Tag Archives: Homestead Hacks

Homestead Hack: Reusing Potato Bags In The Garden

by Tammy Taylor~

I.  Hate.  Plastic.  Now in our area of NE Texas, plastic bags are not recyclable.  Actually from what I hear, even much of the plastic bags that are sent for recycling end up int he landfill anyway.  There’s just not enough demand for the recycled material from plastic bags. I personally think recycling is only a tool, not the answer anyway. To me, the answer is to eliminate as much waste as possible in the first place.

Let’s take a bag of potatoes for example.  Buying individual potatoes is the way to go for environmental reasons of course.  But our tiny budget and the limited shopping avenues we have available out here in the boonies means we have to take what we can get.  Sometimes that involves a bag of potatoes.  Now that bag is purposely made with holes to allow the potatoes to breathe. So I can’t even reuse them for dividing servings of Cook-Once, Eat-Twice entrees for the freezer.  But when they’re empty they still don’t go to the trash.  Nope, I’ve got another use for them.  You know my battle cry: Use Whatcha Got!

Homestead Hack: Rusing Plastic Bags In The Garden! Sometimes we buy a bag of potatoes. I've got another use for the bag. My battle cry: Use Whatcha Got! #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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Homestead Hack: Cute Container For Herb Cuttings

by Tammy Taylor~

The herbs are going well in my Edible Landscape so I thought I’d take a few cuttings & try to root them in my kitchen window.  I have a repurposed wide-mouth jar that I can use.  So I went to the ‘flower bed’ and trimmed a bit of Stevia, Sage, Oregano, Basil and Rosemary.  I brought them inside and removed the bottom leaves from each of the stems.  I sat those leaves aside so I could use them.  I’ll wash them up & chop all but the Stevia into small pieces & mix them into a bit of olive oil to make my favorite Herb Bombs. Then they’ll be ready & waiting to use this summer in my quick pasta dishes.  I’ve never grown Stevia before so I’ll probably just pop those leaves into my sun tea jar so they can sweeten RancherMan’s tea as it brews.

But I’ve always heard that when you’re rooting cuttings, the jar should be dark.  A dark jar keeps algae from growing in the water and also helps the roots do their thaaaang.  Some suggestions are to paint the jar or to wrap it in scrapbooking paper or something.  Hummm…  So what did I decide to do?  Say it with me kids: “Use Whatcha Got!”  That’s right. 🙂 Check out this Homestead Hack.

I took some herb cuttings to root in my kitchen window. But the jar needs to be kept dark. Check out this cute Homestead Hack idea! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Easier Deviled Eggs – No Mess!

by Tammy Taylor~

This time of year our thoughts turned to boild eggs colored brightly for Easter.  You’ll be seeing (and being requested to bring) deviled eggs to many gatherings to make good use out of all those boiled eggs.  Now in the olden days I’d be trying to scoop that deviled egg filling into the halves of the whites and try my best not to make a mess.  But make a mess I did.  Every.  Stinkin’.  Time!  But several years ago I read about an easy shortcut to take the drudgery out of filling those deviled eggs.  Oh yeah, check out this easy Homestead Hack.

I've learned an easy, mess-free way to make deviled eggs. I can't believe I spent so many years making them the hard way! Check out this Homestead Hack, y'all. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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5 Ways a Smart Phone Helps on the Homestead

by Tammy Taylor~

Although we now enjoy smart phone capabilities, RancherMan & I resisted getting one for quite a long time.  We just couldn’t justify the cost of it, including the increased cost for data usage.  We kept saying to ourselves “I only need a phone for calls, not for text or surfing the net!”  Everyone told us once we did get a smart phone we’d wonder how we ever got along without it.  But still we resisted.  For years!  Then it happened, my brother was upgrading and he gave us his old iPhone 3GS.  Well, if the phone is FREE, maybe we should check it out & see what all the buzz is about.

Yeah, they were right – several years down the road and we’re certainly wondering how we ever got by without it!  But it’s not just for fun or convenience reasons, there are several ways having a smart phone has been really helpful on the homestead.

