Make Your Own Laundry Stain Remover! Save Your Budget and Your Laundry!

On September 3, 2012, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Recipes for laundry stain removers are floating all around the Internet and there are quite a few on Pinterest.  I have donned my lab goggles and rubber gloves and mixed up several of the formulas promising miraculous results, only to be disappointed by the cost to make them, the lack of results, the bleach spot [...]

Recipes for laundry stain removers are floating all around the Internet and there are quite a few on Pinterest.  I have donned my lab goggles and rubber gloves and mixed up several of the formulas promising miraculous results, only to be disappointed by the cost to make them, the lack of results, the bleach spot they left behind or all of the above.  That’s why I’m so excited about this recipe.  Would I call it miraculous?  Probably not.  To me miraculous would be not getting the stain in the first place.  What I will say is that this is the stain remover I will be using in my laundry room, from this day forward, to have and to clean, ’til death do us part.  :)

IY stain remover

My DIY laundry stain remover. I used a one quart spray bottle, previously purchased at Walmart. I mixed it right in the bottle.

Why do I like it?

  1. It works!  My arch nemesis when it comes to stains is not grass, chocolate, blood or ground in dirt. Until discovering this stain remover, it was yellow mustard.  No matter how quickly I was able to get to the stain, nothing seemed to take it out.  The most expensive detergents and stain products, to the very cheapest, have been tried with equally disappointing results.  There always remained a yellow shadow to taunt me.  Today, I can tell you that I’m no longer afraid of mustard stains.  It took sitting overnight, but this homemade stain remover did something nothing I have ever purchased has been able to do.  It removed a mustard stain.
    mustard stain

    Am I the only one whose family grabs whatever towel is handy to wipe up a mess? Honestly, I'm just so excited when I find it in time to get it cleaned. This is yellow mustard on an off-white towel. Oy!

     

    stain remover on mustard

    As I sprayed the stain remover on the mustard spot, it immediately turned red. I'm not gonna lie. It freaked me out a little. But, after 15 minutes, I went ahead and rubbed the towel back and forth over the saturated stain and, then, rinsed it under warm water in the kitchen sink.

     

    stain

    A LOT of the stain was gone, but I was sad to see there was still that tell-tale yellow shadow that I have experienced so many times before. I decided to give it the same shot I have given all the others. I sprayed the shadow (same red results) and left it to sit overnight. The next morning I, again, rinsed the stain under warm water at the kitchen sink.

     

    stain gone

    This clean towel is my end result! I couldn't be more pleased. Keep in mind, this hasn't even been run through the washing machine, yet. I'm excited at the potential to salvage some clothing that we thought was lost and the money we will save in doing it! This recipe is the bomb!

  2. It’s easy to make.  There are no toxic fumes and nothing to eat the skin off my fingers.  It only has three ingredients, plus water, and they may already be in your house; especially if, like me, you make your own laundry detergent.  It took less than five minutes to mix a batch and start using it!

    stain remover ingredients

    Ammonia, Dawn dishwashing liquid, washing soda and water are all you need to make this.

  3. It’s inexpensive.  Name brand stain removers can be upwards of $4 or $5  for a bottle that is less than 1 quart in size, depending on the brand you purchase.  Some are even double that depending on where you shop.  My homemade stain remover made a one quart batch and it only cost me $0.88!  Score!
Because I already make my own laundry detergent, I already have Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (This is not the same as baking soda.  You will normally find it in the detergent aisle in your hometown grocery store or Walmart.  Trust me when I tell you that baking soda is not as powerful and can’t clean laundry a fraction as well as Arm and Hammer Washing Soda.  My first attempt at DIY laundry detergent taught me that.)  So, my total out of pocket for ingredients was just under $4, on this shopping trip, and I have enough ingredients,now, to make several batches.  When calculating the price per quart, I included the cost of the washing soda, even though I didn’t need to purchase any, this time.  For one batch, I used .63 worth of Dawn, .16 worth of washing soda and .09 worth of ammonia. The cost could probably be cut even more by using a generic equivalent of Dawn.  Since I wasn’t familiar with how effective one of those might be, I stuck with the name brand, for now, but may try a generic on a future batch.  For the time-being, I’m thrilled with .88 for a quart!
This recipe is adapted from one I found over at One Good Thing.  I’m so grateful to Jillee for sharing her experience and now, having successfully tweaked it to work for my family’s laundry (and mustard stains!), I’m ready to share my version with you.
DIY Laundry Stain Remover

