Frugal Friday – Clothing Edition

Frugal Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

Are you cooling down with a refreshing Captain America Lemonade? I know I am!

Let’s talk clothing for a minute. You can’t wear the same thing every day which is unfortunate because clothing is expensive. This isn’t to say it’s made well, either. More and more First World clothing companies are turning to Third World manufacturing and sweatshops and are using cheap fabric and shoddy workmanship and selling it to us for ridiculously inflated prices. Need some visualization help?

Yep, it’s a parody of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.” It’s amusing. It’s catchy. It’s poignant. And remember: each consumer dollar is a vote for what we as a society deem acceptable. Buy local. Buy fair trade. Take care of what you have.

Frugal Friday – Clothing Edition

1. Recycle

Recycle clothes between households, not family members. If your kids are near the same size as a friend’s kids, swap clothes with them. The clothes will be NEW to the kids, as opposed to being hand-me-downs from an older sibling. And let’s face it, you can’t beat the price!

2. Thrift Shops

Macklemore has it right, y’all! Go get you some used clothes for a buck! It also helps the local community, since many thrift shops donate to charitable organizations. Some articles have a great pattern or color but don’t fit quite right? Or at all? No problem…

3. Find a good alterations person

For anywhere from $1-$5, a professional can take an ill-fitting garment and make it flattering! And since well-fitting clothes can make you look slimmer, richer, and better put-together, this may save you more money than you realize! Don’t like the garment as-is? There are options…

4. Refashioning

Take some scissors to that shirt! Change that skirt into a billowy blouse! It’s amazing what a little creativity can yield! Need a little inspirations? There are tons of blogs, including yours truly, that show you how it’s done!

5. Use shampoo on collar and cuff rings

Sweat. Skin. Make-up. Lotion. Medication. It can all leave a mess on your clothes and sometimes laundry detergents just won’t do. That’s because it’s body oil and what cleans body oil better than anything else? Shampoo. Because that’s what it’s designed to do! Don’t throw out that shirt! Just wash it with the right stuff.

6. Wash with cold water

Dealing with an unusual stain? Go ahead with the hot water. Do what you gotta do. But for general laundry, cold is fine! It’s causes less stress on the cloth and it won’t run your electric bill up. Brights stay bright. Darks stay dark. And it will not shrink as much. Brilliant!

7. Hand wash delicates

This is another opportunity for shampoo and cold water. Your lacies and silkies will take less of a beating in the sink and letting them air dry will keep them soft and “delicate.” You’ll replace them less often, run the washer and dryer less often, and for $7.50+ per pair that will add up sooner than you think.

8. Sew buttons once and for all

Sometimes buttons just don’t want to stay on. It happens. The thread isn’t meant to take that kind of abuse. So how do we save those unique-to-this-blouse buttons? Sew them on with… dental floss! They will never fall off again! I recommend the non-flavored kind.

9. Stock up off season

Buy what you need for the next cold-spell just as stores are selling their winter stock at rock-bottom prices in March and April. Buy swimming suits and shorts in October. Sure, next seasons styles may be a bit different, but who cares? When you’re saving 50-90% off retail, you don’t care as much. And if you can buy classic styles instead of what’s trendy, so much the better since it will never go out of style.

10. Paying retail is unacceptable, ever!

When purchasing in-store:
  • Look for coupons online first
  • Look for sales at competitors’ stores – price match?
  • Download that store’s app – it sometimes has coupons
  • Check out their list of sales, usually located at the front of the store
  • Look in the news paper for coupons
  • Start in the back of the store, where the sale items are
  • Don’t go into the regular priced area unless it’s for something specific
  • Look for flaws in the garment and ask for a discount.
  • If it’s the last one left, ask for a discount.
  • Check if a friend works there and can get your the employee price at check-out
  • Ask employees about upcoming sales
  • Be nice to the employees, they can hook you up!
When purchasing Online:
  • Shop around for the item you want
  • Check and
  • Check for businesses going out of business online – Eloquii just closed and I got 5 belts, retailing for $35 each, for $5 a piece!
  • – sure you buy in lots, but each item comes out so cheap and you can sell the rest! This actually makes YOU money!
  • will hook you up with coupons and promo codes
  • Just google “Promo codes” and the name of the store at which you’re shopping
  • Check for free shipping

Long story short, you don’t have to pay retail {almost} ever!

