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Make Your Own 2% Milk At HomeI do not pay for the store to water down my milk, as in 2% and such. We found that we can do this at home. Buy whole milk and add cold water to it. Since this is a matter of taste, you will have to find what suits your family best.


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Keep Bread Mold from DevelopingWhen the weather becomes hot and humid, we always had problems with our soft breads getting moldy. Since it is only my husband and I, bread lasts longer than when we had our kids at home.


A beef patty made inside a ziploc bag.

Make Beef Patties Inside Ziploc BagOne of my absolute favorite meals is hamburgers. I always mix in at least 1-2 seasonings, the most flavorful for me being ranch and onion powders. I dread the mixing and shaping part though because bits of the ground beef sticks to my hands, as I roll and flatten.


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Make Frozen Lasagna Taste HomemadeThis is a tip I thought I would share since I did this over the week-end and my dinner guests loved the lasagna dinner. They all thought it was homemade! Little did they know, I purchased the Stoffers large frozen lasagna when it was on sale at my favorite store.


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Using Cooking Bags In Your CrockpotCan I use "oven cooking bags" in my crockpot?


Jars of homemade lemon curd.

Lemon Curd Preparation TipsI use my Jack LaLane juicer to juice 4 pounds of lemons to make a quart of lemon curd. I also strain the lemon juice after using the juicer to avoid pulp in the smooth texture of the creamy, luscious lemon curd.


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Remove Both Ends of Cans to Get Every BitThis is a tip about getting all the tomato paste out of the can. Cut off both ends. Holding on to the can and push out the amount that you need. No more scraping!


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Separate and Turn Bread Slices To Keep FreshI live alone in central Mexico. As our "rainy season" has started again, I was fretting about my bread. The best I can buy is Orowheat sliced. I can only buy it once a month in the nearby big town.


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Evaporated Milk for CerealWith the cost of milk so high, you can save a little by using evaporated milk for cereal and cooking and saving jug milk for drinking. Also once the can is opened you can keep the rest fresh and ready by pouring into an ice tray and freezing into cubes.


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Use Potato Masher as a Pastry CutterWhile visiting my sister last week, she wanted to try a new recipe I brought along. It called for cutting/blending butter and flour. Since she did not have a pastry blender, we were going to use the method using two knives.


Easily Remove Grease from Ground Beef

Easily Remove Grease from Ground BeefWhenever I browned hamburger meat for tacos, spaghetti, or whatever, I used to take the meat out of the pan, transfer it to a strainer to drain the grease and then return it to the pan to finish cooking. I have found a better way.


A plate containing different sprouted seeds.

Sprouted Seeds from your Kitchen CabinetI always sprout seeds, especially in the winter. I add them to sandwiches, salads, soups, or even eat as snacks! I normally just use a mason jar with a piece or cheese cloth or a little screen material under the jar ring/cap to allow me to rinse and drain daily until they sprout.


Quick and Easy Garlic Rolls

Quick and Easy Garlic RollsThese are great when serving any Italian dishes, and easier to fix than Italian bread!


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Make Ground Turkey Taste Like BeefWe all know ground turkey or chicken is healthier then beef. But what if you miss that beef flavor? I have come up with a way to make turkey or chicken burgers, loaf, or pretty much any recipe taste like you DID use beef! It's easy!


A Corelle plate used as a cutting board

Corelle Plate As a Cutting BoardI bought a heavy plastic cutting board. It seemed OK for a while. Then, I began to get stains in the knife marks. No amount of scrubbing, boiling water, nor pure bleach would remove the stains. I thought, 'There must be some way I can improvise'.



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Prevent Mold on Cheese with VinegarIf you are like me and prefer to purchase a "chunk" of cheese instead of already shredded cheese, this tip is for you.


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Use Up Stale Cereal, Crackers, and ChipsWhat do you do with stale cereal, crackers and chips?


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Use Parchment Paper Instead of Cooking SprayParchment paper is the cook's friend. It keeps food from sticking to baking pans, eliminates having to soak in dish water to clean, and also is healthier for you. No need to add oil or nonstick sprays to your bake ware.


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Use Dishwasher For Sealing JarsWith canning season coming up soon, this idea is for making jams and jellies. When you make jams or jellies, the last process is a hot water bath. I even got a Master Canner to agree with this method.