DIY Laundry Stain Remover

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • 2/3 cup ammonia
  • 1/3 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
  • water to fill to one full quart (a little over 2 cups)

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a one quart spray bottle or glass jar.
  2. Screw on the lid and shake it up to mix thoroughly. After it sits awhile, the mixture will start to separate. (See the picture below, from just before getting ready to re-spray my "shadow".) Just give the bottle a quick shake before using and you'll be back in business.
  3. Spray the stain, rub and rinse the stain out. Then wash it as usual. Or, for really tough stains (like my mustard), spray the stain and let set overnight. Rinse the stain out. Wash as usual.
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DIY stain remover

Enjoy savings and fresh clean, stain-free clothes!

I haven’t tried this on a colored fabric, yet, as the towel was off-white.  Once I test it, I’ll post an update to let you know how it works on colors.
I’m anxious to hear how this works for you and how much your family is saving!  If you want to save even more, start making your own laundry detergent, using my DIY Laundry Detergent recipe, which costs a fraction over 20¢ per 75-load bottle!  You’ll be amazed at how much money you leave in your family budget with all you save!

Maple Hill Farms Wool Dryer Balls: Our Review and Give Away!!!

On January 26, 2012, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

After two and a half months making our own laundry detergent and loving the results, I’m moving full-steam ahead to find frugal substitutes for the other products we use in the laundry room.  While I wouldn’t say we spend an exorbitant amount on dryer sheets, if I were to suddenly be left without the need [...]

After two and a half months making our own laundry detergent and loving the results, I’m moving full-steam ahead to find frugal substitutes for the other products we use in the laundry room.  While I wouldn’t say we spend an exorbitant amount on dryer sheets, if I were to suddenly be left without the need to have them, I wouldn’t miss finding the used ones lying on the laundry room floor or sticking to the inside of a pant leg or the back of someone’s shirt.  I wouldn’t miss having to remind people to toss them in with each load, so we don’t shock and awe the congregation with the amazing static electricity display erupting from our family’s row at church on Sundays.  I would definitely get excited about putting the cost of them back into our budget, because even small amounts add up over time.  Believe me, I’ve scoured Pinterest and come up with dozens of options for all kinds of homemade cleaners, I intend to try, but nothing that appealed to me as a better option than the dryer sheets I’m currently buying – for performance or cost.

Maple Hill Farms Wool Dryer Balls

Feeling the need for a little “pick me up” and a break before I plunged back into my research, I grabbed a chocolate peanut butter chip cookie and a Coke (I know.  I know.   — But, they were delish!) and checked my Facebook feed.  I noticed one of my sister’s posts mentioned that she had just entered a giveaway for Dryer Balls.  I had never heard of such a thing, but my interest was piqued.  I gathered from her short post that they were made from wool, used in the clothes dryer instead of fabric sheets and handmade by someone who was selling them through her own Etsy shop.  I found the site and started reading about Maple Hill Farm and Rebecca Rowan.  Rebecca’s dad raises sheep and she makes dryer balls from the wool he produces there.

