Tag Archives: Frugality

Plastic Free July – Our Successes & Failures

by Tammy Taylor~

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I’d never heard of plastic-Free July before, but I’m willing to jump on the bandwagon to eliminate as much extra plastic from our lives as possible.  Now I hate plastic and I shun it every day anyway.  But for me, it’s all about balance.  If I stumble I don’t obsess about it, life’s just too short.  But I’m usually pretty successful in eliminating lots of plastic with super-easy changes.  Come see ways I’ve been able to stop lots of plastic from coming into our home.  Maybe you can pick up a few tips.  We’d love to hear your tips too, be sure to share in the comments.  We can all learn from each other!

Plastic Free July is going great. There are a few stumbles, but many successes. How do YOU eliminate plastic from your home? #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Repurposing An Empty Coffee Canister: Dried Herbs

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we love our coffee.  We prefer Folgers to other brands of coffee.  Although I hate that it’s sold in plastic, at least the plastic canisters are convenient.  I’ve used them for simplifying Garden Weeding Chores.  And we’ve stored chicken feed and dog food in them too.  I’ve Painted Canisters for a cute planter for our back porch. (and also a cute way to share plants with friends).  And I even FINALLY figured out how to Remove The Print from canisters so I can use them for cute decorative pieces in my kitchen (more on that later).  But since this canister is food-grade plastic, I’m able to do even more with it.  I can store large quantities of dried herbs in them.

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Homemade Cold-Process Soap: Morning Motivation MINT!

by Tammy Taylor~

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I was recently asked to give a talk to a delightful women’s group about the procedures of homemade cold-process soap.  Of course there’s no way for me to actually make the soap as part of the presentation.  Not only would mixing lye not be wise in an unknown setting but start to finish it takes about 2 hours to make the soap.  (although once the lye & oils are combined it comes together in only about 20 minutes)  What??!  You don’t think I could be entertaining enough to engage a group of strangers for 2 whole hours??  LOL

So RancherMan & I decided to make the soap in advance.  That way the soap could cure for 6 weeks before the presentation.  We would be able to send everyone home with a sample of the finished soap all ready to use.  But what soap shall we make??  After pondering a bit I decided to put that rambunctious mint to good use and make a mint-scented soap.  I think I’ll call it “Morning-Motivation Mint”!  Come see how we did it.

This is a very easy recipe for a good homemade cold process soap. Morning-Motivation Mint Cold-Process Soap - Refreshing! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Repurposing Coffee Canisters – Removing The Print

by Tammy Taylor~

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I’ve written before about repurposing those handy empty coffee canisters to a new life.  They’ve been used in my garden to simplify chores, and I’ve painted them & planted in them for my patio.  And those painted canisters make a cute presentation when I want to share plants with friends too.  But recently I had a foodsy-type repurpose I wanted to do with them.

Since I would be using them for storing food I didn’t want to paint the canister.  I dunno, it’s probably fine, but I worried about whether with repeated use the paint might fleck off or even get mixed in with our food.  For whatever reason, I wanted to leave the canister unpainted.  But removing the print proved to be more difficult than I thought.  Scrubbing the canister, using nail polish remover, paint thinner – even a straight-edge blade wouldn’t remove that print!  Hummmm…  this is going to take a little more investigation…

Removing The Print On An Empty Coffee Canister.  I like to repurpose those coffee canisters, but how do you remove the print? It was more complicated than I thought.  #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Healthy Sugar-Free ‘Ice Cream’ Made With Frozen Fruit

by Tammy Taylor

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Recently we were honored to have a guest poster, Ashley share her experience of going through a full month with No.  Refined.  Sugar!  In her post about going through Week Two of that challenge she shared with us a quick & easy hot-weather treat – Healthy Sugar-Free ‘Ice Cream’ made with frozen bananas and berries.  Check out this recipe for a nice cool treat on a hot summer’s day that’s actually GOOD for you…

Healthy Frozen 'Ice Cream' Treat Using frozen berries & bananas. It's creamy like ice cream and the flavors are endless. Curious? Check it out. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: How To Keep Track Of Gift Card Balances

by Tammy Taylor~

Gift Cards, we all love ’em!  RancherMan & I receive gift cards as gifts sometimes.  Many of our family & friends say since we don’t like lots of ‘stuff’, a restaurant gift card is a good option.  We agree!  Going to a restaurant for a meal is a treat for us since we don’t get to do it often.  We have a collection of gift cards.  Some are for restaurants, some are for home improvement stores, etc.  We keep them in a small leather pouch in our glove box. That way when we’re out & about we can stop for a quick meal or to pick up a part. Maybe you’ve received a gift card recently and are anxious to put it to good use.  But how often do you use the entire value of a gift card on the first time?  Not often, right?  As you thumb through your gift cards it’s hard to tell how much you still have available to you.  But no more!  RancherMan’s discovered an easy way to keep track.  Check out today’s Homestead Hack.

