14 Ways to Preserve Food

  1. Try lining your refrigerator's crisper drawer with paper towels; they'll absorb excess moisture and keep your vegetables from rotting
  2. A bay leaf in a container of flour, pasta, or rice will repel bugs
  3. To make cottage cheese or sour cream last longer, turn the container upside down -- this creates a vacuum that inhibits the growth of bacteria
  4. If you're unsure of an egg's freshness, put it in a cup of water; fresh eggs sink, while bad ones float
  5. Store fresh herbs (washed and sealed in plastic bags) in your freezer. They'll stay fresh for a month and defrost instantly when you want to use them for cooking.
  6. Make limp celery, carrots and radishes crunchy again by placing them in a bowl of ice water with a slice of raw potato.
  7. Spread butter on the cut side of hard cheeses to keep them from drying out in the fridge.
  8. Put rice in your salt shaker to absorb condensation and keep salt from hardening.
  9. Store your butter in the freezer; it will keep fresh for up to six months.
  10. Corn should be refrigerated while still in the husk to stay fresh the longest.
  11. Citrus fruits can last up to two weeks right on the counter.
  12. Garlic and onions need to be stored in a dark, cool pantry, where they will stay fresh for up to four months.
  13. Berries keep the best when refrigerated unwashed in their original container.
  14. Asparagus should be stored upright in the refrigerator in a jar in an inch of water.

Camping / Living in a Prius

We moved to a tiny house in 2015 and got rid of the tent, portable toilet, and other camping gear. I thought we were done with primitive camping until I was inspired by the videos below.

Tried it out this past week (1 private campground and 2 national park campgrounds) and it has more benefits than costs! Little setup or tear-down. Bad weather like snow doesn't collapse the tent or freeze us all night long. Prius acts like a power generator. Music in the car does not affect the neighbors. Inspires others to think outside the box. Can arrive at your site later and can leave at checkout. And no worries like you have with an RV (fuel costs, tricky roads, grey water).

6 Reasons to Hang Dry Your Clothes

  1. Save money (more than $100 a year on electric bills for most households).
  2. Conserve energy and the environment.
  3. Clothes last longer. Where do you think lint comes from?
  4. It is physical activity, which you can do inside or outside.
  5. Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.
  6. Indoor racks can humidify in dry winter weather.

The Natural Way To Do Laundry & Save Money

Soap Nuts!

I first saw these at Green Fest and I love them. They are also called soap berries. They contain large quantities of saponin in their shells. It acts as a natural, gentle detergent when it comes into contact with water. If you buy the big bag, your cost is about 6 cents per load. I found this site has the best deal.

You can also use the the berries as a natural insect repellent, and when the saponin is gone, just throw them in your compost pile.

3 Ways To Reuse Old Newspapers

  • Wet newspapers placed around plants and covered in dirt will keep weeds from growing.
  • Ripen tomatoes more quickly by wrapping them in newspaper and storing them in a dark cabinet – this is a useful tip if you need to pick tomatoes early to protect them from frost.
  • Place several sheets of wet newspaper onto the grill after you put the fire out, and close the lid. The dampness will create enough steam so that the grease will easily scrub off in an hour or so.