Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thinking Outside the Box

Over the last few months of my coupon adventures, I have accumulated quite a nice little stockpile of items. Some of those items are things I use all the time and some are things I thought I would try….especially since they were very cheap and many times free.

So what do you do with all those things? Well….there is the usual things. Often times I will donate them to needy families or organizations that could use my extra items. Sometimes I am given a tax receipt so I can write those donations off of my taxes….other times I get the good feelings that come from helping others.

Other items, I have learned to use in different ways. For example, did you know that shampoo works great as body wash? It does! It’s basically the same thing so why not try it. I can get shampoo a lot cheaper than body wash.

How about using hair conditioner as shaving cream? Just smooth it on your legs and shave. The feeling it leaves behind is wonderful and luxurious….even nicer than the real shaving cream!

I use dishwashing liquid as laundry soap….just use a couple of tablespoons per load. You can also use the “grease cutting” type on stains. Shampoo also works well to cut greasy stains on clothing.

We use dishwashing liquid in pump bottles for hand soap as well. Just mix 2 or 3 parts water to 1 part soap and shake it up good….the amount of water depends on the consistency you like. You can also put about the same portions in the foaming pumps after you’ve emptied them.

Ok…here’s the last one and probably the funniest one. I had a stockpile of panty-liners. I had gotten them free so I was thinking of ways to use some of them. Did you know they make great bandages for large wounds? Just use them in place of gauze bandages and use tape to hold in place. They can be trimmed to fit any size you need and that way they won’t look so obvious. There should be a few in every first-aid kit in your home or car!

So, I hope you look at your stockpile in a whole new light and start thinking outside the box as to what uses you may find for the items on hand.

Have a great day!

Mavis D.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Million Dollar Chocolate Cake

This is a "Million Dollar" Chocolate cake because it's incredibly RICH! You'll need a full glass of milk when having a slice! We recently made this cake for my sons birthday and although it has chocolate icing to go with it, we think it would work well with a nice Coconut Pecan frosting as well.

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups baking cocoa
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare one 9x13 baking pan or two 9-inch round pans. A bunt pan can also be used.

Place all ingredients into mixing bowl except the water. Mix well for about 2 minutes, medium speed works great. Mix in hot water....don't worry if it looks thin, it's supposed to be that way. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Million Dollar Chocolate Icing

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup real butter, melted
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 t vanilla extract

After melting the butter, stir in the cocoa. Add the powdered sugar and milk by alternating between the two until it's all mixed in well. Stir in vanilla. This makes about 2 cups of icing. If you'd like to make it a little runny to pour over a bunt cake just add a little more milk but not much.

You can make this a mix by putting all the dry ingredients in a jar or bag and having it ready. Then just add the liquids when your ready.

Now, get out a tall glass of ice cold milk and enjoy!