Sunday, August 27, 2006

Make Your Own: Hershey's Chocolate Syrup Copycat Recipe

1/2 Cup Cocoa (Hershey's obviously)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup water
1 tsp. Vanilla
dash of salt

Combine cocoa, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Add water, and mix until
smooth. Bring this mixture to a boil. Allow it to boil for one minute,
be careful this does not over boil. Remove from heat, when this cools
add the vanilla.

Make Your Own: Italian Dressing Mix

Good Season's Italian Dressing

1 TB Garlic salt
1 TB Onion powder
1 TB Sugar
2 TB Oregano
1 ts Pepper
1/4 ts Thyme
1 ts Basil
1 TB Parsley
1/4 ts Celery salt
2 TB Salt

For Dressing Mix:

1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
2/3 Cup Oil
2 TB Water
2 TB Dry Mix
Shake well.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

One More Frugal Use for Old Socks: Dusting Devices

No, it's not weird or gross to use old socks to clean with. :) Just give them a final cleaning in the wash. They're easy to slip onto your hands (sort of like those new popular Swiffer cleaning gloves) and are great dusters!

This is a fun cleaning tip for kids - give them an old (clean) sock on each hand and let them have fun dusting!

Frugal Cleaning: Don't Throw Out Those Old Socks!

Old cotton socks may not look great (with holes, etc) but they can be fabulous additions to your cleaning kit! Old socks can be torn apart and used as small cleaning cloths, or if they're just worn out but don't have any holes - put some detergent inside and use as a scrubby cleaner for any area of your house!

Have any more cleaning tips using old socks? Send them to me (Christina) at christina @

PS. If you'd like tips on creating a frugal cleaning kit, visit: Cleaning Kit Advice & Tips

Make Money Tips: Sell Crafts at Craft Shows

Some very helpful tips from an experienced craft show pro can help you make some extra money selling your crafts. I've posted the tips on what to sell, how to present it and more at: Craft Show Money Making Tips from Pros who Know

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Easy Ways to Rejuvenate an Old Scratched CD (Frugal Tips; Cleaning a CD)

1. GENTLY wash CD with weak detergent, from edge to middle (NEVER CIRCULAR!) with soft kitchen or paper towel.
2. Dry from edge to middle with towel.
3. Here's the science bit --- Put a TINY spot of non-fluoride toothpaste (yes really!) on to towel and gently rub from edge to middle again.
4. Using a clean piece of towel buff in same direction.

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract - Homemade Gifts

This article teaches you 2 different ways to make homemade Vanilla Extract. All you'll need is to find some good quality vanilla beans. It's worth the effort though - with vanilla extract getting more and more expensive, you'll save a LOT of money by making your own!

The great thing is - once you have a bottle of homemade extract, you'll never go back to using store bought. The taste is amazing!

Frugal Cleaning Tips: The 2 Items You Need

Frugalites, you do NOT have to spend a small fortune to stock a cleaning kit or cleaning cabinet to keep your home clean. :) In reality, there are very few products you really need. Today, I'll tell you about my two absolute FAVORITE multi-purpose cleaning products that I'll bet you already have in your home:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar

Baking soda is a cleaning powerhouse! Use it to:

  • Replace harsh commercial powdered cleansers
  • Reduce odors (simply place in a small open container and it will help to neutralize and remove odors naturally)
  • Reduce odors in kitty litter boxes - simply sprinkle into fresh litter every time you've changed the cat litter

Vinegar is another must-have for frugal cleaners. It can:

  • Replace all-purpose cleaners! Just pour 1 part plain white vinegar into a clean plastic spray bottle. Add 4-5 parts tap water and shake well. For a little extra cleaning power you can add 1 or 2 drops of natural liquid dishwashing soap.
  • Get your sink's taps and faucets shining - use it straight for extra power

These are just a few ways that you can use baking soda and vinegar to clean your home. For dozens of extra (free) uses, visit:

Dozens of Vinegar Uses

Dozens of Baking Soda Uses

Interesting Statistic to Motivate You to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Do you realize that if you owe $2,000 on a credit card with a 21% interest rate, and you only make the minimum payment each month that you will owe on this account for approximately 19 years and pay a total of $6725.64 in principle and interest?

To help pay off credit card debt more quickly, be determined to STOP USING the credit card. (Except for real emergencies.)

