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Summer Cooking – Cool Meals

Thu, 5/28/2015 9:15 AM

Keep Your Cool! Cooking When It’s Hot

I wrote this a couple of years ago so there have been a few changes in my life since then but the cooking tips all still apply.

My house is no longer vibrating. Once again I have sent the “kids” to grandma’s in Colorado. I usually spend the first day just enjoying the novelty of a peaceful house. Oh, I know they don’t live with me anymore but with the phone calls and with them popping in, it keeps me busy. Of course I wouldn’t have it any other way but like any mom (even if my darlings are in their 30’s) it’s nice to have a break. I won’t be too lonely though because David (my son) lives within walking distance so I still have a few kids and grandkids around.

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I’m in the cool basement with the granddog trying to get some work done and to get a break from the heat. I got to thinking about all the questions we get this time of year from our readers about how to “cook cool”. I have spent most of my summers in hundred degree weather with no air conditioning so I had to learn quickly how to “cook cool”. I don’t have room to tell you everything I have learned today but I can give you a few hints.

Some of these things may seem like no-brainers but if you’re like me you need to be reminded of the basics sometimes.

 

First, in the morning when it’s cooler:

  • Clean a large supply of carrot sticks and celery sticks and keep them in water in the refrigerator.
  • Boil a dozen or so eggs to store.
  • Have some lettuce and grated cheese (I buy my cheese already grated because the grated cheese costs the same as the block cheese. I believe in doing a lot of things from scratch but I don’t believe in killing myself over grating cheese. Besides, no matter how careful I am I almost always grate a knuckle so I have to really psych myself up to grate cheese.)
  • Keep lunch meat or sliced meat on hand.

If you keep a few things like this on hand you can make some quick and easy meals, even on very hot and tiring days.

 

Here are some examples:

  • I would make chef salads at least twice a week in the summer. Just chop up some of your cleaned carrot and celery sticks, slice your hard boiled eggs, sliver some of you lunch meat and you have a chef salad. You can add any other vegetables you want, too.

    If everything is cleaned in advance it makes cooking in a hot kitchen so much easier and faster. Don’t forget the cheese.

  • Egg salad, tuna salad or sandwiches. You can use those hard boiled eggs to make egg salad sandwiches or add them to tuna. Serve on lettuce for a tuna salad. You can add the cleaned celery to the tuna salad, too.
  • Keep it simple. Some of the best summer meals I ate were when I went to my grandma’s in Iowa. She would slice up some tomatoes, put sliced cucumbers in salt and vinegar water and set out some cottage cheese. For an extra hearty meal, she would add some soft bread with butter and apple butter. It was delicious.

    Tawra was born in July and, after many long hard hours of labor, the first meal they brought me was a fruit platter with all kinds of fresh fruit and crackers and cheese. If you were to ask me to name the top five meals of my life, this would be one of them.

    Simple, cool and refreshing. You can do the same for your family.

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Some families have very hearty eaters (teenage boys, etc.) and if this is your situation you may have to actually cook. If you do, bring out the crock pot. There really isn’t as much mystery to using a crock pot as you think.

Crockpot Tips
  • You can cook almost anything in a crock pot.
  • The low setting on a crock pot is equal to 250 degrees in the oven and the high setting is 350 degrees. That may help you determine how long to cook your “regular” recipes in a crock pot.
  • Layer things in order of how long it takes them to cook. Things that take almost no cooking time should be added last.
  • Add things like sour cream and cheese during the very last few minutes of cooking.

 

General Tips
  • If I did need to heat up the oven, I would usually cook things at 250 degrees. It took longer but it didn’t seem to heat up the kitchen as much.
  • It is a little late this year but next year you might think about stocking your freezer in May to help get you through the first couple of months of summer.

    • Make things like roasts to have for barbecue beef sandwiches or just for a good old fashioned roast beef sandwich with mayo and lettuce.
    • You could have a couple of chickens cooked and deboned to use for chicken salad or sprinkled on salads or sandwiches. Then all you need to do is grab it out of the freezer, thaw and you are ready to go.
    • You could also stock up on a few things like muffins and banana bread that keep well in the freezer.

I couldn’t cover as much as I would have liked in this post but I hope this helps give you some ideas for the coming hot days!

      -Jill

photo by: edsel

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Categories: Business

Navajo Fry Bread Recipe

Wed, 5/27/2015 9:59 AM

Our family’s favorite! Looking for an easy and inexpensive fry bread recipe? You can make these traditional or quick fry bread by rolling out Grands biscuits.

 
 
 
 
Navajo Fry Bread Recipe

Navajo Fry Bread Recipe

4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
oil for frying

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the water and milk. Knead several times. Roll out into 5-inch circles. Make a small hole in the center with your fingers. In a skillet, fry in several inches of hot oil at 375°. Dough will puff and bubble. Turn when golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve hot for tacos or with honey. Serves 6.

Navajo Fry Bread Recipe – Quick and Easy Version

From: JO ANN G.

 I was in a rush this evening, so I thought I would use Grand biscuits, instead of making the version here. I just rolled them out with a rolling pin and put a small hole in the middle and followed the rest of the recipe. My family loves it! We also had
fried apples for dessert, and I crushed up some homemade (plain)granola bars on it. It was YUMMY!
Thank you so much for a wonderful site to explore new recipes and tips for living on a dime!

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

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Categories: Business

Easy Homemade Fudge Brownies Recipe

Tue, 5/26/2015 10:23 AM

This tasty homemade fudge brownies recipe makes delicious and easy homemade brownies you can make using ingredients you already have at home! The kids love them and we also often make them as a special “Thank you” gift when someone does something nice for us and we want to let them know how much we appreciate it!

 
 
Homemade Fudge Brownies Recipe
Homemade Fudge Brownies Recipe

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup shortening, melted
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 1/4 tsp. salt 1
cup nuts, chopped (optional)

In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Add butter and shortening. Combine flour, cocoa and salt. Stir into egg mixture and mix well. Add nuts if desired. Grease a 9×13 inch pan and pour batter into pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until brownies test done with a wooden pick. Cool in pan.

 

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

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The post Easy Homemade Fudge Brownies Recipe appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

Southern Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Sun, 5/24/2015 1:23 PM

This Southern Pecan Pound Cake Recipe has only 5 ingredients, doesn’t need frosting and is delicious! Pecans and coconut- Does it get any better than that? Try this super easy cake recipe!

From Susan

 

 
Southern Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Southern Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

1 box of butter pecan cake mix
1 can of coconut pecan frosting
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a tube pan. Stir all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into tube pan and bake for one hour.