Thanks so much for saving with us today! Have a great weekend!

Captain America’s Lemonade

Happy Thirsty Thursday Everyone!

I hope you are getting ready for a relaxing weekend and I hope this drink helps contribute to your relaxation!

But maybe you’re like my hubby and me and between you both you hold down 6 different jobs and one or both of you have to work through the weekend again. I’m not complaining. The Good Lord has seen fit to make sure we can pay all of our bills which is a blessing many people don’t have. And if your situation is anywhere close to mine, I hope this drink helps to take the edge off in a very tasty way!

Captain America’s Lemonade

1 shot of Rum $0.42
1 shot of Blue Curaçao $0.34
3 oz of Squirt soda $0.07
Juice of 1 whole lemon $0.10
Pour over ice
Top with grenadine (approx 1/2 shot) $0.05
Garnish with lemon slice


Restaurant price $6+
Total SAVINGS: $5.02+




What am I Wearing Wednesday – Black tube dress

What am I Wearing Wednesday

What am I Wearing Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Thanks everyone for bearing with me as I make a few changes to the blog, mostly the addition of new content. As always, though, it will always be relevant to anyone who wants to live the champagne life on a beer budget. Or Diet Coke, whichever you prefer!

I’ve mentioned previously that I am a poor newlywed college student and that comes with many demands, oddly enough, on my wardrobe! I’m expected to:

  • dress “like a young professional” while I’m teaching my classes as a graduate student
  • dress for my on-campus job
  • dress casually while in class
  • dress for performances {choir dress is ugly and uniform, other choir dress is our choice but black and formal}
  • dress for other performances {something like “Sunday Best”} during the day time
  • dress for recitals {ball gowns}
  • dress for auditions and job interviews
  • dress up to meet the inlaws
  • dress up to go to church
  • dress appropriately for professional rehearsals
  • dress for dates with the Hubby!
  • casual outfits
  • dress for the gym or the pool
  • dress for girls nights

Sure, sure. Some of these are unique to my major {I don’t think pre-meds or business majors need a closet full of ball-gowns} but many of these are real needs for college students and other young wives! And how am I supposed to accommodate all these demands on a newlywed’s budget? Especially since many college towns don’t have H&M or other places to buy cheap clothes, and the options drop to almost nil when you include the Tall & Curvy Factor! Dress pants are high-waters on me! Appropriate length skirts are NOT appropriate on this body! Nice blouses aren’t supposed to show the bottom of my belly button, right? And yes, I do buy my pants online, on-sale for $30 a piece. I own two pairs of black pants. Boring. And even when I order online there is no guarantee that they’ll be tall enough, wide enough in the hips, and are rarely quality products. Not worth it!

So what’s a girl to do?

Make her own clothes!

Admittedly, this outfit is a bit simplistic but it fulfills several roles. I wore it to work on Monday. I’ve paired it with a black cardigan and worn it as my “Black Dress” to performances. I’ve worn it to teach in. And the creation is so easy it’s almost criminal! In fact, you’ve seen something similar from me once before.


Sorry that the image is so bad. My husband took with my iPhone before I downloaded the Camera+ app that makes all iPhone pictures better.

All you have to do to make one for yourself is:

  1. Get a length of fabric that wraps 1 1/2 times around your body. $5 with coupon
  2. Fold it in half “hamburger-style.”
  3. Sew together the two cut edges.
  4. Cut a length of elastic to fit around your chest, just under your underarms. $0.75
  5. Sew that length into a loop or a circle.
  6. Sew it onto the “ugly” side of the fabric, 1 inch below the top of the dress, using the zig zag stitch.
  7. Flip it right-side-out.
  8. Wear it!

