Five Frugal Things – Monday, April 8/24

Hello! I needed some inspiration to not only get back to this blog, but to totally rethink how I’m going to blog here. Rather than just posting grocery deals, etc, I want to also add some other interesting content. Hope you’ll like it and return. 🙂 And thanks to Katy at the Non Consumer Advocate for the initial inspiration for this type of post. I love your posts, Katy!

1. Refilling the spray bottles

Well, one bottle in particular. The Mrs Meyer’s lavender room spray bottle that is! My little homemade alternative is not the exact same scent, of course. (In fact, I find that scent doesn’t have enough lavender in it for me!) But, I’m pretty content with my ‘refill recipe’, which is as simple as they come. I add about 40 drops of good lavender essential oil into the bottle, and fill up with cool tap water. I believe distilled water would be an even better option, if you happen to have it. I didn’t, so it doesn’t matter to me! Give the bottle a very good shake before every time you spray it — I also use this very basic spray on our pillows sometimes before bedtime, to help with sleep.

2. Homemade sugar free hot chocolate – And I’ll share the recipe

While trying to reduce our overall caffeine consumption (we’ve hardly had caffeine for years now), we decided that hot chocolate was our favourite! There is still caffeine in hot chocolate or hot cocoa, especially the homemade variety that uses pure cocoa. (Lots of health benefits in cocoa though, so there is that!) We enjoy these often – not every day, but not far off from that. haha

Our Recipe for Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate (Hot Cocoa)

You might need to fiddle around a bit with the exact measurements that will work for your taste and the size cup you have. This works perfectly for mine!

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 heaping teaspoon of xylitol powder (from the bark of a birch tree, apparently and dentists say it is a sweetener that actually strengthens your teeth. I find it tastes just like sugar!)

A few drops of vanilla extract

Milk – regular or plant based, whichever is your favourite kind

Boil some water in your kettle.

Pour the cocoa and xylitol into your mug of choice and give the powders a bit of a stir. Add the few drops of vanilla. Pour in enough boiling water to make a paste when you stir it all together. I find the boiling water helps the cocoa and xylitol fully dissolve. Top up with milk, stir well. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then check and see if it needs additional time to heat up. Every microwave will vary.

3. Oatmeal for breakfast

Nothing fancy here, but I just do the 1/3 cup oatmeal and 2/3 water and then ding it in the microwave for 55 seconds, stir, then 55 seconds more. And out comes a lovely bowl of steaming hot oatmeal! What do you add to your oats in the morning? I’m a flax, nuts and raisins kind of girl – along with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if I have it. And I love a few berries on top rather than the raisins, if berries are on sale that week.

4. Drinking lots of water

We use a Brita filter to filter out any impurities, but I try to sip on water all day long. This is a frugal beverage option, and of course it’s also got a multitude of health benefits. I feel better when I’m well hydrated, that’s for sure.

5. Made a big pot of borsch(t?)

Not sure how you spell it, but I made a gorgeous big pot of borsch(t) (haha) on the weekend and we just finished it up. I use this recipe, which includes a bit of allspice and cayenne. They may sound like unusual additions, but I love the end result! I topped mine with 2% yogurt rather than sour cream. That too is a frugal option, because I always have 2% yogurt around, but never really have sour cream. The yogurt gives it that tangy, creamy taste that I love.

There we have it! The sun is out, and of course today is the much awaited ECLIPSE DAY! Hope you get a chance to see it – safely, of course.

xo Christina

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