My "boredom buster" that brings me some "play" money. Check it out! :)


Homemade Laundry Soap (Green, environment friendly, CHEAP!)

This morning I made some laundry soap (detergent) and tried a new recipe. For months I've been making & using the liquid version which was ok but I am trying the powder version this time. It takes up less room and only one tablespoon per load is used or two tablespoons for heavy duty/very soiled clothes. The recipe I used this morning, I found at Modern Cottage and all credit goes to that site!

The original recipe can be found at the above link but here's my modified version as I made a double batch using two different soaps (experimenting!). All of these items were found at my local Super Walmart.

*edit* This lasted my family of 6 two weeks exactly.

1 bar Ivory soap
1 bar Dial soap
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Arm & Hammer WASHING soda (not the same as baking soda)
1/2 cup of OxyClean (I had on hand leftover Shout Oxy Power)

Using a cheese shredder, blender, or salad shooter grate the soaps up really fine so that there's no big clumps since you're making the powder type of laundry soap. Add the shredded soap to a clear shoebox container (88 cents at Walmart) then add the following and mix together: Borax, washing soda, and OxyClean. Use any scoop that measures out to 1 or 2 tablespoons and keep the lid on your mixture when not using it. Since I used the remainder of my Shout Oxy Power I am keeping the scoop that came with it and using it to measure out the detergent for my laundry loads.

If you use fabric softener you can easily switch to a homemade version and not only save money but keep that pollutant from harming the environment.
This recipe also came from Modern Cottage!

Take a one gallon jug of white vinegar and add 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil (not necessary but it leaves a nice smell!). The vinegar will NOT make your clothes smell like vinegar. It simply helps remove the remainder of soap left on your clothes, makes them soft in the process and disinfects!

If you're also a dryer sheet user, you can save money by simply adding some of the homemade fabric softener to a wash cloth and throw it in the dryer with each load. I have a special wash cloth that is used just for this so it's always on hand (just take it out of the laundry load and keep on top of the dryer).

To make your clothes smell absolutely wonderful after even trying these new ideas, line dry them! That not only saves money on your electric bill but it also makes your clothes last longer. What do you think dryer lint is? Your clothes slowly being eaten away by the dryer! To soften up towels, undies, and such just toss them in the dryer for five minutes on the fluff cycle (called different things on some dryers).

Still think only Tide or something else will do the job? This batch cost less than $5 to make so you can't not try it to see! As reported at Modern Cottage, here's the rundown on costs:

First some exciting money facts:

    Cost to make your own: Around $2 per batch. This is about 5.7 cents per load (using 2 tablespoons for each load, you get about 35 loads). Arm & Hammer laundry detergent is about 12.4 cents per load.Tide detergent is 30 cents and more per load.


Simply Delicious Cake

This cake tastes soooooooo good! Sometimes we drizzle a little warmed up chocolate syrup over it.

1 Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 8-ounce container Cool Whip
Crushed heath bars or brickle

Bake cake according to directions on box in 9 x 13 pan. While still warm poke holes in cake with the handle of a wooden spoon. Poor sweetened condensed milk and caramel ice cream topping over the top of the cake. When cool, top with Cool Whip. Sprinkle with crushed heath bars or brickle.


Dirt Pudding

1 1/2 lb. Oreo cookies, finely crushed

1/4 c. butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar

2 sm. pkg. French vanilla pudding
3 1/2 c. milk

Add butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar to the pudding mixture. Add 1 (12 ounce) Cool Whip. Blend well. Put in a plastic flower pot - alternate layers of cookies and creamed mixture, beginning and ending with cookies.

Best Dessert Ever

3/4 c chopped pecans
1 1/2 c flour
1 stick margarine, soft
1 c powdered sugar
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 lg cool whip
2 lg pkg instant chocolate pudding
2 1/2 c milk

Mix pecans, flour and margarine and press into 9" x 13" pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. Mix sugar and cream cheese thoroughly. Fold in 1 c cool whip. Spread in pan.

Mix chocolate pudding and milk. Spread in pan. Cover with cool whip. Sprinkle with more chopped pecans. Refrigerate.

