Homemade http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1579/all en-US 20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cooking_pot_534722067.jpg" alt="Woman making easy DIY kitchen improvements" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cook, clean, repeat. Making meals day in and day out is a lot of work! No wonder Americans <a href="https://www.zagat.com/b/the-state-of-american-dining-in-2016">dine out between four and five times</a> per week. Are you ready to lighten your load a little, or cheer up your kitchen space? If so, here are 20 fun and easy DIY improvements.</p> <h2>1. Fancy Furniture to Kitchen Island</h2> <p>Google some of the images for &quot;dresser into kitchen island&quot; and you'll be as stoked as I was (and you'll be looking at dressers along with me, at yard sales!). Not only are these practical, but some of them are <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/from-dresser-to-kitchen-island/">really great-looking</a>.</p> <h2>2. Cutting Board Holder</h2> <p>Do you use separate cutting boards for raw meats and another for ready-to-eat foods? Safer, for sure, but storing multiple cutting boards can be a pain. Sleek sets of cutting boards aren't cheap ($30 and up), so instead try one of these <a href="http://amzn.to/2fpmq9E">wire step file organizers</a> at a bargain for $11.75 (even less if used). It'll also hold some cookbooks and small baking sheets.</p> <h2>3. Ditch the Drawers</h2> <p>Ugh, my poor, aching, back. I have come to despise my deep cupboards (where is that darn yellow casserole dish?). Maybe I'll install these awesome <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH0gHFRI_rU">DIY pullout drawers.</a></p> <h2>4. Make a Cheerful Rug</h2> <p>Love my hardwood floors, but rugs do &quot;warm up&quot; the room, and they are nice to stand on while doing dishes. Why not <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YADYD28wIWU">make your own</a>?</p> <h2>5. Sharp Storage</h2> <p>I love my big knife block, but if your knives weren't all purchased together, consider this handy <a href="http://amzn.to/2fRSmHJ">magnetic knife bar</a>. At less than $25, it'll keep your knives easy to find. It's also easy to install.</p> <h2>6. Hang 'Em High</h2> <p>Pots and pans everywhere? I know, I had that problem, too, until my husband built me a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnVRZPzNBvk">hanging pot rack</a>. This project takes only about 45 minutes and what a terrific space-saver it is.</p> <h2>7. Fun Retro Look</h2> <p>Putting ingredients into Mason jars not only looks neat in your pantry, but the clear glass is practical. Take it a step further with a <a href="http://amzn.to/2gBGryR">label maker</a> and go nuts organizing.</p> <h2>8. Shelf Space</h2> <p>Wall space with no cupboards attached? Lucky you &mdash; try your hand at building some <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxnduhQDuMo">floating shelves</a> and store/display your stuff.</p> <h2>9. Peg It</h2> <p>Remember pegboard? Guess what: It's cool again. Pegboard is inexpensive stuff, and it's not just for the garage, anymore. Paint it, or leave it in its natural state, add hooks, and ta-daah! Instant storage. A 2' x 4' piece is only about $6.</p> <h2>10. Cover It</h2> <p>I have, like&hellip; zero... craft ability, but even I can run a hot glue gun. You can use twine, rope, or even raffia to <a href="http://www.frugelegance.com/rope-wrapped-cans/">cover an old coffee can</a>; fill with spatulas, ladles, wooden spoons. Then, utensils are not only easy to find, but look great.</p> <h2>11. Hook It</h2> <p>Don't forget about <a href="http://amzn.to/2ggkr8n">cup hooks</a>! For about $6, you can buy a package of 30 sturdy hooks. Just screw them in &quot;wasted space&quot; spots in your kitchen and voilà! Hang up potholders, aprons, and, well, cups.</p> <h2>12. Outdoors In</h2> <p>I love fresh fruit in a bowl, but it does take up valuable counter space. Solution? Snag an inexpensive plant holder on clearance in a big-box garden shop and hang it inside for a &quot;hanging&quot; fruit basket.</p> <h2>13. DIY Countertop</h2> <p>Building your own <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7GuE2O2DAo">concrete countertop</a> is not a project for a beginner or a weekend, but if you have the skills, it's pretty cool!</p> <h2>14. Spicy Solution</h2> <p>No built-in spice rack? Don't despair. Here is a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwiSU26xPRI">spice-rack project</a> that can easily be done in an afternoon.</p> <h2>15. What's for Dinner?</h2> <p>Like those big menu boards you see in restaurants? How about a place to easily write shopping lists, post family notes, or schedules? Try making your own <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic-Dry-Erase-Wall/">dry-erase board</a> &mdash; a project that is really fun <em>and </em>practical!</p> <h2>16. Plant It!</h2> <p>Fresh herbs make your cooking efforts so much better. Why not plant an <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu6Cda37Us4">indoor herb garden</a>? It's a snap. I love having chives, rosemary, basil and cilantro around.</p> <h2>17. Rakishly Handsome</h2> <p>Watch for old rakes at yard sales. Cut the handles down, clean, and hang on a wall. A rake is, as it turns out, perfect for hanging wineglasses, potholders, or kitchen towels, and they have a lot of fun character.</p> <h2>18. Re-Purpose the Wipes Container</h2> <p>Love those handy pop-up wipes containers? Re-use by covering with pretty wrapping or contact paper, and fill with plastic bags.</p> <h2>19. Snack Extravaganza</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2g4ea0j">Hanging shoe pockets</a> aren't just for shoes. Hang one in your pantry and add snacks, tea and cocoa packets, gravy or sauce mix packets, etc.</p> <h2>20. Cookbook Character</h2> <p>Need additional cookbook storage? Why not try making a <a href="http://www.wherethesmileshavebeen.com/how-to-make-and-install-pallet-bookshelves/">bookshelf out of a pallet</a>? The instructions include super-helpful information about how to select safe pallet wood.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-magic-marker-money-safe">The Magic Marker Money Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture">8 Creative Ways to Upcycle Used Baby Furniture</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home crafting decorating home improvements Homemade kitchen projects storage Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:00:09 +0000 Marla Walters 1843718 at http://www.wisebread.com Almost 50 Unique Housewarming Gifts for Less Than $20 http://www.wisebread.com/almost-50-unique-housewarming-gifts-for-less-than-20 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/almost-50-unique-housewarming-gifts-for-less-than-20" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift_giving_holidays_000018620938.jpg" alt="Finding the most unique housewarming gifts under $20" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The perfect way to welcome someone into their new home is with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-mason-jar-gifts-you-can-make">unique, practical housewarming gift</a> &mdash; and we've come up with some of the best ideas that they are sure to love. Best of all, for only $20 or less, these gifts won't break the bank!</p> <h2>1. DIY Baskets</h2> <p>DIY baskets are affordable and fun to make. Some of the best DIY baskets for a new homeowner include:</p> <ul> <li>Cleaning basket: Include things like all-purpose cleaner, sponges, a dustpan, and rags for a gift that will keep their new home in tip-top shape.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tool kit: Make your own by including all the must-haves, or you can simply purchase an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E20HWA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000E20HWA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=T5AIOQU57BN5CMHZ">affordable tool kit</a> instead.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gardening kit: Include affordable essentials like a trowel, rake, shovel, and fork, or just purchase a complete <a href="http://amzn.to/1PhzZ9t">garden tool set</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Coffee kit: Everybody needs coffee, so think about gifting gourmet coffee with a nice new <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004SPEU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004SPEU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HZAS46RYVADZ3NOB">electric grinder</a> or mug. You can even create your own personalized coffee mugs with a little paint.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Kitchen set: Include must-haves like utensils, an oven mitt, a peeler, and/or a meat thermometer for a DIY kitchen basket. Add an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0898215153/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0898215153&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=W5JHIVMJ6V2LVCY4">inexpensive cookbook</a> and a new <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WW3HEC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000WW3HEC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YWMMDDO7FWMH26QH">cookbook holder</a> to complete the gift.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Gifts They Can Eat</h2> <p>What better way to welcome someone into their new home than with something delicious? There are several food gifts you can give that won't cost much, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Home cooked meal: Make a meal for them to enjoy and include the recipe card.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>DIY food basket: Include one of your favorite simple recipes and the ingredients required to make it. You can always add a nice new kitchen accessory as well, like a new wooden spoon.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Beers on you: All you need to do is purchase an affordable cooler and fill it with ice, beers, lemons, limes, and any other drinking accessories you think they'll like.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0073GXDAS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0073GXDAS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RN6KDZZF3OHF4T7O">Indoor herb garden</a>: They'll be able to grow their own fresh herbs indoors to enjoy in about six weeks.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Popcorn kit: Wrap up a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006IUWA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00006IUWA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CPOEP3ETDCECCAS4">popcorn maker</a> with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SQDZX5K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00SQDZX5K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KJRD6XGTPT3W36GY">popcorn and seasoning collection</a> so they can enjoy a movie after a long day of unpacking.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TUYGRU4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00TUYGRU4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MKLK6FXQ4A6PK64G">Mushroom farm</a>: Who doesn't love fresh mushrooms? With this gift, they can grow fresh organic mushrooms right from their new kitchen.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Personalized Items</h2> <p>Embroidered, engraved, and monogrammed items are some of the best personalized gifts you can buy. Take the DIY approach, or purchase them already embroidered or engraved. Some of the best items to personalize include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FDN7I3Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00FDN7I3Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=G67YHFJAOZYOSZS2">Cutting boards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.personalcreations.com/product/2015-family-holiday-ornament-30180303?sk=&amp;ref=REDscltwunkwn&amp;productGroup=PCHRBSL&amp;viewpos=4&amp;ratings=4.2500&amp;reviews=12&amp;trackingpgroup=PCHRBSL">Holiday ornaments</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.personalcreations.com/product/character-charm-key-ring-30024412?sk=&amp;ref=REDscltwunkwn&amp;productgroup=PCHRGG30&amp;viewpos=20&amp;ratings=4.1138&amp;reviews=167&amp;trackingpgroup=PCHRGG30">Keychains</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.personalcreations.com/product/always-kiss-me-goodnight-pillowcases-30132361?sk=&amp;ref=REDscltwunkwn&amp;productgroup=PCHRGG30&amp;viewpos=17&amp;ratings=4.7143&amp;reviews=42&amp;trackingpgroup=PCHRGG30">Pillowcases</a></li> <li><a href="http://griffanie.com/hey-there-doormat/">Welcome mats</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.freutcake.com/favorite-things/diy-polka-dot-napkins/">Napkins</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UXPD1PS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00UXPD1PS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GYS3GTJKEJU6ZNCE">Kitchen signs</a></li> </ul> <h2>4. Things They're Sure to Need</h2> <p>There are certain things that we could all use more of, especially after moving into a new place. Put a unique spin on the essentials to suit your friends' style and personality. All of these items can be found for under $20:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010R5ZRC8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B010R5ZRC8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BSK75IFGPTFD67K2">His and hers glasses</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SRGPELO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00SRGPELO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QOJRRCJ4XUGER7YN">Nessie ladle</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009BLGMLA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009BLGMLA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=P7XNT5XFUWHKGYWM">Utensil holder</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W3CODOC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00W3CODOC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FOV4FHYWJPYHE757">Key holder</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018PFBVY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0018PFBVY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FXXMV3UBFMJTBYHT">Decorative candle holder</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000CF9JC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000CF9JC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SLBBEAXLH7KH5IQO">Wooden serving bowls</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/state-slate-cheese-boards">U.S. cheese board</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;fst=as%3Aoff&amp;keywords=scented%20candles&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1446753520&amp;rh=n%3A1055398%2Ck%3Ascented%20candles%2Cp_36%3A1253523011&amp;rnid=386465011&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GHJAYYCIMVZNVGE5">Scented candles</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZSNL9IQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ZSNL9IQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=C6O6DYO2PDPX26NG">Hanging planter</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TQ8FC2S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00TQ8FC2S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VWTGLDNHE563IPLE">Display