Rebecca’s Wool Dryer Balls are made from 100% wool and are colored naturally, not with dyes.  They decrease static cling and soften the clothes in your dryer as they tumble with your laundry, by gentle friction of the felted wool fibers against your clothing fibers.  Dryer balls separate the clothes, as they circulate through your dryer, and keep laundry items separated as they tumble around.  This increases airflow and allows warm dry air to reach even the clothes at the center of your dryer tub.  This drastically cuts the amount of time it takes to dry a load of clothes.  I can attest to the truth of that!  We have been nursing my poor dryer along for the last several months, while we save to purchase a new one.  It takes at least two complete cycles to dry a normal load of laundry, now, as it limps through the end of its life.  However, I purchased 4 extra large Wool Dryer Balls which arrived here on January 17.  Since that time, we have been able to dry our clothes in a single cycle, again!  I am so excited for what that means about the gas and electricity we will save when we actually get a new and properly functioning dryer, again!  The dryer balls made a dramatic difference in each load’s drying time and I won’t need to buy dryer sheets, again.

Maple Hill Farms Wool Dryer Balls are completely reusable — no waste, no trash.  I just leave them in the dryer as I pull out each load, so they are there and ready for the next cycle.  People have apparently used them up to 8 years before they needed replaced!  Amazing!  They come scented or unscented, whichever you prefer.  I elected to have mine scented with lavender essential oils before they were shipped and opening the package when they arrived was like being in the center of a field of lavender.  I love it!  I’ve used them in every dryer load since they have arrived and the scent is not even hinting at fading, though I understand that it will eventually fade over time and can be reapplied, if desired.  Our clothes absorb the fragrance, and hold it, better than any commercial fabric softener or dryer sheet I have ever used.  No chemicals, no mess, no repurchasing and my laundry room and clothes smell amazing – I’m a happy camper!

wool dryer balls

All four extra large wool dryer balls ready to go to work on a new load! The extra large size I purchased are just slightly smaller than a softball.

I like that this product is handmade and all natural.  I like that it’s a family business and I love that the product is 100% everything that it claims.  I intend to continue using them and reap the energy savings, over time, plus eliminate the cost and waste of the dryer sheets that were the norm in my laundry, up to now.  Wouldn’t these be a unique and welcome bridal shower gift or a gift for someone who “has everything”?  I wholeheartedly recommend them.  As a matter of fact, I was so excited about them that I contacted Rebecca, who has agreed to sponsor a giveaway AND a 10% discount for Busy-at-Home readers!  Enter Coupon code: Busy2012 in your shopping cart at checkout to receive the discount, when you place an order.  I’m so grateful for her generosity and excited for all of you to know about this money-saving and eco-friendly product!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below, telling me which fragrance (or unscented, if that’s your preference), you want to try.  [Click Here to visit the page with a List of Available Fragrances, in a new window.]  Once you leave your comment, go to the form below, hit that Do It! button, then Enter! and you’ll unlock several more options for additional entries.  It’s super simple and what a great prize for one of you!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I purchased Maple Hill Farms Wool Dryer balls for my own use and tested them in my own home, in order to write this review.  No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required.  The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.

Did You Know…? Common Household Products Used in Uncommon Ways & a $25 Giveaway!!! @bhg #switchandsavechallenge

On September 27, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

You don’t need to buy specialty cleaning and household products when you can just utilize common household products, that you already have on hand, to do the job, instead.  I have collected so many great cleaning and DIY tips on the Internet, that I decided it would be nice to have my favorites all in [...]

You don’t need to buy specialty cleaning and household products when you can just utilize common household products, that you already have on hand, to do the job, instead.  I have collected so many great cleaning and DIY tips on the Internet, that I decided it would be nice to have my favorites all in one place and share them with you, at the same time.  Did you know…

