Saturday, February 13, 2010

Making your Own Seasoning Mixes

Save money by making your own Ready-Made Mixes:

Salt Mix:
Mix together 1/2 lb Kosher salt, 1 c. ground black pepper, 1/2 c. garlic salt & 1/2 c. ground thyme. Keep mixture in a pretty jar by your stove. This is especially good on meats. Try it on steak before grilling.

Garlic Butter:
1 lb. butter, 2 bulbs chopped garlic, 1 c. chopped fresh parsley, 1 tsp. salt, juice of one lemon. Mix & whip this all together in a food processor. Be sure the butter is at room temperature to whip easily. With a melon ball, make small balls & put on cookie sheets & freeze. After freezing, remove and store in a Baggie in the freezer. Use as needed by removing one or two balls. This is wonderful on Garlic Bread (just bring to room temperature or melt in the microwave) spread on french bread & bake.
Also good just dropped into a pot of simmering pasta sauce, or alone to coat fresh pasta.
Melt in pan and add shrimp to make Shrimp Scampi or add some white wine & cook Scallops.
Try it over vegetables after cooking.
Delightful after broiling a steak, just set a ball on top of each steak & let melt.

Butter Flour Balls:
Take equal parts butter & flour & whip in the food processor. Form into balls & freeze on cookie sheets. Remove & store in plastic bags. The next time you need a white sauce, just remove as many balls as you want, melt in a pot, after melting, add salt & pepper, a dash of hot sauce, & dry mustard (if desired) then slowly add milk or cream while stirring with a whip. In just a matter of minutes you will have a nice think white sauce. Just add Parmesean cheese or other grated cheese for a cheese sauce or pasta sauce (Alfredo Sauce).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to have Strong Long Fingernails

Do you have problems with your fingernails? If they have layers that split causing them to be weak & soft, or nails that just won't grow, here is the best kept secret for fingernails that the nail care suppliers don't want you to know. Instead of buying all those high priced creams, polishes & other cures for your nails try a jar of Vic's Vapor Rub. You can buy a store brand jar for just a couple of dollars & save tons. Just rub the nails and cuticles every morning and night with the Vapor Rub. It takes about 3 months for a new nail to grow out completely. After that time your nails will no longer split and be weak. You have to be consistent & use it religiously. I even rub it on every time I put my hands in water. I now have strong nails & they never split in layers anymore. Try it! You'll be amazed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Make your Own Pre-Mixed Cooking Condiments

In almost everything you cook you add salt & pepper to taste. Why not just go ahead & mix it together so you don't have to get out both salt & pepper & measure each. I keep a jar on my counter that has a 1/4 to 1 ratio, which is the way we like our things seasoned. I usually use 1 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper to most things. In my jar I use 1 cup of salt & add 1/4 cup of pepper. I stir them together & keep in a pretty jar with a tight lid. You can use any kind of salt you prefer like rock salt, sea salt, etc. When cooking, just open jar & pinch out or measure out how much you think you need for your taste. Simple!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Clean Out Empty Make Up & Face Cream Containers

There is a lot of make-up and face creams left in containers even when you think you squeezed out the entire tube. Just cut the end off the pastic container and open them up. Depending on the size of the container you can get several more days & even a week out of some. Toothpaste is also still full of paste when you open up the container. Use a Q-tip to get into the corners & areas your finger will not fit. Use every last drop. You can save a lot of money over the year by being a miser!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Save & Recycle Used Candy & Mint Tins & Boxes

Save those used Candy Tins and Recycle them into Gift Card Containers or use for storing small items. The gift card holder is a useful and enjoyable handmade gift by itself and can be used for paper clips, safety pins & other small items.

Remove any stickers and clean & wash the used tins. Wipe with alcohol to remove any residue. Spray outside of tin using acrylic paints with several light coats. Turn upside down if you don't want to spray the inside too but you can paint it if you wish. Let dry. Paint your theme with acrylic paints. If you do not know how to paint flowers, etc, just paint simple items like stars, hearts, polka dots, stripes, etc. Or use a simple design like an American Flag, stick figure flowers, trees, etc. Let dry. You can add gold to the edges or paint the bottom a different color if you wish. Adding some glitter might be fun too!

Spray your painted box with a clear Acrylic or brush on varnish. Let dry. Apply severl light coats. Add your gift card and tie with a ribbon if you wish.

Tips: Use stencils if you feel you are not artistic. Be sure to spray light coats of paint so you do not get too much paint that might cause runs. Be sure paint is dry before moving to the next step. Have Fun!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Make Your Own Instant Oatmeal for Pennies!