trays</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LYT86O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008LYT86O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IUTXAFQGQDSNKU7O">Vintage bottle opener</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GNIGT1C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00GNIGT1C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CF3Y64NENQYSYQGC">Spice rack</a></li> </ul> <h2>5. Wine Essentials</h2> <p>Wine is the perfect gift for almost any special occasion, particularly after a stressful move. If your friends are wine drinkers, gift them handy essentials such as:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/1WrZvOZ">Wine aerator</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009N23UFS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009N23UFS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VT7GXH3LDBNNDGYN">Aerating wine glasses</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AM4KKHM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AM4KKHM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3T7CK7YFL67MDHSH">Corkscrew set</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003YFI0O6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003YFI0O6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SAQ57NHXAZUOGTJI">Bottle opener</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QCBY1E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002QCBY1E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PCGS7KCOHQYHOBE4">Cork cage</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KFSNFO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000KFSNFO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5Q6SDZ6QX4XTS3Q6">Wine bottle thermometer</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T236XIE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00T236XIE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NOJ2ULAMQSG2GO6E">Wine chiller</a></li> </ul> <h2>6. Good Luck Charms</h2> <p>Everyone needs a little good luck, especially after a move. Consider a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PSI4T4C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00PSI4T4C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MLMW6FZEYFIWQNGH">sage kit</a> so that they can cleanse their new home and attract good fortune. You can even give them unique garden sets to entice good luck, like a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R19QYCG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00R19QYCG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6YRQDXMX7WYYMWVS">growing wishes seed kit</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002F914G8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002F914G8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HY2KHHLVFVDMCBJR">lucky bamboo plant</a>, or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YSNT66Y/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00YSNT66Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7X7GSVHAW56FX3AF">bonsai tree kit</a>.</p> <h2>7. Relaxation Aids</h2> <p>Everyone loves to relax after a stressful event and there is nothing more stressful than moving. Help your friend pamper themselves with items like unique <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B1DQKEU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00B1DQKEU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BEP5JKT2TYADLDIM">bath salt sets</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0155KFTHS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0155KFTHS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=36RQPOKP67YQMFS7">tea samplers</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L62K8TY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00L62K8TY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=N6ZERHMKJET5LY5X">crackling candles</a>. These and other spa necessities can be combined to form one large relaxation basket.</p> <h2>8. Pet Treats</h2> <p>Giving your friends' pet a new toy or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QNUGFLO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00QNUGFLO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MJKXG5XXWVROD524">gift basket</a> will make you their new favorite guest. Including a pet in the gift-giving festivities usually means a lot to the homeowners as well.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite affordable, unique housewarming gifts? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-50-unique-housewarming-gifts-for-less-than-20">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-dreaming-of-a-frugal-christmas-6-things-you-can-make-that-people-on-your-list-will-use-and-w">Dreaming of a Frugal Christmas: 6 Things You Can Make That People on Your List Will Use and Want</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Shopping gifts Homemade housewarming presents Wed, 02 Dec 2015 12:00:26 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1617395 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Festive and Easy DIY Holiday Decorations http://www.wisebread.com/14-festive-and-easy-diy-holiday-decorations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-festive-and-easy-diy-holiday-decorations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holiday_decorations_000053976300.jpg" alt="Woman making easy and festive diy holiday decorations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to jazz up your place for the winter season ahead? Making your home feel festive is as easy as grabbing a glue gun. Here are a bunch of simple and inexpensive projects that will warm your heart throughout the holiday season and beyond. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips?ref=seealso">7 Frugal Fall Decorating Tips</a>)</p> <h2>1. Thankful Pumpkins</h2> <p>These <a href="http://eclecticallyvintage.com/2013/11/thanksgiving-traditions-thankful-pumpkins/">thankful pumpkins</a> give everyone in the family a chance to showcase what they're thankful for this year. Coat the pumpkin in a light paint color and then use a Sharpie marker to write anything you wish. They'd make a wonderful centerpiece at your Thanksgiving dinner.</p> <h2>2. Photo Board</h2> <p>With this <a href="http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2013/09/thankful-photo-board.html">thankful board</a>, everyone will know whom you love and cherish this season. You'll need a 1&quot; by 8&quot; pine board to sand and stain. Then, use the free template to print out the word &quot;thankful&quot; on card stock. Stick the letters to the board with bronze nail heads and use super glue to attach a few clips to hold the photos. If you change up the lettering, this project would also make a cool holiday card holder.</p> <h2>3. Dollar Centerpieces</h2> <p>If you're hosting the big dinner this year, try wowing your guests with a <a href="http://www.blesserhouse.com/2014/11/dollar-store-thanksgiving-tablescape.html">Dollar Store tablescape</a>. The author found orange candles, fake pumpkins (that she painted), and poster board for placemats. Accent everything with pine cones and other free nature finds from your backyard.</p> <h2>4. Thrifty Finds</h2> <p>Take a stroll around your local thrift shops to see what holiday decorations are on the shelves. I recently found a deal on a ceramic holiday village &mdash; 10 houses for $5! I've seen anything from limited edition snow globes to porcelain ornaments to vintage tree toppers. Most everything is gently used and offered at a fraction of its original price.</p> <h2>5. Moving Makeover</h2> <p>If you do come across something you like, remember that you can personalize it with paint. That holiday village I bought? I'd love to give it this <a href="http://www.the36thavenue.com/loving-the-dollar-store-christmas-village/">chic makeover</a> using some ivory shades. Make sure your village is clean, then spritz the paint just enough to get a light coating. Do some detail work with watered down acrylics before letting everything dry.</p> <h2>6. Tricky Sticks</h2> <p>Make <a href="http://www.momendeavors.com/2013/12/diy-giant-popsicle-stick-snowflakes.html">gigantic snowflakes</a> to adorn on your walls with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00380E7RQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00380E7RQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5WSJ4HEM47HW5IEH">popsicle sticks</a>. Grab a big pack of sticks, then attach them together in different patterns using a hot glue gun. Let set a while before hanging. You can also give them a coat of colorful or sparkly spray paint for extra flair.</p> <h2>7. Sweater Trees</h2> <p>Make a set of cozy <a href="http://finditmakeitloveit.com/2013/12/sweater-trees-easy-cheap-free.html">sweater Christmas trees</a>. You'll cut out a sturdy tree template from an empty cardboard box. Then, cut a few pieces of knit fabric out of old sweaters and hot glue them around the tree. Slap a square of burlap on the trunk and you're done!</p> <h2>8. Pinecone Garland</h2> <p>Bring the outdoors in with this <a href="http://blog.freepeople.com/2013/10/diy-fall-garland/">pinecone garland</a>. Collect pinecones of all assorted shapes and sizes. You can paint them different colors or add accent flower, berries, and other items. Just hot glue everything to a piece of twine. You can even use some fine wire for extra support.</p> <h2>9. Woodland Sign</h2> <p>Get a little rustic charm going with this <a href="http://livelaughrowe.com/diy-woodland-sign/">woodland sign</a>. Attach a few boards together (or use a single piece of wood) and then stain and distress. Then use a stencil to paint on whatever saying you like. You may also try free-handing, if you're talented like that. Seal your board and hang with jute.</p> <h2>10. Sparkle Branches</h2> <p>Bring some bling to your living room with these <a href="http://www.momtastic.com/diy/170919-holiday-decorating-making-sparkly-branches/">sparkle branches</a>. Scour your backyard for the best woody specimens. Once you've found them, spray with paint and then adhesive. Sprinkle glitter onto the branch and admire your crafting powers.</p> <h2>11. Snowball Garland</h2> <p>All you need is fishing line and cotton balls to make this classy <a href="http://www.jamiedphoto.com/diy-snow-and-white-trees/">snowball garland</a>. Hot glue the cotton balls to the line and then use it for whatever you think needs some winter spirit. I love the idea to use the garland as a festive backdrop for photos.</p> <h2>12. Sweet Aroma</h2> <p>Not into decorating? You can make your house smell like the holidays with these amazing <a href="http://tipnut.com/fragrant-home-13-simmering-pot-recipes/">simmering potpourri</a> recipes. My favorite combines cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice. Fill a pot with water and simmer the ingredients on low all day long.</p> <h2>13. Frosty Candles</h2> <p>Leave it to Martha Stewart to show us how to make these gorgeous <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/264490/frosty-salted-pillar-candles">salted pillar candles</a>. Fill a rimmed tray with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010813796/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B010813796&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GR3JS45QJUQFOH7X">epsom salts</a>. Coat the outside of your candle with some Mod Podge, and then roll in the salts. Let dry before lighting.</p> <h2>14. Spiffy Lights</h2> <p>Want to keep your Christmas lights up all year? Try <a href="http://www.landeeseelandeedo.com/2014/12/gold-christmas-decor-mantel-details.html">spray painting them</a> to spiff them up. Simply take the bulbs out of the sockets, coat the cord in gold spray paint, and let everything dry before you plug it back in. While you're at it, use the rest of your can of gold paint to make matching accents that will last the whole season.</p> <p><em>What are your clever holiday decoration tricks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-festive-and-easy-diy-holiday-decorations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-diy-christmas-ornaments-that-are-better-than-store-bought">18 DIY Christmas Ornaments That Are Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-holiday-lighting-hacks">10 Easy Holiday Lighting Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-festive-ways-to-dress-up-your-property-for-the-holidays">13 Festive Ways to Dress Up Your Property for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-old-holiday-traditions-we-cant-believe-ever-existed">8 Old Holiday Traditions We Can&#039;t Believe Ever Existed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Christmas crafts decorations Holidays Homemade lights Thanksgiving Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1615577 at http://www.wisebread.com 60+ Halloween Costume Ideas That Can Save You Money and Time http://www.wisebread.com/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000010314928.jpg" alt="Man making Halloween costume that saves him money and time" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's that spooky time of the year again! Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes the inevitable and difficult decision of what costume you're going to wear for this year's party. But fear not! We have ideas for the perfect costume on any budget.&nbsp;</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids"><strong>20 Simple and Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids</strong></a></p> <p>It's easy to get caught up in Halloween and become frustrated when a complicated costume goes wrong. Skip all that and go for simple and fun, instead.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-halloween-costumes-for-adults" target="_blank"><strong>20 Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults</strong></a></p> <p>Halloween dress up is not just for kids. Preserve your dignity &mdash; and your budget &mdash; with these classic and frugal costume ideas.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-halloween-costumes-for-people-who-hate-dressing-up" target="_blank"><strong>15 Halloween Costumes for People Who Hate Dressing Up</strong></a></p> <p>If you think dressing up is a drag but still need a get up for a costume party, consider one of these low-effort, high-reward &quot;costumes.&quot;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-8-trending-halloween-costumes-on-the-cheap" target="_blank"><strong>How to Make 8 Trending Halloween Costumes on the Cheap</strong></a></p> <p>Halloween is just a few weeks away! That's plenty of time to put together one or two of these clever, trendy costumes.