Frugality Gal http://frugalitygal.com Life on a Budget Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:02:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 DIY Freezer Butter Cookies http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/freezer-butter-cookies-recipe.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/freezer-butter-cookies-recipe.html#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:02:00 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2531 Freezer Cooking : Freezer Butter Cookies Recipe. Make and freeze cookie dough in advanced. Pop a few out of the freezer and bake when a sweet tooth strikes. Fresh baked cookies each time without all the work!

Homemade freezer cookie dough is a really good idea. I’m not patting myself on the back here since I didn’t invent the concept, but more so wondering why I’d never thought to do it before! Store-bought sweets can be pretty expensive! And making homemade cookies from scratch each time you want them can be a [...]

The post DIY Freezer Butter Cookies appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
Freezer Cooking : Freezer Butter Cookies Recipe. Make and freeze cookie dough in advanced. Pop a few out of the freezer and bake when a sweet tooth strikes. Fresh baked cookies each time without all the work!

Homemade freezer cookie dough is a really good idea. I’m not patting myself on the back here since I didn’t invent the concept, but more so wondering why I’d never thought to do it before!

Store-bought sweets can be pretty expensive! And making homemade cookies from scratch each time you want them can be a chore. So freezing homemade cookie dough that leads to on-demand fresh baked cookies each time solves both problems.

Even if you don’t eat sweets very often, these are a great idea for the random craving every few weeks. It’ll save you money, save you time and still be healthier than the store-bought version since you control the ingredients.

These freezer butter cookies are sweet, but not too sweet. So they’re great for dessert or to serve with coffee or tea as a weekend breakfast.

They’re also great for making guests feel special because it’ll look like you went through the effort of making them homemade cookies. But little do they know that you actually keep fresh baked cookies on tap. But hey, no harm in making someone feel special!

I do have to point out here that these are illegitimate brown butter cookies (imposters!). The right title would be DIY freezer brown sugar butter cookies recipe. But that is a freakishly long title, so I ditched a word or two. So there is no brown butter involved (sorry).

What you’ll Need:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature, cubed (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/3 cup all purpose flour, leveled
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

Using the back of a spatula, mix butter until creamy. Mix butter and sugar together until it is combined well.Beat in egg and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine salt and flour together and incorporate into the wet mixture and combine until dough forms, the dough should be “cleaning” the bowl by picking up most pieces that were stuck to the side.

Sprinkle a bit of flour lightly on countertop, transfer dough and form into a rectangular log. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for thirty minutes. The trick to getting the dough smooth and uniformly shaped is to smooth it once it’s in the plastic wrap.

If you’re a perfectionist you can push the sides of the cookie dough log against a flat surface (like a cutting board) for a more uniform shape.

Remove from freezer, cut into 1/4 inch rectangles. Place on cookie sheets and freeze for at least three hours.

If you prefer to only use one cookie sheet, you can freeze in layers, separating each layer of cookies with aluminum foil so they do not stick to one another.

Remove from freezer, transfer to freezer bag. Store for up to three months.

To Bake:

Place frozen cookies on cookie sheet, and preheat oven to 350. The cookies will thaw slightly while the oven preheats. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and the bottoms are lightly browned.

I really enjoy how inexpensive these are to make because it requires very basic ingredients that most of us are likely to have on hand.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Freezer Butter Cookies Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Makes about 4 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature, cubed (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3⅓ cup all purpose flour, leveled
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
Instructions
  1. Mix butter until creamy. Add sugar. Mix butter and sugar together until well combined. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine salt and flour and incorporate into wet mixture. Combine until dough forms. The dough should be “cleaning” the bowl by picking up bits of dough that are stuck to the sides of the bowl.
  3. Sprinkle flour lightly on counter, transfer dough and form into a rectangular log. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for thirty minutes.
  4. Remove from freezer, cut into ¼ inch rectangles. Place on cookie sheets and freeze for at least three hours.
  5. Remove from freezer, transfer to freezer bag. Store for up to three months.
  6. *** Baking Instructions*** Place frozen cookies on cookie sheet, and preheat oven to 350. The cookies will thaw slightly while the oven preheats. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and the bottoms are lightly browned.

