If you want to save on liquid fertiliser, save all the water you've used to rinse out your empty milk cartons, beer bottles, jam jars, tea pots, vegetable water etc and give it to your indoor plants, pot plants or border plants, they love it! And not only will you save yourself from going through liquid fertiliser/food so fast, but you'll even save a bit on your water bill!
Bagels are delicious, crusty boiled rolls. They are great for salad fillings as they don't go soggy. Not going soggy makes them ideal for packed lunches, especially when they'll be packed for a while! And they are really, really easy to make, much easier and faster than conventional bread rolls.
This recipe is for a traditional New York style bagel, and personally I think it can't be beaten, particularly by mass produced supermarket bagels. I've used this recipe exclusively for about 5 years now so I guess you could say it's a winner.
4 cups plain flour
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil, you can use any vegetable oil you have on hand)
2 tsp. dry yeast
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
Step 1. Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a mixer.
Step 2. Add oil to the water and pour into the mixing bowl.
Step 3. Mix with a dough hook until smooth and creamy looking.
Step 4. Add remaining flour and continue to knead with the dough hook for several minutes until the dough is uniform and smooth.
If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, you can beat the batter by hand with a wooden spoon, then add the remaining flour and knead it by hand for 10 minutes.
Step 5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Cut dough into 8 equal size balls or, if you're as OCD as I am, get out the scales and weigh each ball of dough so the finished bagels will be the same size.
Let them rest for 20 minutes, the dough will puff up into balls.
Step 6. Roll each dough ball into a long "snake" until it will wrap around your hand to form a circle. Don't make your circles to small or when the bagels rise they will just look like regular, over-sized rolls. You want them to have the "hole" in the middle. Fuse the ends of your dough snakes well, then roll with the palm of your hand to smooth them over. Let them rest for 20 minutes.
Step 7. In the meantime, preheat oven to 205 degrees Celsius, bring a pot of water to the boil and oil a large baking sheet.
Drop the bagels into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute on each side. Let them dry for a moment then place onto the oiled baking sheet.
Step 8. Bake at 205 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, turn bagels over and bake for another 10 minutes.
You can add flavour to your bagels before cooking. After taking them out of the boiling water, drop them face down into either poppy or sesame seeds, dried onion, dried herbs and garlic etc. then bake as per the instructions.
Cost: $1.20 or 15 cents per bagel - so much cheaper than buying them and nicer too.
The best way to save money in the laundry is to sort those piles of washing.
Sort whites from colours and fluffy items from dark to avoid needing to do extra treatments; sort drying into piles of similar fabrics so that if you must use the dryer it’s on for as short a time as possible.
Sort heavy garments from lighter garments, washing them first to give them more drying time.
Sort washing into easy to manage groups to make hanging and folding easier. I always hang in "people" i.e. I hang all my things together, then everyone's clothes in turn.
This means that as I take things off the line and fold them they are already sorted, ready to be put straight away. Putting the washing away is a breeze because it is already sorted.
It may seem like a no brainer but it's a question I've been asked a few times so here goes.
Cleaning the toilet really is as easy as slurp, brush, flush, just like the ads say. The difference when you clean the Cheapskates way is that you are not spending hundreds of dollars a year on stinky, over-powering, nasty-laden commercial cleaners.
Instead you'll be using water, vinegar, bicarb soda and for stubborn water marks and hard water build-up citric acid. And a couple of cleaning cloths. That's it. Your whole toilet cleaning arsenal shouldn't cost you more than $10 for the year!
Every Day Cleaning:
If you clean your toilet daily (and if you have toilet training toddlers or little boys you'll need to clean at least daily) you won't ever need to deal with stains. It takes two minutes - really, I've timed it - to keep your toilet sparkling clean all the time.
Step 1. Take 1 cup of white vinegar and pour it into the bowl. Use the brush to scrub the sides. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Step 2. While the vinegar is sitting take your damp cleaning cloth and some vinegar diluted 50:50 with water in a spray bottle. Spray the cistern, seat and lid and around the outside of the bowl. Don't forget the pipes at the back if they are visible. Starting with the cistern and working down, wipe over the outside of the toilet, paying particular attention to the hinges around the seat. Rinse your cloth often.
Step 3. Flush the toilet. See it sparkle.
Vinegar is a mild disinfectant, you won't need to use anything else if you clean the toilet every day.
For Stubborn Stains:
Step 1. Sprinkle the bowl with bicarb soda, making sure you get it on the stain.
Step 2. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar over the bicarb and while it is fizzing scrub with the toilet brush. Flush.
