ThriftyNut

Survival Tips for One-Income Households

For the Scrabble (Words with Friends) Lovers!!!!

I have been playing Scrabble for years.  This has to be the one and only game I will jump up to sit down and play.  Thanks to Words with Friends, I can do this DAILY!!!  Yeeeee!  My sister hates playing me, but thank goodness she still does because I feel like I am a part of her world on a daily basis.  Weird, I know… But she has TWINS!!!  I don’t get to talk to her as often.  So I play her!  (and beat her too)  he he

So, to continue my addiction… I decided to put the old Scrabble board game to new use!  Using what I had laying around the house, here is what I came up with!   I know the Scrabble Lovers out there will love it too!

Now, where do I hang it???  Hmmmm

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DIY Coconut Milk, DOES IT WORK???

Mmmmm, Coconut Milk, just sounds refreshing!  And when I saw this post from one of my favorite bloggers, “One Good Thing” by Jillee, I had to put it to the test!  She is crazy nuts about the same things I am!  I look forward to every post!  She posts things I can’t wait to try making myself!

Coconut Milk… So what is it?  What is it good for?  Fresh, homemade coconut milk is far richer in vitamins, food enzymes and nutrients than coconut milk from a can or box.  Fresh coconut milk contains three times as much vitamin C as canned coconut milk and is richer in thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6.  Cutting your own coconut open is hard to do, so this recipe is definitely the easier route to get most of the same nutrients from shaved coconut.

Real coconut spoils rather quickly, so unless you live in a Tropical paradise, you probably will receive a coconut that has been treated to slow down the molding process.  With that said, the best coconut milk is one that you can make yourself.  www.freecoconutrecipes.com is packed full of information on coconuts and recipes and how to make coconut milk yourself.

Here was how I did it… I really was just trying this recipe out just to see if I could make milk out of coconut flakes and didn’t go out and buy the REAL organic coconut like I should have.  I thought just the regular coconut tasted just fine until I did my research on it.  Coconut flakes need to be organic and you need to look for a bag that is not treated with sulfites and is not sweetened.  I did not know that!  The original recipe wasn’t specific about these details, and for my purpose of just trying the recipe out, I didn’t really care this time around… But now that I know it worked even with the generic coconut flakes and I did my research and discovered how bad these coconut flakes are for you, you betcha I will go back and find the organic unsweetened unsulfited (made that word up, lol) coconut flakes to try this recipe again…

So here is the recipe for coconut milk.

1/2 cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes with no sulfites

4 cups HOT water not boiling.

THAT’S IT!!!!

Really?  It is that simple?  Oh my gosh… Now you know why I was obsessed to run to my cabinet for my already sweetened crappy coconut and test it out as fast as I could.  Part of my creative addiction.  Trial and error is a must in my life.  I really should do more research on what I do before I do it, but WHAT FUN IS THAT???  lol

So here is how you do it…
 

Take 1/2 cup coconut flakes and pour it into your blender or your Magic Bullet… BUT MAKE SURE IT HAS A TIGHT SEAL!!!!  I did not know that my NEW Magic Bullet (the blender attachment) had no seal… Then you take hot water and push down on the FAST blender?  Let’s just say that I will NEVER use the blender attachment again.  What fun would it be if this didn’t happen to me?  lol  OUCH!!

So, I decided to still use the Magic Bullet, but use the smaller attachments that I knew had a seal.  I wasn’t about to give up even though I had coconut on my walls and cupboard doors and on the floor.  lol  (TRUST ME, this was my first experience with a blender explosion…now I can say that has happened to me, lol)

Let’s try this again… Take 1/2 cup organic unsweetened unsulfited coconut flakes, and 1 cup of hot water… I just set my teapot on the stove to almost boiling and then I knew it was hot enough.
Isn’t my teapot cute?  Though unfortunately it does not whistle…  😦

Blend for 20 pulses (I didn’t take a photo of the blending process, sorry)… Probably because I was still in pain from the hot water hitting me.  lol

Strain out the coconut and press down on it to really squeeze out the milk.  I would use something else rather than your hand to push down on it… he he   I got these strainers together at the dollar store!  They worked great, but I still used a spoon on top of them to push down the milk.