Frugal Food and Recipes: Copycat Boston Market Bread Pudding

Cracker Barrel's Bread Pudding

Sugared Pecans: In small skillet combine 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil, med-low heat, with 2-oz pecan pieces. Stir only till heated and barely bubbly. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons sugar.Stir briskly only till sugar dissolves, on low heat AS THESE BURN QUICKLY! Work fast. Dump them into paper towel lined plate. Spread out to cool while you prepare the rest.

Plumped Raisins: In small saucepan combine 1/3 cup raisins and 1 cup boiling water. Cover pan with lid 20 minutes. Drain and discard water. Add 1/2 cup packaged shredded coconut to raisins. Set aside.

Dumplings: In dutch oven combine 6 cups water and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to boil. While you wait for that to boil, combine in medium bowl, 3 cups Bisquick, 1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, stirring with fork to moisten thick dough. When water come to boil, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfulinto boiling water, making about 14 dumplings. Cover pan with lid. Simmer dumplings very gently 20 minutes. Uncover and let cook another 10 minutes gently. Baste often in the liquid, which is now becoming thickened and creamy looking. Remove pan from heat. With slotted spoon remove HALF of dumplings to greased 8" square baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans andraisins/coconut. Arrange rest of dumplings over that. Set aside. Make sauce next.

Caramel Sauce: Strain remaining liquid into heavy 2 1/2-quart saucepan. Bring to boil. Stir constantly. Add 1 cup packed light brown sugar, stirring vigorously, med-heat till it boils briskly 2 or 3 minutes or till sugar is completely dissolved and sauce drops from spoon in large drops rather than like water. It should be the consistancy of smooth gravy. Spoon sauce over dumplings filling dish right to the rim. Cool 15 minutes.Cover; refrigerate to serve within few days. Micro warm servings oruse cold with a scoop of ice cream on top of each. Serves 6 to 8.

Frugal Food and Recipes: Copycat Chips Ahoy Recipe

Chips Ahoy Copycat Recipe
4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking soda (level)
2 tsp Salt (level)
1 cup Light Brown Sugar (packed)
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening (Crisco)
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 large Egg White
2-4 tbsp Water (warm)
12 oz Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 °F. Mixthe flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Use an electric mixer to mix the two sugars and shortening. When creamy add the vanilla, salt,and egg white. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time adding a tablespoon of warmwater as necessary to mix the flour - don't exceed 4 tablespoons of water- this will make a firm dough. Mix in chocolate chips. As the dough gets thicker you may want to mix by hand and abandon the electric mixer.Roll into 2 inch balls and press down with the palm of the hand to make flat. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Frugal Food and Recipes: Award Winning Buttermilk Brownies

This Buttermilk Brownies Recipe not only won awards, but is also a frugal minded baker's friend. The ingredients are common and inexpensive - enjoy with a big cup of fragrant coffee.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Debt Reduction Techniques: Pay off Credit Cards Faster

Every single one of us Frugalites wants to pay off our credit card bills faster. Here is a simple technique that works to do just that!

Let's say you have three credit cards:

  • Credit Card A - Balance $4200.00 (Interest rate 9%)
  • Credit Card B - Balance $560.00 (Interest rate 18%)
  • Credit Card C - Balance $1500.00 (Interest rate 4%)

While Credit Card A is the one that worries you the most, don't work to pay it off entirely first. I know you might be scratching your head right now -- but you need to use the SNOWBALL EFFECT for paying off debt. It works like this:

  • Continue to pay the minimum amounts on all of your debts/credit cards. On the credit card with the smallest amount owing, pay as large a payment as you can afford each month, until the balance is at 0.
  • Let's say that after 4 months of paying $140 on Credit Card B (the one with the highest interest rate AND the lowest amount owing) you've eliminated that credit card payment. Congratulations! Now...use that extra $140.00 a month on your next lowest amount owing - which is Credit Card C. (Some people choose to pay off the highest interest accounts first. This is entirely up to you. I prefer to stick with the easy way of getting rid of the smallest amounts first.)
  • So, now you're paying an additional $140 per month on Credit Card C - that is, on top of the minimum monthly payment you were already paying. Continue like this until this credit card payment is also eliminated.

See how this works? :) After a while, you'll not only have a great sense of accomplishment - by ELMINATING some of your debt - but you'll also be working towards your eventual goal of ELIMINATING ALL OF YOUR DEBT!

