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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Coupons: $35 coupon booklet

Don't forget to sign up for the Home Made Simple Coupon booklet to be mailed to you home . It has $35 worth of coupons inside.

$35.00 coupon book
from home made simple is back again.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cleaning Recipes: Vinegar!!

We all know that vinegar can be used for pretty much anything and everything. One of the newer uses I came across is to replace the expensive dishwasher rinse aids. I've been using it for probably 30-40 washes now and you really wouldn't know I was using vinegar instead of the expensive rinse aids.

I know there's a list that went around and around about the many uses of vinegar, but I didn't save it. Here's a site though that has tons of uses. 131 in fact.
In the Kitchen
In the Bathroom

Cooking the Frugal Way: Empty Boxed Cereal Bags

I wish I could give credit to where I saw this tip, but I honestly can't remember. The tip was to save the plastic bags that hold the cereal in the cereal box. It is very thick and durable. When you empty the cereal box, wash the plastic bag, let it dry, and store for when you need it. These are great for pounding out chicken/steak. The plastic is thick and durable and won't tear/break when you are pounding the meat. Thought that was a great tip. Now if I can just remember to use it ;)

Cooking the Frugal Way: Gourmet Burger Spice!

If you have not tried this Weber Gourmet Burger seasoning, you must pick it up the next time you're at the store. It's great on steaks, but what we use it most on is oven fries and making homemade chicken tenders. It tastes amazing on both! It gets a little spicy if you add too much, but it's not too spicy for the kids if you are not a seasoning hog like I am ;)

I just take wedged potatoes, put a little oil on them and sprinkle the Gourmet burger seasoning on them. Pop in the oven at 375-400 and cook until brown, flip and brown the other side.

For the chicken tenders, I put the Gourmet Burger Seasoning into the flour in a bowl. I take the chicken cut into tenders or nuggets and dip them in buttermilk (or whatever you choose), then dredge in the flour. You can fry in your oil of choice or cook in the oven . If you cook in the oven, just make sure to put oil on the pan to keep from sticking.

Cooking the Frugal Way: Spices

This is about 1/2 of our spices in our spice cabinet. One way to save alot of money is to stop buying all of the boxed or canned foods because you can make those things yourself very quickly. I buy my spices at Sam's Club because we have a large family and would use that much, but if you have a smaller family, you can get your spices cheap at the grocery store or even dollar store. Trust me, it is worth the expense of stocking up on these. You will be able to make everything on your own including sauces and most of the boxed and canned items that you have been buying. This has began to save us so much money and I am excited to learn more recipes.

This week, I bought the gallon can of tomato sauce at sams for a little over $2. I was able to make homemade Manwich, 2 meals worth of enchilada sauce, and have tons of tomato sauce left-all because I made use of the spices we bought. Did you know it only takes 1 cup of tomato sauce, broth, ketchup, and spices to make your own enchilada sauce? It usually costs about 84cents per small can of enchilada sauce, so that is a huge savings! We make chicken enchilada casserole and beef enchiladas, so this was a great find.

You can get a gallon can of crushed tomatoes from Sam's Club for a little over $2 and use your spices to make enough spaghetti sauce for probably 3-4 meals for a large family. When you think that you pay that much for 1 jar of store bought sauce, you can see the savings add up.

Cleaning Recipes: Carpet freshener

You can make your own carpet/furniture/curtain/bedding freshener out of just water and your favorite laundry fabric softener. Put as much or as little fabric softener as you want into the spray bottle and fill the rest with water. i would put just maybe an inch of fabric softener. It is much cheaper than buying the powder that you put on your floor and then buying a separate one for your furniture or bedding. It's a quick way to run through the house and make everything smell nice and fresh out of the dryer!

Cleaning Recipes: Counter Stains

For those stubborn stains that you can sometimes get on your counters, especially if your unlucky like us and have very light colored counters, I have found a great concoction to get them out. For instance, I've had a stubborn rust colored stain on my counter from a pan that was left sitting over night. I could have gotten the stain out the next day, but life gets ya busy, ya know?

To get the stain out, put some dish soap on it first and smear it all over the stain. Next rub in some baking soda and make a paste of the two. Next, pour on the alcohol and then vinegar. use your scrubbing brush to scrub it in and let it sit. You don't have to let it sit, because it does come out after only a minute or two of scrubbing, but if you have other things to do then you can let it sit and go back to it. It gets the stain out like new!

