With blueberry season in full swing around here, we’re busy harvesting and “putting up” those delicious berries. Unfortunately there’s always some of the purple juice that gets on clothing or the rags I’m using while making pies, jelly and jam.
Getting Blueberry Stains Out
Start by rinsing the shirt, apron, towel or whatever piece of clothing you’ve gotten blueberry stains on with plenty of cool water. The sooner you can do this the better.
Next, rub some white vinegar into the stain. A toothbrush works well for this or just use your fingers and get it in there.
While you’re doing that, put on a big kettle and bring some water to a boil. Pour it over the vinegar soaked stain until it’s gone.
Now that blueberry stains aren’t an issue any longer, try some new recipes from the Hillbilly Housewife’s Blueberry Cookbook.
Got a headache? Instead of grabbing that bottle of Aspirin of the shelf, try one of these two headache relief tips first (or even both).
Drink A Glass Of Water
When you first start to feel a headache coming on, start by grabbing a big glass of water. Headaches are often a sign of dehydration and the water will be enough to stop the pain. Give it a try… personally I think the glass of water I’d pour to take my aspirin was often the biggest reason why the headache would go away.
Rub Some Peppermint Oil On Your Temples
If the pain persists after drinking the water, or you’re sure you’re dealing with a tension or sinus headache, use some peppermint oil and gently rub it on your temples. Be careful that you don’t get any in your eyes.
For migraines, I find it also helps to get a wet rag, add a few drops of peppermint oil and lay it over the forehead (preferably while laying down).
Eating healthy, nutritious foods will help ensure that you’re well and headache-free (at least most of the time). Take a look at Healthy Eating On A Budget for 200 delicious recipes that are also good for you.
I’ve been making a lot of smoothies and thought I’d share one of my favorite frugal tips for overripe bananas with you. It will help keep you from throwing out overripe bananas (or making yet another loaf of banana bread) and it is also a great way to take advantage of the great deals you can find at the grocery store when they have too many ripe bananas. I don’t know about you, but my grocery stores here almost always have very ripe ones on sale for a fraction of the cost of regular bananas (which are a frugal buy already).
Peel your bananas and cut away any bad dark spots. Slice them and pop them in a freezer bag. Toss it in the freezer to store until you’re ready to make your smoothies.
Grab a few slices (or a lot of them) and toss them into your blender along with other fresh or frozen fruit, and some milk, water or juice. Blend until done. You can use frozen bananas in any recipe that calls for banana. Just add a little extra liquid as needed to make them blend well.
You can also make fake ice cream by blending lots of frozen bananas with a little milk. Add a dash of vanilla or a squirt of chocolate syrup and your favorite sweetener if needed and enjoy a yummy frozen treat. Don’t overdo the milk, give the blender time to do its work. You’re looking for soft serve consistency.
This week’s frugal tip comes from my good friend Christine – The Menu Mom. Check out her meal planning service here.
One of the biggest beliefs is that frugal and healthy do not go hand in hand. Yes, it is true that oftentimes the foods in the local grocery store sales ad feature processed junk. Sometimes you just have to get a bit more creative.
First off, do check your sales ad for the week. (Maybe a couple different stores if you have a few in your area.) Produce and meats do go on sale, although it is often one or two items for the week. Go ahead and stock up on those! Most meats and many vegetables can be frozen. Many fruits can be dried or frozen as well. (Once you have a system down, these will be what you resort to in the off-season). Be willing to eat seasonal produce, and you will save.
Second, look into your local options. Do you have a farmer’s market, local co-op or CSA? (http://www.localharvest.org/
And my final tip – in the spring/summer months plant a garden! There are so many ideas out there now of how to garden even if you only have a tiny space. Seeds are super cheap and a hearty garden can feed your family all summer!
It always surprises me when friends tell me that they own a crockpot, but never use it. It sits in the back of a kitchen cabinet collecting dust. Not so with my own crockpot collection… yes, you heard right, I have more than one. I have them in different sizes for different meals or dishes and often use more than one. For example, I may be roasting a chicken in one crockpot and have Mac and Cheese going in another. In today’s frugal tip, I’d like to share some ideas with you on acquiring your first, or second or third crockpot inexpensively. And since things tend to occasionally break if you use them a lot, I’ll wrap things up with some ideas for crockpot parts.
Buying A Crockpot
You don’t have to spend a lot of money (or any) to get a nice crockpot that will work for years to come.
Start by asking around. Mention to family and friends that you’re looking for a crockpot. You may just come across a few people that got one as a gift and don’t use them. If you’re lucky, they’ll gladly let you have it to free up space in their kitchen.
If you’re not that lucky, your next best option is to look around at yard sales. I’ve found new looking crockpots for $2 to $5 at yard sales. The only problem here is that you may not come across one right away. If you have the time, this will often get you the best deal and is definitely worth a try.
If you don’t have the time, or it isn’t yard sale season, visit your local thrift store. Crockpots often get donated and you can find them here very inexpensively.
Last but not least, shop around online. I’ve seen some great deals on Amazon for crockpots and one of mine came from there. I like that they have reviews with each model that give me a good idea on how well a particular model will work for me and my family.
Finding Crockpot Parts
The bad thing about using your crockpots on an almost daily basis is the fact that things tend to break. Just last week I dropped the glass lid of one of my pots and it broke.
One of my first places to look for replacement parts is my local thrift store. I keep an eye out for parts for my existing collection of slow cookers anytime I stop in and have been able to find quite a few lids and inserts.
If you can’t find what you need, look up the manufacturer’s website. You can often order replacement parts from there. Just make sure the part won’t be more than you could buy a decent crockpot for at a thrift store. Sometimes it’s cheaper to get another crockpot than to buy a part.
Growing up in Germany, we never used Paper Towels. In fact, it was well after I had gotten married and came back to visit that I saw the first roll of paper towels at my parent’s house. My mom told me later, that the only reason she bought it was because she saw us using them all the time and thought we might need them. Hmm…
That got me to question the habit I’d gotten into of reaching for them any time there was something to be wiped up or cleaned. Just because most families in the US use paper towels on a daily basis, doesn’t necessarily mean that we should as well. So I went through my “rags” pile, picked up a few of them and started using them instead. It worked like a charm for all sorts of spills and cleaning chores.
Start With What You Have
Don’t go out and buy a bunch of rags to replace your paper towels. Use what you have including:
- old t-shirts
- old towels, cut into squares
- stained kitchen towels
- cloth diapers
Keep Them Handy
Set up a drawer or box to keep these rags in so they are handy when you need to wipe up a spill, clean a toddler up after lunch, or get ready to do some dusting.
Rinse and Repeat
As your rags get dirty, just throw them in the washer. Yes, there is some cost associated with washing your rags, but from my estimation, I spend less washing and drying my rags than I did buying paper towels. For added savings, air-dry the rags instead of tossing them into the dryer.
I almost always have apples and we love them for snack. I usually slice apples and serve them either plain, with peanut butter, vanilla yogurt or cheese. Every once in a while we’ll splurge and get a tub of caramel dip (or even better, make it).
One of the biggest challenges is to keep the apples from turning before I can get everyone to the table to eat them. In the past I’ve soaked them in lemon juice, but it turned the apples too sour.
The solution is soda. You can use either ginger ale or a lemon lime soda like sprite. We don’t drink a lot of soda around here, but I keep a bottle of the cheapest store brand I can find to soak the apples in. Just soak them for 10 to 15 minutes, take them out of the soda and pat them dry and they are ready to be put on the table to be eaten or packed in the lunch box.
I’m sure that’s not the only way to keep your apples nice and fresh. If you know of another great way to accomplish the same thing, leave me a comment below.
Of course there’s a lot more you can do with apples. Take a look at my latest cookbook:
“An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away”
I’m sure you’ve heard that saying a time or two. Apples are a great fruit that’s not only healthy, but also very versatile and frugal.
I can almost always find some great apples on sale at the store. Occasionally we’ll also buy a big box of apples from a local orchard and store them for use in the winter. Apples keep well in a dry, cool place, but with all the cooking and baking, the never last very long at our house.
