Friday, April 2, 2010

Frugal Friday

Ah it's Friday and I've let a few too many Frugal Fridays pass by. As such I have several ideas to make that dollar stretch. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

First off -- pudding. Don't ever buy pre-packaged pudding. Just don't do it. If you're like me, you'll spend way too much time prying those disposable lids off the carpet. Eeeew! There is nothing I hate more than pudding cups and other assorted wrappers spread about the house.

Instead buy instant pudding for half the cost of the pre-packaged stuff. Add milk, stir and in less than five minutes you'll have a sweet treat. You can buy reusable containers in which to put them (I find jelly jars particularly endearing). Save money, the environment and mom's sanity; it's win-win-win.

Second - peanut butter. Here in the Peculiar household we prefer natural peanut butters. However this means jars with gobs of oil piled on top and thick stiff peanut butter. Imagine an exaggerated late-night infomercial: Do you LOVE natural peanut butter but hate the mess? (at which point a housewife dumps an entire jar of oil and peanut butter all over herself and the counter). That is what natural peanut butter is like. Really. As a result we have been buying No-Stir Natural Peanut Butter which is more expensive and not as healthy.

But I knew there must be a better way. First I considered making my own peanut butter. This entails ordering peanuts, roasting, shelling and blending them. Somehow that endeavor seemed a bit too labor intensive. Then I consider this contraption -- a peanut butter stirrer. Not a bad idea and not a bad price. I almost ordered it but then discovered this patent, yes patent.

Doh! All I have to do is periodically flip the jar over and it will be mostly stirred; no device necessary. What an ah ha moment! So now I buy my organic natural peanut butter from Costco, turn it periodically and save a fair amount of cash.

Third - tail lights and head lights. After six-years of faithful service my tail light burned out. Great, I thought, another expense. But, as it turned out, not expensive at all. Two bulbs from the automotive store cost a mere $6.00. It took about five minutes to change out the bulb. Check your owner's manual - these projects are often easier than you might think.

Fourth - if you haven't already done so don't buy Easter egg dying kits. All you need is water, a few drops of food coloring and vinegar. And did you know you can dye brown eggs? I was so excited to find we could use our own eggs this year.

And one final note. Maya over at MayaMade is starting a new Friday tradition -- Fix-it Fridays. Her goal is to fix rather than replace. I love it.

Okay - phew! Long winded post. But, because I promised, a brief list.

I am grateful for:
  • Showers
  • Warm fresh from the dryer towels
I hope:
  • My kids don't freak out when they discover they aren't going to work with me.
  • For a productive but stress free night.


Kathy said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your site is beautiful! Great ideas about the dying the eggs and instant pudding. We will be trying both!

the Lady said...

And you can dye eggs with old silk ties! They're beautiful - check out the Martha Stewart tutorial, or the pics at I'm catching up with the last 43 of your posts - always fun!

Mrs. E said...

Happy Easter! And thanks for the frugal tips! I love stopping by here!

kathleen said...

Happy Easter, Shalet! And thanks for your 'body love' comment on my last post - your blog is beautiful and I'm definitely going to be popping over here again soon :-)

Joelle said...

What great tips! I had never thought of turning the peanut butter. Genius.

Anonymous said...

As a huge fan of peanut butter, I thank you for the tip.

I usually bring back 10 to 15 jars of it in my checked baggage when I fly to America to see my family. You want to talk about needing a good stir. Six months of sitting in one place makes it look very different.

Who knew it was as simple as flipping it over.