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  • in reply to: Homemade Yogurt #444525

    Here is my tried and true method for making homemade yogurt, no special equipment needed. I used store bought milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole, which ever you prefer).

    I heat 2 quarts of milk just to the boiling point and then allow it to cool to about 115 degrees. Pour one 10 gram packet of yogurt starter in a bowl and add about 1/2 cup of the milk that is at 115 degrees. I buy the yogurt starter at my local health food store.

    I have always used Yogourmet freeze-dried yogurt starter. It’s kind of expensive (about $5 for 6 packets). You can also substitute one cup of plain yogurt with active cultures for the dried yogurt starter.

    I would use my own homemade yogurt in place of the yogurt starter when I had it available. I have also tried purchasing store-bought plain yogurt to use in the place of the yogurt starter, but it didn’t create as firm a yogurt as using the freeze-dried starter. Once the starter is dissolved, poor the bowl of starter/milk mixture into the rest of the milk that is still at about 115 degrees.

    I have used several methods to make the yogurt. At one point, I had a Yogourmet yogurt maker. though it was very easy with the yogurt maker, i hated the space it took up in my kitchen.

    when i discovered that i could make yogurt in canning jars and a cooler, i got rid of the yogurt maker. though i didn’t do it, it is probably a good idea to start with sterilized jars that have cooled to room temperature. i just filled quart jars with the yogurt, put them in a cooler, and left them on my counter over night.

    in the morning, i had wonderful yogurt.

    some other thoughts: don’t put flavorings in your yogurt until after the yogurt has set and you have thoroughly cooled it. i never had good results with flavoring my yogurt, but i would be interested in hearing from other who have. i used the yogurt mainly for making smoothies and frozen yogurt.

    also, the lower the fat in the milk you are using, the less firm the finished yogurt will be. i counteracted this problem by adding unflavored gelatin that i added with the yogurt starter. also, once you have made your first batch of yogurt, you can use a cup of your own plain yogurt in place of the yogurt starter to save money.

    search online for Yogourmet’s instruction manual. It will give you a good run down on making the yogurt. The only change would be using jars and a cooler, and it may take longer to set.

    Good luck!

    in reply to: Toner/Astringent #444524

    Thank you for you comments. I have used Melaleuca’s line of luxury skin care products (Sei Bella). I love them, but they are expensive, and I’m required to buy about $80 in products if I want to get their preferred customer price.

    Though I love their products, I really want to pay down a credit card debt and students loans so the Lush Cosmetics probably won’t work for that purpose. I’m looking for inexpensive products to buy or make that will serve my purpose of keeping my skin clean without drying it out severely. After we get a handle on the debt, I will have to try the Lush Cosmetics.

    I’ll have to check on the African black soap. I’ve never seen it. Thank you all for your input.

    in reply to: Toner/Astringent #444481

    Can other members offer the experience using witch hazel as a toner? I’m 45 and prone to breakouts. I’m interested in something that isn’t super drying (for aging skin) but is also deep cleaning to prevent breakouts.

    in reply to: El Torito’s Enchilada Sauce #444392

    Thought I had enchilada sauce, but discovered I was all out. My husband agreed that our enchiladas were better using this sauce than when using the store bought sauce. I won’t need to buy enchilada sauce ever again.

    The ingredients are ones I always have on hand. Three strikes against the store bought version!

    in reply to: Share your Best Fundraiser Ideas #444181

    One more fundraiser and then I’ll stop….I think. Check out The music teacher at our public middle and high schools uses quite regularly to fund her projects. Often, there will be a matching offer so that whatever is donate to the cause is matched requiring us to only have to raise half the amount needed for the project. I have not been closely involved in this fundraising, but she has done it about four times over the past two years. Every project has been fully funded. I took a look at the sight. The matching offers vary by state. There are rules and requirements for funding projects for public schools but field trips was on the list. I’m not sure if this is actually a field trip, but it would be worth a look.

    in reply to: Homemade Soap #444169

    I am interested in making my own soap, but I’m in it for saving money, not necessarily the hobby. We have a credit card bill that crept up on us along with student loans that I want to pay off. I’m looking for ways to reduce our spending.

    My kids (all 9 of them with 5 still at home) love the body wash, but it’s expensive. I spend a lot each month on toiletries. I’m interest in making soap as cost effectively as possible.

    I have a son who has a soap allergy. The only soap that I have found that doesn’t cause his skin to break out in a rash is glycerin soap. I’m not sure what it is that bothers him, but I also have to use unscented laundry soap for him (Super Laundry Sauce, I’m so happy to say, doesn’t bother his skin).

    Does anyone have insight as to what is bothering him in the soap (the glycerin soap is scented so that’s not it)? What is the most cost effective way for me to make soap? Where can I purchase ingredients the most cost effectively.

