Saturday, June 25, 2016

Taco Seasoning

Another way to save some money is to make your own mixes.  I have been making my own taco mix for a few years now.  I got the following recipe from a friend and I love it. 



I even printed out the recipe and taped it to my jar for reference.  As you can see it's been used a few times. 


Taco Mix: 

1 TBsp. Chili Powder 
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Onion Powder   
1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes  
1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano 
1/2 tsp. Paprika 
1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin 
1 tsp. Black Pepper (optional) 

I don't add the black pepper because it makes it a little spicer and the husband isn't a huge fan of spicy.  

I really like this recipe because I can double it, triple it or make it pint sized!  I try to make a bunch at a time and fill a pint jar and then store it in the freezer.  That way I have some stored up for later.  

If you do make a large quantity, mix 2 TBsp of the mix with about 2/3 cups of water.  Then mix in with your cooked meat like you would your normal taco mix. 


I love trying new ways to make homemade mixes, what are some that you have made?  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Everyday Items part 2

Here are a couple ways to save some money along with helping out the environment.  I love to try and tie both saving money with helping out the environment.  There are many ways that the two can go hand in hand.  


1. Re-usable paper towels: 

Reusable paper towels do cost a little more than paper towels, but you can use them multiple times.  The following paper towels claim to be able to be washed 100 times.  I can't vouch for these ones.  I have some reusable paper towels, but they were given to me as a gift so I'm not sure what kind they are.  However, I have used them many times, daily to be exact and I've had them since August 2015. 

Bambooee $18.95 for 30 rolls = $0.63 cents a sheet on Amazon

2. Plastic bags for trash bags: 

I try to take re-usable bags whenever I can to the grocery store, but life happens and I forget so I still end up with a bunch of plastic bags in the basement.  Now I know I can take them back and recycle them at the store, but again life happens and I forget to grab them as I go.  So instead I store them under cabinets in the bathroom and under the kitchen sink.  Then I have them to use for the bathroom trashes, bedroom trashes. or any other trash can around the house that is small.  That way I'm not buying small pastic trash bags, but rather using bags that I get for free and all the while recycling. 

Liked this post about ways to save money along with the environment.  You may also like my posts on Homemade Laundry Detergent and Line Dry Savings  

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs, why is it I pay for bread crumbs, when I am making them over and over when I have toast.  My toaster has a pull out drawer at the bottom that catches the bread crumbs.  For years, I have cleaned it out by throwing the crumbs away, but then turn around and buy bread crumbs.  Wait, what?!

Now, I don't remember where I got this, more likely than not it came from the Tightwad Gazette, but I've started to save those bread crumbs.  I just use a my bread crumbs container and add the crumbs to it as they are made via my toast. 





Monday, June 6, 2016

Preschool-Stay Home Learning Part 2

My daughter loves to play with trains. My husband really likes to be able to put the train tracks together so that she can play trains. (Or so he can secretly re-live his own childhood....) She's 3 and so this combination doesn't always go well. First of all, creating different tracks is great for expressing creativity, but right now Baby Girl is still learning how to make the tracks work. While picking up the train pieces one day, I mentioned that we should take a photo of it so that we can have an option to make it in the future if we're stumped for ideas, or if we just need to make a track really fast.

Then I thought, what if I printed off those pictures and laminated them on color paper.  Then I could make a little book of track ideas that Baby Girl could follow.

A few ways to go about laminating them;

1st: Cold Laminator
A woman who is close as family let me have hers that she wasn't using. The replacement paper isn't that much and it really comes in handy for different home projects.  If you can invest in one it's worth it.


2nd: Packaging Tape 
Before I owned a cold laminator, I wanted to laminate different newspaper clippings (my husband was in the paper a lot) but didn't have access nor the funds to laminate. I read somewhere about using packaging tape. It works really well, you just have to be careful and go slow. Tape one side and then flip over and repeat.

3rd: Photo Album 
Don't have either of these as an option? An old photo album works perfect, after all you can print the photos as photos and they will fit perfectly. Or you can print them black and white on your computer and cut them to fit.


Any of these options will work great!

Here are a few of our photos, along with the photo book I added them to for now. 











I decided to start mine in a photo album because it will be a little sturdier for my Baby Girl. Let's be honest, toddlers can be a little destructive. :) 




What are some ways you help your preschool toddler learn at home?  


You may also like: Preschool Part 1Dress Up & Dolls

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Muffin tin liners...who needs them?

So I'm not a baker by any means, so any of you bakers out there are going to do one of two things when you read this. You're going to think either, "I've always done this," or you're going to go, "No don't do it!" 

So here goes. I have always used muffin tin liners because I thought I had to. Then one day I was short by about three. At first I didn't know what to do. Then I googled to see if I could still bake without them and was pretty surprised that you can!

I was a little leery at first, because I was sure that baking the muffins without the liners would ruin my pans, but it didn't.

Here is a photo of the pan after I used it but before I washed it.




So by-bye spending extra money on those muffin-tin liners.  Although I'll probably still buy them for parties, they do make the muffins look pretty. 

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