Thursday, May 19, 2022

Same Old Stuff - New Uses

 A box is a box is a box!  That is what we have been taught.  Not always true.  A box can be a shelter.  A box can be a fort.  A box can be ....... whatever you want it to be!  
Such is so with many other things.  As everyone looks for ways to save and stretch money, food and other items - look outside the 'box' and use old things in new ways.
FUN
                                                      CORN COB JELLY - yes, it is tasty!


                                    
                                      MAKING CARAMEL FROM CONSENSED MILK 

I have done this and it does work.  It is very good.  I know that is a long time in a crockpot - but if you have the condensed milk - it saves you a trip out.  It can be done on the stove as well - cover the can in water (keep covered) and slowly heat for about 2 hours.  Remove label - I lay on it's side (keep covered with 2" of water) - bring water to a boil - lower to med. heat and continue a slight boil for 2 hours or so.  Remove and slightly cool and then stick in the frig and cool.  CARAMEL!

                     These can all be used for a variety of cleaning projects.  Natural and clean.

Citrus cleaner not only smells good, it works.  Citrus helps keep ants at bay as well!

You can use any container you have for planting garden goodies.  Poke a few drainage holes and fill - and you are ready.  FREE planters

Not only is this good to use in a hot bath for a muscle soak - but good outdoors as well!!!!

YEP - it works.  I did this again, just yesterday.  My feet get dry in winter and also in summer.  This really helps.  I soak and then rinse my feet and use a washcloth to rub gently and - SOFT FEET!

Pretty self explanatory!!!  You just never know when the water may not flow and you may not have enough water to force a flush.  In an emergency or while camping/hunting this would sure work.  I would definitely use a trash bag to line bucket.  You  just can't be too prepared.


A couple ways to use up some Kool-Aid packets.  It is fun and tasty.  Make some homemade ice cream - any flavor.  On the ice cream - I have used evaporated milk instead of half and half.
Fruity cubes great for any drink!  I like certain flavors for iced tea and I have used flavors like grape or cherry in a glass of pop.  Good in sparkling water, whatever you want.  Just a refreshing treat.  
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Crush any type of crackers - regular or flavored (like cheese nips) or chips and use as toppings for casseroles or as extenders in meatloaf or meatballs

Rice cooked and used as a breakfast meal.  Top with honey, sugar, brown sugar, milk, yogurt - whatever you prefer.

Keep crumbs or scraps from cookies or cakes for toppings on ice cream, pudding or yogurt

Stale bread makes great croutons, or stuffing bits.  Can be totally dried and ground into bread crumb

Put baking soda/cornmeal combo on ant mounds.  They take it back to nest and they can't digest - it kills them.

Hummingbird feed - 1/4 C sugar to 1 C water.  Boil to melt all sugar crystals - cool and fill the feeders.  Use no other type of sweeteners or honey.  No food color!!!!

Done with your canning?  Use scalding water from canner to pour over ant hills or weeds in drive or fence rows.

So many second and third uses for just about everything!!!!!!  Open your imagination and get creative and save a few dollars.
What ideas do you use?  

43 comments:

  1. Yesterday I boiled a dozen eggs. I always save the cooling water once I remove them to the fridge. Generally I water houseplants but I had just done that Monday. So last night after dinner I poured it over the chicken carcass for making broth. Why not? The eggs were clean right?

    I need to establish a new habit of saving the original boiling eggs water as it usually goes down the drain along with the first cooling rinse. Hmmmmmmm.......I know I pour a lot of reusable water down the drain. A lot to think about!

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    1. I have used for watering plants and garden as well. Good idea on using with the carcass! I agree - why not?
      I am bad about letting a lot go down as well. I try to figure new uses. It is all a learning process.

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    2. Debby in Kansas USAMay 19, 2022 at 2:46 PM

      We use pasta water to kill driveway weeds. Egg water would work! I think that was from TTG.

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  2. Bacon grease! Don't throw out a single drop! I have found that it makes eggs better than cooking in butter and potatoes brown up in a skillet to the most crispy and delicious potatoes ever. Season vegetables and any other place you might use butter to cook or season. I figure this saves us a stick of butter a week which adds up to a pound or so every month.

    Every bit of our coffee grounds go on the tomato plants and egg shells do, too. Banana peels get chopped and worked into he soil around the tomatoes and peppers. Everything possible goes into the compost pile so that we have a fresh batch of compost next Spring.

    The ends of leaf lettuce gets planted and regrown in cooler parts of the growing season as well as the ends of celery. I planted the root ends of some green onions in a pot outside years ago and we are still cutting the tops in every season. They have even survived being buried in snow.

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    1. Amen on bacon grease - I always have a jar in frig. I keep ground beef grease as well - use for some other things. Bacon grease is pure flavor and wonderment!!!!!
      Compost - the only truly FREE fertilizer other than manure.
      Re-growing is always a great idea. It sure saves a lot.
      Thanks!!!!

