Thrifty ways to save

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Well it’s Matt. My whole life I have been the type to try and figure things out for my self. I love trying to make things that many think is too hard. Well about 6-8 years ago I was watching a show on making cheese, and I thought – I can do that. So I searched the internet and found a kit to make cheese from home. It is actually pretty easy to make mozzarella cheese. Every now and then I break out the kit I bought 8 years ago and make a pound of cheese for pizza or cheese on tomatoes, or just for fun.

DIY - mozzarella cheese

DIY – mozzarella cheese

To make one pound of cheese you need one gallon of milk. We had two different milks that were both about half full that I added together. They were close to expiring and I had just bought new milk. So in the pot they went.

Here is how:

You need a cheese making kit. The one I have had I have made about 6 pounds of cheese and I haven’t even used 1/4 of the ingredients. It keeps well in the back of the fridge.

One cheese making kit - Rennet, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid, Mild Lipase Powder, Flaked salt

One cheese making kit – Rennet, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid, Mild Lipase Powder, Flaked salt

The one I used is from Leeners – $24.95
Leeners Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit
And there are many others to choose from as well.

Follow the instructions but basically you need:

  • pot large enough to hold a gallon of milk,
  • One Gallon of milk (whole milk is best – cheese needs high fat content)
  • One cheese making kit – Rennet, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid, Mild Lipase Powder, Flaked salt
  • large spoon with holes for draining
  • 5 small bowls to have everything pre-measured
  • a large microwave safe bowl
  • thick rubber gloves (I used 5 pair of latex gloves but the thick rubber kitchen gloves would work too, clean)
  • one cooking thermometer

 

Start by pouring 1 (one) gallon of milk into the pot. Whole milk is best cheese is better with higher fat content. I have even made it from raw milk at Sarah’s parents house, they are dairy farmers. Some risk involved with raw milk.

Slowly warm the milk on low to medium heat. Slower the better, scalded or burnt cheese probably doesn’t taste that good.

While the milk is warming start preparing the additives

In one small bowl add

1/2 tsp of Rennet with 1/4 cup of distilled (I use tap) water

Next bowl :

1 tsp calcium chloride liquid mix with 2 Tbs of distilled (or tap) water

Next Bowl:

Measure 2 tsp of citric acid powder

Next Bowl:

Measure 1/2 tsp of Flaked salt. To be added while stretching the cheese in the last process

Next Bowl :

Measure 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of mild lipase powder. Optional if you are vegetarian.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Milk with Citric Acid, curd forming

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Milk with Citric Acid, curd forming

Closely watch the temperature of the warming milk. Add the citric acid while it is warming. Stir the citric acid for 30 seconds.  You will begin to see the milk separate and form curds. Continue to  stir once every minute or so. Once it reaches 88 degrees F add the calcium chloride mixture and the lipase powder. Stir the mixtures slowly for 30 seconds. Let the mixture continue to warm to 105 degrees F.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - 105 degrees, Citric Acid, Rennet, Mild Lipase Powder

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – 105 degrees, Citric Acid, Rennet, Mild Lipase Powder

Once 105 degrees F has been reaches cover and turn off the heat. Let the whey and curd mixture sit at 105 F for 15 minutes to allow the curd to fully develop. The curd is the white clumps and the whey is the greenish clear liquid in the pot.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Cover and let sit with heat off

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Cover and let sit with heat off

After 15 minutes gently take out the curd with the slotted spoon. Put the curd into your microwave safe bowl. Try and remove as much curd from the whey as you can.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - After 15 minutes remove the curd, place into microwave safe bowl

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – After 15 minutes remove the curd, place into microwave safe bowl

Gently press the curd mixture with your gloves on. Pore the whey back into the pot. Press and pour this step until not much is being squeezed out.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - press out as much whey by hand

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – press out as much whey by hand

Now place the bowl with the curd mass into the microwave. Heat on High for ONE minute. Remove and press the mass to try and remove any more whey liquid as you can. Repeat this pressing and pouring till no more whey can be removed – about 30 seconds or so.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Place in microwave, cook on high one minute

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Place in microwave, cook on high one minute

Place back into the microwave for ONE minute again. Remove the cheese and press and pull the cheese similar to making taffy. Add the remaining flake salt while you are pulling and stretching the cheese. The more you pull the firmer and stringing it will become.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Continue to squeeze the whey out, place in microwave again for one minute

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Continue to squeeze the whey out, place in microwave again for one minute

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Add the Flaked Salt and stretch and pull cheese

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Add the Flaked Salt and stretch and pull cheese

This is where I stopped microwaving it, but for a more firm cheese repeat the microwave step again.

