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Friday, February 4, 2011

Money Saving Projects--Croutons, Candles, and Sausages!

Hi everyone! Well, we survived the Blizzard of '11 just fine!! We got almost 2 feet of snow and high winds, but we're okay! Today, I'm keeping busy with a few easy, money-saving activities. I LOVE candles, and burn them as often as I can. Very often, though, those jars candles leave big hunks of wax unburned. What to do with that wax? MAKE NEW CANDLES!!! Either scrape the old wax out of your old candles holders, or like I did, melt the wax in the jars in a pot of water.
You need some wick and wick holders (I bought some, but I also started saving used ones from old candles if they're good enough to be reused.) Put a dab of melted wax on the bottom of the wick holders to attach them to your new jars. Cut the wick a little longer than needed and insert in wick holder. You can squeeze the wick holder around it or just dip the end in wax as well. When your wax is melted, pour into your containers.

When the wax cools, it will usually shrink and make a dip in the center of the candle. Save a bit of wax to fill the dip in. If you want you can layer different colors and scents of candles like you see in stores. (The below pic is 2 layers of wax. Notice how the wicks are taped to a knife to hold them in place while the wax dries.) Waa-laa!! You have new candles for free from an item you would normally throw out!

We like to purchase breakfast sausage from a grocery in MS that makes their own. It's hubby's favorite! We get a few pounds of meat and I make and freeze the patties at home. We ran out a few weeks back, so I bought a package of premade, precooked sausage patties. I used to buy this particular brand before I started the 'homemade' sausages. Well, imagine my surprise to find that the patties are now the size of quarters! Seriously! This past week when I went to the store I looked at another brand of patties that are larger, but the price was $2.39 for a 12 oz. box of uncooked patties. Whoa!

I looked closer and found that 16oz. packages of bulk sausage were only $1.29. I could work with that! I let them thaw, sliced them and froze them on cookies sheets. Once they're frozen I'll throw them in a zip lock baggie. So, I got 32oz. of sausage patties for $2.58 compared to 12oz. for $2.39. all it took was a little bit of work on my part!

The next thing on my list today is making homemade croutons. Do you find yourself with a few slices of bread at the end of the week that are starting to get hard? Those pieces are perfect for croutons! Trim the crusts (you can dry these for bread crumbs if you'd like). Mix garlic, paprika, basil and oregano (my favorites--you can use your favorite herbs) with a few tablespoons of melted butter. Brush on both sides of bread. Bake at 250 degrees for about 1 hour, turning once, until bread is crisp. Allow to cool slightly and cut into small cubes. These are so yummy and, if you use whole wheat bread, much healthier than store bought. All from a product that might otherwise get wasted (or thrown to the birds or chickens).
I hope I've inspired you today to find some money-saving projects, and took look at things more closely before you thrown them out!
Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader

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Roxie said...

I always have good intentions of doing that with my spent candles. I have quite a few saved up now and should probably do it. Would be a good project on a snowy day.

Oh, BTW, I got my can organizers yesterday...these are nice. I will get them set up and take photos and post about it on my blog.

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

The candle idea worked great!! I'm burning some of them now! It really went pretty quick and the kitchen smelled wonderful for hours!! Glad you got the can organizers! I just love them! I hope you find that they work good for you! I didn't know that you had a blog....I'll have to check it out!

Anonymous said...


I love my life! ;)

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