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?
Are you tired of missing good deals? After yesterday’s trip to Target, I am! While shopping, I needed 2 things and both were gone because of sales they were having. It was frustrating because it’s 2 items I use regularly. And no only could I not get my normal stuff, I couldn’t even get it on sale. So sad! Well I’ll try not to let that happen again because Target does have a markdown/sale schedule. These are the days that are best for finding awesome deals at Target.
Things could varie from store to store, but this tends to be normal. In general the markdowns go 30%, 50%, & then 70% off. I’ve even seen some 90′s occasionally.
Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationary, Cards, Gift Wrap
Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Foood
Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden items
Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage
Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry
Happy March! Spring is just around the corner. Are you as ready as I am? Here are some sale items to tide you over until Spring comes.
1. Digital cameras. I guess they want to get you ready to take pictures in the Spring and Summer
2. Humidifiers. Less sick people means overstock of these little jewels.
3. Small electronics like MP3 players, DVD/Blu-ray, TVs etc.
4. Winter sports gear. Check out used places too because since the new stuff is going on sale the used will be even more!
5. Frozen meals. There should have been a lot of freezer meal coupons in the Sunday circulars.
6. St. Patrick’s Day clearance. March 17th is the lucky day and so the 18th is the day to stock up on next years decorations and apparel.
7. Corned beef and cabbage. It’s a Saint Patty’s thing again. Stock up and enjoy.
One of the most expensive items in your shopping cart will be meat. Actually it probably is your most expensive item. You can definitely find sales and shop in bulk to cut down in cost, but another thing you can do that will actually make a difference is go meatless for a couple of meals a week. You’ll see your grocery bill go down a bit. But don’t worry, you don’t have to sacrifice taste for your wallet.
Here are some great meat alternatives.
1. Black beans and chickpeas. Most recipes that call for ground beef like tacos or spaghetti sauce are actually quite good with either of these alternatives. They mostly soak in whatever spices you put on them making it even better! I do highly suggest rinsing both of them before preparing them though. Cans of these items are incredibly inexpensive too!
2. Veggies! Yes vegetables are a great meat alternative. When you are making something like lasagna substitute the meat with eggplant or strips of zucchini You seriously won’t miss it! I bet even your kids dive into it with open arms.
3. Tofu. Although it’s not as cheap as say black beans, it is cheaper than meat. And remember this too takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked in so it’s a great alternative for protein without the pricetag.
4. Nuts. No, I’m not crazy, they are a great alternative. I recently tried a curry dish using no meat, but just using raw cashews that I soaked in water for a couple of hours and roughly chopped. It was A-MAZ-ING. Almonds are awesome too!
What are some dishes you cook without meat?
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!
Is winter over yet? Our house just can’t seem to get well from things like the common cold. So now, we are on a mission to boost our immune systems, but we’d really like to save some money by not investing in a ton of over the counter remedies. Instead we are trying these more natural and more thrifty options.
1. Garlic! This is my favorite immune booster and it really does work. I cook with a lot of it and when we are sick, I boost that amount. If you don’t like the smell, you can buy garlic capsules, but it’s definitely cheaper to cook with it.
2. Yogurt. The probiotics are great for the health of your gut. A healthy gut will help you fight off infection and just overall make you feel better. Try THIS crockpot recipe and save even more money than making it yourself.
3. Eat less processed and sugary foods. Sugar suppresses your immune system. Eating less will definitely help your immune system.
4. Sleep. Whoever thought of this obviously doesn’t have small children, but sleep really does help. It’s in those hours of sleep your body is able to repair itself.
5. Gargle with salt water. Japanese scientists say doing this simple thing twice a day can reduce your chances of a viral infection by almost 35%. And of course if you have a sore throat it really does help with the pain.
What are you doing to stay healthy?
Have you heard of minimalist parenting and lifestyles? I recently heard about it on the Today Show and did some more research because it seemed Thrifty. Of course anytime you eliminate buying some things, you will spend less money. However this parenting/lifestyle movement seems to be much more.
The jury is still out for me personally, but I do think this is great to think about and obviously will save you money.
The basic premise: Own Less, Do More.
Seems pretty simple huh?
A woman who calls herself the minimalist mom is taking this very seriously. To begin this journey they got rid of their car and half of their belongings. Because of this lifestyle they’ve paid off over $60,000 in debt in one year alone!
A few steps towards minimalsm…
1. Purge. Go through your stuff and get rid of it. You don’t need a dozen of similar items. Stick to just a few and reuse. Make life simpler.
2. Go through the toys. A lot of parents following this movement want few toys and more use of imagination and play with their children themselves.
3. Less in your pantry. This truly means only buying what you’ll use. No reason to have a ton of stuff in your pantry that takes up space and may never be used.
This way of life intrigues me although I don’t think I’ll be giving up my minivan anytime soon
What do you think about it?
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?