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/william-tran">William Tran</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-magic-marker-money-safe">The Magic Marker Money Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-cent-cell-phone-protector-and-other-hacks">The 1-Cent Cell Phone Protector, and Other Hacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Entertainment General Tips cheap Halloween costumes Homemade Mon, 05 Oct 2015 21:00:32 +0000 William Tran 1576255 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Sites to Sell Your Arts and Crafts http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sites-to-sell-your-arts-and-crafts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-sites-to-sell-your-arts-and-crafts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_with_clay_000045081946.jpg" alt="Man finding where to sell his arts and crafts online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you create art or make crafts as a hobby. Or perhaps you've been dreaming of starting your own business using your homemade items as stock. Whatever the case, there are plenty of places online where you can list your wares and earn some pretty decent coin in return. Here's the lowdown on a few of the most popular <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-etsy-can-help-start-your-small-business">marketplaces for crafters and artists</a>.</p> <h2>1. Etsy</h2> <p>Over 30 million people from across the globe use <a href="http://www.etsy.com/">Etsy</a> to buy and sell anything from handmade jewelry to one-of-a-kind house decor. You can even sell craft supplies and rare vintage items, if that's more your speed. Overall, this is one of the most popular arts communities online and even offers the convenience of cool features like gift cards.</p> <p>Another bonus is low costs: there are no membership fees on Etsy, and it costs just $0.20 to list an item until it sells. The site does collect a 3.5% fee on the total sale price (including shipping) of each item. All sales transaction are done through Direct Checkout, PayPal, check, or money order. To learn more, check out Etsy's comprehensive <a href="https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook">Seller Handbook</a> with details on photography, shipping, growth strategies, and more.</p> <h2>2. eBay</h2> <p>Marketplace giant <a href="http://www.ebay.com/">eBay</a> has been around since 1995. If you can dream it, you can likely find it somewhere on the site for a price. A few of the more prominent craft categories on eBay include woodworking, scrapbooking, ceramics and pottery, textile art, craft supplies, and even origami. One of eBay's most unique features is its different buying structures, including auctions. You can set a low auction starting price on your items and/or choose a set Buy-It-Now amount.</p> <p>Whichever you choose, understand that there are various <a href="http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/fees.html">selling fees</a> involved in all transactions. You'll likely encounter an insertion fee, final sale fee, and some upgrade fees, depending on how you choose to list. The amounts vary by item, but &mdash; for example &mdash; a $30 sewn doll with $5 shipping will cost you $3.15, according to the <a href="http://www.fees.ebay.com/feeweb/feecalculator">fee calculator</a>. Read eBay's <a href="http://pages.ebay.com/buy/guides/crafts-selling-guide/">Crafts Selling Guide</a> for more details on making listings, selling your stuff, and shipping.</p> <h2>3. Bonanza</h2> <p>&quot;Find everything but the ordinary&quot; is <a href="http://www.bonanza.com/">Bonanza</a>'s site motto, and for good reason. You can discover anything from crocheted potholders to beaded necklaces to original canvas paintings. Better yet, the site is well known as a good alternative to some of the bigger name marketplaces out there. Over 50,000 sellers have shared that they prefer the site to others like Etsy and eBay for the low fees, customer service, and profitability.</p> <p>Like eBay, you'll find the craft items among many other things for sale like collectibles, women's retail fashion, makeup, and more. The difference? There are no fees unless your item sells. You'll encounter a 3.5% fee on final order values less than $500 &mdash; but that's minus a shipping fee exemption of up to $10 to keep some extra money in your pocket. Check out the <a href="http://www.bonanza.com/site_help/booths_setup">Selling on Bonanza</a> guide for more information.</p> <h2>4. Zibbet</h2> <p>How about no listing fees, no sale fees, and a free account? That's exactly what you'll get with <a href="https://www.zibbet.com/">Zibbet</a>. The site stays true to its mission by selling only handmade items &mdash; and absolutely nothing that has been mass-produced.</p> <p>If you currently sell goods on Etsy, you can use the site's handy import tool to automatically switch your listings to Zibbet. You'll also find some powerful promotional tools, like custom coupon codes and gift certificates that get buyers clicking again and again. Take advantage of your account's statistics to track your sales and progress. For more about selling with Zibbet, check out the site's <a href="https://www.zibbet.com/sell">selling page</a>.</p> <h2>5. iCraft</h2> <p>If you're trying to avoid sites that are bogged down by too much unrelated merchandise, check out <a href="http://icraftgifts.com/">iCraft</a>. The site features handmade items exclusively &mdash; nothing vintage, for resale, or food related &mdash; and is <a href="http://icraftgifts.com/what-considered-handmade.php">quite selective</a> about what can go up for sale. Their guidelines may sound overly specific, but your audience will be greatly targeted by the time they reach your store to browse around.</p> <p>There is a one-time registration fee of $25 to set up a store with iCraft. Instead of the standard listing fees included with other marketplaces, you choose between subscription rates ranging from $5 to $15 a month, depending on the number of items you'd like to list. That might all seem steep, but there are no commissions on sales. Plus, subscribers who pay their annual fees upfront get a 10% discount. Here's where you can learn more about iCraft's <a href="http://icraftgifts.com/sell.php">selling policies</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you used online marketplaces to sell your crafts? Tell us about your experiences below!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-sites-to-sell-your-arts-and-crafts&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Sites%2520to%2520Sell%2520Your%2520Arts%2520and%2520Crafts.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Sites%20to%20Sell%20Your%20Arts%20and%20Crafts"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Sites%20to%20Sell%20Your%20Arts%20and%20Crafts.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Sites to Sell Your Arts and Crafts" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sites-to-sell-your-arts-and-crafts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-handmade-goods-buy-cheap-handmade-goodies">Sell handmade goods, buy cheap handmade goodies.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-money-on-etsy-no-craft-required">How to Earn Money on Etsy — No Craft Required</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-secrets-of-highly-successful-craigslist-sellers">The 9 Secrets of Highly Successful Craigslist Sellers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-totally-free-things-you-can-sell-on-ebay">8 Totally Free Things You Can Sell on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income arts crafts DIY Homemade selling online Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:00:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1467221 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Popular Snacks You Can Make at Home http://www.wisebread.com/14-popular-snacks-you-can-make-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-popular-snacks-you-can-make-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/party_snacks_000049131346.jpg" alt="Snack foods that you can make at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the easiest ways to save money at the grocery store is to shop the perimeter. Not only does avoiding all those packaged foods cost less, but it also keeps your health in check. Let's be real, though, some of those snack foods are absolutely delicious. So, why not try making a few of your favorites at home? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>1. Fruit Leather</h2> <p>Whipping up fresh <a href="http://www.justataste.com/2013/07/healthy-homemade-mango-fruit-roll-ups-recipe/">fruit roll-ups</a> is much easier than you might imagine. You'll puree fruit in a food processor until it's smooth. Then you'll spread it onto silicone baking mats and bake for three to four hours at 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Place wax paper on the baked fruit, then slice into long rectangles and roll.</p> <h2>2. Trail Mix</h2> <p>There are many trail mix recipes on the web. This <a href="http://www.lovebakesgoodcakes.com/2014/08/sweet-salty-trail-mix-snacktoschool.html">sweet and salty mix</a> is one of my favorites because it contains healthy nuts, sunflower kernels, and tempting chocolate candy. Simply stir together a few cups of each ingredient and store in an airtight container.</p> <h2>3. Potato Chips</h2> <p>You can even make your own <a href="http://steamykitchen.com/70-light-as-air-potato-chips.html">potato chips</a> at home. Use a mandolin on its lowest setting to slice red potatoes about an hour before cooking them. Then heat canola oil in a skillet to around 375 degrees Fahrenheit, fry, and sprinkle with salt before serving.</p> <h2>4. Veggie Chips</h2> <p>Or try these <a href="http://www.superhealthykids.com/root-veggie-chip/">root veggie chips</a> for a twist on the classic crisp. Slice anything from sweet potatoes to yucca to beets with your mandolin &mdash; a bit thicker than you did in the potato chip recipe. Toss in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.</p> <h2>5. Chocolate Bar</h2> <p>I've seen so many fancy chocolate bars at the store lately, and they're all super expensive. Make your own at home with this <a href="http://www.flourishingfoodie.com/2014/12/homemade-chocolate-bars-for-holiday.html">chocolate bar tutorial</a>. You'll need chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, and whatever else you like with your sweets. Melt chocolate, then pour it into a shallow loaf pan. Top with toppings and let set.</p> <h2>6. Graham Crackers</h2> <p>Elevate your s'mores with these homemade <a href="http://www.browneyedbaker.com/homemade-graham-crackers-recipe/">graham crackers</a>. All it takes is a base of all-purpose and graham flour to get the right taste and texture. After everything is mixed, you'll roll out the dough and cut into squares before baking to a golden brown.</p> <h2>7. Cheese Crackers</h2> <p>These copycat <a href="http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2011/09/homemade-goldfish-crackers/">Goldfish crackers</a> are a hit with both kids and adults &mdash; and they only contain four ingredients. Pulse together cheese, butter, flour, salt, and a little water in your food processor. Then use a homemade cutout to shape your crackers before baking.</p> <h2>8. Pita Chips</h2> <p>Want something crunchy to snack on? Try baking up these <a href="http://www.feedyoursoul2.com/2013/06/pita-chips.html">pita chips</a>. The recipe is so easy. Cut up store-bought pitas into wedges, place on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy with hummus and other dips.</p> <h2>9. Tortilla Chips</h2> <p>This same method can be applied to <a href="http://lovegrowswild.com/2014/05/baked-tortilla-chips/">tortilla chips</a> as well. Slice white corn tortillas into wedges, brush with oil, and add salt. Then bake 15 minutes until crisp. These taste way better than the kind you buy in the bag.</p> <h2>10. Fruit Snacks</h2> <p>Banish packaged fruit snacks from the pantry and make your own <a href="http://blog.landofnod.com/honest-to-nod/2014/08/kelsey-nixon-diy-fruit-snacks.html">DIY fruit snacks</a> instead. Just mix together fruit juice, gelatin, and a bit of honey before pouring into candy molds. Chill to set.</p> <h2>11. Pop-Tarts</h2> <p>Strawberry Pop-Tarts are one of my guilty pleasures. Good news: You can make healthier <a href="http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/05/homemade-pop-tarts/">homemade Pop-Tarts</a> in your own kitchen. Just mix together a basic pastry crust, fill it with strawberry preserves, and bake. Then top with an icing made of powdered sugar, half-and-half, and vanilla extract. Sprinkles are optional but highly recommended.</p> <h2>12. Cheese Puffs</h2> <p>I would have never imagined I could make <a href="http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/crunchy-cheese-puffs">DIY Cheetos</a>. Yet, here I am with a recipe to share. The process is a little tricky. Once you mix together the dough, you'll steam it and then dehydrate for up to 10 hours. Make a big batch: You can store in an airtight container for up to three months.</p> <h2>13. Fig Bars</h2> <p>Everyone loves sweet, chewy <a href="http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2013/07/homemade-paleo-diet-fig-newtons-gluten-free-and-dairy-free.html">Fig Newtons</a>. The filling is a natural combination of black figs, applesauce, agave, and cinnamon. Better yet, this recipe is suitable for those of you following the Paleo diet. Score!</p> <h2>14. Energy Bars</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.theyummylife.com/Homemade_KIND_Bars">high-protein nutrition bars</a> taste a lot like the KIND bars all my health-conscious friends are toting around town. With eight different variations on the nut-and-dried fruit theme, there's something for everyone. I can't wait to try the dark chocolate and sea salt version. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">20 Tasty Energy Bars You Can Make at Home</a>)</p> <p><em>What are you favorite snacks and goodies? Have you tried making them at home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-popular-snacks-you-can-make-at-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-easy-ways-to-enjoy-canned-peaches">15 Delicious and Easy Ways to Enjoy Canned Peaches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-and-delicious-granola-recipes">20 Easy and Delicious Granola Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-bonkers-candy-corn-recipes">20 Bonkers Candy Corn Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Homemade recipes snacks treats Thu, 28 May 2015 15:00:08 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1432563 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Healthy Homemade Yogurt Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/6-healthy-homemade-yogurt-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-healthy-homemade-yogurt-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/yogurt_parfait_000016879134.jpg" alt="Delicious impromptu yogurt parfait recipe that will change your life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of my more indulgent grocery expenses is yogurt, and those tubs really add up. It doesn't matter what kind &mdash; plain, Greek, Icelandic, vegan, etc. &mdash; I'm hooked on all those healthy bacteria and tasty flavors.</p> <p>But did you know that you can make yogurt in the comfort and convenience of your own kitchen? It's true. Even better: It costs far less than the cartons at the store. So, go get your apron, 'cause it's yogurt-making time!