French Toast Sticks

French Toast Sticks

2 eggs
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/4 C milk
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
8 slices bread, -- cut into 3 strips each (use Texas toast)
3 Tbsp butter -- divided

In a shallow dish, beat together the eggs, sugar, milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon with a fork until well blended. Dip each bread strip into the egg mixture, coating completely. In a large skillet, melt 1 Tablespoon butter over medium heat. Cook the bread strips a few at a time for
2-3 minutes per side, or until golden, adding more butter as needed.
Serve immediately or allow to cool and chill until ready to serve. Reheat in the oven or a toaster oven for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The powdered sugar can be decreased or omitted since it is very sweet.
The strips can be put on a well greased baking pan and bake in the oven - watch carefully so they don't overcook, and flip when the bottom side is golden.
Flash freeze on cookie sheet then store in a freezer bag.


A dear friend sent me this recipe a month or so ago and I'm just now getting to trying it out! Standing over the stove frying 'tater wedges' gets tiring when cooking for a family of six so I hope they like this recipe! I've added some of my own alterations in green text.


3 lg. baking potatoes
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 t. hot sauce
1/4 t. onion salt
1/2 t. House Seasoning (recipe follows)
1/8 t. black pepper
2 C. cornbread mix
1/4 t. chili powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. cumin or taco seasoning
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 375. Wash the potatoes and cut each into 6 thick
wedges. Mix the mayonnaise with the hot sauce, onion salt, house
seasoning and pepper. Coat the potato wedges with the mayonnaise
mixture and roll them in the cornbread mix. Place in a greased baking
dish and bake 45-50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Serve
with your favorite dip.

House Seasoning:
1 C. salt
1/4 C. black pepper
1/4 C. garlic powder
1/4 t. chili powder
1/4 t. cumin or taco seasoning
I add the 1/4 C. of onion salt to my house seasoning.

Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight container for
up to 6 months.

Peanut butter-chocolate No Bake cookies

Here's a recipe I haven't made in a while and just came across it in my email. It's very easy and kids love it!

Peanut butter-chocolate No Bake cookies

36 Servings
½ c Butter
½ c Milk
2 cups White Sugar
½ c Cocoa
½ c Peanut butter
1 tsp Vanilla
3 cups Oatmeal

Combine sugar, butter, cocoa and milk over medium heat. Bring to a
boil. (let it boil for one minute while stirring) Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter (smooth or crunchy). When peanut butter has melted, add vanilla and oatmeal. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto waxed paper. Makes about 3 dozen.


One Week Menu & Tips

Here's a menu that I came across and altered to my family's preferences. Original is thanks to the HillbillyHousewife site! Occasionally I'll buy cereal but if I do it'll be generic brand or if a good sale is going on only then will I buy the name brand cereals - with coupons of course! Most of the time it's just easier and cheaper to buy the Malt-o-Meal bags of cereal or the generic boxes at Sav-a-Lot. As for high milk prices, I've been buying the big box of powdered milk at Wal-Mart for $10 & some change and when the milk is made up and refrigerated overnight the kids can't tell the difference and have said it tastes good to them so I'll say that's a keeper on my pantry list! There's usually more chicken on my menu list but our freezer is going out so I didn't buy any chicken this last time other than the precooked chicken nuggets.






French Toast; Bacon; Syrup; Tea

Turkey or bologna sandwiches; potato wedges; grapes; Kool-aid or water

Beef Pasta (SAL brand is good!); Mashed Potatoes; Green Beans; Biscuits or brown & serve rolls; Iced Tea, Kool-aid or water

Apple slices w/peanut butter; water or milk


Oatmeal; Toast, Butter & Jelly; Orange Juice

Macaroni & Cheese; Carrot Sticks; ranch dip; Choc. Milk

Burritos and/or tacos; Home fries; Iced Tea, Kool-aid or water

Muffins (blueberry, strawberry, or banana nut); Milk or water


Cereal, orange juice or water

Jiffy cornbread muffins, Butter; tuna mac (mayo w/o cheese); Milk

Spaghetti; Corn, Garlic Toast; Iced Tea, Kool-aid, milk, or water

PB&J Tortilla rolls;milk, tea or water


Grits; Toast, Butter & Jelly; Orange Juice

PB&J Sandwiches; Carrot Sticks; ranch dip; Milk

Vegetable Beef Soup, Cornmeal Muffins; Crackers; Iced Tea, Kool-aid, or water

Cinnamon Toast; Milk, tea or water


Oatmeal; Toast, Butter & Jelly; Syrup; Tea

Chicken Noodle Soup; crackers; Milk

Hot Dogs and/or hamburgers (or chicken filet sandwiches) Homefries; Carrots; Iced Tea, Kool-aid, milk, or water

