Category: Frugal Living Tips

TMR Frugal Living Tip #93

Water Down JuiceToday’s thrifty living tip is to water down juice. It stretches out the juice plus it cuts back on the amount of sugar your kid(s) drink. I know that drinking water is the best beverage and many of us do not drink enough water daily. I used to add an extra 1/4 cup of water so it still tasted good to my son. I also use this tip for cranberry juice. I do not like the taste of it, but it tastes more like a cocktail type drink to add a small amount to my water.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #92

Banking OnlineToday’s thrifty living tip is to use online banking to pay your bills. I have a couple of my bills automatically drafted, but I use my bank’s online bill pay system for all my other bills for free. At the beginning of each month, I schedule all my bills with the date I want them to be paid. It is much less trouble, and I save money on stamps and checks.

The price of stamps is getting very expensive. I have about 10 bills to pay, so this saves me close to $5 a month in stamps. I realize $60 does not seem like much savings, but that is equivalent to buying a couple more Christmas gifts. It all adds up especially in this economy with the cost of living going up rapidly, and my husband’s salary is not. I write two checks a month so one box lasts for a couple of years. My bank does offer rewards for using its online bill pay service.

Do you use online banking?

*Note: All reputable banks have security locks on their page but just double check for extra reassurance. *Note: I have used online banking for over 12 years safely.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #92

Today’s thrifty living tip is to use a bag as a paint tray liner. I don’t have any pictures, but basically use a plastic shopping bag or even a garbage bag as a liner for the paint tray. It’s much cheaper than buying those plastic throw away ones at the store. It is much easier to clean up when you are done. I just put the paint tray inside the bag and tie at the end. It stays in place, and all I have to do is untie and throw the mess away. Try it for your next painting project.

Tiramisu as My Birthday Cake

Divine Tiramisu

My mom is an amazing baker. She makes all her delicious desserts from scratch. When she asked me what I wanted for my birthday, then I immediately replied Tiramisu please. I recently asked her where she found the recipe so I could share it on my blog. She got it off the back of the bag of lady fingers she uses (the brand will be listed in the recipe below). The Tiramisu cake was just as divine as it looks in the picture.

*Note: She usually uses Brandy but did use Marsala which made it taste a little stronger. You could smell the wine more than the brandy. Strange but true.

Tiramisu Recipe

To make tiramisu begin by making zabaglione cream as follows:

5 egg yolks from Large Grade eggs – 1/4 cup sugar – 1/2 cup Marsala

In the top part of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale yellow in color. In the bottom part of the double boiler, bring water to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Place egg yolk mixture over water and gradually add Marsala, beating continuously. Scrape bottom and sides of pan occasionally and cook 6-10 minutes until soft mounds can be formed. Transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

1 cup whipping cream, chilled

4 tbsp. sugar

1 lb. Mascarpone Cheese (if unavailable, substitute two 8 oz pckgs. cream cheese combined with 1/2 cup whipping cream and 5 tbsp. Sour cream)

1 recipe Zabaglione

2 cups (16 oz) freshly brewed espresso or other strong brew coffee

1/2 cup Brandy or Marsala

1 tbsp. vanilla

2 7oz pkg Alessi Savoiardi Cookies

3 tbsp. cocoa powder

*Chocolate curls or edible flowers for garnish (optional)

Whip Cream with 2 tbsp sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in Mascarpone and Zabaglione and mix till well blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. On a separate bowl, mix espresso, 2 tbsp sugar, Brandy and vanilla. Arrange 16 cookies on the bottom of a 9″x13″ pan. Carefully spoon about 1 tbsp of the coffee mixture over each cookie so they are well saturated but not falling apart. Spoon 1/3 cheese mixture over cookies and sprinkle with 1 tbsp cocoa. Repeat two more times ending with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate at least 5  hours or overnight so that cookies can soften as they absorb moisture. Garnish and serve. Makes 12 servings.

