Wednesday, February 22, 2012

25 Random Tips

Do you ever go to a blog or arcticle about tips and realize that you know most of them already? I do, but then I find that one tip that makes the whole article worth reading. I hope you find that one tip in these tips. As I was reading back over this I realized its more of rambling rants than tips, I hope you still read it and find some good ideas. Feel free to let me know your ideas or if I didnt explain one good enough give me a hollar and Ill go more in depth.
1. Have a pan that is scratched easy, but needs more scrubbing than a dish cloth can do? Use baking soda, make a paste out of it and rub it on the pan. I use this often on my crock pot, not only does it get rid of the stuck on stuff, but it leaves it deoderized as well. I notice my crock pot smells like onions a lot, lol.
2. Chickens like dog food. Im not saying only feed them this as a main food supply, but My moms dogs wouldnt eat a particular brand of dog food. It got left with me and I dole it out as treats for my girls, they love it.
3. Breast fed baby poop that stains clothes will bleach out in the sun. Thats right, after washing the item, point the offending stain towards the sun and wait for the magic to happen. It has saved many outfits here.
4. Flax seed is a natural laxative. Oh yeah, I add it to many things in my kitchen. Grind it first so you get all the benefits, I use a coffee grinder, you also get omega 3's from it. I add it to pancakes, breads, cookies, the list could go on and on. Best thing is if you use enough you wont have to spend money on those expensive fiber bars.
5. Just because a seed packet says the seed if for a particular year doesnt mean you have to throw it out like its expired. My cabbage that I just planted is from the 2010 run, they all came up. If you are weary of waisting precious soil space, try putting some of the seeds in a ziploc bag with a damp paper towl. Be sure and leave the seeds on the outside of the towel so you can see them grow, and dont zip the bag all the way up everything need air. The best way to keep your seeds is in a container that protects them from water, small children and bugs. I use a plastic container with a lid.
6. Save your egg shells, not the store bought ones, but the ones your chickens lay. Rinse them out and let them dry. If you crush them up you can feed them back to your chickens as a good source of calcium. If you dont have chickens, put them in your compost pile or use them to plant in. To make a cute tiny planter, break the top part of the egg open carefully. Rinse and dry it out, then make a pin hole in the bottom. Fill it up with dirt and plant you seed. Most people use tomatos for this method, plant it directly in the dirt when the weather is right.
7. Save you egg cartons, the non styrofoam ones. Cut down the hinge, make a few holes in the bottom where the egg rests. Fill with dirt and you have a planter, use the other half to set the planter in.
8. You can eat a salad from your yard. If you dont use anything like pesticides or fertilizers on your yard, your likely to have a great range of plants growing naturally. I have dandelions, sheep showers, chick weed, lambs quarters and wild strawberrys growing. I often stare longingly at my nieghbors wild garlic and onions, I should just ask if I can pick it. Always make sure that what you pick is edible before you eat it. You can find the info online or a book at the library or try this page
9. Want free food? Glean fruits and veggies and nuts from the wild. What is gleaning? Gleaning by defintion that I can find is-Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system. What it is to me is, driving down the road and finidng blackberrys in the ditch and picking them. To me its finding some kind of edible food that is not in someones fence and picking it for my own use. You can find fruits, nuts, wild onions and all kinds of goodies, even mushrooms, although I am to scared to pick mushrooms and eat them. I have found persimmons, pecans, and many blackberrys this way. I also look on public lands like nature trails and Grda lands. Its a little work to get it sometimes, but its free and tastey.
10. Baby wipes clean stains magically. Do you have a set in stain on something? Try a baby wipe, it works great for a lot of things. My Mom even used it to get out milk stains that had been set in for several years in her truck.
11. Save your non glossy newspaper for your garden or flower bed. I put my garden to sleep in the winter. When planting season is done, I remove the plants, lay newspaper down about four to six sheets thick, covering the entire area. I then wet it down and cover that with hay or straw. This promotes worm activity and keeps the bacteria going for a while longer. I also use the six sheet newspaper as a weed control in the summer. I just cut a hole where the plants go and put it down and cover with hay so it will not blow away. I did this last year for the tomatos and put a soaker hose under the newspaper. It was awesome for quite some time.
12. You can make a baby rattle out of canning rings, just tie yarn around 4 or 5 of them. My son loves the noise they make.