Save money by making your own packets of oatmeal. Quick & Easy! Measure 1/2 cup of regular oatmeal (get the thick kind if you can find it but regular works good too). Do not use the instant. Add 1 Tlb. raisins or chopped nuts of your choice and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or to your taste). Seal in plastic sandwich or snack size baggies. When ready to eat, simply empty package in DEEP bowl with 2/3 c. milk. Place bowl on plate or saucer as it will make it easier to clean if it boils over. Cook in microwave for 3 min. Remove & add 1 Tlb. brown sugar (I like to use the Splenda Brown Sugar) or add to your own taste. Add enough milk to cool it down & make it creamy to your liking. Please note I do not add salt but if you want you can add 1/4 tsp to your mix. This is a very healthy breakfast & so easy to fix!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't Toss Out Those Stained Cothes!

Who doesn't have a T-shirt, sweatshirt or pair of jeans and/or shorts that has a stain you can't remove. Instead of throwing it out paint something over it. Make it look intentional by adding more designs to match on other areas. Or paint the same design on a pair of jeans to match the T-shirt design you just painted so it looks like a set. Add the design to the sleeves, around the hem on a pocket, etc. so it looks like it was intentional & evens out the pattern.

Wash the garment but do not use any fabric softner on it. You can use regular acrylic paint that you buy at a craft store and adding a "fabric medium" to it. Just add a few drops of the medium to your acrylic paint as you paint your design. You can also buy fabric paint that is just for use on fabric. It makes the paint soft & spread more easily. After paint is good and dry set the paint with a hot iron. Place a cloth over the painting area & hold the iron over the paint for a few seconds & move to cover the entire area that you painted. Do not slide the iron back & forth, just hold it for a few seconds before moving to the next area. Garment is machine washable & dryable.
If you are not artistic you can simple make simple things like stars, dots, stripes, flags or other easy designs. A child's simple "flower" coloring design is so simple anyone can do it. If you make a mistake quickly use water & a little soap to remove it by patting it off. Do not spread the paint by using a back & forth motion.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Make your own Body & Hand Lotions & Save Money

Save money by making your own lotions. Use items you might already have in your bathroom or buy from Dollar Stores/drug stores or discount stores. You can make a whole batch for less than you would pay for one bottle of store-bought. Empty containers of Two-15oz. bottles of baby lotion (scented or unscented), One 7.5 oz of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and one 8oz. container of Vitamin E cream. Be sure to cut the bottles open & sqeeze out every last drop! Use a wire whip or an electric mixer & beat until smooth, light & fluffy. Takes 2-3 minues. Put lotion in pretty containers or jars. Add ribbon, dried flowers or raffia. Keep a few for yourself or hand out as gifts.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Save Money on Shaving Creams

Save all those tiny bottles of conditioners you get in hotels or conditioners that you buy that you don't like or don't use & pour them together in a nice container for your bath. Instead of using shaving cream, try the conditioner. It works just as well & the added bonus is it will soften the skin too. If you shave while in the bathtub the conditioner in the bath water will help keep your body moist & soft.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Save all those Leftover Bread Pieces for Croutons and Bread Crumbs!

Don't throw out any old bread no matter how small. Keep crusts, rolls, heels, crackers, dry oatmeal & any other scraps of bread by starting a freezer bag or using a large leftover freezer container. Just toss those pieces in as they accumulate. You can have two different containers one for larger pieces and one for smaller ones. With the larger ones cut them into cubes & when you need croutons, remove them and bake in the oven @ 400 degrees until lightly browned, dry & toasted. Be sure to stir so they don't burn or only brown on one side. Remove the dry cubes and toss in oil infused with garlic &/or herbs. I add a little garlic salt also. Great with salads and soups.

With the smaller pieces you saved. Remove from the container & place in the food processor until they are crumbs. Dry on a cookie sheet as above. Watch closely as they get brown very quickly. Add herbs & store in a metal container or jar with lid to keep crisp. Only dry enough to use in a few days as they do not keep a long time. Great over casseroles, in crab cakes, meatloaf, meatballs or any dish you want to use as a filler. Just plain without the herbs they are good over baked fruit desserts with small pats of butter, cinnamon, chopped nuts & sugar.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Re-use those old worn Electric Rotating Toothbrushes!

Save your old worn-out Rotating Electric toothbrushes! Mark them with a bright color fingernail polish so you don't get them confused & use them on your teeth by mistake. Just remove your new brush from the handle & insert your "nail polish marked" used one. Dip in a cleaning solution of your choice (or come back for my blog on making your own) and simple push the on button and let that brush do the scrubbing for you as it rotates around. It is small enough to get into tiny areas to clean. Great for the edges around your faucets & handles, around the seal of your sinks and stoves or baseboards. Works on cleaning jewelry too! Gets rid of that gunk! Just be sure to replace it with your good one when finished.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Start a Tomato Sauce Freezer Pot

