I almost always have sour cream in the fridge that we didn’t quite finish before it went past its expiration date. I don’t like to toss things out just because they’re a little past the date stamped on the container, but on the other hand I don’t want to be eating something that’s really bad either. I find a nice compromise with sour cream (and yogurt) is to bake it into something. That way it’s not getting wasted, but it’s also getting cooked at a high temperature and hopefully killing off anything that needs to be killed off.

I often make banana bread or muffins to use up sour cream and yogurt, but now I have another muffin recipe! Pumpkin muffins! I used the banana recipe and just tweaked it some making it pumpkin muffins and it actually turned out!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of 100% pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips (optional)

Mix the sour cream, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients and then combine them with the wet. Then fold in the chocolate chips.

You can either make 2 loaves of pumpkin bread or make 1 loaf and 12 muffins, or do all muffins.

Bake at 350 in greased muffin tins or loaf pans. The muffins will need to bake about 20 minutes  or until done, and the bread about 1 hour or until done. Cool slightly, then remove from pans and let cool the rest of the way. Enjoy! :)

And don’t forget about The Tightwad Gazette Giveaway! Only 2 days left to enter!


 

Amy

1. Popcorn – Buy a big bag of popcorn kernels and pop them yourself in a heavy bottom pan. Popcorn’s full of fiber and you can make all kinds of flavors, sweet or savory.

2. Muffins – You know I love ‘em! When made with fruit, part whole wheat and less sugar, they can be pretty healthy. Check out some of my favorites here.

3. Fresh fruit can be frugal when bought on sale and in season. I buy apples and bananas almost every shopping trip. When the kids are hungry, but it’s not supper time yet, I let them choose one or the other, Gracia’s usually the apple eater, and Little Dude’s the banana man.

4. Veggie sticks – Carrot and celery sticks are almost always a good deal, but sometimes I splurge and get sugar snap peas, they’re my favorite!

5. Smoothies – Freeze fruit that won’t last much longer, like berries, peaches, mangoes and bananas then toss them in your blender with some milk or yogurt. I like to make my smoothies thick, like soft serve ice-cream. :P

What are your favorite frugal and healthy snacks?

Linked at Frugally Sustainable.

Amy

Today is December 3rd, the countdown is on for Christmas. Usually we end up giving at least some homemade gifts. When a gift is made yourself it’s usually:

  1. Cheaper - Most homemade gifts cost way less than the same thing bought in a store, and all my ideas today are economical.
  2. More meaningful and you can personalize them – It’s nice when receiving a gift to know someone put time and thought into it and you can personalize it with their name, favorite colors or interests.

 

I don’t know about you, but for me it’s usually the males on my list that are harder to think of gifts for, especially if I’m wanting to make something, so I was overjoyed when I saw this marshmallow shooter tutorial! It was so cheap and easy to put together for my 14 year old brother!

 

Chai tea is one of my very favorites, especially in cold winter months. This is a great recipe to whip up a batch of instant chai tea mix which can be used for multiple gifts.

 

Crocheted dishcloths or pot holders are one of my go-to gift ideas because they’re so useful and I can usually make one in a couple of hours. Check out my free crochet potholder pattern.

 

How about baking muffins or quick breads? Lots of people give away cookies and candy at Christmas, and while that’s a yummy treat, sometimes it’s nice to have something with a little less sugar that can also be used as a quick breakfast or snack. I have lots of muffin recipes on my blog, like the orange cranberry ones pictured above.

 

Another food gift is granola, like this coconut granola.

 

Looking for homemade gifts for kids? How about playdough for just over a quarter…talk about economical!

 

Do you have a box full of random little crayon pieces? Simple melt them into crayon cookies,

and if you have molds then they can be even more exciting!

 

If you buy those frozen concentrated juices than re-use those metal lids for making a juice lid memory game,

which is not only super resourceful, they’re also more durable than your usual paper memory cards making them a great idea for young toddlers.

 

DIY fingerpaint can be a fun gift idea for kids too! What kid doesn’t like painting?

 

Let’s make this list of economical homemade gift ideas even longer! Leave a comment or link with your favorite DIY gifts!

 

Linked at Living Well Spending LessA Blossoming Life and Lady Bug Blessings.

We all know that a giant canister of oatmeal can provide many healthy and filling breakfasts, but what if you make too much? What can you do with that oatmeal other than re-heating it or dumping it in the trash? I’ve faced this dilemma myself and have had fun experimenting with recipes. Today’s recipe is a sweet bread, with wiggle room for variety.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (When I made this with chocolate chips, I only used 1/2 cup of sugar and thought it still tasted great).
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (I used unsalted)
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (rinsed)

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separate, then combine. Fold in blueberries or chocolate chips. Put in greased loaf pan and bake at 350 until done (45 minutes?).

Varieties:

Chocolate Chip - I’m sure you could do this many ways, but I’ve done ti with a cup of chocolate chips instead of blueberries.

