Friday, January 01, 2010

Fire Starter Tutorial

Happy New Year! My pretties!

I wanted to share a quick money saving tute with you to start the year off right. 2009 was a lean year for us. DH lost his job in January and had a hard time getting into his new job. It made for a very tight year. Things are a bit better but still very tight. I know that many of my readers have gone through or are going through the same situation. Well I have picked up a few little tips over the years to help make do and thought I would start a "Frugal Tutorials" spot here on the blog where I can share them with you.

My house has been heated with only electricity for most of our married life. Christmas 2008 we were able to put in a wood stove (used, but new to us and in great shape). Well it has really saved on our electric bills. We do live on a heavily wooded farm and have lots of wood to clean up from ice storms and tornadoes here so we have a free supply of wood. Just lets say that the wood stove has nearly cut my winter electric bill in half and that is a good thing.

I am a very lucky girl and had a great dad that made sure I knew how to build a good fire. It was kinda a pride thing. I was always tickled when I could build a fire in the wood stove as well as he could in the same amount of time. I love getting a wood fire started and trying to do the whole thing with just one match (another pride thing). Well some mornings I just don't have time for that and need to get the house warmed up quick for the kids. I remembered an old cub scout trick of making your own fire starter from things found in the house. It also saves some items from the landfill.

So..... here is my money and time saving tute for you.

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Quick Fire Starters


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Dryer lint

Paper egg cartons (NOT the foam kind)

old candles


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1. Pack the cups of the egg carton with the lint.

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2. Place the old candles in the top of a double boiler (can be made from a metal bowel over a pan of boiling water.) Melt the candles over a water bath.

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3. Pour the melted wax over the lint filled egg carton. I pour once let it set for a few seconds and pour again to make sure I really filled them and let the lint soak up the wax. Set them aside to cool completely.

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4. You're done! You have a dozen (or more) quick little fire starters and you made them all from things you had around your house that were ready to be thrown in the trash.

How to Use Them

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1. Place a fire starter in the middle of your wood stove.

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2. Put your small kindling around it. (I use refuse lumber from construction projects and take a few mintues to cup them up with my hatchet into little pieces. ) Then place small pieces of wood around that. Place the wood in a Teepee, that is one of the easiest fire starting shapes.

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3. Light our starter and shut the door and watch. Your fire should take off quickly and burn well. The wax give you a nice little flame long enough to start the bigger wood on fire.

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Here is my little fire after about 20 minutes.

Warm, toasty, and cheery.

These little starters are great to have in your preparedness equipment too incase you have ice storms and have too cook over a fire to feed your family for over a week. :o)



CC said...

I love this idea, and while I don't have a wood stove now..I used to, and wish I did again. However, I have friends with a wood stove and will pass this idea along to them. Thanks a lot for the idea..
Happy New Year..may it be filled with ever so many blessings..

Anonymous said...

Great tips, thanks! I'm with you on the fire-lighting subject, love to show off the skills I learnt as a child!

mama k said...

Thanks so much! I am almost out of the firestarters we bought a long time ago. I have all the "ingredients" around the house.
I'm jealous of your free firewood. We have to pay for ours, but it's still cheaper than heating the whole house all the time

All the places you love said...

This is something that might be useful at the Weber. If not for inside at least down in the fire pit, or as Penny says, "Camp Starvation."

Anonymous said...

brill idea - i shall def be trying this :)

Darlene said...

Love the little fire starters...what a great idea! I will store this for when I have a wood stove again one day! I read you post from Jan 2007 about the ice storem it brought back memories of our ice storm that year! We had 5 teens living here at the time and we had so much fun playing old fashion tech stuff after the batteries died! Thanks for the great blog!

Anonymous said...

Love the idea, made some the other day and am amazed at how well they work, no more egg cartons, dryer lint or disgarded candle wax going to waste, even thinking about asking friends to save supplies for us! And...we know a couple of friends who would be thrilled with a nice gift wrapped box full for Christmas! Think we'll entitle them "Belly Button Lint Lightees".

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