I hope you enjoy this freezer butter cookies recipe! If you’d like, you can fancy them up a bit by…

  • Adding icing
  • Sprinkling nuts on top
  • Adding sprinkles
  • Making fun and pretty shapes.

But for the sake of keeping things fast and simple, I kept this quick and basic. Would love to hear your additions if you decide to change it up!

The post DIY Freezer Butter Cookies appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/freezer-butter-cookies-recipe.html/feed 4
Cloth Pads for Beginners: Getting Started http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/cloth-pads-for-beginners.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/cloth-pads-for-beginners.html#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:02:28 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2498 Thinking about switching to cloth pads? 10 common questions answered and tips for getting started!

Today we’re going to talk about cloth menstrual pads and answer some questions you may have if you’re considering giving them a try. I’ve been using cloth pads for a few months now, so those beginner questions are still fresh in my mind! This is somewhat of a taboo subject, so I’ll do my best to [...]

The post Cloth Pads for Beginners: Getting Started appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
Thinking about switching to cloth pads? 10 common questions answered and tips for getting started!

Today we’re going to talk about cloth menstrual pads and answer some questions you may have if you’re considering giving them a try. I’ve been using cloth pads for a few months now, so those beginner questions are still fresh in my mind!

This is somewhat of a taboo subject, so I’ll do my best to be helpful without getting too detailed or graphic.

Before anyone asks, yes, those are brand new pads that I received in the mail yesterday… so they have never been used.

Tips for Purchasing Cloth Pads for the first time:

1. Measure the pads you currently use. Grab a ruler and an unused disposable pad that fits you comfortably and measure the length. Also, consider what you don’t like about the sizing of the pads you currently wear. Are they too long? Too short? I should’ve followed my own advice on this one because the cloth pads pictured at the top of this post are larger than I thought they’d be.

2. Purchase from more than one seller. Purchasing from more than one seller ensures that you’ll get to experience more styles, and fits, of cloth pads. If you initially purchase all of your pads from one seller, and find them uncomfortable, you may decide that all cloth pads are uncomfortable simply because you’ve only had one experience with them across the board.

Answers to Common Questions

I put together a list of questions that I had as a beginner and that I’ve been asked by friends that are interested in using cloth menstrual pads. Please remember that I’m answering from personal experience, so others may have different experiences and opinions.

© Ghost / Dollar Photo Club

What’s the minimum number of cloth pads I need to get started?

Comfortably, I’d say six is the minimum. Though some say three, which is possible, but you’d have to launder them daily. I purchased six to get started and it worked for me because I only needed to toss them in the wash every other day.

Do I need anything else to get started?

Technically, no. But there are tools that may make your experience more comfortable and help keep your pads stain-free. Some of these may be:

  • Stain stick (I use a Fels Naptha bar – you can find them at most grocery stores in the laundry section)
  • Sanitary method of storing soiled pads
  • Oxyclean (off brand is fine)
  • wet bag (if you work a job outside of the home or are a student)

What about odor?

I have found them to be completely odor free.

Will the cloth pads become stained?

Short answer: maybe. Long answer: There is always a chance, but you can take certain steps to minimize staining, like using a stain stick and soaking in oxy clean. A friend that has worn cloth pads for years recommends purchasing black pads and says she never has to worry about stains (good idea!).

How uncomfortable is it to clean?

It may not be as uncomfortable an experience as you might think. Being a fairly squeamish person, I dreaded this part at first, but it didn’t make me uncomfortable or disgust me (which is a word I unfortunately see used to describe cloth pads by those that haven’t worn them). It is an adjustment, though, and not everyone may be comfortable rinsing a soiled pad.

How do you clean cloth pads?

