by Tawra Kellam
My husband and I paid off $20,000 in debt and medical bills in five years on $22,000 per year averaged income, and I am disabled with Fibromyalgia and ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Here are some of the ways we lived frugally and made it work:
#1 Keep meals simple.
Try any of these simple meals:
-Chicken, with a bottle of hot and sour sauce dumped over the top and served with rice.
-Taco salad made with bagged lettuce, hamburger browned with taco seasoning, sour cream, salsa and olives.
-Baked chicken with freezer rolls and sliced cucumbers, peppers, carrots, tomatoes and ranch dressing.
Most of our meals take under 20 minutes to prepare. Write down 10 quick meals that are family favorites. Keep the “quick favorites” list in a specific spot and always keep the ingredients for these favorite meals on hand. Then, when you are sick and can’t spend a lot of time cooking, you can make something quick and easy.
Also, make as much of dinner as you can when you are feeling your best. Then if you aren’t feeling well come dinner time it will be almost all done and you won’t be tempted to send for take out.
#2 Get the kids to help with daily cleanup.
Kids can help pick up most of the house with proper direction. Mine are 10, 9, and 5 and have been helping since they were 3. I ask each of them to pick up toys. Then I ask each of them to pick up four more things. Later, I might ask them to empty all the trash cans and the dishwasher. Let the kids help as much as possible. Mine spend about 10 minutes a day helping and it makes a world of difference!
#3 Use paper plates.
They are cheap, come from a renewable resource and can be composted – use them! They cost about one cent each, so spending five cents for our family of five is way cheaper than the $40 take out!
#4 Give each person his own color of drinking glass.
This way, you can prevent family members from getting confused about whose glass is whose and constantly getting out new glasses.
#5 Try to do at least one load of laundry a day.
That way you won’t get overwhelmed or behind.
#6 Let non-critical things go!
Ignore the dust, the dirty windows, and other things like that. If you are lying sick on the couch where you look right out a dirty window, then ask your kids or hubby to clean it, but otherwise forget it until later!
By doing just these few things, you can keep yourself from going insane and save some money, even when your sick.
By Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam
Remember when you used to sit on your front steps on a hot summer day eating a popsicle? It was usually red or purple and on special occasions you got a fudgesicle. Remember how you tried to lick the drips faster than the sun could melt them? Sometimes the drips would roll down your fingers, forcing you to make the mind numbing decision whether to lick your fingers or the new drips forming on your popsicle.
Every once in a while a few drips would get out of control and fall on your bare toes. Remember how your dog’s tongue felt like sandpaper when he licked the sweet gooeyness off of them?
It’s funny how we try to make drama and expensive memories for our children when it’s the simple everyday things we remember the most.
Try some of these ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer:
To find popsicle molds, look at discount and mail order stores or garage sales. If you don’t have any molds, use small paper or plastic cups. Put a wooden stick or plastic spoon in the center.
For mini popsicles, pour orange, apple or grape juice or flavored drink mix into ice cube trays. Partially freeze and then place toothpicks in the center of each cube (or place plastic wrap over the top, secure and insert toothpicks through plastic wrap).
Making your own popsicles can give great variety and keep your kids cool this summer!
For non-traditional popsicles:
* Freeze applesauce in popsicle molds.
* Mix fruit or jam into yogurt. Freeze in small, snack sized Ziploc bags for frozen yogurt on the go. Cut a hole in the end of the bag for easy access/eating.
* Mix gelatin and freeze. Add gummie fish or worms before freezing for added fun.
* Freeze syrup from canned fruit.
* Add food coloring or sprinkles to yogurt or softened ice cream for added pizzazz. Then freeze in popsicle molds.
* When you have leftover jam or jelly, put ¼ cup of hot water in the jar and shake well. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
* If jelly or jam doesn’t set up well, use for popsicles or add more water, boil and make syrup.
* Make a batch of pudding. Add coconut, nuts, marshmallows, crushed cookies or sprinkles if desired. Pour into molds. Freeze several hours until firm.
* Stick a toothpick in the center of blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or sliced bananas.Dip in chocolate if desired. Freeze on a tray. Once frozen, store in freezer bags.