For Hard Water and Mineral Stains:
To clean a toilet with hard water stains and mineral build-up is an overnight chore.
Step 1. Last thing at night flush the toilet. Pour 1/4 up citric acid into the bowl. Leave overnight.
Step 2. In the morning put 1 cup white vinegar into the cistern. Scrub the bowl with the toilet brush, paying particular attention to the stains.
Step 3. Flush. This will flush out the cistern and the bowl, leaving both clean and shiny.
For Really Stubborn Stains:
If the water stain or mineral build-up is particularly stubborn you'll need to go into cleaning over-drive.
Step 1. Turn the water to the cistern off and flush. Then empty the bowl of water. You can use a cup or a sponge to do this.
Step 2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup citric acid over the stains. Go away for half an hour.
Step 3. Come back and using a scrub bud scrub that build-up. It should be disappearing before your eyes! Flush and admire your handiwork.
If your toilet is particularly stained or the build-up is thick you will probably need to repeat this process a couple of times. Don't be discouraged, you will get rid of those stains and your toilet will sparkle.
To Clean the Floor:
This method is good for cleaning urine stains on the floor (common when toilet training).
Step 1. Spray the floor with white vinegar.
Step 2. Sprinkle with bicarb soda. While the mixture is fizzing use the toilet brush to scrub the floor, paying particular attention to the grout if you have a tiled floor.
Step 3. Wipe it up with a wet cloth, followed by a damp cloth. Make sure you get all the mixture off the floor.
There you have it. Simple, frugal and green ways to keep your toilet sparkling, clean and sanitary. It couldn't be any easier.
2 "fruit" tea bags (or peppermint, chamomile, lemon ginger - whatever you like)
1/2 litre boiling water
1/2 litre cool water
Steep the two teabags in the boiling water for about 4 minutes. Pour into a jug with the cool water. Chop the lemon into wedges and pop in. Keep it in the fridge. It's best drunk within 24 hours.
It would be nice to spend indiscriminately, especially on a holiday like Valentine’s Day. But not everyone has the necessary financial situation to go on a spending spree. The good news is: you can have a great Valentine’s Day without spending a lot of money! Retailers want you to spend your money, but there’s no reason to buy into their hype. Love can’t be bought.
Try these inexpensive Valentine’s Day ideas:
1. Eat dinner at home, but go out for drinks and dessert. Forget the reservations and the high cost of a meal on the town. Cook a delicious, romantic meal at home. Head over to a nice coffee shop for dessert.
2. Find a flower option besides roses. Roses cost a small fortune on Valentine’s Day. Find another flower your significant other loves. Many women don’t like roses, ask about her favourite flower.
3. Go through the DVDs or look for a few romantic movies on Netflix or Stan and stay on the couch. It’s easy to find a list of romantic movies. You don’t even have to get dressed up. The popcorn is less expensive at home, too. You can even talk during the movie without getting the evil eye.
4. Go to a hotel in lieu of a trip. Save on traveling expenses and visit a local hotel for the night. Consider finding one with a tub for two.
5. Have an indoor picnic. Clear out a space on the lounge room floor and have your picnic inside. Anything is possible.
6. Look for free or inexpensive entertainment. You can find quality entertainment on the cheap. Museums, local theatre companies, art galleries and food and wine tastings can all be both entertaining and inexpensive.
7. Use a coupon. A coupon might not go over well on a first or second date but if you’ve been together for a while, that awkwardness no longer exists. Both parties realise the saved money could be spent on something else to enjoy together.
8. Deliver your own flowers. The florist is more expensive than the supermarket or the green grocer. Deliver them yourself and enjoy the smile you receive - it's much more romantic than having a stranger dump a bouquet and leave.
9. Choose a different date. Valentine’s Day might officially fall on February 14th, but why not consider celebrating the following day. Restaurants, flowers,and cards are all significantly less expensive. You can avoid the crowds, too.
10. Write a love letter. Everyone has a sheet of paper and a pen. Take a few minutes and put your romantic thoughts down on paper. It’s free, and you’ll score big points.
11. Give each other a massage. Pick the music and the massage oils. Light a few candles and turn on some music. Let your fingers do the talking.
12. Make your own card. There’s no law that states you have to support Hallmark by purchasing a card that costs $8.99. They usually end up in the recycling anyway. Make a card this year, it will be remembered forever.
13. Go out for breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, and the least expensive. Why not go out for breakfast instead of dinner this year? Lunch is another option.