Get your copy of the Apple Cookbook at:
Have you seen the crockpot liners on sale? It’s tempting to grab a bag, isn’t it? One of the worst things about crockpot cooking can be the cleanup afterwards, especially when you end up with a caked on, burnt-in mess.
Instead of spending money on liners, use the following tips:
Pretreat Your Slow Cooker
Before you start adding all ingredients for your crockpot meal, take a rag or paper towel and a little cooking oil and rub it all over the inside of your crockpot. It will prevent much of the sticking that can occur in as dinner starts to cook. If you have a non-stick spray, you can use that instead.
Clean It Out Right Away
It’s tempting to take the crockpot insert and stick it and leftovers in the fridge when you’re done with dinner. Instead, transfer everything to a new container and clean the crockpot right away. This will give the food less chance to continue to stick to the side of the pot.
Soak It If You Have To
If despite the two steps above it looks like cleaning your pot will take some serious elbow grease, run some hot water and dish soap in the pot and let it soak overnight (or at least for an hour or so). Make sure the water covers any caked on spots. Once it had a chance to soak, it will be that much easier to clean.
This morning I closely avoided a breakfast disaster when I was fixing a bowl of oatmeal. I added sugar and was just about to sprinkle what I thought was cinnamon in the bowl, when I realized I had the paprika container instead. This isn’t the first time it happened, so I thought I’d better do something about it.
Here’s what the two spice containers look like side-by-side:
They just look a little too much alike and are easy to confuse. Time to do something about it. I grabbed some old masking tape we had laying around and a marker.
I wrapped some masking tape around each spice container.
Last but not least, I used a marker to write the name of the spice on each container. Much easier for me too see and pay attention to what spice is in the container.
I learned to stretch my liquid handsoap by initially buying two bottles of it , one regular and one foamy .I used the foamy first then took the regular and refilled the foamy bottle half full. I then added hot water to fill the foamy bottle to the top. I then gently shook the foamy bottle to mix the water and soap. With this method you get two bottles for the price of one after the initial purchase of the two hand soaps. Hint: Aldi sells both kind. My hand soap costs me about 45cents a bottle.
From The Hillbilly Housewife:
That’s a great tip! You can also buy one of those large soap refill containers and use a little bit of it mixed with some water in your foam bottle.
I finally am feeling better after some health issues the past few years. Needless to say, my home is in desperate need of some organization! Problem is, I have no extra money in our budget for nice baskets, or all those neat organizational helps you see on TV or a magazine.
So I decided to work on it anyhow with what I had in my home. I just was focusing on my linen closet which has to house a wide variety of items from extra shampoo, sheets, shoe polish, heating pad, etc. Did I mention cleaning supplies too?
I went through each shelf and cleaned, gave away, and pitched items. To organize the shelves, I just used cardboard boxes I had. These were an assortment of different but mostly used boxes. I found some bright orange construction paper and a black marker. I organized and wrote the contents on the orange paper and taped it to the box. The bright orange paper gives a feel of matching even though the boxes are all different.
Are the boxes beautiful? No, but the stress level drops W-A-Y down when you can actually find what you need. It’s really helped out a lot.
It’s so nice to open this closet and see right where the soap is, where to put the cleaning supplies, and I can actually see the shelf that the sheets go on!
So quit with the pity party and use what you have for free or cheap. Just jump in there and start! I’m busy taking my own advice, so now I’m off the the basement! It’s really in bad shape as well, but I’m just going to pick an area and work on it until it looks like something!
i use your recipe for turning hamburger into ground round. i packet it up in sandwich bags of about 1# & stack in freezer after boiling and rinsing. great for taqco meat, hamburger helper or anything where you start with cooked hamburger.
i carried over and also used the idea on sausage. i cook 5# of bulk sausage by boiling 20 minutes, rinsing with hot water then finish by panfrying until browned and thoroughly cooked. i place these crumbles in gallon size zip bags and place in freezer. great for all recipes using cooked sausage meat. i especially love this when i decide to make sausage gravy and biscuits. half the work is already done and boiling gets rid of most of those bad old cholesterols so its healthier too!
i take it a step further by half-cooking 3#-5# of bacon at a time. i cook it in a skillet to a cooked wimpy stage. drain on several thicknesses of paper toweling, roll up bacon, paper and all, slip into gallon size bag and store in freezer. when i want a bacon sandwich, i pull whats needed out of bag and place on more paper towels and nuke it for 30-60 seconds. if i want to use in wilted lettuce i snip with kitchen shears into small skillet and proceed from there to make my dressing. i just use amount needed for whatever i want to season or flavor with bacon.
i also refrigerate or freeze bacon grease from skillet for those lucious hash browns i seem to crave so often or to be used for flavoring in beans or other recipes.
i started using these methods many years ago when my kids were younger and still at home as i was a “working” mom. that means money came from outside employment as opposed to a career in motherhood! using these shortcuts shortened the time between getting home from work and food on the table
I am trying to do a six-month spending fast that I read about online to help me become a better steward of my blessings. Here are several things that have helped me keep on track:
1. Debit/credit card stays in the house.
2. No online purchases.
3. Shopping is done only on set days, e.g., after my payday which is every other Friday. I can’t stop at the store on the way to work, etc.
4. I have scheduled one day a month to eat out (this includes fast foods stops)!
5. I have to write down everything I spend and the dates and keep it posted on my fridge.
It has been a real eye opener on how easily money is frittered away without even realizing it.
I hope this can help someone.
This as probably been said before, but before you throw things away, think if you can use it as part of a craft project. I made some gifts this year, by reusing items of leftover yarn and fabric.
I have been trying to think of holiday gifts to give to my family and friends.
My favorite idea so far this year has been to make a doll sized lunch for American Girl dolls out of Fimo and leftover paint. I have made sandwiches, fruit and cookies so far, I still need to make lunch bags or lunch boxes.
Does anyone have any ideas for making an inexpensive doll bed?
I am also making an apron for my best friend. I love aprons!
Consumables like cocoa, soup or cookie mixes are nice gifts, as are home canned items like salsa or pickles. We give several close friends an array of cookies and homemade candies.
It is difficult to figure out homemade gifts for men, though. My husband is particularly hard to find a gift for. He usually makes or buys what he wants for himself.
Does anyone have any ideas for mens’ gifts?
I recently brought my parent’s elderly small dog into my home. She is 17 years old and even though she used to be housetrained, she seems to have forgotten the concept now. I tried some home made “diaper”, but the process was such a struggle I was afraid I would wind up injuring her. We don’t have carpet, so cleaning up is really much easier than using them anyway.
I had a Swiffer type mop, but it was very expensive to try to use that all the time. I figured out that a washcloth is the perfect size to fit around the mop and tuck it in. I bought one of the packs of washcloths at Walmart and made my own.
I take one washcloth, fold it half, then sew it in the center of another wash cloth. I use one pad to clean up the urine, change it and use a floor cleaner to clean the area.
I also used towels and backed them with waterproof fabric to make liners for her playpen (she sleeps in one at night. She is almost blind and gets distressed when she gets “lost”. Then we have her own little hamper in the laundry room for these so the odor doesn’t linger in the house.
Use up the last of your peanut butter (or other nut butters) left in jar by making oatmeal for breakfast right in the jar.
- Pour in a serving amount of oats, milk and sugar or fruit to taste. You can add whatever you like. (Note: You can use raw oats, as the overnight soaking makes them soft.)
- Shake the jar well, leave in the fridge overnight and have as oatmeal in the morning!
This tip is great for people who have to buy expensive nut butters because they have peanut allergies.
Also works for jam/jelly etc.
Get your money’s worth!
(Editors note: This frugal tip was edited slightly to read like a recipe. GREAT tip!)
I’ve been doing a lot of pie baking lately (while working on the Pie Recipe Kindle book). Quite often I end up with more pie filling than I need. Rather than risk overfilling my crust and making a big mess in my oven, I take the extra, put it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to a week.
When I fix my oatmeal in the morning, I just had a big spoon full of pie filling to turn it into a yummy breakfast treat. Today for example, I enjoyed some yummy apple pie oatmeal.
