Mason Jar Match Holders: DIY Gifts

I’ve been thinking about what I could give for neighbor gifts this holiday season that would be something people would actually have a use for.  Mason Jar Match Holders are inexpensive and useful.  Perfect!

A quick and easy hack for your matches!

These match holders provide a sturdier way to store matches, protecting them from the humidity that can make lighting a match harder.   Bonus, no more having a box of matches spilling out all over the place when you take them camping!

*this post contains affiliate links

 

 

Mason Jar Match Holders are so easy to make!

Materials For Making Mason Jar Match Holders

Half Pint Mason Jars

Strike On The Box Matches

Hole Punch

Glue Gun

Pencil

Small Piece of Cardboard

What you need to make a mason jar match holder

How To Make Mason Jar Match Holders

Fill a mason jar with matches.   One box of 300 hundred matches will easily give you enough matches to fill two jars.

Lay the top of the match box out flat, with the striker area facing up, then place a jar ring over the flattened box top and use a pencil to draw a circle to fit under the jar lid.  Cut that out.

You’ll take your cut out circle from the match box and use that as a template for your cardboard cutout.  The piece of cardboard adds stability to the strike zone for when you go to light the match.

Making Mason Jar Match Holders
Use the hole punch to cut holes through both the match box layer and the cardboard layer.  A few dabs of hot glue will help keep it all in place.

Pour your matches into the jar, screw on the lid, and viola’!   Your Mason Jar Match Holder is ready to give in all of it’s warmth and light.  See what I did there?  Warmth?  Light?    Fear not!  I’ll be here all week folks!

But maybe you might like to add a little somethin’ – somethin’ to your handmade goodness. ……..

 

A super easy way to store matches!

Looking To Give The Perfect Gift For A Friend NEW To Prepping?

Perhaps you’d like to pair your mason jar match holder with the perfect gift for someone newly into preparedness.

We’ve got you covered!

This UCO Collapsible Lantern offers warm, natural light.  It’s Easy-slide glass chimney creates a windproof environment for the candle; includes 9 hour candle .

This lantern is perfect for camping, emergencies or simply for a sweet Hygee effect.

Lookee there!  The perfect gift for everyone on your list! 

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Make Your Own Brown Sugar: 15 Minute Prepper

Yes!  You can make brown sugar.  When I show you how easy it is to combine the ingredients for brown sugar, you are going to wonder why nobody told you this sooner.

How to make brown sugar for baking, desserts and sweets. A DIY recipe that can be used in your homemade and nautral products like body scrubs. A frugal tip that will save your money too!

Why Make Your Own Brown Sugar?

Making your own brown sugar is much less expensive than purchasing brown sugar.   November is when the big baking supply sales begin.  Last year I was able to score sugar at .12 a pound by combining sales and coupons.   Molasses  goes on sale this time of year too.   Purchase it in bulk, add one tablespoon to one cup of sugar, and you’ve got brown sugar for about .30 cents a POUND.    That beats even the very best sale price for brown sugar in my area.

That’s not all, folks.  No Siree!

With this DYI brown sugar sugar recipe you can control how dark and flavorful the end result will be.  No more worrying about having to buy both dark and light brown sugar.  Oh, the ease and simplicity!

And seriously, who doesn’t love one less trip to the grocery store?  Now, let’s let’s get down to how to make your own brown sugar.

Homemade Brown Sugar

 

A Brown Sugar Recipe

This will be the shortest, sweetest (get it….sweetest……brown sugar……heh) recipe you’ll ever take down.

1 cup granulated cane sugar

1 Tablespoon unsulphured molasses

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar and molasses.

Work it until the molasses is  completely incorporated into the sugar.   You’ll need to keep stirring using a small whisk for a couple of minutes, but it will all come together.


For dark brown sugar, add another tablespoon of molasses.

Use as you would in your favorite cake and cookie recipes.  Store your fresh brown sugar an airtight container.    I use the Bormioli Clear Jars to store my homemade brown sugar in.



What things have you bought in the past, but now make your own frugal, homemade versions of?    How have these DIY versions saved you money and time?

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How to preserve blackberries

I love to preserve blackberries.   It’s so easy to insure the great taste of summer in your food preps with just a small amount of work.  Rich in bioflavonoids, vitamin C and antioxidants, blackberries are nutritional power houses perfect for long term food storage pantries.   Here are my favorite ways to preserve blackberries.

There are more was to preserve blackberries than just making jam and fruit roll ups. Learn how to preserve blackberries to use in smoothies, oatmeal, muffins and more. Learn how to make seedless blackberry powder to stir into yogurt and use in baking. Preserve the fresh taste of summer all year long!

How To Freeze Blackberries

One way to preserve blackberries is to simply wash them using a 4:1 solution of water to vinegar, allowing them to air dry and then ‘flash freezing’ them.

To flash freeze,  simply lay out the now dry berries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pop the tray into the freezer until the berries are frozen, then  package them in a  freezer safe container.

By ‘flash freezing’ the berries first, you’ll be able to simply pour out the amount of frozen berries you need.

simple-ways-to-preserve-blackberries

Preserve blackberries without the seeds.

I prefer my blackberries in a seedless form, especially in smoothies, or my son’s blenderized diet.  First,  rinse the blackberries with the 4:1  water to vinegar solution and puree them in a blender.   With the back of a spoon, push the blackberry puree through a sieve into a clean container. Easy!

how to deseed blackberries

Fill ice cube trays  or the trays used to freeze baby food with the blackberry puree, and freeze. Frozen blackberry ice cubes are a fun way to preserve blackberries.    The result is a whole bunch of frozen blackberry puree ice cubes that  can be added to smoothies,  thawed to flavor yogurt,  or as  base for popsicles and more!