© kitzcorner / Dollar Photo Club

Some rinse and fold after use, and place in a wet bag, bin or laundry basket until laundry day. While others soak in a container of soapy water or oxy clean, changing the water daily. Others prefer to rinse, treat with a stain stick immediately and on laundry day do a quick soak in oxy clean before washing (which is what I do).

There is no right, or wrong, method for cleaning cloth pads. It’s all about which method best fits your lifestyle and comfort level. Most cloth pad sellers will include recommended care instructions with your package.

Note: I also clean the sink with rubbing alcohol so it can resume its normal use without concern. I’m not sure if everyone else does this, but it’s a “for good measure” step that I never skip.

Do cloth pads leak?

They can, but this really depends on whether you are wearing an appropriately sized pad and whether it has the necessary absorbency for the particular stage in your cycle. I’ve found it best to wear longer, more absorbent pads at night to avoid potential leaks.

What do you do when changing a pad away from home?

Most ladies use a small wetbag which has a waterproof lining and two pockets –one pocket for clean pads, and another for the pads you’re changing out of. When changing, you simply fold and snap the pad closed and place it into the “used” pocket; while grabbing a clean pad from the other pocket. You can keep this bag in your purse. Then when you get home, treat as you normally would.

Here’s my wet bag (which I haven’t had to use yet) with clean pads in each pocket to give you a better idea.

I’ve had no personal experience with this situation, however. I work from home so the need simply hasn’t arisen. I would love for more experienced ladies to chime into the comments below with their tips and experiences.

Can I throw them in with the rest of my laundry?

If you’d like to. Some prefer to keep them separate from the rest of the laundry (like me), however, so the way you wash them is up to personal preference. But be mindful of the heat settings on your washer and dryer. Generally, cloth pads should not be treated with hot water.

When rinsing and washing, I use cold water. When drying, I use the lowest heat setting. Some prefer to air dry cloth pads, but if you don’t have many pads in your stash, this may take too long to be practical.

Are they less expensive?

There is an upfront cost involved ($8 to $13 per cloth pad, in my experience). But over the long term, it is less expensive than disposables, as cloth pads last for years.


Please feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comments below. I’ll try my best to answer, but if I can’t help hopefully someone else will chime in and answer your question.

If cloth pads aren’t for you but you’d like to move away from disposables, consider reusable menstrual cups as an alternative. I have no personal experience with this, but some women prefer them to cloth pads.

Calling all Cloth Pad Users!

If you have experience purchasing cloth pads, please leave your recommendations and the name of the shop in the comments below. I’d love to help each other out by recommending our favorite shops/providers. If we get enough recommendations, I may add them to the post.

Cloth Pad Shops:

The post Cloth Pads for Beginners: Getting Started appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/cloth-pads-for-beginners.html/feed 18
Homemade Crockpot Yogurt http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/crockpot-yogurt-recipe.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/crockpot-yogurt-recipe.html#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 11:02:36 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2481 Easy crockpot recipe : Homemade yogurt in the crockpot. An easy, hands-off method for making creamy yogurt.

I shared my experience with you the very first time I made my own crockpot yogurt in this frugal experiments post over a year ago. Since then, I’ve figured out a few tricks and changed my methods so I now have a recipe to share with you! Because it was a frugal experiment, I didn’t include my own [...]

The post Homemade Crockpot Yogurt appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
Easy crockpot recipe : Homemade yogurt in the crockpot. An easy, hands-off method for making creamy yogurt.

I shared my experience with you the very first time I made my own crockpot yogurt in this frugal experiments post over a year ago. Since then, I’ve figured out a few tricks and changed my methods so I now have a recipe to share with you!

Because it was a frugal experiment, I didn’t include my own recipe (I didn’t have one of my own just yet!). Instead, I linked to the recipe I used, which has now been taken offline.

So I figured it was about time I dedicated an entire post to my current crockpot yogurt recipe, as opposed to what I have been doing for the last few monrhs… which is just directing people to my recipe in the comments (serious blogger shame moment, right there!)

