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Posts Tagged ‘Make It At Home . . . Cheap!’


Baby Powder

There are many more uses for baby powder than just on beautiful baby bottoms.  Making your own is frugal and is another step in avoiding commercial products leading to self-reliance!

Consider these uses and make your own:

Cool sheets in summer
Are those sticky, hot bed sheets giving you the summertime blues when you should be deep in dreamland? Cool things down by sprinkling a bit of baby powder between your sheets before hopping into the sack on warm summer nights.

Dry-shampoo your pet
Is the pooch’s coat in need of a pick-me-up? Vigorously rub a handful or two of baby powder into your pet’s fur. Let it settle in for a couple of minutes, and follow up with a thorough brushing. Your dog will both look and smell great! You can even occasionally “dry shampoo” your own, or someone else’s, hair by following the same technique.

Absorb grease stains on clothing
Frying foods can be dangerous business — especially for your clothes. If you get a grease splatter on your clothing, try dabbing the stain with some baby powder on a powder puff. Make sure you rub it in well, and then brush off any excess powder. Repeat until the mark is gone.

Clean your playing cards
Here’s a simple way to keep your playing cards from sticking together and getting grimy: Loosely place the cards in a plastic bag along with a bit of baby powder. Seal the bag and give it a few good shakes. When you remove your cards, they should feel fresh and smooth to the touch.

Slip on your rubber gloves
Don’t try jamming and squeezing your fingers into your rubber gloves when the powder layer inside the gloves wears out. Instead, give your fingers a light dusting with baby powder. Your rubber gloves should slide on good as new.

Remove mold from books
If some of your books have been stored in a less than ideal environment and have gotten a bit moldy or mildewed, try this: First, let them thoroughly air-dry. Then, sprinkle some baby powder between the pages and stand the books upright for several hours. Afterward, gently brush out the remaining powder from each book. They may not be as good as new, but they should be in a lot better shape than they were.

Dust off your flower bulbs
Many savvy gardeners use medicated baby powder to dust flower bulbs before planting them. Simply place 5-6 bulbs and about 3 tablespoons baby powder in a sealed plastic bag and give it a few gentle shakes. The medicated-powder coating helps both reduce the chance of rot and keep away moles, voles, grubs, and other bulb-munching pests.

Homemade Baby Powder
Author: PrepperPenny
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Corn Starch
  • 1/2 Cup Arrowroot Starch
  • 12 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
Instructions
  1. Pour into a glass shaker-top jar. Use a repurposed glass spice jar – it work great.

 

 

 

Source: bOrganic.net & Readers Digest

 

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Infused OilOne thing I strive to do in planning my home store, I try to make sure I either have or can make all the things my family and I enjoy in these “good” times.  I don’t want to be pulling out buckets of legumes and beans without having the flavors I’m accustom to going into them.  Simple things really do make life more comfortable.  And this technique to infusing oil is an example of planning to thrive while others struggle to survive.  Pay attention to the little things.  Those sometimes unnoticeable extra’s that you might take for granted.  This recipe was given to me to share by reader Tess Pavlin.  She has tried and tweaked this until she was sure it was wonderful and felt comfortable in making it public.  Win for us, right?

Infused oils will spice up your cooking and lend to wonderful healing and relaxing massages.

When you are ready to start making essential oil from your herbs, follow these four steps carefully:

  1. Put a handful of your herbs or flower heads into a clean glass jar. Choose either a single herb such Basil Infused Oilas basil or a mixture such as oregano, rosemary and thyme. Crush them to release the flavor into the carrier oil. Make absolutely sure your herbs are completely dry.  Water will likely make your oil go rancid.
  2. Pour 12 oz. of oil into the jar until the leaves or flowers are completely covered. Put a well-fitting top on the jar and let it stand in a warm (but not sunny) place shaking daily for two weeks.
  3. Straining Infused OilAfter the two weeks, strain off the herbs (use a cotton muslin cloth or an old open weave linen handkerchief) and then repeat the process of infusion with a fresh handful of your herbs (but using the same oil). Do this, as many times as necessary until you have a jar of strongly flavored aromatic oil.
  4. Store your aromatic oil in a small to medium-size sterilized bottle and label it. Clean the rim and tightly seal the cap to reduce the chances of air getting into the bottle. Make sure that you keep your stored oils out of sunlight.