I found THIS on another blog from Crunchy Betty (don’t you just love her title?).  It was a comment from one of the readers which actually made sense and really would be something I would like to try.  The first squeeze is called “Kakang Gata” (meaning thick coconut milk).  The thickness of the milk will dictate its use.  So, for each time that you squeeze the milk out, it has varying potencies and will be used for certain things.  See her full comment posted at the end.  I didn’t see her comment until I did more research to blog about my findings after I already made the milk.  So I mixed mine back and forth because I knew the last cup of milk made would be way less potent.

I like that she commented on this post.  Coming from someone who uses and can share her experiences on this way of making coconut milk.  That means more than research and hard testing in a lab sometimes for me.

The second squeeze is just “Gata”. Take the strained coconut from the first squeeze and throw it back in the blender with another 1 cup of HOT water.  Blend for 20 pulses again and squeeze the milk out again the same way (now put this one in a different container).  You could label it #2 so you don’t forget what Gata and Kakang Gata means, lol…

Do this 2 more times for a total of 4 cups of yummy coconut milk.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE!!!

Here is what it made…

Keep in mind that this will not keep in your refrigerator longer than 1 week.  So, if you plan to use the milk, plan a week where you can actually get to your recipes to make them.

Here is the post from the reader on Crunchy Betty’s blog.

Fidelle Collapse

Hi! I’m from the Philippines and we love our coconut. We call it the Tree of Life. And it’s just so awesome that we have been blessed with many coconut trees. Here you can ask the ‘niyog’ vendor to grate the fresh white stuff for you. We soak the shavings in warm water. We squeeze the milk out with our own (clean) hands. The first squeeze is called “Kakang Gata” (meaning thick coconut milk). We rehydrate the shavings and the second squeeze is just “Gata”. The thickness of the milk will dictate its use.

We many uses for coconut milk. I use it as an all-around moisturizer. My mother uses it for cooking. We use it to polish the floor and the furniture.

I use Gata on my hair and face overnight then I wash it off in the morning. The reason is that it tends to react with the tropical heat and pollution, leaving a sticky mess. The milk leaves my skin glowing and pimple-free. I learned this from my mom. She is nearing 50 (ssshh!) but does not look a day older than 30! My hair suffered due to coloring and I brought it back to its former shiny, bouncy, wavy self with Gata.

We use Kakang Gata on curries and fish dishes. It’s great on vegetable stew. We also use Kakang Gata to top desserts or even make rice pudding. Yum yum yum!

Any left-over gata is stored in the ref to make Virgin Coconut Oil. A little goes a long way. VCO is my all-over body oil and hair shine serum. It reminds my bf of his favorite rice pudding *wink* I also use it to remove makeup. I mix it with honey and brown sugar for my face-n’-body-scrub.

I also take 2 spoonfuls of VCO or Kakang Gata everyday as a gentle laxative. It helped me loose weight. Mixed with honey, it also helps with my problem with acid reflux.

Nature has provided us with this great gift. And I intend to use it!

Yeah, I’m making y’all jealous on purpose. Har har har! *evil laugh*

What a great post!  I loved it!  I hope you did too!  There are all sorts of recipes on the Internet that include this awesome coconut milk.  I would love to hear your findings on them!

Until next creative inspiration hits me… lol

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EASY HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER!!!!

Crazy to think that I have been scared to try this recipe out.  One simple ingredient, one appliance to get dirty…

So here are your instructions…

Buy unsalted peanuts.  The Natural Food store down the street told me that there is really no “organic” peanut… Any will do.  That was interesting info to find out.

So, far starters, I bumped into unsalted peanuts from the Family Dollar next door.  SCORE!!!  It was only $2.15!!!!  I am sure in the future, I will want to buy bulk online.  For now, it was great to just try it out!

Break out your food processor, Magic Bullet, or whatever that can chop and pour the peanuts in.  Put about a cup of peanuts in at a time (it will work a lot better and faster with less, trust me)…  you will notice that it will start to mix and look like it is clumping together… Take a peak at it, separate it if you want and run it again… You will see it form a ball and that is when I pulled mine out.  Of course, I tasted mine at this point!  It was pretty creamy… I am sure you could separate it again and then turn on the food processor again to make it creamier… That is up to you.

