Substitute to Save

By Katina Anderson

We are planning a little excursion for our family and we leave soon, so I just have a few quick tips for you this month.  Some unique ideas of ways things you already have on hand can “double” for another purpose.  So without further adieu, here are a few ways to use what you have on hand to stretch your cents!

  • Did you know that shampoo can double as hand soap?  If you have an extra bottle or two that you aren’t using and you run out of hand soap, give it a try!
  • Foaming hand soap dispensers can be refilled with a small amount of soap and mixed with water to create more foaming hand soap.
  • Do you hear of people who save their Ziploc bags, but think it’s too much work to wash and dry them?  Why not freeze them?  I love this tip. When you freeze baked goods, breads, fruit, etc. and take it out to use it, save the bag and pop it back in the freezer.  The next time you are freezing a similar item, refill it and freeze it again. I bake a lot for my family, and we went through a lot of freezer bags until I found this tip!
  • Have extra baby cereal?  Did you know that it can be substituted as part of your flour in pancakes, muffins, and other baked goods?  In my recipes I usually use 3-4 parts flour to 1 part infant cereal. An added health benefit is that you get the extra vitamins and minerals that are in the fortified infant cereal.
  • Do you remember the “Great Carrot Explosion of 2009”?  Randy F. brought a truck bed full of carrots to church to give to whoever could use them.  Our family ended up with 48 pounds of carrots, and I didn’t know what on earth I was going to do with them.  I think we gave some away, but I decided to see how I could creatively incorporate carrots into our diet.  I went to and other recipe sites like it and searched by ingredient and found a whole host of unique carrot recipes.  We had carrot soup, carrot muffins, multigrain vegetable muffins, healthy carrot cookies, carrot cake, carrot soufflé, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Carrots, roasted carrots, carrots and dip, even a carrot yeast bread, and an absolutely delicious recipe for golden carrot buns.  It was a fun adventure and we found some new family favorites as a result!
  • Do you have an extra-large stash of a particular item in your home?  How could you “re-purpose” it and use it in a different way than it was intended?  I’d love to hear your ideas! Until next month…


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