Give it a try. Pretty much any cooked pie filling will work. Just don’t add anything uncooked that contains egg (think sweet potato pie filling for example).
You can add the filling after you cooked your oatmeal or stir it in before microwaving the instant kind. Either way you’ll end up with a delicious flavored breakfast treat.
This post was shared with us from Living So Abundantly. I thought I would post it in the Articles section as well as the Frugal Tips section and the Recipe section so it would be easy to find.
Having been blessed with buckets and buckets of tomatoes this year, I embarked on a mission myself to find ways to use up tomatoes in assorted ways. What resulted was a little cookbook available on Kindle. You can click on and take a look right here: The Tomato Cookbook – Tomato Recipes From Soup To Grilled
On with the instructions for peeling tomatoes from LivingSoAbundantly.com.
First, remove the top of the tomato with a paring knife.
Slice an “x” on the bottom of the tomato.
Immerse the tomato into boiling water with a slotted spoon for 3-5 seconds; remove.
Using the slotted spoon, immediately immerse the tomato into an ice bath; remove in 3-5 seconds.
Easily peel off the skin, and this is what you get. So easy!
Why would I want peeled tomatoes? Salsa, of course! You can also make homemade spaghetti sauce, too.
There are so many uses for peeled tomatoes.
What’s your favorite use?
For pictures of the process, be sure to click on the link for the Living So Abundantly website.
I wanted to share an email I got from a reader that has an amazing way to use up zucchini. Please read – I can’t wait to try it. Thank you, Roxanne, for sharing this great tip!
Hello there. Just had to tell you how much I enjoy your books, your tips, and your newsletters. This one is devoted to tomatoes, but I wanted to share something with you that I’ve done several times now. Its not the tomato, rather it is the zucchini! Those big honking, large as a baseball bat zukes that got that way because they were hidden by the large leaves actually provide a cheap ingredient that you would never suspect was made with the zucchini.
Apple butter. Yes – apple butter. I clean them the same as you would cantelope; i.e. skin and seeds removed. I cut into halves or quarters and then slice about 3/4″ thick into crescents. Follow your favorite apple butter recipe and enjoy. I’ve also done “mock apple crisp” using the same methods. The zukes take on all of the seasonings and the texture is pretty much identical.
Roxanne Loehrig – Aurora CO
Thanks again, Roxanne. Now I’m hoping I get one of those buckets of zucchini mysteriously show up on my doorstep soon.
A great way to use less shampoo and make the bottles last longer is to use a pump-style hand soap dispenser. In most cases, one or two squirts will be enough for all but the longest of hair. I buy the giant economy/family-sized bottles and decant the
m into the pump bottles. One store-bought bottle of shampoo lasts me a year this way (and that’s with washing my hair every day).
At the first dreaded sign of gunk, make yourself a cup of regular tea, saving the tea bag. When cool enough to handle, but still warm, press out the excess liquid and use as a compress on the effected eye. Works like a charm, and as a mom of three, I can’t imagine how much I’ve saved over the years. (there are some strains of pinkeye that require antibiotics, but apparently those aren’t the ones my kids come home with.)
Hey, I am a frugal reader on a welfare budget. I found several recipes for homemade cleaners, and the one I use the most is homemade febreeze. Super easy too!
Get fabric softer at the store….I like downey April fresh, but you can use any that the ingredients say Ionic or cationic on the label…this is the smell remover active ingredient…
I usually get the small bottles, because they are the cheapest. You only use a tablespoon of fabric softener to a spray bottle filled the rest of the way up with plain water. Shake well. spray whatever you need to. Removes all odoors and leaves a pleasant fresh smell.
This costs about a nickel to make up, lasts a really long time, and is easy to keep on hand: I keep a bottle in the car, as I have a small child that occaisionally throws up in there, and a large dog that makes the car smell like wet dog in the winter rainey season. This works great to make the car smell good again.
Way better than spending $6 a bottle for a pretty label that does the same thing!!!
I remember reading about 30 years ago, in a book on how to make your own household cleaners that most commercial glass cleaners at the time ( you know the blue ones), were 50-50 water and alcohol plus a couple of drops of detergent, ammonia if you want it (not necessary) and of course blue coloring. LOL
Left over stew meat or pot roast (1 cup or less)
Left over sausage (1 lb or less)
Left over hot dogs (1/2 a pack or less)
1 can tomato juice (the big can) or V8
1 14 oz can of stewed tomatoes (or 1 pint if you can your own)
1 bag gumbo veggies (celery, onion, bell pepper)
2 bags of chuck wagon corn (corn, bell pepper) or just regular corn.
Cook on low on the stove top a couple of hours or in the crock pot on low all day.
Serve over rice or with hoecakes.
When I decide to make pancakes, I like to make a double patch so the next day breakfast is already half-way made. However, we frequently have un-planned guests who spend the night and the other half of the pancake batter just isn’t enough. When that happens, I just add some extra buttermilk to the pre-made batter to thin the batter out a bit. Your pancakes will be thinner, but you will be able to squeeze out some extra pancakes for you guest. I also try to add extra fruit or yogurt to the breakfast so no one leaves hungry. Try this tip out next time you need to stretch your dollar!!!
You can save your celery for a long time if you wrap it in tin foil. It will last for weeks and be just as fresh as when you bought it. Also when you have use most of it up,cut off the bottom and plant it. It will grow more celeryI haven’t try planting it.I read this on Pinterest I do know the tin foil works well. I enjoy your letters and recipes.
I was making homemade wickless candles, and I needed a double boiler. There is not a “double boiler” in this house. I do not like to have a lot of appliances/gadgets if I don’t use them regularly.
No worries! You can “make” your own double boiler.
Here’s what you need:
One Glass Measuring Cup with a Handle
Here’s what you do:
Fill the pot about 1-2 inches with water.
You need to make sure you are at the stove at all times, so that the water does not evaporate and burn your pot. I actually let water surround the bottom of the glass, although some “experts” would tell you that would not truly be a double boiler. It still melts my ingredients without burning, and faster, I might add.
Slip the glass measuring cup on the side of the pot so that the handle secures it.
Fill with the ingredients you need to melt. In this case, it was emulsified wax.
Stay near the pot at all times and stir occasionally.
When the ingredient that you have is completely melted, pour it into desired container.
If melting wax or other quick-stick ingredients, see how I clean dishes with the toughest stains.
Here is my link: http://livingsoabundantly.blogspot.com/2012/07/make-your-own-double-boiler.html
My mother-in-law told me about a casserole she used to make in 40s – 50s.
It consisted of:
- hot dogs
- mixed vegetables
- tomato sauce
mixed and baked.
She no longer remembers the recipe as to how much - just the ingredients.
(editor’s note: Does anyone remember a similar recipe? If so, how did you make it?)
My hubby is always telling me wrap up the hose after using it. I don’t have the $ to go out and spend on a hose reel, so I noticed I had a big bucket upside down by the hose and I wrapped it around that and no problem with the hose anymore. It’s easy to rewind it and I don’t risk running the mower over it. It’s a 100 ft hose and I’d like to share this idea with others. Works good for me.
Want a frugal and fun way to get some cheap produce!? Well, I found one at Hunsader’s Farm in Bradenton, Florida. We were able to fill a five gallon bucket of tomatoes for $1.00. Yes, we had to pick them ourselves, but that was all part of the fun! Why was it so cheap? Well, it was because the tomato season was just about over and we had our pick of all the left over tomatoes. The deal was you could fill up as many five gallon buckets you wanted for $1.00 each. You just had to weed through all the bad ones. First we picked the tomatoes, then I bought a fresh picked (that day) watermelon for $4.00 while the kids played on the playground. Next we got to feed the goats and look at all the other farm animals. We only were there for 3 hours, but the kids were all worn out by the time we left and took nice long naps. Every mothers goal!
In conclusion, my frugal tip of the day is to go online (that where I found out about this deal) and find a local farm. Many of them will have u-pick deals that are very cheap toward the end of that particular season.
