Monday, March 16, 2009

Magic in a Can

It's true!!! W-D 40 is magic in a can. I use this for a lot of things and it's not just to take the squeek out of a door hinge. Yes, of course it works for that too but there are so many other uses that you may not know of.

Many homes now have stainless steel appliances. Now that the appliances have been delivered and you've learned how to use all the bells and whistles you can't get those dang fingerprints and water spots cleaned off. Yeah, you'll wipe them off but then you just left streaks and you can't get the dang thing off. Arrrrgh!! Relax, take a soft cloth and spray some WD-40 on it and wipe it down. What you're left with is the clean look of a brand new appliance. You can use this on your stove top to remove grease. Do this on your barbecue grill to remove dirt and grim and protect it from the weather.

How about using WD-40 on your shower door?? Just wipe down the inside of your shower door and it will keep it free from water marks.

Wipe down your bathroom mirrors and it will prevent it from fogging up.
It removes duct tape residue
Removes crayons from walls
Removes stains from stainless steel sinks
Restores and cleans leather and vinyl dashboards in your car
Lubricates window and door tracks for easier opening and closing
Removes scuff marks from floors
Removes road grime and tar from cars
Removes rust stains from bathroom tubs
Removes lipstick from carpet or any fabric
Polishes and protect brass candlesticks
Polishes silver jewelry
Removes grape stains
Cleans old muffin tins
Keeps snow from sticking on shovel
Removes tomato stains from clothing

I'm telling you....there are thousand of household uses for WD-40. When in doubt try WD-40. Just use common sense in using all products to keep you and your family safe and sound! I love this stuff and use it all the time!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fast And Easy??? Really????

I know that "fast and easy" has become the norm for a lot of people. People believe this is a necessity because both parents work or you're a single parent an you just don't have the time or energy to prepare a meal when you get home. It doesn't have to be that way. And really, Pre-packaged-packaged meals are not good for you or your family. Too much salt, additives and preservatives. Bad bad bad!

Take a look at that that stuff really good for you? Not! It still takes time to prepare ut so can homemade sauce. I'm not talking about the long drawn out spaghetti sauce that is made with hours of simmering. I'm talking about what I do for my household. Fast, versatile and so so so easy.

Prepare pasta noodles as you normally would but don't throw out the water.

In a pan, saute fresh garlic in olive oil. Add fresh chopped tomato's and saute until the juices flow..... Here is where you can get creative depending on what your family likes to eat. At this point you can add other fresh ingredients such as artichoke or cut asparagus, fresh green beans...whatmmmmmm Saute but don't let the veggies get mushy, Ick! A light saute is the best.

Now, take the pasta out of the pot dripping with excess water and add to you sauteed mixture. The excess water will create more sauce. If you want more sauce add a little more pasta water. Add sliced black olives or kalamata whichever your family enjoys. Now toss in a bunch of fresh grated Parmesan cheese. The cheese will thicken the pasta water and cooked down tomato juice into a fantastic sauce. All you have to do before you serve is to take a pinch of kosher (or whatever you have on hand) salt sprinkle on the top and another sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese and you're done. Fresh, healthy, easy and fast. I can make this dish in 30 minutes or less and so can you. Remember, for the most part you control what goes into this dish. Go ahead, add some sliced sausage, shrimp or chopped clams.

tip tip tip tip

This summer if you grow your own tomato's or get them from the market or farmers can freeze the tomato's whole. During the off season when it's tough to get really tasty tomato's you will have the full flavor of fresh. And with this dish, it's easy to add the frozen tomato's. You can also use the frozen to other dishes such as stews or soups and the flavor will pack a punch!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Can you spare a square?...Are You Freezer Worthy???

Ahhhh, yes Elaine (Seinfeld addicts)....THAT is the question I pose today!

Can you "Spare a square???".....toilet paper.....I know it can be difficult to purchase bulk on a budget. It can be quite expensive to do it on your own especially when you first start. That being said, you can really save big time when you buy in bulk. Find a friend, neighbor or relative that will split the cost with you. Heck, you can even split it three ways if you want to. It's a great answer for getting quantity while keeping the cost down. I want to warn you though....just because you are buying bulk doesn't mean you are saving money! What??? That's right. You've got to be a good shopper and know the prices. Occasionally, prices at the big box stores or warehouse stores can be more expensive. Don't'll get better at it the longer you are aware of unit prices. You can save a ton buying in bulk...even spinach. See that ginormous bag at that warehouse store (hint hint..Costco) for $3 something?? Split it with your friend and you have a lot of spinach for a little over buck and a half! So grab a friend and go to your warehouse store and buy that massive package of toilet paper!!!

A big thing for saving on food cost is to have a freezer. Whoa...hold on here....freezers, if you don't already have one or can afford to buy one cost money. I know but it really is a good investment. One possible way to get one is to go to and find a network in your area. Freecycle is a network across the country, and everything offered and received must be absolutely free. You may be able to find a freezer that someone no longer uses or has upgraded and wants someone to just haul it off. Remember if one is available through Freecycle it will be for FREE. No kidding!