13. Making your own bread is easier than you think. I was afraid to do it for years because of all the kneading and rising. I really love the no knead method, it has built my confidence up enough that I no longer buy bread. Its healthier to make it anyway, have you flipped your bread package over and read whats in it? I have a few recipies on my site check them out.
14. You can do many things to save electricity. I make it a point to turn lights off on sunny days and open blinds. I unplug things that are not in use and make my kids turn the lights off. I also hang clothes on the line outside when possible. Its pretty cool when I look at my utility bill now. I have gas heat, but I keep it lower during the day and cover up. If its cool when the boys get home from school I will turn it back up. When I open the house up on nice days I make sure and close the windows right when the first cool breezes blow in in the evening. That way the house stays a bit warmer for the night.
15. School sends so much paper home with kids, dont throw it away. Unless its glossy, we save it in a trash can and shred it, I can then use it for the garden or compost. This way my trash bags last longer and your saving the paper from the landfill.
16. Save the environment and recycle plastic bags. Our walmart has bins when you walk in for them and my boys love to carry them in.
17. You can make your own granola for way less than you buy at the store. Try this recipe  Its good and I didnt even use cherrys, I used plumasins.
18. Herbs are a good way to spice up your dinner or help with that plugged up nose. They are easy to grow too. Try a few basic ones like rosemary, thyme and basil. You can make a herbal steam by boiling 4 cups of water and steeping a few twigs of thyme, rosemary and pepermint. Pour it in a bowl and get your face close enough for comfort with a towel over your head and breath it all in for a bit. Did this for my oldest boy yesterday and he could breath non snotty for a few hours. Best part is I didnt even have fresh pepermint, I just used a candy that was made with pepermint oil.
19. When your kids grow or pick out a vegetable they are more likely to eat it. I will always remember the first summer in our new house. I was outside in the garden and I heard my boys giggling, I of course thought they were destroying something in the other garden. I went over to check on them and they were happily munching on broccoli right off the plant. This was close to four years ago and only one of them still loves broccoli, but they ate it.
20. The bigger your garden the less yard you have to mow. Sounds funny, but its true. I have a small yard and raised beds all over, five raised beds in fact. I still plant pretty flowers in one, but the rest is food. I even dug another bed in the front yard and planted a apple tree there. Weedeating takes more time than mowing does now.
21. Use plants to cover things. I have an evil bush that grows in the fence line. I hate it, it takes over. So last year I planted morning glories and cat mint by it. I hope they both take it over. I also use plants in areas that recieve a lot of sun, like my front porch. I use the step railings as a trelisse for my morning glories, I get beautiful shade and pretty flowers. I have used broom corn as a block so nosey nieghbors cant see us in our back yard. I also use sunflowers so I dont have to see whats going on at the nieghbors in my front yard. My compost pile has flowers planted around it too, so nobody has to look at it.
22. Use white vinegar as a rise for your laundry instead of chemical softners. I use a downy ball for it.
23. Buy somethings in bulk. Do you can and use a bunch of sugar? I do, we buy 25 pound bags and put them in a tin larder can we got from It really saves from having to buy small packages.
24. Learn to cook. Not only will this save you money from processed foods and eating out, it will save your health. The more the food is processed the worse it is for you. What are they using as preservatives, why is the can lined with harmful substances? Even if you just learn how to make one of your favorite processed meals from strach then your saving a lot of money, you will eat less salt and you will be proud to tell everyone that you made it. There are tons of cook books out there, if you try them and still cant figure it out message me and I will talk you through it.
25. Make your own baby food. This tiny jar of food has a shelf life of how long and what exactly did you put in it to make it last a few years? That is what I think everytime I look at a jar. Dont get me wrong, with my oldest boys I happily shoved that swill in their mouths. Now that I am older and wiser I wonder how I have hurt their future. Was that jar lid lined with bpa? I now know their bottle was, it hurts to think about what I fed them then could effect them when they are older. Not to mention that I have read numerous times that babies are born with pesticides in thier bodies. I dont want my children to be poisoned anymore than they have to be. So I garden with out pesticides and I can and I make my own baby food. I baked a sweet potato last night, it will be my babies first food. Do your research and find good recipes, you could help your baby live a healthier life. Try this page for some good recipes

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