French Toast

This recipe comes from Frugal Families and is a family favorite in our home.  I’ve been known to add a little nutmeg or chocolate chips from time to time.  But, the best part about this recipe is that it can easily be halved, if needed, or doubled & frozen to provide many quick breakfasts for the future.   I really love using thick cut homemade bread for this, but have used store bought in a pinch.

 

French Toast

French toast is great for freezing ahead of time, and reheating for quick and easy breakfasts. This recipe calls for homemade bread but store bought is fine. I always make French toast when I have some stale bread because it’s dried out a bit and absorbs the flavored egg/milk mixture beautifully.

2 loaves homemade Bread
2 dozen eggs
2 Cups Milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon Cinnamon

Slice bread and allow to sit for an hour or two, combine all ingredients except bread, and mix till frothy. Heat up a skillet on medium and spray lightly with cooking spray. Dip bread into mixture, letting it soak up some of the egg mixture, turn over & repeat.  Cook on both sides till golden brown. Place on a paper towel to cool, the paper towel will absorb the the extra moisture. Place single layer on cookie sheet and place in freezer till frozen. Transfer to an airtight container, or Ziploc baggy. To reheat, either place in microwave for approximately 1 minute or in a toaster or toaster oven. Serve with butter and syrup, or Jam.

~Steph’s Frugal Tips – 07/31/09~

I’m always talking about my love for frugality and finding ways to save money, so I thought I might start sharing a few random tips that I’ve learned through the years each week. Of course, I wouldn’t know half as much as I do without Frugal Families. I hope these tips will help someone else as much as they have me through the years.

Tip #1:

Double duty – if you can make something pull double duty, do it. Such as, if you make mashed potatoes for dinner but have some left over, make potato cakes.

When all of your coffee grounds are gone, reuse the container to store something else in such as cookies, pretzels, chocolate baking chips, corn meal, flour, etc. The new plastic containers work great in your pantry or in your freezer. You’ve already paid for the container so why not use it instead of sending it to the landfill.

Tip #2:

You know how when you get done with a jar or peanut butter there’s still quite a bit around the sides and bottom? Scrape it out! Take your scraper and get every last bit you can. There’s usually enough for at least 1, if not 2, more sandwiches in there. Same with mayo containers, jam/jelly, etc. Again, you’ve already paid for it so why not get your money’s worth.

Tip #3:

Think that tube of toothpaste is really empty, or there’s not much lotion left in the bottle that won’t pump any more? Think again. Cut open that tube of toothpaste and you’ll have a few more uses out of it- you’re only supposed to use a pea-size amount anyway. As for the lotion, cut open the bottle and scrape it out. I usually have at least about 1/4 of a bottle each time and do this. Put the lotion into a smaller container that you can dip your fingers into to get the desired amount. Lotions are not cheap – definitely use it all up when you can!

Tip #4:

Let’s talk laundry and dish detergent. Did you know that you can use half (or less) of the recommended amounts and still get the same results? The amounts recommended on the bottles can actually cause quite a bit of build up over time in our appliances which is where a lot of the repair bills come from.

Got really dingy clothes, don’t add extra detergent or OxyClean, add Borax (you can usually find it in your laundry isle at the grocery store). It works just as well (if not better), and costs a whole lot less!

Tip #5:

While we’re on the subject of laundry, make sure that you always wash a full load, and wash in cold water. You don’t need hot water. Even your whites can be washed in warm water. If you have super dingy clothes, you can put them on a soak cycle or let the washer fill up and agitate, but stop it before it gets to the rinse cycle and let it stand for about 15 to 20 minutes, then reset it to go back through the wash cycle again.

Also, make sure to check your articles of clothing for stains before putting them in the dryer. Your dryer will set stains in and make it very hard to get them out. (We’ll talk about dryer usage another day).

This post is linked to Frugal Friday. There’s lots more frugal tips there so go on over and check it out!

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A Day In the Life Of Frugality

 

Today has been a beautiful spring summer day!   I can’t believe how mild the temps have been for July!  God has truly provided us with some wonderful days!  It’s not too hot to be outside for long, and the kids are loving it!   It’s been so nice to have the windows open and feel the gentle breezes blowing through the house.   This is definitely a welcome change from the heat and humidity!  There’s also the added bonus of no AC running today!  A welcome respite on our electric bill!

I have been baking today which is using electricity, but I’m taking advantage of the hot oven and I’ve baked:

Homemade brownies
Bread
Bacon wrapped tenderloin 
Garlic potatoes
Homemade crescent rolls (from the freezer)

My other frugal endeavors today consist of 1 load of clothes washed using my homemade laundry detergent and they have been hung outside to dry in the nice breeze.    It’s frugal and they smell so crisp and clean!  And if you’ve never tried homemade laundry detergent, you need to!  The savings are unbelievable and it works wonderfully!

I’ve also made extra of the tenderloin.  Some will be for leftovers, and some will either go into another dish right away or in the freezer, most likely in the freezer for now.   It pays to plan ahead.  I’ve posted about planning a baking day, and the same goes for main courses.  Cook once and eat 2 or more times!  It makes those days when cooking dinner seems impossible a little easier to handle because you’ve already got something ready in the freezer.  All you need to do is a spend a few minutes thawing it out and throwing into a simple dish.  Tada!!  You can have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes!