Always remember:

Use a good-quality, mild-flavored oil such as sunflower oil or grapeseed oil. You don’t want the taste of the oil to compete with the flavor and smell of your herbs. For this reason you should avoid using extra virgin olive oil.Cover your herbs completely with oil during the infusing process. Any bits sticking out will oxidize and spoil the flavor of the oil.

Before storing the oil make sure you have removed all the plant material. (If you don’t the oil will become cloudy and sour)

WHAT OTHERs ARE DOING WITH THEIRs

Another way to speed up the process of infusing your oils is by using a small crock pot on its lowest setting.

  1. Gently bruise the herbs or flowers by crushing the in the palm of your hands before adding them to the pot. You can also press them with a wooden spoon or in a mortar and pestle but it is not necessary.
  2. Add 16 oz. of oil to the crock pot and turn heat on low. Add the herbs, leaves, or petals. Let simmer covered for 12 hours. Stir lightly and turn off overnight. Day 2 turn back on and simmer again for 12 hours. Day 3 repeat. Strain oils through cheesecloth to remove solids and bottle the oils. They will keep for a minimum of 3 years if tightly sealed.

Extra Tip:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of Vitamin E (per pint) to your beauty and medicinal oils to preserve them. You could also try using 15 drops of grapefruit seed extract.

Alternative methods.

1. OVEN INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS – Place your herbs in an oven safe dish and cover with the natural oil of your choice. Cover the dish and place in the oven at 200 degrees or the lowest possible setting your oven has. Cook for three hours. While it’s still warm, strain through cheese cloth and squeeze the oil from the herbs. Pour the oil into a sterile bottle or jar.

2. STOVE TOP INFUSED OILS – Using a double boiler, GENTLY simmer oil and herbs for 2 hours. Strain through cheese cloth. For a stronger infusion repeat using the same oil and fresh herbs.

Infused oild in crockpot3. CROCK POT INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS – This method can only be used if your crock pot has a “warm” or very low setting! This works great for infusing several oils at once. Fill your sterile pint jars with your herbs and oils. Place the jars in the crock pot and cook on low for eight hours. You can do up to 5 different oils at once with this method depending on the size of your crock pot!

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VasalineNo petroleum or harsh chemicals in this all natural vaseline.   Use it just as you would commercially produce, chemically latent vaseline. I added tea tree oil to mine for it’s antibacterial qualities. This is completely optional. If you want to scent yours with you favorite essential oil, that would be lovely, too.

 

 

 

RECIPE

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2-3 Tbsp. Bees Wax

Ingredient

Melting Vasaline

Gently and carefully melt these two ingredients together. I do mine in the microwave on 30 second intervals. It will take 60 – 90 seconds.
Tea Tree Oil

Add your optional essential oil and allow it to cool.

This will safely keep for up to one year.

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garden-feb-lgLike me, so many of us are diligently planning our spring gardens.  We start our pen-to-paper plans, gather supplies to start our precious seeds, and wait for the weather to turn so we might start working and preparing our beds.  But in this idle time we have waiting, you really should be considering inventorying your canning supplies and planning your crop based on your families  need.

GETTING YOUR SUPPLIES IN ORDER

 

canning_jars.gif

It’s a good time to calculate how many jars of pickles, cans of jelly and jam your family typically needs to get you through winter months.  I learned this winter that I hadn’t actually canned enough dills to carry me through.  Same was for our tomatoes.  I’m down to only a few jars of my tomato’s and sauce not having realized how much our family of four would actually go through.  I’m a good canner, but my math needs to be honed.

I am now in the process of figuring out how many canning jars and sizes I have vs. what I will need.  Same for lids.  Since I have to replace dozens of lids, I have opted to invest in reusable Tattler lids after having decided they work beautifully and will save me money in the long run.  Another consideration I made was, as a committed prepper, I believe material may be hard to come by.  Having to replace my lids every time I can and believing there is even a remote possibility that they may be hard to come by would defeat all my seasonal garden planning.

How many quart jars did I use last year and how many more I need this year was a big question.  How much jelly or jam will I put up?  How much applesauce or peaches will I need?  Obviously, I could never lay out a formula for you, but you really should start planning and pre-planning.   And buying your canning supplies now, before the season hits will save you money.  Last season I found myself running around looking and buying jars when the prices were their highest.  Buy them out-of-season to get the best price.