Peanut butter cookies (SAL mix); sliced apples; milk, tea, or water


Biscuits & Gravy; Scrambled eggs; Butter & Jelly; Tea

Tuna sandwiches; chips; Apple Slices; Milk

Cheeseburger Mac; Green Beans; Biscuits or brown & serve rolls; Iced Tea

Baggie of dry cereal; Milk, Tea, or water


Cereal, milk, water

Tomato Soup; crackers; Grilled Cheese Sandwiches; water

Chili w/cheese; Corn Bread/Crackers; or Chili-cheese fritos; Homefries; Kool-aid, milk, or water

Vanilla wafers w/peanut butter in middle; Milk, tea, or water


Burritos: The Azteca refrigerated brand @ Wmart tastes like Taco Bell. Fill with gr. Beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese OR hotdog sauce (chili sauce) and shredded cheese like their chili cheese burritos. If you boil your ground beef instead of frying it, it'll be super soft and fine for the tacos & burritos just like Taco Bell. It looks rather gross but the outcome is great plus you get rid of the fat! Put menu servings of the cooked meat into freezer bags or containers and you're set for the next meal.

Shredded cheese: So far, the best deal I can find on this is Wmart but I hear Sam's is better. Shredded & block cheese can be frozen. Don't freeze the sliced kind for sandwiches though. And for the sliced cheese we buy the 72 slices in a box for around $8 to last a month or so.

Burgers: The frozen box of Great Value burgers @ Wmart have 32 100% all beef patties & is $11.48.

Cheeseburger mac can be any kind of “hamburger helper” mix OR you can buy the boxes of elbow mac noodles @ SAL for .49 & a jar of cheese sauce. Dried minced onion & garlic salt make this taste much better. (Don't forget salt & pepper!)

Vegetable beef soup: Here's my “recipe”.. For a family of six -

3 cans tomato soup + 2 cans of water

1 (or 2 depending on how much yours like veggies I guess!) cans mixed veggies

A few peeled, cubed & already boiled potatoes

½ to 1 lb. Browned gr. Beef (again, depending on how much yours prefer meat)

Salt & pepper to taste

½ teaspoon chili powder (trust me, hubby prefers 1 tsp or more!)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

a few shakes of dried minced onion

After browning meat & boiling potatoes, simmer all in pot on medium-low for about 15-20 minutes.

Tuna mac: Boil ½ – 1 whole box of SAL/Wmart? Elbow noodles. Drain & sprinkle with salt. Chop & add some sweet or dill pickles. You can also chop up an apple to put in it (red apples taste best in it – small chunks). Mix in about 2 tablespoons of mayo depending on how much noodles you cook and a can of tuna (or 2 depending on how much you're making). We like chopped boiled eggs in ours. Chill before serving.

Potato wedges: We buy the 50lb. Bag of baking potatoes at SAL for $10.99 for the month. You must keep them in a cool and dry place. Many things can be done with a tater! For the wedges, I cut them in half and keep doing so until I get the size I want. Bigger wedges are considered 'tater logs' and take a little longer to fry. They seem to taste better as bite size. After slicing the potatoes up, put a handful (skins on) in a bowl mixture of cornstarch, white cornmeal, flour, seasoning salt, regular salt, pepper, chili powder (a shake or two), garlic powder or salt, onion salt, and a shake of cumin (if you don't have cumin, use ½ tsp. Of taco seasoning). Shake the bowl around until each wedge is covered and then drop in a pot of hot oil & fry until almost golden. Drain on paper towel & sprinkle with salt as soon as it comes out of the oil (or so says Emeril ha!). To make them have a crunchy skin (kind of like the KFC chicken), soak them in hot water before adding to the bowl mixture and sprinkle some water on them before adding them to another round of shaking in the bowl (ice cream buckets work well for this!)

You can also bake these in the oven but unless you dribble olive oil on them they will be dry and taste weird.

There's a shopping list and 'daily prep list' on this page:

I altered the menu just a little for my family but have not added all the prices for items not on her list.