scotch tape

  1. If you put a small piece of  tape on the spot where you will hammer a nail into the wall, it will keep your paint from chipping, as you drive the nail in.
  2. You can dust hard to reach corners and shelves by setting your blow dryer to cool and blowing the dust right off them and into an area you can easily reach.
  3. Loose screws in your pot and pan handles can be tightened by removing them first, brushing them with clear nail polish, letting them dry and then reinserting them.  The pot handles will be snugged up and the polish will help prevent the screws from rusting.
  4. Coffee filters, placed in the bottom of pots for house plants, allow water to drain through the drainage hole, but keep soil inside the pot.
  5. You can keep squirrels from raiding your bird feeders by coating the poles with petroleum jelly, so they can’t get a good grip to climb up.
  6. Toothpaste (not the gel-type) will remove crayon marks from walls.  Rub it gently with a soft cloth and then rinse.
  7. dryer sheetsThreaded needles can be pulled through a dryer fabric sheet to help keep the thread from raveling.
  8. Sprinkle a little cornstarch into the squeaky cracks in a wood floor to stop the noise.
  9. Grind rice in a coffee grinder to clean and sharpen the blades.
  10. W-D40, straight from the garage or workshop, is great for removing stickers or sticky price tags from fabric.  I learned this when our son washed some brand new t-shirts with the tags still stuck to them and unknowingly put them through the dryer.  What a mess.  Nothing seemed to work.  Then I sprayed the sticky spots with W-D40 and the paper and glue rubbed right off.  I laundered, as usual, and the shirts were new again.
  11. Crayon marks or wax spills can be removed by heating them with a hair dryer set to “high” and then blotting them up with a clean white cloth.  You can also place a layer or two of paper toweling over the spot and iron it with a warm iron.  The heat from the iron melts the wax and it is absorbed into the paper towels.  I actually had to test this out recently when one of our granddaughters spilled a melted candle onto our carpeting.  This trick worked like a dream.
  12. Old photos stuck to a photo album page can be worked loose by heating the back side of the page with a warm blow dryer as you gently work the photo loose on the other side.
  13. Rub cornstarch into tight knots in shoelaces, jewelry or other tied items to loosen the knots and be able to get them untangled.
  14. A small amount of hand lotion, first rubbed into your hands and then smoothed over nylons or clothing can remove static cling.  Fabric softener sheets are good for the same thing.  Just rub them over nylons or static-plagued clothing, even frizzy hair.
  15. You can create a makeshift sifter by poking small holes in the bottom of a paper or plastic cup and using it to sprinkle powdered sugar on desserts.
  16. Wrap colored candles in waxed paper and twist the ends shut before packing them away for next season.  It will prevent chips and scuffs.  This is such an ingenious and simple idea!  I love it!
  17. canLoosen dirt and clean the gears of your handheld can opener by running waxed paper through the gears.  The wax will help it operate more smoothly, too.
  18. Kill grass and weeds without toxins, by putting vinegar in a spray bottle and spraying the weeds popping up in between bricks, stonework or cracks in concrete.
  19. A little petroleum jelly rubbed on the threads of outdoor light bulbs will help them to be easily loosened when it’s time to change them.  If you have ever experienced a light bulb stuck from dirt, dust and debris “welding” them into the socket over time, you’ll love this simple trick.
  20. Scratches on wood furniture can be masked by rubbing them with walnuts, removed from their shell.  The natural oils in the walnut meat soaks into the wood and helps to camouflage the scratch.  Just rub a piece of walnut on the scratch.  Leave it to soak in for about 30 minutes and then polish the area with a soft, dry cloth.
  21. Use chalk to heavily mark dark rings on shirt collars, before laundering.  Wash as usual.  The chalk helps to absorb all the oils and make getting the collar clean an easier task.
  22. Snip the corner from any size ziptop bag and create a temporary funnel for neater pouring.
  23. You can use coffee filters, which are lint-free, to clean mirrors and windows with no streaking.
  24. A sponge dipped in salt water and then washed across the inside of windows will keep frost from building up on the windows.
  25. EssentialsPlace fabric softener sheets between towels, sheets and pillowcases in the linen closet or between your sheets and mattress to keep linens smelling freshly laundered.  The Lavender and Linen Essentials dryer sheets I have been using would be perfect for this!  Since lavender is a scent associated with relaxation and being soothing, maybe that’s exactly what I need to help me fall asleep more easily.  :)  I’m off to remake the bed!

All these tips, and so many more, can be found online and will save you time and money, using what you already have on hand instead of wasting time and money running to the store for specialty products and cleaners.

