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  • If you are like me, you like to limit how much Halloween Candy your kids eat every day.  Towards the end a lot of it can get old and hard.  I’ve known some people to put it in the freezer so they wouldn’t be tempted to eat too much at a time.  Out of sight out of mind.  I saw these neat ideas from Pillsbury for repurposing your Halloween candy that will have your kids excited to share.

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  • What do you do with your ink cartridges when they are empty?  I knew that there are various groups that collect them for fundraising purposes.  I was saving mine waiting for a chance to donate them to one of these causes but I’d always forget.  I finally decided to take them in to Office Max because I knew they would give me a credit on my Max Perks card.  I wasn’t expecting much so I was surprised when they told me they gave $3 per cartridge.  I know.  That still isn’t much compared to how much I bought them for but it was still more than I expected and definitely better than throwing them away.  It would be nice if it was instant credit so you could use it that day while you are already there but I won’t complain too much.  I’ve heard that Office Depot and Walgreens also accept used ink cartridges.  I’d like to hear what the other stores offer for comparison if any of you happen to know.   I used to buy the refilled cartridges from a store that specializes in selling them because it was so much cheaper than buying brand new but I had a bad experience and ruined a printer.  I’m not sure how the factory refurbished ones compare but I don’t care to risk it.

     

    Update:  I was looking at the program online and I see that your recycling credit will be “pending” until you spend that amount in qualifying purchases and is limited at $60 per month.  So you can’t really just do the recycling thing and only buy things there with the credit you receive.

    Photo credit Wikipedia.org

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  • Don’t you hate it when you stock up on something just to have it go bad?  This time for me it was a couple gallons of milk.  They are still several days from the expiration date but it appears the door of our store room fridge got left open and the milk in it went sour.

    I of course can no longer use this milk to drink but it is still safe to use.  There are actually some recipes that call for sour milk.  I’ve also heard that any recipes that call for buttermilk can have sour milk substituted. Buttermilk is basically sour milk anyhow.  Some people said that only works with raw milk and others said it works for regular sour milk so I’m going to give it a try.  I have a great buttermilk brownie recipe I’d love to make again. (shared below)

    I had recently asked some friends how well it worked to freeze milk.  They told me that it worked out pretty good but the milk soured faster so you need to drink it in the first day or 2.  Well my milk is already sour so my plan is to freeze it in smaller containers then when I plan to make something that calls for buttermilk such as pancakes, I can just thaw it out and use a container at a time.

    Do you use your sour milk or just throw it out?  We drink it so fast, I haven’t really had this problem before.

     

    Buttermilk Brownies

    1/2 cup butter

    1/4 cup cocoa

    1 cup water

    1/2 cup baby-food plums-I use plum butter or sometimes apple butter

    2 cups flour

    1 teaspoons vanilla extract

    2 cups sugar

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    2 eggs

    1/2 cup buttermilk

     

    Combine  butter with cocoa and water in saucepan.  Bring to boil mixing well.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.  Pour boiling mixture over dry ingredients.  Add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda,  plums and vanilla.  Mix well.  Pour into greased and floured jelly roll pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

    Frosting:

    1/2 cup butter

    1/4 cup cocoa

    1/3 cup buttermilk

    4 cups powdered sugar

    1 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

    While brownies are baking, combine cocoa with butter and buttermilk in saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Mix well.  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Mix until creamy.  Frost brownies immediately upon removing from the oven.  Sprinkle chopped nuts on top.

    Recipe has been adapted from the 365 Quick Easy & Inexpensive Dinner Menus cookbook by Penny E. Stone.

    Note:  In the cookbook it called for 1 cup of baby-food plums and said to put 1/2 cup in the brownie mixture but didn’t say what to do with the other half.  I’ve been making it with just the 1/2 and they turn out pretty good.  But you may decide it needs more or maybe it goes in the frosting.

     

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  • I decided to clean out my coupon binder this weekend.  So that means I sent out 2 new envelopes today.

    One is the coupon train.  I send all the coupons I don’t plan to use to the first person on the train.  They take what they want out and if they have any to add, they can.  Then they send the envelope on to the next person on the train.  If you want to join the train, just e-mail me at bhbargains@hotmail.com and I will add you to the list.

    The other envelope was full of expired coupons.  The military families stationed overseas can use coupons up to 6 months past their expiration date.  The Krazy Coupon Lady has a program set up to collect expired or unwanted coupons and mail them overseas.  Its a pretty easy way to support our troops.

    The way I look at it, coupons are just like money.  I hate to just throw them away when there is someone out there that could use them.

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  • I found this link on the Quilted Northern Facebook page.  Doesn’t really fit in my repurposing category but I thought it was kinda cool.  Something you could do if you had a guest bathroom but I’d hate to have to use it because it probably takes a lot of time.

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  • I just saw a post on the Purex facebook page about using dryer lint to make paper.  I found another set of instructions that were very similar but they include step by step  pictures.   This paper seems like it would be really neat to use for making cards or scrapbooking but I don’t know if it could be classified as acid free.   One lady posted that she’s been making paper like this for a long time but she mixes flower seeds in it, cuts it into cute shapes, and gives them as gifts. (My son gave Valentine cards like that this year but they were store bought)  Then they just plant the paper.

