.  This way they are rotated.  Then the little basket is there to hold the drier balls.  I found that if I toss two in at a time it really illuminates the static for all of us, except my husband who apparently is just a human lightening rod who drags his feet like Igor.  I don't know if the size of the ball matters, I just made them golf ball sized and it is working.

Yes, I am having a hard time not making immature ballz jokes here.  Give me credit for hanging in there as long as I have.

Figuring out the cost here:
"drier sheet" shirts (owned and outgrown) ... no real cost
fabric softener (bottle previously purchased) ... $1
aluminum foil (also previously purchased, teacher stash) ... $1
three containers to hold it all, from the teacher stash ... no real cost
rug and towel to make it clean and pretty (previously purchased) ... no real cost

I consider things I already own, but can re-purpose as being "no cost" to me because I didn't have to buy them for this.  Yes, the shirts and containers cost me something originally, but there were not being used anymore so by breathing new life into them I maintained their use without incurring extra costs.  Score!  The aluminum foil and fabric softener at the dollar store are plenty good enough for this project, so it would have run me $2 had I not had them already.  It was free to me ultimately!  Hot dayum, I like free!

So Ghetto Drier Sheets, Silver Ballz and now I call this part of the OCB series a success!  Next up to share is homemade citrus cleaner!

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