That’s IT!!!!  So easy, why haven’t I done it in the past!  The best part, I know it is JUST peanuts!  So much healthier… until the jelly is mixed with it!  lol

Here is how much it made from the full container of peanuts.  Not bad!  We enjoyed it for dinner tonight.  I couldn’t wait until lunch tomorrow.

Have fun making your own and don’t forget to let me know how it goes!

 

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Diaper Trike, Oil Paintings, Chalk Drawings, Sewing Projects, Crocheting!

Here are some things I have done to help cure my creative insanity.  I am always looking for new ways to do things.  My creative side will never sleep.  lol

My husband thinks I am crazy because I never stick to one thing.  lol  Kinda the fun of it all, I am never bored.  And now that I have Pinterest, omgosh.

So, here are some of my ideas I love to show off.  Let me know what you think!

Here was a baby shower gift for a friend of mine.  I had so much fun researching and buying and making this.  Seriously, my husband has some patience with me.  lol  There are many different ways to do diaper gifts…. Diaper cakes, diaper trikes, diaper strollers… Have fun with it.  It is WAY more fun to give and see peoples reaction to it.  He He…   If you want to purchase one of these for a future baby shower, let me know and I can whip one up for you!

LOL, now this one is silly, I know… I made up the pattern as I went.  My child begged and begged me to buy a $5 penguin from the store with these really big eyes… Here is a photo of it…

I just couldn’t spend that much on a 6″ stuffed animal, so I made him one, lol  I am so cheap sometimes…  The funny part, he walked around the house with that for days so happy!  It was made with love, for sure!  He will kill me when he gets older… Here is another example of my son so happy to get something I made…

Now these were worth saving money on!  I bought 2 pillows for $3/each, a black fuzzy blanket (on sale of course), an off-white fuzzy blanket and a really fuzzy red blanket… They came to about $5/each at the time.  They always have them on sale around Christmas time.

I was able to make 2 Pillow Pets for the price of one!

Not only did my son love his pillow pet, but because mom made it for him, the anticipation built up with excitement when he saw the project coming together.

It was a really happy Christmas for him.

Now for the 2nd Pillow Pet…

Isn’t this the cutest thing EVER???  Seriously one of a kind.  I have not seen these in stores yet…  I don’t have a pattern and I know I did his nose too big, but it definitely looks like Elmo!  Most importantly, my littlest one LOVES it.  I also had fun seeing it all come together.

Why pay $20 for a pillow????!!!!  The actual pillow is the easy part to sew and figure out… Why not try to make your own?

I would love to try the Happy Nappers, but after these two projects, I am sick of sewing, lol

I also oil paint.  lol  This is actually something I have done for a while now.  Some paintings I like some I hate.  Here are some that I love!

Here is the original phtograph of my son… so cute, isn’t he?

Here is my finished oil painting of my son.  By far my best work, I think.

Here is another couple of paintings that I did for a friend of mine.

Here is the original photo of my parents.

Here is a chalk drawing of my parents that I did.

I guess I really do a lot of different things.  lol  But I love it… I will continue to share more when I dig them up.  Art is very therapeutic as long as your kid isn’t screaming in your ear, touching all of your projects, screaming for paper to draw, wanting to help, etc… That is why nap time comes in handy.  I will be very glad once I get more time when he starts school in the Fall!

These items that I showed you are very personal to me.  Please do not copy or reproduce these as your own.

 If you see something here that you would like to hire me to do for you, let me know.  I am very reasonably priced.  I even draw tattoos for people (don’t mistake that for actually tattooing)  lol…

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DIY Laundry Detergent

One of my biggest concerns lately is how much bad stuff is in our everyday products.  If it weren’t for my mom who died from cancer 5 months ago, I would not have looked into this myself.  I realized something in my research… Most companies just care about money and not what they are selling.  I have learned of many harmful ingredients in our everyday products that contribute to feeding cancer cells.  So why are we still using them?   Probably because we always have used them.  Maybe because they are convenient.

