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Monday, October 4, 2010

Eating Frugally - Keeping These Items In The Cupboard Will Save You Dollars In The Kitchen

If you're like the majority of people, the first place you cut back to save money is in the kitchen. Eating frugally doesn't necessarily mean switching to beans and rice. It does mean eating smarter and planning for leaner times.

Tough economic times have forced so many people to give up their favorite past times like going to the movies every Friday or going to their favorite restaurant as often. Most non-essential items from the grocery list have been deleted like all the different varieties of cookies, chips and microwaveable snacks.

Keeping these items on hand will save you money and help you out in "a pinch."

1. Egg Replacer- it's powdered and mixes with water. Sometimes, when you have 3 eggs left you have to decide between breakfast and a snack for the kids, egg replacer will come in handy. Mix it with a little water and add it to your favorite recipe instead of eggs. Cakes and breads come out fluffier and lighter. A box will go a long way and that alone will save you money and trips to the grocery store for eggs, especially during the holiday season when the price of eggs goes sky-high. An added plus is that it's cruelty-free. It can be found in most grocery stores.

2. Bouillon Cubes- These little treasures come in so handy when there isn't much time or there's no chicken or beef for a soup on a cold winter's day. A jar is only a few dollars and they keep an exceptionally long time. They come in Beef, Chicken and Vegetable flavor. A bouillon cube is basically stock that's dehydrated into little cubes. Just add these cubes to a few cups of water, add a can or box of frozen mixed veggies and soup pasta (purchased on sale, of course) and you've got a little soup made in minutes. Add a can of your favorite beans or extra peas and you've got additional protein in your meal. Combined with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side, your kids will love it!

3. Baking Soda- Not just for the fridge anymore, you can use baking soda for so many things like

* brushing your teeth. Just put a little in the palm of your hand, wet your toothbrush and dab it in the baking soda making a little paste. You'll get white teeth and fresh breath.
* It can be used as a deodorant under your arms (not after shaving because it will burn).
* Use it for heartburn by mixing one-fourth teaspoon to one-fourth cup of water. Stir it well and drink it. It tastes salty but will clear up acid indigestion within 30 seconds.
* You can also add it to warm water and wash your floor with it as a safe, non-toxic alternative to harsh cleaners that aren't safe for your babies or pets.

4. White Vinegar-Surprisingly, you can use it to clean your pipes. Just pour baking soda down your drain and add the vinegar, which is inexpensive and can be bought by the gallon. It will cause the baking soda to bubble up and dislodge grunge from your pipes. It doesn't dissolve hair but soap scum and build-up will disappear. It's a safe alternative to liquid drain openers. If you use it quarterly, as the seasons change, your drains will flow freely and you won't have plumber bills.

Keep these items in your pantry or cupboards and you'll be eating frugally, saving dollars on your grocery bill and helping the planet. It's a win-win alternative to what you may be doing now.
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