Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Thrifty or tacky?

Using leftover envelopes from bills that you pay online... the windowed kind? Would you use them to mail things to friends or family? You could use them to hold other things, like seeds or notes or whatever, but would using them for their original purpose - mailing - be just too extremely frugal?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Reuse Fat

Chicken fat used to be prized as a baking and cooking fat; beef fat is also good to use in many ways. When you roast a chicken or a piece of beef, let the pan liquid cool in the refrigerator, then skim off the fat. Clean it by simmering it in a skillet until all the water is gone, then strain and refrigerate. Try it the next time you need fat to cook with.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Vegetable grater

If you need a grater for vegetables or spices like nutmeg, it's a cinch to make your own. A metal jar lid is best, but any piece of thin but sturdy metal that you can hold on to works.

Put the lid on a piece of wood and punch holes in it with a nail. It's that simple. The side where the nail comes out will be filled with metal "spikes" where the nail forced it out. Fill the area with these holes and you're done.

Use this to grate anything. Use smaller nails for nutmeg, larger ones for carrots, etc.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Saving Cookie Crumbs

There are always a few crumbs in the bottom of the cookie jar (or package when you buy them). Don't just toss them. Save them in the freezer until you have enough to use for ice cream topping or add the crumbs to your home made granola.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Emergency Starch

Most people don't use starch any more, but there may come a time when you need it. You won't need to take a mad dash and some cold cash to a store if you have a few grains of rice on hand. White rice works best.

Boil about a tablespoon of rice in a couple of cups of water until the water becomes cloudy, then strain the rice and add the water to a gallon or two of clear water. Dip your clothes or linens in it and dry part way before ironing.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Knife sharpeners

You don't need to buy a knife sharpener of any kind for your paring knives. A smooth round "river" rock will sharpen any blade just fine. Make sure it's smooth and choose one that's comfortable to use. "Iron sharpens iron" is another clue.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Quit Buying Plastic Wrap

You don't need it. To cover a container for the refrigerator, slit a clean bread bag up one side, put it over the container, pull the end firmly and twist it, pushing the twisted end up and under the bag. A minor adjustment may be in order, but a bread bag will work as well as clingy plastic wrap and for a lot less money.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Clean Your White Shoes

Finally, a way to get those white shoes clean without washing the life out of them! Cathi sent this tip:

Wipe white shoes with fingernail polish remover to get rid of scuffs and dirt. The cheap kind at the dollar store works just fine.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Best Pot Roast Ever

Save that last cup of leftover coffee and pour it over the next pot roast you make, after putting vinegar on it. Then add spices of your choice, or just go with salt and pepper. You'll be amazed at the tender, tasty roast. A cheap cut will be so good you won't even want to spend money on a more expensive one