Here’s how to make your own!

Crockpot Yogurt Recipe

Homemade Crockpot Yogurt
 
Author:
Serves: 4 to 6 cups
Ingredients
  • ½ gallon whole milk
  • ⅛ cup to ¼ cup sugar (optional: omit or substitute honey)
  • Plain yogurt, single serve container (to use as yogurt starter)
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Turn crockpot on low and pour in milk. Cover with lid and let cook for two hours.
  2. After the time is up, turn crockpot off and unplug. Leave lid on and let cool for two hours.
  3. Pour yogurt starter into a small bowl. Stir in vanilla extract, sweetener of choice (optional). Ladle ½ cup of the warm milk into the bowl. Stir gently until just combined.
  4. Pour into crockpot and combine using a gentle back and forth motion with a spoon or spatula (almost as if you're cutting from side to side) to incorporate yogurt into the milk. Replace lid. Leave crockpot off and wrap with a towel (I use two towels to make sure it's well insulated). Let sit overnight, for 12 to 18 hours.
  5. Line a colander with coffee filters and place colander over large bowl to catch the whey that will drain from the yogurt. Pour yogurt into colander, and transfer colander and bowl to fridge for six hours. The yogurt will thicken as the whey drains.

If you’d like to, save the whey for other purposes, like adding into homemade smoothie packs!

This recipe makes four to six cups of yogurt, depending on the desired thickness of the yogurt and the amount of whey you allow to drain from the yogurt.

Tips from readers:

I grabbed these tips from the comment section of the original Crockpot Yogurt Frugal Experiments post, so I haven’t personally tried them, but they seem like great ideas for a thicker yogurt.

  • Add a pack of unflavored gelatin for a much thicker consistency
  • Add ½ cup of dried milk to the starter mix for a thicker yogurt

Tips from me:

  • Save ½ cup of prepared yogurt to use as the starter in your next batch.
  • If you’d like to use the yogurt for other uses such as a base for a dressing, dip or a marinade, leave out the sweeteners and vanilla. This allows you to get double the use out of your batch of yogurt! However, you will have to sweeten to taste when serving.
  • If the yogurt doesn’t thicken enough, allow it to drain longer. The more whey that is removed from the yogurt, the thicker the consistency will be.

Answers to some common questions:

  • If you can’t find plain yogurt, you can use vanilla.
  • You can use milk with a lower fat content, however, your yogurt may not be as thick.
  • You can use this recipe to make Greek style yogurt. You’ll need to use a cheesecloth instead of coffee filters when draining, and you’ll have to let it drain longer, probably overnight, which turns this into a 2-day-ish process (hence why I don’t take that route very often!)

If you have made your own crockpot yogurt, please share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

The post Homemade Crockpot Yogurt appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/crockpot-yogurt-recipe.html/feed 3
6 Frugal Things I Did Last Month http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/frugal-things-i-did-last-month.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/frugal-things-i-did-last-month.html#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 11:02:50 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2460 Frugal living principles applied to real life. Here are six frugal things I did last month.

February marks an entire year of me doing this series! Unfortunately, I missed last month’s post so there have only been 11 posts published in the series. So today I will be highlighting a couple of my favorite frugal things from both January and December. © JcJg Photography / Dollar Photo Club 1. Bought a car. [...]

The post 6 Frugal Things I Did Last Month appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
Frugal living principles applied to real life. Here are six frugal things I did last month.

February marks an entire year of me doing this series! Unfortunately, I missed last month’s post so there have only been 11 posts published in the series. So today I will be highlighting a couple of my favorite frugal things from both January and December.

© JcJg Photography / Dollar Photo Club

1. Bought a car. Okay, this was actually quite expensive. But we did get a fairly good deal on the vehicle itself, so it made the list. It’s a great, reliable car that should last us for many years to come, which is a welcomed change for us because our last car had seen better days!