</p> <h2>1. Crock-Pot Yogurt</h2> <p>What could be easier than simmering DIY <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/06/homemade-yogurt-in-the-crock-pot.html">yogurt in your slow cooker</a>? Start by pouring half a gallon of milk into your crock pot and setting it on low for just under three hours. Let it sit for three hours more. Then take a few spoonfuls of the warmed milk and mix with a half cup of your favorite yogurt as a starter (it should contain &quot;active cultures&quot; listed on the label). Combine with the rest of the pot, cover with a towel, and let rest for another eight to 12 hours before spooning into airtight containers and transferring to your refrigerator.</p> <h2>2. Countertop Yogurt</h2> <p>This <a href="http://holisticsquid.com/the-easiest-homemade-yogurt-ever/">raw yogurt</a> can be made right atop your kitchen counter. You'll need raw milk, packaged cultures, jars, a nonreactive saucepan, and some clean cloths. Heat your milk in the saucepan until it starts to rise, then let cool to room temperature before stirring in the cultures to create your starter. From there, take one tablespoon of starter and place in a glass jar. Fill the rest up with raw milk (leaving one inch for headspace). Let sit on your countertop overnight, then place in the fridge to set.</p> <h2>3. Coconut Yogurt</h2> <p>This delicious <a href="http://tasty-yummies.com/2014/06/03/how-to-make-coconut-milk-yogurt/">coconut milk yogurt</a> requires just four ingredients. Coconut milk (full fat, canned works best), sweetener, starter (like probiotic powder), and optional thickener. Once you gather these items, the process is simple. Heat the coconut milk and sweetener until just boiling, then allow to cool to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir in the thickener. Once cooled, add the probiotics as well. Then let culture for eight hours to a full day.</p> <h2>4. Almond Milk Yogurt</h2> <p>Another great vegan alternative is this <a href="http://www.lexieskitchen.com/lexies_kitchen/2011/9/14/almond-milk-yogurt-dairy-free.html">almond milk yogurt</a> &mdash; starting with pure almonds. You'll need some additional thickening agents for this mix, including agar agar and arrowroot powder. From there, soak almonds in filtered water overnight. Blend everything in a high-powered blender and strain out solid pieces. You'll heat this milk and combine with the thickeners before adding to a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EX16RY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000EX16RY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MXHMNAJTHAEEL5AS">yogurt maker</a> and letting sit another good eight to 10 hours before chilling.</p> <h2>5. Greek Yogurt</h2> <p>Making thick <a href="http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/homemade-ingredients/homemade-greek-yogurt/">Greek yogurt</a> is very much like the processes in the other recipes. The difference is in the straining. So, after you've mixed and heated and set your yogurt, you'll line a colander with cheesecloth. Pour the yogurt inside and gather the corners to let it drain for five hours (or until you reach your desired consistency). That's the secret step.</p> <h2>6. Kefir</h2> <p>I only recently started enjoying <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/how-to-make-kefir/">homemade kefir</a> &mdash; a drinkable yogurt &mdash; as part of my everyday routine. And like most things, you can make it at home using whole ingredients. The key here is fermentation, which occurs when you allow milk to sit with kefir grains for 12 to 48 hours. After this critical part of the process, just pour through a strainer, store, and retain grains for future kefir-making sessions.</p> <p><em>Have you made yogurt at home? What's your favorite method?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-healthy-homemade-yogurt-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/food-hacks-recipes">Food Hacks: Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-popular-snacks-you-can-make-at-home">14 Popular Snacks You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-indulgent-desserts-that-are-actually-good-for-you">10 Indulgent Desserts That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink crock pot dairy health foods Homemade recipes vegan yogurt Fri, 24 Apr 2015 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1396577 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_smoothie_000052698074.jpg" alt="Couple enjoying delicious things made in a blender" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that you can make a wide range of delicious things with a good blender, from soup to nut butters? Dust off this often under-utilized kitchen appliance and give the following items a whirl. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender?ref=seealso">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pancakes and Waffles</h2> <p>The next time you make pancake or waffle batter, try using your blender. Just toss all of the ingredients in, and switch on for a smooth mix; then pour your perfect portions straight from the pitcher. If you don't have a high-powered model, you may have to break up the mix with a spoon between pulses at first. Any standard recipe will work, just be sure to add mix-ins like fruit or chocolate chips by hand. This method is also great for <a href="http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2013/08/banana-oat-blender-pancakes-gluten-free-dairy-free-recipe/">gluten-free pancakes</a>.</p> <h2>2. Sauces</h2> <p>Homemade sauces become so much easier with the help of a blender. You can achieve a smooth consistency and even texture with the push of a button. Make your own <a href="http://www.kitchentreaty.com/our-very-favorite-homemade-pizza-sauce/">pizza sauce</a> for an above average homemade pizza experience. It also freezes well, so you can make a big batch. Or make your very own<a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/blender-hollandaise-sauce/">hollandaise sauce</a>! The blender emulsifies the sauce effortlessly for a silky brunch topping.</p> <h2>3. Soups</h2> <p>A great way to give your blender a workout is making smooth and creamy soups. The variety of recipes and flavors may surprise you. From creamy pumpkin and <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-soup-with-ginger-15572">butternut squash soup</a>, to <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017010-seared-broccoli-and-potato-soup">potato and broccoli soup</a>, to <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/tomato-bisque-recipe.html">tomato bisque</a> &mdash; the possibilities are nearly endless. When blending hot soup, it's a good idea to let it cool off a bit before adding it to the blender. Puree in batches, and crack the top while covering with a kitchen towel to allow some heat to escape when the blender is on.</p> <h2>4. Condiments</h2> <p>If you've never thought about making your own condiments but you own a blender, give it a try! <a href="http://www.myhumblekitchen.com/2012/01/how-to-make-homemade-mayonnaise-with-4-simple-ingredients/#sthash.n3TEAEVx.dpbs">Homemade mayonnaise</a> only requires four ingredients, and is far superior to its bottled counterpart. Or, if you want to go all out, <a href="https://www.vitamix.com/Find-Recipes/H/O/Homemade-Ketchup">make your own ketchup</a>. Home-filled bottles of this classic condiment make great gifts.</p> <h2>5. Quick Breads</h2> <p>When making quick breads, try using your blender to mix things up. You can add ingredients straight to the pitcher, making your blender the only &quot;bowl &quot; that will need cleaning. This gluten-free <a href="http://livesimply.me/2014/07/15/chocolate-swirl-banana-bread-blender/">chocolate banana bread</a> comes together in a flash, or try making <a href="http://www.amynewnostalgia.com/the-best-ever-zucchini-blender-bread/">blender zucchini bread</a>. The blender does all of the work, so you can forget about painstakingly shredding the zucchinis.</p> <h2>6. Protein Shakes</h2> <p>If you're looking to bulk up, you can make delicious and healthful <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/perfect-homemade-protein-shake/#YWq2XQBpiBMgGUxQ.97">protein shakes</a> at home. Some recipes don't even call for protein powder, but rely on nutritious banana and protein-rich yogurt, peanut butter, and chia seeds to provide energy. A <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/banana_cocoa_soy_smoothie.html">shake made with tofu</a> and soy milk also provides a healthy dose of protein, and tastes great with the addition of cocoa.</p> <h2>7. Peanut Butter</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-peanut-butter-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-199110">Homemade peanut butter</a> is a real treat, and you can make it in your very own blender! Add fresh-toasted nuts and pulse for minute increments, scraping down in between. Add a little salt and, if desired, honey or other flavorings, and pulse to combine. If you don't have a heavy-duty blender, be sure to work in intervals and don't over-work the machine. If it starts to smell smoky, let it rest for a few minutes.</p> <h2>8. Milkshakes</h2> <p>There's no need for a milkshake maker, your blender will do just fine. Start with a <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/classic-vanilla-milkshake-ghk">basic milkshake recipe</a> and then get creative. Add chocolate or fruit syrups, and mix-ins like candies, crumbled cookies, or fruit. Changing up the ice cream flavor yields great results, too. Don't forget the whipped cream and cherry on top!</p> <h2>9. Dressings</h2> <p>Making your own dressing is easy and so much better than store-bought, and with a blender, it gets easier still. You can make most <a href="http://www.today.com/id/36671580/ns/today-today_food/t/mark-bittmans--minute-dressings/#.VRV37vnF98F">salad dressings</a> in five minutes using a blender, including a fresh Italian dressing, a flavorful French variety, herb-filled green goddess dressing, and a soy vinaigrette. Blending your dressing makes for a smoother finished product since it does the emulsifying for you.</p> <h2>10. Sorbet</h2> <p>For an easy and quick dessert, <a href="http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1003505/3-easy-sorbets-made-in-the-blender">make your own sorbet</a> in a blender &mdash; no ice cream maker required. You won't need much more than frozen fruit and sweetener to achieve a cold, sweet treat. This method works best with a high-power blender, but if you're using a typical blender it will still work. When the mixture refuses to blend, stop the machine and stir. Work quickly, so that your mix doesn't melt!</p> <h2>11. Gluten-Free Pizza Crust</h2> <p>If you're living the gluten-free life or just want to cut down, you can use your blender to make a <a href="http://nutritionstripped.com/cauliflower-pizza-crust/">cauliflower pizza crust</a>. It's pretty amazing the things cauliflower will do, and this is no exception! Steam your cauliflower and then blend it up to a fine texture. Add a few ingredients and form into a round before baking, topping, and baking again. The results are surprisingly delicious.</p> <h2>12. Smoothies</h2> <p>Everyone knows you can make smoothies with a blender, but it's easy to forget the sheer variety. Try <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/965190/hearty-fruit-and-oat-smoothie">using oatmeal</a> in your next smoothie for a filling breakfast on the go. Add some nutrition and color with greens like in a <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/kale-smoothie-recipe">kale smoothie</a>, which pairs well with tangy fruit like pineapple. <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/blueberry-blast-smoothie-recipe.html">Yogurt smoothies</a> provide protein with a creamy consistency. Get creative with different kinds of fruit, juices, milks, and fun additions like almond butter, chia seeds, and cocoa.</p> <h2>13. Dips</h2> <p>To whip up a tasty dip in no time, a blender is your answer. Make <a href="http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/03/hummus-in-the-blender.html">silky smooth hummus</a> in minutes, great for a party or for a weekday snack. Pair with carrot and cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, and pita chips. For a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/restaurant-style-salsa-recipe.html">restaurant-style salsa</a>, let your blender do the work. Use it to top tacos and burritos, or simply serve with corn chips.</p> <h2>14. Cocktails</h2> <p>There's nothing quite like a <a href="http://www.theyummylife.com/Frozen_Daiquiris">frozen daiquiri</a> on a summer afternoon. Simply add frozen fruit, lemonade/limeade, light rum, and ice, and whirl up. Try lots of different fruit flavors and serve in fun glasses for a perfect hot weather party drink. Use your blender to make other blended drinks like piña coladas, margaritas, and more. Your friends will thank you!</p> <h2>15. Pudding</h2> <p>Yes, pudding! Take some of the labor out of making homemade pudding by having the blender mix it up for you. You're guaranteed to have a silky smooth treat in no time flat. You can't go wrong with a <a href="http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/2012/08/dark-chocolate-peanut-butter-blender.html">dark chocolate peanut butter pudding</a>, or, for a healthier route, try a <a href="http://detoxinista.com/2013/02/vanilla-chia-pudding-vegan/">blended vanilla chia seed pudding</a>. It makes a great breakfast, or add chocolate to turn it into a low-guilt dessert.</p> <p><em>What do you like to mix in your blender? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F15%2520Creative%252C%2520Delicious%2520Things%2520You%2520Can%2520Make%2520in%2520a%2520Blender.jpg&amp;description=15%20Creative%2C%20Delicious%20Things%20You%20Can%20Make%20in%20a%20Blender"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/15%20Creative%2C%20Delicious%20Things%20You%20Can%20Make%20in%20a%20Blender.jpg" alt="15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-popular-snacks-you-can-make-at-home">14 Popular Snacks You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-easy-ways-to-enjoy-canned-peaches">15 Delicious and Easy Ways to Enjoy Canned Peaches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-and-delicious-granola-recipes">20 Easy and Delicious Granola Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">10 Smart Uses for Food That&#039;s About to Go Bad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink blender Homemade quick meals recipes snacks Fri, 10 Apr 2015 13:00:04 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1376656 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Cool Uses for a Blender http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother-daughter-blender-fruit-iStock_000038436464_Small.jpg" alt="mother and daughter using blender making smoothies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone buys a blender with the best of intentions. A homemade smoothie every morning for breakfast, and you'll be fit in no time &mdash; while saving money, too! A few months later, the blender lives in the back of a cabinet collecting dust, only to be dragged out for an occasional margarita. In fact, the blender can be used to make a surprising amount of things. So it's time to pull out this often forgotten piece of kitchen equipment and see what it can really do.