We love lasagna in our family. And we definitely don’t believe in buying it pre-made. We are a homemade lasagna family. It’s also a staple for having friends over and taking to friends who’ve had babies because it freezes beautifully. HOWEVER, ricotta cheese being a main ingredient was getting pretty expensive. Most of the time it runs $6-$20 depending on what brand you get. I eventually started substituting sour cream, which is actually awesome, but I missed my ricotta.
So I decided to try and learn to make it. And guess what? It’s crazy simple and CHEAP!
What You Need
4 cups of whole milk
one cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup of heavy cream
What To Do
1. Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan and boil on medium high heat.
2. After about 10 minutes the liquid and solid will start to separate. This is how you know you are doing it right. Take off burner.
3. Having placed your cheese cloth in a strainer, use a slotted spoon to pull the solid out of the liquid from your sauce pan. Place the solid pieces in your cheese cloth.
4. Depending on how try you want it let it strain for 5-10 minutes.
5. Use in recipes or store in your refrigerator.
Have you ever made fresh ricotta? Is it worth the effort?
Part of my Thrifty Divas routine is to look at things I buy and see if there is a homemade alternative. I am not sure I’ve found anything I can’t make at home. Maybe besides gas I have found another new amazing product that is expensive at the store, but pennies at home! It’s homemade Febreze and it really works! And with only a few ingredients, you can’t go wrong!
What You Need
1/4 Cup of fabric softener
4 tablespoons Baking Soda
Spray bottle-you can use your empty Febreze bottle too!
What To Do
1. Mix fabric softener and baking soda in your spray bottle.
2. Fill with hot tap water and shake. The hot water helps the baking soda dissolve.
3. Enjoy by spraying everywhere!
This really works just like Febreze!
I don’t know why it does, but it bothers me to throw away orange peels. They smell so amazing. I just knew there had to be uses for it, so I researched, tried it and here’s what I’ve been doing.
1. Deodorizer for your garbage disposal. Those things can get stinky and now you can even buy little scent beads to help. However, throwing a little orange peel down will help just as much. Lemons help as well.
2. Skin care. Orange peels have powerful ingredients for your skin. Check out this awesome tutorial for making your own body scrub from orange peels.
3. Room freshener. Simmer your peels in water and it will freshen your room.
4. Infused oil. If you like the flavor of orange you can infuse olive oil with the peels. Just throw some of the zest in there and let it soak for a while.
5. Garbage can deodorizer. Throw some peels in the bottom of your trash can and it will help with any strong odors.
6. Fire! Did you know that oranges are pretty flammable? Next time you go camping, use it to help start a campfire.
What do you do with orange peels?
Although coffee creamer isn’t the most expensive item on your list, it’s still cheaper to make. And if you’ve checked the ingredients list, it’s much HEALTHIER to make. The store bought kind is full of icky chemicals you could easily spare yourself from!
All of these recipes have the same base. You can use it like it is or you can add flavoring to it to make your favorite flavors.
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
14 ounces whole milk
Mix together and store in the fridge. It’s good for about 10 days in the fridge.
Use your base and add 2 teaspons of vanilla bean paste.
Mix your base and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of instant coffee.
Mix your base and 1-2 teaspoons of hazelnut extract.
Mix base, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Dulce de Leche
Base mixed with 2 teaspoons of homemade or store bought caramel sauce.
What’s your favorite flavor of coffee creamer? I bet we could get you a recipe for it!
I have to admit that my husband figured this one out and he’s totally NOT a domestic individual. I was shocked and impressed with what he figured out. Of course, he found it on Google, but he wasn’t readily admitting it so I’ll let him think he came up with it. It really is genius though.
We have two kids under 4 so our poor cream colored carpets get pretty dirty. And honestly it doesn’t matter how clean my house is, if the carpets are dirty, it’s just gross. So when my husband found this trick out and it worked, I was ecstatic! And you only need 2 ingredients and 2 rags and an iron.
The only thing that I am certain you should do is test this in an inconspicuous area to make sure your carpet doesn’t lose color. This may not work on more colorful carpets, so check first before you ruin your floor.
Check out my before and after! Now that it’s dry, you can’t see a thing!
What You Need
2 Cleaning Rags
What To Do
1. Put hydrogen peroxide on your spot. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
2. Pour water liberally on the same spot.
3. Place one rag over spot and space hot iron on it until it steams.
4. With other rag, rub briskly and dry spot.
5. Repeat on all spots.
Seriously this works! And way better than any cleaner I’ve EVR bought!