Whether you are freezing meats (cooked or uncooked), baked goods, or whatever it is this tip might just help you.
Confession: I have thrown away TOO many things in my freezer because I simply didn’t know if it was “still good.”
I didn’t want to kill off my family by attempting to cook something or thaw something that might be, well, old–expired.
Solution: Now whenever I freeze anything, I put the date I stuck it in the freezer as well as the date that it must be used by. That way, the lazies aside, I can just make a quick decision about whether or not I can defrost/thaw/cook the item. I am trying to keep the items that are newest in the BACK of my freezer, so that I am using what needs to be used first.
Link to reader’s frugal tip:
During the summer we always have extra hot dog buns after BBQing and I often end up tossing them.
One day we cut the buns apart and buttered them. Then we topped with garlic and cheese and baked in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes.
They turned out great! They make a good snack and taste great dipped in ranch or pizza sauce.
After trying several tips from several websites, in desperation this morning I tried a “Miracle” Eraser sponge (generic brand) and it removed all the film! From other tips, I now add powdered lemonade mix to the 2nd dispenser cup in the dishwasher and will return to using powder dishwasher detergent. When phosphates were removed from the detergent, it caused this issue. Oh, it also worked on the flatware.
With all the pollen flying these days its any wonder we all don’t have sore scratchy throats! Here is something that can help with a sore throat any time of year! And, it tastes yummy too!
All you have to do is to get a cup of your favorite OJ and add a cough drop (I like Halls Menthol) or lozenge and put in microwave for a few seconds to let it get warm enough to soothe your throat. Just make sure its not too hot before you drink it. You can also use hot tea as well.
Hope this helps those scratchy throats!
I use the clip pants hangers that they hang pants in the department stores on to store my yardage fabric in the closet. I tried the empty fabric bolts, but they use up too much space. Just ask the store clerk to give you the pants hangers when you shop. All neat, tidy and easy to see what you have.
I get FREE CHIP CLIPS: When buying clothing at some stores, they give you the plastic hangers that clip onto the clothing, my husband cuts the end clips off and I use them for chip clips or anything I might need to clip together.
I have found a way to save lots of money on cheese. My family eats it on hamburgers, sandwiches, crackers and sloppy joes. I buy my cheese in bulk, 5 pound packages/bricks. My favorite brand is Feild’s. It comes pre-sliced so each slice peels off the brick easily.This is the same as the restaurants use. I put it in a sealed plastic container in the fridge and place a paper towel folded in the bottom. It lasts all month and I don’t have to buy 10 or 16, 20 piece packages every time I go to the grocery. It is also cheaper by the pound at $13.00 for the brick when it is on sale 3 or 4 times a year.
I fold the plastic grocery bags neatly and keep them by the diapers in the baby’s room for nasty diapers.
I also keep them in the glove box of the car and the diaper bag. These come in so handy and I love the price…..free!!
In the summer time when the A/C is running I use the hot air coming out of the compressor to dry my freshly washed hair instead of using the blow dryer in the bathroom. I just lean over the compressor when it’s running and the let the hot air blowing out of there to dry my hair. This keeps the bathroom from heating up with the blow dryer blowing hot air in the bathroom and saves extra electricity by not using it.
Did you know the vegtable bags from the grocery store that you put your produce in are made from compostible material. You can re-purpose them for your indoor compost bin so you don’t have to keep cleaning it out each time. Just take out the bag and put in the large compost bin. Works like a charm.
This is sort of a combination frugal tip and recipe, or maybe a cross between the two. I’m not sure. I was watching the Food Network the other day and saw this:
When you’re roasting a chicken, lay about 3 strips of bacon over the top/breast of the chicken. It adds a lot of flavor to the chicken AND you end up with perfectly crispy cooked bacon to use as you wish.
Then, before the chicken is totally done, remove the bacon to a plate or rack, put the chicken back in the oven, and bake until skin is brown and chicken is done. You can use the bacon for another meal if it’s not part of your chicken dinner that night.
Anyway, I just thought it was cute to have crispy chicken made right on top of a roasted chicken.
I have extremely dry skin and for the most part I live in a dry climate. Everytime I took a shower I would moisturize with baby oil. My skin would feel good for about an hour then I was back to dry skin again. A friend of my suggested the following and it works wonderfully…..
1/3 cup olive oil
2 TBSP baking soda
Place in a bowl and mix together. Right before I get in the shower I rub this mixture all over my face and body. I then get in the shower and wash it off with my soap… I use Dove because of my dry skin. My skin feels so soft and moisturized. My skin stays soft and moisturized for a couple of days instead of just an hour. I repeat this every two to three days. It just takes a few minutes, but it’s time I take for me.
With the Superbowl right around the corner, I am sure that many of you will be making some sort of hot wings for appetizers during game day. I know in my home, we have tons of food on this day and it can get pretty expensive purchasing store bought wing sauces. Why not try making your own this year? Homemade hot wing sauces not only taste better than store bought, but you are able to control the ingredients which makes them also healthier.
Here are just a few of my favorite all time sauces that I am sure you will love just as much as I do! Those Superbowl fans of yours will be rooting for more of your homemade goodies just as well as rooting for their team!
Best Buffalo Wing Sauce:
- 8 tbsp hot sauce (Texas Pete’s workswell)
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- salt to taste
Place all ingredients in an saucepan
and cook on low heat bringing it to a simmer. Pour over wings. Store any unused sauce in the refrigerator.
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 4 ozs tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 3/4 tbsp steak sauce
- 3/4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tbsp hot sauce
Place all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.Stir occasionally. Pour over
For extra yummy wings, marinate in the sauce overnight and continue to baste
them while they are cooking.
Wing Sauce For Diabetics:
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup sugar free cola (Dt. Pepsi or Dt Coke)
- 1 tbsp dry onion flakes
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes on low heat. Pour over chicken wings.
This recipe is not completely sugar free. However, it is much better than sauce from the grocery store.
If you want to add some extra tang to your sauce, you can add 1 tsp of mustard.
Make even more convenience foods right at home! You’ll save money, control ingredients, and avoid expensive “fast foods” when you start making your own favorite convenience foods. Click on here to find out about our informative resource Homemade Convenience Foods – and dig into over 200 recipes for handy convenience foods you can make at home.
Eliminate those prepackaged foods from your pantry, eat healthier and cheaper while still cooking fast. Order your copy today!
Today I’d like to share a report with you that I originally put together for the Hillbilly Housewife Club. It’s about making and more importantly keeping your New Year’s resolutions. It’s a quick read (about 20 pages) and some of the things you’ll discover are:
- How to set realistic goals no matter what your resolution this year.
- Mapping out a solid strategy to help you reach those goals, starting with some simple baby steps you can take this week.
- How to stay motivated and continue to work towards your goals when the first enthusiasm wears off.
- How to look at the big picture and then break it into small short-term goals for a sense of accomplishment.
- How to apply these strategies and tips no matter what your goals are.
You can download the report here:
Set aside a few minutes today to read through it and start making a plan of your own to make 2012 the year you’re keeping your New Year’s resolutions (no matter what they are). [Read more...]
This is a guest post by my friend Patti Winker at RemarkableWrinklies.com. Enjoy!
I inherited some very old silverware and, up until now, just had it stuck in the back of a drawer. The last time I looked at it was a long, long time ago. But, that’s all changed.
This Thanksgiving I realized I was short a regular fork when I set the table. That got me thinking I should maybe buy a whole new set.
Instead, I was reminded of the old silver and dug it out, unrolled the cloth bundle and voila! I had forgotten how pretty it was.
Although it was pretty it was also quite tarnished, even black in places. This is a normal development when you pack silver away and ignore it for years.
I knew if I wanted to use it I had to polish it, but I didn’t want to buy or use any of that abrasive commercial stuff because;
1) I didn’t want to spend the money, and
2) I don’t think that ancient stuff would stand up to losing much more of its silver with the customary polishing.
Instead I searched and got the directions for a scientific approach, maybe from chemistry class? Anyway, it’s a method I had a vague memory of from years ago…
Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda
The method is very simple. You need:
- baking pan
- aluminum foil
- boiling water
- baking soda
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, and lay silver on top, making sure each piece is on the foil, not overlapping or piled up.