And here’s a chance to put a little more S-T-R-E-T-C-H in your budget!  Arm and Hammer is generously sponsoring another $25 VISA Gift Card giveaway!!!

Giveaway Rules:

You must be 18 or over and a US resident to enter.  Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org.  Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, October 9, 2011.

Mandatory Entry:

Please share your favorite DIY or household tip.  Leave a comment below, with your answer.

Optional Additional Entries:

  1. Like Arm and Hammer on Facebook and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
  2. Follow Busy-at-Home on Twitter.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  3. Like Busy-at-Home on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  4. Follow Busy-at-Home on Google Friends Connect by clicking  the Join Button in the right-hand side bar.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  5. Subscribe to the Busy-at-Home Newsletter with this link or in the right-hand sidebar.  You will receive an email confirmation with a link that must be clicked to confirm your subscription.  Once you click the email link to confirm your subscription, leave me a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
  6. Tweet this giveaway (maximum of 1x per day, please).  Win a $25 VISA Gift Card and and get tips for saving money on laundry from ARM & HAMMER @busyathome @bhg http://busy-at-home.com/blog/i-found-40-in-my-dryer-money-saving-laundry-tips-and-a-25-giveaway-bhg-switchandsavechallenge/  Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.
  7. Post this giveaway on your Facebook page.   Win a $25 VISA Gift Card and get tips for saving money on laundry from ARM & HAMMER and Busy-at-Home   http://busy-at-home.com/blog/i-found-40-in-my-dryer-money-saving-laundry-tips-and-a-25-giveaway-bhg-switchandsavechallenge/    Leave a comment below with a link to your post.

 

This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is paying me to try different products. Save $1.00 on any 2 ARM & HAMMER Essentials Fabric Softener Sheets.  And then head over to The Switch & Save Challenge to keep up with all of the bloggers and enter to win $25,000.

The Stocked Kitchen: Review & Giveaway PLUS Recipe for Cinnamon Chips! (@AtriaBooks @thestockedkitch)

On July 29, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

About 10 pm on Friday night, I started reading The Stocked Kitchen, by Sarah Kallio and Stacy Krastins.  By midnight, I was finished.  Seriously, I read a cookbook cover to cover and was so excited, I couldn’t go to sleep.  It seems a little silly to call this just a cookbook.  It’s more like “kitchen [...]

About 10 pm on Friday night, I started reading The Stocked Kitchen, by Sarah Kallio and Stacy Krastins.  By midnight, I was finished.  Seriously, I read a cookbook cover to cover and was so excited, I couldn’t go to sleep.  It seems a little silly to call this just a cookbook.  It’s more like “kitchen curriculum”.  I’ve been cooking for at least 40 years, and I would venture to say I’m fairly good at it.  Yet, I learned so much from The Stocked Kitchen that I had never previously considered.  I can’t wait to share it.  It is going to take a busy woman’s view of her kitchen, and cooking, and literally turn it upside down.  I will venture to say that you have never seen another cookbook like it and though there will probably be many who will try to copy this ingenious concept, you get to hear about the one and only original, right here, on Busy-at-Home.  (Enter to win a copy for yourself, at the end of this post!)

cookbook

The first two “chapters” of the book are made up of a total of only three pages.  After reading them, however, I was hooked.  I felt a kinship with these women who knew exactly what the challenges are in a busy woman’s kitchen, day-to-day — you know, that 4:30 or 5:00 standing and staring into an open refrigerator or pantry and feeling like you have nothing to make for dinner challenge?  They’ve  been there, done that, AND they have a solution.  The difference between understanding a dilemma, and solving a dilemma, is action.  Sarah and Stacy’s actions are going to rock your cooking world!  The system and recipes they have developed are going to save you time  — they’re going to save you money — and they’re going to give you a confidence in the kitchen that will leave smiles on the faces of your family and guests at every meal.  (I’m just a little stoked about this cookbook:) )  Frugal, fast and made from scratch — everything we love at Busy-at-Home!

tortilla

I have made several recipes from The Stocked Kitchen, already. One of them is their Taco Meat. It's delicious, cheaper than seasoning packets and this is definitely one I would cook in bulk and freeze in 1 lb packages. Taco meat is used as a base for several recipes, like Beef Enchiladas.