This is so easy because the icing is baked inside the cake.

 

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Categories: Business

10 Steps To A Cleaner House, part 1

Sun, 5/24/2015 12:03 PM
10 Steps To A Cleaner House: Preventing Messes

There really is some truth in the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We may say that all the time but do we really know what it means and even more importantly — do we practice it?

 
10 Steps To A Cleaner House - How To Clean House And Prevent Messes
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There are so many times in our daily living if we would take one or two extra minutes to prevent or fix a problem, no matter how big a hurry we are in, it will save 30 minutes or more dealing with that same problem at a later time.

Little things like wiping that sticky spill you make on the counter immediately with a rag instead of waiting until later when you have to chisel off the mess can make your life so much easier.

Try these suggestions for preventing headaches later. They may sound like common sense, but it’s amazingly easy to throw them all out the window when we’re “busy”. These all may seem like little things, but they add up over the course of a day. Staying ahead of things can keep your home looking neater and make your whole day run smoother, saving you time and energy.

  1. Use a spoon rest. Even a small saucer or dish works. Its is easier to wash one dish than to try and scrape 5 or more spots on the stove or counter where you kept laying the spoon.
  2. Make and cut sandwiches on the plate you are going to eat them off of to prevent messes on the counter (or cut bread on a bread board instead of the counter).
  3. Rinse dirty dishes right away. I couldn’t figure out why I see so many people fill their sinks full of hot soapy water and vigorously scrub them before putting them in the dishwasher. Then it dawned on me that since they aren’t rinsing them immediately after using them they have to scrub them before putting them in the dishwasher. Why even bother with a dishwasher then?
  4. Empty the trash before it is too full. Too many of us wait until the trash is stuffed and overflowing. Then you put something in the trash and it won’t fit, so you stuff it in there. If someone less patient or less responsible throws something in the trash and it falls on the floor, they leave it. It’s not their problem. Soon you have trash piled everywhere.

    Then along comes the “trash emptier person” (That’s a new term I made up — like it? ;-) trying to step around trash to get close enough to the trash can to empty it. This person then proceeds to stuff, push, pull and stretch until everything is squeezed into the one bag to avoid making two trips. What happens next? Of course the bag splits open or gets dumped in the process of stuffing it. This happens all the time. I know because if it didn’t they wouldn’t have invented “Hefty, Hefty, Hefty.” If you’re a “stuffer” you’ve probably experienced this personally.

    How much easier would it have been to take a moment to take it out before it was overflowing? Most of us have done this because when we don’t want to mess with it we convince ourselves that it is easier than having to make an extra trip to the trash can, but it isn’t.

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  1. Eat only in the kitchen or dining room. Don’t allow family members to drag food all over the house. I don’t think we realize how much of a mess we make when we eat all over the house. Besides the crumbs and spills, eating away from the table usually means that people leave empty wrappers, cans and containers all over. And don’t forget about the sticky rings and spots all over the furniture.

    I like to eat while watching TV. We all do. That’s OK, but try to keep it under control. Have the kids eat their after school snacks at the table or if you want to let them watch TV, then put a small table in the family room where they can eat their snacks.

    Make sure that all extra messy and crumbly items (like crackers) are eaten at the table. Leave the less messy things for the family room or bedroom.

You may find that it doesn’t work well for you to use all of these specific examples. The point is to try and think of something different you can do that will work for you. Every little thing that you can do to make your home function better will make your life easier.

      -Jill

For more easy cleaning tips to make your life easier, check out our Keeping It Clean e-books.

Read Part 2 of “10 Steps To A Cleaner House: Preventing Messes” here.

Photo By: John Rees

The post 10 Steps To A Cleaner House, part 1 appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

Should You Move Your Stuff Or Sell It?

Sat, 5/23/2015 6:13 AM
Should You Move Your Stuff Or Sell It?

Hi there,

I just thought you might be interested to know  that eBay Classifieds did an infographic called “Is moving your stuff worth it?”

Basically, it says that you could save money when you have to move by selling your things on eBay Classifieds, then buying similar stuff once you’ve moved to your new place. It also shows the carbon impact of moving a house-full of stuff across the country.

Anyway, I thought you might like it. Thanks,

      -Melissa

 

 
Should You Move Your Stuff Or Sell It?
 

Its funny that you sent me this article. The truth is, I sell almost everything, as far as furniture goes, when I move. I sell all the bed frames, dressers, kitchen table and chairs, entertainment center, computer desks, cabinets everything. The only things I move are our mattresses, and my family heirloom antiques that I love.

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I’ve moved the antique heirlooms from one end of the country to the other for the last 13 moves. I figure if my poor husband and brother are going to have to lug around those heavy antiques then I need to make the rest as easy as possible.

Also, I like to get new stuff. I have bought all of our furniture from garage sales (except our current couch and our bed) and I usually sell them for the price I bought them for or more. I don’t feel any guilt at all in re-selling it,  and then buying furniture that’s new to me. 

This move will be even better because the garage sale season will just be starting in Colorado when we get there! :-)

Even though we’ll be getting rid of most everything we are still going to need a huge U-haul. The items I am taking are large and heavy– An 1800’s roll top desk, my parents’ player piano (they used to manufacture parts for player pianos), an old oak table, a secretary, a Victrola, and all my gardening stuff (which is the most important of course!).

Yes, it is mildly a pain to have six people eating off of a card table until I find the “right” kitchen table and chairs or sitting on the floor to watch TV until I find a couch but it’s usually for not more than a month.

As for carbon footprint, that’s not a consideration for me since I don’t believe in that stuff. For me it’s all financial and I just want a new look in a new house, again. Besides, I bought mostly used each time.

In case you’re wondering, we are estimating that this move will cost us around $1500-$2000. 

-Tawra

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One thing I have found in my moves is, more often than not, the furniture that fits perfectly in the house I have now and suits my needs now doesn’t fit quit right in my next house.

This is especially true because my house style changes from one move to the next. The things I had in my 1917 era 2500 square foot house didn’t work or look right in my 750 square foot one room log cabin and now nothing I have works at all in my 1950’s track house.

There are other considerations, too. The house I am in now has just two four by two foot closets in the whole house– no other closets or linen closets so I need lots of shelves and free standing cabinets. My next house may have a couple of walk in closets and lots of storage.