One of the presents I got for Christmas was a bar of soap. It wasn’t just a regular bar, it was special all the way from Scotland. I won’t lie though, I hate bars of soap. I hate how slimy they get and they just feel gross. However, the one my sister-in-law got me smelled so amazing I had to find a use for it. And since I’ve made my own laundry soap, I figured I could try my hand at liquid hand soap.
I am so glad I did,because what I have is nothing short of amazing. And it was so easy it’s ridiculous. Plus the cost for this was so low that I had to post about it.
The ingredient list is very small too. The only thing I didn’t have on hand was glycerine.
What You Need
Bar of Soap-Mine was 3.5 ounces, so if yours is larger, you’ll want to adjust amounts accordingly
1/2 Gallon of water
1 tablespoon of glycerine
What To Do
1. Grate your bar on a cheese grater.
2. In a boiling pan, pour 1/2 gallon of water and the shavings of soap. Add your tablespoon of glycerine. Stir on medium to high heat until all the soap has dissolved.
3. Remove from stove and let cool COMPLETELY. It should take around 10 hours, but I sped mine up by placing it outside.
4. If your soap is too thick to be liquid, grab a mixer and pour water in slowly while mixing until you get the right consistency. I think I had to add about a cup of water and it was perfect.
This soap isn’t completely like liquid soap in it’s texture, but it’s the same otherwise! I poured mine into an old empty hand soap container, pumped it out and washed my hands. It’s not as foamy either, but it works great. Honestly my hands feel even more squeaky clean than normal.
And the best part is, I get to smell that wonderful scent of the bar my sister-in-law gave me. It’s wonderful!
Total Cost: $3.89 for more than a half of a gallon of handsoap. I won’t be running out anytime soon. Of course, you’ll need to factor in the cost of the bar, but it’s still MUCH cheaper than buying at the store.
A friend of mine and her family has decided this year to save money by making all of their Christmas presents. Not only is this idea much less expensive than buying everything at the store, it’s also much more personable. I asked my friend to give me her list so that if our readers were interested in having a homemade Christmas, you’d have some ideas. Here’s what she and her family are doing.
Remember, just because it’s bought in a store, it doesn’t mean it’s a better product. A lot of times, homemade is better!
1. Homemade mascara. I didn’t even know you could make it, but you can. HERE is a simple recipe with just two ingredients. And better yet, it’s all natural!
2. Peppermint sugar scrub. Again, this only has a few ingredients. I bet if you bought it in a store, it would have way more. I love that it’s peppermint too, so it’s like Christmas! HERE is a simple recipe.
3. Brownie mix. You’ve probably heard of homemade hot cocoa in little jars given as gifts, but did you know you can make brownie mix too!? HERE is a great recipe that I’ve used before without the pretty jar, but they’ll make amazing gifts.
4. Playdough. It’s not that it’s really expensive in the store, but it’s even cheaper to make because you can skip all the expensive packaging.
All you need it….
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring by drops
To make the dough, just put everything into a boiling pot and stir on low heat until a ball forms. Then just add the food coloring of your choice and let cool on tin foil. Make sure you store it in an air tight container or it will dry out.
5. Teacup candles.
This is the only craft that I haven’t done, but I adore this idea. Especially because I have some antique cups that were my great aunts. I could totally do this with only a few ingredients and put those cups to use instead of having them stored for no one to see. Check out this awesome VIDEO tutorial HERE.
Once again Pinterest has given me a reason to try and be crafty! I haven’t tried these yet, but they are freezing at I type. I just think this is an incredible idea and so thrifty! We already had the balloons and food coloring, so no added cost. And even if you do have to buy stuff for it, it’s very inexpensive! Your kids will get a kick out of this too.
I do think this really has a better effect with snow and you definitely need freezing temperatures. I have been looking for better ways to decorate for Christmas, but I am not all about the cost. So I am going to color mine red and the other just clear so I had red and white HUGE marbles.
What You Need
What To Do
1. As best as you can, put a couple of drops of your food coloring of choice in the balloon then fill it up with water and tie it off.
2. Sit outside. If you do it overnight, it should freeze by the time you get up.
3. Cut the balloon part off once they’ve frozen and BAM you have big huge colored water balls!
Have fun! I know I am!
Find, the original blog here.