A Smart Phone is certainly convenient, but here are 5 ways they're extremely helpful on the homestead too! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Quickest Planned Leftover Meal Of All!

by Tammy Taylor~

By now many of you know I’ve been on a Planned Leftovers kick.  What’s planned leftovers?  It’s where you purposely cook more of a key ingredient with the intent of using it to make completely different meals later.  For instance, recently I cooked a huge pork roast.  HUGE!  I turned the leftover meat into Carnitas Tacos, a quick Meaty Stew, some delicious Pulled Pork Enchiladas and more!  But today I’m sharing one of the most basic planned leftovers remake.  As a matter of fact, this is one of our very first go-to leftovers meals because it’s so easy yet so delicious.  Check out this planned leftover homestead hack.

I love Planned Leftovers, especially this BBQ because it's so quick, so easy yet so delicious. Check out this homestead hack. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: MYO Crispy Taco Shells CHEAP!

by Tammy Taylor~

The other night I made a pork roast in my slow cooker.  Since I often use the Cook-Once Eat Twice method I was cooking with planned leftovers in mind.   My plan was to enjoy roast & potatoes for supper that night, then carnitas tacos with the leftovers.  So while I was cooking my roast I cooked up the taco veggies at the same time. I heaped in plenty of chunky onions and red, yellow & green bell peppers.

When the time came the next day to turn leftover roast into carnitas tacos I thought about the taco shells.  DANG I hate to buy those! They’re always so brittle yet hard – and several are often already broken in the package!  Also you have to buy 12 at a time, much more than RancherMan & I need.  Plus more times than not they just taste stale to me.  How I hate wasting money buying them.  Then I remembered something I read years ago about how to easily make taco shells as you need them.  Now’s a perfect time to give ‘er a try!

Do you hate to waste money on hard, stale taco shells? Check out this easy Crispy Baked Taco Shells Homestead Hack & make your own! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Shorter Cooking Times In Slow Cooker

by Tammy Taylor~

We all love our slow cookers, right?  I mean, what’s not to love??!  You plunk ingredients into the vessel and walk away.  The slow cooker does all the work!  You only have to walk in tired from a day at work and smell the delicious aroma of supper ready & waiting to serve!  Yeah, we love our slow cookers here at the Homestead, and we use them a lot.  Oftentimes for preparing our supper.  Sometimes I use it for overnight cooking when making Homemade Applesauce or simmering bones for a delicious Homemade Broth.   I know a slow cooker is more energy efficient than using the oven or even the stove top in many cases.   But I’ve found a way to speed along the cooking times while keeping it on set to an energy-sipping ‘Low’.  Check out today’s Homestead Hack.

Would you like your slow cooker to cook your food a little faster on 'Low' and save a little energy too? Check out this Homestead Hack! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Free Vegetable Broth!

by Tammy Taylor~

I like to use homemade broth for my cooking.  Let’s face it – no matter what you’re cooking it’s just more flavorful when it’s made with broth instead of water.  And it’s more nutritious too!  I make my own Chicken Broth from the bones of our chicken meals.  And I’ve also made Turkey Broth with the leftover turkey carcass after Thanksgiving.  And of course I’ve simmered veggie scraps into my own vegetable broth but there’s an even easier way!  C’mon y’all, use my battle cry with me:  “USE WHATCHA GOT!”  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  Check out this ridiculously-easy Homestead Hack…

I save nutritious vegetable broth that was previously wasted and use it for something I used to have to make myself or purchase. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Labeling Glass Jars

~by Tammy Taylor~

 

I’m a big fan of repurposing glass jars.  I mean, what’s not to love?  They look bright & shiny in my pantry and since they’re clear glass I can easily see the deliciousness lining my pantry shelves.  I’ve used canning jars and pickle jars.  Big jars and small jars.  Heck they’re all beautiful to me!  Now back in ‘the day’  I’d put a little sticker on the top to properly label the contents.  Since I’m a “Use Whatcha Got” kinda girl I started using  silver duct tape on top of the jars and I’d just write on the tape with a permanent marker.  But to read the jar’s contents I’d have to pick up & look at the top of the jar.  Sometimes these jars are stacked 3 deep on the shelf.  There’s got to be an easier way!  And there is.  Check out today’s Homestead Hack.

I'm a big fan of repurposing glass jars but I need an easy way to label the contents.. Check out today's Homestead Hack. #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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