Frugal with my time ...

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

This may sound strange but because I work, I try to use my time frugally to have time for things I enjoy.

A couple of things I shorten my time on are...

Ironing ~ I like cotton clothing and because I work with the public, I want my clothes pressed. In winter I find myself planning... if I wear this shirt with this sweater, I only need to iron the collar, cuffs. DH wears his shirts with a hooded sweatshirt so I only press the front. I suspect you get the idea ~ lol

When I need a button sewed on, a quick fix is to keep assorted colors of embroidery thread. I will chose the closest color, usually separate three threads out and thread on a needle. You can make a couple of quick loops thru the button and it looks fine, works normally and is done quickly.

When done with a shower, I use a microfiber cloth and quickly wipe down the walls and scrub the tub while it is still wet. That prevents water spots, scum forming and cream rinse residue from making the tub slippery. I find if I put it off, it won't always get done.

I do the same with the kitchen sink, wiping it with a hand towel right away when dishes are done will keep it sparkling and prevent mineral deposits and grub from taking over.

I double line the garbage container. That way when going out the door to work, if it is full, I grab it and don't have to worry about DH throwing something sloppy in the container with no bag in it.

I am always searching for new, quick & easy ways to do things. If you do the same with your time, I'd like to hear what your frugal shortcuts are...

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I HATE to iron. I see it as a complete waste of my time. I used to iron every Sun for hours to get my clothes ready for work for the next week. What a useless waste of a Sun afternoon! I still like to wear nice, professional clothes. But I look for fabrics that I don't have to iron. When I wash and dry them, I immediately hang them so they aren't wrinkled. I stay away from Rayon that has to be ironed each time it's washed. I wear a lot of cotton and even some polyester and silk. Choose the right fabrics and you'll never have to iron again--well maybe only for special occasions. Gosh, I can't even remember the last time I ironed. My can of spray starch is probably 5 years old!

I cook breakfast while putting on my makeup.

I don't primp a lot. I spend about 30 minutes on a shower, dressing, makeup and hair. More time than that is a waste of my time.

I do most of my shopping online so I don't have to drive to town and stand in line. Groceries are about the only thing I really have to go to town and buy. When I do need to go to Walmart, I usually go about 3 a.m. I'm often awake at that time (insomnia), so I don't waste the time. It's the perfect time for shopping. All the earthlings are still sleeping and I have the store to myself. Do NOT shop at Walmart around midnight. They close out all registers at midnight so you can't check out until about 12:30.

I pre-package serving sizes of the foods I eat. So I have all these ziplocks and little plastic containers in the fridge. For snacks and meals, I can just grab a few containers and eat--nothing to weigh or measure, nothing to prepare, just grab n go.

I combine trips to town into one trip. I try to get everything done in that one trip and not run back and forth.

I keep a magnetic note pad on my fridge and when I notice I'm out of something, I immediately add it to my shopping list. When I'm ready to go to Walmart, I don't have to take an inventory. I just grab my list and go.

I don't have seasonal clothing really. I can't stand sweaters and long sleeves so I never buy them. So I never have to pack them up and store them when spring comes, like many of my friends do. I honestly don't need a lot of clothes anyway. If you buy some staples, you can mix and match and have many suits using the same clothes. Then you'll have room for all your clothes in your closet without needing to store any. When my closet gets too full, I cull out some clothing.

I try to keep my closets, drawers, cabinets, etc neat and organized so when I need something, I can get right to it. It gets so frustrating (and costly) to not be able to find or get to something I know I have when I need it. Then I have to waste time and money going to town to buy a new one.

I'm anxious to hear some other tips. Thanks for starting this thread, Pod.

NancyAnn

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

this is going to be a great thread. i've been mulling it over all morning and will be posting soon!

Irvine, KY(Zone 6a)

My tip is for handling mail. Sort it as soon as it arrives. Most of it can go into the recycling bin [if it doesn't have any personal information] or into the shredder [if it does, including labels torn off magazines and catalogs]. Bills and items that must be replied to go into a holder on the desk that has slots for each day of the month. I file them according to the day I must respond to avoid late charges.

Catalogs are kept alphabetically in a file drawer. I throw the previous catalog into the recycling bin (after removing the mailing label and my name from an order blank) as soon as I get a new one from a company. I contact customer service to get off the mailing list of companies from which I will probably not order again. Most of them have toll-free numbers. I can always check their websites if my needs change. Magazines are sorted similarly, recycling those I have read and finished with, keeping articles I want to save in file folders by topic.

