Tag Archives: cornstarch

Inexpensive Substitutes that Work

Here’s a couple inexpensive, easy-to-obtain substitutes for more expensive products.

  1. Talc powder is under increased scrutiny because of the ingredients in it. I use corn starch–used to thicken homemade pudding and in other food preparation–for dusting powder. Granted, it’s not as fine in texture as talc powder, though you could sift it and probably get it that way, but it works. I put corn starch in a small container with holes on the top and sprinkle it on.
  2. Readers in the Southern Hemisphere and in warmer areas than here may appreciate this tip: medicated menthol ointment makes a good insect repellent. I read or heard that somewhere and decided to give it a try this past summer. I put it on my arms before doing yard work, and while the bugs come around, they don’t bite. They smell the ointment on my skin and leave! Now I keep a jar specifically for that purpose. Store-brand varieties work fine and are much lower in cost than brand names.


©P. Booher

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Filed under Simple Ways to Handle Everyday Problems, Tips to Save Money

The Abby Chronicles–Of Fleas and Flea Combs, Cornstarch, and Pet Wipes


Here I am, ready to write my story!

Chapter VII

As I was sitting on the desk washing myself (my fur coat requires a lot of attention) the younger human approached me with the flea comb. She started petting me and I moved as close to her as I could. She parted my coat with her fingers, then ran the comb through my fur.

The older human said, “I’ll bring the little wastebasket over.”

“Okay,” the younger human said, then added, “Could you bring the wipes and the little bit of cornstarch left in the box? The wipes are in the box that says, “Abby’s Stuff”.

The younger human combed me some more, then said, “Oh, Abby, we need to go over to the couch. My back is bothering me.”

She picked me up, along with the wipes and the box of cornstarch, and we went over to the couch. She sat down and rubbed cornstarch in the mats in my fur. I didn’t mind her rubbing my fur, even the fur on my belly. Truthfully, I liked all the attention. She explained the cornstarch could help untangle the mats, making them easier to get out. That sounded good to me.

I felt something damp and cool on my head, and smelled a peculiar scent. The younger human showed the wipe to me, keeping a firm hand on me so I wouldn’t run away.  She ran the wipe down my neck, under my chin, around the sides of my face, down my back, on my belly, and on my tail.

After she was done with the pet wipes I washed myself. The wipes made my coat smell. Since I am an inside cat, that fact wasn’t too bad. However, if I had business to attend to outside, it would be a different story. You see, any smell on my coat could alert enemies such as dogs, foxes, coyotes, or raccoons to my presence. Not good! Even though I am an indoor cat, instinct took over and so I washed.

Author’s Note: If you decide to use pet wipes, make sure the kind you get is safe for cats, since we groom ourselves so often.


©P. Booher










Filed under humor, Simple Ways to Handle Everyday Problems, The Abby Chronicles

Thrifty Cleaners In The Kitchen

  • Vinegar
  • Lemons
  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Ketchup
  • Table Salt

That sounds like a grocery list, right? How about a list of cleaning supplies?

A good and easy way to save money is : buy products that can be used for more than one purpose. All the products on the above list are cleaning items too.

White vinegar is a good cleanser and disinfectant. I use it in the laundry rinse water; it cuts soap residue.  (It does the same thing when I rinse my hair with it after shampooing.)  I also use white vinegar to clean the toilet bowl. Usually I pour about 1 cup in the bowl, let it set for at least 15 minutes, then brush. There’s no harsh chemical smell, and the vinegar gets the job done. White vinegar in hot water makes tile floors shine without any harsh smell, and there’s no danger to the paws of a resident cat or dog who strolls across the floor before it dries.  Vinegar is an alternative cleaner for people  bothered by the fumes from some manufactured cleansers. Plus, it costs less!

Lemons are also a disinfectant. They are good to use on countertops around food items.

I sprinkle baking soda on the carpets before running the sweeper. Baking soda is another good disinfectant and deodorizer which doesn’t have a harsh odor to it. I use baking soda in hot water to clean a variety of surfaces. I used to buy clay kitty litter.  I sprinkled baking soda on the bottom of the pan before adding the litter.  The baking soda helped the litter absorb odors longer.

I use cornstarch as a dry shampoo and as talcum powder. It’s effective and costs much less than products bought specifically for that.

Ketchup, good old American ketchup, isn’t just to put on hot dogs, hamburgers and french fries. No, ketchup, along with table salt, has a surprise in store for a homemaker who needs some copper-bottomed pots cleaned. Check out this link: http://www.thesquirrelseye.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/the-great-ketchup-experiment.

Beside the cost savings and the effectiveness of the above products, all these items are readily available.  Try them out and see what you think!

P. Booher

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Filed under Tips to Save Money