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Putting Stubborn Lids on TupperwareIf you are having a hard time putting a plastic lid on a tupperware type container, run the lid under hot water. It should fit much more easily.


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From Frozen Tender RoastTo make a tender roast put it into your oven frozen, yes frozen.


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Fixing Jelly That Set Too HardI know that this might not be a big help to some, but to those that do canning it might. I canned some grape jelly and could not get it to jell, so I put in 4 boxes of Sure Jel. That was a big mistake.


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Heat Rutabagas in Microwave for Easier ChoppingAs most know the rutabagas you get in the stores are so hard you can not cut them. I always heat mine in the microwave for a few minutes. This makes it softer so it is easier to peel and cut into small pieces.


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Boil Eggs With Potatoes for SaladWhen I am cooking potatoes for potato salad, I put my eggs in with the potatoes. This way they all cook together, and I don't have to use another pot.


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Freeze Cooked Pinto Beans for LaterDH and I are southern people and we love pinto beans. For a long time I bought them canned at the super market since there are only 2 of us living here.


Saving Money on Coffee

Saving Money on CoffeeI love my coffee, but the prices continue to go up so I am sharing some things that have helped me save $$ on my coffee.


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Cook Spinach With Coconut OilWe all know that spinach is good for us - we should eat it everyday. I have also discovered Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil. This has great benefits, good for your hair, skin, weight loss, lowers blood pressure, and a whole host of other things.


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Preventing Gas in BeansFresh ginger root is a miracle. I use it in so many ways. One of the best uses is to put several slices into the soaking water for beans. It prevents the gas formation better than the commercial products.


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Thicken Soups With Instant Mashed Potato FlakesWhen I find that my soups or stews or too thin or watery, I add instant mashed potatoes for the desired thickness. It works every time. And it's better than adding flour or cornstarch.


Orange peels inside a jar of brown sugar.

Soften Brown Sugar with Less MessWe've all heard the maxim; to keep brown sugar soft, put (something or other) in the jar. And yes, it works. But what a mess. The sugar inevitably sticks to bread, or apple slices, and pretty much everything else one can think of to use.



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Softening MarshmallowsIf you have marshmallows that have gotten old, stale, and hard all you have to do to make them soft again is to place them in a resealable plastic bag with a slice of bread. Let them stand until soft, which usually takes 1 or 2 days. Then you can remove the bread and the marshmallows should be soft again. By Robin


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Easy Microwave FudgeI found this recipe on the internet. It is the best fudge I have ever had and so easy. It is made using Hershey or Nestle's chips. and a can of cake frosting.


Mac and cheese with added carrots, broccoli, and bacon.

Macaroni and Cheese: A Recession FavoriteToday, a box of macaroni and cheese can be purchased for between .50 cents and $2.00 depending on the brand. Here is a tip when cooking the old favorite.


A tea bag added to a quart of water.

Flavored WaterThis is a trick I learned from my granddaughter. I put a tea bag in a quart jar of water, set it in the refrigerator and let it steep over night or longer. The next day, I have some great tasting flavored water to drink and I just add a little lemon juice to it. It is good and it helps me to be able to drink at least 2 quarts of water a day. One is flavored and the other is not.


A piece of bread in a pot of mushy rice.

Fix Mushy Rice with BreadI can't tell you how many times I've made mushy, soupy rice. There's a quick fix that transforms this gluey mess into perfect, fluffy rice: a slice of bread. Place a piece of bread on top of your pot or rice cooker full of mushy rice, put the lid back on, and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. The extra liquids will make their way into the bread, and your rice is saved.


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Use Powdered Creamer As Emergency MilkOut of milk? Try powder coffee creamer!


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Dilute Full Fat Milk Instead of Buying SkimIf you are concerned about the fat levels in full cream milk, the most cost effective solution is to dilute whole homogenized milk 50/50 with water, rather than buying semi-skimmed. This means that you get twice the amount of milk for the same money.


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Styrofoam Egg Cartons for Ice CubesI saw the best tip on TV the other day; use your styrofoam egg cartons to make ice cubes. I usually buy eggs in the cardboard cartons, but occasionally I end up with the 18 pack styrofoam cartons (like now, I have 2 in my fridge).