*My mom does not use either one for garnish and just leaves the cocoa powder on top.

Enjoy the wonderful tiramisu cake and please let me know what you think.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #91

oxycleanToday’s thrifty living tip is to use OxiClean to get out old stubborn stains. I used to sell clothes that I would buy and resell on Ebay. I came across clothes that would have set-in stains which is hard to get out. I would make a paste of OxiClean with a little water in a plastic bowl and just spread a little onto the stain. I used this on colored clothes, and it never left bleach stains. I used the regular OxiClean since the color safe version didn’t exist. I would let it sit for 30 minutes and just throw it in the washer. It always got out the stains.

I also used another trick for whites and light pastel colors. I would boil water and pour into one of those plastic tubs (the free ones from the hospital), and dissolve 1 tbs of OxiClean before adding the stained parts of the garments. I didn’t leave too long in this mixture, and usually let the garments soak for about 10-20 minutes. I made this batch when I had several garments, and the water stayed hot for a while. It was extremely rare for neither process to remove a stain.

I still like the other stain removers for new stains, but this Oxiclean method was the best I found for removing old or set-in stains. What is your method of removing old stains from clothing?

TMR Frugal Living Tip #90

bakingsodatowhitenteeth
Today’s thrifty living tip is to whiten teeth with baking soda.  I know you can purchase toothpaste made with baking soda, but I don’t find they work all that well. Those whitening strips are very expensive even with coupons and sales.

I find the very best way to whiten my teeth is to use plain baking soda. I make a paste with a teaspoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt, and add a little water. Use that paste to brush your teeth. You could also just sprinkle a little on a wet toothbrush. I find the paste cleans better. I then rinse my mouth well with water. You can use a little hydrogen peroxide, but be careful to never ingest peroxide (even food grade). I would suggest if you ever want to swish with peroxide then mix it with an equal amount of water.

I only use this mixture once to twice a month. Baking soda is abrasive and will wear away the enamel if used often. My dentist reassured me it is safe to use but not daily. He recommends no more than once a week at most, but said every other week would be safer. My teeth are not overly stained so I stick to once a month.

Have you tried baking soda as a tooth whitener? If you have, then what were your results?

Spring is in the Air

I realize many people reading this post title are thinking I have lost my mind! They are looking out their windows to see snow covering the ground. There isn’t a hint of spring to be seen.

Here in the deep south, we are seeing a much different sight with spring already here. We did not have much of a winter this year. It was pretty mild, and this is the warmest January I can remember in years. January is normally one of the coldest months of the whole year in South Louisiana, but not this year. We are getting a day or two of cold weather, but then it warms back up to the 70’s and flirting with the 80’s! I have even had to run my air conditioner a few times already this month. That is really crazy!

The biggest sign of spring are the clover patches in my grass, and many trees are already blooming along with my azalea bushes. The picture above are blooms from one of my azalea bushes. They are so pretty. I usually do not see this sight until mid to late February. My husband actually had to cut the grass earlier this month. Again our grass is usually dead and no clover in the yard.

All of this spring weather has gotten to me thinking about my spring garden. If you want to grow your own transplants of tomatoes or bell peppers, then in Zone 9 you would have started earlier this month. I decided to skip growing tomatoes as we do not really eat them. I simply do not have the time to make sauces. I am growing bell peppers, but I have my fil giving me some next month as I only need a few plants. I usually chop them up to freeze. The main plant I want to grow this year is cucumbers. I eat at least 2-3 weekly in my salads, but I want to make Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Chips again this year. It was a huge hit with everyone. I will also get some blackberry shoots from my fil as I love fresh berries. One year I plan to tackle growing strawberries. I think I will also grow some red potatoes as well. Nothing like harvesting fresh vegetables and fruits.

Are you seeing signs of spring in your area, or does old man winter look like he is staying? Are you planning your spring garden yet? If you are, then please share with me what you are growing. I love reading about what others are doing in different parts of the country and world.