Thursday Thrifty Throwdown: Fun on A Budget Challenge #6
Number 6, folks. Half a dozen Fun on A Budget Challenge Throwdowns so far! Number Six will not disappoint...maybe messy, perhaps a bit yummy, but not at all boring.
Go to the fridge. Open the freezer door (or drawer) and take out that ice cube tray. Stare at it. Think of all of the fabulous things you can do with it. That may sound like a risqué pickup line, but no, we aren't going down that road. There are some things that you can do with ice cube trays that don't involve ice (per se) that can save you a lot of money and provide a little fun.
Save soup stock for later - Make up some soup stock and fill up a tray. Once they are frozen, pop them into a freezer bag and you are ready to go. About two cubes from a standard tray is ¼ cup, 8 cubes is one cup.
Make soap - Grab a variety of tray sizes (mini ice cubes and those larger ones) and put together some awesome gifts. This craft idea from Martha Stewart tells you how: get some blocks of glycerin, liquid food coloring, petroleum jelly, cotton swabs, and a microwavable container. If you need to break the glycerin into smaller little blocks, melt it. Cut it to a size that will fit in a microwavable bowl or measuring cup. Smear a dab of liquid food coloring into the bowl or measuring cup with a cotton swab or coffee stirrer. Food coloring is very concentrated, so only use a little bit. Heat the glycerin in a microwave on high, stirring at 15-second intervals, until it's completely melted. Coat the inside of the ice-cube tray with petroleum jelly. Pour the melted glycerin into the tray, filling each section almost to the top. Cool for about 2 hours; the soap cubes will pop right out. Bag them up into little sachets. Voila! Perfect hostess gifts or gifts for friends at the holidays (they are right around the corner, you know!).
Create a perfect paint holder - Do your kids love to paint? Then use those ice cube trays as the perfect place to put that paint, ready-made with places for each color that they may want. Keeps creativity high and the mess factor low!
Yummy Minted Watermelon Pops - Perfect for your next party, these pops from Food and Wine magazine can be made up to a week in advance and are a chic but fun dessert. All you need is 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon without the rind, cut into 1-inch dice (about 4 cups), 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 cup mint leaves, minced, 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, and pinch of salt. Put the watermelon in the blender with the sugar and blend until smooth. Stir in the mint, lemon zest and salt. Pour the mixture into 2 standard ice cube trays (insert popsicle sticks halfway through freezing) and freeze until hard, about 3 hours. Enjoy!
What do you do with your ice cube tray aside from making ice? Tell us!