Monday, February 8, 2010

Using the Internet to Be Thrifty

I have to say, I don't know how people managed to maximize their pantries when snowed in (yes, folks, another storm -- no school today or tomorrow and the next round of snow supposedly begins Tuesday afternoon) BEFORE the advent of the Internet. Why, just today, I used up 2 cups of sesame seeds that have been sitting in my pantry for years (Crunchy Sesame Seed Candy) with just some honey, brown sugar, and spices.

I also found a bread recipe that was fast and didn't require any fancy ingredients and we had it with our left-over baked beans for lunch (Oatmeal Quick Bread).

Then there was the fact that I was staring into my empty freezer this evening and thinking, what on earth am I going to do with two boxes of puff pastry sheets -- and why did I buy them???? -- when I decided to go online and discovered that with just the addition of some orange marmalade, I can use all those sheets of puff pastry up as Puff Pastry Valentine Cookies for my students (if we ever get back into school, that is) thereby not only using up an ingredient I don't want, but also saving me from the heartache of not being able to afford anything for my class.

Plus, my daughters don't like the brazil nuts that I bought for their lunchboxes so -- ta da! -- I went online to look up a recipe for brazil nuts and found Chunky Brazil Nut Drop Cookies and we will make them tomorrow.

I am so thrilled at finding ways to use these odd ingredients instead of just letting them sit on my pantry shelves!

Today one of the other teachers at my school called to say that school for tomorrow was canceled and, while we were talking, she told me that she's snowed in and completely stuck at her house and has just run out of laundry detergent. I'm sure there's some way that you can look up a make your own laundry detergent recipe online! I suggested that she use warm water with some white vinegar in it since I know vinegar is a gentle disinfectant. But if you add up all the ways you can get free advice online (not to mention the savings in simply paying bills online, which saves the cost of an envelope, a check, and a stamp), it's truly extraordinary how much you can save and make do with what you have. Like looking until you find a bread recipe that uses just what you have in the house thereby saving yourself a trip to the store (where you will surely buy more than just the few items on your list, if you're anything like me...). Takes just a few minutes and saves on time, gas money, and grocery money.

Waste not, want not.


Rhoda said...

I ended up using the Brazil nuts in a batch of granola -- we don't need more desserts and we do need breakfast options. There's a great Cinnamon Stovetop Granola recipe on AllRecipes that I like and it's super-fast. Plus, this helps me to get rid of the brown rice syrup that I bought in a bizarre moment at the grocery store.

We are now under several inches of sleet with a large snowstorm on top of it and a Blizzard Warning. Thank goodness we still have power and the girls are warm and happy.

Renee said...

Another great use for the internet: household tips and tricks. Today I discovered -- after not being able to figure this out by on my own and nearly tearing my hair out in frustration -- that the trick to removing the egg residue (left over from a frittata) inside my enameled cast iron skillet was to put hot water in the skillet and a half cup of vinegar. Let it sit until the water has cooled and the eggs scrape right off. Hooray!