At this point the cheese is very hot and this is where thick gloves comes in handy. I wore 5 latex gloves on each hand and it was still VERY hot.  Stretch and pull the cheese just like taffy makers. The more you pull and stretch it the more stringing and firm it becomes. For a softer cheese only pull and stretch for a short time, maybe one or two pulls then form your cheese ball.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Stretch and Pull the cheese and work the curd together

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Stretch and Pull the cheese and work the curd together

Form the cheese the way you want, place in an air tight container. In the fridge it is good for about one week, and in the freezer for about a month.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Form a tight cheese ball with the flat of your palm and press your fingers upward on the bottom middle of the cheese mass.

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Form a tight cheese ball with the flat of your palm and press your fingers upward on the bottom middle of the cheese mass.

If the cheese is too soft to grate, place in the freezer to firm the cheese for grating. ENJOY!

How do you like your cheese?

 

DIY - Mozzarella cheese, Tomato, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, Basil

DIY – Mozzarella cheese, Tomato, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, Basil

 

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Yesterday while folding laundry with my 4 year old, she asked me …. why do you  shuv’s (shove) all the blankets in the pillow case?

I told him… cause I have kids.

He giggled and then I explained to her, that it helps mommy keep all the parts to the bed together.  That way in the middle of the night when one of them wets the bed or vomits all over, all I have to do is grab a bundle from the closet.

To do this just fold your sheets as normal, but then tuck them neatly inside the pillow case and fold it over.  You now have a nice little bundle to keep you organized.

Now if you are Martha Stewart then your closet looks like the photo below…. well since I am NOT Martha I will spare you the photo of my closet.  Sure these neat little bundles get placed in there nice and cute. That is till one of my 4 children decide to play hide and seek and empty the shelves in less than 2 seconds flat.  Then when I tell them to clean it back up, they look at me like I am a slave driver.  They get them back in the closet …. but if you come to my house open the door slowly as most the time they are shoved in there, looking all jacked up… and ready to  pop out like a jack-in-the- box wound to tight.   Ahhhh kids are fun… Some day when I am old I will have a pretty linen closet….lol

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Easily organize a Hectic bathroom, #bathroom, #chaos, #organizing, #hometips, #homecare, #toothbrushes, #kidsbathroom, #kidsbathroomorganize, #thriftytimesavers, #thriftymakeovers

Easily Organize a Hectic Bathroom Space – Thrifty Tip

It is really hard to get a good picture in a dark bathroom!  Try it sometime!  It is almost as difficult as trying to get my kids to put their toothbrushes away each time they brush their teeth.  Is that the way it is at your house too?  I swear, if they aren’t on the counter in the way, they are on the floor after being knocked off of the counter!  Not anymore, now they each have a spot and no one has excuses for not being able to find theirs anymore!

You will need:

Easily organize a Hectic bathroom, #bathroom, #chaos, #organizing, #hometips, #homecare, #toothbrushes, #kidsbathroomorganize, #kidsbathroom,  #thriftytimesavers, #thriftymakeovers

In that package is Scotch mounting tape.  It is awesome, and works great for a project like this.  It will hold up to 5 lbs, so that is great for a small cup and toothbrush.  The sharpie is for writing what goes inside the cup, alphabet stickers or vinyl would also work for this.

I began by writing my kids’ names on the cups. I had bought a 4 pack and have 3 kids, so my extra cup is labeled “toothpaste and floss”.  That has a habit of disappearing around here too.  I realize it is hard to see, but those blue cups do have a name written on them.

On the side of the cup without the name written, take a small piece of the mounting tape and attach it to the back of your cup. There should still be something over the tape on the outside, this will allow you to rub the tape and make sure it is attached firmly.  If your cups are larger than mine, you may want to go with a smaller strip on the top and the bottom.  If you are using a small cup, one strip will be plenty.

Make sure your cupboard door is clean, and then stick the taped side of your cup onto the inside of the bathroom cupboard door.  Now you are ready to fill it up with whatever is designated to go inside of the cup!

Easy enough, and helped cut down on the chaos in the mornings with kids rushing to make sure they are ready to get ready before the bus comes!  It is a thrifty, quick way to solve a problem that I am sure isn’t just a problem at our house!

Easily organize a Hectic bathroom, #bathroom, #chaos, #organizing, #hometips, #homecare, #toothbrushes, #kidsbathroom, #thriftytimesavers, #kidsbathroomorganize,  #thriftymakeovers

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sewing patches on a scout shirt, #sewing, #tutorial, #diy, #savingmoney

Sewing Patches On a Scout Shirt – Its Easier Than You Think!

