DIY Cali Blend Freezer Packs

9:41 am

by Jennifer Freeman

cali blend freezer packs

DIY Cali Blend Freezer Packs

Make your own freezer packs of California Blend Vegetables.  It is super easy (or I wouldn’t be sharing it or doing it  myself!)  March is a perfect time of year to be getting deals on broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.  If you are lucky enough to have Bountiful Baskets Co-op to order fantastic produce from, watch for the Cali-blend fresh packs for a great savings.

You do not have to use a Vacuum Pack Sealer (see deals), but it will make your packs last longer.

Cali-Blend Freezer Packs

 Ingredients

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
Gather Tools:
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • 3 bowls for your prepared veggies
  • Pot of boiling water
  • Bowl of cold water and ice
  • Colander and slotted spoon or scoop
  • Cookie sheet or large plate
  • Food Saver System or Freezer style Ziploc bags and a straw

Instructions

  1. Fill your pot with water, about 1/2 full.  Prep your veggies while bringing pot of water to a boil.
  2. Peel your carrots and slice about a 1/4 inch or so.  Crinkle cut if you prefer.   Set carrots in a bowl.
  3. Cut your cauliflower and broccoli into pieces. I use up the stems too. Just peel the hard skin/layer off and slice the soft white middles like you would the carrots.
  4. Once your water is boiling add a combination of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.  What ever the amount you want in  your individual freezer packs.
  5. Blanch your veggies by boiling for 4 minutes. This will preserve them for freezing. Broccoli will turn a bright pretty green and carrots will become vibrant and sink.
  6. DO NOT OVER COOK YOUR VEGETABLES! They will become too soft and mushy. Keep boiling process to just 4 minutes.
  7. Scoop out your veggies and plunge them in the bowl of ice water for 4 minutes.   This  stops the cooking process and keeps the veggies fresh & crisp.
  8. Remove from the water and pat your veggies with a towel.  Remove as much water as you can before putting your veggies up for the freezer so they don’t ice up while freezing.
  9. Lay dried veggies a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  10. After frozen, it’s time to pack them for the freezer.  Use the Food Saver System or fill your Ziploc freezer bags and zip it up with the straw sticking out and suck out as much of the air as you can then finish zipping it shut. The less air in the bags means less of a chance for freezer burn and water crystals to build up on your veggies.
  11. Label the bags with Cali-blend and the date.  Use them throughout the year!

 

 

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What’s best to buy in May

9:35 am

by Jennifer Freeman

seasonal Sales

What’s best to buy in May?

Have you ever wondered what are the best months to buy certain items?  What is on clearance by month?   Use my “when is it best to buy” certain items list.  This list is compiled from years of making the most of my money by purchasing strategically.  And one of my big strategies is buy when the best price presents itself.  My What’s Best To Buy This Month series will give you the guideline.

During the year, when I make note of things we need to consider replacing in the house I will wait for the seasonal sale. While I am waiting, it gives me an opportunity to stash a little money away to plan for that purchase.

Many stores honor veteran’s on Memorial Day weekend with special discounts, free meals and more. Home Depot and Lowe’s both offer 10% discounts during Memorial Day weekend!

Don’t forget the fun day of May the Fourth Be With You..heehee, get it?

So, What is best to buy in May?  

Toward the end of the month, traditionally Memorial Day sales begin on Friday and last throughout the first official weekend of the summer.

Mother’s Day at the beginning of May: Perfumes, decorative frames, small gifts, flowers, small memento gifts.

Memorial Day is coming the last weekend of the month.  look for packaged meats (buy, re-portion to smaller size and freeze), BBQ sauce, ketchup, condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, potato chips, dips & Paper Products (plates, utensils, insect repellent, sunscreen, etc.) and all other picnic supplies, along with outdoor furniture. Start Watching for great Charcoal coupons~print and keep for sales. Buy up enough to get you through the summer BBQ Season.

AND If you’ve been putting off major purchases on electronics, laptops, flat screen TVs, (or if you want to get a head start on smart Father’s Day gift shopping or last minute graduation gifts) Memorial Day weekend is the time to pounce at Dell, Best Buy, and other top electronics retailers.

Don’t forget the fun day of May the Fourth Be With You..heehee get it?

Cinco De Mayo is May 5: All things Mexican!  salsa, spices, tortillas, and more!  Get coupons for these items also!  Watch for coupons to match to clearance items:  And search the Free Coupon Database by category, product or brand!

May is mattress month as stores make room for newer models. Watch for cushy sales of up to 50% off (together with offers of free shipping) to lure in shoppers.

Clearance: Mother’s Day gift, perfumes, jewelry boxes, (think about upcoming female birthdays, bridal showers, graduation, dance recitals), and athletic apparel. Look for blank greeting cards, note cards. Other items including decorations, t-shirts and aprons, eating utensils, & paper plates.

Seasonal Produce: apricots, artichokes, asparagus, avocado,green beans, cherries, beets, blackberries, carrots, onions, sweet vidalia, peas, edible pods, English/Shelling peas, new potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, & strawberries.

