Monday, October 3, 2022

Frugal Fire Starters....


Every penny, right?

We burn wood to stay unfrozen, and that usually means starting the fire every morning.  Starting the fire means being old-fashioned and building from fuzz and kindling lit by one match, or being lazy and using a Firestarter.

I'm a lazy man.

I've bought fire starters from the store and Amazon and found them severely overpriced for what they are.  Really nothing but blocks of compressed sawdust soaked in wax.  They work, but cost 5x what they should.  I guess they are priced for what people will pay.

Me, I'm lazy AND frugal (cheap).

For the longest time I used a dirt cheap sandwich baggie stuffed with a small handful of drier lint, with a few tablespoons of cooking oil soaked in.  That makes a great firestarter and is relatively cheap, but it has a downside. They don't store worth a damn.  They make a mess and leak, no matter what you do.  Made in advance, they either leak oil onto the container or coat themselves in oil.  Bleh.

Yesterday I tried another frugal firestarter hack, and I must report it's working a fair treat.  It involves cardboard egg cartons, drier lint, and beeswax.

The egg cartons and drier lint are simply re-purposed trash, so yay!

The beeswax I bought on Amazon at $18.69 for five pounds delivered to my door (Made in China, of course).

The beeswax is in the form of 'Pastilles' which means little oval bits, and is easy to work with.

The method is simple.  Shove a blob of drier lint into each compartment of the egg carton.  Now, ladle on the beeswax pastilles to cover lightly.  Set the egg carton (s) on a parchment sheet-covered cookie sheet.  Aluminum foil will work too here, as we are just trying to keep the cookie sheet clean.

Into an oven set for 250 degrees for about 20 minutes, and that's it.   The beeswax melts around 150 or so and will be liquid enough to soak into the lint and the cardboard both.

Allow them to cool, and then use scissors to cut into handy-sized firestarters.

They have a shelf life of 'forever', won't make a mess, and are totally waterproof.  They are easily match-lit as well, and are perfectly safe to light the grill on top of everything else.

Unlike the oil/baggie method, these can be made months or years in advance, and pack nicely too.  

That 5 pounds of wax wasn't even touched in making 2 dozen firestarters.  I'm guestimating the box of wax pastilles will last for years of this use and costs less than one pack of firestarters from the big A.

1 comment:

Marty said...

I make these for camping! There is one issue with the ones I make. My dryer lint is like 50% cat hair. I only use these outdoors. I won't make that mistake again...