Okay, so I thought I’d write up this week’s Canny Lass blog by giving you some tips on being a little bit more frugal and making things go further.
As our neighbours south of the border saw their kids going back to school last week (ours in Scotland went back mid August – it couldn’t have come quickly enough!), they will no doubt be dreading this: the return of the scuffed school shoes. I don’t know what my kids did when they were younger and at primary school, but they managed to wreck every pair of shoes I bought them within a few weeks. So, with that in mind, here’s a quick tip to cover scuffs and scratches on shoes. And it’s simple. If you don’t have in your home or you don’t have the cash right now to splash out on scuff coating, do this: get a felt tip marker of the same colour as the shoe and use it to ink in the scuffs. Don’t have a marker? Try using crayons instead. For trainers, that’s a bit more difficult. However, you can put dirty trainers in the washing machine and wash them. Stuff the toes with newspaper or kitchen towel once out of the machine and leave to dry overnight.
If you’ve run out of shoe polish, here’s a tip from 1001 Entirely New Household Hints (1937): rub half a lemon over the shoes and buff with a cloth. Lovely smelling and beautifully shiny shoes.
Do you or your daughters wear tights? Mine does to got to school and I used to wear them to work. Some time ago I swapped skirts and dresses for smart trousers purely because I hated wearing tights. The main problem was I could never get them to fit my long legs and the gusset was always hanging and it wasn’t pleasant. Anyway, I digress. Firstly, buy a cheap clear nail varnish and carry it about with you. If you get a rip in your tights and you don’t have a spare pair to hand, you can stop the rip by dabbing it with some nail polish. Yes, you will get nail polish on your leg, but this stops the rip from getting worse until you can change your tights. If you have a pair of those 40+ denier tights and you get a rip, cut the ripped leg off and retain the other part. When you get another pair of ripped tights the same, cut the ripped leg off that. Now you have two pairs of tights with one leg each. What you do is put one pair on over your right leg and put the second pair on over your left leg. You now have a perfect pair of tights (albeit with two parts going across your tummy, but that’s good cos it will provide additional elasticity to pull your tummy in a bit!).
Here’s one if you’re suffering from dark circles or bags under your eyes due to too many late nights. Soak cotton balls in camomile tea, allow to cool and then lie down with the cotton balls over your eyes. Bliss! Don’t have any cotton balls? Just use two camomile teabags instead: make your tea, squeeze the bags to remove excess tea, set aside to cool, use once cooled.
Continuing on our beauty theme, if you run out of mascara, dab a tiny bit of petroleum jelly on your upper lashes (don’t do the bottom ones as the jelly could get in your eyes). This tip comes from the early 1900s and inspired chemist T L Williams to create one of the first commercial mascaras. He saw his sister, Mabel, apply petroleum jelly to her lash tips, so he combined the jelly with ash and created mascara. He then set up a company to sell this mascara and the name of the company? Maybelline.
You can also use petroleum jelly to tame wild hair. Rub a tiny bit of it on the ends of your hair and brush. For frizzy hair, rub a pea-sized bit of petroleum jelly in your palms and then smooth down your hair with it. And a dollop of petroleum jelly on gum stuck in hair will help remove it.
Hope you enjoyed these tips,