Money Saving Tips for the Great Outdoors
Spring is here and it is time to get outdoors! It’s that time of year to get the outside cleaned up and barbecue ready.
For resin furniture – Mix dish washing detergent, ammonia, and warm water in a bucket and sponge onto resin furniture. Gently rinse off. For set-in stains, use a mix bleach and water (never mix bleach and ammonia, wait until the ammonia mixture is rinsed off). Restore the shine by applying a light coat of car wax.
Prevent fading on plastic furniture and toys – After washing and drying in the sun, apply a light coat of car wax, which will also repel dirt and grime.
Barbecuing on the go – Have you ever used those charcoal grills at the local park? Make things a little easier next time. Save two or three of the cardboard egg cartons, line them with charcoal briquettes, set them in the grill, and light the cartons on fire. No lighter fluid required and you can take them in their own little carrying case instead of lugging the bag with you.
Another fume-free option for setting your fire – Set a dry pine cone in the bottom of the barbecue, build a little charcoal pyramid around it, and light the pine cone on fire.
Easy DIY Grill cover – Fold a vinyl tablecloth in half and sew up the sites to make a quick, cheap cover for your outdoor grill.
Bugs and Other Pests:
Cheap DIY bug-deterrent – Puree one lemon (rind and all) and add to 1 gallon of water. Pour into a watering can and ‘water’ within a foot of your foundation to prevent ants, spiders, and other creepy crawlers from entering your home.
Aphid removal – Add 2 drops of liquid dish soap to a quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray plants where aphid damage is evident periodically to keep them away.
Hummingbird Feeder pests – Applying Vaseline to the spouts of your hummingbird feeder will keep bees from bothering with it. They don’t like getting stuck but the hummingbirds won’t mind at all.
Gnats a problem? – Crush bay leaves in your hands and rub over your skin to repel gnats, flies, and mosquitoes.
Flies on the patio – Keep your patio fly free with planters filled with sweet basil or mint (or both). Mosquitoes? Plant basil and pansies around the patio as a natural deterrent.
Flies and maggots in trash cans – Spray outdoor trash cans out and allow them to fully dry. Sprinkle dry soap or borax to keep flies away.