Normally I’ll have step-by-step pictures, but I made this dress 6 months ago.

For this outfit I’ve paired it with a red cardigan and a belt. Had I thought about it, I’d also be wearing a necklace, but sometimes when you’re running late to work you have to forgo the final touches.

Dress: $5.75 Homemade
Cardigan: $30 from Lane Bryant {one of my last retail-price purchases}
Belt: $5 from Eloquii’s going out of business sale

Outfit total: $40.75

Thanks for joining me today!

What article of clothing have you sewn for yourself lately and how have you used it?

Museum Monday – Stained Glass Windows

Happy Monday everyone! I was NOT ready for this weekend to end. I picked up an extra shift on Saturday to help make up hours for the mandatory {but appreciated} Independence Day holiday and then hubby had to work on Sunday for the whole afternoon and evening so it didn’t feel much like a weekend at all! But it is Monday and that means…

Museum Monday

If you’ll remember back to this post, I work at a beautiful museum/library on the campus of Baylor University. We have some of the most beautiful artwork, architecture, sculptures, and literature that most of the world will never get to see. I think that is a crying shame and I would like to share with you some of what I get to see every day. Today’s focus will be on stained glass windows.

01 - Saul  02 - Rabbi

Armstrong Browning Library and Museum boasts the world’s largest collection of secular {non religious} stained glass windows. There seem to be many sacred and Christian themes throughout the windows but the subjects of the windows are of Robert Browning’s poetry, often written on the themes of the Bible, and are therefore considered secular in nature.

On a personal note, I really wish I had a better camera with which to take pictures. My iPhone is NOT doing these justice!

03 - TR1  07 - RH1  08 - RH2

These three are examples of the stained glass windows portraying various stories from Robert Browning’s poetry.

09 - RH3

The technique used to make the shading here illustrated by the woman’s face is a technique called “acid etching.” It creates a permanent painted effect.

04 - Christmas Eve  05 - Easter Day

These two stained glassed windows, named Christmas Eve and Easter Day, are two of the most beautiful but least appreciated pieces of art in the museum. They are in small alcoves between the Martin Entrance Foyer and the Hamkamer Treasure Room and Jones Research Hall, respectively.

05.1 - Easter Day Words

Here is a close-up of the words on the stained glass window entitled Easter Day. The words are Robert Browning’s own and speak to those who are patient enough to read them in a profound way.

06 - Sunrise

Another beautiful stained glass window, this time in the Foyer of Meditation, whose beauty my iPhone cannot do justice. Dr. Armstrong believed that sunrise and sunset were the most contemplative times of the day and always wanted this room to have that same feeling. He designed these windows go from a dark  yellow at the bottom, through a variety of pale yellows, and end with frosty white glass at the top. These particular windows are incredibly difficult to photograph, even for the most experienced photographer.

11 - PPleft  10 - PPcenter  12 - PPright

These three stained glass windows were the first “Browning Windows” on Baylor’s campus and were originally displayed in the Browning Room in Carroll Library. From left to right, they depict “The Guardian-Angel,” “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” and “How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix” and are from Haskins Studios, Rochester, New York, 1924. The windows were moved from Carroll Library to Armstrong-Browning Library in 1951.

15 - L1 14 - L1 13 - L1

These final three are part of a collection of six on our bottom floor. They are the newest in our collection, created by the Willet Stained Glass Studios, Philadelphia, celebrating Italy and Italian locations that were special to Robert, Elizabeth, and Pen Browning.

Creation within a newlywed’s apartment – Step 1 AGAIN

Sunday! A time for rest and reflection. Right?

I hope I’m not the only one like this but rest and reflection absolutely cannot come until I’ve done something productive. Unfortunately today’s productivity comes as a repeat {sort of} of a previous post. As you can imagine, I am not pleased with that.

