Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Frugal Fire Starters

I come from a long line of frugal people--Depression-survivor parents, a grandma who saved the string from sugar sacks in little balls in her kitchen drawer, a great-grandma who raised 15 children on what seems like nearly nothing.

So I am always happy when I can make something useful out of what I would normally throw away. Let me share my latest success, something my sis Margaret taught me:

Fire Starters

Save up a supply of:
cardboard egg cartons
old candles
dryer lint (yes, dryer lint)

Melt the candle wax in a tin can set in a pan of water on the stove. DON'T set the can directly on the burner.
Put on some rubber gloves. Gently pour the candle wax over the dryer lint. Glop it around with your hands until it's moistened, then stuff it into the egg carton and fill each cup almost to the top.
Let it cool. Tear or cut apart the egg carton. Each little cup becomes one fire starter. Arrange some kindling and firewood around it and light the cardboard.

We went canoeing and camping on Friday and Saturday and were amazed at how these ugly little lumps get your fire going. No taking old newspapers along or digging in your pocket for stray kleenexes as the wind puts your pitiful fire out. These things light up and keep burning until you have a good fire established.

Quote of the Day:
Me: (reading Emily's xanga) You spell a lot better than you used to.
Emily: (horrible grimace, bewildered look) Well, for Pete's sake, what did I used to smell like?!
Me: (laughing hysterically) SPELL!! S-P-E-L-L!!


  1. I'm assuming this wouldn't work with styrofoam egg cartons, which is all we get here!

  2. No, ribbit, I'm afraid not.

  3. As a girl Scout Leader for many years, I remember teaching my gilries how to make firestarters, like those. We also made little "sterno" burners from tuna fish cans and wax. Then we made "stoves" with huge coffee cans. We would put our food in n aluminum pie pan, place it on top of our little stove and cover it with a second pie pan flipped upside down. I forgot all about that until just now! Ha Ha!