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My Frugal Life: Good to the Last Drop

Times are definitely tough for many of us and there is little or no cash for treats and little luxuries. At our house to make belt tightening a bit more fun, we have invented a game; "Good to the Last Drop". To "play" the game, the contestant must come up with a usable idea to stretch our resources to the limit. It is amazing how creative we have become. Below is an example of some of our ideas See what YOU can come up with!

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  1. Good to the Last Drop Milk: This is the one that started it all, hence the name. When the jam jar, honey jar, molasses jar or peanut butter jar is empty, fill part or all the way with cold milk, depending on size of jar. Close tightly and give it a bit of "cocktail" shaking. The result is a deliciously flavored drink that is good for you too!

  2. Good to the Last Drop Salad Dressing: Same idea as above except with empty mayo, mustard or ketchup jars. It could also work with salsa or other dressings. We just add oil, vinegar and seasonings to the bit left in the jar and shake. Nothing is wasted, those last bits clinging to the sides of the jars blend into the dressing and pour right out.

  3. Good to the Last Drop "Ice Cream": This was thought up because the juice from canned fruit always went to waste. Freeze an un-opened can of pears, peaches or mandarin oranges. When frozen solid, remove from can by opening both ends and pushing. You may need to thaw it a little first before opening. Put in your blender with a good dollop or two of plain yogurt.
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    I've never tried it with flavored but it could work too. Blend until slushy but not melted. It makes 4 servings for under a dollar and tastes like a delicious frozen sherbet, slushy or blizzard. And not one drop of that precious juice is wasted!

  4. Good to the Last Drop Conditioner: When you are at the end of the bottle, open the top and add a bit of water. Pour conditioner over hair as usual and work in well. Let it sit a few minutes, then rinse. Got every drop and soft hair too! If you remember the first conditioners, like Tame or White Rain, we always mixed with water before pouring over our hair; but if you remember THAT, then don't admit your age, LOL!

  5. Good to the Last Drop Vegetable Stock: Whether from canned veggies, or ones you have steamed or simmered yourself, don't toss the water! We keep a tupperware in the freezer and add the liquid as it becomes available. Then about once every 2 weeks to a month, we use it to make a yummy soup, adding whatever veggies we have at the moment. We have made onion, tomato, zucchini, chicken veggie, minestrone and beef veggie. And not a bit of that vitamin rich water was wasted.

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Well, I think you get the idea. Some kinds of peels from well scrubbed veggies can go into soups and stews. Sugar bowls can be rinsed and the water added to a pot of tea. Scrapings from the biscuit batter bowl can be added to the roast drippings to make the gravy. And well washed and scrubbed citrus peels can be made into delicious candied peels! These are all ideas that we have tried and enjoyed, maybe you will too!

By PlumCottage from on the beach in NJ

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August 7, 20120 found this helpful

Yes we used to do this, more of us should get back to doing this. Unfortunately we are such a throw away society.

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After reading this, I'm going to rethink my "empty" bottles and jars of condiments.

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August 19, 20120 found this helpful

What great ideas ! Shows some real "country sense" my grandmother would just love it! Thanks so much for these wonderful ideas - Barbara W.

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August 19, 20120 found this helpful

I've been doing most of these things for years. too, except for using the juice from canned fruit (which I seldom buy). When I make potato salad, I always "rinse" out a couple of "empty" salad dressing bottles with white vinegar, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or lemon juice, depending on my whim, and pour it into the mix of seasonings and chopped onions and celery.

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Then I add the cooked, cut potatoes and toss. Finally I add some mayonnaise. My potato salad is never quite the same from time to time, because the salad dressings and seasonings always vary, but it's always delicious!

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August 19, 20120 found this helpful

These are such good tips. I've been adding water to conditioner, shampoo, dish detergent, etc. but I've never thought of these ideas. Thank you PlumCottage

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August 20, 20120 found this helpful

Love the hints - already do most of them myself. I use the syrup to sweeten kool-aid, add to smoothies, homemade popsicles, etc. I also like to save the liquid from marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, etc, to use in making homemade salad dressings. Leftover pieces of bread/crackers are a favorite.

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I make french toast, croutons, bread puddings, homemade stuffing, homemade bread crumbs, seasoned bread crumbs, homemade shake-and-bake coatings, bread crumb cookies, toppings for casseroles, use the crumbs as thickeners in casseroles and gravies, etc. I love knowing that someone else tightens their belt as much as we do!

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August 20, 20120 found this helpful

These are great hints and it is good to know there are many of us! By the way I have also used bread crumbs to make pancakes, crumb cake, brown betty and to thicken soups and stews, pasta sauce (red) and of course to stretch meat loaf and burgers.
I load up when my grocer marks the day old "artisan" breads, wrap them in extra (saved/recycled) bread bags and freeze.

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September 3, 20120 found this helpful

I have always done these great tips and it may inspire others who now rinse out bottles for recycling anyway to rethink what they are dumping out! Good reminders!

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