    Many others posted what they use dryer lint for and I thought some of them were really good ideas that I thought I’d share.

    A majority of them use it as a fire starter.  I was told how to make waterproof fire starters using non styrofoam egg cartons, dryer lint, and my leftover Scentsy wax though you can use any kind of wax.  Some people are concerned about burning lint from synthetic fabrics and making fumes so they use sawdust or pencil shavings instead.  Someone mentioned that they didn’t think synthetics put out much lint so the synthetic content should be minimal in your lint.

    Others said they put their lint out in a basket or onion bag in the spring and the birds use it to build nests or in the fall for the squirrels.  I’ve also heard of doing this with hair after you get a haircut (from the book Sarah Plain and Tall).  Did you know that putting human hair in a sock or other breathable bag and keeping it near your plants will keep the deer away?  We’ve tried it and so far so good.  Now if I could just figure out how to keep the voles from chewing on my new fruit trees.

    A lot of people said they just throw it in the compost.  Did you know that coffee grounds are good for compost? I had never thought about putting it in my compost before.

    One lady said she uses dryer lint as pillow stuffing because its soft and smells good.  I’d think it would be dusty but maybe not.

    Do you have any interesting uses for Dryer lint?

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  • OK I’ll admit it.  I am a crayon snob.  I do not like using crayons that are dull or broken.  I’ve heard of people melting them down and making new crayons out of them.  I decided to give it a try.  Here is how it went.

    Things you need:

    • Silicone candy molds or muffin tins
    • Cookie sheet (if using silicone mold)
    • cooking spray (if using muffin tin)
    • cutting board and knife
    • crayon chunks with wrappers removed

    This is the mold I used.  It is a silicone candy mold that says it can be heated up to over 400 degrees.  I got it at Hobby Lobby over a year ago.  I’ve seen that Avon has had some really cute ones too.  I put the mold on a cookie sheet since its so floppy.  I liked the idea of using these better than the muffin tins because they seem much easier to get out and of course because cute shapes are always more fun.

    I preheated the oven to 150 degrees but I ended up turning the heat up to 250 towards the end but the ones in the middle didn’t get as melted so maybe 200 would have been better.

    I started b y breaking the crayons by hand and putting big chunks in the mold but I found it much easier to fit them in the molds when I chopped them a little

    I let the kids pick 2 colors per butterfly.

    Next it was time to go in the oven.  I started with 10 minutes but ended up having to raise the temperature and heat for a total of 20 minutes.

    I told the kids to keep an eye on the crayons and watch for smoke (in case we didn’t get all the paper off)  They took their job very seriously.

    This is what they looked like when I took them out of the oven.  The green and orange one was a little full but the part that ran peeled off easily.  It just took longer to cool.  The ones in the center didn’t melt as much and ended up crumbling apart.  At this point I could have taken a toothpick and swirled them but chose not to.

    I waited until they were pretty solid to pop them out.  Some took longer than others.  They still need to cool a little more before the kids can use them.  I didn’t think about getting a picture of them in use.  Maybe  I’ll add that later.

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  • It is the beginning of a new month and I have quite a few expired coupons that didn’t get used.  Rather than throw them away I am going to send them to the Krazy Coupon Lady’s Overseas Coupon Program.  Members of the military and their families that are overseas are able to use coupons up to 6 months after they expire.  The Krazy Coupon Lady set up this overseas coupon program to make it easy for us to donate our coupons.  All we need to do is send our expired or unwanted to coupons to them and they will ship them overseas to their adopted bases. 

    If you are interested in donating you need to separate the coupons into food and non food.  Food being anything a human will eat.  Pet food would go in the non food category.  Use baggies to separate rather than rubber bands or paper clips.

    Eligible Coupons:

    • Send only Manufacturer Coupons; Do NOT send store coupons.
    • Coupons must be Clipped and Sorted into Food and Non-food
    • Do NOT send coupons that are over 30 days expired.

    Mail the coupons to:

    KCL Overseas Coupon Program
    Amanda Brumbaugh
    10960 W Bridgetower Dr
    Boise, ID 83709

    To learn more about the program Go Here

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  • Since its Earth Day I decided to finally check out this Recycle Bank I’ve been hearing so much about.  I thought I’d pass along the information.  Recycle bank is a site where you do certain things to earn points that you can redeem for coupons or gift cards.  Basically they are trying to encourage you to live green.  I don’t believe most of us in this area qualify for the Home Recycling program because our local garbage/recycling haulers have to participate and it told me that none in my area do.  There are still many other ways to earn points such as make pledges, refer friends, complete challenges, get codes, take quizzes, play games etc…  I’m always hearing about the great coupons and daily deals they offer and it costs nothing to join.

    Another great benefit is that they have a ton of tips for going green and repurposing.  I never thought about repurposing an empty  toothpaste tube before.

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  • Did you know that the military overseas can use expired coupons up to 6 months after they expire?  As I was going through my coupons this month and removing the ones I didn’t use that were expired I remembered I had seen a post about this a while ago so I made sure I saved them.  I was wondering if there would be any interest in setting up our own coupon donation program where we could send them to a family or base that you know of that could use them.  I’d be happy to help organize the effort.  Let me know what you think.  The Krazy Coupon Lady and Grocery Saving Tips blogs both have information about requirements if you’d like to know more.

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