If you are like me, and have a scout, you have likely had a pile of patches collecting because they are a bit of a hassle to sew them on.  They take time, patience and you have to have some knowledge with sewing.  Fortunately if you know what you are doing with a sewing machine, you can actually whip through them pretty quickly!  The most troublesome part will be getting out your sewing machine!  Sound good?

You will need

Sewing machine

Thread

Patches to be sewn on

Pins

Sewing scissors

Begin by pinning your patches on.  I think the reason the task is so daunting for me anyway, is that I want them to be straight and attached well so that they don’t fall off.  Plus, my sewing skills are not great and if it is on something like that everyone can see my mistakes!  Ok, now that you know that I stress about really silly things… ;) on to the tutorial!

sewing patches on a scout shirt,  #tutorial, #tips, #diy, #sewing,#savingmoney

Once your patches are pinned on, and your machine is thread with the correct color of thread, put your scout shirt in your sewing machine.  Make sure that you line up the patch as close to the edge as possible.  The great thing about scout patches is that most of them seem to have a rim around the outside that if lined up right, your machine will sort of use as a guide.  Be sure to hold your patch and straighten the fabric of the shirt as you go along to avoid any puckers.

Another bonus is how stiff they are.  That helps keep them in place somewhat. The biggest hassle with sewing multiple patches on is having to change your thread repeatedly.  If you are like me and procrastinated, be sure to sew all of your patches that are the same color on at the same time so you aren’t changing when it isn’t necessary.

Don’t forget when you are sewing, to begin and end by locking your stitches.  That just means to go back and forth with your machine so that the thread doesn’t come out, that would be frustrating!

You want to stay as close to the edge as you can without going off.  Be sure to sew slowly and hold your patch and shirt so that it is steady.

Once your patch is sewn on, you can trim your threads as close to the patch as possible so there isn’t a strand hanging.

sewing patches on a scout shirt,  #tutorial, #tips, #diy, #sewing,#savingmoney

A new patch that I just recently learned about (I have been serving in my son’s scout troop for a while) are called Segment patches.  They are so fun!  You start with a circle patch that may differ depending on your council.  That is sewn on on the right side of the shirt under the pocket.  Leave it up far enough to still allow the shirt to be tucked in.

Once you have your round patch, each month the boys that participate get a small segment patch that is sewn on in a circle around the new patch.  You continue to sew those around each month and there are so many different segments for different things!  Seasonal, pine wood derby, service projects.  There are tons!  Not only are they cute, but then the boys that maybe haven’t earned any awards ares still being acknowledged and getting something for participating in the program.

So, are you into scouting?  Are segment patches something you do?  I have never seen them and I am interested in how many troops are using them!

sewing patches on a scout shirt, #sewing, #tutorial, #tips, #diy, #savingmoney

sewing patches on a scout shirt, #tutorial, #tips, #diy, #sewing,#savingmoney

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lego minifigure balloons, #thriftypartydecor, #legoparty, #minifigurines, #balloons, #thriftyparty, #thriftycrafts, #craftsforkids, #legomovieparty

Lego Minifigure Balloons, Thrifty Lego Party Decorations

These lego minifigure balloons were a huge hit at my son’s birthday party!  Everyone loved them!  I colored the faces on, using the Lego Movie characters as my inspiration.  (This one in the photo above is supposed to be Wildstyle).  With a few simple supplies, you can make some minifigure balloons for your little one’s party too!

You will need

Yellow balloons (we got a package at the dollar store)

Sharpies

someone to blow up your balloons.

I am not very artistic, and was pleasantly surprised in how many of  my minifigure’s faces turned out.

lego minifigure balloons, #thriftypartydecor, #legoparty, #minifigurines, #thriftyparty, #balloons, #thriftycrafts, #craftsforkids, #legomovieparty

lego minifigure balloons, #thriftypartydecor, #legoparty, #thriftyparty, #minifigurines, #balloons, #thriftycrafts, #craftsforkids, #legomovieparty

I opened up a photo of the characters on my phone and set it beside me so I could see what they looked like.  My kids were able to tell me who each one was, which was impressive to me!

If you are doing them just as lego minifigures and not based on the movie,you could come up with faces of your own to draw on.  If you are going to tie them to something, you could also draw the faces on upside down.  Get creative and have fun!

lego minifigure balloons, #thriftypartydecor, #minifigurines, #legoparty,  #thriftyparty, #balloons, #thriftycrafts, #craftsforkids, #legomovieparty

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 Blokz Candles

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Filed Under: DIY, Ideas for Entertaining kids, Thrifty Craft Ideas, Thrifty Crafts for Kids, Thrifty ways to save

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