I have asked charities to contact me no more than once a year, as I get tired of "special campaigns" that pester me for frequent donations. If they don't honor this request I no longer contribute and ask them to remove me from their mailing lists.

Personal correspondence is kept separate so that I can deal with it at a convenient time and place. I have started making my own greeting cards, saving the high cost of commercial ones. I have a computer program for making greeting cards, and although I print and mail some, I usually send them as jpg images attached to e-mails for most friends and family members. This cuts down their clutter as well.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Great organizational skills ~ you two! I am pretty good on the mail as I helped a friend years ago. She was a hoarder and mail/catalogues was her passion. She had stuffed a bedroom full and was starting to stack them in the hallway. I spent days sorting and as soon as I discarded, another gal was carrying it directly to the burn barrel so she couldn't bring it back in the house. I found junque but I also found refund checks that were so vintage that the companies had gone out of business. I haven't been to her house in years but hear the dent we made didn't change anything. Just made me far more aware of cleaning out my catalogues, etc. Good tip on alphabetical filing, thanks!

I'll warn y'all ~ no makeup for me. Not that I'm gorgeous but again my time is limited. Before I leave for work in the morning, I want the floor dustmopped, the bed made, the dishes done, usually do a load of laundry (or ironing) in the morning too. I gave up cosmetics and simply throw on clothes, braid hair (while sitting on the computer) and run out the door.

Good shopping tips... I would haunt the WM store in the wee hours of the morning but it is 50 miles from here and DH is not a night person so... but I appreciate knowing the registers are out of order at that time of night. Nothing annoys me further than to forget that our post office closes for lunch for an hour and the bank stops and balances their drawers at 3 before reopening.

I heard someone on here mention grocery shopping for staples on Amazon. Has anyone tried it? I am an online orderer. I despise shopping unless it is a feed store (TSC) or greenhouse.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I buy things on Amazon, Tea, Cereals, usually hard to find items, but frequently imported things that tend to be cheaper. I save about $ 1 a box on Twinings Tea over what I pay at my local store, and - well, I'm a tea drinker, I have to have my Twinings!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Dutchlady, do you have a Big Lots near you? Ours carries the Twining tea for about $2 a box. A friend of mine from Houston said her maiden name is Twining and her family owns the tea company. I had never heard of it until I met her.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I like teas and my fav brand is not available locally. It was but only long enough to get me hooked. It may have been you that mentioned it. I need to check it out. Have never been on the Amazon... skeered I'd get carried away.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I will check out Big Lots, thanks for the heads up!

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I double line my kitchen waste bin too, since it's wood I don't want anything oozing onto it. I also keep extra waste can liners under the liner in the waste can, so I don't need to hunt for one when I pull out the used one. I save the small shampoo, lotion and conditioner bottles from hotels and refill them with my own products for when I travel.

I keep a supply of ziplock bags to reuse in my luggage, as it is easier to pack and unpack when you have undies, shirts etc, already sorted. It gets you through security a lot faster. Now cosmetics need to be in quart size ziplocks, so those are there, ready for the next trip. Last trip, my electric toothbrush caused THREE runs through the scanner machine, so next time, it's staying home. Nothing like standing in your stocking feet waiting for some yahoo to rummage through your personal attire and wrinkle it up.

Our recycle bin is in the garage so I sort mail on the way into the house. Envelopes, fliers, catalogs, any unwanted paper goes right in it.

When I shop on double coupon day, I sort my coupons in the order that I go through the market.

I buy a lot of all cotton clothing, if you hang it while it's damp, it doesn't need much ironing at all.

Any meal I make will usually serve us twice, so the extra portion is always put in the freezer. Very handy, as I am basically pretty lazy. Looking forward to more suggestions, what a neat thread!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I keep an overnight bag packed with a hair dryer, curling iron, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, makeup and other necessaries. If I need to suddenly go out of town, all I have to do is grab a few clothes and I'm ready to go. Too many times I got somewhere and didn't have my hairspray or toothbrush or something "crucial". So now that I've eliminated the packing, I always have what I need.