HERBs, SPICEs AND OTHER INGREDIENTS

Spices

Salt, sugar and spices will also be needed.  Will you be planting the herbs you will need to can your harvest?  Dill is one that is vital to me.  Italian herbs are as important.

RESOURCEs AND OTHER EQUIPMENT

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You may, like me, wish to scan all your recipes and determine which ingredients you can grow and what you will need to purchase.  Start planning now, watch for sales on items you will need to purchase and be sure to stock up on it when it’s most feasible.  And your canning books are as important as anything.  A few of the VERY best I could recommend are:

Ball Canning Book

Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving

Canning is just one aspect to preserving your food.  Dehydrating is another.  Do you have a dehydrator?  You can look on Craigslist or garage sales to find one, but if you are seriously planning on building a food supply, you really need to invest in one.  And because dehydrating is sometimes much more than slicing and drying, you will want a great cookbook.  The best on the market (by many standards and reviews) is Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook.

The same is true for a vacuum seal system.  I use and would recommend the FoodSaver which is a workhorse.  I use it nearly every day and much more in the summer months.   All these appliances which allows you to protect and preserve your food may not pay for themselves this season, but they will pay for themselves over time.

LONG TERM STORAGE

Also, if you plan on putting some of your foods into long-term storage, you will need oxygen absorbers and mylar bags.  Start asking your bakery and deli department for 5 gallon buckets now. You may also wish to purchase moisture absorbers as an added line of protection for your food.  You will need these if you plan to store food.  Many local businesses will give them away or sell them for $1 each.  But, be sure you get food-grade buckets.  You may also wish to invest in high quality gamma lids.

 

 

 

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Finished Red BeansI don’t have any fresh produce harvest to satisfy my urge to do some canning, so I decided to can some red beans I had in my home store to create another use for them in my home store.  Canning from bulk, dry beans saves you a good amount of money and is healthier and tastes better.  Having these beans ready for my red beans and rice or chili makes them very convenient, too. I do not add any spices to my beans, not even salt.  I prefer to spice them when I decide on which dish I am preparing.  However, if you like, you can add spices to yours.

I started out by washing and carefully inspecting them, removing any bad beans or pebbles.  Once this step was done, I put them in to soak in a large container overnight.  Step 1 - Adding Beans

I then dumped that water, washed them again and ladled them into hot, sanitized quart canning jars.

Remove Air Bubbles

Here you will add boiling water and using a plastic or wood utensil, remove any trapped air bubbles from your beans.  Check your headspace and adjust the water level to have a 1″ (2.5 cm)headspace.

Wiping Rims

Never, ever forget to wipe the rims and check for chips or cracks.  Forgetting this step could cause your batch to fail.

Lids and Bands

After cleaning the rims of each jar, center the lid on jar.  Screw band down until it is finger-tip tight.  Here, I am using white Tattler Lids and standard bands.

Beans in Canner

Place jars in your pressure canner.  Adjust water level, lock lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Vent steam for 10 minutes, then close vent.  Continue heating  to achieve 10 pounds (69 kPa) pressure and maintain this pressure to process for  75 minutes for pint jars, 90 minutes for quart jars.

Diagram of Canner

Jars in canner

Once the time is up, turn off the heat source and allow canner to cool down and relieve the pressure.  Once the pressure is diminished, remove the lid and allow them to sit for approximately 10 more minutes.

Removing Jars with Lifter

Using a rubber jar lifter (please don’t try using anything else), carefully remove your jars and place them on a towel and leave them undisturbed for 24 hours.

Finished Red Beans

After 24 hours, remove the bands and check all the seals. If any did not seal correctly, put them in the refrigerator and use them within 2 weeks.  Wash your jars, label and date them.

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IMG_0286I recently posted the recipe for the sourdough starter I made.  It turned out very, very good.  So of course, I needed to jump right in and start making sourdough bread.  I searched high and low and happened across a recipe to make it in my Emeril’s bread machine.  I was a bit skeptic, but it obviously turned out really good.  Otherwise, I would not be posting it.

Honing skills for making bread it a very important to overall preparedness.  Self-reliance and saving money is what I am all about.  Learning these skills now, before SHTF, will only serve you and your family well when the time comes that you have no choice but to make your own.

Sourdough Bread Ingredients

These simple ingredients (which you likely have) is all it takes, and the machine does all the work!

