Friday wrap: Cabin fever, gentle cleaner, cheaper tax deals

This week brings a group of heading-to-spring posts, from beating cabin fever, to gearing up for spring cleaning, to saving on the spring ritual of filing an income tax return.

Eco cleaner for marble and other scratchable surfaces

If you’re interested in cleaning with natural products, you probably know the most popular drill: Baking soda and vinegar! But what if you’re cleaning something fragile? Something that could scratch easily? Baking soda, after all, is quite abrasive. Fortunately, TipNut slides to the rescue on a soapy, eco-friendly cloth with a recipe for homemade granite cleaner. The cleaner also is appropriate for marble, acrylic, wood, ceramic tile and more. And it probably smells nice.

Beat cabin fever – on the cheap

Some of you are likely counting down the days till spring. Yes, we see you, there with the notches carved into your headboard, counting down until March 21 … or possibly June, depending where you live. Save the day with this list of six frugal ways to beat cabin fever. I have a few other things I think help, too:

  • Invite friends over. Someone who can make you laugh can make a day sail by.
  • Hit the thrift store for some new games or movies for entertainment.
  • Go hang out at the library. Read magazines or pore over a stack of decorating books, even if the only redecorating you plan to do is change your sheets.
  • Organize. If you can work up the mood, you can spend hours on a project like filing or organizing photos, cleaning out a closet or sorting through your pantry stash. Vindictive emotions can be vented as you toss, shred and compost the unneeded bits. You’ll be exhausted at the end, and satisfied by a nice clean closet/cabinet/file drawer. (Caution: If you are the type of person who won’t finish the job, don’t dive in all at once. Start little by little, in 15-minute segments, so you don’t end up with a big mess on your hands … that lasts until spring.)

Planning for taxes

If you haven’t filed taxes yet (that would be … most of us), Bargainist posted some deals on tax preparation software. Before jumping in to buy tax prep software, do be aware that you might be able to file online for free, depending on your situation. And even if you’re getting a deal, double check prices. I bought my TurboTax at Costco, after price checking (even with coupons and offers) at Intuit, OfficeMax and Office Depot.

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2 thoughts on “Friday wrap: Cabin fever, gentle cleaner, cheaper tax deals

  1. Melissa says:

    I bet that cleaner would be great on our flat-surface stove. Where do you get castile soap and what is it for otherwise?

    Amen to inviting friends over. That’s been one of our best times recently. We’ve even braved inviting a couple over that we barely knew from church for games and dinner.

  2. cheaplikeme says:

    I bet it would be good for that. Castile soap is soap made with vegetable oil, like Dr. Bronner’s. You can use it for anything! Lots of people use the liquid version for body soap, hand soap, washing floors, washing dishes, general cleaning, you name it. I use the lavender version for washing yarn after I spin it.

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