Archive for the ‘ Miscellaneous ’ Category

5 Minute Homemade Ice Cream-in-a-Bag (frugal family fun)

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

We’re like any other family and love to have fun together but we don’t love spending lots of money to accomplish that!  And so recently when I came across this recipe for Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag and knew that we had to try it.  We all love ice cream and I was pretty sure that we’d have fun watching the milk turn into ice cream almost right before our eyes.  And I was right- in fact, it kind of felt like we were performing magic or something!

Want to try it yourself?  Here’s how:

Combine 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 cup milk or half and half in a small quart sized Ziploc bag and seal tightly.

Then place 1/2 c. salt and enough ice cubes to fill a half gallon sized Ziploc bag half full.  Place the smaller bag inside the larger bag and seal the large bag tightly.

Shake the bag.  (The gloves help keep your hands from freezing!)

And shake it some more.

And some more—hold on to it, it likes to try to slip out of your hands!

And yet some more until you’ve shaken it for 5 minutes and it gets ice cream consistency.

(If your child gets tired of shaking it, you might have to help them out like my husband did here.)

And then you can open it up and see your ice cream!

Eat it in the bag or do like we did and dump it out into a bowl.

Ours was a little soupy still but we got tired of shaking it.  I’m pretty sure it would have gotten a little bit firmer had we just kept at it.  But we were impatient and it was good anyway.

This little guy loved it.

Can’t you tell by that grin?

Okay, so here’s the recipe and instructions in an easier to read format.

 5 Minute Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half and half or milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)
Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
1 pint-size ziplock bag
1 gallon-size ziplock bag

Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.  Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it’s done.  Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Serves 1.

Recipe via Family Fun

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Tips for Seeing More of My Posts on Facebook

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Some of you may have noticed my comment on Facebook yesterday about how only a small percentage of my Facebook followers are actually seeing my posts.  Facebook recently made some changes which has affected how many people actually see my posts (and other blogs that you might follow) in their feeds.  According to the statistics that Facebook shows me, less than 25% of my followers actually see most of my posts in their feed.  Since I’m assuming you follow me on Facebook because you really want to get blog updates, I thought I’d give you a couple of tips on what you can do to hopefully see more of my posts on Facebook.

1.  “Like”/comment on the posts you do see that interest you.  The way Facebook is set up now, the more you interact, the more you will see of that company’s/blog’s posts.   So by liking or commenting on a post you are essentially letting Facebook know that you want to keep seeing The Thrifty Frugal Mom’s posts in your feed.

2.  Choose the “Show in News Feed” option.  This is supposed to notify Facebook that you really, truly do want to see theses posts.


Of course there are other options too, and really, they might be the easiest way to keep up with my posts:

* Visit The Thrifty Frugal Mom directly

* Follow on Twitter

* Follow using an RSS feed
(I prefer Bloglines- it is super simple to use and I can keep track of all the blogs that I follow in the same place)

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Tags: | Categories: Miscellaneous, The Thrifty Frugal Mom

12 Money Saving Things I Don’t Do

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

I realize that as a frugal blogger who posts about things like our $200/mo. grocery budget, how we save money on meat, and the way I stocked up on name brand diapers for less than $5/pack it could start to seem like I must never do things that aren’t frugal.  And while I admit I could be called a frugal geek there are some things that are definitely frugal that I don’t do.  Just for fun, here are 12 money saving things I don’t do:

1. Take Short Showers
Not only do I like to take long showers I like my shower to be hot. Not warm, but HOT.  In fact, it’s my favorite way to wind down at the end of a long day.

2.  Use the Cheapest Brand of Mayo
Even though I know that not being a brand snob is an easy way to save money, I just can’t give up Kraft mayo.  My husband thinks I’m silly and I’ll actually buy cheaper brands and use them for him.  Bu personally I do not care for the taste of other brands of mayonnaise.  In my defense, I do try to watch for deals on the Kraft brand so I don’t have to pay full price.

3.  Use Cloth Napkins
Even some of my “non-frugal” friends do this one, but for some reason it just annoys me to think of having to wash napkinsSo instead I purchase the cheapest ones I can find and enjoy the little splurge.