I have also used this on a wooden table to get marker off. I would just not let it sit on it long.

Cleaning Recipes

Being the bunch of allergy prone snifflies that we are ;), I have to be careful about what cleaners I bring into the house. Even if I could bring those strong chemicals in, I wouldn't. My rule is that if it's full of fumes that make me have to open doors, turn on the exhaust and run fans to be able to breathe, it doesn't belong in my house or our lungs.

I have one universal cleaner that I stick with pretty much. I keep it handy in a spray bottle. In a clean spray bottle (with no other cleaner residue), put about 6-8 drops of dish soap. Any dish soap will do, I tend to use palmolive (the orange one) b/c it's antibacterial and thicker or I use the generic version of it because it's just cheaper. Then add rubbing alcohol about 1/5 of the way up. Next, add vinegar until the bottle is a 1/2 full and fill the remaining space with hot water. This cleaner is amazing. No need to buy cleaner to counters, one for stove, one for your tub, etc. This is universal.

It is also great for getting stains out of carpet. I have to say that the vinegar does have a bleaching quality and I use it on tan carpet, so i would be careful of using it on darker colored carpet. Use your own discretion here. I have actually been able to use this clearer to get an entire bottle of RED paint out of the tan carpet and you can't tell it was ever there! When I use it for carpets, I mix it together in a bowl and use hot water-as hot as you can stand it.

You can use this on toilets too. I buy vinegar in the gallon jugs. I actually get the box of 2- 1 gallon bottles from Sam's Club because we use it so often. Once I have have an empty vinegar jug, I will use it to mix an entire gallon jug worth of my handy cleaner in. I just don't add water to it. I add just the dish soap, alcohol and vinegar. I add the water when I fill up the spray bottles.

The Good Old Ways

In times like these, I'm even more adamant about getting back to the good old ways. You know, the ways our grandmas did it. Back to the basics. Down home values, thriftiness, things homemade and life centered around family. Those are the things that really reflect who I am and what I strive to be.

In all honesty, if we had the land, I'd probably strive to be as self sufficient as possible. I'm not about to be milking a cow (although that would be fun), but raising chickens for eggs and having a huge garden would be awesome! But, alas, we don't have land for all of that and let's face it, chicken poop stinks! lol. In the mean time, I can do what I can with what we have and that's what I'm trying to do. So, I do believe this will become my everything blog. I'll blog about my craftiness and about doing things the frugal, thrifty way and getting back to the basics. If any of this interests you, please feel free to follow along. I'm not sharing anything that your grandma or great grandma would be surprised about, I'm sure, but maybe we'll learn some new things together.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ruby's Grace

Hello Everyone! I finally decided on the perfect name for my blog! Ruby's Grace is named for my Grandma Gardner whose name was Ruby and for our youngest daughter who's middle name is Grace. Well, I suppose the name "Ruby's Grace" has many layers, so here's a list of why I chose to name it Ruby's Grace.

♥ My Grandma Gardner (Ruby) was such a sweet and special woman. I adored going to her house when I was a kid and felt so at peace there.
♥ Grandma Gardner (Ruby's) style IS my style. I love everything old and vintage, and with a soul.
♥ Many of the style decisions I make now remind me of Grandma Ruby, so I guess you could say she shaped my style and is still shaping them now, even after she's passed on.
♥ I really got into making hair bows and sewing after our third daughter was born. Her name is Emilee Grace. It is through the Grace of God that we had her and that truly is why her middle name is Grace. It is also through the Grace of having her that I do all of the sewing and crafting now.
♥ It is through the big and gentle heart of my hard working husband that I have the Grace of being able to be a stay at home mom and do all of the things I love such as crafting, sewing, re-purposing old things, making hair bows, scrapping, etc. Not a day passes that I do not appreciate how much his hard work provides for us and for me to be able to do what I truly love.
♥ And saving the best for last, I am so very blessed to have the Grace and Mercy of God on my life daily. I love my life. It is not perfect. But I am always His daughter, always his wife, and always their mother. And with that, everything truly is perfect.

Thanks for visiting my blog and by the Grace of God, I hope to have the time to keep up this blog and share the things I love. Who knows! Soon I may have time to make and sell some thing! One can dream!

Have a Blessed Day! I hope you all have a joyous Easter Celebration!