How to use blackberry 'ice cubes'.

How To Dehydrate Blackberries

Dehydrated blackberries last for years when stored properly.  Rinse berries in a 4:1 solution of vinegar water  and  allow to air dry in a dehydrator set to Cool.  Dehydrating wet blackberries makes them flatten out.

Once the blackberries are dry,  set the temperature of the dehydrator to 125F and allow them to dehydrate for 18-20 hours.  Blackberries are done when you can easily crush a berry into powder with just your  fingers.

How to dehydrate blackberries

Make Blackberry Powder

Fill a sieve with dehydrated blackberries and crush them with the back of a spoon, catching the powder in a bowl.  You’ll be left with just dehydrated blackberry seeds in the sieve which you can throw in your compost pile.

Sprinkle blackberry powder in  teas and juices, or  into  your daily water intake.  Spoon blackberry powder over your morning oatmeal or yogurt and into your smoothie for a ‘grit-less’ drink.

Rehydrate your blackberry powder and use it in your favorite blackberry jam recipe.  Bonus!  No seeds!

Use dehydrated blackberries in place of fresh blackberries to make a blackberry flavored simple syrup to use to flavor cocktails and sodas.

Too busy to preserve blackberries yourself?

I  store cans of freeze dried blackberries in my long term food storage.   A quick trip to  Thrive Life  and you could do the same!

Need more information on how to dehydrate foods?  I recommend Dehydrate2Store.

What foods are you preserving this harvest season?

Suburban Homesteading

While talking with a group of friends, each of whom expressing a wish to buy land to homestead on.  I couldn’t figure out why my friends felt the need to wait until they had a bigger plot of land to begin their journey to self sufficiency.    Why not start homesteading in your own backyard?   Right now!

Suburban Homesteading. It really is a ‘thing’!

Let’s face it.  Not all of us are going to be able to move from suburbia into the wilds of Nowhere, USA.   Postponing self sufficiency until all conditions are deemed perfect, could result in being unprepared in an emergency situation.

I’m of the mindset where you do the best you can with what you have now, while following a well thought out plan of where you want to be.  My in between is suburban homesteading.

Suburban Homesteading

What Does Suburban Homesteading Look Like?

We live on your average 1/3 of an acre in your average suburban neighborhood.  There is a stream that runs through my back yard from April to October that provides irrigation to the farmers living further out.  It used to run heavy and deep, but we’re in a dry cycle right now and it’s been much more shallow the last several years.

My neighborhood consists of about 60 homes and we are surrounded on one side by a private golf course and on another by a fairly busy road.  Luckily we are tucked deeply enough into our neighborhood that we don’t see or hear the traffic.

Most of my neighbors garden for summer salad and October pumpkin kind of reasons.  I often think of several neighbors getting together to plan out who will grow what, and then sharing.  This makes even small space gardening more profitable.

 

basil

My Spring garden includes, kale, mustard greens, swiss chard, broccoli, beets and peas. The Summer garden  boasts  tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, beans, pumpkins, winter squash and peppers.

I was thrilled  to recently plant  both an apple an a cherry tree.  Neighbors have several of both so I know we’ll be fine pollination wise.

You can find raspberry bushes in diverse places and a large section for blackberries in our back yard.  I love having a freezer full of berries to last the year.    Half a whiskey barrel is home to a thriving black currant bush.

garden 2

Along one side of my lot I have my herb garden.  It’s also home to a few cabbage plants, lettuce, arugula and dikon radishes.

Herb wise I grow Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Basil, Chives, Rosemary,  Peppermint, Spearmint, Anise, Heal All, Horseradish, Horehound, Comfrey, Vervain, and Chamomile.

This is my first year to really grow medicinal herbs, and I’m excited for how things will turn out.  Rosemary Gladstar’s books have been inspirational as I grow my family’s self sufficiency and as we grow our homestead.

I’m thinking of an Elderberry Bush too, as I make our own Elderberry Syrup to help ward off colds and flu.

 

 

Bail Grows Easily in Backyard Suburan Homestead Gardens

There is a big stack of homesteading books just waiting in my Amazon cart that  I can’t wait to dive into.  Dreaming is a big part of the fun of having a suburban homestead.   Using the experiences of others, I’ll create a suburban homestead that reflects the unique needs a capabilities of my family.

garden

Can I grow all the food my family eats on my Suburban Homestead?

Growing everything my family would need here on our suburban homestead simply isn’t possible, at least not yet.  But like all  homesteaders I am pretty creative and resourceful.  

To help us become more self reliant as we grow our backyard homestead, we implemented a few new ideas.

*Trading bumper crops for things I can’t grow in my back yard.

*Paying close attention to the FB yard sale posts and watch for those inviting people to come and glean from their trees and gardens.

*Planting early Spring seeds and plants.

*Growing a Fall garden for fresh greens through the colder months.

*Storing long term food items such as beans, rice, sugar, and flour.  Daisy Luther’s The Pantry Primer is a great source of information on getting a year’s supply as cheaply as possible.

*Purchasing long term freeze dried food at the best possible prices using the plans offered by  Thrive’s Montly Q Program.  Having freeze dried food on my shelf in case of an emergency offers great peace in these turbulent times.

blackberries

It’s a win-win.  More time in the garden.  More fresh, organic food and I don’t have to worry if there is a recall with it’s name on it down the road.

Self sufficiency.  Homesteading.  Food security.    Part of the fun is in the journey that gets you to where you are going.

What goals have you set to become self sufficient?   Is suburban homesteading something you might try?

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