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Set the pot of hot water in the sink and add baking soda (It will foam up so be careful.)
Pour the water into the baking pan over the silver. (You’ll quickly see the tarnish start to turn silver again.)
Please Note: The process produces some smelly odors so do in a well ventilated kitchen or outside. Hold your breath if you’re going to watch it.
For the full description and pictures, be sure to click on the link here: Old Silver
It worked beautifully! My silver is restored to a usable condition. It’s not perfect, because it’s old and very used. But it’s shiny and lovely and now when I set the table I can remember Thanksgivings and Christmases at Gramma’s house.
And, I didn’t have to go buy new stuff!
You may remember how I gave my spice rack a makeover. If not, I’m not offended.
Well, I like to keep spices primarily used for baking in a small crate on my Lazy Susan (you can barely see it on the bottom in the above picture.)
(Editor’s note: Click on linked “submitted by” name to see pictures.)
Problem: In the crate, I constantly had to pull the spices out to see what spice each one was, which could
be slightly annoying when trying to move quickly in the kitchen.
Solution: Label spices with a permanent marker. This definitely works for me!
You can use any of your regular Pumpkin pie recipes, just substitute Slpenda for sugar, carton egg substitute for eggs, and use fat free condensed milk. Spray the pie pan with a little Bakers Joy type spray or dust with a bit of flour. No crust, just great pumpkin taste. Bake as usual & enjoy!
About a year ago, my meat and potatoes husband was taken to an Indian restaurant by some co-workers. Amazingly, he tried the food and really liked it! He then took all of us to the same Indian restaurant and we all really liked it too! I decided I wanted to learn how to make some of the delicious food, but was turned off by the long list of expensive spices I would have to purchase. What if the food didn’t turn out? I was worried I would waste my money! Then I discovered that the health food store that is literally, right down the street, had a bulk spices section!
The first time I made Coconut Buttered chicken, I was able to buy 1 tablespoon of garam masala for fifteen cents. When the Coconut Buttered Chicken turned out well, I dove into the land of making curry (check out my Thai Coconut Curry Chicken by clicking on my name highlighted below).
I went back to the health food store and bought about 3 tablespoons of all the staple spices you need on hand to make a lot of Indian dishes like tumeric, garam masala, cardamom and coriander. I spent a total of $2.50. The nice thing about doing it like this is the spices remain fresh. I store them in the small bag provided by the store and then in a larger container placed into the freezer. This will keep the spices fresh and fragrant. Most spices lose their punch and freshness in less than 6 months.
Buying your spices in bulk allows you to buy the quantity you need (rather than a big jar) saving you money.
Keep your spices in a sealed container in the freezer helps keep your spices fresher, longer.
This is a Frugal Tip posted by a Hillbilly Housewife reader. I always value tips shared by our readers. Sometimes those tips are so detailed they need a little extra attention, and this is one of those times. I have posted this tip in the article section as well as the Frugal Tips section so it would become a more permanent part of this site. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful ideas for planning festivities for a less stressful holiday season.
Please continue reading and enjoy!
Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife
Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but they can also be the most stressful. Spending quality time together is the most important part of the celebration.
Here are a couple tips for organizing:
- I schedule various activities for my family and each person decides if they want to go with the group or to do something else.
- I have a dry erase calender where I write down each day’s activities and the time it starts.
- If someone needs time to go shopping, get their hair done or whatever, it goes on the schedule.
- I have a place for notes at the bottom of the calendar where I can write more details. I just erase the old notes at the end of the day and write down the new ones.
Here are some of the things we do:
1. Get Ready Night. It is easier to make most of the holiday preparations ahead of time, but it is important to have all of your family participate. We put up decorations and cook together, making cookies, doughnuts, and latkes. Your family could go cut down or buy a Christmas Tree, or set up the faux tree together. If your tree takes a long time to set up, you could put on the lights and most of the decorations, saving a few special decorations for each person to put on the tree. Sing carols together around the tree, or with a group of friends from house to house! This would also be a great time to read a holiday book aloud. This is a lovely pastime that is rarely enjoyed.
2. Museum Day/Parade or Festival Night. We have several museums in our area. Check to see if there are any Holiday Exhibits. We also have parades and tree lighting ceremonies that are free to attend. I like to go to pick out the most appealing exhibits for the group and go to the museum in the afternoon. You could bring a picnic dinner or go out to eat, and then go see the parade or celebration. Smaller children would not be able to do so much at one time. You could split the activities into 2 or more days.
3. Movie night. The right movies can get people in the mood to relax and have fun. Pick out a few movies that have seasonal themes for everyone to watch. I have popcorn, sodas, and candy for everyone to enjoy. I make my own popcorn. I either get the candy on sale or I buy it in bulk and put it in season plastic bags.
4. Card Night. My family had a Gin Rummy game that we played with on holidays. It was a lot of fun. You could play any type of card game. Spades, Hearts, Crazy Eights, or even Go Fish. The important thing is having all of your family and friends together. Some people may choose to sit on the sidelines and talk. That’s okay.
5. Board Game Night/Nights. Monopoly is our big family favorite. Trivial Pursuit is another great game, We usually have 3 or 4 game nights and play 1 game per night. Sometimes we have so many people playing that we have multiple games running simultaneously. I always plan a break after 2 hours for dessert and coffee.
6. Christmas Light Tour Night. I love to drive around and look at lights. We make or buy eggnog shakes and drive around to see the different yard decorations. If you check online, you may be able to find specific yards to go see. In my area, there is a lady who puts out a book with pictures, maps, addresses and yes, in some cases, phone numbers of the people with awesome yard decorations. Many of the stores and businesses put up special holiday windows that warrant having a night of their own. The large professional displays are fantastic, but I love the family displays best.
7. Old Traditional Games. By Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (during Hanukkah for my family) everyone is feeling very happy and relaxed. We have an early dinner that starts out with everyone pulling Christmas Crackers (Many manufacturers of crackers make styles for Hanukkah and other holidays.) The crackers “pop” when they are pulled and a paper party hat, a small toy and a motto or joke falls out. Everyone puts on their paper hat and becomes a child again. It is wonderful! We clear away the torn paper and serve dinner. After dinner, we exchange presents. Then it is time to play old fashioned games like Charades (my favourite), Blind Man’s Bluff, and Similes. I usually have an extra special dessert for the big night.
Remember, the schedule you make will change as you go. Use it as a guideline and keep track of what works for your family and what doesn’t. Christmas Light Tour Night is one of my favourite things that I look forward to all year. One of my friends doesn’t understand why anyone would drive around to look at lights. Her family is very serious about Game Day, however, and they play a lot of games; Monopoly, Risk, Yahtzee, Clue, and many more. The point is, they have fun together. I hope you and your family enjoy the holidays, too.
My friend Tracy Roberts from MomsInABlog.com has put together a day-by-day plan for the approaching holiday season called 30 Days to Stress-Free Holidays and is offering it for an incredibly low price.
The plan Tracy lays out for you is easy to follow and simple to do, and is meant for REAL homemakers, not super-moms!
And, when you order you’ll also receive these fun bonuses absolutely FREE:
- 15 page Thanksgiving Planner
- 35 page Christmas Planner
- Creative Ways to Eliminate Holiday Debt – Courtesy of HillbillyHousewife.com
- The ABC’s of Christmas Gift Giving – Courtesy of HillbillyHousewife.com
- Creating Cherished Christmas Memories ebook
For extra nutrition, cook “soaked beans” in chicken broth.
If you bake a lot, you may find that you often have to use more egg whites than whole eggs, leaving you with yolks.
Here are some ways yo use them up.
Home made mayonnaise
Home made pasta
Glaze for various baked goods
Add to scrambled egg/omelette/quiche mix
Add one to your dog’s bowl for a healthy shine on coat (don’t do this too often)
Freeze yolks in a freezer bag for future use.