      -Jill

 

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Categories: Business

Homemade Chocolate Mint Cookies Recipe

Fri, 5/22/2015 12:56 PM
Homemade Chocolate Mint Cookies Recipe
Homemade Chocolate Mint Cookies Recipe

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 egg
1/4 tsp. peppermint
1/2 cup sour milk (you can put a tablespoon of vinegar into sweet milk to make it sour)
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix in order. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes.

Frosting/Drizzle:

Frosting: Use Butter Cream Frosting made from scratch or canned. Add 1/4 tsp. peppermint and a couple of drops of green food coloring. Frost the cookies.

Drizzle: Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 tsp. shortening in microwave and drizzle over frosted cookies.

For more easy recipes like this chocolate mint cookies recipe, check out our Dining On A Dime Cookbook!

 

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Categories: Business

How to Hang Clothes On A Clothesline – The RIGHT Way!

Fri, 5/22/2015 11:22 AM
Hanging clothes on a clothesline reduces wear and tear on clothes and gives them a wonderful fresh smell. This technique makes it easy!

 
How to Hang Clothes On A Clothesline - The RIGHT Way!

 

How to Hang Clothes on a Clothesline

You can watch our video demonstration about How to Hang Clothes On a Clothesline here.

Many people want to learn to hang clothes on a clothesline whether they want to save money, save the environment or just because line drying clothes makes them smell so nice. What many of us don’t realize is how much line drying will save in wear and tear on clothing. Unfortunately, after the first attempt or two at hanging clothes on a clothesline, many people get frustrated and quit.

It seems like hanging clothes on the clothesline should be a simple thing. How hard can it be to stick a clothespin on the fabric and put it on a line? Alas, as many of us have found out, if you don’t follow certain guidelines the results are stiff and wrinkled clothes.

Like so many other homemaking skills, there is an art to hanging clothes on a clothesline. It takes practice to get it right so don’t give up if it seems difficult the first time around. With practice, you will be able to hang an average load of laundry in about five minutes and take them down in about the same amount of time, keeping them as wrinkle free and soft as if you dried them in the dryer, so keep at it.

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Here are a few things you will need to know before you start:

I do these things to keep my laundry items “dryer” soft. You can do one or all of these if you want.

  1. If I have a dryer, I always fluff my clothes in the dryer for about five minutes before I hang them on the clothesline. This uses almost no electricity and it makes the clothes just as soft as if you had run them through the full cycle in the dryer.

    When I don’t have a dryer, I try to hang my clothes on a windy day. It has the same effect as a drying in a dryer. In Kansas, that can be almost every day but, for those of you who live where a five mile per hour breeze is considered a gale force wind, don’t despair. There are other things you can do. : )

  2. Just before I hang each piece of clothing on the clothesline, I give it a sharp snap or shake. For shirts or some pant legs, I hold them from the bottom when I snap them. This won’t take as long as you think. I just give the item a snap as I am going from the laundry basket to the clothesline, so I’m ready to hang it when I get up to the line. You don’t need to do this with everything, like socks or underwear. Generally, you only need to snap things that you don’t want wrinkled or things that you want soft like towels.

  3. I always use fabric softener, but you could also use vinegar.

  4. Fading: Here in Kansas, the humidity is high enough that the sky is hazy and diffuses the sun’s rays slightly so I don’t have much of a problem with sun fading. When we lived in the Pacific Northwest, fading was a real problem. If you find that to be the case where you live, just turn dark items like jeans or t-shirts inside out.

    It also helps slow the fading to bring clothes in from the clothesline as soon as they are dry. Conversely, I leave my whites out as long as I can because it bleaches and brightens them.

  5. You will need clothespins and a clothespin bag or apron. You can get clothespins and bags at Walmart or at dollar stores. They are usually sold with things like ironing board covers. I prefer a clothespin apron. I made my own clothespin apron so it would perfectly suit my needs. It is about ten inches long with just two large pockets on the front to store the clothespins. It ties around my waist like an apron. Regardless which you prefer, either a bag or apron is just fine.

Clothespin Bag

Before You Start

Properly hanging clothes on a clothesline starts before you even leave the house. I know it may seem like I’m being a little too much like Martha Stewart in some of the next few tips I’ll be sharing but there is a method to my madness. Most of these things not only make hanging the clothes go faster but they also help speed up the process when I bring the clothes in, fold them and put them away.

If you are brand new to hanging clothes on a clothesline, don’t feel like you have to do all of these things at once. You may want to start by just practicing hanging things the way I will show you in part two of this post. After you get some experience hanging clothes on a clothesline, you may want to try these tips in order to speed things along.

Before I put the clothes in the laundry basket to take them outside, I quickly sort them on top of the washer or dryer. This doesn’t need to be done perfectly and it will get easier the more you do it. First, I pull out the big items like the sheets or tablecloths. I fold the sheets in half and gently lay them in the basket. Then, when I am ready to hang a sheet, I just pick it up out of the basket by its four corners and quickly hang it, since it is already folded and ready to go.

Then I prepare the pants or jeans. I fold the legs with the seams together and then I fold them in half and lay them on top of the sheets. This will make more sense when you see how I hang them.

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Next, if there are any large towels, I pull them out and lay them in the basket.

Then I lay separate piles of like items on the washer or dryer- One pile of tee shirts all together, one of shirts together, another with hand towels together and so on. Then, I stack them into the basket with the largest items first, working my way up to the smallest items. You will understand more about why I do this when I explain about wind direction in part 2 of this post.

I lay the wash rags, dishrags and underwear in a flat pile with the corners together, like you would lay a stack of papers. I do this because then I can pick up the whole pile or half of the pile if it is very large it is and take it to the clothesline. Because the corners are together I can pin one corner after the other very quickly without having to go back and forth to the basket each time to get another pair of panties and I don’t have to stop to straighten each one. These smaller items go into the basket next.

Lastly, I organize the socks. I straighten out the socks and flatten them, laying them one on top of the other with the toes together. Again, I can pick up a stack of socks and quickly go along the line hanging them without having to return to the basket each time.

In part 2 of this post tomorrow, I will include pictures and explain how to hang clothes on a clothesline, including how to handle each of the different items.

      -Jill

Here is my video demonstration of how to hang clothes on a clothesline:

 

For more helpful tips to make organizing, cleaning and laundry easier, take a look at our Keeping It Clean e-books.

 

Here is a favorite poem of mine. I hope you enjoy it!

The Clothesline Said So Much
Author Unknown

A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the fancy sheets
And towels on the line;
You’d see the company table clothes
With intricate design.

The line announced a baby’s birth
To folks who lived inside
As brand new infant clothes were hung
So carefully with pride.

