What do chocolate dipped strawberries and the WNWN challenge have in common? Not a whole lot, but I wanted to show off my handiwork (which did use several recycled items), and I am sure you are all dying to hear more about my new WNWN lifestyle!
First, the strawberries! My family have some dear friends who's son just got married. Being smart people they wanted to put together a nice open house for the newlyweds without breaking the bank, so they asked friends and family to help make refreshments. When I was asked to make some chocolate covered strawberries; I was thrilled to help! I have always wanted to try this, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I went to this great WEBSITE that gave me all the instructions, and when our friends drops off the supplies I enlisted my dear hubby and a great friend to help. Because we were going to be dipping 16 pounds of strawberries, and they had to be portable, I went to Costco and asked for several empty cardboard boxes (that we lined with wax paper) to put them in. My other frugal idea was to put the melted white chocolate that I was going to drizzle over the dark chocolate in an empty mustard bottle. The opening in the lid was the perfect size to make a thin line. I have seen it done with a plastic bag with a corner cut off, but I never have good results ( I always end up with the bag "farting" - please, forgive the crude remark- and leaving an ugly mess); plus I needed two cups of melted white chocolate to cover all of the strawberries; that a lot to shove in a Ziploc bag! The mustard bottle worked beautifully, by the way! Here are the "fruits" (forgive the pun) of our labor:
I don't know who was prouder my hubby or me!
Now, on to the WNWN challenge. It has really hit me lately how important frugality is. I have a couple of friends who have lost jobs this week. It can happen to anyone of us at any time; it is important to be prepared! I am on day ten, and I have to say, I have become a reusing junkie! I lay awake at night thinking of ways to maintain my family's lifestyle as cheaply as possible. It has been extra challenging this last week because my children have been home for spring break! So, I have had to be very creative to keep them entertained and not break the bank. This week:
1. Saved an empty cereal box and used it to make new inserts for two reusable grocery bags that have lost their plastic inserts.
2. Made refried beans in the crock pot. It made enough to serve for two meals.
3. Taught my daughter how to sew a darling skirt (but that is another post for later) for cheap.
4. Took my little boys to our local library to participate in "A Wimpy Kid" party, check out DVDs, and books.
5. Discovered episodes of Bewitched and Gilligan's island on Hulu.com; which my children loved (and I did not have to rent any movies).
6. Made a double batch of homemade pancake syrup to get us through Spring Break week (also made a double batch of pancakes and waffles and froze half for hot breakfasts this week).
7. Made "soap on a rope" for both of the bathrooms.
8. Poured baking soda and vinegar down the garbage disposal to kill the funky smell (Pour one cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal. Pour one cup vinegar over the soda. Let it bubble for 5 minutes. Pour HOT tap water from the faucet down disposal for 2 - 3 minutes and run the disposal for a minute. This method also works great on clogged drains.)
9. Used dinner leftovers for lunches the next day.
10. The only item I went to the grocery store for this week is milk. We used up leftovers and I cooked out of the freezer and pantry.
11. Saved the plastic containers that the strawberries came in to make Easter baskets for my kids.
We survived (okay, I survived) a whole week of Spring Break with only minor skirmishes between siblings, and the kids seemed content to create their own fun. All in all I think this week has been a success.