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Browning Flour for GravyThe key to having appealing looking brown gravy, rather than pale gravy, is to brown the flour you use to thicken the gravy. Brown the flour in a skillet before adding liquid.


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Removing Fat From Cooked FoodsIf you cook soups, stews, or pot roasts that have fat in them, there are a few simple ways to get the fat out while leaving the flavor in.


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Grind Dry Beans Into Bean FlourBoiling a pot of beans for a long time uses a lot of energy and water, but might even use more beans than each person really needs for the meal. If you grind the beans into a flour when they are dry, it not only stretches the beans more, but is a lot easier to cook with.


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Vegetable Water Blanching TimetableThere have been a lot of requests for blanching veggies as of late so here's an easy timetable to follow. Be sure to check tenderness part way into the blanching guide times because freshness and size of vegetables vary.


Loaves of bread with paper towels inside the bags.

Keep Frozen Bread Tasting FreshI never pay more than $1.00 for 100% whole wheat bread. I frequently pay a lot less. When I find a good deal, I stock up. I recently learned that if you put a paper towel in the bread wrapper before you freeze it, and leave it in place after thawing, the bread will be as soft and fresh tasting as fresh.


Cubes of butter in the butter section of a refrigerator.

Storing ButterWith the cost of butter these days, I have to find it when it's on sale. I recently had some butter go rancid. Yes, it happens. Especially when it's unsalted. Seems the salt is the curative that keeps it fresh longer, even if it's not as good for you.


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Use Cheese Slicer For Cutting EggsSummer is just around the corner and you will probably be wanting to take some deviled eggs to those family picnics. I have found an easy and quick way to have perfect evenly sliced eggs every time without having some break.



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What to Do with 10 Pounds of Ground BeefA few weeks ago I came upon a ground beef bargain. The expiration date was nearing and my supermarket needed to get rid of 10 pounds of ground beef. I decided to try something different, albeit a little weird.


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Add Broccoli Slaw to MeatloafA dear friend of mine and I agree - we never make meatloaf in quite the same way twice. The last time I made it, I added one cup Brocco-Slaw per pound of meat, along with all the other ingredients.


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Mushroom Slicers for EggsI use a mushroom slicer to cut my boiled eggs with, when making potato salad, tuna salad, or just lettuce salads.


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Add Sun-Dried Tomatoes to Frozen PizzaIf you have a basic ready made margherita (cheese and tomato) pizza from a supermarket, consider making it a bit special by adding sun-dried tomato, which really intensifies the tomato taste.


glass and ingredients for making soda

Replace Soda Completely with SeltzerSoda or pop are noxious for your health, whether the sweet or sugar-free kind. Yet it is nice to have a sweet, bubbly, caffeine-filled drink now and again, so I wanted to share some of my seltzer water experiments with you.


Grapes next to potential diseases.

Don't Eat Grapes in the StoreIn past years, grocery stores prepackaged grapes and sealed the packages. Inevitably, someone would open one package and the customers would sample the grapes before purchasing.


Brown sugar stored inside an airtight container.

Airtight Container to Keep Brown Sugar SoftI have seen questions on ThriftyFun asking how to soften hardened brown sugar. I believe the secret to keeping brown sugar fresh and soft is storing it in an air tight container.


Mark Appliance Plugins

Mark Appliance PlugsRecently, I put up a crockpot full of chicken and marinade. Leaving it overnight, it was perfect the next morning. By noon, however, it was a bit dry. That is when I realized what I had done.


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Start Meat in the Crockpot, Finish It in the OvenI cook my meat in my crockpot for a few hours while I'm gone. Then I pop it in the oven for 20 or 30 minutes to brown and crisp up before serving.( while I fix the rest of dinner) My husband does not like meat from the crockpot. He never guesses. By charleeta


A cooked potato that has had the skin removed.

Boiling Potatoes in the Skin for Potato SaladWhen my mother made potato salad, she boiled the potatoes whole and then peeled them. Her potato salad was so good. When I want to make a batch of potato salad, I cook the potatoes in the skin like she did.


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Keeping Hands from Sticking to Rice Krispie TreatsWhen making Rice Krispie treats, make sure and rub your hands with a little butter or margarine to make them lay flat in the pan and not stick to your skin.