* For easy snow cones, freeze orange juice (or any other flavored juice) in ice cube trays. Store frozen juice cubes in a plastic bag. Blend 5 cubes in the blender until they have a shaved ice consistency. The shaved ice will keep its consistency if kept frozen in a container.
* For watermelon popsicles, blend one cup each watermelon chunks (seeds removed), orange juice and water. Blend well. Then pour and freeze into molds.
* For strawberry popsicles, blend 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup vanilla ice cream or yogurt, 4 cups orange juice and 2 tablespoons sugar. Blend smooth. Pour into molds and freeze.
* For banana popsicles, dissolve one 3 oz. package strawberry gelatin with one cup boiling water. In a blender, mix gelatin, 1 banana and 1 cup yogurt or ice cream. Blend well and pour into molds.
1 pkg. pudding (not instant*)
3 cups milk
Combine 1 large package of pudding with 3 cups of milk. Mix only enough to blend well. Quickly pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Chocolate and vanilla pudding may be layered for a fun treat. Makes 8-10 popsicles.
*Regular homemade pudding may be used instead of store-bought pudding mix.
By Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam
The kids have been out of school for weeks now. You’re lying in your hammock with a gentle summer breeze softly cooling you and the sweet smell of summer flowers fills the air. Yeah, Right! Reality check! You have probably heard “I’m bored. I have nothing to do” a hundred times today!
Homemade Play Dough
Don’t run down the street panicking, wildly flinging your arms and screaming like a mad woman. I say this not because of what the neighbors might think. Most of the other moms would probably be hard on your heels. I just don’t believe in using any more energy than necessary.
Instead, peel Tarzan off the chandelier and catch Superman in the midst of his fifth flight from the top bunk bed, trying carefully not to tear his cape made from your favorite red silk blouse. With your free hand grab child #3 who is painting a great copy of the Mona Lisa on your bedroom wall.
March the kids to the kitchen (there may be some resistance but you will prevail) and try these recipes. Who knows? Between these and a small miracle you might just get to swing in the hammock yet. (But then again, probably not!)
1/2 cup white glue
6 Tbsp. water
1-4 tsp. Borax
1-4 Tbsp. water
Mix the glue, 6 tablespoons water and food coloring until it is dissolved. In a separate bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon borax into 1 tablespoon water. Add to the glue solution. You will get a very thick clump of slime when the two mix. Pull the clump of slime out of the glue mixture and put it in a separate bowl. Mix another batch of the borax solution and add to the remaining glue mixture. Repeat until all the glue mixture is used (about 3-4 times). With clean hands, knead the slime to mix. This will take about 10 minutes and is not very difficult as the slime easily separates between your fingers. If a looser, more slimy texture, is desired knead in a bit more water. The more water you add, the slimier it gets. The slime doesn’t leave a residue and doesn’t get stuck on anything. This is great for Halloween entertaining. Store in an airtight container. This can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled.
Edible Play Dough
1/3 cup margarine
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract or flavorings
1 lb. powdered sugar
food coloring (optional)
Mix first 4 ingredients together. Add powdered sugar. Knead it. Divide and add food coloring. Keep refrigerated to keep from spoiling when not in use. You can replace vanilla with flavored extracts to give flavor other than just plain sweetness.
1/4 cup liquid dishwashing detergent
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. sugar
Put the dishwashing detergent in the water. Carefully stir in sugar trying to avoid suds. Take a regular drinking straw and cut into 4 pieces. Then dip into the solution and blow your bubbles. Tie a rope loop up to a foot in diameter on the end of a stick and make a gallon of bubbles. Dip the rope in the bubbles and run with them. This will give you giant bubbles.
By Tawra Kellam
The day moms dread all year long has arrived: the last day of school and the first day of summer vacation. To help moms keep their cool by helping their kids chill out, here are some recipes from www.LivingOnADime.com.
1 pkg. flavored drink mix (flavor of your choice)
Mix drink mix half strength according to directions. Chill 1 hour. Just before serving, crush some ice. You can use either a snow cone maker or put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and pound with hammer. Pack ice chips into cups, pour chilled drink mix over the ice and serve. You can also use fruit juice boiled down to half with food coloring added.