Do you often pass up the delicious Deli Salads at the super market because of the high price? The Deli salads usually have a lot of sauce and seasonings and they can handle a little diluting with your filler ingredients. This makes the recipe go farther serving more people, and is probably a little healthier too.
If you buy a 1# container when it is on sale, then you can doctor it up by adding extra pasta, potatoes, or whatever veggies or rice you have on hand or left over. I have done this successfully with Deli Potato Salads, Chicken Salads, Pasta Tuna Salads and others. Get creative.
Deli salads are still a more costly convenience, but by stretching them with a little of your own home ingredients you can combine convenience and frugality with added speed and health, not compromising on taste.
This is an example of how you can save on paper towels from LivingSoAbundantly.com
Yes, I use dish cloths for paper towels. Not only does it save money but it is better for the environment!
What do I do with my dirty “paper towels?” I keep a basket under my sink to hold my kitchen helpers until wash day. If a cloth is too wet, I ring it out thoroughly and let it hang over the side to air dry so as to not create mildew. It’s simple but helpful.
My daughter mentioned that she was spending $2-4 per day on iced tea at the sandwich shop next door to her office. I had a coupon for Rubbermaid containers and bought a 1 quart container with a screw on lid with a flip top for about .50. Now she fills the bottle with water before bedtime and puts in 2 tea bags and just sets it in the refrigerator every night. It is ready to go in the morning and she has tea to sip on at her desk all day long for a fraction of what she was paying.
We also make “cold brew” coffee concentrate for iced coffee drinks. I place coffee grounds in a coffee filter and tie it closed with button thread. I use 1/3 cup coffee to 12 ounces of water. Drop the bags in a pitcher with water and let stand for at least 24 hours, then refrigerate. Fill your cup with ice, half full with coffee concentrate and the rest with low fat milk. I get the flavored syrups from Dollar Tree, or flavored creamer when I have a coupon. Fancy iced coffee drinks cost $5 at the coffee shop, these are just as good and you don’t have to wait in line or leave a tip.
As my husband and I don’t have any children, we go through food much more slowly than most families. We do some shopping at Costco, but the large quantities can sometimes be problematic, especially with fresh produce, and I’m sure this happens to many people: you don’t get the fruit/veggies eaten before they start to go bad.
We invested in a food dehydrator (approx $60)and it has saved us a lot of money!
When it looks like we won’t get out fruit eaten in time, we slice it up and put it in the dehydrator,run it overnight, and voila! Dried fruits that can be used for oatmeal/cereal topping, baking, even making your own granola. Plus you can dehydrate your veg, too. This works out well for us as we don’t own a chest freezer, so our freezer space is limited. Also, my husband uses it to make beef jerky when meat is on sale. He takes steak and slices it up (or you can use ground meat) and marinate it, and dehydrate. Much cheaper than buying the store-bought stuff for $4 a bag.
I love steel cut oats, you can buy them in bulk bins at health stores and make super cheap breakfasts with them. However, I do not have 40 minutes to cook them in the morning!
I set up my crock pot, and put a smaller dish inside (its my husband’s grandmother’s white Pyrex, very sturdy!)
I fill the water level outside the small dish to close to the edge, but not going over the edge.
Inside I fill the dish with a 1:3 ratio – one cup of oats, three cups of water. I prefer my oatmeal a wee bit gummy, and then I add in milk in the morning to thin it out, the ratio can be altered depending on your preference.
I can set this up on Low on my crockpot at about 8-9ish, and when we get up at 6, there is a hot breakfast just ready to be eaten. I leave the small dish soaking in the sink when we head out the door, scrub it at night and we are ready for the next night. Especially for cold mornings, it is a real treat to get up to find breakfast just waiting for you in the kitchen.
Love your site – thanks!
At hardware stores, you can find thicker “contractor grade” hefty-type garbage bags…
For Thanksgiving and Xmas holidays, I like to invest in a box of 10 of these… they are so worth it. Very strong.. hold up to having bones, turkey carcass, and lots of scraps and waste without breaking.
One less thing to have to worry about over the holidays!!
You can eat all week off of one ham.
Purchase one good sized ham, then:
1. Slice off the good portions to be used for ham sandwiches. The ham sandwiches are one meal.
2. Hunk up the rest of the meat that is on the bone. Place the ham chunks and bone in a large pot, cover meat with water till just covered. Boil till meat is cooked adding chopped up cabbage, chopped onion and carrots and homemade dumplings. This is another meal.
3. Use the same kettle and fixings that you made the last meal in and make either bean soup or split pea soup. That’s another meal.
(editor’s note: I’ve tried this and with leftovers, we ate all week. Good tip, Kristy.)
Cold, short wash cycle with with 1 c. White vinegar and 1 tbsp bleach.
Hot, long wash cycle with .5 c. of this awesome mixture
1 c. Borax
1 c. Washing soda
.5 c. Oxyclean (or other powdered oxygen bleach)
Mix powders well, store in container with lid.
(editor’s note: recommended by Charlotte – use 1/4 cup per load)
This morning I made a quart of yogurt. Here’s how:
I put a quart of 1% milk into a glass jar, added about 1/3 cup of plain yogurt that has the live and active culture. I used Mountain View but any plain yogurt will do as long as it has the live culture in it.
I stirred this vigourously with a fork, put the lid on the jar and then sat the jar into a deep pan and added water up to within an inch of the top.
I put this on a burner and turned the flame as low as possible.
When the water temperature reached 110 degrees (editor’s note: I believe this is what she meant, the original post was 110o, which I believe was 110 with the letter o for degree)
I turned burner off and covered the pan with a folded dish towel.
When it had cooled somewhat I removed the towel and again turned the burner on and repeated the process, I continued this for approximately 5 hours while doing my usual routine of laundry, cleaning etc.
At the end of this time I had a quart of plain yogurt.
This can be sweetened with a little honey, jelly or jam, fresh sliced fruit or whatever strikes your fancy. The only tricky part is to be sure not to let it heat beyond 110 degrees as the higher heat will “Kill” the live culture. I have heard of people setting the milk mixture on a heating pad and covering it. I might try that next as then I wouldn’t have to watch it so closely.
You can use a 1/3 cup of this yogurt as the starter for your next recipe.
In a flyer recently there was a sale on pork loins for $1.99 per pound and in the same flyer a sale on pork loin pork chops for $4.99 per pound. I take the pork loin and cut it into 1 inch pork chops and get a dozen pork chops out of the $1.99 pork loin instead of paying to have the butcher cut it up. It can be cut even thinner and made into pork cutlets. Pound the cutlets until they are thin and then roll them in ground cornflakes and cook on the stove in a frying pay. Delicious.
I recently had to take my Savannah out of her 2 day a week Mom’s Morning out play group. We just couldn’t afford it anymore and because I am not working as much, it really wasn’t needed. I decided I needed to be a little more proactive with teaching her things (with out her realizing she was learning). I noticed that although she can count to a whooping 13, she didn’t recognize her numbers yet. We had lots of learning toys that worked on letter recognition but nothing that worked on number recognition. So I came up with a completely free way to help her with number recognition.
4 different colors of card stock
4 different shaped large punches
*if you don’t have paper punches you can always draw and cut out the shapes
Pick out one color and one punch. Punch out 12 of those shapes from that color. Example. Circle punch….punch out 12 yellow circles. Using the marker write one number on each shape. You should have numbers 1 – 12. Repeat with each remaining color and shape. At the end you should have for example 12 yellow ovals, 12 red circles, 12 pink flowers, 12 green squares.
I believe this may fall under “frugal tips”. My mother was a little girl during the depression and remembers her dad making homemade baked beans (quite a treat)! Her fondest memory was what they did when there weren’t enough baked beans left to go around. They made open face baked beans sandwiches.
Place slices of bread on baking sheet
Spread each slice with baked beans
Cut a slice of bacon in half and criss cross on top of beans.
Place under broiler till bacon becomes crisp
Of course the number of sandwiches depends on how many bbeans you have.
(Even without the bacon, makes a good treat)
It gets really expensive fast to stop through a drive through for your morning breakfast. I found that with just a little time, I can put together breakfast and keep it in my deep freeze.