In the garden, I rarely water. My entire yard is a garden; I have no lawn, just trails thru all the gardens. Watering is such a waste of time in my opinion. Who has time to baby a yardful of plants? NOT ME! A friend insists she can't have a garden, even a small one, because her husband won't install an irrigation system so nothing would survive the summer here. She's toured my garden many times and knows I don't water, so how does she think all this grows? I keep telling her to select the right plants, water them well the first year, and then forget about them.

I also mulch heavily every other year. This saves a TON of time in weeding; and it just looks nice. I get my mulch for free from local tree trimmers, delivered right to my yard, so that saves me time in having to go to the landfill for each little truckload of mulch.

I pay my bills twice a month. I keep all my bills in a drawer and around the middle and end of the month, I gather everything I need and pay my bills. Most of my bills are on bank draft so no checks to write and mail. I just LOVE bank drafts and which I could get all my bills on bank draft. Some bills I pay online. And others I have to do the old fashioned way, but bank draft is the simplest for me.

Cuyahoga Falls, OH(Zone 5a)

Really great suggestions !

Here is my biggest suggestion - Don't turn on the computer until your chores are done ! I always think I will be on just long enough to read DG, etc... and before I know it the hours have passed, and my chores are still waiting. Only by then, I am in a rush to get them done.

I think staying organized is a big time saver. Just taking care of chores as needed instead of waiting for a day of cleaning.

And I do like the idea of less clothing. I don't have seasonal clothes either. All my clothes are either in my dresser or hanging in my closet. That eliminates the seasonal changeover. And ironing ! You've got to be kidding !

I do all my banking online, including paying bills. It is so much faster - not to mention free. I do a lot of shopping online too, but only if I can get free shipping. We're already online, so take advantage of the convenience.

I don't wear make-up either. Didn't wear it when I was working. What you see, is what you get.

This has been mentioned, I think, but I plan my errands and try to get everything in the same direction each trip. I buy what I need, plus back-ups. Like, when I go to the bread store, I buy enough loaves to last a couple months and freeze them. That eliminates one errand for awhile. I try to go to plazas that have all the stores I frequent - Giant Eagle for groceries, Target, Best Buys, etc...

I think this topic is fascinating. I'm looking forward to more time-saving suggestions.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

With Rx's, I get a 3-month supply at one time. If you buy them from Walmart, they'll even ship them to your house for free. You'll have to request a 3-month-at-a-time Rx from your doctor. I learned that a Rx with 3 refills is not the same; it's a one-month-at-a-time Rx with refills and they won't give you a 3-month supply with it.

Also, some Rx's are cheaper if you buy 3 months at a time. For instance, the $4/mo generics at Walmart are $10 for a 3 mo supply. An antibiotic I take daily forever is $17 a month, but a 3-mo supply is $28.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Meezersfive ~ good tip on putting the coupons in order. I always shop the same store so write my grocery list in the order of the merchandise in the store. Woe unto me if they rearrange it!
When I make pizza, I make two crusts, add toppings and freeze one unbaked. I really should double more meals when I cook so I can freeze one for later. I do cook a quantity of meat at one time... ground beef, italian sausage and chicken fajitas. I freeze them in meal size packages for a fast meal.

ButterflyChaser ~ mulch really does help with the weeds and the watering. More time to enjoy the blooms and butterflies! 8 ) On the meds, there were two pharmacies here. As both owners patronized us, I used both. One for DH and one for mine. Mine went out of business (retired) last year so I got online and shopped. I only take a light dose of thyroid hormone and it is a cheap med. I bought a full years prescription for almost $40 less than the pharmacy and free shipping too. OTOH, DH will stay with the other pharmacy as they help us a lot. If I can't get away from work, they will deliver at no cost. They will meet me day or nite if needed. They contact Drs or insurance for me and bill me monthly so I only need to write one check. It is too wonderful not to let them make a profit on us.

Countrymom ~ I agree on the computer ~ it can be a real time warp if I let it. I try to tend to the banking, emails, business first before I play. Good thing I am on dialup. I can dust or start a load of clothes or fold towels or pack lunches or... between pages. Grrrrr!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Pod, I understand about your pharmacy. I have an alternative pharm. I use occasionally. They deliver (free of charge too), and they have a drive thru. So if I'm getting a one-time Rx and don't feel like going to Walmart, the doc calls it into the pharm. down the road and I just drive thru and get it.

