"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
heard this saying recently, and was shocked that I hadn't heard it
earlier, since I have lived my entire life this way. Making do,
especially, is not only how we get by...it is how my family thrives.
are some of the miscellaneous ways we run our thrifty household. This
will probably be a review for some of you ultra-hip housewives, but
hopefully, you might have some tightwad tips of your own to share.
We enjoy a great "Hamburger Helper" around here by simply browning some
ground beef, adding cooked macaroni, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and
chili powder. Frozen corn is also great in this dish.
2. I make
my own brown sugar, mixing 1 tablespoon of dark molasses into a cup of
granulated sugar, then mashing and stirring it with a fork. I also make
my own pancake syrup, using brown sugar, water, and vanilla. It's
3. I don't use buttermilk in recipes. Instead I use a
tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar for each cup of milk. This sours
the milk, creating a very worthwhile substitute.
4. I use
powdered milk for any recipe that calls for milk, either in cooking or
baking. Hubby hates the taste of powdered milk straight, so we drink
acidolphilus milk if we want something in a glass. It's a bit more
expensive, but I figure the health benefits are worth it. We also drink a
heck of a lot of water, straight from the tap. We seldom, if ever, buy
5. I buy potatoes in large bags, and am always doing KP
duty, peeling spuds. Potatoes are high in vitamin C, and they are
perfect for rounding out meals. We also like to make impromptu skillet
dishes with fried potatoes, tossing in any kind of leftover vegetables
or meats we might have on hand.
6. We don't eat boxed cereals
because it's just too painful on the wallet. Instead, I make oatmeal,
scramble eggs, or pop toast in the toaster. Once in a great while, I
get indulgent and make my own granola.
7. Making your own pudding is almost as fast as making the "instant" variety.
8. We buy vegetables when in season, but also rely a great deal on those that are frozen.
9. I buy a great deal of apples and cabbage, because they keep for a long time and are great in so many dishes.
I freeze leftovers while they're still good, if I know that we won't
eat them before they spoil. They make excellent mini-lunches for me. I
also like to search the refrigerator, looking for leftover
noodles/rice, vegetables, and meat. Combine them with a cream soup, and
often you've got a unique, yummy casserole.
Well, that's ten that I can think of right now. I'm sure there will be more to come.
(Image: "OakTree Beauty" Acrylic on Canvas, Cory Jaeger-Kenat, 2000.)