One of the best, oldest and essential tools that a frugalist can have in their arsenal is a very cheap and common acidic substance called vinegar! Yes, yes. I know you know what it is…..
Most of us purchase vinegar for cooking. Even just within this area, we probably do not use it as much as we could. It is safe for the environment, extremely cheap (as I’ve mentioned), and tastes great on fish and chips!
I used to love vinegar as a child! Any chance I got i would drink some. When caught my parents, they would be very angry and tell me that it would dry my insides out and cause death! I am not sure that is true, but I am sure they had a point. KIDS! Don’t drink gallons of vinegar!
In the kitchen you can use vinegar to zest-up sauces and foods, bring out flavor, tenderize meats and stop things such as eggs and fish from breaking when poaching. As well as using it to preserve, pickle and marinate, you will always run across new uses.
Must of us know of the cleaning ability of vinegar. Yet many of us do not actually use the substance. Vinegar basically destroys bacteria, cuts through grease and soaks up and destroys smells. There is not a cleaning job that I can think of that won’t benefit from vinegar use: Streak-free shiny windows, brighter carpets and disinfected surfaces are just a few cleaning abilities. For laundry, it can help reduce and remove stains as well as give clothes a sifter, crisp feel.
For health, vinegar is said to alleviate arthritis pain, cure hiccups, soothe insect bites and be used as a bug spray. It can clear chests, kill toenail fungus, help remove warts and, according to some research, may even be good for cancer!
Horticulturally it can help increase the acidity of soil, can be used as a natural weed killer and help cut flowers last for a long time in the vase.
What do you use vinegar for?
Vinegar is an old product and has been produced for more than 10,000 years and used by many civilizations including the Egyptians and Babylonians.
It is made through a process of fermentation, much like wine and beer, but actually left to ferment for much longer. In fact, the word vin aigre, is French for “sour wine”.
Vinegar can be made from pretty much anything that alcoholic drinks can be made from, such as fruits, vegetables and grains. For example, balsamic vinegar is produced from white Trebbiano grapes grown in Modena, Italy and can take 12-25 years to ferment! White vinegar comes from distilled alcohol (such as white wine and gin). Malt vinegar is produced from malted barley. Believe it or not, a place that I worked for as a teenager use to get it’s malt vinegar from the brewery. I assume that they just made vinegar from old beer!