    Can I make the glycerin soap base from scratch or do I have to buy the melt and pour type? I do have a book on soapmaking but it’s more of a hobby book and doesn’t answer the questions I have here. Thanks to anyone who can offer some help.

    in reply to: Share your Best Fundraiser Ideas #444143

    @xstepmom 341093 wrote:

    What is a penny drive? Do you have to have a permit for a 50/50 raffle, here that’s considered gambling. . .

    A penny drive is just to request that student, teachers, communities members, etc. donate their loose pennies (though we ask for loose change). It’s amazing how much can be collecting. Some people collect change, and look forward to the opportunity to donate it to a worthy cause. It saves them counting and rolling – though the truth is that you can just take it to a bank, and they can dump it into a change sorter. We have even had students go door to door in our community (small town). We can have 50/50 raffles in Idaho (or at least we do it and have never had a problem). The students do it quite often at basketball games.

    in reply to: Share your Best Fundraiser Ideas #444141

    I know I’ve already posted a couple of ideas, but I have another great idea that we have used several times for fundraising. We put the word out that we are looking for items for a charity yard sale. It’s unbelievable how many things are donated. Sometimes we indicated that the price is by donation (whatever the purchaser wants to give) but you do get taken on that by some people. On the other hand, you run across many people who are willing to pay a reasonable price and then give an additional donation to boot. It does take some organization but for very little expense, you have the potential to make a good sum. We made over $2000 for a senior fun night fundraiser all with donated items. Any leftover items can be donated to a local thrift shop.

    in reply to: Share your Best Fundraiser Ideas #444140

    My daughter’s 7th grade class did a chili cook off one year (which she won – go Creamy White Chili)! They made $300+ for disaster relief. I can’t remember now which disaster, but I believe it the major tsunami that occurred several years back.

    They charged for entering the chili and voting on the chili. The students also donated condiments, and we used our school’s kitchen. All the chili was donated so there were no expenses involved.

    in reply to: Share your Best Fundraiser Ideas #444139

    One of the easiest fundraiser ideas, I learned from a good friend. We spend our spare time during the week making up all kinds of goodies for a bake sale. We set up a table on the sidewalk outside of church.

    We put our wares up right before church is out and within about 15 minutes, we are sold out. The thing that is really nice is that, start to finish, the selling part only takes 20 minutes and the work of baking is spread amongst many families. Granted my kids go to a parochial school that is partially funded by the church so it works out well for us.

    Another thing that we do is that we prepare bake sale items in $1 packets (a couple of cookies, a cupcake, some trail mix, etc.). The students sell the items on Fridays during lunch recess. We put it in our school bulletin so parents are aware of it (it’s a pre-K thru 8th school).

    It is very well supported by the students and the parents. We easily make $50 in about 20 minutes (there are approximately 80 students). We live in a small town “where everybody knows your name,” so after school, the students go to businesses downtown and sell whatever may be leftover.

    We also sometimes freeze leftover bake items for the next week.

    in reply to: Drying Herbs #443916

    I have just been chopping my herbs and putting them in a Ziploc bag, squeezing out all the air, and freezing. It seems to work out fine, but I haven’t used fresh herbs a lot. Any thoughts on the method I’ve been using?

    in reply to: Kitchen remodel #443915

    Just a tip on the granite…if you have a small countertop to re-do, I had a contractor quote me $100 for a scrap slab for a 31×24 bathroom countertop I needed to have redone. Unfortunately, I could never get him to follow through with actually doing the job. I ended up having a “friend” tile two countertops without asking the cost. Big mistake!

    Since he was at it, I had him re-grout the walls in the bathroom and shower. By the time he was done, his bill was $2400 and that was just for his labor. I had purchased the tile, sinks, and faucets myself.

    Lesson learned!!

    in reply to: Apple Butter in Electric Roaster? #443914


    I’m a little late since I see you posted this in 2008, but I have made apple butter in an electric roaster. It worked wonderfully and made a huge batch. I was able to put up many jars for my large family.

    I hope you gave this a shot. If not, do try it.


    in reply to: Choco Raspberry Burritos #443913

    These sound amazing. Glad I don’ have to wait until camping to try them.

    in reply to: Newbie Found! #443911

    I’m also addicted to this site, and I also found it by coming across the super laundry sauce recipe. I have made the honey granola (which is absolutely amazing). I also made the chocolate cake recipe mix and combine it with a recipe that I had for red velvet cake that called for a chocolate cake mix.

    I made my son the most amazing red velvet cupcakes for his class to celebrate his birthday. The super laundry sauce works great. I can hardly believe I will be spending pennies on my laundry when before I was spending over $30 per month.

    I am so excited about this site.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)