Dairy Free Ice Cream

I saw this linked to on another blog and have never heard of this before but thought it was interesting enough to share!

For marshmallow chocolate ice cream:

  1. Microwave the chocolate and butter-substitute for thirty seconds in a microwave-safe bowl. Remove from microwave and stir until melted as fully as possible. Place in microwave for 30 seconds more, and repeat this procedure until both are fully melted. Stir until combined.
  2. Add a dash of salt, and a splash of vanilla extract to taste.
  3. Put a scoop of marshmallow fluff into the bowl and stir it in in thoroughly. Continue to add scoops and stir them in until the mixture is the desired texture of your ice cream.
  4. Remove the spoon, lick it clean, and wait up to 5 minutes for your mixture to become room temperature.
  5. Place it in the freezer for 50 minutes, remove, and if it is still not frozen well, then stir it thoroughly and place it back in freezer for another 20 minutes.


Creative Uses for Ice Trays

Here's a little tidbit of info I came across a few days ago that I wanted to share here.

Freeze Leftover Stock or Sauces

Have a bit of soup stock, tomato juice or sauce leftover after you’ve prepared a meal? Ice cube trays are the perfect way to store it. Just fill a tray with your leftovers, and freeze. Then, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag once they’re completely frozen.

How much liquid does a cube hold? One ice cube is generally the equivalent of one ounce or two Tablespoons. Here are some conversions to help you determine how many cubes you’ll need to use in a recipe:

2 cubes = 1/4 cup
4 cubes = 1/2 cup
6 cubes = 3/4 cup
8 cubes = 1 cup

Store Baby Food

Homemade baby food is great for baby, and easy to store when you freeze it in an ice cube tray. Fill each compartment to the top with your pureed blends, and freeze. Then, take out the desired number of cubes at mealtime. Not sure how much baby should eat? Here's an easy guide:

4-6 months = 2 cubes
6-9 months = 4 cubes
9-12 months= 6 cubes

Freeze Spices

Do you grow your own spices? Then, freeze some for use during the winter months. Fill the compartments of an ice cube tray with your spices and just a bit of water. Then, thaw a cube any time you need to season a dish.

Note: If you'll be using your spices in a heated dish, there's no need to thaw. Just drop your cube directly into the pan, and proceed with your recipe.

Freeze Leftover Eggs

Have a recipe that calls for egg yolks? Don't ditch those egg whites! Freeze them instead. They can be stored in an ice cube tray, and thawed when needed.

Make Popsicles

You don't need a fancy popsicle mold to make your own popsicles. Just fill an ice cube tray with juice, pudding or mashed fruit. Then, cover with foil, and poke a popsicle stick through the foil and into each compartment. Here are two great popsicle recipes that you can try:

Strawberry Popsicles

Jello Popsicles

*You could also make pudding pops by mixing up a box of instant pudding mix and freezing it in ice cubes then stick a popsicle stick in the middle.* <--- One of my ideas!

Use as a Candy Mold

Want your homemade chocolates to look professionally made? Then, use an ice cube tray as a candy mold, and all of your confections will be uniform in size.

Use as a Soap Mold

Designate an ice cube tray for craft use, and create melt-and-pour soaps that are the perfect size for a guest bathroom or gift giving.

Homemade Hamburger & Hotdog Buns

Both recipes were found at

Hotdog Buns


  • 1-1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 cups white flour
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2-1/4 tsp. yeast
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • optional: Italian seasoning or other herbs


1. Prepare a batch of bread dough by hand or using your bread machine.
2. Then, divide the dough into eight equal parts, and roll each piece into a ball.
3. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet, and pull them into 6-inch long tubes.
4. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning or your choice of herbs, if desired.
5. Cover and allow to rise 20-30 minutes or until doubled in size.
6. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until done.
7. Allow the buns to cool; then cut a slit in the top of each one, fill and serve.

Hamburger Buns (only difference is the shape and size of course)


1. Prepare a batch of bread dough by hand or using your bread machine.
2. Then, divide the dough into six equal parts, and roll each piece into a ball.
3. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet, and flatten into 4-inch rounds.
4. Sprinkle tops with sesame seeds, Italian seasoning or your choice of herbs.
5. Cover and allow to rise 20-30 minutes or until doubled in size.
6. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until done.
7. Allow the buns to cool; then slice in half, fill and serve.