I felt the same way until my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  I am not okay with taking a pill or going through chemo because of my lifestyle.  So, I started doing my research and found a few surprising details…  It COSTS WAY LESS to make my own products that don’t have these ingredients, THEY WORK WAY BETTER and I know THEY ARE SAFE.  I never made these items because I thought they wouldn’t be as effective, I thought it would be hard to find the ingredients and I thought it would take too much time.  WRONG!!!  It is was easier than I expected!   If you are like me, you will say that you have sensitive skin and you are scared you will react to this stuff.  I have the worst case of skin issues (I think).  I have eczema, dry skin, allergies to dryer sheets, allergies to animal fur and feathers, increased sensitivity to salon chemicals and allergies to some antibiotics.  This does not react to my skin.

So, I am here to tell you which recipes work, where to find the ingredients, tell you how much time it took to do them and most importantly ask you, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!???  You will soon be addicted to the savings that making them will become fun to you!  You might even whistle while you make them!  AH HA HA

I searched online for Homemade laundry detergent and fell in love with this one.  Find original recipe HERE.  I read every review and fell in love with the comments and feedback right away.  I finally went green that day.  Of course I still had back up Laundry Detergent in case this was a Pinterest FAIL. lol

Here is the recipe…  All ingredients easily found in the laundry isle at Walmart.  Cost was around $10 for all of it.

1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer WASHING SODA  (not baking soda)
3/4 bar Fels-Naptha

Use a cheese grater on the finest setting and shred the Soap bar.  Then mix all the ingredients together and put into an air tight container (this part is important).

Only 1 Tablespoon (wrote it out so you are not confused)… YES, ONE TABLESPOON per load.  HOLY TAMOLI!!!!  I used 1 1/2 Tbs on really soiled loads.  I also fill my Laundry Softener cup up with White Vinegar to save a ton more!

UPDATE TO RECIPE…  The original recipe called for the entire bar of the Fels Naptha.  I only did about 3/4 of the bar before I gagged on the strong smell.  It worked beautifully on my clothes and made them clean… However… I did more research and found that any bar of soap will do… But since I sell a natural skin care line (HERE for details) and know the harmful effects of ingredients, I decided to use a much safer bar of soap.  I was still saving a ton of money and I wanted it to be Natural, so I chose to change it up to this…

1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer WASHING soda (not baking soda)
3/4 bar Dr. Bronners All-One Hemp Lavender Soap

Use a cheese grater on the finest setting and shred the Soap bar.  Then mix all the ingredients together and put into an air tight container (this part is important).

Results were still amazing.  I use 1 – 1 1/2 Tbs per load and fill the cup with White Vinegar.  No, your clothes will not smell like vinegar… White Vinegar will kill the smell of pee and mildew.  I have 2 kids potty training.  I need something that works!  White Vinegar is amazing!  I will NEVER use anything else as a fabric softener.

If the dry laundry soap is not your thing, I found the same ingredients in a liquid form that you can make HERE I will be trying this out on my next batch of laundry soap.  I really think you could make your dollar stretch even farther this way because I am always so tempted to use more than I need.  With all the laundry I do in this house, I need any savings I can get.  I will update you on results after I make and try it.

Some additional Tips on saving money in your laundry room…

1.  Cut your drying time down by at least 10 min by throwing a dry towel in with your load.  If your load is small enough which mine rarely is… throw in 2 towels.  You could also go through the pain of making your own wool dryer balls, but the towels work just fine.

2.  Use dryer balls… HERE.  I found mine at Walmart. I think it helps keep things from getting all twisted up and helps dry them faster.  It is also supposed to cut back on static, but I haven’t noticed a difference.  Probably because of how dry the air is in the winter time.  I like to think that they are helping still.

3.  Make your own dryer sheets.  HERE.  I still have yet to try this one.  I will update you when I figure out a more SAFE ingredient list.  I feel I need it though.  I use the dryer balls and I still have static.  I will let you know how it turns out.  The recipe calls for conditioner and I worry about it putting greasy stains on my clothes.  I really can’t wait to try it though!

4.  Don’t overfill your load… Easier said than done when you do SOOO much laundry.  It really does help wash and dry each load.

That’s it for now!  Thank you for following me!  I will update you on my results soon!

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