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How To Harvest Mammoth Sunflower Seeds

by Tammy Taylor~

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I love sunflowers!  As a matter of fact they may be my absolute favorite flower.  I mean, what’s not to love?  They’re super easy to grow, they bloom prolifically and I’ve always said “Yellow is a HAPPY color!”  I plant a row of Mammoth Sunflowers at the edge of my garden every year.  I love the look of the cheery yellow blossoms.  And my mom always comments about how beautiful they are when she visits.

This year I planted the sunflowers along the chicken fence side of the garden.  Those huge sunflower plants offer shade during the heat of the day for my chickens.  Oh, and our bees love them too. That’s a lot of bang for my package-of-seeds buck! But now it’s time to harvest those sunflower seeds.  Come see what I did.

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Fresh Garden-Veggie Pico de Gallo in Minutes!

by Tammy Taylor~

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RancherMan & I love pico de gallo.  That zesty mix of tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapenos is one of our favorite ways to enjoy garden veggies.  This year RancherMan even requested that I plant a pico de gallo garden to assure we can enjoy that culinary delight whenever we like.  I was, of course, happy to oblige him!  I always have onions and garlic planted anyway.  Of course I have tomatoes planted every year as well.  And c’mon, there’s never gonna be a garden season when I don’t have copious amounts of jalapenos growing out there.  So I just needed to include cilantro in my planting plan to fulfill his request.  Recently we were invited to a family cookout so we told them we’d bring fresh homemade pico de gallo.  You’re not gonna believe how quickly it all comes together!

Fresh pico de gallo in minutes using fresh garden vegetables. Ripe tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. ENJOY your veggies! #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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Using Natural Materials: Straw In The Garden

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we live in Texas.  You also know it’s typically hot and dry during our summertime months.  So I’m careful to mulch our garden heavily.  Mulching helps the plants in many ways.  It not only conserves that precious moisture, but it also moderates soil temps.  I like to mulch with natural materials whenever possible.  A typical gardening year will see me mulching with grass clippings, leaves or spent hay.

But I have a section of my garden that holds my Concord Grapevine.  I’ve trained it to grow along the fence.  It’s LOADED with grapes!  But I’ve also vowed to keep the Bermuda grass from creeping into my garden.  So all the walkways in the garden plus a wide perimeter swath is mulched with wood chips.  But the grapevine is right at the lifeline.  So to keep bermuda from creeping in around the grapevine I surrounded it with 3 bales of wheat straw.  The purpose was just to deny sneaky Bermuda the sunlight as it attempts to grow beneath the bales to get into my garden.  Permission:  DENIED!

But those straw bales are several years old now.  They’re just spent and starting to deteriorate.  I need to replace them.

I use organic matter for mulch in my garden - often grass clippings or spent hay. But come see how a bale of straw does double duty! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Make A Cute Clothespin Apron

by Tammy Taylor~

My baby sister has recently been bitten hard by the ‘green’ bug.  Oh she’s been environmentally-aware all her life, but now all of a sudden she’s taking it to the next level.  These days she’s even making her own homemade yogurt and cottage cheese.  And although she’s always enjoyed hanging a few things on the line, she’s transitioning into hanging more & more clean laundry under that blue Texas sky to dry.  Not only does she love the savings, but she’s discovered there’s really no substitute for that amazing aroma of sunshine on clean laundry!

When she had a birthday recently I put on my thinking cap. Y’all know we like to make homemade gifts whenever possible, but what would she like. Hummm…  I KNOW!  I’ll make her a clothespin apron!

For very little money I made a clothespin apron. I used fabric from a thrift store and some cotton cording. See my easy tutorial. It was an awesome gift! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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