Make your own coffee creamer
Flavored coffee creamers can be expensive. You can make your own at home for a fraction of the cost. The first reader tip shares a basic liquid creamer recipe and flavored additions. You can shake and store it in a large mason jar.
HOMEMADE COFFEE CREAMER: I must have creamer in my coffee. I can’t stand the taste of plain milk in my morning java jolt. I’m nearly out but didn’t want to spend the money on such a “luxury” if I didn’t have to. So while this does have milk in it, it doesn’t taste like plain milk.
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 cups skim milk
Chocolate Almond: 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon almond extract
Vanilla: 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cappuccino: 1 teaspoon almond extract, 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
Strudel: 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon almond extract.
Chocolate Raspberry: 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup
Measure all ingredients into a 32-ounce container, seal container and shake vigorously. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. — Heather, New York
HOLIDAY THRIFT: I decided that I wasn’t going to spend a bunch of money on junk candy this year. So instead of the marshmallow eggs dipped in chocolate, I took a bag of the generic marshmallows and a bag of chocolate chips. I melted the chocolate chips in a double boiler and stuck a toothpick in each marshmallow. I took a paint brush and painted each one with a coating of chocolate. (Dipping wasted too much.) The kids put sprinkles on them, too. Also, we made Rice Krispies treats and shaped them into an egg shape, dipped some of them and added sprinkles. We usually have a ton of people over, and I make all different appetizers and make myself crazy. This year I simplified. I did a potato bar. I baked about 30 medium potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees with a little olive oil and sea salt. I had bowls of cheese, diced onions, sour cream, bacon bits, chives, and I even cooked a pork butt and did barbecue shredded pork for the potatoes. — Louise, Georgia
SEAM ALLOWANCE: I’ve been using an ice-pop stick to mark my 1/4-inch seam allowance on my sewing machine plate. I found where my 1/4-inch seam allowance is and put a tiny permanent marker (just a tiny dot). Then I did it again a bit higher so I could line up the edge of the popsicle stick along that line. This gives me a sort of “dam” or bumper to ride along with my fabric while sewing. I tape it down with masking tape. I check this popsicle stick often to be sure that it hasn’t shifted during use. I trim the stick a bit so it isn’t too obtrusive on the ends. If the edges of the stick you find are a bit rough or catch your fabric, you can take a pass or two at them with fine-grit sandpaper. Often, without the ice-pop stick running along side of (not under, but alongside of) the presser foot, I would end up weaving along without having a straight seam. This helps me keep it straight. It doesn’t allow me to wander. — Missy, Colorado