The Frugal Catholic: “Water It Down” by Martha Wild King–August 8, 2010

One of the first things I had to comprehend in my new Catholic faith was the sacrament of Baptism.  I had been baptized as an infant in a Protestant denomination.  I had each of my children baptized because, as a Christian, that is what you do.  What I did not understand was WHY you have your children baptized or why one is baptized as an adult.

Now, I think I understand it a bit more clearly.  We are baptized because, “baptism is the first of the seven sacraments, and the ‘door’ which gives access to the other sacraments.  Baptism is the first chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification.  Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist constitute the ‘sacraments of initiation’ by which a believer receives the remission of original and personal sin, begins a new life in Christ and the Holy Spirit, and is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ.” (see the definition of Baptism in the Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Furthermore, when we enter any Catholic Church in the world, we find the Baptismal font and the Holy Water into which we can dip our fingers, cross ourselves, and remind ourselves of the amazing gift Christ gave us when He freed us from our sins.  It is in that water that we find our remembrance.

Likewise, when The Frugal Catholic thinks of the simple yet profound gift of life-giving water, I recall ways it can free me financially.  Here are some:

  •  Add water to the last bit of cream rinse or shampoo, shake the bottle, and stretch it out longer.
  • With drip or pressed coffee, when you are finished, do not throw out the used grounds.  Add HALF as much coffee again in the same filter or to the same coffee press.  Proceed by adding the same amount of water as usual.  You will have a fresh pot with one-half of the expense.  I tested this one on my unsuspecting husband who could not tell the difference between fresh and the half-old/half-new mixture.
  • With any stubborn residue on the floors or counter tops, soak for a while with water, then wipe off.  Water softens so you can easily remove.
  • Why use a fancy mop?  Just add some water to two rags, step on each of them, and waltz around your kitchen or bathroom floor mopping away.  And if you want a floor cleaner, use one teaspoon of vinegar in a quart of water in a spray bottle.  You spray the contents and proceed to clean with the “foot/hip” action.
  • Do you find cabinets full of various cleaning solutions for your windows, kitchen counters, and bathrooms?  Most of these solutions are full of water so save money with the WILD WATER mixture instead.  This mixture contains one-cup water with one cup-white vinegar and one teaspoon of cornstarch mixed in a clean spray bottle.  Shake well each time you use, spray, and wipe with a soft cloth or newspaper.
  • Want a better tasting jug of water to sip on daily?  Just add some dry fruit to your water bottle.  It gives a delightful, subtle taste with nearly nil calories.

So be frugal; learn to “water it down,” and, while watering, realize what our precious Lord gave us through this clear, amazing substance.

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