Quick Meals with Hamburger Patties

Purchase ground beef in bulk for the best price.  Prior to freezing, make the entire package into hamburger patties.  My preference is 1/3-pound, but you can make 1/4-pound.

Place the patties on a cookie sheet and freeze.  Next stack in a freezer bag separated by wax paper.  These patties are easy to defrost in the microwave or thaw quickly when you  plan ahead.

You can make hamburgers, hamburger steak with gravy and onions, defrost multiples for a casserole requiring one pound, etc.  One of my favorite meals is to take one patty, brown the beef, add a can of black beans, and use it for an economical meal of nachos or tacos.

This helps to get a  meal ready with very little notice. Janice

Squeeze the Pancake Batter

Buying pre-made pancake mix in a bottle is very convenient, but really expensive. Here’s a great way to create the convenience with none of the extra cost.

Recycle a squeeze bottle you’d otherwise throw in the trash, like a ketchup bottle. Wash it thoroughly, pour in the batter, apply the top, and there you go! It if doesn’t have a wide mouth, use a funnel to get the batter into the bottle.

Such a quick and easy way to make pancakes—just squeeze out the batter into whatever size and shape you and your kids want. CR


Make It Short

If you’re not a huge coffee drinker you know the smallest size on the Starbucks menu is Tall. Here’s the tip: Order the size that isn’t on the menu—Short. The short size will save you about 80 cents.

Hint: Short has the same amount of espresso as Tall. Susan

Easy Silk Removal – Microwave Your Corn on the Cob

Don’t remove any of the husk.  Cut the bottom 1/2 inch off the corn cob.  Microwave on high for 3 – 3 1/2 minutes per ear.

Grab hold of the top of the ear with a pot holder – it will be hot!  Squeeze the corn out of the husk onto your plate.  It will come out of the husk and leave almost all of the silk behind.

It’s the best and easiest corn on the cob trick I’ve ever tried.  For 2 ears, microwave 4 to 5 minutes.  It’s best not to do too many at once.

Strawberry Saver Carton

I love strawberries and read with interest the tip about how to keep them from going bad so quickly—separate them from one another.

That’s easier said than done in a full fridge. I came up with the perfect solution: egg cartons. Each berry has its own little compartment! Rosemary

Live, Growing and Cheaper, Too!

I went to the supermarket to pick up what I needed for a cocktail to bring to a BYOB pool party. One ingredient on my list was fresh mint. In the produce department, I noticed live herbs in small starter pots for $2.50, including mint, basil, etc. The mint plant was cheaper than the mint that was packaged, ready-to-use.

I purchased the plant, which stayed perky and fresh for my cocktails at the party, and then brought it home to plant in a pot on my patio. All summer long I had a fresh mint!  This can also be done with other herbs such as basil and thyme, too, when needed it for a recipe. Monica

Pastry Blender Mashup

I don’t have a potato masher and do not intend to get one any time soon.

I do have a pastry blender, which I use for making pastry, but I also use it to mash bananas for banana bread, beans for black bean burgers and avocados for guacamole. It does a great job. Staci

French Toast Forever

My son and I are avid breakfast eaters. Therefore, on the weekend, I make an entire loaf of bread into French toast. It takes seven eggs and about 1 1/2 cups of milk.

Once the toast is cooled, I put it back in the same bread wrapper and put it in the freezer. In the morning, I pop them in the toaster and my son has French toast for breakfast. He loves it! Krista