</p> <h2>1. Flour</h2> <p>It might sound crazy, but you can have <a href="http://naturalthrifty.com/how-to-mill-flour.html">freshly milled flour</a> without any real effort or fancy equipment. Just put a couple cups of wheat berries in your blender and let it go. Sift and repeat, and you're done. This method also works great with oats. Instead of buying both rolled oats and oat flour, just keep the whole version around and grind some up when you need it.</p> <h2>2. Almond Milk</h2> <p>If you're an almond milk drinker, then making fresh, <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-almond-milk-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-189996">homemade almond milk</a> will blow you away. Soak almonds overnight in water and then blend well. Strain, and you have deliciously nutty milk. The fresh version will only last a few days in the fridge, so only make what you plan to use. Since the process is so easy, you're sure to be whipping some up on the regular anyway. Try <a href="http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/2011/10/creamy-chocolate-hazelnut-milk-dairy.html">adding sweet flavors</a> like vanilla and using different kinds of nuts.</p> <h2>3. Compost</h2> <p>Composting is something many people want to do, but don't have the room or the patience to make it happen. If you have a patch of green at home but don't want to turn compost or keep a bin inside, you can <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5994471/blend-your-old-food-scraps-for-instant-compost">make instant &quot;compost&quot;</a> with your blender. Just take your soft food scraps and blend them up, making the leftovers very easy to break down. This is also a great method if you do have an indoor bin, since it will save space and convert to true compost much faster.</p> <h2>4. Juice</h2> <p>If space is at a premium in your kitchen, owning a big juicer might not be an option. Luckily, you can use your <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/504511-how-to-use-a-blender-as-a-juicer/">blender as a juicer</a>. Cut up fruit and vegetables, add to the blender with water, and blend well. Strain to your liking (you can leave some pulp this way), and enjoy. Be sure to use your leftover fruit pulp for composting!</p> <h2>5. Body Scrub</h2> <p>Not only can you make delicious things to eat with your blender, you can <a href="http://petitelefant.com/how-to-make-your-own-citrus-scrub/">make a body scrub</a> that will make you feel pretty delicious, too. Combine all-natural olive oil, sea salt, and citrus for a refreshing and moisturizing scrub that takes less than five minutes to make. The scrub makes a great gift, too!</p> <h2>6. Powdered Sugar</h2> <p>How many times have you started to make a sweet treat, only to discover you don't have any powdered sugar? Unless you are a master cake baker, it's unlikely that you always keep the super fine sweetener around. Next time you're in a pinch, instead of running to the store, whip out your blender. It will magically turn your plain old sugar into fluffy, <a href="http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/12/how-to-make-confectioners-sugar-at-home">homemade powdered sugar</a> in mere minutes.</p> <h2>7. Soup</h2> <p>You probably already know that you can make soups with your blender, but did you know that you can use it to heat up and even &quot;cook&quot; soups? This trick requires a powerhouse blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, both of which have high-speed blades that build up heat through friction. This way, you can <a href="http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/02/quick-and-easy-potato-soup.html">warm and blend soup</a> at the same time. If you've got a regular old blender, then you can still puree soups and make <a href="http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/how-to-make-yummy-raw-blender-soups-with-recipes/">raw soups</a> without dirtying a pot or using the stove.</p> <h2>8. Nut Butter</h2> <p>Making your own nut butter is not only easy, it opens up a world of possibilities. Honey-cashew butter? Pistachio-chocolate butter? Yes, please. <a href="https://www.vitamix.com/Find-Recipes/P/E/Peanut-Butter">Homemade nut butters</a> can easily be made in a food processor or a blender. When using a blender, be sure to scrape the sides often and don't overwork the motor. All you need are some nuts and, depending on your mood, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-and-cheap-nut-butter-recipes-to-make-at-home">some delicious flavorings</a>.</p> <h2>9. Salad Dressing</h2> <p>The key to a superior salad is a homemade dressing, and whipping one up is that much easier when you use a blender. Easily pulverize ingredients like herbs and fresh garlic, or emulsify your oil and vinegar into a smooth, cohesive vinaigrette. A blender is especially handy for creamy dressings like a <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/blender-caesar-salad-dressing-156595">homemade ceasar salad</a>.</p> <h2>10. Lotion</h2> <p>Treat yourself to some all-natural skincare using, you guessed it, your blender. Combining beeswax, essential oils, vitamin E, and almond or grapeseed oil, this <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-lotion/">homemade body cream</a> is luxurious and moisturizing. Using a blender, it takes only minutes to make and extra cream can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.</p> <h2>11. Applesauce</h2> <p>If you or your kids love applesauce, you have to try making your own fresh sauce at home. Instead of cooking the apples on the stove and then pushing them through a food mill, just throw cut-up, fresh apples along with water and a little flavoring into your blender. You'll be rewarded with <a href="http://www.inhabitots.com/how-to-make-a-cup-of-simple-organic-applesauce-in-your-blender">fresh applesauce</a> that's healthy and so quick and easy to make.</p> <h2>12. Fresh Butter</h2> <p>Did you know that all you need to <a href="http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-make-butter/">make fresh butter</a> at home is a blender and some cream? Blend your cream for a few minutes until you can see the butter solids separating. Let it sit so the butter can float to the top, and then strain off the buttermilk (and save for later use). Blend once more with cold water to wash, strain, and add salt if desired. Add roasted garlic, herbs, or spices to make a flavorful spread.</p> <h2>13. Pancakes and Muffins</h2> <p>The next time you're making pancakes or muffins, consider mixing with a blender. The batter will come together easier and be very well mixed, plus you'll have a handy pitcher for pouring. This is especially useful when making pancakes. Some recipes even call for you to use a blender, like these <a href="http://www.runningwithspoons.com/2014/06/24/banana-oat-greek-yogurt-muffins/">oat muffins</a> or these <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2012/01/buttermilk-pancakes/">buttermilk pancakes</a>.</p> <h2>14. Lamp</h2> <p>Have you given up on putting your blender to good use in the kitchen? Why not turn it into <a href="http://vault.sierraclub.org/sierra/201103/repurpose/default.aspx?_ga=1.48703142.1626506539.1425337189">a blender lamp</a>? With some careful disassembly and a few extra parts, you can recycle your appliance into a unique light. It's a great way to use a broken blender, too.</p> <p><em>What do you use your blender for?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F14-cool-uses-for-a-blender&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F14%2520Cool%2520Uses%2520for%2520a%2520Blender.jpg&amp;description=14%20Cool%20Uses%20for%20a%20Blender"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/14%20Cool%20Uses%20for%20a%20Blender.jpg" alt="14 Cool Uses for a Blender" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-office-potluck-dishes-everyone-loves">20 Office Potluck Dishes Everyone Loves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-i-grew-tired-of-buying-and-how-i-quit">5 Foods I Grew Tired of Buying, and How I Quit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips blender Food Homemade recipes Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:00:05 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1336751 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old-fashioned-vintage-woman-sewing-machine-Dollarphotoclub_70883513.jpg" alt="vintage woman sewing" title="vintage woman sewing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Home brew? Urban gardens? What's old is new again, and those old fashioned homemaking skills from yesteryear are often more eco-friendly, sustainable, and &mdash; yes &mdash; less expensive than modern conveniences. They're also easy once you get into a routine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">18 Awesome, Practically Free, Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <p>So, check out these important skills from yesteryear that let you live on the cheap today. You may even develop some new hobbies in the process.</p> <h2>1. Bread Baking</h2> <p>Have you paid attention to the prices in the bread aisle recently? No, really. Store bought bread is expensive and contains all sorts of strange ingredients. I've started baking most of our bread at home to save money and keep our food simple. Some of the best recipes I make require nothing more than flour, yeast, and water. The rest is in the mixing, rise time, and actual baking. Start with this ubiquitous <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html">no-knead bread</a> recipe by master baker Jim Lahey. You'll let it rise overnight and then bake in a Dutch oven for an amazingly crisp crust. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread?ref=seealso">A Beginner's Guide to Homemade Bread</a>)</p> <h2>2. From-Scratch Everything</h2> <p>In the past, most people actually made their pantry items from scratch. For example, oat flour is nothing more than rolled oats pulsed in your food processor. Same goes with almond meal. With some practice, you can blend together an amazing batch of hummus that costs half as much as its store-bought counterpart. The list goes on. And after a while, making wholesome foods in your own kitchen becomes automatic. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>3. Food Preservation</h2> <p>Eating local, seasonal produce is usually the cheapest, healthiest option for feeding your family. But what about in the off season? Instead of forking over extra cash to eat tomatoes from who-knows-where in January, consider learning the re-emerging art of canning. You'll need a few tools and some know-how (I love the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762441437/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0762441437&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YPURNI7KXULSVNMU">Food In Jars</a> book, which breaks down the method of small batch canning into bits and pieces). I have yet to master it fully, so I choose to prep and freeze a lot of my ingredients to enjoy year round &mdash; most produce lasts a year this way. You can also pickle and dehydrate foods for unique taste and texture. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts?ref=seealso">How to Preserve In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a>)</p> <h2>4. Gardening</h2> <p>Better yet, learn how to grow your own food in your backyard (or, for those of you with small outdoor spaces, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">on your patio</a>). There are a number of hearty plants even beginners can cultivate and harvest with much success. Start with easy-to-grow beets, snap peas, carrots, radishes, squash, peppers, lettuce, and a variety of herbs, like dill, cilantro, and basil. Just be sure to pay attention to the soil, light, and watering suggestions on your seeds' or plant's guide. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-container-garden-started-with-this-guide?ref=seealso">Get a Great Container Garden Started With This Guide</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sewing</h2> <p>There was a time not so long ago when a hole in a shirt didn't mean it was fated for the donation or garbage pile. Instead, a quick stitch would fix it right up like new. By learning how to sew, you can also customize your wardrobe and even add new wearables for very little cash. Get started by picking up an inexpensive sewing kit or a needle and thread. Then learn some beginner mending techniques, like how to sew on a button, repair small holes, and fix torn seams. It's a lot of under-over-under-over and tying off to finish. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cute-and-frugal-diy-clothes-you-can-make-for-your-kids?ref=seealso">20 Cute and Frugal Clothes You Can Sew for Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>6. Cleaning Basics</h2> <p>There weren't a lot of brightly packaged cleaning products back in the day. Instead, people made their own cleaners and solutions at home. Here are five&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">laundry detergent recipes</a> to get you started. I've saved a bundle of money (and plastic) by making laundry soap at home, and my clothes are just as fresh and clean. All-purpose cleaning is also made simple with a mixture of 1:1 vinegar and water solution. Pour them together in a spray bottle and get busy cleaning. Add some alcohol to the bottle (a couple tablespoons) to make a streak-free window and mirror cleaner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h2>7. Soap Making and More</h2> <p>Even the whole bath and body DIY phenomenon has its roots in the past. After all, the general store didn't carry limitless products and solutions. Of course, you can get fancy by mixing together bath bombs and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready">homemade sunscreens</a>. I like to stick with the basics and use coconut oil as a moisturizer. Melting together olive oil, beeswax, and essential oils makes a quick and useful <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/10/homesteading-natural-vapor-rub.html">vapor rub</a>. Once you acquire the core ingredients, you can make most anything yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products?ref=seealso">50 Amazing DIY Bath and Body Products</a>)</p> <p><em>What old timey skills do you rely on?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink handmade Homemade homesteading skills Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1300084 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Delicious Homemade Treats Your Valentine Will Love http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-homemade-treats-your-valentine-will-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-delicious-homemade-treats-your-valentine-will-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chocolate-covered-strawberries-Dollarphotoclub_60362926.jpg" alt="chocolate covered strawberries" title="chocolate covered strawberries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not everyone loves Valentine's Day, but everyone (in their right mind) loves sweets. If you're not sure what to get your significant other, or you just want to show your family and friends that you care, try making one of these far-better-than-average homemade treats. They'll turn anyone into a Valentine's fan!