As for other frugal acts today, while they may seem like they make little difference,  they add up over time.  I didn’t have any errands to run today, so we just stayed home, saving gas and wear and tear on our vehicle.  We also had all of our meals from home (Brian takes his lunch), so no unnecessary spending was done.  My menu has been planned for the week so there is no need for us to eat out.  This saves us a huge amount of money!  Just think, even when our family of 5 goes to a fast food burger place, it costs us between $20-$30, depending on where we go and what we order.  If we did this once a week that would be $80-$120/month or $960-$1440/year!! 

Another way to save some quick money on your weekly grocery run is to stop using or cut down your use of paper towels/napkins.  Use dish towels/rags when working/cleaning in the kitchen instead of grabbing paper towels.  If a roll of paper towels costs  approximately $1/roll (forgive me if I’m off, I haven’t bought any in ages) and you use about 8 rolls/week, that’s $416/year!  Will using more dish towels add a lot to your already growing laundry pile?  Not really, you might add 1 extra load every 4 to 6 weeks, unless you’re just really messy!  You can save even more by using cloth napkins in place of paper napkins.   

Also, make sure that you use up any and all leftovers.  If you can’t use them before they will go bad, freeze them!  Save them for a future meal!

There is really no limit to the ways that you can save money.  You’re only limited by what you’re willing to do and how far you’re willing to go.   If you really want to make you money stretch further, then just rethink how you do EVERYTHING, how much you use at one time of certain items, and make it your new goal to not waste anything!   You can find tons more information at my favorite site, Frugal Families.   I’ve learned more there than I could even try to put into a post here!

My favorite saying actually comes from the depression era:  Use it up, make do, or do without!  In other words, waste not, want not. 

Crescent Dinner Rolls

 

As promised, I’m posting my recipe for the crescent dinner rolls. The original recipe also came from my friend Tammy at Frugal Families, but I modified it a bit and we like it much better this way.

This is another very easy bread recipe. They’re easy to make, and they freeze well! Just freeze after rolling them up, and then pull out the desired amount about 1-1/2 hours or so before dinner time (depending on the temp in your house). They thaw quickly and rise quickly. I love keeping these in my freezer to use when I can’t/don’t want to spend all day in my kitchen. I hope you enjoy these.

Crescent Dinner Rolls

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup honey
1 stick butter, melted
4-1/2 to 5 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs yeast
3 eggs
1/2 stick butter, softened
  1. Pour honey & butter in mixing bowl; add hot water and stir well.
  2. Add 2 cups of flour, salt, & yeast; mix on low. Beat in eggs 1 at a time on medium speed until well incorporated. Add remaining flour and mix well.
  3. Place dough in well greased bowl and let rise until doubled in size. Divide dough into thirds. Roll each third into a 12-inch circle. Spread each circle with softened butter. Cut each circle into 16 wedges. Roll each wedge from large end to point. Place point side down on baking sheet; let double in size.
  4. Bake at 375* for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown. You can brush tops with butter to soften if you want.

If you want to freeze these, freeze after rolling up. Do not let rise again. To thaw, pull out amount desired, place on baking sheet, and let thaw and double in size. This will take about an hour or so, depending on the temp inside the house. Bake as directed above.

If you like this recipe, you might also like:
Basic Frugal White Bread
Easy Yeast Rolls
Crepes

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Mmmmmmm!! Homemade Frugal White Bread!!

Homemade Bread 9
There is nothing like homemade bread to bring a family together, or at least my family! LOL As soon as that wonderful, yeasty smell starts wafting from my oven, I suddenly have 3 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, and a husband all just standing around waiting for the bread to make its grand appearance after baking! It’s a good thing that baking bread is one of my very favorite things to do in the kitchen! I am so glad that I decided to learn the art of bread making several years ago! Of course, it got even better when I got my Kitchen Aid mixer – my favorite small appliance! It makes kneading a lot easier since the only kneading that the dough needs is when dividing the dough into 2 loaves for the second rise.

Today, I thought I would share my recipe for white bread. I got this one a long time ago at Frugal Families. I even thought to take pictures to show you the progress! It’s very simple and easy to make, and oh so delicious!

Basic Frugal White Bread

This white Bread does not take any special ingredients to make, so it both Frugal and easy to make.

2 cups warm water
5 T white sugar or honey
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup oil
5-6 cups flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water until bubbly(about 5 minutes). Mix in salt and oil.

Work in the flour until dough no longer looks wet. Knead on a floured surface until smooth. (If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, you can actually skip this step.)

Place in a well oiled bowl, turning to coat dough with oil. Cover and allow to rise until doubles, about 1 hour.

Homemade Bread 1

Punch dough down. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead again.

Homemade Bread 2

Divide in half. Shape into two loaves and place in well oiled loaf pan.

Homemade Bread 3

Allow to rise for another hour.

Homemade Bread 5

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Loaves with be golden brown and sound hollow when done.

Homemade Bread 6

This recipe can also be used for rolls and soft breadsticks. You can substitute whole wheat flour for some of the flour if you prefer.