Homemade Household

A collection of homemade cleaners, products, and updates that we use every day or as needed. Links are provided if this was an actual blog post or simple instructions if not. We hope you find these as useful as we do, to save time, money or for making a choice in what is used in your own home.


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I took a bad fall on the ice this winter, and while nothing broke, my left wrist was seriously sprained. Learning how to get dressed has been a bit of a challenge, but I did come up with this easy solution for getting into my blue jeans! 






Tie a large rubber band around the outside edge of the top button loop, then hook the two loops over the button. To easily slip your jeans down over your hips, simply unzip your jeans and tug them downward. The rubber band stretches much like an elastic waistband and you can (usually) get dressed or use the facilities, on your own. 

It has not been a perfect solution, but then again, a sprained wrist never is!


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Keep bacon safe from molding, with storage in the freezer. Perfect for smaller families.

Frugal bacon storage for small families and those who hate waste! 

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We like finely chopped walnuts on our oatmeal in the mornings. An easy way to let everyone add their own is to put the walnuts in the chopper, turn it over and grind right into your bowl.





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If you prefer a paper label on your jam jars, use a recipe card cut to fit just over the metal sealing lid, but capture it within the confines of the screw-on ring, as shown. This also works great for instructions for jar gifts and or instructions if the jar holds a spice mix, etc...







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We are coming into the gravy time of year! But this is a helpful kitchen tip the year-round.  Gently brown 1 to 2 cups of flour in a dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly to keep the contents of the pan moving. When golden and a nutty brown, remove from heat and transfer to a storage jar. When cool, cap and put away. Use just as you would regular flour, but with the nutty flavor yet without having to cook up a roux for gravy. 

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When you need a pan of cornbread for stuffing, use a flat pan, it cooks quickly and you simply crumble back into the pan when cool enough to handle and oven toast to your preference.




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When you buy a large block of cheese, take a moment to mark it in 4oz sections, when you need 1 cup grated cheese cut off one section, 2 cups cheese, 2 sections. Much easier than measuring grated cheese.
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Cut a piece from an egg carton to fit the shelf space in the refrigerator to store all those bottles of mustard. When stored upside down, you will have much less watery mustard, dripping on your sandwich. Plus, you can store more on the shelf. Important if you are a multi-mustard family!
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Next time you want to re-purpose a jar that has stain and odor (from the original ingredient) embedded in the liner of the lid, simply place the lid on a sunny window frame. In a short amount of time, the odor will be eliminated and most of, if not all of the stain. You are now ready to re-purpose the jar for other kitchen needs.
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Next time you make meatloaf, divide the mixture into 4 miniature loaf pans (approximately 2 1/2X4 1/2 inches ) and bake. Freeze extras for future meals. Smaller loaves freeze better than cut slices.
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If you have a large space between the countertop and bottom of the upper cabinet, these corner shelves intended for use in the bathroom on the floor can be used to hold spices. These corner shelves are very handy beside the stove. 
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Homemade dry wipe bookmarks.
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2016


Increase your counter space, the easy way.
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Linen bread storage bag, from napkins. 
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The easiest way to remove excess fat from chicken is with scissors. Plain old stainless steel bladed scissors from the office supplies section of your favorite department store do a great job. They are much thinner than kitchen shears found in cookware stores. You can trim the fat closer and leave the meat behind. The above photos are the results for skinless, boneless thighs.
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Use your canning funnel to stuff any poultry cavity with only two hands. One hand to hold the bird, one hand to dish up the stuffing.
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From computer desk, to stand up workstation,

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November 2016 recap regarding frugality and new skills:


Organic celery is very expensive in our part of the state, at Thanksgiving, it was priced much lower. I filled the dehydrator with sliced celery and dried it for future soups and such this winter. It is very easy to dry and the flavor will be enjoyed in our winter cooking.