The ages of the children could
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed
You’d know how much they’d grown.

It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.

It said, “Gone on vacation now”
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged
With not an inch to spare.

New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy gray,
As neighbors raised their brows,
And looked disgustedly away.

But clotheslines now are of the past
For dryers make work less.
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybody’s guess.

I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign
When neighbors knew each other best
By what hung on the line!

 

 

For more helpful tips to make organizing, cleaning and laundry easier, take a look at our Keeping It Clean e-books.

 

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Categories: Business

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe and Hot Fudge

Thu, 5/21/2015 5:31 PM

This Easy Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe makes the perfect treat on hot summer days! You’ll also find tips for great add-ons and hot fudge sauce recipes!

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe and Hot Fudge Recipes
Easy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

We still have a lot of summer left and what could taste better then homemade vanilla ice cream? It’s fun for the kids to make and it’s great to serve at a barbecue, when company comes for dinner or just because you want to! Homemade ice cream is so easy to make and it’s something different from the typical snack.

Homemade Ice Cream Tips:
  • When possible, mix the ingredients ahead of time and chill in the fridge. You don’t have to do this but it does seem to speed things up a little.
  • You can add any variety of extras to this basic vanilla ice cream recipe, like: Puree peaches or strawberries, chocolate chips, cherries, Andes mint chips, peanut butter chips, etc. I prefer to make plain vanilla ice cream and let everyone add his or her own things to it.
  • You don’t have to be afraid to modify this recipe. You can freely adjust it to what you prefer. For example, you can replace part of the milk with extra half and half or use a container of heavy cream. The more cream you use, the creamier the homemade ice cream will be. This recipe is a pretty good balance of tasty but not too rich and it is less expensive than using a huge amount of cream. I recommend trying the recipe as it’s written and then, if you’d like to adjust it, do that the net time you make it.
  • I like to add the Dream Whip because it gives the homemade vanilla ice cream a different kind of smooth and creamy texture. If you can’t find it, the ice cream is still delicious without it. You can usually find Dream Whip at the store where they have the things like no bake cheesecakes and puddings.
  • If you have a 2 quart ice cream maker, divide all the ingredients by 3 and that will make just the amount you need. These measurements don’t have to be exact. For example, to make things easier, you can use 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 can of evaporated milk  for a 2 quart ice cream maker or use half and half in place of all or part of the milks.
  • Never fill the ice cream can all the way full. You need some open space for the whipping action and to allow room for the ice cream to whip up fully.
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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

6 eggs (or egg substitute)
3 cup sugar
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
2-3 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. Dream Whip (optional)
Milk

Beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients except for milk and mix well. Pour into ice cream can and add enough milk to bring the mixture 2/3 of the way up the can. Proceed according to your ice cream maker instructions. Makes 6 quarts.

This first hot fudge recipe is from our Dining on a Dime Cookbook.

 

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe
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Hot Fudge Sauce I

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup margarine or butter
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients except vanilla into a saucepan. Heat to a rolling boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 3 cups.

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Easy Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe
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Hot Fudge Sauce II

2 (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate squares
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup evaporated milk*

Melt chocolate and margarine in a saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it cook for just a bit until thickened. Remove from heat, let cool and stir again in about 10 minutes. Store in the refrigerator.

*If you want to use the whole can of evaporated milk (12 oz.), just double all the other ingredients and use the whole can. This will make about 1 qt. and can be stored in fridge.

 

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

The post Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe and Hot Fudge appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

Using Leftover Cookies

Thu, 5/21/2015 10:00 AM
Using Leftover Cookies
Using Leftover Cookies

I was looking at pie crust in my Betty Crocker cookbook and I found cookie crust. I had one of those aha moments… This would be a perfect way to use hard or overcooked cookies! From: DD

Good idea. I recently had a similar aha moment for cookies too. I have several “rejects” of my gingerbread men. They taste fine– They’re just missing a head or a leg so I can’t use them for gifts. I think I am going to use them to top my apple crisps. I will crush them, add some melted margarine or butter and sprinkle on top of my apple crisp instead of its usual topping. I thought all the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in the cookies would be really yummy on top of an apple or peach crisp.

You can also replace the graham crackers with cookies in any graham cracker crust recipe.

       -Jill

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Categories: Business

Easy Homemade Popsicles Recipe!

Wed, 5/20/2015 12:34 PM
Easy Homemade Popsicles Recipe
Easy Homemade Popsicle Ideas And Recipes

Easy homemade popsicles are a great summer treat! These tasty popsicle ideas and recipes are quick, easy and healthy and are sure to satisfy your kids!

Remember when you used to sit on your front steps on a hot summer day eating a popsicle? It was usually red or purple and on special occasions you got a fudgesicle. Remember how you tried to lick the drips faster than the sun could melt them? Sometimes the drips would roll down your fingers, forcing you to make the mind numbing decision whether to lick your fingers or the new drips forming on your popsicle.

Every once in a while a few drips would get out of control and fall on your bare toes. Remember how your dog’s tongue felt like sandpaper when he licked the sweet gooeyness off of them?

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It’s funny how we try to make drama and expensive memories for our children when it’s the simple everyday things we remember the most.

Try some of these ideas for easy homemade popsicles to keep the kids entertained this summer:

To find popsicle molds, look at discount and mail order stores or garage sales. If you don’t have any molds, use small paper or plastic cups. Put a wooden stick or plastic spoon in the center.

For mini homemade popsicles, pour orange, apple or grape juice or flavored drink mix into ice cube trays. Partially freeze and then place toothpicks in the center of each cube (or place plastic wrap over the top, secure and insert toothpicks through plastic wrap).

Making your own homemade popsicles can give great variety and keep your kids cool this summer!