I find that my version of the Egg **Muffin is much cheaper too.
You will need:
I get English muffins from the local bread outlet store
Kraft slices cheese
Meat of your choice-I got sausage slices on sale and cooked them ahead of time.
Open the English muffins. On one side put a slice of cheese and a piece of meat. On the other side place a medium poached egg. Put the sandwiches together and place in zip-locks and put in freezer. The can be microwaved to warm up,and the ziplocks washed and reused.
I figure that with buying the supplies on sale, my breakfast muffins cost about
.70 each.I usually make a dozen at a time. Add some fruit and a glass of milk for a well rounded breakfast.
Do you currently take a fiber supplement or have considered taking one? Before you plunk down more than $10 a jar for a supplement that offers a few grams of fiber per serving, consider this:
one half cup serving of Fiber One Original Cereal provides 14 grams of fiber and 60 calories. You can snack on a few pieces with your breakfast and receive the same amount of fiber you would get in your expensive supplement. It also makes a great addition to any breakfast cereal you’re already eating. Pick this stuff up on sale and with a coupon, and you have a very cheap source of fiber.
Previously, I shared a tip I had about container free storage that involved freezing items with a high moisture content (casseroles, sauces etc.) Click on the link here: container free freezer storage – maximizing freezer space
This is about how to freeze individual items. Here is an example:
I love making my mom’s Stuffed Banana Pepper recipe. It is a lot of work to make these peppers so I try to make a double recipe. Once the peppers are made I lay them out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place the baking sheet into the freezer. Once the peppers are frozen, I place them in a freezer Ziploc bag.
I also use this method for cookies. I make the cookie dough, scoop the cookies onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen I place them into a freezer Ziploc bag. To reheat just place them frozen onto a cookie sheet and bake them by adding an additional couple minutes.
By freezing food ahead it can help save money and time. Hope these tips help.
Put a 1/2 paper towel roll in a plastic container that you can find at the grocery store that will fit it perfectly.
Mix together and pour in the center of Bounty paper towel roll that has been cut in half:
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. Baby Wash
3 Tbsp. Baby Oil
Once the cardboard roll softens from the liquid, just pull it out and then pull towels out from the center.
This was submitted by Debby Hall of InteriorDecoratingToday.com
Thank you Debby!
Baby wipes are expensive, and paper towels can be scratchy. You can make your own, reusable baby wipes from any soft and absorbent fabric. I used flannel for mine. Just cut into 8×8 squares and zig-zag or serge the edges to prevent fraying. If you want thicker ones, just put 2 squares together, and either turn and topstitch them, or just zig-zag/serge them together. Wash in the washer on hot with an extra rinse cycle if you want, dry in the dryer. They may get stained, but they are clean. You can use with just plain water, or with any baby wipe formula you find online.
I can’t seem to keep a nut chopper so I made one out of an empty tomato paste can.
Take an empty tomato sauce can.Wash and dry it.
Use some tin snips and cut the rim around the top off.
Careful as edges are sharp.
Put your nuts into a flat bottom bowl and use the sharp end of the can to chop.
It works great. I just wash it and keep it in cabinet over stove till I need it again.
When I have an empty dish soap bottle – save the top – the pull out top is good to use as a handle and it works good as a scraper for stuck foods when washing dishes
Why waste money buying storage and freezer bags! Just use freezer bags for all your storage needs. I use freezer bags for everything. The freezer bag is more durable and keeps the food you’re storing fresher longer!
My grandmother always keeps the little plastic squares that keep bags of bread closed on the sink and uses those for scrapping hard to clean dishes. She also keeps the plastic mesh bags that oranges and other fruit come in, twists it up with a rubber band or yarn and also works wonders as a dish scrubber. No need to buy sponges!
Good Afternoon -
I’d like to share this very easy 2 Ingredient Italian Sub recipe!
- 4 large cube steaks
- 1 can spaghetti sauce
I had 4 large cube steaks left from a ‘family pack’. Wondering how I could prepare these so they would be as tender as my crockpot version, I decided to place them in my big skillet and added a can of spaghetti sauce. Let them simmer for 2-1/2 – 3 hrs. (They will begin to fall apart).
After they cooled, I refrigerated overnight.
Reheat (mash to almost a Sloppy Joe consistency) and serve on hotdog buns.
They were a total hit with my 3 grandsons!
Terri Huffman – North Dakota
I am not sure where this original recipe came from. I have seen it in many different places on the internet. I want to share it because it has worked so very well for my family. It makes a powder that is easy to store and not heavy to deal with.
1 bar Fels Naptha soap (or equivalent laundry soap like Octagon, 1-2-3, etc.)
1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1 cup Borax
Grate the soap. Mix together slowly with powders (you don’t want to get sloppy so you don’t make a mess or accidentally inhale this).
Store in a small container with a lid (I use an old coffee canister. Use 1 tablespoon per load. If it’s a horrible load of nasty kid stuff, use 2.
This works well. The soap shreds will work their way to the top of the container, so I just stir from the bottom when I measure my tablespoon.
We make double batches in just a few minutes. If you use the 1-2-3 bars (a Mexican brand that works well and is inexpensive) they are double sized, so each bar counts as two anyway.
Hope you’ll give it a try! I save money on the laundry as well as the gas for a 25 minute drive to town to purchase it!
Just wanted to say that we do something that is refreshing and at the same time very healthy. My husband HATES plain water but has quit drinking caffeinated and heavily sweetened drinks. Someone suggested to us drinking vinegar every day as a health benefit. Vinegar is great for balancing the ph of your blood making you less susceptible to virus/bacteria/illness.
We found it’s also very refreshing. Here’s what we do. Every night before I go to bed, I make up a gallon pitcher of this drink:
1/2 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup of Honey
Mix in enough water to make 1 gallon and put in fridge
This tastes much like lemonade and has many health benefits.
We drink this throughout the day. It also is a great energy boost when working in the heat of summer. Hubby has lost 30 pounds since we started drinking this instead of kool-aid and sodas. It also regulates your appetite so if your body isn’t really hungry you don’t have the cravings and if you have a weak appetite and aren’t getting enough calories, it will increase your appetite.
The health benefits of vinegar are endless, if you’ve ever done any research on this, there are a lot of ways you can take this drink. I even like it without the honey/sweetener.
I hope this will be a helpful and healthful suggestion for some. It works great for us.
Repurpose that nylon bath back scrubber, use the long handled nylon scrubber to clean the shower or the tub and save your back. Bacteria cannot grow on nyl
on. Another use for long handled scrubber ($1.00 at the dollar store) is to use one to apply lotion to hard to reach lower legs and back, great for seniors.
Everyone usually has cd's that can't be used or are useless.We garden and the bunnies and squirrels are always a pest.Last year I used the typical aluminum pie pans but the noise was melodic for s
ure.This year I tied cd's with string to tomato cages down low.The shiny movements seem to be working so far.I love my tomatoes and when I find them bitten usually by squirrels I do get a little upset.
Now, when the peppers are cheap, stock up and slice, chop or dice bags full of them for the freezer and when the prices are high, you won't care. You can make and freeze stuffed peppers, but slices for stir fries, d
ices and big chops for casseroles will serve you well for months, and they don't take up much room in freezer. Best thing is to not overfill storage bags, and lay them flat to freeze for most efficient use of space.
This tip was submitted by one of our readers. It's a great idea – please be sure to take the time to read it. Thank you for sharing!
|Choose a container that you will reheat your freezer meal in(individual or family-size).|
|After freezing it long enough to form the shape, remove it.|
|get your ex back
ter;”>Wrap in the access parchment paper by folding it over.
|Wrap and label in foil or desired freezer protection for a double layer.|
Tip: When you choose to reheat the meal, it is already in the shape of your container. Simply pull from the freezer the night before(or even that day!), put in the dish, and reheat in the oven or microwave. You can even put heating instructions, if that is helpful.
My mom came up with this clever idea. It allows you to store MANY more freezer meals without monopolizing your containers.
Thanks for sharing.