</p> <h2>1. Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies</h2> <p>These bright red, <a href="http://www.justataste.com/2013/02/valentines-day-red-velvet-cheesecake-brownies-recipes/">festive brownies</a> are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. They're a more decadent version of red velvet cake, with a cream cheese filling marbled throughout. Plus, they look impressive without a high level of difficulty.</p> <h2>2. Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Caramels</h2> <p>Do you want to make a sophisticated candy that is sure to impress? Wrap up these <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chocolate-dipped-vanilla-caramels">chocolate-dipped homemade caramels</a> in a pretty tin, and they are sure to put a smile on your loved one's face. Leave off the chocolate for non-chocoholics.</p> <h2>3. Cherry Cordials</h2> <p>A classic date gift, making <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cherry-cordials">cherry cordials</a> yourself will beat out the store bought variety by leaps and bounds. Luckily they couldn't be easier and only require three ingredients &mdash; just be sure to start early, since the cherries need to soak for a few hours.</p> <h2>4. Homemade Conversation Hearts</h2> <p>It's probably never occurred to you that you can make your own <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/02/bravetart-how-to-make-conversation-hearts-valentines-candy.html">homemade conversation hearts</a>, but this version of the classic Valentine's candy is better than the original. They're worth the special equipment and extra time &mdash; this candy will have people oohing and aahing.</p> <h2>5. Handwritten Valentine Cupcakes With Chocolate Glaze</h2> <p>Are you planning to make <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/317440/handwritten-valentine-cupcakes-with-choc">homemade cupcakes</a> as your Valentine's treat? Personalize them by writing a loving message with a small round icing tip. Practice on some wax paper before starting so you get the hang of it.</p> <h2>6. Red Velvet Cookie Pops</h2> <p>It doesn't get any cuter, or Valentines-ier, than these <a href="http://www.aspicyperspective.com/2013/01/red-velvet-cookies-free-printable-tags.html">cookie pops</a>. They're bright red and heart-shaped, and delicious, too. Take these cookies to work or send with your child to school.</p> <h2>7. Dark Chocolate Bark With Roasted Almonds and Seeds</h2> <p>For a very easy but sophisticated treat, take just a few minutes to make <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/dark-chocolate-bark-with-roasted-almonds-and-seeds">dark chocolate bark</a>. Try mixing it up with different fillings like other nuts and dried fruit. This candy is a great option for low-sugar diets.</p> <h2>8. Be-My-Valentine Cookies</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/be-my-valentine-cookies">heart-shaped cookie</a> dipped in chocolate is a crowd-pleasing Valentine's dessert. Decorate them however you want and try different kinds of chocolate for dipping. These cookies are fun to make with kids!</p> <h2>9. Pink Peppermint Marshmallows</h2> <p>Want a treat that is classically pink? Look no further than these fluffy, <a href="http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/candy/pink-peppermint-marshmallows.html">homemade peppermint marshmallows</a>. They make a great gift for a non-chocolate eater, or a hot cocoa lover.</p> <h2>10. Chocolate Cherry Chocolate Chunk Fudgy Brownies</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/12/chocolate-cherry-chocolate-chunk-fudgy-brownies.html">fudgy brownies</a> are everything you want in a Valentine's treat: Chocolate? Check. Red cherries? Yep. Decadent? You bet! They're chewy and rich and will melt any chocolate lover's heart.</p> <h2>11. Rice Krispie Treat Pops</h2> <p>If you're sick of chocolate this time of year, make these <a href="http://www.rachaelray.com/recipes/rice-krispie-treat-pops">easy and fast pops</a>. Simply whip up some Rice Krispie treats, let them set, and then cut them out with a heart-shaped cutter. Add an optional stick and get creative with the decorations.</p> <h2>12. Chocolate-Mint Thins With Candy Cane Crunch</h2> <p>If you have a Girl Scout cookie lover in your life, try making these homemade <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017031-chocolate-mint-thins-with-candy-cane-crunch">chocolate-mint thins</a> with the embellishment of red candy cane. These are great out of the freezer, too!</p> <h2>13. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries</h2> <p>A sweet that is simple but delicious and oh-so-Valentine's appropriate. Decorate your <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chocolate-covered-strawberries-recipe">chocolate-covered strawberries</a> with all sorts of things: white chocolate, sprinkles, cookie crumbs, or crushed nuts.</p> <h2>14. White Chocolate Valentines</h2> <p>Ditch the usual disposable card this year and make an <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/white-chocolate-valentines-recipe.html">edible valentine</a> out of white chocolate! Have fun embellishing with different colors of chocolate and write a fun message. Your loved one can enjoy the sentiment and eat it too!</p> <h2>15. 3-Ingredient Valentine's Day Fudge</h2> <p>This <a href="http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2014/01/valentines-day-mm-fudge-3-ingredients.html">Valentine's fudge</a> is very easy to make with only three ingredients: white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and M&amp;Ms. You can change it up by using different M&amp;Ms &mdash; peanut butter would be especially good.</p> <p><em>What special treats will you make for your Valentine this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-homemade-treats-your-valentine-will-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sweet-16-delicious-and-healthy-frozen-yogurt-and-ice-cream-recipes">The Sweet 16: Delicious and Healthy Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home (and 5 to Buy)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dessert Homemade sweet eats treat Valentine's Day Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:31:14 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1285773 at http://www.wisebread.com 50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bath-soap-gifts-Dollarphotoclub_60635657.jpg" alt="bath soap gifts" title="bath soap gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I love bath and body products. Unfortunately, they can also be quite expensive. Not to fret, my friends, because the web is teeming with amazing DIY products you can mix together using very basic, natural ingredients. In fact, you'll see quite a few components of these recipes repeated throughout this list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>And the vast majority of these projects would also make wonderfully cheap (and impressive) gifts for birthdays and other holidays.</p> <h2>1. Copycat Bomb</h2> <p>Do you love those Lush bath bombs? So do I. This <a href="http://www.creatorsocial.com/index.php/butterball-dupe-cocoa-butter-bath-bomb-diy/">Butterball copycat recipe</a> is full of skin-softening cocoa butter. The fizz comes from the baking soda and citric acid.</p> <h2>2. Flower Bomb</h2> <p>For even more luxury, make <a href="http://www.lovelygreens.com/2014/04/how-to-make-natural-rose-lavender.html">Rose, Lavender, and Oat Bombs</a> filled with dried flower petals. If you're having trouble finding molds, check your local craft store with the decoupage or soap making items.</p> <h2>3. Soap Cupcakes</h2> <p>Or get fancy with your bath bombs and decorate by <a href="http://www.otionsoap.com/blog/2012/08/09/crazy-for-cupcakes/">piping on soap</a> like frosting on a cupcake!</p> <h2>4. Sweet Bubble Bath</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.brit.co/picks/treat-yoself-to-this-5-minute-diy-bubble-bath/">Vanilla Honey Bubble Bath</a> takes only five minutes to put together. It should be used immediately (there's an egg white in the mix), but you can keep any excess in your refrigerator.</p> <h2>5. Bath Oil</h2> <p>Here's a <a href="http://www.bcliving.ca/garden/homemade-aromatic-bath-and-massage-oils">dual-purpose bath oil</a> that works equally well as massage oil. Your biggest decision is what base oil to use. I'd choose coconut oil because it helps with sunburns to psoriasis.</p> <h2>6. Bath Melts</h2> <p>I had never heard of <a href="http://happymoneysaver.com/homemade-relaxing-bath-melts/">Bath Melts</a> before researching this article. It's a similar idea if you're looking for a bath oil, just in solid form. The blogger who made this batch shared that it took $3 total to make a whopping 15 melts.</p> <h2>7. Sleepy Bath Salts</h2> <p>Unwind from your day with these <a href="http://www.naturallyloriel.com/nighty-night-diy-bath-salt-recipe/">Nighty-Night Bath Salts</a>. Epsom salts are made of magnesium chloride, which is thought to be a sleep aid. If you don't have the specific essential oil blend, you can use a combination of lavender, marjoram, mandarin, cedarwood, sage, etc.</p> <h2>8. Bubbling Salts</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.savingwithshellie.com/homemeade-gift-lavender-bubble-bath-salts/">Lavender Bath Salts</a> also bubble with the addition of scented body wash. You can customize by using your favorite essential oils.</p> <h2>9. Detox Soak</h2> <p>We all need a cleanse every now and again. This <a href="http://www.triedandtrueblog.com/ginger-detox-bath-soak/">Ginger Detox Soak</a> is just what the doctor ordered, combining the detoxifying power of epsom salt, ginger, and apple cider vinegar.</p> <h2>10. Beard Oil</h2> <p>I'm making my husband this <a href="http://bumblebreeblog.com/2014/05/26/druff-beard-oil/">Beard Oil</a> for Christmas &mdash; but don't tell him! Apricot oil is the base for this mix, but vitamin E helps soften those dry beards in a flash. The rest is up to you with the essential oil mix, though I'd certainly recommend the tea tree for its antimicrobial properties.</p> <h2>11. Beard Balm</h2> <p>Whiskey and woodsmoke. Those are two rustic scents that take this <a href="http://transientexpression.com/diy-gift-beard-balm/">beard balm</a> to a whole new level of manly. Beyond the scents, the rest is a combination of shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and almond oil.</p> <h2>12. Shave Soap</h2> <p>This <a href="http://soapdelinews.com/2013/08/natural-diy-lanolin-shaving-soap-recipe.html">Natural Shaving Soap</a> recipe has a base of lanolin and shea butter for extra moisturizing power.</p> <h2>13. Shave Cream</h2> <p>If you prefer a cream, try this <a href="http://www.mommypotamus.com/natural-homemade-shaving-cream/">simple shave blend</a> made with coconut oil, shea, jojoba, and liquid castile soap. Whip using a hand or stand mixer for that creamy texture.</p> <h2>14. Makeup Removing Scrub</h2> <p>Skip the harsh face soaps at the store and whisk together this <a href="http://liagriffith.com/seasalt-face-scrub-and-coconut-oil-makeup-remover/">Sea Salt Scrub and Coconut Oil Makeup Removing Combo.</a> The creator of this project packaged hers in some adorable glass containers with crisp labels.</p> <h2>15. Salt Soap</h2> <p>Here's a three ingredient <a href="http://apumpkinandaprincess.com/2014/05/pink-himalayan-salt-grapefruit-soap.html">Himalayan Salt Grapefruit Soap</a> combination that uses a goat's milk soap base for a twist. Alternatively, you can use shea butter soap base, and both can be found at your local craft store.</p> <h2>16. Coffee Soap</h2> <p>My husband would enjoy this <a href="http://www.essentiallyeclectic.com/2014/01/cinnamon-hazelnut-coffee-soap.html">Rustic Cinnamon Hazelnut Coffee Soap</a>. You mix together the soap bases to start and then fold in the cinnamon, hazelnut, and coffee grounds to give the whole thing texture.</p> <h2>17. Foot Scrub</h2> <p>Wow. <a href="http://soletshangout.com/diy-sugar-cookie-foot-scrub-a-valentine-to-yourself/">Sugar Cookie Foot Scrub</a> sounds so good, I could eat it. The ingredients all come from the kitchen (brown sugar, white sugar, olive oil, and vanilla extract), so I actually could swallow it with no repercussions.</p> <h2>18. Bath Paint</h2> <p>Here's a great gift for those kids on your list: <a href="http://www.meetthedubiens.com/2010/11/bubble-bath-paint.html">Bath Paint</a>! Just mix together bubble bath, cornstarch, and food coloring.</p> <h2>19. Bath Crayons</h2> <p>Or you could make them these <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-bath-crayons/">Bath Crayons</a> using a bar of white soap, powdered colors, and ice cube molds. Melt, mix, and set.</p> <h2>20. Bubble Gum Bath</h2> <p>Kids need bubbles, too. This <a href="http://www.smartschoolhouse.com/diy-crafts/bubble-gum-bubble-bath/2">Bubble Gum Bath</a> is made from unscented castile soap, vegetable glycerine, and some scented oil. Far fewer ingredients than in the brands you'll find at the store.</p> <h2>21. Lotion Bars</h2> <p>You won't see parabens, chemicals, or formaldehyde in these <a href="http://adelightfulhome.com/how-to-make-chocolate-peppermint-lotion-bars/">Chocolate Peppermint Lotion Bars</a>! The cocoa butter gives this blend a richness that's perfect for the winter months.</p> <h2>22. Lotion Cubes</h2> <p>I store my <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">DIY Lotion Cubes</a> in the fridge to keep them fresh. The mix of shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax melts on contact with your skin.</p> <h2>23. Slow Cooker Bar</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.missinformationblog.com/crockpot-lotion-bars/">Slow Cooker Lotion Bar</a> recipe uses the same ingredients as the rest, but can be made conveniently in your crock pot.</p> <h2>24. Tea Lotion</h2> <p>Your beverage-loving friends will enjoy this <a href="http://www.freshpickedbeauty.com/2012/12/wild-chamomile-body-cream.html">Wild Chamomile Lotion</a> made with loose leaf tea. Melt together the herbs and oils in a double boiler until combined. Then strain before beating into a smooth lotion.</p> <h2>25. Healing Salve</h2> <p>Give some TLC to super dry skin with this herb-infused <a href="http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/01/how-to-make-a-healing-salve/">Healing Salve</a>. The instructions yield quite a few jars of the stuff, and I think recycled baby food jars would make perfect, low-cost packaging.</p> <h2>26. Basic Lip Balm</h2> <p>This <a href="http://threadedtogether.com/2013/12/02/small-batch-homemade-lip-balm/">DIY Lip Balm</a> takes only three ingredients to make: Coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils.</p> <h2>27. Kool-Aid Balm</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yF6yXnmXXSc"></iframe></p> <p>Essential oils will not give your balm any taste. So, if you want a delicious blend like this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF6yXnmXXSc">Easy Flavored Lip Balm</a>, you can use drink mixes (like Crystal Light or Kool-Aid).