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  3. In the Kitchen: I do many things already mentioned in your post, Cheryl, and in the comments. We eat a lot of peanut butter and I repurpose those plastic jars to hold homemade broth in the door of the freezer, as well as for homemade Panko (toasted bread crumbs), etc. I never throw out pan juices from roasts, instead pouring it through wire mesh into a measuring cup, refrigerating it overnight, popping off the now-solid fat that rises to the top, and using it to season rice, veggies, quick soups, etc. The other thing I do is hang onto free packets of things like taco sauce and so on to use as quick seasonings for meals.

    One thing I don't believe I've mentioned is I make jewelry using gemstones and pearls from other items bought at thrift shops, garage sales, discount store clearance (TJ Maxx, etc.) and closeouts. I even reuse clasps, earring wires and other findings. To purchase the materials from craft stores or online craft retailers would cost as much as 80% more!

    Looking forward to other ideas shared! --Elise

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    1. I save all the juices too. Ham, turkey, beef, pork - it all gets saved and is used for soups or other flavoring. Yep those freebie packets can season a lot. They can sure a nice penny over time. At least it saves from a run to the store for something.
      How cool on the jewelry. That is a fantastic idea to use old jewelry you find. So much savings. Smart cookie you are!

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    2. Sometimes I'm truly blessed with finds. Early this year I saw what I knew was a baroque Tahitian pearl necklace in a consignment antique store marked at $64, the pearl graduated in size from about 10 mm to 15 mm, measuring 36 inches in length. An 18 inch strand retails for around $1000. One of my best buys ever for reworking. --Elise

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    3. P.S. Lest anyone think I'd redesign jewelry and sell at retail pricing... nope. The point is I can make affordable gifts at a tiny fraction of the usual cost for materials. ;-)

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    4. I totally understand. I used to dabble in making a lot of crafty items in years past and I get it. I am sure everyone else does too!

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    5. That necklace sounds like a find of a lifetime. Smart catch.

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  4. Lots of good ideas here. One caveat about using any type of container to grow plants: if you are growing food, know what was in the container and be sure it will not leach poisonous chemicals into the food. I always use food-safe buckets.

    Now that we have a new trailer park manager (who likes to garden!), I plan to ask if I would be allowed to have a compost bin at the back of my lot.

    Changed out a broken window blind a few days ago and saved the old one for the components. Slats can make plant markers or garden section dividers (so can old curtain rods) when you're planting. Cord is always useful. I always save screws, and my screw jar came to my rescue again this week when the screws that came with some blind hardware were not long enough to secure the hardware through wallboard and into the framing around the window. Old lumber and defunct put-together bookshelves can be disassembled and used as utility shelving. Saved wire has come to the rescue more than a few times.

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    1. YES - make sure the containers are safe!!
      Oh, I hope the manager lets you - couldn't cause any harm.

      Those slats are very useful - plastic or wooden. I have one of those hardware boxes - with about everything in it. I grab it several times a year for some project.
      You have some great ideas there. Thanks!

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  5. Debby in Kansas USAMay 19, 2022 at 3:02 PM

    Love the Kool aid and sparkling water idea.

    You guys brought back memories of my Grandma's little bacon crock. She added that grease to all kinds of things, but I agree with Lana on the eggs and potatoes! Super yummy! I also remember she saved the pickle juice in late spring and just add her short cukes to them.

    I met my husband's family on the first Thanksgiving we dated. I was helping with cleanup and asked for a container for the turkey drippings. Now SIL hands me a big yam can and says to use that. Odd.... She put it in the fridge. Later on, I heard her tell her son to wrap the yam can in a plastic bag and put it out in the garbage. I was so shocked because turkey drippings we're near sacred in our house!! When I told my mom, she gasped in horror!!! "That's sacrilegious!!!!"

    I have a bottle of orange vinegar stewing in the pantry this very minute! Should be done by June 1. I date the lid to keep track.

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    1. Bacon grease is an ingredient at my house! Potatoes, eggs, in green beans, in baked beans, you name it. Anything I want a little bacon flavor in.
      I keep ALL pickle juice - I often re-use it for cukes or cauliflower - but mostly I drink it. Really does help with restless leg (dill). I also use a little in tuna salad, egg salad, over regular salad (depending on sweet or dill). Super tasty in a Bloody Mary!!!!! (dill)
      Oh my gosh, I would have been horrified as well. Drippings make so many wonderful things.

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  6. Love all these ideas, it is amazing what one can reuse when you put your mind to it.

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    1. Yes it is. Most everything can have at least one more use.

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  7. I thought of you all in this group today! I went thrifting today with my mom and the cashier put my purchases in a plastic bag that had a long nylon drawstring. The bag tore but I retrieved the drawstring. Now I have 12 feet of cord to use in my garden! Lol....