I also order all my mom's meds. And I have gotten all her meds on the same cycle now, so I go to the pharm once a month and collect all her meds (7 of them) for the month. It took some finagling to get them all in sync, since they weren't all prescribed on the same day of the month. But after a while I managed it so I didn't have to make more trips to the pharm or write extra checks.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Slightly off topic but, I get three months of my Rxs from mail order, costs me $12 which is a good deal. But, then I saw a Target coupon that said fill one here and get a $10 gift card. Since I had a duplicate for one of mine, I figured why not. But when I went to pick it up they said $39, and I said, "Didn't you put it through my insurance" and they had, that was my 20%. I almost fell over! I am getting a real deal through mail order. Since I had never paid full price this was a shocker!!

Anytime you can get personalized service, stick with the business, it's a rare thing these days.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I'm lurking and greatly enjoying this thread. Great tips. I wish I had something to contribute but can't think of anything at the moment.

podster: I was a little concerned when I read your post about buying a year's supply of thyroid hormone. You may already be aware of this but just wanted to be sure. Thyroid hormone is particularly 'delicate' and susceptible to loss of strength/efficacy due to exposure to light and even relatively minor changes in temperature among other things. Time/age is also an issue with thyroid hormone. The problem with this drug loosing strength with time, temp, etc is apparently pretty serious. If you buy it that far ahead of time, you need to be especially careful about how you store it.

Problems with this particular drug are such that 2 different doctors (over time) have cautioned me to use only the name brand, and recently my doctor changed my script to insure such (only for this drug). Apparently, testing has shown that the problem of this drug varying in strength is worse with generics. Just wanted to be sure you know about this.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

see, that is why i love dg so much. well, one of the reasons. someone starts a thread about a particular subject and in the conversation mentions something totally unrelated but then another person chimes in with something as or more important than the original thread! does that long, rambling sentence make any sense at all? i always learn even when i'm not trying to! lol....and still lurking on this thread. most of my intended suggestions have already been mentioned and it's too windy to think today.....

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I noticed that outdoors too, blew right in one ear and out the other.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Wow, that IS a heck of a wind - blowing all the way from FL to WI! ;-)

tracks, I have the same DG experience. It's amazing what I learn here.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Me too, and occasionally I even retain the wisdom I've gained for more than ten minutes.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

lol

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I agree ~ I love the twists and turns and education received on these threads.

Quoting:
I noticed that outdoors too, blew right in one ear and out the other.
LOL ~ LOl ~ Lol ~ lol

If you see any grey matter on it, probably what was left of mine when it blew thru here yesterday! Tis March!

On the thyroid ~ thank you for that information! I have a friend that cannot take generic. She was told the "carrier" that puts the thyroid hormone into the system was the problem. I haven't had a problem. Mine is monitored on a regular basis. I do keep it in the dark & cool. Do you know if it could be refrigerated/frozen? I had a favorite pharmacist tell me this drug is one that I could take a full weeks' dose once a week. He says the body draws on it as required. I found that interesting but don't do that. I was prescribed a half tablet daily but rather than cut them, I take one every other day... I guess that could be consider frugal with my time.

Just measured my husbands meds out and was thinking about this thread. Not a new idea but I fix 9 days at a time. Also serve it up in a shot glass ~ yes, it is pills but easier to take that way.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Some other tips that make my life easier are:

I buy socks of the same brand, style and color. I have white socks and black socks. The white ones are all one brand, style and color and the same is true of the black ones. When it's time to fold laundry, there's no hunting for a mate. All the black ones can mate with one another and all the white one can mate with one another. When I get a hole in one, I don't have to throw out the whole pair; I just throw out the holey one.

My closet is organized with pants in one place, arranged by size (since I'm losing weight). And my blouses are arranged by color. Tshirts are all grouped together on one side. When I grab a shirt/pants, I return the empty hanger to the middle section where I keep all empty hangers. On laundry day, I don't have to search for empty hangers. I just grab a handful from the middle section and can quickly hang my clean clothing.

Every Sun I fill two pill boxes with my meds and vitamin/herbal supplements to last me for two weeks. I take a lot of pills daily and it would just take too much time to pick one from each bottle twice a day.

I take care of my mom and when she runs out of something, she immediately wants me to run to the store and get it, right now. She also has particular brands of things she'll eat and if I get anything other than those brands, she refuses it. So I stock up on the products she uses. I always keep an extra pkg/container in the pantry so when she runs out of coffee, I just carry her a can over (she lives two doors down). She never wants to stock it up herself, which surprises me since she's a hoarder. And she won't tell me when she's running low, only when she runs completely out. So keeping these things in stock at my house saves so many trips to the store. And when I carry an item over to her, I add it to my shopping list so I can pick it up next time I'm at the store to have it on hand for her.