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Using Expired Cottage CheeseA few times, after finding the cottage cheese container buried in the back of the fridge, well past its expiration date, I've tossed it out. Recently, I got ready to toss out another container, but had a 2nd thought.


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Add Baking Powder to Cake MixWhen using boxed cake mixes, add a half to a level teaspoon of baking powder. Being taught this by my grandmother has been a blessing. We don't always check the date on the box and as the box sits on the shelves, it loses it's strength.


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Use a Tube Sock on Your Rolling PinFor rolling out any kind of dough, I use a clean or new tube sock on your rolling pin and flour it. Also get heavy duty cotton duck cloth to roll out on, flour this as well.


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Make Your Own Peanut ButterIt's easy to save money on peanut butter. Buy bulk, unsalted peanuts and grind in a blender. Add salt as needed.


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Tips For Vanilla ExtractWhen you open a bottle of vanilla, do not peel away the paper or plastic cover on the bottle after you remove the lid. Instead, poke a few holes or a small slit in it. You can measure more accurately and if the bottle turns over it will not spill out or leak in the cabinet.


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Cook Bacon In Toaster OvenI use my toaster oven to cook bacon. I can make other foods while the bacon cooks and the timer keeps me from burning it!


Vegetarian Bacon Sandwich

Grilled Provolone Instead Of Bacon In BLTCraving a BLT and no bacon in the fridge? Doctor says, "cut the bacon from you diet?" Gone vegetarian? Tummy can't handle the additives in bacon?


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Keeping Dipping Chocolate WarmI was making candy for the Red Hats Valentine party today and I needed to keep the chocolate hot. Once I heated the chocolate in the microwave, I put the cup with melted chocolate on a candle warmer to keep it soft and warm.


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Use an Old Freezer as a PantrySomeone gave us a huge used upright freezer. It worked fine, but I didn't really need THAT much freezer space and it needed to be defrosted way too often for me.


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Using Crockpot Insert in the OvenYou can use your removable crock pot/slow cooker stoneware insert in an oven. Be sure the insert does not have any cracks or breaks in it. I normally coat it with a cooking spray for easy clean-up. I don't use the lid, for fear it would crack or break.


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Reusable Plastic Lunch Meat ContainersLuncheon meats, such as Hillshire Farms Select lunch meats, come in nice reusable Gladware type containers. Often I find coupons for it in Sunday papers. If your store doubles coupons, you get both the meat and a handy container for later use at a great discount!


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Accidently Frozen ApplesDon't throw away apples accidentally frozen with their skins on. I just recently had a bag of apples freeze when the fridge decided it needed a change. lol. I was determined not to waste them. I let them warm up just a little.


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Turn Spring Form Pan Bottom Upside DownWhen baking cheesecake in a spring form pan, turn the pan bottom upside down, so that the lip faces downward. This makes it easier to remove the entire cake or even just a slice because the cake server can be slid under the cake without interference from the lip.


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Add Vegetables to Macaroni and CheeseAll kids love their mac n' cheese. Whether it is your homemade recipe or out of the package and into the microwave, add vegetables to make macaroni and cheese healthier.


Chicken breasts being pounded flat in a recycled cake mix bag.

Cake Mix Inner Bags For Freezing ChickenWhen it comes to fried chicken breast tenders, I like mine thin. My intent here was to use the cake mix bag just for pounding the tenders. Then it occurred to me that the bag itself would be ideal for freezing as well, and I have accumulated several over time.


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Kangaroo CookingAlways cook something for the next meal, with your current one: extra potatoes in broth, for cottage pie; extra stew, to chop up as pie fillings; extra rice, to make rice salad or tacos; extra fish, for patties; extra spaghetti, to cut up in soup; extra bolognese, to stuff baked aubergines or marrows, etc.


Cookies made with leftover crumbs.

Cooking and Baking with Substitute IngredientsI save all the crumbs from cereal in a bag in my freezer. I use these crumbs to supplement my flour in baking recipes. I also add them to a meatloaf, if the cereal was not pre-sweetened.