    -margaret

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    1. Yay - good thinking. That is a good amount of cord. Smart save!!!

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  8. I reuse old purses. There is always something to store, so why not store it in purses. Gloves can be stored over the winter in a purse. Deodorant bought on sale? Put all those in a purse.

    A lot of the ideas in your post and the comments are things I do, too. And, my parents made food taste so good, all likely from the bacon grease. I don't use enough bacon to use in everything, but Mama did.

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    1. My Grandfather used old purses for tool storage. We always got a hoot out of him working on the car with a whole row of purses lined up nearby.

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  9. Yes, my bacon grease always goes in the jar in my fridge. I got Jimmy Dean sausage yesterday for 2.47lb. I bought 4 rolls, 3 went into the freezer. Cooked one today, patties for the fridge for breakfast this week. I used that grease to make some milk gravy to serve over toast. I have breakfast for days.
    When my Mom lived with me I would save the juices from pickled beets. When she ran out I would add a can of beets to the jar and put it back in the fridge. The cans were cheaper than the pickled and we got many uses from reusing the juice.

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    1. Nothing like sausage gravy! My Mom reused pickled beet juice too and added hard boiled eggs as well. Yum!

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  10. Great tips and reminders Cheryl. I need to rethink ways to use things up and your list is a big help.

    God bless.

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    1. Thanks Jackie. I think we all need work in that area.

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  11. I cannot get over how good that caramel looks made just from a can of condensed milk. I love caramel so I have to try that. That bucket with the pool noodle is kinda clever. LOL I agree with you that it should be lined with a plastic bag of some sort, just to make it a little more sanitary.

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    1. The caramel is very good.
      I know - it would be more sanitary and a whole lot easier to clean up!!!!!

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  12. Lots of great ideas here. Old jars can be reused for storing dry goods. I like to put my dried herbs in those. I like to put leftovers in empty canning jars for refrigerator storage; simply re-label a used lid, so you know what's in there. If I am marinating meat pieces, a wide-mouth jar works well and you can easily shake it up throughout the marinating process. Lemon wedges for iced tea seem to last longer in a glass jar, too.

    Need to stash away some cash and coins for emergency use? They fit perfectly in empty prescription bottles, which don't take up a lot of space for safekeeping. For bills, simply roll them up and slide them in. With so many pill bottle sizes, there's pretty much one for every size coin.

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    1. I love re-using jars. It does make it easier to find things since you can see threw them!
      Good idea on the stash of coin and bills. Pill bottles would work wonderfully. I have a bunch of change!!! I used to save it - then I got to thinking, if I just use it, it still benefits me greatly. Even doing that, I have jars of coin and I have a couple stashes of bills. JUST IN CASE!
      Thanks!!

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  13. These are great!!! I wish there was a like button for comments, too. So much info there, too!

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    1. Thank you. Ooooo a like button on blogs - that would be cool!

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  14. Debby in Kansas USAMay 20, 2022 at 8:51 AM

    My quilt group has prescription bottles with holes drilled in top by each sewing machine (along with my oatmeal container trash cans!). We drop bent straight pins in them. I also store loose razor blades in the larger bottles. Both are much safer to keep around and for going into the trash.

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  15. I love the fruity ice one-perfect for this hot weather! I didn't know about the ant solution ...going to try that. The ants come in my house to dodge the rain ha ha

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    1. It has been a hot one! Mini ants are everywhere this spring!!!!!

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  16. So many great ideas here. I appreciate reading your blog. Also the pool noodle on the 5 gallon bucket is genius and more comfortable. I drive my kids crazy saving every little bit but I think they are getting the idea now.

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    1. Thank you! It should be more comfortable than squatting! LOL
      You keep doing it! Kids sometimes learn, but keep quiet. Hopefully they are getting it - it is important now!

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  17. Bacon grease is great for sautéing shredded cabbage too.

    My sewing box (originally belonged to my Mother) has several old prescription bottles filled with sewing needles, bobbins, etc.

    The plastic containers from Crystal Light will hold charging cords for cell phones, etc. The empty containers from Talenti Gelato hold a full bar of grated Fels Naptha. I often grate one or two bars at a time while sitting outside enjoying the weather or while watching a DVD.

    I second a "like" button for comments. I learn so much from your blog and the associated comments!

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    1. Mmmmm bacon grease and cabbage - indeed. Really I can't think of much it isn't good with!!
      Good idea on those plastic containers and uses of pill bottles. I think it is so neat all the things we can reuse and the ideas that have been presented by you all.
      Love having you here. Thank you!

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  18. Did you know that you can make the caramel from sweetened condensed milk by using your instant pot? Way faster! https://pin.it/DmjoX8N. Easy and delicious!

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    1. Gardenpat in Ohio

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    2. Thanks Pat!!! I do not have and instant pot - but many others do, I am sure. Good tip!

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