For non-traditional homemade popsicles:
  • Freeze applesauce in popsicle molds.
  • Mix fruit or jam into yogurt. Freeze in small, snack sized Ziploc bags for frozen yogurt on the go. Cut a hole in the end of the bag for easy access/eating.
  • Mix gelatin and freeze. Add gummie fish or worms before freezing for added fun.
  • Freeze syrup from canned fruit.
  • Add food coloring or sprinkles to yogurt or softened ice cream for added pizzazz. Then freeze in popsicle molds.
  • When you have leftover jam or jelly, put 1/4 cup of hot water in the jar and shake well. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
  • If jelly or jam doesn’t set up well, use for popsicles or add more water, boil and make syrup.
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  • Make a batch of pudding. Add coconut, nuts, marshmallows, crushed cookies or sprinkles if desired. Pour into molds. Freeze several hours until firm.
  • Stick a toothpick in the center of blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or sliced bananas. Dip in chocolate if desired. Freeze on a tray. Once frozen, store in freezer bags.
  • For easy snow cones, freeze orange juice (or any other flavored juice) in ice cube trays. Store frozen juice cubes in a plastic bag. Blend 5 cubes in the blender until they have a shaved ice consistency. The shaved ice will keep its consistency if kept frozen in a container.
  • For watermelon homemade popsicles, blend one cup each watermelon chunks (seeds removed), orange juice and water. Blend well. Then pour and freeze into molds.
  • For strawberry homemade popsicles, blend 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup vanilla ice cream or yogurt, 4 cups orange juice and 2 tablespoons sugar. Blend smooth. Pour into molds and freeze.
  • For banana homemade popsicles, dissolve one 3 oz. package strawberry gelatin with one cup boiling water. In a blender, mix gelatin, 1 banana and 1 cup yogurt or ice cream. Blend well and pour into molds.

 

Pudding Pops

1 pkg. pudding (not instant*)
3 cups milk

Combine 1 large package of pudding with 3 cups of milk. Mix only enough to blend well. Quickly pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Chocolate and vanilla pudding may be layered for a fun treat. Makes 8-10 popsicles.

*Regular homemade pudding may be used instead of store-bought pudding mix.

Find More Homemade Popsicle Ideas Here!

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

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Categories: Business

Budget Tips For Married Couples

Wed, 5/20/2015 10:09 AM

Do you and your spouse struggle with making a budget you can keep? These budget tips for married couples help you understand why you tend to spend the way you do and how to work together to make a family budget that works for you!

Budget Advice For Married Couples - How To Work Together With Your Spouse About Money
Budget Tips For Married Couples – How To Work Together With Your Spouse About Money

One question that our readers ask most frequently is, “How do I get my husband/wife to spend less?” Money is often one of the main causes of fights between spouses, especially when one spends too much or when one refuses to spend anything. Money isn’t really the problem. It’s a symptom of a deeper problem. The problem can be rooted in a variety of issues including being raised differently, being taught differently about money, issues of control or lack of control, varying amounts of self confidence, anger and so on.

Here are some examples of just one of these issues – being raised differently and taught differently about money.

One new wife thought she was being so frugal and careful when buying her family’s groceries. Even though they weren’t in financial trouble she was naturally very careful. After a few weeks, her husband started getting more quiet with each meal and she didn’t know what was upsetting him.

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One night her husband got angry and said, “Are we in serious trouble with our finances?” Not knowing what was wrong, his wife said, “No, we are doing fine. Why?” Then her husband said, “Well we haven’t had steak for weeks!” After much talking, she discovered that in his home growing up if they had steak once in a while it meant all was well and if not then things were really bad. He assumed they were having a rough time financially but she thought she was doing so well by saving money. The solution? She just started serving steak once in a while and the problem was solved.

One family member of mine who had very little money growing up swore when she left home she was going to have lots of money and buy whatever she wanted. She did, too. She became a shopaholic. I had no more money growing up than she did but I turned out completely different from her. She came from a very bad home life so her outlook was completely different. Lack of money in her home really wasn’t the problem. It was lack of love. When she got older she tried to fill her void with the wrong things, which constantly failed to satisfy her. In my family we had plenty of love and, even though we had little money, we had enough of what we really needed.

When a person spends recklessly or becomes obsessive about money, it is a symptom of deeper problems that go beyond the money. It takes a lot of thought and talking things through in a loving manner to identify the real problem.

Usually one spouse or the other is better at handling money and the bills but a couple should sit down together and go through bills and finances so they both understand their financial condition. Then they both can see, in writing, what money is coming in and where it is going out. This way no one feels like one spouse or the other has more control and it eliminates many unpleasant emotions.

The question people ask is really not so much, “How can I get my husband or wife not to spend?” but, “How do I change them?” You don’t. Part of the wedding vows is “for better or worse” and that doesn’t just mean better or worse circumstances. It also includes disagreements between spouses. I remember one night my husband and I had a really bad fight about money. He was out of work, we had no food left and I wanted him to sell some of our antique furniture to get some money. He said no, we couldn’t just start selling the furniture. It was one of the rare times we went to bed mad. I lay for hours fuming, clinging to my side of the bed (you how we do, ladies) and praying God would show my husband that we needed to sell our stuff.

After several hours dwelling on my anger, I heard a soft voice say, “Instead of praying for me to make your husband do it your way, how about praying that your husband will have the wisdom to see what I want him to do to solve the problem.” Whoa. Did I deserve that! I asked forgiveness and changed my prayers really fast. The next morning my husband woke up, turned to me and said, “You know, I thought of a couple of ideas in the night that I think might help us get some money.” He had three ideas that we had not even thought about before and they were really good ideas.

This may not be the way God intends to solve everyone’s problem but it is a solution that we often forget to consider– Men praying for God’s help and wisdom or women praying that their husbands will see God’s wisdom in tough situations.

No one can really change another person. You can only change yourself so your battle is learning to relax and understand that fact and learning to work with your spouse.

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It never ceases to amaze me how often serious problems and fights occur because spouses just don’t understand each other. Here are some things to talk about and to ask each other. Before I share them, you need to know that if your spouse is the kind of person that refuses to talk, listen or be willing to work with you to improve your relationship, you have more serious problems than how to spend your money. If that is the case, you really need to get help for your marriage in general.

If your marriage is generally healthy (not perfect), here are a few budget tips to help you get started:

  1. Work on the finances and bills together. You can agree that one of you will pay bills or balance the checkbook but regardless who handles the details, both of you need to look at what is going on together. It’s part of a healthy relationship, but also if something should ever happen to either one of you – death, divorce, or serious illness – you won’t have the added burden of trying to figure out what’s going on with the bills or how to handle them.

  2. Take time to do this. Sitting together and paying bills is one of those things that’s easy to put off but don’t. You’ll find that after a while it will take less time to deal with things and, if you prefer, you can take turns at it. The important thing is that you are both in the loop.

  3. Before you do anything, sit down and air out feelings and issues. Choose a time when stomachs are full. (Men seem so much more mellow when they have just eaten a good home cooked meal and have full tummies. I don’t know why but that’s one thing that hasn’t changed in centuries.) Choose a time when everyone is relaxed and rested and you will not have many interruptions.