I had remembered that my Dad would "steel" the knives before cutting a roast or fowl for Sunday dinner, right about the same time I realized our knives are in need of serious sharpening. Or would it be a simple matter of remembering to maintain the edge with a bit of work before using the knife? I have now learned to "steel" my knives, here is a link if you would like to learn about this bit of knife maintenance. http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Sharpening-Steel

And finally, by choosing a smaller turkey, we had no waste, for this holiday celebration.

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Easy Directions for Washing a Baseball Cap at Home:

Hand wash in a small basin, rinse well. The bathroom sink works well, you really want to submerge in soapy water, let it sit to soak for a moment or two, after soaking rinse well. 


Use a bath towel to wrap the cap in, taking care to preserve the shape of the bill, and bill the cap portion with excess toweling to keep the basic shape. The goal here is to "wick" the water from the hat into the toweling.


Stretch the cap over a plastic bowl that fits the inside of the cap, this may be different from cap to cap. Take care to shape the bill and allow it to dry. 


That is it, simple really. 

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Easy to peel hard cooked eggs, it is really simple after all!

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2015


McGyverize a makeshift water bath canner. Do you have a glass top stove? And an old fashioned enamel wavy bottom water bath canner? Those two items are not the best matchup, the wavy bottom does not make solid contact with the heating element (glass top). But you can turn any large, flat bottomed kettle into a water bath canner, keep the canning in full gear!

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No directions, but wanted to show off the rustic wood standing cooler my husband made for our patio. Some old wood, an old cooler, and a thrifted leather jacket. Oh and a lot of creativity!

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Homemade sauerkraut

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Homemade minced garlic, no preservatives


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A simple yeast dough "wash" to add shine and a crispy crust to your homemade bread.

1 1/4 c cold water, a dash of salt, 1 T cornstarch.

Bring to a boil and let cool. Use a pastry brush to "paint" the tops and sides of dough ready to be baked. Keep unused portion in the refrigerator for future need.

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2014

When you have a garden, sometimes the harvest is small, yet it is worth the effort to preserve the harvest and bulk store. Then when the season has ended for that crop, package your homegrown food in recipe ready packages. These posts might offer some help to work with your garden and have plenty to eat in the winter months.




Processing smaller harvests and bulk storage.



Once harvest is complete, processing bulk stored foods into usable packages for your family.


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Sometimes not having cupboards is a better option:


From dark and dreary to.....


Open, light and accessible. 

Our total kitchen is now so much easier to use, you may recall that it started out with the "prep center", as shown below.

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Homemade Wedge Pillow, for elevated sleeping.

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Homemade Mini Sewing Kit, for your camp box or travel trailer.

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Sourdough Starter, it is easier than you think.

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Flax Seed Warming Sacks


The sacks have to be loose enough to fold up, to fit in the microwave for heating. 

2 - 100% cotton towels (waffle weave works best here)
5 pounds flax seeds (or as needed depending upon towel size)
Turn towels wrong side out, sew together the bottom and side. Turn right side out, run a stitch down the middle to make two channels for the seeds to sit in. Fill with seeds to within 3 inches of the top. Sew top closed.

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Dryer balls, now you can eliminate the daily use of those dryer sheets. Some fabrics will need a dryer sheet IF dried in the dryer. However, it is possible to sort out from the wet laundry, those items to air dry on a hanger. I prefer this method over dryer sheets.

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Simple changes in how space is made more usable to fit your needs. Re-worked kitchen corner and built-in spice rack added more usable space to our kitchen.

This spice rack was built to stand the jars up. But by adding more shelves
and storing jars on their sides, with a label on the lid, storage was more than
doubled. Exactly what I needed with my large spice collection.










Have a corner in your kitchen without cupboards? Add a couple
shelves for an instant "prep" center. Everything needed for prepping
food is right here in easy reach.







Again we hope you have either found something you would like to incorporate in your own household or the inspiration for your own ideas.


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You may enjoy reading about our life and family changes since this blog began, you may find that post here. 

PS, you may also, enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

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