Apple juice: green or red food coloring
Grape juice: purple food coloring
Cut bananas in half crosswise. Insert skewer in the thicker end. Place bananas on a tray and place in freezer. When frozen, move to a plastic bag and keep frozen until ready to use.
yogurt nuts, finely chopped
peanut butter applesauce
melted chocolate coconut
Allow bananas to thaw slightly. Put toppings in small bowls. Dip banana before each bite. Eat plain or roll or dip into any of the toppings. Use the wet topping first so the others will stick.
2 cups flour 2 Tbsp. oil
1 cup salt 2 cups water
1 tsp. cream of tartar food coloring
Mix together all ingredients except food coloring in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture gathers on the spoon and forms dough (about 6 minutes). Dump onto waxed paper until cool enough to handle and knead until pliable. Store in a covered container or plastic bag. Add food coloring for different colors. Makes about 2 pounds.
Let them have some creative in the pool out back with these finger paint recipes.
1 pkg. unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
liquid dish detergent
Dissolve gelatin in 1/2 cup water. Set aside. In a saucepan add cornstarch then slowly stir in 1 1/2 cups water until well blended over medium heat. Cook until it boils, becomes smooth, thickens and turns clear. Add gelatin mixture and stir well. Pour into containers and add a drop of liquid dish detergent. Add food coloring until you get the desired shade. Store covered in the refrigerator 4-6 weeks.
Easy Finger Paints
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups water
Mix in saucepan and boil until thick. Then pour into a jar and add food coloring until the desired shade is achieved. Store covered in the refrigerator.
by Jill Cooper
If you have some money saved for a trip but you know that the gas cost is going to eat most of your funds, try cutting your budget in another area, like your food. Consider taking your food with you. Going out to eat on a trip does not hold the excitement that it once did. Most families go out to eat so often at home that the novelty of it has worn off. The next time you travel try packing your own food.
Don’t forget breakfast — Sometimes getting on the road the first thing in the morning is such a rush that it might be easier to wait and eat breakfast after you have driven an hour or two. This works especially well if you have to start out in the wee hours of the morning.
* Muffins, banana or apple bread Don’t forget the butter or cream cheese
* Donuts, honey buns
If you think it will be easier for you, buy them individually packaged. I’m not sure why, but kids seem to love individually packaged things and it makes everything more fun.
* Bagels with cream cheese and jam
Mix the jam and cream cheese together and place in a small container before you leave.
* Individual boxes of cereal with milk
When I was young I always thought that it was so neat to be able to cut the sides of the boxes open and use the cereal box for a bowl. My mom thought it was neat because she didn’t have to bring extra bowls and could toss the boxes.
* Hard boiled eggs
* Little smoky sausages (the pre-cooked kind)
These can be eaten out of the package, but if you like them hot, place them in a small thermos and pour very hot to boiling water over them. Put on the lid and by the time you are ready to eat them, the water will have heated them through.
Lunch and Dinner
Sandwiches are always great for a trip. Use hoagie buns instead of regular sandwich bread. It makes them a little more special and they don’t crush as easily. Good old peanut butter is great for the kids. Pay just a few more pennies and get the peanut butter in the tube. No messy knives and it’s smaller than a jar. If you have spare packets of jelly from eating out, use those or buy jelly in the tube, too. If you put lettuce or tomato on your sandwiches, bag them separately and put them on just before you are ready to eat.
* Chicken or slices of ham
Fried chicken is always a good picnic stand by. See later tips on keeping it cold.
* Hot dogs
As with the little sausages, put the hot dogs in a thermos and cover with boiling water. They will be perfectly cooked when ready to eat. To me these are so much Easier than sandwiches and everyone loves them.
* Potato salad or pasta salad
Keep them in a small cooler.
* Chips, crackers and cheeses
Buy chips in the cans. Slice or cut cheeses into cubes before you leave. Cheese sticks are perfect.
* Baked beans
Once again, they keep great in a thermos.
* Fruits and veggies
Apples, Oranges (already peeled) and firmer fruits. Clean and bag carrot sticks, celery, broccoli, cauliflower or other vegetables.
* Cookies, brownies, quick breads and muffins These are the best desserts.
