Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oatmeal . . . so many uses for this frugal item

Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast options, along with.being a healthy and very inexpensive item.  But did you know there are so many other uses for oatmeal?

The following list is from Tip Hero, where you can get tips and helpful information . . . it is a money saving guide!  It is a website all frugalistas should have bookmarked . . .

Other uses for oatmeal:

Make Face Masks: in desperate need of a facial? Mix 1/2 a cup of oatmeal with 1/2 cup hot water and 1/4 cup honey in a food processor. Apply to your face and let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with cool water.

Make a Healthier Flour: when you need flour to make cookies (or any other recipe) process some oatmeal into a fine powder. Then use it in place of flour to make healthier treats.

Breadcrumb Substitute: put your oats through a processor and use them to bind meatballs, meatloaf and veggie burgers.

Make Clay for Kids: mix a cup of instant/rolled oats, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup water. You'll have a play-doh-like clay that will stay moist as your kids create a masterpiece. Then once they're done, their sculpture will harden overnight.

Neutralize Odors: oatmeal can work in the same way as baking soda in the fridge. Just throw a bowl of uncooked oatmeal in the fridge to keep odors under control.

Soothe Itchy Skin: grind up some oats into a fine powder and put into a cheesecloth or pantyhose. Then just tie it in a knot around the bathtub faucet and draw a bath. Soak in that bath to treat poison ivy, rashes and chicken pox.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

An organized freezer

What does an organized freezer have to do with being frugal?

I've written about buying food in bulk, especially those items we use often. Imagine having a place for all those frozen items where you can actually find them when you need them!

Samantha from the blog Simply Organized has some great ideas for getting your freezer under control.  Look at the photo . . . isn't that an outstanding looking freezer?

Click here to go to her blog post for some great ideas and lots of photos.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

7 Plants You Can Start From Kitchen Scraps

Written by:  Mick Telkamp from HGTV Gardens

Instead of throwing kitchen scraps into the compost bin, re-grow them!

Many of us have had the experience of reaching into a bag of onions to find new growth as fresh green shoots have sprouted within. Plants love to grow and it’s easy to simply cut away the new sprouts and get on with dinner, but for the intrepid gardener, the new growth possible from vegetable scraps or an unexpected surplus of produce is an opportunity to get a jump on propagating new crops. Before relegating kitchen scraps to the compost pile, consider these anxious growers and repopulate a bountiful garden using parts of the vegetable usually left behind.
Cut celery stalks from the base as usual, but instead of tossing that base away, place it in a shallow cup of water on a sunny windowsill, leaving the top exposed. In a matter of days, you’ll notice fresh green growth emerging from the center. Change the water every couple of days and watch the plant flourish, even as outer stalks lose their color and fade. Once the new growth has established, transfer the growing celery into the garden or a pot of soil to continue its development.
Green Onions
Use the white root normally discarded to effortlessly provide a steady and renewable source of green onions. Simply place the roots in a glass, leaving the cut end above water. Left on the kitchen windowsill, the green shoots will continue to grow. Change the water occasionally and an endless supply of this cooking staple is always at hand. This same method may be used to keep fresh leeks or fennel always within reach.
Like celery, cabbage (as well as bok choy and romaine lettuce) can be regrown from the root base. Although cabbage can also be started in water, starting out in shallow soil is sometimes more effective. Make sure to keep the soil especially damp for the first week or two to encourage new growth.
A favorite grade-school project, the eyes of potatoes readily sprout new growth (sometimes even in the pantry). Cut potatoes into pieces and nurture the sprouts in water. Once new sprouts are established, plant in damp soil to grow your own potatoes.
That golf ball-sized pit is a giant seed ready to grow into your very own avocado tree. Press three toothpicks into the pit along its center and suspend it in a glass with water covering the bottom half. Change the water regularly and after a few weeks stems will form. Growing this tree is a little more challenging than some other kitchen scrap projects, but is worth the effort. Check out this article for more details on growing your own avocado tree.
Plant a clove of garlic in a pot of damp soil and place it in a sunny location. As the garlic scapes (stalks) grow, cut them back to divert the plants resources to developing that glorious root. Garlic scapes are a treat in their own right and the peppery stalks can be roasted or used in pesto.
Ginger rhizomes (the “root” used for cooking) are easy growers inside the house, but take a little longer. Plant a piece of the rhizome in damp soil and place in a sunny room, but out of direct sunlight. Shoots will become evident fairly soon, but it will take several months before there has been enough growth to harvest. Once the ginger has developed sufficient growth, pull the plant from the soil for use. Don’t forget to cut off a piece to re-plant!