This is an original article written by the owner of this blog. If you would like to re-publish it in whole or in part on your blog or website, please simply link back to this blog:

Set a new Savings Goal - Frugality Tips

Today, sit down and set a new savings goal. Frugality is not only about making wise choices about how to SPEND your money, it's also about putting some aside.

Even if you think you can't possibly save any money - you're wrong. Set a reasonable goal of even 5% of every check you earn. You'll be surprised by how quickly it can all add up.

And, to help those savings grow more quickly, check out the new high interest savings accounts at nearly every bank or financial institution. Compared to the miniscule interest rates of the past, these high interest accounts make every little bit of money add up quicker than ever before!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Copycat Chi Chi's Salsa Recipe - Frugal Food and Recipes

Chi Chi's Salsa

2 green onions diced
2 ripe tomatoes diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
dash of tabasco sauce
14oz. can stewed tomatoes

Dice the stewed tomatoes and combine in sauce pan with onions, fresh
tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to just a boil. Boil hard 1 minute
and remove from heat. Put half of the mixture through a blender,
just to mince fine but not puree. Return to remaining half of mixture.
Add tabasco to taste.
Cool and refrigerate in tightly covered container.
Use within a few weeks and it freezes up to 6 months.

Create Your Own Gift Cupboard - Frugal tips and Hints

A few weeks ago, one customer in the kitchenwares shop where I worked told me about her 'Gift Cupboard' - a storage cupboard she uses to stash her frugal finds for gifts whenever they're needed.

I thought this was a fantastic idea. When you see something at an outrageous bargain, but can't think of anyone who you could give it to right away - put it away in your own little Gift Cupboard. Then, when a gift is needed, you not only spare yourself the stress of shopping for it last minute BUT you also save a lot of your hard earned cash.

One More Frugal Coffee Treat - Black Forest Coffee Recipe

Black Forest Coffee Recipe - Another delicious frugal coffee shop style treat - this one made extra special with bursts of cherry and chocolate flavorings. And a big dollop of whipped cream - because why WOULDN'T you add that? ;)

Make Your Own Gourmet Coffee Drinks This Summer

Why pay an arm and a leg for pricey gourmet coffee beverages at places like Starbucks, when you can easily use your own coffee at home to whip up a treat. Try some of these recipes to get started:

Coffee Soda Recipe
Coffee Shop Recipes - Including Starbucks Copycat Recipes

Enjoy, all you fellow coffee lovers!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Make Your Own Boboli Pizza Crust (Copycat Recipe; Frugal Recipes)

Boboli Pizza Crust

1 pk Dry Yeast
1/4 cup Water
2 1/4 cups Warm water
6 tb Olive oil,+ extra for pans
6 cups Flour
1 ts Salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water (105F is perfect). Let it sit for two minutes.Add the rest of the ingedients and mix well. Turn out onto board and kneadfor ten minutes. Place back in bowl covered with a damp towel and let rise 30 to 40 minutes. Divide dough into 3 parts and place in 3 olive-oiled pie pans.Dimple dough with fingers. Place on top the following mixture: Coarse sea (or Kosher) salt, fresh ground pepper, chopped rosemary and thyme. If herbs are dried, soak them in water for 10 minutes and then pat dry on paper towels. Let rise 50 to 60 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.May dip in olive oil.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Delicious Pie Recipes: A Frugal Dessert Anytime

Pie is not only delicious (and one of my all-time FAVORITE desserts to chow down on) but it's also inexpensive! For tons of delicious pie recipes, visit the Pie Recipes Blog . If you have a favorite to share, please send it to me at

Rainbow Jello for Kids

Rainbow Jello
Here's a fun recipe to try with your kids! :) It also happens to be a frugal treat to make...

2 (3 ounce) packages lemon Jell-O gelatin
2 (3 ounce) packages lime Jell-O gelatin
2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry Jell-O gelatin
2 (3 ounce) packages orange Jell-O gelatin
24 ounces evaporated milk (3/4 cup for each flavor of jello used)

1. You can use any variety of jello you want and as many as you want.

2. Use 1 box of lemon jello with 3/4 cup boiling water and 3/4 cup cold water.

3. Mix well and pour into a 9x13 Tuperware container.

4. Let set a little while.

5. The next layer consists of the other box of lemon jello, but this time combine 3/4 cup boiling water and let that sit for awhile and when a little cool, add 3/4 cup evaporated milk and mix together. Pour onto the 1st layer in Tuperwarepan (that gives it a slightly different color and taste).

6. Continue with the other colors of jello you want.

7. Kids love it. :)