Of course pop works great, but I like to freeze bottles of lemonade. Lemonade seems more refreshing. You can also have juice or iced tea in bottles and coffee in a thermos for coffee drinkers. Be sure to freeze all your drinks to help keep your other foods cool in place of ice.
Don’t forget the water!
* Kids usually whine and fuss for one of two reasons. They are hungry or tired. This is especially true on trips, so bring plenty of snacks and a pillow for everyone.
* If you have room, box each family member’s meal in his own box like the box lunches they give out at activities. This is really handy if you have to eat while driving. When finished eating, each person can put his empty wrappers in his own box for easy clean up.
* Be sure to bring those extra ketchup, mustard, salt, and pepper packets you get from fast food. Don’t forget the plastic knives, forks and spoons along with napkins and a paring knife. Make sure just about everything is disposable.
* If money is tight, you don’t have to have elaborate meals. I still fondly remember the trips when we stopped and bought a bag of chips, a loaf of bread, a package of bologna and cheese. We washed it down with an icy cold Pepsi and nothing tasted better.
* If you can, buy the gadget that you plug into the lighter plug in your car to heat water. It works well for instant coffee, oatmeal and hot chocolate.
In this day and age with so many convenience foods available, it isn’t hard to pack a lunch for the road. Even using those convenience foods, it is usually cheaper than buying food for the whole family at a fast food place.
By Jill Cooper
Bobbi asks: Our daughter graduates this spring and wants to have a graduation party afterwards for family and friends. We have very little money for that. Do you have any ideas for finger foods, salads, and decorating ideas that would fit our budget? Thank you, Bobbi First of all, keep it simple.
Decorate using anything that your daughter has collected over the years that has her high school colors or mascot on it. For a tablecloth, go to the dollar store and get a plastic tablecloth in her school colors or go to Wal-Mart and get an inexpensive twin sheet (for about $3) in her colors. Hang school pictures or scrapbook items around the room or lay them on the table. Also, balloons and streamers from the dollar store can add a lot to the decorations for a small price. For my daughters graduation I didn’t decorate much, but I did lay out a very nice food table.
As far as food goes, it’s really more about the presentation than the food. Even the most inexpensive food looks expensive when served on a silver plater or glass tray. Do things like cut the sandwiches into triangles and cut off the crusts. Use foods like egg salad, ground up chicken or ham sandwiches. When you grind your meat, it can go much farther.
Punch can be a less expensive alternative to trying to serve pop. I make punch all the time by mixing 3-4 different flavors of Kool-Aid and then freezing it long enough to make it slushy. Use less water than what the directions indicate. If the package calls for 2 quarts of water, I use 1 and 3/4 quarts. People frequently ask me for my recipe and are often surprised to learn that it is just plain old Kool-Aid.
Look through your cookbooks and find salads that call for less expensive ingredients. For example, adding a few veggies to a pasta salad is less expensive then making a veggie salad with lots of cauliflower and broccoli in it. Here’s a strawberry salad that I used at my daughter’s graduation that is great because it freezes well, allowing me to make it long before the party. If you have a cake, too, this dessert can be used as a fruit salad instead.
This is probably one of my favorite desserts, partly because it is not too rich. It is a very light dessert. It is an especially good one to keep made up in the freezer for when unexpected company comes by. I like to use it not only for graduation parties, but also for baby showers or any other get-together because I can make it a week ahead of time and that means one less thing to have to deal with the day of the special event!
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup butter, softened
Mix and slightly press or crumble into a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally while baking to make crumbly. When cooled, remove 1/3 of it to save to sprinkle on top of the dessert. Evenly spread out the remaining portion in the pan.
2 egg whites (pasteurized)
2/3 cup sugar
1 10oz. package of strawberries
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (must use)
1 small container whipped topping
Place first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat at high speed for 10 minutes or until it forms stiff peaks. Be sure to use a large mixing bowl because this really increases in volume. Fold in whipped topping and spread over crust, Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup of crumbs you saved back. Freeze for 3-6 hours or overnight.
By Tawra Kellam
I do something that most people think they can’t do today. I feed my family of 5 for $300 a month. Most people say that’s an impossible feat, but what boggles minds even more is that I do it without using coupons.