How many times have you thrown out a small bit of leftover tomato sauce? Or opened a can of tomato paste & the recipe only called for a couple of Tablespoons and you didn't' know what to do with the leftover paste in the can? Or had a tomato with a bad spot or just didn't use the entire tomato. Start a Tomato Pot with Tupperware or another sealed freezer container. I always use the plastic 1 lb yogurt or margarine tub containers. (Another great idea for recycling). Keep adding those bits & pieces of your leftover tomato savings. You could even add some leftover herbs, olive oil, ground meat, sausage, garlic, etc if you want. Keep the container in the freezer. No need to thaw or stir, just throw your leftovers on top. In just a short time you will have enough to thaw & simmer. Use in chili, in your soups or as a pasta sauce. While simmering doctor it up with seasonings, etc if you want. You might want to remove the skins from the fresh tomatoes before you add them or you can peel them very easily after they are frozen. (just run a little water on the frozen tomato & the peel with slip off with no effort). I keep two containers. In one I have just tomatoes & in the other I keep tomatoes with the spices & other leftovers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Combine Tiny Bottles of Shampoo, Liquid Soaps & Lotions

Save all those tiny bottles & containers of lotions, shampoo & liquid soaps. Clean one of those empty bottles of wine, olive oil or any nicely shaped bottles your saving for the recycle bin. Turn your little containers upside down in the neck of the saved bottle & let drip. Add a drop or two of water to really clean it out & continue to let drip till totally empty. You will have a nice variety of soap or lotions combined together. It doesn't take long to fill up the bottle. Just keep adding to it. You can use those small bottles from the hotel rooms, department store samples or just use up what's left in your store bought bottles. In no time at all you have a full bottle to use that didn't cost you a cent! Add a rafia bow, a silk flower or paint the bottle yourself. Makes a nice gift too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to make Reusable Napkins & Recycle Old Fabric

In our throw away society we throw out tons of paper napkins and paper towels each year. It is so easy to make your own re-usable cloth napkins & save money & our landfills. Making them from old used fabric is even better. You can shop at garage sales, thrift stores & consignment stores and look for clothing or other household items made from fabric in good condition that has a lot of large pieces of fabric like a full skirt or XL men's shirts, tablecloths, etc. Another suggestions would be fabric stores (buy it in the discount section). All you need is a 36" wide by 1 yard piece of fabric for 4 generous size napkins. A Serger would be great if you have one. You can always find
them used for a low price in the classified sections of newspapers, on Ebay, at Garage sales, etc. (Check back again for more ideas using the Serger & savings lots of $$). You could also use a regular sewing machine but you will have to fold the edges over about 1/4" but it will take a lot more time & work. Cut the fabric into four 18" x 18" squares (this is a generous size, you can always make them smaller if you need to). Using the roll seam on the serger simple serge all around the 4 edges. Takes about 2 minutes to complete the square. It is so simple you can make tons of them in no time at all. Simply throw them in the washer with your other items. Be sure you buy or use permanent press so you don't have to iron them.
By using nice "used" fabric these will only cost you pennies.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How to Recycle Soap Slivers

Never know what to do with all those bits & pieces of leftover soap? You can purchase a mesh bag at your local department store like Walmart. (in the isle with body creams & bath accessories). As you collect these little pieces that you normally throw away just add them to the mesh bag. I also keep the small soap bars that you get in hotels. After you open the plastic on the drinking cups save the plastic & then when you are ready to check out just pop those "almost new" opened soaps in the plastic bag & store in your suitcase. Add them to the mesh bag of soap when you get home. Before you know it you will have a full bag. Hang on your shower handle & use. You will rarely have to buy soap again. As the bag gets wet it will lather up & the soap will melt together plus you get the added benefit of using the mesh for exfoliating while you wash.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My First Blog

Yes, that's right, this is the first time I have ever blogged. A newbie, a virgin, a beginner. I am 63 years old and have spent my life pinching pennies & stretching dollars. I always thought I should write a book about all my hints & ideas. I never did and regret it to this day. This morning as I was having my coffee I thought, why not share my hints and lifetime of experiences in a blog. So here I sit. Blogging....

With our current depression (yes, I call it a depression-not a recession) it would seem that people could use a little help in stretching their money as far as they can. Some of my ideas may sound really foolish & a lot of them are things that have been around for a while but you can always pick of a good tip or two. I still do everyday. Listen to the older generation who lived through the "great depression" and they still practice the habits they had to use during that time. Our younger generation have always spent way beyond their means & have always lived in a throw away society. Perhaps this is a good time for them to learn how to make do the old fashioned way. It is actually fun thinking of ways to be frugal & save a dollar or two. It always makes me feel good. Recycling is now the "in thing" so this might be a good time for me to share my thoughts and ideas.

My plan is to offer a new idea every day. Come back often & see what ideas you can pick up or share ideas with me. What fun! I can't wait to get started!