Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quick potato soup

Still have leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving? Use them this way:

* 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
* 2 tablespoons of dehydrated onions
* 1 small can evaporated milk or 1 cup of milk to which you've added 1/3 cup of instant milk powder.
* salt, pepper to taste
Put the onion in a cup or so of water, and set to simmer. Add about half the milk and mix into the potatoes well, then add to the onions. Add water if it seems to thick, then let the mixture simmer until the onions are tender. Add the rest of the milk and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with corn bread or homemade yeast bread.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Self rising flour

Sorry, I've been missing! Life gets in the way sometimes...

Don't buy self rising flour unless you can get it cheaper than all purpose flour. First, it's not very healthy, since it has a lot of salt in it and secondly, it's very easy to make as you need it. Take a cup of all purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix it thoroughly. If you use it a lot, mix up a bigger batch and store it just like you would any flour.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Surely everyone knows to use clothespins to keep chip bags and so on, closed. They're much cheaper than the clips sold for that purpose. Did you think, though, to use clothespins for other things? Like holding papers together, keeping quilt or other sewing pieces sorted, or holding music books open.

Another use for used coffee grounds

Got gunk? I mean like sticky, icky ash trays, or greasy pans? Scrub them with coffee grounds, dry or wet. They won't scratch like abrasive cleaners do and they deodorize at the same time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Window cleaner

This might not be officially "frugal," but it addresses a problem frugalites sometimes have: finding ways to bypass the questions and strange looks.

Use a little vinegar or ammonia in water to wash windows - that's commonly known - but if you want to fool your neighbors (spouse, mother-in-law, etc), put a drop of blue food coloring in it. They'll think you're using a commercial window cleaner.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Free gift wrap

If you eat potato or other chips, save the bags and turn them inside out. Some look like mylar or smooth foil and others are solid colors. You can use them as bags or cut them for wrapping paper. They make pretty packages!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sour cream

If you need sour cream for a recipe, you can substitute cottage cheese, pureed, or mashed thoroughly. Plain yogurt will do the trick, too, but it may be thinner.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Clothespin holder

Hanging clothes on the line outside? Make a clothespin holder from a child's pullover shirt. Just sew the bottom closed and put it on a wire hanger. You can bend the hanger to keep it from slipping off. Hang it on the clothesline and slip it along as needed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Free hot water

A barrel or bucket painted black or other dark color, filled with water and set in the sun (even in the winter) will absorb enough solar rays to heat hot enough to wash dishes, do laundry, or even bathe. It may take a few hours, so keep an eye on it and move it if necessary to keep it in the sunshine. Alternatively, stretch a long hose across a sunny lawn (even on a warm winter day as long as you keep it up out of snow) will heat water in a few hours.