Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

5 Frugal Things April 21, 2016

For me, being a good steward of resources means using things us, making do with what I have and just not buying what isn’t necessary. For me, being frugal isn’t being “cheap,” but instead is about saving money where/when I can so that I can give more to others and use the resources of this earth in the kindest way possible. It’s not about “saving the earth” (although Earth Day is tomorrow and I am a bit of a tree-hugger), but it is more about ending unnecessary use of “new things” and making do with things that are already produced. I’m a fan of the “reuse” part of the 3-R’s of recycling.

So, in advance honor of Earth Day, and along with one of my favorite bloggers, The Frugal Girl, here are 5 things I’ve done this week that are frugal:

  1. Took my own bags to a store that actually has plastic bags. I mostly shop at Aldi and need to take my bags, but this week I went to another store where I typically get fewer items and use plastic bags (which I reuse for bathroom garbage). This week, I took my own cloth bags!
  2. I meal planned for the rest of the monthLately I have been just buying the same old stuff at the store and we’ve been getting burned out. So I downloaded the Food.com app, found easy recipes (mostly for the crock pot since we have sports practices/games that started up), used the grocery list feature and did my shopping! We’re set for the rest of the month and it was super easy to do! Now I won’t be tempted to just “pick something up” or wander around the store looking for “something that sounds good.”
  3. I sent recycling items with Gorilla to school for an art project. Gorilla’s class is learning about Earth Day, so we sent some items destined for recycling to be “repurposed” as art! Totally free, educational, and it reuses them before recycling!
  4. I printed on the back side of paper print mistakes. In the church office, I sometimes make printing/copying mistakes. Instead of tossing them in recycling right away, I put them in a reuse tray, then when printing drafts or something, I use those papers and eventually recycle! Saves the church money AND reuses the paper.
  5. I divided out yucca plants and used them elsewhere in the yard. I have several yucca plants that were growing “extras,” so I divided them, replanted a few in other locations and have some to give away! Good for my body, my yard and another yard too!

So, what did you do this week that has been frugal? Any plans to celebrate Earth Day? Tell me in the comments below!

 

My Attempt at Homemade Yogurt October 5, 2010

Filed under: Frugal living — Kris @ 12:09 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My kids and I really like yogurt.  We like flavored yogurt the best, with vanilla and strawberry as top universal flavors.  I’m getting tired of buying it though, because I don’t buy it unless it’s on sale and I have a great coupon too.  The hassle of watching the sale/finding the coupon is getting too much for me right now, so when I read The Frugal Girl’s post about making yogurt I thought I’d give it a try.

So, on Saturday, I tried.  Here’s the recipe from The Frugal Girls’s blog – How to Make Homemade Yogurt.  Blue helped me that day (reluctantly) since I wasn’t sure this baby belly would allow me to lift and pour pots and hold jars and get the cooler out of the barn/shed, etc.  So during nap time, we went to work.

I did boil/sterilize my jars and next time I will have 5 jars ready.  There was a lot of temperature watching.  I think since it was my first time making it, I was overly watchful of the temps.  They are important, but I wasn’t sure how fast the milk and water would reach the temperatures necessary.  We did make the vanilla yogurt (using a vanilla flavored “starter”) and I would suggest adding the full amount suggested, if not a little more. 

The biggest hassle was the pouring.  I forgot about the suggestion to pour from the pot into a pitcher and THEN into the jars.  Pouring from the pot into the jars was a mess – I spilled everywhere!  Had I not made such a mess, I think I would’ve needed a 5th jar anyway, so I guess it all worked out.  I just hated to have had the waste I did. 

After waiting the 3 hours and putting the jars in the refrigerator, we tried some with dinner.  It was still warm and a little too runny, so not the best.  After curing in the refrigerator for a day, the yogurt was MUCH better.  Sorry, I just don’t like warm yogurt.  The vanilla taste was slight, but there.  Today I had some with granola in it – YUMMY!  I also bought frozen strawberries at the grocery, so smoothies are on the menu at some point.

Overall, will I make it again?  I think so.  I want to try to up the vanilla flavor, use a pitcher to pour into the jars and heat the milk up a little higher then cool it a little lower.  I think the heating/cooling will help make it a little thicker.  After reading some of the comment and suggestions from other Frugal Girl readers, I also think I’ll use a different brand of starter. 

It is WAY cheaper to make it than buy it (especially since I used a gallon of milk purchased with WIC vouchers).  The taste is good, the time is no different for me that what I took to search for sale/coupon combinations to make it reasonably priced anyway.  Occasionally, I would catch a deal that made the yogurt free at the store, but my new grocery doesn’t double coupons, so those “free yogurt days” are gone. 

I shared about my yogurt adventure – your turn!  Have you ever attempted homemade yogurt?  If you have, what was your experience like?  If not, try it and tell me about your experience!

 

 
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