If you want to buy a freezer and want to share the cost here is where "Are you Freezer worthy"????? comes you will need a "good" friend or a "good" neighbor or a "good" relative. Hey! Why am I putting "good" in quotations??? Because if you are going to share space in a freezer you NEED good prefacing friend,neighbor or relative. If not, your gonna have one hell of a barn yard cat fight should "somebody" "mistakingly" take one of your rib eye steaks from your half of the freezer!! Oh no you didn't!!! Uh huh, you are going to have to have trust or you're gonna have "that was mine and you took it" fight like having 8 year old's on opposite sides. If you don't think you can find someone to share (play nice)....see if you can find a used one on Craigs list or in your local paper. I've seen average prices to be about $75.00 depending on where you live. BUT for another $75.00 (around $150.00) you can buy a new one and not have to worry if the used one will work for a while.

tip tip tip tip....
Freecycle is a great resource for many things. EVERYTHING is free! The mission of Freecycle is to keep usable items out of landfills and in doing so end up re-using, recycle and reducing all at once. What a concept! So again, go to and search your state and then town for a network in your area. Now you can get rid of that exercise bike you've been meaning to use for the last 3 years other than to hold your dirty laundry. Or someone may just have too many apples on their tree and really want somebody to be able to make good use of them. Think about it...what have you been storing in your house and haven't used in the last 2 years!!! We have aquired a lot of unused useful STUFF!

A Chicken In Every Pot!

Isn't that what they said back in the day??? Depending on the size of your family, one chicken can feed a family well. Since our kids are out on their chicken can provide the two of us with 3 to 4 meals!!! How you ask? Well, I'm gonna tell you. Just hang on now because I want to first tell you how to do that on the cheap.

Check with your butcher in the store where you shop. You can find out from him/her when they do the markdowns at their store. You can find a whole chicken regularly priced from anywhere between $4.50 to $8.00 (higher price for the organic poultry) marked down 30-50%. That can take you down to $2.25-$4.00 depending on your choice. can freeze this for later. Just because it's marked down doesn't mean it's bad meat. The store can only keep it in the refrigerated case for so long so then it's marked down for a quick sale. Divide the number of meals you can make ( average $3.00 cost divided by 3 meals = $1.00 divided by 2 people = .50 per meal per person!!!!) YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Oh by the way, you don't have to eat this dang chicken for 3 days in a can freeze the soup or stock for another day!

Meal 1

Roast Chicken

1 Chicken
fresh garlic
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 T butter

rub chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Place fresh garlic whole or crushed, rosemary and butter inside the chicken. Roast chicken at 325 degrees until cooked about 1 hour depending on the size of the chicken. Then mix some flour and warm water or corn starch and warm water in a small bowl to use as a thickening agent for the gravy. Put the drippings of the roast chicken into a pot (add some homemade stock for more gravy or a little not add too much water or you will lose the flavor!) on med heat and gradually add the flour or corn starch mixture mixing well with so no lumps will form.

Meal 2

Remove leftover chicken from the bone. You can use this for tons of things. Chicken sandwiches for lunch, chicken salad for lunch or dinner, chicken tacos, chicken enchiladas. Your options are endless. If you want recipes or ideas email me and I will be happy to provide it for you.

Meal 3 or 4

Once you've removed the meat, take the carcass and stick this in a pot and cover with water. This is where you can get somewhat creative. Add whatever you have in your fidge. Take the ends and leaves of the celery, carrots...whatever, chop it up and add to the mixture. You can add additional seasonings if you want. Poultry seasoning, salt, Mrs. Dash, pepper. See what you have on hand. Add a little at a time to taste until you get the hang of this. Now that it has cooked down you can either strain it all and use this as stock in other meals or you can not strain it and use this as a base for your chicken soup. Soup??? Add a little of the leftover chicken, pasta, rice, kidney beans. You name it.

One of the benefits is that it is all fresh!!! Not to mention you control what is in these meals. If you need to limit salt....well then, there you go. It's all up to you.

tip tip tip tip.... most of you don't use leaves of celery, ends of carrots, bottoms of asparagus or green onions etc. Chop these puppies up and put them in a freezer bag and freeze all in one bag. Use this when making stock, stir frys, stews or crock pot dinners. Use wasting so you really get the best bang for your buck!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What You Should Know.......

This is the maiden post of this blog. It has been driving me crazy watching all the morning t.v. shows and newspapers with all "my" stuff I've been practicing all these years. With that said, it's almost crazy to think that so many people do not already know this stuff. Hello.....where have you all been? O.K now that I've got that out of my system here we go.

I guess the first thing I want to share is if you local produce and buy in season. You will save money when you buy in season because flash....that's when the produce is grown in your area. When you buy local it has a shorter distance to travel to get to your local grocery store or farmers market AND it will help support your friends and neighbors. I know it's not always possible, but when you can...please do so.

Another really big thing is to buy in bulk when on sale. Remember, only buy items that your family already uses. For instance...if you make chili con carne on a fairly regular basis and kidney beans,tomato past, tomato sauce are on sale then buy in quantity. It won't go bad because it's canned and you already use the product. Make sure you rotate your "stash". That means move your older cans forward in your storage area when you store your current purchase.

I know that buying non perishables in bulk can seem overwhelming at first but trust me. This will save you money in the long run. And think about it. You won't have to run to the store for that one item you need to make that days....fill in the blank here....breakfast...lunch...dinner. Plus, you won't be tempted to make that unscheduled purchase at the grocery store. I also know that many of you do not have enough storage space for bulk purchase but do the best you can. Maybe some shelves in your garage or shelves in a closet of a spare bedroom. There are ways, it just takes some creativity. You can do it!

I will continue to clue you in to a lot of things that I have been doing. That will include cleaning tips, shopping tips, fast and easy recipes, ways to stretch your food budget and eat well to boot! It's not that hard and once you get started you will continue to do these things forever!

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