Category Archives: DIY Frugality

How to save precious time in the kitchen

As a working mom, I know how hard it is to find time to cook a real meal for my family at dinner time. My most important strategy is to prep things ahead of time as much as possible.

Natalie at A Turle’s Life for Me has written a super helpful post about reducing her dinner time preparation. She puts together meal components for 46 meals in about 4 hours.

I also do similar things, including:

  • Preparing 5lbs of ground beef at a time. 2lbs gets turned into 2 lasagnas and 3 lbs are turned into spaghetti sauce.
  • Turning 5lbs of ground beef into about 8 dozen baked meatballs, perfect for sweet and sour meatballs, meatball subs, or Stroganoff.
  • Cooking and canning or freezing marinara sauce. This is such a versatile sauce for meats, pastas, or vegetables.
  • Baking a whole tray of seasoned chicken breasts and freeze individually. These can be sauced or shredded as needed for meals.
  • Roast 2 chickens instead of one. The second can be frozen whole or divided up as you prefer.
  • Left over pork and beef roasts are sliced and frozen with a container of left over gravy. Instant hot sandwiches.
  • Dice cooking vegetables and freeze on a baking tray, transfer to a bag once frozen. Toss into any meal when you are cooking to save chopping time in a rush.

The most important factor is planning ahead, whether it is planning your weekly shopping or planning what you take out of your freezer. You need to think about meal time BEFORE meal time.


What do you do to save time in the kitchen? Tell our readers in the comments.


What do you do with a case of mangoes

and cheap navel oranges?

Take advantage of seasonal sale prices and make them last all year long.

This Mango and Orange Marmalade won me a First Place ribbon at the fall fair a few years ago. It’s a favorite that everyone asks for when I’m giving out jars of jam.

Don’t know how to can? Contact me and I can give you a lesson.

Do you have any other uses mangoes? Leave us some ideas in the comments.

Homemade laundry soap

I am starting a new business venture – making and selling laundry soap.

I have been using this recipe for over a year now and have been very happy with the results. No perfumes, no dyes, no fillers, no unnecessary chemicals, only basic cleaning product. It is strong and safe enough for using on cloth diapers as well as all your work clothes.

The first 10 people to bring me a jug will receive a free liter of soap which will wash 8-12 loads. I will begin selling it at the Farmer’s Market at Christina Wood’s table. Two gallons will cost $10, enough to do 64-96 loads depending on your machine. Please contact me if you would like to start buying it sooner.

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