11 Simple, Homemade Gifts

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 As 2011 comes to an end, we’re sharing helpful lists to help you save money, stay healthy, get organized, creatively repurpose, frugally gift-give, intentionally celebrate and more in our “11 Things for 2011” series throughout these holiday months. Written by Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer Homemade gifts are my favorite gifts to give and receive. A present that is made by hand communicates love and thoughtfulness, showing the recipient they are worthy of your time and energy. One downside to giving homemade gifts is that it […]

Save Money by Culturing Foods with DIY Starters (and Cultures for Health Giveaway!)

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Many of us know the health benefits of eating cultured and fermented foods, but buying pre-made yogurt, kefir, sourdough breads, kombucha and the like can cost a pretty penny. Did you know that these health-boosting cultured foods can be easily and cheaply prepared at home using starter cultures? I cringe when I go to buy a $3.99 or $4.99 tub of organic, whole milk yogurt, a mere 750 ml (or about 3 cups). Not even enough for one breakfast in our home. Yet I can buy a […]

Frugal and Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts

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Written by Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer Mothers work hard for many, many years. Because of how hard our mothers work, it is natural to want to break the budget and spend a small fortune, just to show we care. Thankfully, most mama’s don’t want that. In fact, a simple gift that expresses your love and gratitude, is usually more than enough. So how can we honor Mom on a budget? Here are a few ideas: Write a heart-felt note Mothers are often unappreciated and their […]

Making Homemade Yogurt

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Written by Emily, Contributing Writer I’ve been making homemade yogurt for just about two years now, and I love the convenience, quality, and savings of making yogurt at home. Yogurt is one of the most basic traditional foods, and even if you are just getting started with real food, including yogurt in your diet is an easy way to reap so many of the health benefits of cultured dairy. One of the main health benefits of yogurt, besides the protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals, are […]

How to Make Water Kefir

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Written by Stacy K, Contributing Writer What is water kefir? Water kefir is a lacto-fermented beverage made with water kefir grains and sugar water. It is easy (and relatively quick) to make, and provides an abundance of probiotics to improve digestive health. Water kefir grains are not grains at all, but rather “bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship” (as noted by Julie of Cultures for Health.) The term grains really just describes their appearance. Because the grains feed on sugar, the resulting beverage […]

Making Homemade Hard Lotion with a DIY Lotion and Lip Balm Kit

Homemade Hard Lotion with a DIY Lotion & Lip Balm at KeeperoftheHome.org

Last summer, I told you how a hard lotion bar helped my eczema, and gave me back my dry hands. More than 6 months later, I still loving using my hard lotion bars. My only problem is that I’m really cheap. These amazing bars aren’t actually expensive at $9.95 each, but it does still add up. I totally appreciate that MadeOn also offers a refill pack, minus the cute metal tins that they originally come in, 2 bars for $15. Economical and earth-friendly. But, did […]

Non-Toxic Cleaners You Can Make at Home

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Written by Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer Advertisers everywhere proclaim the germ fighting power of chemical-filled cleaners. Many would have us believe that there is no way to clean and disinfect without a chemical product. And doesn’t every good mother want to rid her home of germs and dirt? May I encourage you not to buy into these messages? A little dirt won’t kill you or your children. While it is true that some germs can be dangerous, so are the chemicals in the cleaners that […]

Finding Freedom with Flexible Routines

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Written by Stacey T, Contributing Writer Does a “flexible routine” sound like an oxymoron?  Should “freedom” and “routine” exist in the same sentence? Routines can be pegged as being boring, rigid and stiff.  But a little planning and creative thinking can help you do much more with less time and effort.  A routine is different for every person but it’s a guideline to help you plan your day. The key is to establish flexible routines which… Provide predictability, security and confidence Children thrive on flexible […]