When my family and friends were in town for our reunion, we dragged the smoker out of the closet we had previously stuffed it into and grilled up a brisket and wings and jalapeno poppers. It’s been two weeks and the smoker has been shoved in my office with all the boxes that were packed in with it laying all over the floor making the room completely unusable for me. Do you see my poor, lonely little sewing machine in the background there behind all those boxes? Yep, I haven’t sewed a stitch in over 3 weeks! But my office was not unusable for Hubby who took advantage of my refusal to enter that room by eating in there while working online. I chose to take the picture before cleaning up his wrappers and boxes so that while I’m working at making our home its best, you can see it at its worst.


There is still some cleaning up to do but I wanted to share with you our closet before and after.


If you compare the final product of the closet in the last post to the final product of the closet in this one, I think you’ll notice a huge improvement!

I hope everyone’s having a wonderful Sunday and we’ll see you tomorrow for Museum Monday!

Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness

Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness

Our dear friend Amanda over at Growing Up With Madison thought Kathryn Tall & Strong was awesome enough to receive this award. Thank you! Kathryn Tall & Strong is just a little blog right now, only about 6 weeks old, but it gives me great encouragement to have such a fantastic and successful blogger think so highly of my work! You can’t see me right now {because it’s the internet} but I am blushing!
In order to accept my award there are some rules of course. So here goes:

Display Award Logo – ✓

Link back to the person who nominated you – ✓

Share 10 things about myself – Hahaha! ✓

Nominate up to 10 other bloggers – ✓

Well here goes the 10 epically awesome things about myself:

  1. As of today I have been married 385 days OR 1 year and 20 days OR 55 weeks!
  2. I was a vegetarian for 7 years and a vegan for 9 months. It was Beer-Can Chicken that finally broke my lifestyle.
  3. I’ve been bitten by a wild Copperhead Snake on my left foot and spent 6 hours in the ER.
  4. My favorite color is purple. As a child I thought colors had personalities. Blue (male) and Purple (female) were married {ironic since these became our wedding colors} but Red (female) kept flirting with Blue so I was always mad at Red. Green and Yellow were an item as well.
  5. I didn’t have a Maid of Honor at my wedding but a Man of Honor, and had a Ring Maiden {Wagner anyone?} instead of a Ring-bearer and Flower girl.
  6. I am studying to be an opera singer and am currently classified as a Lyric Mezzo-Soprano. Verdi is my consistent-favorite composer and Mechem is my flavor of the moment favorite composer.
  7. I’m 6 feet tall and wear size 13 shoes. Maybe this is why I find it more comfortable to make my own clothes?
  8. I love public speaking. It baffles me that this is the world’s #1 fear while #2 is death.
  9. I enjoy writing research papers! Being a graduate student is great because I’m always writing at least one!
  10. I am terrified of decorating my home! Really, I’m scared of making any sort of decorative decision at all. I’m hoping this blog will force me to make my home beautiful {so I can post about it} and face my fear of commitment to style.

Now my nominees for the Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness are:


I Still Love You

Naughty Shorts

Sew Much Ado

This Mama Makes Stuff

Life Gets Real So We Should Too

Joyful Thrifty Home

Live Creating Yourself

The Fun, Cheap, or Free Queen

Bee Tree Studios

These are just 10 of my absolute favorite blogs! Each has something different to offer and I love them all! Check them out for yourself!

Frugal Friday – Supermarket Edition

Frugal Friday

Happy Day-After-Independence Day everyone! If you are anything like me, you need a holiday after your holiday to recuperate! Hubby grilled hot dogs and hamburgers on our mini-$5-grill from HEB and we had friends over to watch operas on DVD. We even avoided a $2000 ticket for having a grill on the premises by giving the cop a cheeseburger! I’m not sure how frugal that technically is but I’m always happy to feed the local police officers who keep us safe! Poor guy had to work on Independence Day too! He deserved a burger.