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Great information and ideas! Pardon me, while I go back into lurking mode....

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

C'mon now, Msrobin and Trackinsand... I am sure you both have timesaving ideas to offer.
If nothing else, your way of doing something already mentioned?
A good way to organize your seed stash?
An efficient way to keep the house clean?
Anything... I need all the help I can get.
Especially this time of year when I'm torn between taxes and gardening!

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Our place is pretty small, so I have to kind of keep on top of things, or it gets away from me quickly.

Laundry: I also put empty hangers in one place on the rod. I try to fold or hang up clothes right out of the dryer or off the line and put away immediately. Our one clothes closet is 4' x 5'. I hang all of DH's shirts on hangers, folded jeans and sweat pants on shelves above. He has a dresser in the bedroom with each drawer designated to socks, underwear, tank tops or shorts. Makes MY life easier to keep his clothes easy to see or grab from drawers, if you get my drift. I have 4 of those little plastic 3 drawer dressers under his hanging clothes for most of my clothes, each category folded in seperate drawers. My dress clothes are hung in a tiny little utility closet.

Kitchen: I wash up the dishes shortly after dinner and clean the counters off and a quick wipe of the cabinet fronts. If I'm cooking, I do a lot of that while I cook. I also set up the coffee pot for DH and now set up the tea maker for me, so in the mornings they just have to be turned on. I set the coffee cups and sugar and creamer out, too. We cook a lot of extra food, too, so we can put the leftovers in the freezer.

Bathroom: I like to take my shower after DH, so that I can quickly wipe everything down and it's clean when I wake up.

Misc: I keep a laundry basket on the washer to throw things in that have to go elsewhere, ie: shed, garden area, etc. I use a lot of those vinyl over the door shoe pockets anywhere they are out of sight. One holds extra or little health and beauty items. One in the front coat closet holds gloves, knit caps, dog things (brushes, collars, medicines). Another one holds all those little "tool box" items, like bottles of wood glue, small containers of nails and screws, light weight tools, etc. Wish I had someplace to hang one in the kitchen for small stuff like seasoning mixes, extra spices, etc. These are great for eliminating "searching time".

The biggest thing that helps me save time are my little spiral notebooks that fit in my pocket or purse. One is for grocery lists, people I need to call, phone numbers or addresses I need, etc. The other is an ongoing list of jobs or chores around here that I want to get done. I don't forget things I need at the store, making another trip necessary and I don't waste time trying to figure out what I need to do next.


Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I had faith in you! I know from your posts that you have good organizational skills.

I do that with the coffee pot and set DHs' meds out so I don't forget in the morning "get ready" rush. Sure makes life easier. The spiral notebooks would surely work better for me. I make tiny notes and lose them. I do try to stash them in my jeans pocket and clean out the pocket when we get home. That reminds me to tend to something here.

I am learning to do dishes as I cook. I used to wait till the meal was done and it was far more effort and time consuming. After all, I am standing right there while cooking. Less time in the kitchen this way!

I really like your idea of the shoe pockets. That would be excellent in the coat closet, to help keep gloves paired together or sunshades handy. I will look for one of those at the dollar store. Thanks...

Irvine, KY(Zone 6a)

I like the little spiral notebook idea; scraps of paper that wind up getting lost or misplaced are the bane of my existence! One habit I have developed is making a page on the computer to take to my doctor appointments. I have my name and the date at the top, then a place for comments on how I have been doing since the last appointment and place for any questions I have for the doctor. I leave space between the questions to record the answers and give another copy to the nurse to put with my chart when I arrive at the doctor's office. Several of my doctors have really liked this system, as they can be organized about giving me answers I need, I cannot forget to ask something if I get distracted, and I have a record to put in my home medical file.

I had a problem a few years ago when my doctor would compare lab tests just with the previous test instead of going back through my whole chart. She would just make a fuss if my cholesterol, for example, was up a few points but say nothing if it was down. I made up a spreadsheet that I can update each time and can even use formulas to track averages and trends for such things as HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, etc. I print a copy each time I go for an appointment so we can see the whole picture for several years.