14. Make a gift. Make a scrapbook. Create a CD of his or her favourite songs. It’s the thought that counts.
15. Set a budget and brainstorm. Sit down together and determine how much you’re willing to spend. See how many ideas you can list that stay within the budget constraint.
A fun and memorable Valentine’s Day can be enjoyed on a budget. Make a list of inexpensive ideas that will thrill your significant other. Avoid letting financial challenges ruin your holiday.
Love doesn’t require money.
Greeting cards - birthday, get well, sympathy, new baby, thank you and so on, are expensive. Even from the $2 shops these days they are, well $2! It used to be you could get five cards for $2, then it was four for $2, then they were $1 each, and now you pay $2 for a very simple, very boring cheap card.
You don't need a lot of special equipment to make cards, and you don't need a lot of fancy papers and stickers and other embellishments.
And best of all, you don't need a lot of time.
In just ten minutes, you can make four beautiful cards, for less than the price of one from a $2 shop. Best of all you can make them to suit the recipient by personalising the greeting, the colour, the embellishment.
To make these four gorgeous cards in under 10 minutes you will need:
4 coloured card blanks
(4) 5-1/4" x 2-1/4"" black cardstock
(4) 5-1/4" x 2" white cardstock
3/4" Circle punch
Small hole punch
Step 1. Take the black cardstock and using the 3/4" circle punch, punch out 7 circles, leaving a narrow border. Punch 5 small dots from the remaining black cardstock.
Step 2. Stick the white cardstock to the black cardstock, being sure to hide the holes.
Step 3. Stick the black and white cardstock to the card base, leaving a narrow border at the top and sides.
Step 4. Lay out the black dots. When you are happy with the pattern, stick them down using tape runner or liquid glue.
Step 5. Stamp your sentiment to the bottom left corner of the card.
Step 6. Stick the small dots to the bottom right of the sentiment.
Repeat for the remaining three cards.
When kids are first introduced to Valentine’s Day it is by their parents. They are told that it is a day to show those we love how we feel about them.
These days Valentine’s Day is a day for treats as well as expressions of love. So skip the commercial hype and show your love and affection by spending time with the kids (or grandkids) and make some special sweet treats with them. Here are two ideas for making biscuits and cupcakes that ooze with love and fresh baked goodness.
Heart shaped cookie cutters will turn regular biscuits into creations of love. Kids don’t only like hearts. Let them experiment with other shapes in the cookie cutter arsenal if they want to. They can even design shapes of their own with the dough pieces that are too small to cut.
Cupcakes are much the same way. Make little heart shaped cupcakes by putting a marble or large bead between the filled patty pan and the cake tin. The marble pushes the cake mixture in, making a little indentation that forms the heart shape. Decorate with white icing and red jelly crystals or pink icing and sprinkles.
Biscuits and cupcakes can get a nice makeover for Valentine’s Day to help reflect the good feelings of the holiday as well as create great family togetherness.
Basic Butter Biscuits
250g butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar mixture
2-1/2 cups plain flour
Beat butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in the flour, in two batches. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 25cm log. Wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roll dough out to 1cm thick. Cut into shapes with floured cookie cutters. Place biscuits on greased oven trays 2cm apart. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutess or until browned lightly. Turn cookies onto wire rack to cool.
The Worlds Easiest Cup cakes
1 cup cream and
1 cup of sugar
1-1/2 cups SR flour
Combine cream and sugar. Beat into flour. Light beat eggs and stir into mixture. Spoon into patty pans and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes.
Tacos are one of my favourite quick, in a hurry, meals. They're cheap (I only use about 200g mince), healthy with loads of fresh salad and everyone loves them.
The problem is, if you use the hard taco shells, the filling falls out as you eat it, and they can go soggy.
Here's the solution, and it's so simple you'll wonder why you never thought of it.
To keep taco fillings inside their shells, line the shell with a leaf of lettuce before adding the meat and other toppings. The lettuce will stop the taco shell from going soggy and hold the filling even if the shell starts to break.
We've all seen it happen: we pull the plug and instead of the sink full of water whooshing down the drain it dribbles slowly, putting dread into our very souls. Before you call the plumber, try this DIY drain solution. To help dissolve grease and gunk in kitchen and laundry sinks and scum and hair in sluggish bathroom basin and bath drains, pour a mixture of 1cup of salt, 1 cup bicarb soda and ½ cup white vinegar into the drain. Put the plug in and leave it alone for 15 minutes. Then flush with a kettle of boiling water followed by flushing hot tap water down the drain for 1 minute. You can repeat this process if necessary. Keep your drains clean and clear with a monthly treatment.
Hint: Salt will keep small roots from taking up residence in your pipes.
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