</p> <h2>28. Natural Flavor Balm</h2> <p>For a more natural experience, <a href="http://www.brambleberry.com/Webpage.aspx?WebpageId=69&amp;CategoryId=148">choose flavored oils</a> over essential oils in the basic balm recipe.</p> <h2>29. Tinted Lip Balm</h2> <p>Or add some <a href="http://www.littlehomesteaders.com/2013/08/homemade-tinted-lip-balm/">beet root powder</a> to make a tinted balm for more special occasions.</p> <h2>30. Deodorant</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/5-minute-homemade-deodorant-review.html">5-Minute Homemade Deodorant</a> will change your life. It's made with baking soda, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, and essential oils. If you need a stronger stench-fighter, choose clove or lavender, which have high antimicrobial properties.</p> <h2>31. Edible Mud Mask</h2> <p>Well, not real mud. This <a href="http://www.essentiallyeclectic.com/2013/04/diy-edible-mud-mask.html">Edible Mud Mask</a> would make an awesome snack if you don't use the whole thing on your face. It's made with banana, Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, buttermilk, lemon juice, and honey.</p> <h2>32. Shampoo</h2> <p>I love coconut milk, so I think I'd also love this <a href="http://www.goddesslife.com/homemade-coconut-shampoo-recipe">Coconut Milk Shampoo</a>. Combine the nourishing liquid with castile soap and vitamin E, then lather, rinse, and repeat.</p> <h2>33. Conditioner Bar</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/ingredients/how-to-make-your-own-diy-conditioner-bar/">spill-proof conditioner bars</a> are perfect for travel or giving as gifts. You'll need some special ingredients, like incroquat, but you can find most easily online at a low price. Rub the bar on your hair to condition and rinse.</p> <h2>34. Deep Conditioner</h2> <p>You likely have the ingredients you'll need for this <a href="http://sortofhomemade.com/homemade-deep-conditioning-treatment/">Deep Conditioner</a> in your kitchen. Mix banana, yogurt, avocado, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar together for a treat your hair won't soon forget.</p> <h2>35. Strength Conditioner</h2> <p>This protein-packed <a href="http://www.indianbeautyspot.com/2013/10/natural-protein-conditioner.html#_">conditioning treatment</a> is made with egg, olive oil, and some of your normal daily conditioner. It helps promote healthy hair shafts and good growth.</p> <h2>36. Shine Spray</h2> <p>Cool! <a href="http://soapdelinews.com/2014/07/diy-shine-spray-leave-conditioner-recipe-dry-damaged-hair.html">DIY Shine Spray</a> is made with Argan oil and agave nectar. Spritz on hair, especially parched and damaged ends, to moisturize. I love how the blogger made her own labels for the containers.</p> <h2>37. Hair Dye</h2> <p>File this one under interesting! You can use coffee to <a href="http://www.indianbeautyspot.com/2013/09/natural-coffee-hair-dye.html">dye your hair</a>. If you already use a natural dye, like henna, you can use coffee to enhance the resulting color. It's all-natural, so why not give it a try?</p> <h2>38. Sugar Scrub</h2> <p>I like my scrubs to be invigorating, and that's exactly what this <a href="http://www.classyclutter.net/2014/02/lemon-lime-sugar-scrub.html">Lemon-Lime Scrub</a> is about. The sugar granules exfoliate dry flakes to reveal softer, smoother skin in their place.</p> <h2>39. Salt Scrub</h2> <p>This copycat recipe is for my favorite scrub on the market: Lush's <a href="http://www.pantryspa.com/beauty-remedies/face-remedies/diy-lush-ocean-salt-scrub-homemade-recipe-lush-copycat/">Ocean Salt Scrub</a>. It feels/tastes sort of like a margarita on your face with the lime juice, salt, and vodka. Yum.</p> <h2>40. Shower Jelly</h2> <p>Another Lush-inspired DIY, this <a href="http://www.rookiemag.com/2013/07/diy-shower-jellies/">Shower Jelly</a> is so much fun to give and get. You mix soap with gelatin (or agar-agar) and food coloring. Set in your fridge overnight until firm.</p> <h2>41. Scrub Bars</h2> <p>Or take this idea to solid form with these <a href="http://www.adventuresincoupons.com/diy-sugar-scrub-bars">Sugar Scrub Bars</a>. Mix together shredded soap, sugar, coconut oil, essential oils, and even a little food coloring for pizazz before pouring into molds.</p> <h2>42. Chest Rub</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/10/homesteading-natural-vapor-rub.html">Natural Vapor Rub</a> &mdash; made by mixing together olive oil, beeswax, and essentials oils &mdash; has worked wonders for my family. It's very similar to Vicks, and I've been able to make different strengths for my daughter as well as for myself and my husband.</p> <h2>43. Wash and Toner</h2> <p>Here's a wonderful spa set &mdash; <a href="http://www.cleanmama.net/2014/01/diy-oil-cleansing-method-skin-toner.html">DIY Face Wash and Toner</a> for oily skin. Once you stir together your concoction, store in a travel container that you can find at most drug or box stores.</p> <h2>44. Face Wipes</h2> <p>Use some microfiber clothes for gentle cleansing <a href="http://happymoneysaver.com/gentle-cleansing-facial-wipes/#_a5y_p=1489439">Face Wipes</a>. You'll soak and store them in a solution of water, coconut oil, and essential oils. To wash, pop them in a pillowcase so you don't lose any in the shuffle.</p> <h2>45. Face Mist</h2> <p>Do you have sensitive skin? This <a href="http://thechicsite.com/2014/04/18/face-mist-for-sensitive-skin/">Face Mist</a> is for you! Combine chamomile tea, essential oil, vegetable glycerine, and water in a spritz bottle. You can make your own label for gift giving, too!</p> <h2>46. Soap-Free Cleanser</h2> <p>Here's yet another Lush copycat recipe. This time it's for <a href="http://lovelygreens-shop.com/copycat-recipe-for-lush-angels-on-bare-skin/">Angels on Bare Skin</a>, a popular soap-free cleanser. The power comes from Kaolin clay, which you can purchase easily on sites like Amazon.</p> <h2>47. Sore Muscle Rub</h2> <p>Friends and family who struggle with aches and pains will love this <a href="http://www.organicauthority.com/health/make-your-own-essential-oil-sore-muscle-rub.html">Homemade Muscle Rub</a>. It's all natural and uses the power of eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, camphor, and rosemary to massage pains away.</p> <h2>48. Bronzing Bars</h2> <p>These <a href="http://wellnessmama.com/9368/bronzing-lotion-bars/">DIY Bronzing Bars</a> contain natural SPF to keep your glow pretty and safe year-round. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready?ref=seealso">Homemade Sunblock and 6 Other Non-Toxic Skincare Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>49. Shampoo Bar</h2> <p>Have you ever tried a shampoo in soap form? Once you do, you might never go back. Try this <a href="http://frugallysustainable.com/2011/12/shampoo-bar-soap-recipe/">Tea Tree Shampoo Bar</a> as an entry into the new way of looking at your hair care. Note: You'll need lye for this recipe, which you can purchase at chemical stores and online. By the time you're done with your soap, none of the chemical should remain due to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponification">saponification</a>.</p> <h2>50. Nail Polish</h2> <p>Yup. You can mix together <a href="http://saynotsweetanne.com/2014/quality-diy-nail-polish/#_a5y_p=1756649">your own nail polish</a> using bases you can buy online (or cheap top coats, etc. you can find at the drug store). To create, use glitter or even eyeshadow as pigment mixed with your base. Get creative and make a custom blend your friends will love.</p> <p><em>Will you be making any of these or other homemade gifts this year?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F50%20Amazing%2C%20Easy%20DIY%20Bath%20and%20Body%20Products.jpg&amp;description=50%20Amazing%2C%20Easy%20DIY%20Bath%20and%20Body%20Products" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/50%20Amazing%2C%20Easy%20DIY%20Bath%20and%20Body%20Products.jpg" alt="50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-50-unique-housewarming-gifts-for-less-than-20">Almost 50 Unique Housewarming Gifts for Less Than $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-lotion-recipes">Homemade Lotion Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesomeness-of-sodium-bicarbonate-27-uses-for-baking-soda">The Awesomeness of Sodium Bicarbonate: 27 Uses for Baking Soda</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Health and Beauty bath body gifts Homemade lotion soap Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1267186 at http://www.wisebread.com 16 Easy, Delicious and Homemade Holiday Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/christmas-treats-gift-509805851-small.jpg" alt="christmas treats gift" title="christmas treats gift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Instead of fighting the crowds at the mall and hunting for bargains this holiday season, why not take to your kitchen? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a>)</p> <p>Forget that dry soup mix and heavy-as-a-rock fruitcake &mdash; homemade, edible gifts can be a real treat, not to mention being very economical. Stop fretting over what to get your growing list of recipients, and surprise them with some of the following tasty (and easy!) gifts.</p> <h2>1. Infused Alcohol</h2> <p>Infused spirits make beautiful gifts, and who doesn't like getting booze? Luckily, less is more when it comes to these flavorful drinks, and there's no need to go top shelf, so you can give an alcoholic gift without breaking the bank. <a href="http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/05/diy-vs-buy-how-to-infuse-spirits-at-home-flavored-vodka-or-rum.html">Follow these guidelines</a> and pour into bottles or jars with a label.</p> <h2>2. Quick Pickles</h2> <p>This crunchy, salty, and tangy snack is to sure to delight. <a href="http://greenvalleykitchen.com/quick-pickles/">Quick pickles</a> are quick (&hellip;yep), easy, and you can change up the flavors depending on your mood. Use saved jelly jars and attach a nice label for a special gift.</p> <h2>3. Coconut Macaroons</h2> <p>Macaroons are pretty, really tasty, and so easy to make. Make traditional <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/first-place-coconut-macaroons">coconut macaroons</a> for Hanukkah or Christmas gifts, and package them in plastic gift bags with red ribbon. Make them extra special by dipping them half-way into melted dark chocolate.</p> <h2>4. Seasonings</h2> <p>Spice mixes are convenient, but the store-bought varieties can be lackluster and often contain unnecessary fillers and chemicals. Whip up some <a href="http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/more-healthy-salad-dressing-recipes-italian-and-thousand-island">Italian seasoning</a> or <a href="http://blog.lexienaturals.com/2013/01/homemade-cajun-seasoning.html">Cajun seasoning</a>, garnish with a pretty label, and give as flavorful gifts. Note that these recipes (and others) are easily doubled and tripled.</p> <h2>5. Matzo Candy</h2> <p>An easy and delicious treat for Hanukkah, simply dip squares of matzo into melted chocolate, and sprinkle with crushed peppermint or nuts for a festive looking candy. Unless you want to <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/toffee-matzo">get fancy about it</a>!</p> <h2>6. Peppermint Patties</h2> <p>This refreshing after-dinner candy is a crowd-pleaser, and <a href="http://www.ohnuts.com/blog/homemade-peppermint-patties-recipe-2/">fun to make</a>. Dress them up by sprinkling crushed peppermint candy on top while the chocolate is still warm. Put a dozen in a small, parchment paper-lined tin for excellent gifting.</p> <h2>7. Spiced Nuts</h2> <p>Spiced nuts are a favorite snack around the holidays, and with so many variations, they make a perfect treat for a loved one. Try these roasted <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sugar-and-spice-nuts">Sugar-and-Spice Nuts</a> or <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Jessicas-Spiced-Pecans">Jessica's Spiced Pecans</a>, and present them in a pretty mason jar.</p> <h2>8. Granola</h2> <p>Homemade granola is economical, easy, and healthier than store-bought varieties. It lasts for a couple of weeks in an airtight container and can be made in lots of flavors, so it's a great gift. Start with a <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30062-basic-granola">basic recipe</a> and mix up the nuts and fruit for variety. Pistachio and cranberry is especially festive!</p> <h2>9. Dog Treats</h2> <p>Have friends or family who love their dog above all else? Wish them a happy holidays by bringing a <a href="http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dog-nutrition/Recipe-Ideas-for-Quick-and-Healthy-Homemade-Dog-Treats#link3">tasty homemade gift</a> to their pooch!</p> <h2>10. Fudge</h2> <p>The varieties of fudge are endless, and as long as you follow the directions, it's also easy to make. Impress your loved ones with some <a href="http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/2012/11/white-chocolate-fudge-with-cranberries-and-pistachios/">White Chocolate Fudge With Cranberries and Pistachios</a>, <a href="http://www.lemonsforlulu.com/nutella-caramel-pretzel-fudge/">Nutella Caramel Pretzel Fudge</a> (or maybe a little of each!).</p> <h2>11. Syrups</h2> <p>Try making a homemade syrup for an easy but impressive homemade gift. Save pretty bottles and fill them with <a href="http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/homemade-vanilla-coffee-syrup/">Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup</a> (for your friends addicted to Starbucks) or <a href="http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2013/08/homemade-raspberry-syrup/">Homemade Raspberry Syrup</a>, which goes beautifully on top of pancakes.</p> <h2>12. Preserved Lemons</h2> <p>For your friend and family that love to cook, give them a beautiful jar of <a href="http://www.daringgourmet.com/2014/04/08/how-to-make-preserved-lemons-moroccan-middle-eastern-cooking/">preserved lemons</a>. This easy-to-make jarred fruit adds vibrancy to lots of dishes. Don't worry if they aren't ready in time &mdash; just put an &quot;open by&quot; date on the tag, and they'll have a tasty treat that keeps giving for months later.</p> <h2>13. Truffles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.rachaelray.com/2014/02/easy-chocolate-truffles">Truffles</a> are easier to make than they seem, and they are so decadent and delicious that they make a fantastic gift. Plus, you can roll them in different ingredients (cocoa powder, coconut, nuts, the list goes on) and they make a lovely display.</p> <h2>14. Olive Tapenade</h2> <p>Save that nice-looking mustard jar to fill with your very own <a href="http://www.amuse-your-bouche.com/black-olive-tapenade/">homemade olive tapenade</a>, and the recipient will be more than impressed. Include recipe cards with ideas for using the condiment for a nice touch.</p> <h2>15. Popcorn</h2> <p>Instead of giving a giant Christmas tin full of artificially flavored popcorn, make your own gourmet version. <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/popular-ingredients/popcorn-recipes">Popcorn</a> is easy to make and you can flavor it in lots of ways. Make a few kinds and put them each in pretty bags with ribbon and a label.