a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Making Spicy Scents for Cents

NEVER leave the pot unattended!
You can quickly, easily and 
for just a few cents. . .fill your 
home with simmering, spicy and welcoming scents.

Simmering Potpourri #1
3 T ground cinnamon
2 T ground cloves
1 T anise seed (optional)
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 quart water
Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat. Add additional water as needed. Can be stored in refrigerator and reused several times.

Simmering Potpourri #2
 3 four-inch cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 orange, sliced

Combine above with 2 to 4 cups of water in a pot. Simmer over low heat. Add additional water as needed. Will keep several days in refrigerator.

Renewing the Scents of Dry Potpourri
Add new life to dried commercial potpourri mixes by simply stirring or shaking the ingredients. When that loses its effectiveness, sprinkle the mixture with a small amount of matching scented oil.

This method also works well with the commercial cinnamon-scented pine cones.

Price the Spice!
Spices can be expensive, especially when purchased in small bottles at the grocery stores. You can save lots of money by buying them in bulk.

Don't let the word "bulk" scare you off. You can purchase any amount from one ounce up. And, most spices and dried herbs are very light-weight.
A little research in your area will pay off in large savings.
Check around for bulk products at health food stores. This is a great time to let your fingers-do-the-walking. Following is a comparison of four of the spices used in the above recipes to let you see the varying prices. Each price is the price per ounce. The first price is the name brand price, the second number is the discount brand (or store brand) price and the last is the bulk price.

Ground Cinnamon 
Name brand---$1.89
Discount or store brand---$1.03
Bulk---45 cents
Ground Cloves
Name brand---$6.01
Discount or store brand---$1.54
Bulk---70 cents
Ground Ginger
Name brand---$3.20
Discount or store brand---$1.54
Bulk---45 cents
Ground Nutmeg
Name brand $3.02
Discount or store brand---$1.03
Bulk---45 cents

Note: These prices are from my "$imply Centsational Gifts" bookette from 1996. The prices have probably risen dramatically but the comparisons are comparable. If you can't find a place to buy in bulk, at least consider the store or discount brand.

And lastly---something they don't want you to know.  We are encouraged to throw out spices after one year. Most will usually last much longer than that but if you have older spices that have lost some potency,  just add a little more than called for to get the same results. When that is no longer effective then you can throw them out and replace them----hopefully from bulk sources!

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