• Use leftover potato mash or powdered mashed potato to thicken soups, etc. (Good GF option, too)
  • Make porridge or rice instead of eating chips, etc. It's cheaper and more filling.
  • make your own instant porridge by adding oats, milk powder, and any flavourings you like to ziplock bags. Add dried fruit, nuts, etc.
  • replace some of the meat in your meal with beans or lentils.
  • make tacos with lettuce leaves instead of tortillas. Use light cream cheese instead of sour cream - it's less messy.
    • also try making Korean wraps, etc. Any kind of food that would normally use a tortilla or pita wrap.
  • buy shredded cheese and other pizza toppings, portion them out into ziplock bags and freeze them.
  • grow new vegetables from the roots of spring onions, celery, etc
  • if the smell/flavour of spice has faded, dry fry it in a pan to revive it. If whole spices have lost their properties, use them in potpourri or craft projects.
  • when making crumble, use a little cake mix instead of flour.
  • save onion peels and throw them on the coals when barbequing.
  • use pickle, onion or olive juice in the basting liquid for roasts.
  • stir a little pickle juice into the dressing for potato salad.
  • blend equal parts butter and vegetable oil together to make your own 'margarine' without the chemicals.
  • mix your own herb/spice mixes and store in a jar or ziplock bag. Make one suitable for adding to salad dressings.
  • Buy cottage cheese on sale. Use it for baking. When needed, thaw in the fridge. After thawing, drain the watery liquid and stir in some sour cream so it isn't dry.
  • make your own sauces.
  • Have fun with pasta by cooking it in beetroot juice to make Magenta Spaghetti.
  • get mince beef, pork etc and roll it into small balls or discs before freezing. Use in any kind of meals -- use discs on pizza.

slow cooker

  • cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker in some water. Remove the chicken and use for whatever. Add a couple of cans of tomatoes and cook down into a pasta sauce. Add some vegetables towards the end. (From Ivy.)


  • things to do with plums list
  • use a pitcher to pour jam into jars with minimal mess. Use stainless steel or ceramic, not aluminium.
  • the juice left from pickles can be re-used. Collect the juice and the new vegetables you want to pickle, and heat them gently in a saucepan. Add chilli flakes etc if desired. Simmer for 10 minutes. Vegetables can be placed in the jar without heating, but you will need to wait 3-4 days for the flavour to develop. These pickles will not last long term.
  • canning Jalapeno Peppers. Wash them; pack them into canning jars. You can put them in whole, or slice them up first.If you like, poke a clove of garlic in the jar. I add 1/2 teaspoon salt if putting them up in pint jars or 1 teaspoon for quarts. Mix White Vinegar and water in a saucepan. 1 cup water to 2 cups vinegar. Bring to a hard rolling boil. Pour into jars to cover peppers. Secure lids with bands, and invert them on a towel. You can turn them over in about 20 minutes or just let them cool completely before turning. This makes it easy to do one jar or several.
  • to keep vegetables, etc submerged, fill a plastic bag (e.g. ziplock bag) with water and place it on top of them.
  • stone fruits can be frozen without cooking first. Cut in half and remove the stones. Spray with lemon juice to prevent going brown. The thawed fruit will be squishy but can be used in baking, crumbles, etc.
  • save the lids from glass jars and use them on preserves jars once opened. Then the rings/lids can be used for more preserving projects sooner.
  • Canning Fruit in the Oven


1 quart fruit2 cups sugar1 quart water1 tsp. Fruit Fresh


Pack your fruit in jars. Add the Fruit Fresh then make your syrup. Combine sugar and water; boil to dissolve sugar. Cover your fruit with syrup.

Seal your lids tight; put on a baking sheet in a cold oven. You can do as many as you sheet will hold. If you have two baking sheets that will fit at the same time that's okay too.Turn the oven on and bake 1 hour at 250 degrees F. Let the fruit cool completely before opening the door.


  • flour mix to try:
    • 2 cups Rice Flour
    • 2 Tbsp. Tapioca Flour
    • 1/4 cup Corn Starch
    • 1 tsp. Xanthan gum
    • To make self rising flour, add 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder and 1/2 tsp. salt per cup of flour.

quick recipes

  • grill fresh nectarines on the stove or BBQ then serve with ice cream for dessert, or with blue cheese and greens for a salad.
  • to make a healthier gravy: make a dark brown roux and use the water from cooking vegetables to make a sauce.
  • Boil 2 cups water with green jasmine tea with one crytallized ginger slice and (optional)raw sugar to taste. Steep for six minutes, let cool. When cool, blend with 1/2 can of frozen lemonade (pineapple is also an option). Freeze!
  • use tapioca pearls and fruit juice as a base for a fresh fruit dessert.
  • Cappuccino Mix
    • 1 1/3 cups instant coffee, with or without caffeine
    • 1 1/2 cups plain powdered coffee creamer
    • 2 cups hot chocolate mix, reg. or sugar-free
    • 1 cup sugar or sugar substitute
    • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • DIY honey mustard sauce
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
    • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • Thousand Island Dressing
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 3/4 cup ketchup
    • 1 cup green pickle relish
  • Eggnog drink powder:
    • milk powder
    • vanilla pudding mix
    • nutmeg
    • sugar or vanilla sugar
    • serve with milk, either hot or cold
  • To make face paint mix 1 tsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. cold cream, 1/2 tsp. cold water and add food coloring. Mix the ingredients well and paint away! This will wash off with cold cream.


  • add a tablespoon of honey to cake mix and it will make the cake more moist and won't dry out as quickly. Works on any kind of cake.
  • if bread is crumbly, add more liquid next time.
  • to make bread softer, use nonstick spray instead of flouring the bench.
  • use light olive oil instead of butter in bread recipes.
  • cake mix can be used to make biscuits: just add a little water and oil until its a firm consistency. Shape the biscuits or roll the dough into a log and cut slices.


  • set up a jar of white vinegar (not quite full). Every time you eat an orange, put the peel in it. Let it infuse for about a month. When it's time to clean, scoop some out and dilute with some water. Use on floors, surfaces, windows, etc.


  • buy staples when they're on sale, like rice, pasta, and canned beans & tomatoes.
  • buy snack foods in large packets and divide them up yourself at home.
  • don't even go down the aisles that have more expensive/unhealthy foods.
  • eat just before going shopping.

around the kitchen

  • use coffee filters as liners in the large muffin tin.
  • if you can't find your funnel or the mouth is too big, use a sandwich bag with the corner cut off instead.
  • when making potato salad, boil the eggs in the same saucepan as the potatoes so you only need to use one burner.

around the house

  • use old socks for:
    • handwarmers/anklewarmers
    • heat bag with uncooked rice
    • scrap fabric for embellishments
    • protecting Christmas ornaments, etc
  • Instead of disinfectant, add white vinegar to the washing machine to disinfect clothes.


  • make a vintage teatowel into a cocktail apron
  • use a plushie toy as a pincushion


  • baking powder:
    • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp. cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Substitute for Corn Syrup

This is a substitute for corn syrup. A cheaper alternative.


2 cups sugar3/4 cup water1/4 tsp. cream of tarter dash of salt


Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and put a cover on for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often.

Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep 2 months. Yield: almost 2 cups. For dark corn syrup add 1/4 cup molasses to the above recipe.

may 22 2016 ∞
oct 26 2018 +