2. Using cloth pads. I know some people can be turned off by the idea of reusable menstrual products, so I won’t go into too much detail. Long story short: I gave cloth pads a trial run for a few months and recently decided that it’s something I want to commit to. So I will be purchasing more in the future to add to my stash.

This did require an upfront investment (a fairly small one), but over the long term it is a money saver. I’m actually not doing this for the purpose of saving money, that is just a happy side benefit. I purchased from a few Etsy sellers.

These are my two favorite shops: Pink Lemonade Shop and Fig Leaves Pads.

3. Aluminum foil dryer balls. We ran out of dryer sheets one day while I was doing a load of laundry. So I crumpled aluminum foil into a few balls and tossed them into the dryer. They worked well, but I do like a little oomph to the scent of my laundry, so I’ll be playing around with alternative fabric softener options like wool dryer balls with a couple drops of essential oils.

4. Tried a meal planning service. I’ve tried meal planning services in the past, but haven’t liked any enough to share on the blog. I think I finally found one that I can wholeheartedly recommend! We’re trying Frugal Real Food Meal Plan which is a monthly meal plan meant for families. We jumped in late in the month and because we only have two people it’s actually lasting us longer than 30 days (which is a good thing for us). So I’ll do a full review once we’re nearing the end, but so far we are both really impressed.

5. Kitchen organization. I decided to clean out one cabinet and one thing led to another. Several hours later I had a fully organized kitchen! When I need to organize something I usually head to the dollar store, but since this was spur of the moment I just used what we had on hand to get the job done. I now have a couple of fully organized cabinets using tupperware lids and a few odds and ends. I know I can’t be the only one with orphaned lids, so I definitely recommend using them to organize because it’s free.

A little tip: save your oatmeal container lids. They’re the perfect size for corralling small spice containers together!

6. Stocking the freezer. I’ve been enjoying a more laid back approach to filling my freezer by using leftovers and doubling recipes. One of my favorite wins was making up a big batch of goulash using a two pound box of pasta (a rare sight in this house, since that is a massive amount of pasta, even for my carb-loving heart). It fed us for dinner, filled three large freezer bags, and one food storage container for lunches throughout the week! I love when we can get several freezer meals while only putting in one dinner’s worth of effort.

So those were a few frugal things I did over the last (couple of) month(s). What frugal things did you check off your list?

The post 6 Frugal Things I Did Last Month appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
http://frugalitygal.com/2015/02/frugal-things-i-did-last-month.html/feed 4
Defining Financial Security http://frugalitygal.com/2015/01/defining-financial-security.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/01/defining-financial-security.html#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:02:36 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2443 Defining Financial Security - What does it mean to you?

Lately I’ve been contemplating what financial security really means to me. What do we truly need, both over the short and long term, in order to be (and feel) financially secure? Here are a couple of the things that are on my list. © dbrus / Dollar Photo Club Savings. Having adequate living expenses tucked away [...]

The post Defining Financial Security appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
Defining Financial Security - What does it mean to you?

Lately I’ve been contemplating what financial security really means to me. What do we truly need, both over the short and long term, in order to be (and feel) financially secure? Here are a couple of the things that are on my list.

© dbrus / Dollar Photo Club

Savings.

Having adequate living expenses tucked away in savings is an important part of financial security. It would certainly offer peace of mind in long-term tough situations and open the door to exploring your options if you aren’t scraping by month to month.

Low Fixed Expenses.

If going into emergency mode is ever necessary, I think it’s important to have relatively low fixed expenses – things like rent, mortgage, car payment, etc. I often dream about having a 100% paid off home in the country where we can grow our own food. But alas, I don’t know how to garden, have an aversion to bugs (city girl, here) and being able to plunk down 100% cash for a home seems to be just a dream at this point. When we do purchase a home, however, we do intend on paying off the mortgage early.

Choice in Lifestyle.