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

I've not seen them at any Dollar General in our travels. Family Dollar generally carries the vinyl ones for maybe $2-$3 and they hold up fairly well (3-4 years so far). WM has some really nice mesh ones, but around $10-$12. I like the vinyl ones because they are crystal clear to see through.

I would be lost without my little notebooks. I cross things off with a line as I finish something. When I complete everything on a page, I put a large X on the page, until I finish the stuff on the back side of the page. Then I rip the whole page out. I probably need to clarify that when I add items to my "to do" list, I break the chore up into smaller jobs that can generally be done in 15-30 minutes, sometimes as little as 5-10. So even if I have just a little time, I can still make progress. When I have more time available, I can get several listed items done in one time slot. It is very motivating to see crossed off chores. My version of little gold stars. :) The other one, as I have time or when I've used the whole notebook, I'll transfer the phone numbers, addresses, etc to the address book.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Sunfarm, I carry a typed list of questions to my doctor's office too. He also appreciates it, as he one of the few endocrinologists around, so he's swamped with patients. He immediately sits down in front of me and takes my list and starts scrawling on it in his sloppy handwriting and then goes over his answers with me. When I get home, I have to rewrite it so I can read it! LOL I may have to hold onto it next time. I know he must be the only one who can read his chicken-scratch.

I also carry a typewritten list of whatever current medications, vitamins and herbal supplements I'm taking with me to the doctor's office. They always ask so I give them this dated copy. I also keep a copy in my wallet, so if I'm ever in an accident and rushed to the hospital, someone might find it and know what I'm taking and what I'm allergic to.

Another trick that might save time if you're in an accident is to have your "In Case of Emergency" phone numbers keyed into your phone. For example, in your "phonebook", type in ICE - Husband - 555-555-5555. If you're in an accident, rescue personal look for these ICE numbers so they'll know who to contact. It's a good idea to have two or three ICE numbers in there. It could save your life, especially if you're allegic to some drug.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Sunfarm ~ excellent idea. I could add DHs' list of medicines on that too. I send a list of his medicines with him and it tells what he takes and when. Am, pm or bedtime. I started doing the list in case something happened to me, he would know what to take when but it works out for the Dr too.

ButterflyChaser ~ I would make a copy for your Dr and one for you. You can both make notes while he covers your questions. DHs' Drs all either keep or photocopy his list of meds. They add it to his file.

Msrobin... LOL on the gold stars. I always think it is a sense of accomplishment to cross things off the list.

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Sunfarm & ButterflyChaser, both of you had great ideas. Thank you!

Irvine, KY(Zone 6a)

I like the idea of written lists especially for the satisfaction I get from seeing things crossed off--makes me know I am accomplishing something each day.

DH complained about my being arbitrary about my priorities for things I wanted him to do, so I made up a "honey-do" list on the computer. It is arranged room-by-room and outdoors, and has the highest priorities in boldface and things that should take half an hour or less italicized. It is easy to update on the computer. I don't know that he gets more things done, but at least he can't accuse me of changing what I want him to work on.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

podster,

Sorry. I just realized that I forgot to answer your question recently.

No, you definitely should NOT put the thyroid hormone in the fridge or freezer. The drug has a small range of acceptable temperature and is damaged by anything above or below that. 2yrs ago I was w/o AC for about 2wks in summer when my AC broke requiring installation of a new system. We were having a terrible heat wave at the time, so the AC company installed a small, window unit, a loner, in my MBR temporarily to help me get by while they were replacing the system. I put a thermometer in there that records highest and lowest daily temp. The high (in the master bedroom with the window unit) was 88F. I think the low was about 84F.

Knowing how sensitive that drug is to temp changes, I called my pharmacist to ask what I should do about storage of the pills I had on hand. I explained the situation and told him the hi/low temp recorded in the MBR. I asked if the pills would be safe in the MBR for 2wks, or if I should store them in the fridge until the new AC was up and running. Even though I knew the drug was very sensitive, I was shocked by his answer (and he went off the phone to verify his info). He said I should absolutely NOT put them in the fridge. He also said if they were to be stored in the MBR (max temp 88F) for more than 2 or 3 days, the entire bottle of pills should be destroyed and replaced as I could no longer depend on them working properly (couldn't be sure of getting the proper dose). The sensitivity of this drug is such that even ordering it by mail, which I have done in the past, is questionable. Aside from sitting in the mailbox all day, you really don't know what temp extremes the pills may be exposed to in route.