  4. Questions to ask. Here are some things to ask each other and to consider together. Get some paper and pencils. It may be easier for some people to write down the answers. Couples who are planning to get married need to to ask each other these questions before they get married to reduce friction in the marriage.

    No matter what they say, don’t ever laugh or make fun of your spouse or dismiss your spouse’s answers or what they or their parents believed. There are no right or wrong answers. These are just questions to help you learn to understand and to get an idea why the other person does things and acts the way they do.

    • What is your family history? What are some things you remember your family taught and believed about money growing up that has stuck in your mind and that you remember?

      Did your family have savings?

      Was mom or dad a spender? Did mom shop and hide things from your dad or visa versa?

      Was money used in place of love and being there for the family?

      Was money not considered that important compared to relationships?

    • What are your money fears?

      Did dad have a hard time keeping a job and your parents were always afraid they wouldn’t have enough?

      Did mom worry because you couldn’t keep up with the Joneses?

      Did your parents not ever allow you to have anything because they were afraid of spoiling you, not having enough or were just plain tight and selfish with their money and you are afraid you might be like them, so you spend?

      Are you always afraid you won’t have enough money because of illness, death or natural causes?

    • What did your family spend their money on?

      Big houses, education, “things”, savings, eating out, fun stuff

    • What did your parents fight about?

    • Did you feel rich or poor when you were growing up?

    • What fun things did you spend money on?

      Did your family buy a boat so they could spend time on the lake camping or did they like nice hotels in a city where they could go sightseeing? Did they like eating out all the time or did they spend their money on a new kitchen so they could all cook together? Maybe you weren’t allowed to spend any money on fun things.

    • What do you personally like to spend money on?

      If you had $10,000 to spend any way you wanted, what would you spend it on?

  5. Define Your Values

    What things are important to you? Insurance, new car, nice house, tithing, charity, paying off debt.

  6. Set Goals and Budgets

    Does one of you think it is important to have a high paying job, working long hours and making good money where the other thinks living in the country with a little money and spending time together is most important?

Now you need to take all your information and do a lot of compromising. Maybe a new car is very important to one of you and children’s education is important to the other. Try to come up with a plan that will work for both of you. Maybe the husband would be willing to get a car that is only 1-2 years old instead of brand new and take the money you saved and put it towards the children’s education. Look at your options and be willing to give and take.

The main thing is to be loving and to open mindedly talk and talk some more with each other. Instead of demanding your rights and wants, put the other person first. It is amazing what can happen in all areas of marriage if both parties are always trying to fulfill their spouses needs and wants. Remember, it’s not about what you think they want or need but what they really want or need. You are a team and you should always work together going in the same direction, trying to do what is best and what helps the whole team the most rather than each person focusing only on his own wants. If you can get to that point, it will really strengthen your marriage.

 

If you often wonder where all of your money goes or if you need a more frugal mindset, check out Dig out Of Debt and learn more about how to keep more of your money.

 

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Categories: Business

15 Cooking Tips That Save Time And Money

Tue, 5/19/2015 10:30 AM
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can make your life easy with saving time and money! Here are a few of our favorite tips! 

 
15 Cooking Tips That Save Time And Money

15 Cooking Tips That Save Time And Money

  • If you often use powdered milk in your baking, keep a small container of it at your baking center.
  • Make an all in one salt and pepper shaker: Place 1 part pepper to 6 parts salt in a old spice jar or salt shaker.
  • Add some honey and apricot preserves to your regular barbecue sauce and brush on your meat for a delicious change.
  • If you have leftover baked potatoes, make hash browns with them by cubing or grating them. Then fry in bacon grease or oil.
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  • To make a quick vegetable soup, use a can of vegetable juice for the base and then add the vegetables and other ingredients. For chili, use a can of tomato juice for your base.
  • If you are like us, you probably end up with lots of little dabs of leftovers after you make tacos. To make good use of these, make a taco pie the next day:
  • Taco Pie
  • Use 1 can of refrigerator biscuits or crescent rolls and press it into a 9 inch pie pan. You can also use a square pan, a pizza pan or, if you have a lot of leftovers, use a 15x10x1 inch pan with 2 cans of biscuits. Sprinkle with leftover seasoned taco meat and bake until golden brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake long enough to melt the cheese. Serve with lettuce, tomato or any of your other leftover fixings.
  • Add a half cup of sour cream to your banana pudding (the large box) after it has been mixed for a different twist.
  • Start using your kitchen shears. Cut green onions, chives and all kinds of herbs with them. Cut chicken breasts into strips and cut thin cuts of beef into cubes for stew. Next time you cut anything with a knife think, “Can I cut this faster with my shears?” and then try it.
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  • If you need to cut boneless, skinless chicken, it cuts easier if it is slightly frozen.
  • If you burn yourself on a regular basis while cooking, keep a bottle of aloe or burn ointment in the kitchen. If you have limited space in your bathroom, think about keeping your first aid supplies in the kitchen (things like band aids, ointments, tweezers, etc.). Most of the time when someone gets hurt, mom is in the kitchen or someplace other than the bathroom, so it is handier to have first aid supplies close.
  • Note:Be sure that you keep medications where they won’t fall in the sink if you knock them over.
  • To make clean up easier, always spray or grease your crockpot with oil.
  • Use crockpots for things like hot bean or cheese dips.

For more money saving cooking tips like these along with hundreds of delicious quick and easy recipes, check out our Dining On A Dime Cookbook!

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Categories: Business

3 Ingredient Cheese Ball Recipe – David’s Favorite Cheese Dip

Mon, 5/18/2015 11:04 AM

This 3 Ingredient Easy Cheese Ball Recipe makes a tasty cheese dip and is our family’s favorite dip for the holidays! This is a Christmas favorite of my son’s but it can be served at New Year’s or any time you want a quick and easy dip.

3 Ingredient Easy Cheese Ball Recipe

 

3 Ingredient Cheese Ball Recipe – David’s Favorite Cheese Dip

1 jar Kraft Old English cheese spread
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup nuts, chopped

Mix ingredients. Roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap. Most of the time we just mix it and serve in a bowl without wrapping it. Serve with chips.

 

We leave the nuts out because no one around here but mom, my sister in law and I would eat it.

      -Tawra

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Categories: Business

Homemade Shampoo Recipe

Sat, 5/16/2015 4:02 AM
  Homemade Shampoo

This homemade shampoo recipe is a little different, but my experience with it has been very good. Before I share the actual recipe, here are some details about how and why it works and what to expect if you decide to try it.  This is our most popular post who knew a post on shampoo and bath and beauty would be so popular, I hope you give it a try! If you want more homemade bath and beauty product recipes be sure to check out our chapter Pretty for Pennies in our cookbook

 

 
Homemade Shampoo Recipe
Homemade Shampoo

Years ago, I mentioned in a post about how I had a great aunt who was about 90 years old and had never shampooed her hair and everyone was horrified at such a thought. Even when I mentioned that I only wash my hair twice a week they thought that was awful.