By this I don’t mean lifestyle design, as in sitting on a beach while working. But rather, having the ability to define not only your needs, but also your wants, and having the means to act on the most important ones within reason. So if this means you want to move across the country, you can. Or if your dream is to save for a trip to Paris, it’s within reach to do so with a bit of time, planning and saving.

Job Security.

This is the one that always has me going back and forth. This may sound negative, but no matter how good you are at your job, or how secure you feel, there is always an element of risk. I’ve seen it happen to the smartest, most employable, of people. And it has also happened to us in the past, seemingly out of the blue. I think one of the keys to having a higher sense of job security is having in-demand skills and living in an area with a thriving local economy.

Multiple Streams of Income.

In my opinion, this makes the biggest difference if you are ever faced with a situation of being laid off or having a slow season in your business. If one of the income streams is lost or heavily reduced, things will be tighter than usual, but there is still a constant stream of income coming into your household. Down the road, I’d like to own rental properties, in addition to my business and my husband’s income. But that would be way (way) down the road because we are currently renters ourselves.

Most of the pieces that make up my “financial security pie” are somewhat based on scarcity (I’m an Enneagram type 5, if that helps you understand my personality a little better). Generally, I think of decreasing the odds of an unwanted, long-term financial change. So those are what I consider to be safe and practical, though they’re definitely not things that can be accomplished overnight.

I know this post was awfully chatty, but I hope you didn’t mind too much! It’s just something that’s been on my mind lately and thought it would be interesting to “compare notes” and hear what your thoughts are on this topic. So please do chime in by leaving a comment below!

The post Defining Financial Security appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
http://frugalitygal.com/2015/01/defining-financial-security.html/feed 8
DIY Frozen Vegetable Packs http://frugalitygal.com/2015/01/diy-frozen-vegetable-packs.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/01/diy-frozen-vegetable-packs.html#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:02:07 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2430 How to make your own DIY frozen vegetable packs. Great idea to save time on cooking dinner on busy weeknights!

I’m willing to put in the work to put a fresh, home-cooked dinner on the table each night. But, I prefer to take a few time-efficient shortcuts in order to make that happen. These DIY frozen vegetable packs are a simple way to shave a few minutes of hands-on work off of your dinner prep [...]

The post DIY Frozen Vegetable Packs appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
How to make your own DIY frozen vegetable packs. Great idea to save time on cooking dinner on busy weeknights!

I’m willing to put in the work to put a fresh, home-cooked dinner on the table each night. But, I prefer to take a few time-efficient shortcuts in order to make that happen. These DIY frozen vegetable packs are a simple way to shave a few minutes of hands-on work off of your dinner prep each night.


Think about it: chop once. Wash one knife. Clean one cutting board. That’s what we do every single night anyway. So why not just get it all done once and shave a few minutes of cooking time from our weeknight meals?

I admit, I feel a little silly calling frozen vegetables “homemade” since we’re literally just freezing vegetables! But I promise, if you’re short on time on weeknights, it will make preparing dinner seem like less of a chore.

Here’s how to do it:

Wash and dry vegetables. Then chop, slice or dice according to your preference. This is about creating convenience, so I just chop most vegetables, since it’s typically what my recipes call for.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. This step is super important; sometimes the vegetables will cling to the sheet for dear life, and you’ll have to scrape them off. Lining with foil allows you to gently lift and twist the foil, so those problem pieces pop off easily.

If like me, you’re working with a tiny apartment freezer, use all available containers! I used cake pans when I ran out of room for cookie sheets. They stack nicely, which works well in my small freezer.

Be sure to place the vegetables in a thin, even layer, so the pieces freeze individually, rather than in clumps (though the larger the pieces, the less of a problem this is. I didn’t fuss too much about this with the carrots and the celery, but it’s more important for the onions and peppers).

Then pop in the freezer for two to three hours.

Packaging:

I recommend working one sheet/pan at a time, while keeping the remaining sheets in the freezer. We want the vegetables to remain easily pourable (i.e. recipe-friendly), so moisture is not our friend; thawing can happen quite quickly once removed from the freezer.