The short and sweet of the premise behind this book is one awesomely simple, yet comprehensive grocery list.  Keep your fridge, freezer and pantry stocked with these items and you will always have what you need to create ANY of the more than 300 recipes in this book.  The grocery list is included in tear-out pages in the back of this wonderful, hard cover cookbook.  Stick it to the fridge, check off items as they are used (and train others in your house to do the same), so you know it needs to be replenished and then carry the list to the store with you every 7-10 days to restock your kitchen with the few items you need.  You could easily just make copies of the page to have one for each week, or even simpler, visit The Stocked Pantry website and print the list on your printer at home.  Do you realize how this will revolutionize the way you shop — how many “extra” things you will not be buying — how much time and money that can save?  It boggles the mind.

enchilada

Have I ever shown you how to roll a nice, tight burrito or enchilada? To make the beef enchiladas from The Stocked Kitchen, roll the taco meat in a flour tortilla. Fold the side edges in first.

So, what’s the secret to this grocery list?  What makes it so magical and special?  Have you ever seen a recipe online or in a magazine and thought it sounded amazing and decided to make it, only to find you needed some exotic ingredient that you have never purchased in your life, much less have sitting in your pantry?  Have you made an extra trip to the store to get that item, and a few others you find along the way, just to bring it home, make the recipe and have the rest of that product sit untouched on your shelves for months or even years?  I definitely have.  The secret to The Stocked Kitchen grocery list is that all the items are everyday, normal food that you probably keep in your kitchen most of the time.  When I first glanced at the list, I thought, “That’s a LOT of groceries!”, but after taking the time to read through it, I already had about 85-90% of those items in my kitchen.  The few things that aren’t on your normal list of staples, will quickly become familiar to you, because they are so commonly used in these recipes.  You won’t be buying exotic, but you WILL be buying cost-effective, common ingredients that can be used to create delicious, nutritious meals and that will save you money on 1) pre-packaged, processed food and 2) going out to eat at the last minute because you “don’t have anything to cook at home”.

rolling a burrito

Once the ends are folded in, roll tightly.

These recipes are certainly family-friendly, but they will be equally great for entertaining.  There are options for every palate and quite a few vegetarian options, as well.  That was actually one of my biggest concerns before reading the book — “Won’t we get tired of having the same old dishes day in and day out?  How can there be enough variety, with only one shopping list?”  Let me ask you a question.  In a 30-day span, are there any of your family’s favorite dishes that you prepare more than once?  We sure do and sometimes it’s because we want it, sometimes it’s because I can’t think of anything else to make.  The Stocked Kitchen has enough soup, pasta, and meat main dish recipes that you would be able to eat a different dinner (no repeats) every night for more than two months.  I know, because I counted.  :)  Our family is not huge on seafood, (though I may try incorporating it more often with these recipes), so I counted how many meals I would be able to make if I never used ANY of the seafood recipes.  There were over two months worth and that doesn’t count the times we will eat breakfast for supper or have a baked potato bar, etc.  This grocery list doesn’t limit you, it uses ingredients you typically keep on hand, anyway, and provides you with the recipes to help you create a delicious, expanded repertoire of meals for your family without needing to run to the store before you cook each night.  If you’re like me (and I know you are ;) ), you’ll immediately recognize how many of your family’s own recipes fit the grocery list, which expands your possibilities even further.  I don’t know about you, but that’s exciting to me.  What has become a drudgery and a chore –  grocery shopping — will become streamlined, simple and quick.  Happy, happy mama!

rolled enchilada

enchiladas

There you have it! This method works well for burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas. This is an enchilada from The Stocked Kitchen. Now, all it needs is a half dozen more and the sauce and cheese. You'll love their recipe! This is the point at which I would take advantage of a simple freezer-cooking technique. You could easily make and roll these in bulk, flash freeze them and then store in gallon Zip-loc bags in the freezer. Pull out the number you need when a "quick fix" dinner or lunch is in order. Put them in the pan with sauce and cheese and bake. All the prep work being done ahead of time makes this a cinch to prepare and the oooohs and aaahs over how good they taste will make you feel like a master chef in your own kitchen!