Muffins - I’ve also made it into muffins, just decrease the baking time.

TIP: Since this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter, that’s exactly one stick. Let the butter sit out a little before taking it out of the wrapper, then use the wrapper to grease your loaf pan!

Yummy bread, thanks to that leftover oatmeal!

Linked at A Blossoming Life and Tammy’s Recipes.

As I think about our future and I imagine our family living in Africa, among people with so much less than us. How will I be viewed if people see me throwing away leftovers, that I never got around to eating?  Of if I have to work at hiding the food we toss out? How embarrassing would it be for a family who barely has enough to eat, so see my food waste photos? Their problem is too little food and my problem is too much. Even if we never live in a third world country, God has always blessed us with more than enough food and allowing it to get wasted isn’t being a good steward of that gift. I wonder how much our grocery bill would go down if we didn’t waste any food, not even a scrap? I bet it’d be more than I realize. I’m on a mission, to waste less food! Even though I’ve talked about food waste before and ways to use it up, I’m starting a new series called Save the Scraps with ideas of how to use food that might otherwise get trashed. It might be leftover rice sitting in the fridge or the peelings from carrots or in this case, overripe strawberries…

Even when strawberries are starting to get mushy, you can still use them!

 

Of course you can just eat strawberries raw, but if you don’t eat them fast enough, they might start to get a little squishy and not look as appetizing. That doesn’t mean they need to be thrown out though! There’s plenty of ways to still use the strawberries!

 

  • Chocolate covered strawberries are simple, yet so elegant and the chocolate coating can disguise blemishes in the strawberries.
The homemade edible arrangement Cameron and Gracia made me!

A homemade edible arrangement Cameron made me a couple years ago...notice the chocolate covered strawberries!

 

  • Don’t have time to do anything with your strawberries right away? Freeze ‘em! Wash and cut them up, then lay flat on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. Once frozen remove from sheet and place in ziploc bag. Then put them back into the freezer until you want to use them.

Freezing Strawberries

  • Frozen strawberries work perfectly in smoothies!

Strawberry Smoothie

  • Many places donate food to our school, usually food that they can’t sell anymore. When we got tons and tons of strawberries, that were going bad, I tried my hand at freezer jam using some freezer pectin that I had gotten as a free sample, so my only cost was the sugar I added. I was amazed at how easy it was and even more amazed at how much better it tasted than store-bought. It just pops with fresh strawberry flavor!

Other ideas:

  • Strawberry pie,
  • Strawberry short cake,
  • Homemade strawberry ice cream or a strawberry sauce for topping ice cream,
  • Popsicles,
  • Frozen banana split bites

Got any more ideas to add to the list?

Linked at A Blossoming Life.

 

http://purposelyfrugal.com/2013/08/12/save-the-scraps-blueberry-oatmeal-bread/#.Ug6USPHLL9Q

I have to get this food waste under control. I want to get a handle on it simply because it’s wasteful of our grocery money and not being a good steward, but now I have an extra motivation. Since we’re wanting to go into foreign missions, we’ll more than likely be in a third world country, where we’ll be the rich people. I can’t be tossing old food out when their’s literally people around me starving.

So…I’m going to be linking up at Food Waste Friday again, at least for a while, and each Friday I’ll also share a tip on how to NOT waste food.

At the beginning of this week, I cleaned out my fridge and pantry to begin this waste-less-food journey (wanted to start on a clean slate), and I threw out about 2 grocery bags of food….yes, I’m embarrassed to say the least.

Bake old dairy into muffins.

Waste-Not-Want-Not Tip: When your milk (or yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk) starts to get a little sour smelling (but still okay to drink), bake it into something. I made 2 batches of muffins this week with old milk, although I still have a lot more milk to use! Hopefully I won’t be blogging about it being wasted next week!

Simply Being Mum

I can’t remember exactly where I got this recipe, but I think it was from the internet somewhere. Anyways…it’s now on a card in my recipe box and I pull it out around this time of year to use up leftover cranberry sauce…..well actually this year I made cranberry sauce just so I could make these muffins! :P They’re one of my favorites!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar (brown or white)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup cranberry sauce (I used homemade, not sure if the canned kind would work for this or not)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I also successfully used 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup regular milk)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg
Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately then combine. Bake at 400 degrees F in greased muffin tins for 20ish minutes or until done.
This post is linked at The Peaceful Mom for Show & Tell Saturday.

It’s Friday! And here’s my second Frugal Photo Friday (sorry I skipped it last week). It’s not a very exciting picture, but I’m in a hurry, cuz I have lots to do to get ready for Gracia’s 3rd  birthday party (pictures next week!).

So here’s an apple that…well as you can see, was getting old and somehow got this big gash in it. But I didn’t waste it! I used it to make apple muffins. The sad part is, later I found some apple slices in the fridge that I could have used too, but I had already made the muffins. =(

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