4.  Shop For My Clothing Second Hand
I buy almost all of the our children’s clothing second hand and we even buy some of my husband’s stuff used as well.  But I rarely buy any of my clothing used.  It’s not that I have an issue wearing new-to-me clothing but I hate digging through clothing racks at consignment stores.  To me it is just overwhelming and honestly, the times that I have done it I have rarely found a thing.  Maybe I’m simply too picky?  At any rate, I much prefer shopping sales at other stores and try to combine coupons with those sales when possible to still get great bargains.

5.  Use Only Cold Water for Laundry
I do this for some of my laundry but for some things I just like the idea of using hot water. 

6.  Use Disposable Nursing Pads
I should probably give these a try but honestly they sound annoying to me.  It just seems like they’d always feel wet and gross and that just does not appeal at all!

7.  Avoid Using Paper Plates and Cups
Funny thing is, I even have a dishwasher.  But sometimes if we are having a bunch of people over it is still just easier to use disposable stuff. 

8.  Do My Own Dry Cleaning
We don’t often have things that need to be dry cleaned but when we do I take them to a cleaner.  Those do-it-at-home dry cleaning kits scare me.  Somehow I’m sure that I’d ruin whatever I was using it on.

9.  Shred My Own Cheese
Often I can get blocks of cheese cheaper than shredded cheese so it would make sense for me to shred my own to save money, right?  Well, guess what?  Shredding cheese is one of those things that I absolutely hate doing.  If I had a food processor or something that easily did it for me I would consider it.  But using my little hand shredder is too much of a pain in my opinion and so that is one area I just am willing to spend a little more on for the convenience.

10.  Walk When I Can
I live within walking distance of Rite Aid, Giant and our local farmer’s market.  I do walk sometimes but more often than not the idea of walking with two children is enough to make me drive instead!

11.  Avoid Using Paper Towels
While I typically use rags instead of paper towels, I do still use the occasional paper towel.  Some jobs I just don’t like to use rags for..

12.  Cloth Diaper
To be honest, I really wonder if it is less expensive to cloth diaper when I can find disposables as cheap as I do.  We also have to buy our water and I would rarely be able to line dry my diapers which would also add to the expense.  But even so, say that it really is cheaper, I just cannot quite bring myself to use cloth diapers.  Wet diapers I think I could handle but poopy ones?  Uh, well, that is a whole other story!

So, did anything on my list surprise you?  What money-saving confessions do you have?

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

I just wanted to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to all you moms.  As my husband often tells me, “You are doing the most important job in the whole world.”  I know it is hard to remember that sometimes when the laundry is piled to the ceiling, the floor is scattered wild with toys and you have little people hanging onto you always wanting something.  But I do truly believe that loving and caring for our children is one of the most important things we will ever do.  We have the power, in many ways, to make or break them and it is only with God’s help that we can do it well!

I hope you all can enjoy today and take at least a little bit of time to celebrate the fact that you have the privilege of being a mom.

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Tags: | Categories: Miscellaneous

Box Tops for Education Website: Get Coupons and Help Your Child’s School Earn

Monday, May 7th, 2012

 Box Tops for Education

Do you collect Box Tops for your child’s school? We don’t have any children in school but I love collecting them for the private school our church operates.  It’s such a simple way to help out a bit.

Click on the banner above to create an account at the Box Tops for Education website. From there you’ll be able to print exclusive coupons, see your school’s goal for the year and how much they’ve saved so far, earn Box Tops when you shop online and more.

In my opinion, the coupons alone are amazing. Here’s a sample of the coupons available this month:

* $0.60/1 Original Cheerios Cereal

* $0.60/1 Reese’s Puffs Cereal

* $0.60/2 when you buy TWO BOXES any flavor/variety Betty Crocker® Fruit Shapes, Fruit by the Foot®, Fruit Gushers®

* $1.10/2 when you buy any TWO BOXES General Mills cereals listed: Boo Berry® • Cinnamon Toast Crunch® • Cocoa Puffs® (any)

* $0.75 on any ONE (1) pound of LAND O LAKES® Half Stick Butter Products
- if you have a store that doubles coupons you should be able to get a great deal on butter with this coupon

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Tags: | Categories: Miscellaneous