I also believe there are many recipes in the Stocked Kitchen that would lend themselves well to freezer cooking, another of my favorite time and money savers.  The Stocked Kitchen has recipes for main dishes and soups, pasta dishes, appetizers, desserts, pizzas, breakfasts and brunches, salads, breads, beans, potatoes, rice and veggies!  Plus, you’ll learn to make your own sauces, salsas, dressings and condiments from ingredients on the list, saving money and space in the fridge.  What’s left?  What’s not to love?  It’s pure genius!

salad dressing

This Cucumber Dressing is another recipe I tried. (See all the yummy minced cucumber and dill flecks? Mmmmm!) It took about 3 minutes to whip up, using ingredients right out of my kitchen. Fabulous! It was great on salad and we are going to try it as a veggie dip and a spread on wraps, as well.

You’ve read a lot of my reviews, so you know I take pretty seriously what I recommend.  It’s one thing to be able to like and recommend a product.  It’s another to say you need it.  We have a pretty clear understanding of the difference between wants and needs in our house.  So, understand I am not speaking lightly when I say, “You NEED this book.”  I seriously believe it will save you time and money, help your family to eat healthier and take the panic out of mealtime preparation.  You will do your job more efficiently, effectively and happily because you have the tools you need to pull it off.  I will be giving this book as a wedding or bridal shower gift each time I receive an invitation.  If it were the only cookbook a new bride owned, she’d be set.  Seriously!  Yes, it’s a cookbook, but it’s also a tool, it’s a plan for being successful in the kitchen.  It equips you to masterfully prepare tasty meals, from ingredients you already have in your kitchen and enjoy doing it.  I wish I had had it years ago.  You’re going to love it!

Here’s one recipe, I’ve been given permission to reprint for you.  You need to put a batch of this in the oven every time you are going to have company, because your house smells AMAZING while it is baking!

Cinnamon Chips (from "The Stocked Kitchen")

Rating: 51

5 minutes

40 minutes

45 minutes

Cinnamon Chips (from

These are DELISH! I had trouble not just eating them, instead of saving them for recipes. They are part of a recipe for Cinnamon Chip Scones, in "The Stocked Kitchen", but I can't wait to add them to a batch of Snickerdoodle Cookies! Yum! Oooh! and biscuits! lol

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. (In my oven, this worked better at 275 degrees)
  2. Cover a jellyroll pan (cookie sheet with sides) with aluminum foil.
  3. In a bowl, combine all ingredients with a fork until crumbly and evenly blended.
  4. Spread onto the jelly roll pan.
  5. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until melted and bubbly.
  6. Cool completely on the pan.
  7. Break into small pieces.
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THE GIVEAWAY!!!  The Stocked Kitchen publisher, Atria Books (a division of Simon & Schuster), has generously sponsored a giveaway of one copy of the book for a Busy-at-Home reader.

GIVEAWAY RULES: 

You must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.  Mandatory entry must be completed before any optional entries will be counted.  Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org.  Deadline for entry is midnight (CST), Sunday, August 7, 2011.

MANDATORY ENTRY:

In a comment below, share how The Stocked Kitchen would benefit you and your family.

OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:

  1. Like The Stocked Kitchen on Facebook.   Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  2. Follow The Stocked Kitchen on Twitter.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  3. Follow Busy-at-Home on Twitter.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  4. Like Busy-at-Home on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  5. Follow Busy-at-Home on Google Friends Connect by clicking  the Join Button in the right-hand side bar.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  6. Subscribe to the Busy-at-Home Newsletter with this link or in the right-hand sidebar.  You will receive an email confirmation with a link that must be clicked to confirm your subscription.  Once you click the email link to confirm your subscription, leave me a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
  7. Tweet this giveaway (maximum of 1x per day, please).  Win “The Stocked Kitchen” and revolutionize the way you shop & cook! @busyathome @AtriaBooks @thestockedkitch http://ow.ly/5Qi1i   Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.
  8. Post this giveaway on your Facebook page.  Win “The Stocked Kitchen” and revolutionize the way you shop & cook! @busyathome @AtriaBooks @thestockedkitch http://ow.ly/5Qi1i   Leave a comment below with a link to your post.

I received a copy of The Stocked Kitchen, in order to test recipes and conduct this review.  No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required.  As always at Busy-at-Home, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

On January 10, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Wow!  I sure have missed all of you!  Wouldn’t you know that as soon as the holidays hit, our entire family, (Yes, all five of us at once.) were hit with a ridiculously long-lasting and “knock-us-off-our-feet” bug of some sort.  I am stir-crazy and still fighting the cough and congestion, but actually walking around and [...]

Wow!  I sure have missed all of you!  Wouldn’t you know that as soon as the holidays hit, our entire family, (Yes, all five of us at once.) were hit with a ridiculously long-lasting and “knock-us-off-our-feet” bug of some sort.  I am stir-crazy and still fighting the cough and congestion, but actually walking around and sort of functioning, today.  David and the kids are still in various stages of recovery and we are all looking forward to phlegmless, coughless existences.  Until then, I am feeling like I can at least see straight and hopefully write in a somewhat coherent manner; and since I have been anxious and very excited to share an idea with you, passed on to me by my good friend, Kay; it seems like a good day for getting back to blogging.

I heard about the “Eat From the Pantry Challenge” because Kay sent it to me on facebook.  I am completely excited about this idea and I am providing the link, Money Saving Mom) and another.  (Beauty and Bedlam) here for you, with this proviso, “You are not competing with anyone else.  The point of this challenge is to help you save money, stir up your creative juices and in general, make you feel great about your frugal skills.  Do NOT think there are fast and hard rules, that you must do it like me, or pattern your challenge after anyone else’s.  My challenge to you is to simply DO it, enjoy yourself and stretch your winter food budget.”  You might choose to do this for a week or two weeks.  You might try it for 30 days.  You may not go to the store for any food items or you may have a select list of things you will continue to purchase.  You make the plan for your own challenge and then put it to work.  The links provided above give two very different ideas for completing the challenge.  Visit them both and get some excellent tips and strategies!

The challenge I read about was for the month of January.  I love the idea of eating from our pantry for 30 days, but since we have spent the first third of the month crouping, I have decided our 30 day challenge will begin on Monday, January 11 and end on  Tuesday, February 9.  I intend to prepare meals from the ingredients we have in our pantry with the exceptions of fresh produce and dairy products.  This should be a substantial savings over the weekly trip to the grocery store and put a large part of the grocery money back into the budget.  I’ll need you all to keep encouraging me and spurring me on.  Sometimes, it’s just so much easier to think of what we want for supper and then pick up the ingredients we need to fix it, but I have a well stalked pantry.  I can definitely do this.  The only thing I can see getting a little “difficult” before the end of the thirty days, is meat.  However, I still have two good-sized turkeys in the freezer from the last big sale which should help.  Plus, I will just have to get creative with non-meat meals and casseroles.  I hope to do a pantry “inventory” for you over the next couple days and start posting menus and recipes.

I hope you will get inspired along the way to challenge yourself, for whatever period of time.  It will definitely take more pre-planning and thought, but I am hoping the savings will be excellent.  Please share your experiences and creative recipes as we make this 30 day journey.  I’m looking forward to hearing ideas and progress reports from all of you and I will post our experiences along the way, as well.  Happy saving and good eating!

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