</p> <h2>16. Chocolate-Dipped Everything</h2> <p>Want to make something look and taste fancy? Dip it in chocolate. Try melting dark, white and/or milk chocolate and dipping strawberries, pretzels, shortbread, or anything else that sounds good to you. Make them even prettier by then dipping into finely chopped nuts, holiday sprinkles, or sea salt.</p> <p><em>What edible gifts do you whip up for the holidays? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-great-diy-gifts-for-geeks">15 Great DIY Gifts for Geeks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-gifts-you-can-bring-to-a-holiday-party">7 Budget Gifts You Can Bring to a Holiday Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cool-diy-christmas-gifts-for-the-under-6-crowd">5 Cool DIY Christmas Gifts for the “Under 6” Crowd</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment DIY edible gifts gifts holiday gift guide Homemade Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:00:10 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1263566 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easiest, Cheapest Way to Make Delicious Dumplings http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-cheapest-way-to-make-delicious-dumplings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easiest-cheapest-way-to-make-delicious-dumplings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dumplings-454269923-small.jpg" alt="dumplings" title="dumplings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you compare restaurant or store bought dumpling prices to making your own, there's just no contest. Dumplings are one of the cheapest entrees you can make at home (50-60 wrappers cost about two dollars), and the flavor possibilities are endless. Plus, they freeze great and don't require defrosting, so you can have a quick homemade meal at a moment's notice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-scrumptious-quick-homemade-rolls?ref=seealso">How to Make Scrumptious, Quick Homemade Rolls</a>)</p> <p>Don't let the folding part of dumpling making scare you off. It's simple and once you get the hang of it, you'll be a dumpling making machine. Just follow these steps to dumpling heaven, and get creative with the fillings.</p> <h2>Dumpling-Making Demystified</h2> <p>You'll find recipes below, but let's start with an overview of the process.</p> <h3>1. Prep Your Filling</h3> <p>There are tons of options for filling your dumplings. Below are two recipes to get you started. Mix up the ingredients and set aside.</p> <h3>2. Set Up Your Assembly Line</h3> <p>Making your dumplings will go much faster if you have everything at arm's length. You'll need:</p> <ul> <li>dumpling or wonton wrappers</li> <li>two wet and wrung out tea towels or paper towels</li> <li>a small bowl with water</li> <li>a pastry brush (optional)</li> <li>a teaspoon measuring spoon</li> <li>a parchment-lined baking sheet</li> </ul> <h3>3. Fill Your Dumplings</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/WB-dumps-in-processs.jpg" /></p> <p>Take out two dumpling wrappers and cover the remaining wrappers with a damp towel. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of each wrapper and brush the edges all around with water using a pastry brush or your finger. Use just enough water to make the edges damp. Do not overfill your dumpling!</p> <h3>4. Fold Your Dumplings</h3> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/aE82VmqPYj4" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You can fold your dumplings by simply folding them in half and pressing around all of the edges to make a seal. Press firmly so that the filling will not leak out during cooking. If you'd like to get more creative, there are a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE82VmqPYj4">number of methods</a>.</p> <h3>5. Repeat</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/WB-dumps-on-tray.jpg" /></p> <p>As you fold your dumplings, place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth so they don't dry out. Repeat until the filling runs out. If you are going to freeze your dumplings, you can place them in the freezer now.</p> <h3>6. Freeze Your Dumplings</h3> <p>If you aren't taking these straight to the stovetop, freeze them for later. Here's how.</p> <p>Lay finished dumplings out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to an hour, or until frozen. Freezing them individually this way means they won't freeze together into a big clump of dumpling.</p> <p>Transfer dumplings into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Use veggie dumplings within a month, use meat dumplings within about two weeks.</p> <p>Cook straight from the freezer according to the directions below, but add 2-4 minutes to cooking time.</p> <h3>7. Cook Your Dumplings</h3> <p>You can steam or pan fry your dumplings.</p> <p>To steam: Lightly grease your steamer and bring a couple of inches of water in the bottom to a boil. Steam for about ten minutes.</p> <p>To pan fry (the most delicious way to cook dumplings): Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook dumplings, 8-10 at a time (don't overcrowd the pan) until browned on the bottom, 3-5 minutes. Add about &frac14; cup of water and cover with lid, leaving a crack for some steam to escape, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until all water has evaporated, or 3-5 minutes.</p> <h3>8. Eat Your Dumplings</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/WB-finished-dumps.jpg" /></p> <p>Serve with dipping sauce, recipe below.</p> <h2>Dumpling and Sauce Recipes</h2> <p>Now that you've got a handle on the process, here are some delicious dumpling recipes to get you started. Note: These recipes are easily halved or &mdash; even better &mdash; doubled.</p> <h3>Chicken and Corn Dumplings</h3> <p>Makes 30-35 dumplings</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>35 dumpling or wonton wrappers, defrosted if frozen</li> <li>⅔ lb ground chicken (or ground turkey or lean pork)</li> <li>&frac34; cup frozen or fresh corn</li> <li>2 garlic cloves, minced</li> <li>3 T chopped spring onions</li> <li>1 T chopped Thai basil (or Italian basil)</li> <li>1 T hoisin sauce</li> <li>2 t rice vinegar</li> <li>salt and pepper</li> <li>water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <p>Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Follow the process for forming the dumplings outlined above.</p> <h2>Edamame and Butternut Squash Dumplings</h2> <p>Makes 30-35 dumplings</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>35 dumpling or wonton wrappers, defrosted if frozen</li> <li>1 &frac12; cups shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions</li> <li>1 cup frozen or fresh butternut squash, diced small and cooked</li> <li>2 T chopped spring onions</li> <li>1 T grated fresh ginger</li> <li>2 garlic cloves, minced</li> <li>2 t chopped fresh mint</li> <li>1 t soy sauce</li> <li>1 t sesame oil</li> <li>juice of 1 lime</li> <li>salt and pepper</li> <li>water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <p>Combine squash and edamame in a food processor and process until edamame is in medium-to-small sized chunks (or mash together in a bowl by hand). Add other ingredients and mix well. Follow the process for forming the dumplings outlined above.</p> <h3>Dipping Sauce</h3> <p>Makes enough for one batch of dumplings.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>&frac34; cup soy sauce</li> <li>2-3 T Sriracha (optional, add soy sauce to compensate)</li> <li>1 T sesame oil</li> <li>2 spring onions, chopped</li> <li>juice of one lemon or lime</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <p>Combine ingredients in a bowl. Serve with dumplings.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite dumpling recipe? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-cheapest-way-to-make-delicious-dumplings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">14 Cool Uses for a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home (and 5 to Buy)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dumplings freeze ahead Homemade Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1220889 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/20140304_125546.jpg" alt="dog" title="dog" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We love our pets. So much so that in 2013, Americans spent a whopping <a href="http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp">$55 billion</a> on their furry friends. Almost $14 billion of that went to pet supplies and over the counter (OTC) medicines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-use-your-credit-card-to-pay-for-these-10-things?ref=seealso">10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make For Pennies</a>)</p> <p>But here's the thing: While recently browsing my local pet supply stores, I found that quite a few of the products contained ingredients that are less than healthy for my dog and the price tag was often pretty steep. I decided to do some price and quality comparisons and found I could make the following products healthier and cheaper than comparable products I could buy at retailers:</p> <h2>1. Toys</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-toy-453747615-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>There are dozens of DIY toy ideas online. My pup loves to solve puzzles, especially when treats are involved. These puzzle toys usually involve hiding a treat inside a compartment that my dog has to figure out how to open. <a href="http://www.shop.nina-ottosson.com/all-products/dogtornado-plastic-level-2.html">Nina Ottosson</a> has a great line of puzzle toys for dogs and I have a few of them that cost me about $40 each. But I could have made this <a href="http://www.babble.com/pets/10-brain-games-to-challenge-and-entertain-your-pet/">similar toy</a> for my pup using a muffin tin and tennis balls for $5, and he also would have had the tennis balls to bounce around the house!</p> <h2>2. Bedding</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-suitcase-506978391-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Have you seen the price of dog beds lately? I recently went to my local Target to get my little guy a new cozy nap space, and small dog beds (of rather boring design and fairly low quality) cost about $25. Instead, I picked up a small vintage suitcase at my local thrift store that is in great shape and lined it with a plush towel and squishy pillow for less than $10. Try these inspiring <a href="http://www.zippypaws.com/blog/?p=321">designs for suitcase pet bedding</a>.</p> <h2>3. Wet Wipes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-wipes-178831582-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>In between his baths, I like to wipe down my pup with wet wipes, particularly after a long walk in the park or a stroll around the streets of New York. Most commercial wipes have chemicals in them that I'd rather not put on my pup's skin (particularly if he's likely to lick his paws!), so I looked into organic wipes that typically cost about $10. Instead, I followed Southern Wag's DIY recipe and made a better quality, healthier wipes for less than $3.</p> <h2>4. Shampoo</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-bath-178807773-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>My dog has dry skin and it causes him to become very itchy and uncomfortable. My vet recommended a prescription shampoo that cost (brace yourself!) $21 for an 8 ounce bottle. However, I didn't want my little guy to be uncomfortable, so I bought it for him. Unfortunately it didn't do much good and it also had a medicine-like scent. I started poking around online and found this <a href="http://soapdelinews.com/2014/05/diy-natural-homemade-dog-shampoo-recipe-neem-oil.html">recipe for dog shampoo</a> by Rebecca Dillon. Total cost for the same 8 ounces was $12, it worked like a charm, and it smelled so much better!</p> <h2>5. Treats</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-treats-164932166-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Quite a few commercially-sold pet treat products are made in China and after <a href="http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/productsafetyinformation/ucm295445.htm">the contamination issues</a> earlier this year, I started to investigate other options I could make at home. I found a recipe for these <a href="http://www.spoonforkbacon.com/2011/09/bacon-bark-sticks/">bacon bark sticks</a> that are a snap to make and cost only $3 for two dozen tasty treats.</p> <h2>6. Surface Cleaner</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-cleaner-464898385-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Just like humans, pets get sick from time to time. I wanted a cleaner to clean up after my pet that is non-toxic and safe on home surfaces. I could buy <a href="http://www.drugstore.com/method-all-purpose-surface-cleaner-pink-grapefruit/qxp83527?catid=184283">a cleaner by Method</a> for $4 per bottle. I found this <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Pet-Stain-Cleaner-30885507">recipe for a petsafe surface cleaner</a> online that costs less than $1 to make from items I already have in my home and it did the trick!</p> <h2>7. Tummy Remedy</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-sleeping-484404711-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Dogs have very acidic digestive systems. It's a holdover from their wolf ancestors who needed to break down the food they caught in the wild. The build-up of acid overnight caused my pup's tummy to often be upset first thing in the morning. My vet wanted to put him on an antacid medicine that would cost $10 month. While I would have been happy to spend that, I wanted to check out natural remedies that might help. After a little investigation, I discovered that a teaspoon of mashed sweet potato once a day calmed his stomach and eliminated the problem for a grand total of $1.50 per month at my local grocery store. I buy the sweet potatoes, boil them, and mash them myself.</p> <p>While I love to make DIY items as much as possible, there are some pet Items that I do buy commercially, and you should too. For example, flea and tick medicine are essential to your pet's health and to your home's health as well. Once you have a flea or tick issue in your home, it is very difficult to remedy. While I've tried all-natural flea and tick medicines for my dog, they've never worked that well, so I stick with commercial brands. I also have a professional groomer do his nail clipping and teeth brushing to ensure that they're done properly.</p> <p>Because you can't put a price on pup beauty.</p> <p><em>(Please note that you should never give human medicine to your pet; always consult your veterinarian before giving any medication to your pet.)</em></p> <p><em>Please share your favorite DIY pet products in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-fit-while-hanging-out-with-animals">8 Ways to Get Fit While Hanging Out With Animals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-magic-marker-money-safe">The Magic Marker Money Safe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle animals cats DIY dogs Homemade pet food pet supplies pets Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 1190936 at http://www.wisebread.com