Print coupons now and watch for sales~Click Images Below!

NATURAL & ORGANICS ::: CLICK :: HERE

GET SAVING STAR ::: DIGITAL COUPONS::

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Tip Resource

How to make spreadable butter

Stores charge more for their spreadable butter than regular butter, and you actually get less butter for the increased cost. Make your own and save.  Turn one cup of butter into two cups of spreadable butter!

Home Made Spreadable Butter Recipe:

  • 2 sticks of butter,  soften to room temperature.
  • Using an electric mixer, mix 1/2 cup water, room temperature into the butter.
  • Slowly mix in 1/2 cup of canola oil (or use 1/4 cup canola and 1/4 cup olive oil).
  • Store butter mix into a plastic container with a lid and refrigerate.

That’s it!  Now you know how to make spreadable butter easily!

This butter is spreadable right from the refrigerator.  Use for a spread or on veggies & pasta. Because of the added water, it is not recommended to heat or cook with the spreadable butter.

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Easily Remove Pet Hair From Anything ~ Tip

10:05 am

by Jennifer Freeman

 

 Easily Remove Pet Hair~

To easily remove pet hair,  simply dampen rubber gloves with water and rub over the surface containing the pet hair. The pet hair tends to ball up and can easily be removed.

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How to have a successful garage sale

9:25 am

by Jennifer Freeman

How to have a successful garage sale

 

Summer is here and with summer comes yard sale season.  Selling your items and making $300, $400 or more is worth the little bit of effort.  And after the sale, take all the remaining items to a donation location and write off the value of the donation on your taxes.   To have a successful garage sale,  you need people buying what you are selling!  Pretty simple, right?  I am sharing ways for you to learn how to have a successful garage sale and get the most out of your items and time!   Readers: If you have any other tips, please share will us in the comment section below!  Let’s learn from each other.

Here are a some garage sale tips I have learned over the years:

1) Try to make it a multi-family sale. Get more helpers & more incentive for buyers to stop by.

2) Baby & children’s clothes sell well (adult not so much).  Hang clothing. It will sell quicker.  And if it’s dirty, wash it.

3) Have the sale on Friday & Saturday.

4) Advertise the yard sale 1 hour later than you really plan. When the early birds come knocking,you will be prepared.   However, I would start early, around 7AM.

5) Use free services to advertise. Why spend extra money? See links below.

6) Begin advertising on free sites days before the sale. List a few of the great or unusual things you have for sale. Don’t list too much, just peak their curiosity.  Stand out from the other sales.

7) Direct people to the sale using bright colored signs and colored arrows. Use one color; one color will direct a person easier. It’s easy to print a large arrow on 8½ x11 paper. Keep signs simple; remember people cannot read a sign well when driving!

8.) Put signs out the evening before the sale. It’s way too much to do the morning of the sale.

9) Be prepared! The day before the sale, sort your items. Place like items together and clearly mark the price (or know the price). Keep in mind some people will not ask about pricing if it isn’t marked. Hagglers will always haggle.

10) Get plenty of change and in all denominations. No sense in lowering a price because you do not have correct change.

11) If you are willing to negotiate, ask buyers to make you an offer! How bad do you want to get rid of it? Sentimental value will not increase the actual price someone will pay.

12) Consider having some water, sodas, lemonade, baked goods or candy for sale. It gives the kids something to sell.

13) Have a plan for your items after the sale concluded. Pre-schedule a non-profit to come by on Monday morning to pick up your remaining items.

14) Have fun! Play some music, enjoy meeting new people and above all make some money getting rid of things you really do not want or need.

15) Remember to remove your signs after the sale.

 

FREE Places To Advertise Your Garage Sale:

At Garage Sale – search by zip code, city or state. 57,000 sales listed

Tag Sell It – Lists estate & yard sales, consignment stores & flea markets

Garage Sale map – similar to MapQuest but shows garage sale locations.

Remember Craigslist, for online free ad posting.

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12 Things to only buy USED!

7:35 am

by Jennifer Freeman

new or used sign
12 Things to only buy USED!

Sometimes finding a deal on a new item isn’t as good as finding a deal on a “formally owned” a.k.a. pre-loved, secondhand, recycled, used-not-abused, previously loved or whatever you want to call it!   Here is a list of some of the items that are well worth looking for on a resale basis.   Let someone else take the depreciation and you get the benefit!

12 Things to only buy used!

  • Cars or motorcycles
  • Baby and Maternity Clothes
  • Books and Textbooks
  • Video Games and DVDs
  • Furniture
  • Home Decorations
  • Sports and Fitness Equipment
  • Tools
  • Musical Instruments
  • Formalwear
  • Cellphones
  • Large Kids Toys (ie: playsets, bounce houses, wagons)

Check out resale apps like Letgo, Facebook groups.  These items can be found in clothing resale shops, consignment sales, Craigslist, freecycle.org or a good old fashioned garage sale! Resale cellphones can be found on Groupon and Apple.

Want more ideas and tips for saving your hard earned cash?
Like the Tip Resource facebook page were more tips and savings shared!

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