This homemade shampoo recipe is a little different, but my experience with it has been very good. Before I share the actual recipe, here are some details about how and why it works and what to expect if you decide to try it.

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The latest new buzz phrase is “poo less hair”. The people that talk about a homemade shampoo recipe and think they have invented a new thing. They have “discovered” what my aunt knew almost 100 years ago – You don’t need to use shampoo or soap to clean your hair.

Actually I have thought about trying it myself for quite a while and I’m not sure why I didn’t just jump in and do it a long time ago. But I finally did and I love it.

No more shampoo or conditioner for me. I have been using homemade shampoo for a couple of years and still can’t get over how great my hair looks.

Now I can hear some of you saying, “No way. I have oily hair and have to wash it every day and need the shampoo to get rid of the oil.” Please read on and consider what I am explaining.

I have very oily, fine, limp long hair. At times I have to deal with fuzzing and all kinds of weird things. To comb my hair out is a pain because of tangles. That is why I am so in awe.

 

How it Works

It works on the principle that the more oil is stripped from your hair the more oil your body will produce to replace it. It is a cycle. It works something like nursing a baby. The more you nurse the more milk you produce and when you stop all your milk goes away.

We have gotten into a shampooing frenzy, shampooing our hair every day to clean it, so we have started an awful “not good for our scalp” cycle with our bodies. Most shampoos are really bad about stripping the oils out of your hair, causing your body to produce more.

Guess what the number one selling hair product is on QVC (or home shopping network)? Wen. It is a “no shampoo” treatment for your hair. The price? Almost $35 for 16 oz. (about 2 cups) and for long hair you have to use 48 pumps of it. Do you know how expensive that is?

The homemade shampoo recipe I’ll share below does the same thing at a cost of about 3 cents for the same amount and you use significantly less of it.

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What’s The Worst that can Happen?

I asked myself, “Why did I put this off so long? What is the worst that can happen?” I might have oily hair for a week or so and have to wear my hair in a pony tail. It won’t cost me a thing.

 

What do I have to Gain?

I will have healthier hair and save, in some cases, lots of money on shampoo, conditioner and hair products for the whole family. I am finding that I don’t have to use any products like mousse or gel because my hair is holding its curl better. This means I will save by not having to use or buy other products and I’ll also save time. Usually, within an hour, my hair would have lost all it’s curl and if I was going someplace later I would have to curl it again, damaging my hair more.

 

I Did It.

I jumped in and did it. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t do it years ago. Some people say their hair needed a 2-6 week adjustment period but I didn’t need one, even with my oily hair. The first time I didn’t use shampoo my hair looked even better than before. It combed out more easily with almost no tangles at all and it looked unbelievable. As I said, an added side bonus I hadn’t expected is that it keeps the curl and style better than it did before, so I don’t have to mess with it as much.

I am also going a little longer in between washing it and this is only after two weeks of doing this. I can’t wait to see what it will be like after a couple of months. This has been one of those things that has changed my life. I know that it may sound silly but you know how having a bad hair day makes us ladies feel. I don’t think I can ever have a bad hair day again!

 

What Do You Do?

There are different ways of doing this but I like to keep things simple so this is what I do. I also brush my hair before I start.

Homemade Shampoo Recipe
  1. Mix 1 Tbsp. baking soda with 8 oz. hot water and stir or shake until well dissolved. You can use a funnel and put this in a container like a squirt bottle.
  2. Mix 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar in 8 oz. water. Again mix and store in a squirt bottle.

Essentially, you just replace the baking soda mix for shampoo and vinegar for conditioner. Wet hair well, rub in some of the baking soda and mix into your scalp well. Rinse. Then squirt it with the vinegar mix, rub it in and rinse.

I have long hair and the 8 oz. lasted me about 4-5 washings. If you use the same proportions, you can mix a larger amount and keep in a larger bottle if you want.

 

Questions Answered

My hair feels icky and like straw. If you have very hard water you may need to use a little more baking soda. You can tell you have the right amount because your hair will feel slippery.

If your hair seems a little oily, only add the vinegar rinse to the ends of your hair. You could also use lemon juice instead of vinegar.

If you see a white residue, you may be using too much baking soda in your homemade shampoo recipe. The proportions I listed seem to be just right. Some people place the baking soda in their hand and make a paste to rub into the scalp but it is hard to get the right consistency and I think it is harder to distribute evenly on your scalp.

Some people have found after using this homemade shampoo recipe for a while that they only have to rinse their hair with water because the ph and oil becomes so perfectly balanced. I haven’t been using it long enough yet to know about that.

I know some of you have used regular or apple cider vinegar for a rinse and liked it, and I have too, but adding the soda for shampoo is wonderful.

 

In Closing

Try the homemade shampoo recipe and see if you like it. If you are still too afraid to do it, try it on your children or husband for a week or two and see what happens with their hair.

It isn’t like you are investing large amounts of money or time into something. It is very simple. All I can say is I can never go back myself. My hair is so much more manageable and looks so good now that I don’t want shampoo near my hair.

I hope you give it a try!

-Jill

We have had many different questions about different hair types and how this works for them. Here is a comment from one of our readers that I thought really covered many of those questions.

From Cheri

Thank you Jill for posting this homemade shampoo recipe! I am weaning my house off of most commercial products and didn’t know what I was going to do for hair care products. I found your article and tried it. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER SHAMPOO OR CONDITIONER OR OTHER HAIR PRODUCT AGAIN!!! I love it! I have struggled with my hair my entire life.

I have medium length, dyed, naturally curly hair which tends to be very dry. I hesitated using this, thinking this might destroy my hair – most comments were from people with oily hair. It did the opposite! My hair has NEVER looked this great! And it actually looks good for a few days. I usually have the worst bed head (comments have been made that I looked like a Troll Doll on crack). My curls no longer turn into frizz and I have less maintenance then ever. I blow dried my hair straight today, and it actually shined without any other kind of product!

