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November 20, 2008 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

Frugal Friday

This week, let’s focus on some great cleaning tips that are also great for the environment.

Chemicals used for cleaning your home are typically very toxic. Eliminating these toxins from your home will make your indoor environment a healthier place, and you may even notice that you feel better as well.

  • Clean toilets with a mixture of a half cup of borax and one cup of fresh lemon juice. Your toilets will sparkle and your bathroom will have a clean, lemon scent.
  • Pour vinegar over pet stains on your carpet. Blot with a clean towel until your carpet is clean. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell evaporates quickly.
  • Clean mirrors and windows with a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. If you have been using a commercial glass cleaner, try adding a couple of drops of dish soap to this mixture to remove any waxy buildup. Wipe glass clean with newspaper instead of paper towels.
  • Got a clogged drain? Boil some vinegar and pour down the drain to dissolve the clog.
  • Add a half cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle of your washer to act as a bleach for white clothes.
  • Add a quarter cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle for a fabric softener. Try putting it in a fabric softener ball with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

April 1, 2009 at 8:47 am 3 comments

Frugal Friday

This week, let’s focus on some great cleaning tips that are also great for the environment.

Chemicals used for cleaning your home are typically very toxic. Eliminating these toxins from your home will make your indoor environment a healthier place, and you may even notice that you feel better as well.

  • Clean toilets with a mixture of a half cup of borax and one cup of fresh lemon juice. Your toilets will sparkle and your bathroom will have a clean, lemon scent.
  • Pour vinegar over pet stains on your carpet. Blot with a clean towel until your carpet is clean. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell evaporates quickly.
  • Clean mirrors and windows with a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. If you have been using a commercial glass cleaner, try adding a couple of drops of dish soap to this mixture to remove any waxy buildup. Wipe glass clean with newspaper instead of paper towels.
  • Got a clogged drain? Boil some vinegar and pour down the drain to dissolve the clog.
  • Add a half cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle of your washer to act as a bleach for white clothes.
  • Add a quarter cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle for a fabric softener. Try putting it in a fabric softener ball with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

April 1, 2009 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

Hump Day Humor

Here’s a cool site  that I just found!  You start by taking a quiz on how many calories each food has.  After you guess, it tells you how many it really has and also gives you a food alternative with fewer calories.  At the end, it gives you a list of different activities that you can do to work off those extra calories!  Try it!  It’s fun, yet it has some great info, too!

March 25, 2009 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Menu Monday

A few weeks ago, rather than just creating a menu, I included several recipes using a main ad item.  Although I usually tried to use only ad items before, the recipe’s seemed to be much more popular than just the menu.  So, from now on, Menu Monday will feature MAINLY ad items but will include several recipe options for you to try.

We’re in between temperatures right now.  One day it’s soup weather and the next day it’s salad weather.  So, here is the best of both worlds. 

Soups

Spud Soup
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 15 Min.
Cook Time: 45 Min.
What you need:
* 2 1/2 lb. Idaho Potatoes- 8 lb bag 2.99
* 49.5 oz. chicken broth-Kitchen Basics Broth- 2/$5 
* 1/2 c. sliced celery
* 1/2 c. chopped onion
* 1/4 tsp.dried thyme or oregano leaves
* salt and pepper
* 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables- Our Family Frozen Vegetables- $1
* 1 c. chopped cooked chicken, turkey or fish, or drained canned salmon or tuna- Starkist Tuna- 5/ $4
What to do:
1. Scrub the potatoes with a vegetable brush in the sink under cold running water.
2. Peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler, although you can leave the peels on if you wish.
3. Using a big sharp knife (and with permission or help) on a cutting board, cut the potatoes in half the long way. Put the halves cut side down on the cutting board and cut each half lengthwise into 4 pieces. Then cut the long slices cross™wise to make small (about 1 in.) pieces.
4. Get out a large saucepan or pot and put the potatoes in the pot.
5. Open the can of chicken broth and pour into the pot.
6. Add the celery, onion and thyme or oregano and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
7. Put the pot on the burner and turn it to High. When the broth starts to boil, turn the heat down to Medium Low so the broth is just barely bubbling.
8. Cover the pot and set the timer for 30 min.
9. Using potholders, carefully remove the cover and poke one of the pieces of potato with a long handled fork or a knife to be sure the potatoes are tender. If the potatoes aren’t yet tender, cook another 5 min.
10. Open the pkg. of frozen vegetables and carefully add them to the pot. Add the chicken and cover on the pot.
11. Set the timer so the soup will simmer for 10 more min.
12. Ladle out a small amount of soup into a bowl and taste. Add more salt and pepper if you think it is necessary.
Nutritional information:
Calories: 287;   Total Fat: 3g;   Cholesterol: 19mg;   Total Carbs: 47g;   Fiber: 4g;   Protein: 17g;   Sodium: 921mg;  
 