And, if you're thinking of getting serious about freezer cooking as a way to save time and money, my ebook Freezer Cooking Made Simple is just what you need. Click on and order your copy to start stocking up today!
I came across this purely by accident! I mix a tiny bit of each of these (dime size or less) in my hand and apply before my makeup. I have found that I don't have to use foundation now, just powder. Advise using extra sunscreen if you are going in the sun as the benzoyl peroxide will make you more sensitive.
Acne moisturizer with salicylic acid (I used Clean & Clear)
5 or 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Cream(Zapzyt or Dr Sheffields from Dollar Store)
Salicylic Acid Acne Cream (found at Dollar Tree labeled as Acne Cream in
gray & orange box)
Regular Moisturizer with Vit E and AHA acids or similar or your choice (I used Walmart Equate)
Basically you can even mix your foundation with this and apply. Let dry completely. I wash my face at night, use toner then this. I also use it in the daytime after washing with toner again. But sometimes not, still works! Same ingredients as Pro-Activ and way cheaper, salicylic acid clears dead skin and pores making way for benzoyl to work effectively.
I hope this helps others! Love your page, Suzanne!
I love making something from nothing and so just back from a break in Greece i picked up various bits of discarded fishing line and m
ade them into a different bracelet and also a broken piece of shell into a passable necklace. My husband thinks I'm a “nutter”!!!
I used to use an electric teapot or use a coffee maker, but my sister shared an easy-cheaper way.
Take a quart mason jar (a canning jar) and fill with water. Microwave on high for till almost boiling-on our MW we use 5 min and 55 sec. Open the MW door and gently add a 1 quart teabag. put a lid on and close the door an allow to steep, 5 min if needing right away, but you can just leave it. Then pro
ceed as usual adding sugar or water to make this a 2 qt pitcher.
To stretch this further take the used tea bag and place in the canning jar and fill half full. MW for 3min and 33 seconds and place a jar lid on and let steep. This can be added to the pitcher, but do not dilute this tea.
Makes 2 and 1/2 qts of tea without heating your kitchen and the jar can be used over and over without washing.
Ok, so I know these freezer friendly blog posts are a dime a dozen. I have read at least a dozen or so of them myself. Why am I writing this?? Just as a reminder to myself and you why freezer meals save you money! Most of us think of freezer meals as a time saver. While that is true, it can also be a big money saver.
- For those of us who are busy or working moms, nothing is more tempting after a long day at work or with the kids than going out to dinner. A freezer meal is a quick option with out much effort.
- When ground beef or chicken is on sale, stock up and make some freezer meals using the meat.
- Long night up with the baby or a sick child? Frozen homemade waff
les work everytime for the rest of the family when mom is to tired to make breakfast. Also works well if you have unexpected company and no time for a nice breakfast.
- Pantry week. Let's face it. We've all had weeks where the money for groceries just isn't there. Having a few freezer meals made ahead can help in a pinch like this.
- Ever sit on the couch with your husband and wish you had dessert but don't feel like cooking right then? Don't head out the door, head to the freezer for some frozen made ahead desserts. My fav? Frozen cookie dough. Bakes up in no time for some no fuss homemade cookies!
Click on “submitted by name” to read more.
How often do we dry our hands after washing or wipe water off something with a paper towel and then throw it away? A girlfriend gave me this tip: paper towels used for wiping up or drying water and be reused for other, dirtier cleanup jobs, such as cleaning the bathroom, wiping up spills on the floor, etc. Then throw them away.
My second tip for paper
towels is to cut them in half. I buy the “select-a-size”, take a dozen sheets or so and cut them in half for small spills, or to rest my teaspoon on in the mornings when my family has coffee. When we're all done, I wash the spoon and use the little piece of paper towel to wipe any remaining drips.
I do notice I'm using far less than I used to.
I have three daughters and I was spending between $20-25 a month on toilet paper alone. A friend of mine and I decided to try something new. We call them “wipettes.”
I cut up old socks, t-shirts, towels, etc. into squares and put them in a basket near the toilet. We use these for urine only. My monthly cost has dropped to less than $10 a
month. I hang a plastic grocery bag on the roll rack. We wash them once a week in hot water with soap. The bags of used “wipettes” have not developed bad odors in a week's time. We also have a septic system and less paper helps with that as well. It seems odd as first, but after awhile it becomes natural like other things in the house.
I HAVE SAVED ON PAPER TOWELS FOR YEARS. ONE WAY IS, INSTEAD OF USING MANY PAPER TOWELS TO DRAIN FOODS (BACON) I USE A SECTION OF YESTERDAY’S NEWSPAPER AND PUT ONE SECTION OF PAPER TOWELING ON TOP OF IT, THEN FOOD TO BE DRAINED. THIS KEEPS THE NEWSPRINT OFF THE FOOD, AND SAVES ON PAPER TOWELS.
My great grandmother was way ahead of her time. She would have fit in great now with that all natural, going green mentality that is so “in” right now. She recycled before recycling was the right thing to do. She was her own herblist before there was a grocery store isle devoted to “supplements”. She is still alive and doing quite well for being 95. Perhaps it was all the spinach juice she drank or the iodine and orange juice she drank every morning. She was particularly good at recycling. She never threw ANYTHING away. Here are some great money saving recycling tips from my great grandma! Enjoy!
- Use cut up old (washed) pantyhose as pillow stuffing. Grandma always made handmade pillows stuffed with old pantyhose. They were seriously the most comfortable pillows ever! We didn't know for years that was w
hat was in the pillows until a corner got torn one day. We were all a little surprised!!
- Cut away thin strips from the “control” top of pantyhose. Use them as rubber bands! If you use knee highs, the tops of those make great rubber bands too.
- Use old boots as flower pots! Instead of throwing them away, fill 'em up with dirt and grow something!!
- Save the tops and bottoms of your frozen juice cans. Punch a hole in them and string some yarn through. Have the kids decorate them or glue on school pictures. Nice Christmas ornament.
- Place old pantyhose over the hose from your washer. It will help keep from getting hair and what not in the drain that will cause messy clogs.
I could write more, but I will save that for another blog post!!!!!
Me, my mom, and grandma
Eating a banana while traveling like flying the potassium is suppose to help w
ith the dragged feeling and is good for those who do a lot of sitting.
It sounds strange but hanging half a bag of water at the entrance of the door will keep flies away. I think the reflection of the water in a clear
plastic bag has something to do with it. Do not fill bag, but half way. Hang at door height, also works outside to keep flies away from carports.
I found this tip in a Woman's World magazine. Haven't tried it yet but as soon as I get the baby oil and shampoo I sure will.
Mix a cup of water with 2 Tbs each of baby oil and baby shampoo, pour into an empty w
ipes container or a plastic container with a lid. Cut a roll of paper towels in half horizontally,remove the cardboard tube and lay it flat in the container to soak, cover and store. Sure beats the cost of those baby wipes.
After our dog died and the birth of our second child, I knew that getting and training a puppy would not be on the list of things to do in this season of our lives. I wanted to think of a way to bring a new pet into our family that would be cost effective and low maintenance. After going to a chicken swap with my neighbor, I knew exactly what pets we needed–chickens!
I know, you may be shocked by this. Dogs to chickens! Well, let me explain. Our neighbors have chickens as pets, and I had seen how successful she had been with raising them. Her young children were able to help with the chickens, and it was really fun and easy for them.
Inspired to get my own, I went to a chicken swap and was able to purchase three chickens to join our family. We live in a big city, but thankfully we are allowed to have as many chickens as we want as long as they are not roosters.
Here are the top reasons we like having chickens as pets:
- Inexpensive – After totaling up the cost of caring and feeding the chickens, 1 dozen of free range organic chicken eggs cost about sixty-six cents. You would pay about $4.25 at the store. Clickchicken house building plans
ogspot.com/2011/06/how-much-does-it-cost-to-raise-chicken.html”> here to see how much I've spent on my chickens so far.
If you have been debating whether or not to bring chickens into your yard, I encourage you to give it a try! While they don't give wet kisses and cuddle with you, they do drop you a daily present that doesn't require a trash bag.