Vinegar: A Frugal Wonder

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!

sour face after drinking 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.

Many lists of uses have been compiled on the net. Some of the best can be found here at The Vinegar Institutes’s Vinegar Uses and Tips and the BBC’s Handy Uses for Household Vinegar.

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!

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Hey, I'm Forest, owner and writer at I used to be a graphic designer but now I travel a fair bit and blog for a living. I love all the standard other stuff such as movies, music and socialising :).

11 thoughts on “Vinegar: A Frugal Wonder”

  1. Great Article. I like to use a little lemon with vinegar in cleaning. I don’t really like the vinegar smell and the lemon will cover it and give everything a nice lemony smell. The lemon is also a great grease cutter.

    Thanks for the health advice I will be doing my best to live more cheaply.

  2. Hey Professor,

    Thanks very much for the extra tip…. it’s so versatile that new tips could be endless :)

    Living cheaply becomes easier but isn’t always easy…. last night I went out and blew the live cheap attitude out of the window…. every now and then it happens!!

  3. I love vinegar on fish and chips so much :)

    I miss England mostly for the chips…..

    Vinegar is almost as useful as hemp!!!

  4. This is too funny! We use vinegar to kill weeds in the areas that my kids play around the yard. It’s much cheaper and better for the environment than a jug of Roundup and it doesn’t smell too bad either.

    Best use of vinegar…Malt Vinegar over fish and chips.
    Second best use for vinegar…fresh cucumbers and tomatoes with a nice shot of vinegar.

    Bryans last blog post..Hancock Movie Review

  5. Forest likes his Vinegar on hemp, but I agree it’s better on chips. mmmmm…chips. Oh yeah, it’s good for taking the odor out of cat pee, too.

    Mikes last blog post..America’s Worst Time Sucking Airports

  6. Yum yum my fave…….. mmmmmm nothing better than hemp seed and equal parts vinegar boiled in a pot for 15 hours

  7. @ Solitary Dancer, It really is unbelievable that more peopl don’t use it as a standard day to day item!

    Thanks for visiting. I went and subscribed to your blog.

  8. I love vinegar. It’s my favorite cleaning product, air freshener and even a disinfectant. I love it use a vinegar mix in my old carpet machine. Works fabulous as a carpet spot cleaner. Oh and straight vinegar is great on shower tiles. Clean and shiny!

    Solitary Dncers last blog post..Homemade Liquid Soap

  9. @ Never realised that…. could be very useful this summer :)

    As for drinking for health… I love vinegar so I am very glad and willing to believe this :).

    Is this your site Sylivia, it’s very cool :)

  10. Pingback: Vinegar Hair Rinse

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