I’m sort of a hoarder of good deals and frugal tips and tricks. I have books about money management and being frugal and I guarantee you I didn’t pay full price for any of them! In fact, I picked up a few more on Wednesday at my local used bookstore, Golden’s Book Exchange, for 5¢ a piece! Of course, Hubby found the first four books of the “Game of Thrones” series and just had to have them, so my original basket of 15¢ jumped up to $18.15 But to be fair, this was the cheapest he’d seen these books for by about 70% and he has been looking for about a month. It makes me so proud when my Hubby shows progress in becoming a savvy shopper like me! But on to the frugal tips of the day!

Frugal Friday – Supermarket Edition

1. Shop with cash only

When you shop with credit or debit card close by you will be tempted to spend more than you have budgeted. You may even start justifying unnecessary purchases. But if you are held accountable by the limited cash on-hand, and you don’t want to have to return things when you’re in the check-out line, you can avoid at least one budget error!

2. Pay attention to “price per count”

You’ve of course seen the price sticker underneath the items you buy. Have you noticed the smaller number under that? It tells you how the item costs per ounce, pound, count, box, ply, sheet, etc. As you buy larger packages of an item {2 count vs 8 count vs 24 count} this number should decrease because buying in bulk should save the consumer money. Sometimes this is not the case! Sometimes it is genuinely more financially prudent to buy the medium sized package than the large sized package. But you won’t know unless you check the “price per count!”

3. Add a pinch of salt to milk

Adding a pinch of salt to a gallon of milk makes it last longer. Why? I don’t know. It just does. And if your supermarket lowers the price of milk with a closer expiration date this little trick could save you up to 50 ¢ per gallon!

4. Avoid leftovers

You think you’ll take it to work with you tomorrow, but you’ll forget. And there’s not enough to server tomorrow night for the whole family. Before you know it, it’s a science experiment-gone-wrong in the back of the fridge and you’ll toss it anyway. Make only what you know you’ll eat in one sitting and stick to it! And if you avoid going back for unnecessary seconds, you are already on the road to a healthier lifestyle!

5. Make your own flavor packs

I love Mrs. Dash and Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning as much as anyone else. But let’s face it: They are more expensive per ounce than the individual ingredients themselves and loaded with preservatives! Buy individual jars of spices that you like and make your own spice mix or meat rub. Customize it to your tastes. Not only will you become better acquainted with the flavors you really love, you can brag to all your friends about your extraordinary culinary prowess. And who knows? Maybe you’ll one day be marketing your own spice blend!

6. Eliminate choices at meals

Stick to the meal plan you’ve carefully budgeted. When you start offering two different proteins, two different vegetables, three different starches, before you know it your fridge is piled high with tupperware full of food that is more than likely going to go to waste. Remember #4?

7. Select aisles carefully

The perimeter of the store is reserved for fresh produce, meat, dairy, and otherwise healthy and perishable items. The inside aisles are where all the preserved and manufactured foods in plastic bags, metal cans, and glass jars and kept. When you’ve made your list and are familiar with the store, go only to the aisles you know you need to visit. Straying from that can lead to impulse purchases that will blow your budget.

8. Learn to s-t-r-e-t-c-h

Breadcrumbs or oatmeal can stretch a pound of ground beef into a 1 ½ pounds or more! And let’s face it, meat is getting expensive these days. Nonfat dry milk stretches a gallon of milk into two. Borax and baking soda stretch dishwashing detergent too.

9. Cheap gourmet coffee

Store-brand coffee beans {ground or whole} can taste like your local coffee house’s special brew if you add a cinnamon stick into dry coffee grounds. Or Add a few drops of vanilla or hazelnut extract to brewed coffee. Pour any left over coffee into an ice-cube tray and freeze it. If you’d ever like iced coffee but don’t want it to get watered down then this is the perfect solution!

Personal note: I have coffee ice cubes in my freezer and a gallon of brewed coffee in my fridge. For a better-tasting Frapp knock-off, throw it all in the blender with some creamer and cocoa powder {and protein powder if this is your breakfast} for a drink for which you will happily turn your back to Starbucks!