I can’t believe the number of years, the number of products, and the mountains of cash I have spent trying to find the right products for my hair. The only thing I did slightly different, just for the fun of it and found good results…

I used the vinegar mixture to rinse the baking soda out. It does that foaming action the two combined do and seems to reduce the baking soda residue. Then, I rinsed it all out with water. It feels really good and my kids have a great laugh watching it! :D THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

 

What to do with stockpiled shampoo

  • To wash dedicates like undies or sweaters
  • Wash brushes and combs
  • Clean your tub and bath with it. It does a great job getting rid of soap scum.
  • Use it as a spot cleaner on your clothes for spots like ring around the collar. If you think about it, shampoo is made to remove human body oil from hair so it works great on body oil on clothes.
  • You can use extra shampoo for cleaning woodwork, leather, carpet stains and almost anything you would use soap on.
  • Leftover shampoo is a great degreaser so it works really well in a kitchen
  • Shampoo works well on paint brushes, too!
  • Use it to shave your legs or as a body wash
  • Use it for bubble bath
  • Save shampoo for washing the dog
  • Shampoo makes a great soap to use to wash your car.

 

 

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

 

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Categories: Business

Easy Bake Oven Cake Mix Recipe

Fri, 5/15/2015 12:35 PM

This easy bake oven cake mix recipe and frosting mix makes a nice jar mix to put in jars or bags to give along with an Easy Bake Oven at Christmas.

Easy Bake Oven Cake Mix Recipes
Easy Bake Oven Cake Mix Recipe

This easy bake oven cake mix recipe would make a nice jar mix to put in jars or bags to give along with an Easy Bake Oven at Christmas. It costs about $1.25 to make a batch for 11 cakes compared to Easy Bake Oven Mixes from Walmart at $6.97 for 2 cakes. (Can you say “I don’t think so!!!”)  This was always the way we went when my kids had an Easy Bake Oven and it’s so quick and easy to mix that you will kick yourself for every buying premade mixes before!

Easy Bake Oven Chocolate Cake Mix

1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until blended. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles corn meal. Store in an airtight container. Use within 12 weeks. Makes 11 cakes.

To Use:

1/3 cup Easy Bake cake mix
5-6 tsp. water

Mix together until smooth. Pour mixture into greased and floured 4 inch round baking pan. Follow directions for child’s oven. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Invert onto a small plate and remove pan. When cool, frost with Children’s Chocolate Frosting. Makes 1 cake.

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Easy Bake Oven Chocolate or White Frosting Recipe

2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. dry milk
½ cup cocoa*
6 Tbsp. solid vegetable shortening

In a bowl, combine powdered sugar, dry milk and cocoa. Cut in shortening. Store in an airtight container. Use within 12 weeks.

*For white frosting, omit cocoa.

To Use:

1  cup Chocolate Frosting mix
2-2½  tsp. water

 

This easy bake oven cake mix recipe is from our Dining On A Dime Cookbook. For more quick and easy recipes your family will love, check out the cookbook here!

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Categories: Business

How To Get Organized

Fri, 5/15/2015 10:11 AM
How To Get Organized

 There seem to be only 3 topics everyone thinks about this time of year: how to get out of debt, how to lose weight and how to get organized and clean at home. Just look at all the magazines or TV shows. People are talking about it everywhere. I myself am not immune to thinking about any of these.

 
How To Get Organized - Easy Ideas And Tips
 

I was sitting, gazing around my domain and looking at the mess. I had really let things go. As I was looking, I started thinking, “I need to get busy and clean things up but where do I start? How do I begin to get organized?” (not to mention that I felt too exhausted to start getting organized). “I just can’t do it,” I told myself. I’m too tired. I then realized what I was saying. The reality was that I could do it, I was just tired and didn’t want to do it.

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With this in mind, I made myself get up and start, beginning by clearing the one pile of things in my kitchen that had been driving me crazy for ages. When I was done it looked so good I was energized and started on another spot. Before I knew it, I had the whole kitchen picked up and it hadn’t even taken me 30 minutes.

That day, it dawned on me how often we aren’t honest with ourselves, even in the excuses we use for not doing things. When I said, “I can’t do it,” that really wasn’t the truth. I could do it, I just didn’t want to do it or feel like doing it so, to ease my conscience, I told myself, “I can’t do it.” There’a a big difference in the meanings.

 

“I can’t get organized.”

What would happen if each time we say “I can’t do it” we would change it to “I don’t want to do it because it will be a lot of hard work and/or sacrifice”? Saying it that way might give us more pause for thought.

 

“I don’t know how to get organized.”

Then you need to learn how. In this day and age we have access to so much knowledge there is almost no reason for not finding out how to do something. Years ago, before the Internet, before information was so easy to get, when people didn’t know how to do something they did it by trial and error until they got it right. Today, more often than not, we seem to think when we say we don’t know how to do something it means we don’t have to bother to try or do it. It is easier for someone else to do it for us.

I always think of Thomas Edison and how it took him over a thousand tries to make the light bulb. Am I glad he didn’t say, “I can’t” or “I don’t know how.” Do you see what an impact excuses can make on our life and the lives of others?

You don’t have to learn to be an expert in everything or to do everything as well as someone else. You just need a good general knowledge that allows you to do what needs to be done.

I love it when people use “I don’t know how” as an excuse when it comes to cleaning. Do you really not know how to pick up the trash off of the living room floor or put those dirty clothes in the hamper?

Some say, “I don’t know to stop spending.” Maybe if you only put what you absolutely need in your basket, it would be a good start. Most 6 year olds know if they only have a dollar to spend they can only buy something for a dollar. It’s not a hard thing to learn.

 

“I don’t know where to begin getting organized.”

In most cases, it really doesn’t matter where you begin. The important thing is just to begin.

If you are trying to get out of debt, begin by stopping your spending. That step alone will make a big difference. If you want to lose weight, stop eating so much. It’s interesting that in both of these areas you begin by stopping something. If you are trying to clean your home, you can pretty much start anywhere. Just get up and move.

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The next time you hear yourself saying these things, stop, pause and think “Am I being honest or do I sound just like my 10 year old when he or she is trying to get out of doing the chores or homework.” Hmmm? I wonder where they learned their excuses from? I know I had to pause and stop myself several times this past week.

If these excuses have become like a comfortable old sweater, check out our website and books to help you take off the old sweater and get fitted for a new one. You will find so many ideas to help inspire you to do things when you think you can’t, to help show you how to do it and to show you where to begin.

I will keep sharing tips and ideas to get out of debt, lose weight and clean in the future. Can we do it? Yes we can. (Well, for those of us who can get out of bed today — this is a little side joke for those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia. : )

       -Jill

 

The post How To Get Organized appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

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