Package them however you’d like! You can freeze one large freezer bag per type of vegetable, measuring on-the-spot for recipes. Or, you can pre-measure and package according to the measurements you typically use in recipes, which is what I do.

For easy packaging, here are simple measurements to take into consideration.

  • One cup chopped onion = one medium onion
  • Half cup sliced celery = one rib
  • One cup sliced carrots = two to three carrots
  • One cup chopped bell pepper = One medium pepper

Depending on how much you freeze at once, you may be chop-free for a week, two weeks or even a month. High five for efficiency!

Freezing vegetables is as simple as it gets, but sometimes it really is the simple things that make all the difference in making cooking a bit easier when you’re just not in the mood. This is a nice alternative to the recipe kits in the store, and it’s less expensive and offers more flexibility in the amount of vegetables that are included in each baggie.

The post DIY Frozen Vegetable Packs appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
http://frugalitygal.com/2015/01/diy-frozen-vegetable-packs.html/feed 21
Homemade Carpet Freshener + Other Homemade Goodies http://frugalitygal.com/2015/01/homemade-carpet-freshener-recipe.html http://frugalitygal.com/2015/01/homemade-carpet-freshener-recipe.html#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 13:02:58 +0000 http://frugalitygal.com/?p=2375 DIY Homemade Carpet Freshener recipe. Make your own natural and frugal carpet freshener for pennies! This smells GREAT, deodorizes and is useful against dust mites and fleas!

Until I made my homemade carpet freshener, I had no intentions of giving up my fresh linen scented carpet powder from the store. Those that use scented carpet powder probably understand my resistance to drop it from my cleaning kit: it’s one of the fastest ways to a great smelling home. But, the homemade version [...]

The post Homemade Carpet Freshener + Other Homemade Goodies appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
DIY Homemade Carpet Freshener recipe. Make your own natural and frugal carpet freshener for pennies! This smells GREAT, deodorizes and is useful against dust mites and fleas!

Until I made my homemade carpet freshener, I had no intentions of giving up my fresh linen scented carpet powder from the store. Those that use scented carpet powder probably understand my resistance to drop it from my cleaning kit: it’s one of the fastest ways to a great smelling home.

But, the homemade version smells just as great! And this recipe actually serves a purpose aside from just making the room smell fresh.

  • Baking soda is a natural deodorizer.
  • Essential oils smell great (but I’ve learned that tea tree oil does not!), and can have various additional benefits, depending on the specific oil you choose.
  • Borax is said to be useful against dust mites, and fleas, in addition to being a natural deodorizer.

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup borax
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 40 drops essential oil of your choice (I use lemon and/or orange)

How to Make Homemade Carpet Freshener:

Pour borax, baking soda and essential oil into a mason jar. Cover, then shake until the essential oil practically disappears.

And you’re done. It takes less time to make this than it does to pour a cup of coffee!

The amount of essential oil used, and type, is totally up to you. I like to use 20 drops orange, 20 drops lemon essential oil.

How to Use:

Sprinkle on carpet and let sit for a few minutes. Then vacuum up the powder. I’ve left it sitting for as little as five minutes when in a rush and it’s worked just fine.

You may have noticed that I have a “special” lid for this. I just grabbed it off of one of my mason jar cups and it works great for this purpose! But if you don’t have them, I’ve read that you can use a hole punch to pierce through a regular mason jar lid.

I also have another (admittedly, untested) idea that I *think* may work in a pinch… put a cupcake liner over the jar, screw on the ring, and pierce a few holes in the liner. In my mind that sounds like it would work, but I’m not totally sure. I’d love to hear your results if you try that method.

The post Homemade Carpet Freshener + Other Homemade Goodies appeared first on Frugality Gal.

]]>
http://frugalitygal.com/2015/01/homemade-carpet-freshener-recipe.html/feed 2