10. Shop late in the day

Ask the butcher or produce person if they have anything they plan to mark down today and when. They may mark it down early for you {since you asked so sweetly} and that $8 t-bone steak only costs you $5. They may even give you a heads-up on what will be marked down tomorrow!

Armstrong-Browning Library & Museum – Ceilings

My camera just died.

About two minutes ago. The part that holds the batteries and SD card in broke in half. I don’t like this camera anyway. It takes poor quality pictures, it’s focus isn’t very good, and Kodak is apparently getting out of the camera business, so maybe it’s time to find a better quality one. Maybe used? Maybe refurbished? The hunt begins!


One of the ideas I had for this blog back when it was just a twinkle in my eye was that I’d post pictures from around the museum in which I work! I am employed at Armstrong-Browning Library and it is by far the best job I’ve ever had! I adore my fellow employees {Mary, Pat, Richard, and Justin}, my boss Jessica, and all the higher-ups! Aside from answering phones, answering questions, directing patrons, counting visitors, and giving tours, I also have time during my day here to work on my blog, work on my music, and do my homework. This is the best job ever! Since many of you might not ever get down to the Armstrong-Browning Library, I’d like to bring a few of its treasures to you!

The Armstrong-Browning Library celebrates the poetry and prose of Robert Browning {Pippa Passes} and Elizabeth Barrett Browning {“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” Sonnet 43 from Sonnets of the Portuguese} and houses the world’s largest collection of their Browning material. Dr. Armstrong, an English professor, devoted his life to the Browning’s and the building of the library which opened in 1951 on Baylor University’s campus. But more on that story later.

One of my favorite features of the building is the ceilings! Dr. Armstrong traveled the world and picked up inspiration from all over and brought it into the design of this building.


This is the ceiling in the Martin Entrance Foyer. So many people who come in through the front doors are so mesmerized by the beauty of the paintings, busts, exhibits, and stained glass windows in this room that they forget to look UP! This is the ceiling I sit under every day!


This is the ceiling in the Hankamer Treasure room. The plaster-and-wood ceiling is hand-paintd in the style of the Italian Renaissance. This is different from many other room in which the ceilings better reflect the French style.


My now-dead camera did not take the most clear of pictures, but I think you can start to get an idea of the beauty and grandeur of ceiling here.


The exquisitely beautiful McLean Foyer of Meditation is a forty-foot cube with a dome that is recessed an additional five feet. The room was conceived and designed as a place for quiet peach and reflection. It was inspired by a room called the Arab Hall in the London home of Frederic, Lord Leighton, a famous Victorian artist who designed the tomb of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Florence. – The Self-Guided Tour for Armstrong-Browning Library

I couldn’t have described it better myself… so I didn’t. Special features you can see in the photo:

  • The two-ton bronze chandelier decorated with bells and pomegranates
  • The dome, whose wide inner circle is covered with 23-carat gold leaf hand-pressed into wet plaster to create the velvet-like texture.
  • The barnyard animals encircling the inner circle to tie in with the upper portion of the walls hand-painted in the style of the Italian countryside.

There will be much more to come from the Armstrong-Browning Library and Museum in the upcoming weeks and months. I hope you’ve enjoyed a first look at the beauty of this museum.

Aw crap!

Before I get into the meat of this post, I’d like to give a quick shout-out to all the lovely folks at for hooking me up with an awesome blogging buddy group! They’ve been awesome and supportive for the whole 24 or so hours I’ve been part of it! You may notice some changes in the upcoming days and weeks as per their great suggestions {Do you see the buttons on the right? Recommended by my group and graciously created by Craftiments} and I expect this will eventually start looking beautiful and professional in no time! Anyway, onto the crap… literally. :-/

I’ve been absent from the blog for the last two weeks as I was preparing for “The Wedding Reunion: First Anniversary.” Apparently my family and friends liked each other so much and enjoyed hanging out with each other both in pre-wedding preparations and the reception that they couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing each other again! So sweet! But that left hubby and me to clean for the whole week up to the weekend of the 22nd, prepare, cook, bake, etc for the whole weekend while entertaining a huge number of people, and then clean up the aftermath!