Another thing to consider. I know you said you don't have a problem with this, but it's actually possible to have the problem and not know it. When the pills are exposed to temp fluctuations, light, etc, it doesn't make them totally ineffective nor does it effect all of the pills the same way. The effect which varies across a bottle of pills essentially alters the dosage. Say, for instance, you were taking 1milligram. After exposure the pills in the bottle might have various dosages, leaving you with some so negligible as to approach 0 and other maybe 1/4 milligram, 1/2 milligram, 3/4 milligram, etc while others may still be 1milligram.

Usually, the Dr only checks your TSH and/or other indicators once a year to determine if your dose should be adjusted. If you have a 30 day supply of 'damaged' pills, you will be taking the wrong dosage throughout that month. You probably won't feel up to par, but you may not know what is wrong or associate it with your thyroid. By the time you get back to the Dr for your annual test, you may have been taking a good bottle of pills for a while and may test fine. For this reason, it is possible to be effected by variability in dosage and still have acceptable test results. Conversely, if you happened to be taking the 'bad' pills at the time of your annual test, you could test low prompting your Dr to adjust your dosage (based on incorrect info).

One last thing (this one not related to thyroid) - and I've even run across several Drs who didn't know this one, so just in case you (or others here don't know) - with respect to your comment about splitting your pills in half, you can only safely split a pill at the point where it is scored. Pills are not required to be homogenized. The effective ingredient(s) may be uniformly present throughout the pill (what most of us tend to expect) or may all be in one part of the pill. If a pill is scored, you are assured by the manufacturer that the effective ingredients are equally distributed on either side of the score line(s); otherwise, there is no such guarantee.

For instance, if you cut 1/4 piece off the end of an un-scored caplet (expecting to take 1/4 of the dosage), you could actually end up with all of the active ingredients (full dose) in that small piece, none of the active ingredients, or anything in between. On the other hand, if a pill has 2 score lines dividing it into 4 sections, you can safely divide it along those lines expecting to have 1/4 dose in each piece.

I do hope I'm not overrunning your thread with too much boring info, but I did want to be sure you knew about the thyroid med problem, and then I just had to pass on the pill scoring thing and...

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Absolutely not a problem with the information. I appreciate it and I really am glad to know the information about scored medicines as DH takes a few that are scored to be cut.

On the storage of meds, I have often wondered how fresh some of the drugs are that sit at the pharmacy for an extended period of time. Some drugs prescribed for DH are left in their original bottles and I do notice an expiration date. Oddly, I don't believe the thyroid medicine I received had that information on it nor do the monthly prescriptions. Interesting.

I was apprehensive about mailorder meds too and have questioned friends about theirs being left in a mail box. I worried particularly about heat and ordered this prescription in the cooler days of fall.

I find that all very useful information ~ thank you much.

Irvine, KY(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the info especially about thyroid hormone prescriptions. I shall share it with my doctor. Does anyone know if synthetics (e.g. Synthroid) are as sensitive to temperatures as the natural (e.g. Armour)? I had not thought previously about the temperature exposures not being controlled with mail orders. Good point! For 90-day supply as required by our insurance we can't always choose the season to order them.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

You're welcome, podster & sunfarm.


I have ordered that 90 day supply of meds in the past but always worried about it especially in summer when the pkg has to sit in the mailbox all day at temps up to and exceeding 100F. Even when I was doing this though, I didn't order thyroid hormone this way.

I was actually referring to Synthroid and its generics in my prior posts, so, yes, the synthetics are very sensitive. There is some indication, however, that the name brand suffers less variability in dosage vs the generics.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I too am a lurker. Thank you for all the great ideas. I keep several needles threaded with common colors all the time. It is super easy to do a quick mend if needed. Podster, I like the embroidery thread idea.

I keep all purpose cleaner in the cup of my toilet brush. The toilet gets a quick scrub every few days. Be careful not to mix chemicals.

I love Downy Wrinkle Release. A quick spray & a little tug. Works a little better than just spritzing water & smoothing.

I found a strainer for pasta or veggies that is a flat half circle on a handle. It slips into the dishwasher without taking up as much room as a collander.

I wish I could get my laundry under control!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Laundry! That is a job that's never done! I will have to try the Downy wrinkle release. After all, summer is coming and I'd rather be outdoors. 8 ) Thanks!

On the embroidery thread, I like the variegated thread. You will be able to find a shade close to the color you need all on the same thread. Certainly worth a try...

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