Herbed Potato Soup (serves 5) 
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced- Idaho Potatoes- 8 lb bag 2.99
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk- 1/2 gallon $1

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place potatoes and water in a large saucepan; cook over medium heat until tender. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, saute onion butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme, rosemary, and pepper. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add potatoes with cooking liquid; heat through.

 
Salads
 
Tuna Ceasar Salad
Ingredients:
2 Cans of  Tuna- Starkist Tuna- 5/ $4
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated to taste
Croutons
2 quarts Romaine lettuce leaves, washed, torn, and chilled
Additional Parmesan cheese, grated to taste
Caesar dressing
(Note: Dole Salad Mix is on sale this week for $1- you might want to substitute this in for the Romaine lettuce)
Directions:

In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and tuna. Add Caesar Dressing to taste; toss gently. Serve with cheese and croutons.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 8

Broccoli Chicken Salad (serves 2)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (note- this would probably work well with the tuna that is on sale this week)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons salted sunflower kernels
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

FOOTNOTE

  • Nutritional Analysis: 1-1/2 cups (prepared with fat-free mayonnaise) equals 353 calories, 13 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 551 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 36 g protein.

March 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm Leave a comment

Frugal Friday

In honor of earth day, for the next month, my Frugal Friday post will be dedicated not only to saving money, but also to saving the earth.  There are things we can all do to help. 

This week, let’s look at some things that will help save energy- which will save you money on your energy bill.

  • Turn off your oven 15 minutes early.
  • Put a lid on pots that you want to boil.
  • Thaw food before cooking.
  • Allow dishes in the dishwasher to air dry.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.

March 20, 2009 at 7:00 am 2 comments

Menu Monday

This week, the weather is getting warmer and I feel like eating lighter.  So, this week’s featured menu is the classic soup, salad, and grilled cheese.

Heat up some Our Family “Family Size” Soup.  Pick up a bag of Dole Salad Mix.  And, make grilled cheese sandwiches using Healthy Life Bread and Kraft Cheese.

Shopping List 

Produce-

Dole Bag Salad- 2/ $3

Dairy-

Kraft Cheese- 5/ $10

Grocery-

Our Family “Family Size” Soup- 2/ $3

Healthy Life Bread- 3/ $5

Shopping List Total- 8.17

March 16, 2009 at 7:47 pm Leave a comment

Earth Day Bags Update

The bags are all sent out!  I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful creations the students have done this year.  Last year was so much fun to see them come in. 

Here are some links to some great websites to learn more about earth day and things we can all do.

Earth Day Info

http://ww2.earthday.net/

http://www.epa.gov/earthday/

http://www.nature.org/earthday/

http://www.nationalcenter.org/EarthDay98.html

Earth Day Projects

http://www.wnrmag.com/stories/1998/feb98/eday.htm

http://www.makingfriends.com/earthday.htm

http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Earth_Day_Projects

http://www.nickjr.com/shows/wond_parents/wonder_crafts/wond_egg_herb_garden.jhtml

Earth Day Coloring and Activity Sheets

http://printables.kaboose.com/holidays/earth-day/coloring-pages/earth-color.html

http://www.planetpals.com/earthday.html

http://www.picadome.fcps.net/Lab/currl/earth_day/default.htm#Printable%20Activities

http://www.akidsheart.com/holidays/eday/earthday.htm

Kid Friendly Websites For Earth Day

http://pbskids.org/earthday/

http://www.ecokids.ca/pub/kids_home.cfm

http://www.oviesdigs.com/

March 16, 2009 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

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