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Eating More Legumes Helps Save MoneySalads have become quite a bit less costly around my place these past few months. I've stopped buying lettuce and have replaced it with Napa cabbage which pairs beautifully with mung bean sprouts which I've learned to grow. Three tablespoons of dry beans makes enough for two good-sized salads. The cabbage lasts about a month without turning brown or wilting, and one large head is still less expensive than a head of iceberg. Fresh sprouts are crisp and significantly more nutritious than lettuce.


A cutting board with a knife, rubber band and a bunch of celery.

Free Hands ChoppingTake a cutting board, a heavy rubber band (I save the rubber bands that come on broccoli bunches), and something you want to cutup (celery, squash, carrots, you get the idea). Take the rubber band and stretch it over the short side - slide it to one side to the left if you are cutting right handed and to the right if you are using your left hand. Take the celery, slide it under the rubber band and begin chopping. So easy! And you can use both hands to chop. Always use caution when using a knife.


A cereal liner on a refrigerator door.

Cereal Liners Instead of Waxed PaperThere used to be a show called Extreme Cheapskates on TV. One featured person said the cereal liners are better than waxed paper. I wash them off and put them on my refrigerator to dry. I use them to separate hamburgers, pancakes and waffles for freezing. I also use them to keep my counter cleaner if I am flouring chicken cutlets or kneading dough.


Flax Egg Substitute

Flax Egg SubstituteWith the price of eggs soaring, a good substitute for cooking and baking is a flax egg. Use 1 Tbsp. of ground flaxseed meal and 2 1/2 Tbsp. of room temperature water for each egg. I refrigerate for 10 minutes or so.


Peeled and halved potatoes in a pot of water.

How Long Does A Potato Take To Boil?Potatoes are a common root vegetable used in recipes all over the world. These starchy tubers must be cooked before being eaten. Boiling potatoes is an easy way to ensure they are ready for your table or to add to another dish. Potatoes can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potato.


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Replacing Tupperware With GlassThis may not go over well, but I have been getting rid of all my plastics. Instead, I have been saving all the glass pickle jars, jam jars, etc. I just didn't like throwing out all that glass. We are now a 2 person household, my husband and I. The Mt. Olive jars are just right for us. They hold a 2 serving amount of spaghetti sauce or beans. I cook a pound of dried beans and fill up jars and freeze. I wind up with 6 to 8 ready-made dinners. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for reading.


A squeeze bottle filled with mayonnaise.

Use Squeeze Bottles For CondimentsSandwiches are probably the most popular lunchtime staples. Who doesn't like a sandwich for a quick and easy lunch or snack? This tip applies to wraps too!


Scrambled eggs with beet greens.

Scrambled Eggs With Beet GreensFresh beets are the best, however, don't throw away those beet greens. They are good too and so good for you. I'm still experimenting with them and have found that they sauté well, much like spinach.


A container with aquafaba.

Aquafaba Substitute for EggsAquafaba is the liquid canned chickpeas come in. You can also make your own if you cook dried chickpeas. You can use aquafaba from other beans, but chickpeas have the mildest flavor.


Storing potatoes in a paper bag.

Keep Potatoes Fresher LongerTake potatoes out of their plastic bag. Double-bag then in paper, and close with a clip. Store in a cool, dry place for maximum storage time.


Cooking hash on a griddle.

Binding Agent For Making Corned Beef Hash PattiesI recently searched for something to bind corned beef hash to make patties'. A series of blog answers came up via this website. Of the few I read, there were suggestions but many still seemed to have difficulty with crumbling. I want to share what I did that worked for me:


Placing the cut can over the full can.

Keeping Carbonated Drinks Fresh After OpeningKeeping your carbonated canned drinks fresh after opening sometimes is a daunting task. Usually if they're open no matter what you put on them, they''re good for about a day and then all the fizz is gone. I experimented with many different things before I came up with one idea that will literally keep your carbonated canned drink carbonated and tasting like you just opened it for up to a week and, yes, you can use more of the drink and put this right back on and it''ll still hold it fresh and carbonated for 6 to 7 days!


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Cutting Time When Making PuddingInstead of heating cold milk in the pan with the packaged pudding mix, I heat the milk in the microwave first. It certainly cuts down on time spent stirring until the mixture boils!