How do I do it? First, I use what I have. If I don’t have milk in the house, I don’t make a special trip to the store for it. The kids won’t die from malnutrition if they miss drinking milk for a day or two. If I’m out of bread, I’ll make some cornbread or muffins. If I’m out of fresh veggies, I will use canned or frozen instead. Stop going to the store for one or two things. I shop for food 2-3 times a month and that’s it. You’d be amazed how much this saves on the cost of gas.
Shopping the clearance sections, I regularly find milk on clearance for $1.20 a gallon. My store marks the milk down a few days before the “sell by” date. The great part is that milk stays fresh for 1 week after it’s opened. I generally only buy the milk when it’s marked down and I buy enough to last until the next time I find a great deal on it. I throw several in the freezer and then I don’t have to make a special trip for milk (or pay the premium price). Just thaw, shake and serve.
Purchase meat only on sale or on clearance. Again, butchers mark down their meat a day or two before the “sell by” date. Generally, meat is good for 3-4 days after the “sell by” date in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
I never buy meat unless it’s on sale for $1.99 or less a pound. If it’s not on sale, we don’t eat it. (Even so, we never have a shortage of meat in our house.) You can get some great unadvertised deals just by watching the meat counter’s clearance items. I found 5 lb. rolls of hamburger for $2.95 each just the other day. Of course, I stocked up and will have enough hamburger to last the next 6 months.
I can get “soup bones” with enough meat on them to make a great vegetable stew for under $2.00 for the entire family! Add some rolls and you have a complete meal for 5 for less than $3.00. When chicken is on sale for $1.66 per pound, I stock up. I do this with all my meats. This way we can always have a variety of meats.”
Another important tip: Ask. Most people are intimidated by asking, but I regularly ask when things will go on sale or be marked down. By asking, I’ve found out that bananas, milk and meat are marked down each morning. I try to shop in the mornings to get the best deals. When we lived in Texas, the stores marked things down in the evening, so we made it a point to go shopping in the evening. Adjust your shopping times to find the best deals.
Serve your family proper portions of food. Most parents give their kids way too much milk, juice and soda. My kids get soda on special occasions only. They eat milk with their cereal. For snacks, they eat a piece of string cheese, fruit or one or two cookies. The kids don’t sip on milk or juice all day long. They drink water and are just fine with it.
As a general rule, I try to give them one vegetable and one fruit for lunch and dinner and then a piece of fruit with cookies or cheese as a snack.* This way, they get their “five a day” in very easily. Stop letting kids just “graze” on chips and other snack food all day. My kids get one small “bowl” of chips (1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on the size of the chips) a day and that’s it.
So what do we eat? Here are some of our menus:
*Slow cooked roast,* brown gravy, onions, carrots, potatoes, buttermilk muffins and a fruit plate (The next day, the leftovers from the roast are used as barbecue beef along with potato salad, green beans and strawberries or grapes.)
*Pizza (homemade),* tossed salad and fruit
*Maple glazed chicken,* scalloped potatoes, glazed carrots,applesauce and dinner rolls
*Sloppy Joes,* cucumbers and tomatoes
*Tacos,* refried beans, green beans, sliced apples and tortilla chips w/ honey
With savvy shopping, you to can cut your grocery bill even when prices are going up!
Susan from Texas asks: “As a single mother of two grown daughters, scratching and clawing my way out of substantial credit card and other debt, please give me some ideas about dealing with daughters’ emergencies, specifically health issues, not life-threatening but urgent never the less. My daughters work full time and dabble in college. Both have health insurance but the one who needed assistance (I volunteered) did not think that it was in effect at the time of the incident. I was going to have the cost of the dental problem put on a credit card but her Dad intervened and paid for it so I was off the hook.”
I think the bigger question here is one that I have dealt with for many years and that is, living very sparingly, never having enough to cover unexpected expenses and then putting those unexpected and sometimes living above my means expenses on credit. Now that I live alone I am trying to remedy that as quickly as possible. Guilt as a single parent ends up being very expensive.
Tawra: You said “Guilt as a single parent ends up being very expensive.” I would say that sounds like it right there to me.
You don’t need to worry about your daughter’s expenses. I understand being a parent you want to help out but if they are working adults it’s not your responsibility. They need to be responsible with their money and save back money each month to cover what their insurance won’t . If that means cutting the cell phone, eating out or whatever then that’s their responsibility to do it. If you are paying for your own stuff then start living below your means ASAP and try and get that debt paid off.