But it was SOOOOO worth it! El Señor {my dad} paid for the food, my brother and his girlfriend bought the booze, hubby prepared everything {with a little help from the little wifey}, Melissa brought delicious homemade peach cobbler, Blake and Natalie brought margarita mix and cutlery, and El Señor made his FAMOUS Apple Krinkle! Only family can have this recipe, except he gave it to an extended-family member once and has been in the doghouse ever since. At our most occupied, our apartment living room had 15 people crammed into it, plus two dogs, and everyone was teasing each other and loving on each other and it was great!


But you better believe that there was some serious cleaning up to do afterward! Having that many people in our home may have made Erda nervous, maybe someone gave her something she shouldn’t have eaten, maybe she wanted to cover the smell of strangers with her own smell. I don’t know. All I know is that little miss Erda crapped all over the living room rug! UGH!

01 Carpet

You know I’m all about frugal, being one half of a poor-college-student-newlywedded couple, but I do have two tools that I felt were worth it to buy. We got a Bissell Carpet Shampooer a while back to help with Charlie’s messes, and we recently purchased a Bissell Vacuum Cleaner to help mitigate Erda’s destruction. We didn’t necessarily mean to purchase two Bissell products, they were just both available around 11 pm at our local Walmart for a reasonable price.

02 Tools

Let’s talk about what to put in the carpet shampooer. The manual says to never put any liquid other than Bissell approved shampoos in it. POPPYCOCK! While you probably shouldn’t load it up with straight bleach or anything like that, you absolutely can put other cleaning fluids into the water chamber that work better than their expensive carpet shampoo formulas.

My main concoction is 1/2 cup white vinegar and fill the rest of the tank with HOT water from the tap. BOOM! You will be amazed! My carpet has never been cleaner! And it will save you so much money! A gallon of vinegar is $2.88, while a quart of cleaning fluid is anywhere from $8-20. I’ll just let that sink in…

04 vacuumed

I began by vacuuming up all the bigger bits. This included dog hair, craps of paper, and any chunks of crap {gag} that the vacuum could pull up. A little better, right?

05 gross

Gross. Just so very gross. I swear we don’t live like this.

06 Cleaner

I went a little bit further with my cleaning supplies this time, since I was so grossed out. I combined in a plastic tub {A plastic drawer! Ha! Told you I’m cheap!} a quarter cup of Gain {almost any laundry detergent should be fine}, a whole cup of Extra Strength White Vinegar, and hot water. Mix that up and you are ready to go!

The Diet Coke was just for me. Don’t put in on your carpet.

Onto the first spot…

07 spot  08 cleaning

Dip your scrub brush in the water, place it over the offending spot, and scrub!

10 clean!

CLEAN! Well… cleaner.

11 further in

And one you are done with one spot, look up in despair at how much is left! JUST KIDDING! It went a lot quicker than I anticipated. This concoction took the stains and crusties {gag} right out of the carpet with almost no effort! There will be the occasional bigger chunks {so much GAG!} where you may have to pull it up with your fingers so as to not risk grinding it into the carpet. But the hot water mix helps it release its hold on the carpet.

14 picking

Are we having fun yet? Nope? Didn’t think so.

Once I got a goodly amount of area wet, I used my carpet shampooer filled with the mixture I mentioned above {1/2 cup white vinegar and fill the rest of the tank with HOT water} and sucked that soapy mess right out of the carpet! See?

15b divide

I failed to get a good picture of the carpet post-trouble spots or a picture of the dirty shampooer water {gag}, but I did get a bad shot of the pile of crap that I pulled out of the carpet. NICE!

16 crap

Because I know you wanted to see it. There are also a couple strands of carpet yarn segments that I pulled out on accident. But all of it is safely in the dumpster.

Total price: $0.40

1/4 c. of Gain – $0.221 c. of Vinegar – $0.18
Hot water – Free (sorta)