A label stuck inside a jar.l

Instant Label for Storage JarsI always store packaged dry foods (beans, etc.) in empty glass jars and for a quick label, I cut out the nutrition info I am interested in and put it inside the jar. Easy.


A cut banana next to a lid to fit.

Banana SaverYou just need a banana, a knife and a lid that fits the size of the banana from your bag of lids that everyone saves, a cutting board and that's it. First, you cut the banana in half. Eat 1/2 and save the other half for later or tomorrow.


Using tongs for your toaster.

Use Wooden Tongs on Your ToasterIf you have trouble getting toast out of your toaster because the toast doesn't pop up enough above the top or because you have sensitive fingers I highly recommend using wooden tongs.


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Crispy Rice Peanut Butter CookiesThis is a good recipe for using up leftover rice cereal, such as Special K or Rice Krispies. I've been making it since the late 60s.


The end of a pomegranate.

Cut Pomegranates So They Don't Lose Their JuicesCut a cap off the top of your pomegranates then cut along the ridges on the pom. Look closely, they aren't perfectly round. You may need to FEEL the pomegranate to determine the ridges. There's usually between 5 and 6.


Using Leftovers for Breakfast

Using Leftovers for BreakfastLast night, we enjoyed Thai takeout and we had some leftovers. Although we could have used it for lunch, there wasn't very much left. I decided to make a hearty breakfast instead. I heated the leftovers up in a pan and then scrambled eggs in the mixture. The resulting dish was the perfect start to the day and was enjoyed by the whole family.


A pile of banana bunches.

Selecting Good BananasBananas slowly change color as they ripen. They start out hard and bright green, changing to yellow when they are ripe and then developing brown spots on the peel. When picking your bunch of bananas at the store, consider how quickly you are going to eat them.


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Muffin Tin MeatloafTry baking meatloaf in a muffin tin instead of the usual loaf pan. It will bake in half the time and you will have individual portions that are all ready to serve.


A wok stir frying vegetables.

Making Stir Fry at HomeMy son recently moved away from home and has been asking me for cooking tips for some of his favorite foods. I have made stir fry about once a week for my family for many years. It's a great way to use up excess veggies. I figured that I would share my tips with you all.


A container with lids in the bottom for drainage.

Drip Drain for WatermelonThese two stackable containers come in handy for many things. I pulled out four plastic lids and they fit perfectly. They are deep enough to keep the watermelon out of the juice which keeps it crisp and fresh. If needed, I can punch holes in them for more drainage.


A box holding a watermelon in a trunk.

Box for Transporting WatermelonIt's that time of the year when those delicious watermelons are in season. When we know we are going to pick up one or two, we put a box or the clothes basket in the trunk of the car to put it in. This secures the watermelon and keeps it from rolling around loose.


A frying pan of green beans.

Freeze Green Beans for Stir FryingWhen we first started getting green beans from the garden, I did not have enough to fill the canner so I froze them. If they are small and tender, they are so good stir fried in a little olive oil, salt and garlic powder.


Crushing Crackers or Corn Chips for Soup Easily

Crushing Crackers or Corn Chips for Soup EasilyI love crackers in my chili and corn chips in my soup. But crushing them leaves a big mess. So I figured out a way to accomplish the crushing without the messing. Put two matching bowls, one with the crackers or chips in it, and one to crush them between the two bowls. No muss, no fuss! N-JOY!!


Placing a skewer in a lemon.

Cut Lemons No Longer a ProblemI use a lot of cut lemons but hate having a cut lemon half hanging around in my refrigerator until I use it again. Recently discovered that I can roll it gently (to release the juices) then pierce the lemon with a skewer. I just squeeze out the juice for a particular recipe I need, leaving the skewer in place when returning it to the refrigerator until the next time!


An avocado cut in half.

How To Tell When an Avocado Is Ripe?For years I thought if the sides were soft, the avocado was ripe. My husband heard on TV to touch the tip and if the tip is soft, the avocado is ripe. I had an avocado that was hard, but the tip was soft, and took a chance. The avocado was perfect.


Adding a popsicle to a cola drink to cool it down.

Popsicle To Cool Down DrinkToday, I was hot and thirsty. I went into the freezer to get my ice cubes, the ones that don't melt. I remembered I had loaned them to a neighbor. What was a thrifty girl to do?


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