It’s not always easy or fun but it sounds like you need to worry about your expenses and not theirs right now.
I’m not saying to be unreasonable. If they get $50,000 in medical expenses and need to live with you or whatever to pay it off, of course help them out if you can. But if it’s minor stuff then let them take care of it.
Susan: Thanks so much. Sometimes we answer our own problems when we put pen to paper and it jumps right back at us! I will always be there for my kids; however, I want them to grow up and become accountable and learn from their mistakes and life, etc.
It’s almost that time of year again. You’re standing, dumbfounded, in front of a mound of hard boiled eggs, sliced ham and chocolate Easter bunnies. You wonder “what am I going to do with 6 dozen eggs, 6 lbs. of ham and 25 chocolate bunnies”. The stress of it is almost enough to send you to bed for a week–or at least tear most of your hair out. Here are a few ideas and recipes from Living On A Dime to help you avoid both of those.
*Leftover Bunnies*: Take a rolling pin to them and crush the life out of them. Then use the crumbs to sprinkle on ice cream, use in milk shakes, stir a few in a mug of hot chocolate, use in place of chocolate chips for making cookies or melt for dipping fruit and candy.
*Leftover Ham:* Save bone for bean or split pea soup. Make ham salad, chef salad or ham sandwiches. Chop and freeze to use in: potato salad, scrambled eggs, omelets, to top baked potatoes, for potato soup, scalloped potatoes, au gratin potatoes, pasties or pizza- with pineapple.
Top tortilla with ham, salsa, and cheddar cheese and warm, for hot ham and cheese sandwiches.
* Leftover Eggs:* Make potato salad, tuna salad, pasta salad, chef salad, spinach salad with eggs and bacon, deviled eggs, golden morning sunshine or fill tomatoes with egg salad.
*Golden Morning Sunshine*
2 cups white sauce
4 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
Make white sauce. Once the white sauce has thickened, add eggs. Serve on toast.
¼ cup dry milk
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup cold water
1 Tbsp. margarine
In a covered jar, combine dry milk, flour and salt and mix well. Add water. Shake until all the ingredients are dissolved. Melt margarine in a 1 quart sauce pan. Stir in flour-milk mixture and cook over low heat until mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Keep stirring until thickened completely.
by Tawra Kellam
It’s that time of year. You found a really good deal on oranges but you purchased a few more than you can eat. Now what do you do with them. Here are a few suggestions from www.LivingOnADime.com to get you started.
1. Make juice out of the oranges and then use the peels for Candied Orange Peels.
2. Use the leftover syrup from Candied Orange Peels on pancakes or French Toast. The syrup can also be used to make popsicles.
3. Wash peels thoroughly. Grate the peel before using and freeze the zest for later use.
4. Cut up orange segments and use as a garnish for salads. Use in fruit salad or sliced as a side dish.
5. Cut up slices and use a garnish for meat or relish dishes.
6. Cut up peels. In a saucepan add peels, 1 cinnamon stick, a few cloves and fill to the top with water. Simmer for a nice potpourri or dry peels and use in dry potpourri.
*Easy Orange Marmalade*
1 Tbsp. water
½ cup sugar
Cut the un-peeled orange and place into a blender or food processor with the water. Pour mixture into a saucepan with the sugar and boil for 15 minutes.
*If a non-organic orange is used wash peels throughly before peeling.
*Candied Orange Peel*
Peels from 3 large oranges, grapefruits or lemons*
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
Cut the peel on each fruit into quarters. Pull the peel off in these quarter sections. Slice peel into ¼ inch-wide strips. In a saucepan add salt and cover with cold water. Boil 15 minutes, pour off water and add fresh water. Boil 20 minutes. Change water again and boil another 20 minutes. Drain and cover with 2 ½ cups sugar and 1 cup water. Simmer, stirring constantly, until all the syrup has boiled away. Do not let the peels scorch. Spread on wax paper. Roll peels in remaining sugar. Let dry. Store in an airtight container. Keeps one week or can be frozen.
*If non-organic fruit is used wash peels throughly before peeling.