Yeast, Sugar, Salt

The quality of ingredients are important.  I used Pink Himalayan Salt, raw sugar and bread maker yeast.

Dry Ingredients

I started by dumping 1 cup of flour, the sugar, salt and yeast into the machine and allowed it to mix up a bit.  Here, I have begun the cycle and the machine paddles are running.

Warm Milk

Slowing adding the sourdough starter, warm milk and soft butter to the dry ingredients.  This looks quite wet, but keep going. Next you will add the rest of the flour (2 1/2 cups).

Kneading

At this stage, I added the remaining flour (2 1/2 cups). The kneading is working and you can see how it is looking quite normal.  It is a dry dough.  There were crumbles separate from the mass.  I just pressed it all together and allowed it to finish.  Close the lid and allow your bread machine to finish the work.

NOTE:  Be sure to remove the paddles as soon as it’s done with kneading.  They are a bugger to get out of baked bread!

Sourdough Loaf

Allow your machine to run the complete cycle being sure to set it on dark crust setting.  You can see here, it turns out a beautiful, golden brown.  Remove it from the machine and cool on a wire rack.  But admittedly, we cut right into it.  Superb!

If you don’t have a bread machine or prefer to bake it in your oven, here is how to do that.

Combine your ingredients using exactly the same method and in the order listed for the machine version.  Once all the ingredients are combined, durn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, making sure to turn it to oil all surfaces.  Allow it to rise for 1 hour.

Punch down and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.  Now shape it into a load and place in a greased 2 pound loaf pan. Allow it to rise again for another hour.

Bake at 375* for 30 minutes.

Sourdough Bread . . . Bread Machine
Recipe Type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Author: PrepperPenny via Unsophisticook
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
This recipe is simple, delicious and works in a bread machine or conventional oven.
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbps Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp Dry Active Yeast
  • 3/4 Cups Warm Milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Softened Butter
  • 1 Cup Sourdough Starter
Instructions
  1. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast to your bread pan. If your bread machine has a warming cycle, turn it off and start a basic bread cycle to stir these ingredients together. Set your machine for a 2 pound, dark crust loaf.
  2. Slowly add warm milk, softened butter and sourdough starter (in this order)
  3. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour slowly into wet mixture.
  4. Close the top of the machine and allow it to finish out its’ cycle.
  5. When done, remove load and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Notes
Oven Directions: Add 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast to a mixing bowl SLowly stir in warm milk, butter and sourdough starter. Mix remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour – slowly – into mixture. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 8-10 minutes Place dough into an oiled bowl, being sure all surfaces get oiled. Allow to rise for 1 hour Punch down and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Shape into a loaf and place in a greased 2 pound loaf pan. Allow to rise for another hour. Bake at 375* for 30 minutes or until done.

 

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Retro Wife

 

Self reliance and saving on your grocery bill requires the ability to make things at home from basic supplies, much of which are found in your long-term storage.  Here is a great recipe for fail-safe buttermilk biscuits offered by reader Lisa Anglin.

After two years of dating and twenty-five years of marriage, my husband told me I have finally succeeded at making biscuits. You would NOT believe the trials and errors I have gone through. These biscuits were easy to make and sooooo good! I just wanted to share the recipe with you and any of your readers that might be interested. Lisa

Buttermilk Biscuits
Recipe Type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Author: Laura Salisbury, Lazy Ladder Ranch 1985
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 2 dozen
After two years of dating and twenty-five years of marriage, my husband told me I have finally succeeded at making biscuits. You would NOT believe the trials and errors I have gone through. These biscuits were easy to make and sooooo good! I just wanted to share the recipe with you and any of your readers that might be interested. ~ Lisa Anglin
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg. dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup water (warm)
  • Add to yeast mixture:
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shortening
Instructions
  1. Stir until well mixed. A little more flour may be needed so dough is not sticky. Put saran wrap over bowl and place in refrigerator until ready to roll out (I skipped this step since I was making them for supper).
  2. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen regular size biscuits.
  3. Roll or pat out on well-floured board. Cut with cutter of desired size. Place in well-greased pan (I used a tin-foil covered pizza pan coated with butter). These will keep in refrigerator and can be baked as needed. These biscuits are halfway between rolls and biscuits and are delicious (I’ll vouch for that! The dough is somewhat sweet).

 

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