Frugal Gifts from the Kitchen: Gift~Pantry Vanilla ... Hand Crafted With Love

The irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand.
~Willa Cather

This make~ahead gift began last August with re~purposed vinegar bottles... a bundle of fresh Vanilla beans... and a liter of plain vodka.  I placed about a dozen, split, whole beans in each bottle then covered them with vodka and allowed Time to work its' magicNote:  While I left my vanilla to steep for several months... homemade vanilla can be ready for gift~giving in as little as three to four weeks.  Also, I included two vanilla beans in each bottle so that the bottles may be refilled and left to steep and thus create more vanilla

Into the back of the pantry they were tucked for several months... until I took them out a few weeks ago to decant into these cute little bottles and they instantly transformed into... gifts from the kitchen!

I found this simple round template at the Graphics Fairy and printed out several on a sheet to make my labels and tags.

Old~school (semi) ruled the day as I hand wrote the "Vanilla" on the labels... and let my friends and family know these gifts were "Hand Crafted With Love". 

The Rosemary bush in the front garden offered wisps of evergreen to attach to the tags.



This is such a simple, easy and frugal gift...a welcome addition to the pantries of your family and friends! 

Sending good thoughts and love to all!

Tracey and Family x0x

P. S.  I've been peeking in on your blogs and Pinterest boards and am getting so inspired! 


Easy Organizing...Very Simple Ways to Preserve Farm Stand Bounty...and Other Saving Graces


Here are some of the ways I've recently exercised the art of frugality.
Is it my imagination or is the cost of just about everything rising?


Found Storage

  •  As you probably know, I've long been a collector of vintage linens.  Over time my collection has obviously grown, finding us currently bursting at the seams and looking for storage solutions.  (I am seriously thinking of conducting a thinning the first of the year...but more on that in a future post).  In the meantime I needed more storage boxes...and a place to store the boxes!!!  Before I headed off to Ikea (which offers many budget friendly storage options ;) I decided to shop my house to see if there was something that would serve my storage purposes.  Happily, I spied this suit case tucked into the back of our closet.  We inherited it from Mike's mom and kept it for sentimental reasons.  However, once I rediscovered it, I knew it was just the thing to help solve my current storage problem!  Once it was filled with vintage linens (neatly rolled and tucked inside of cotton pillow cases) I had to find a place to put it.   After wandering around the house a bit, brainstorming, I asked Mike to help me slide it...along with our vintage steamer trunk (which already holds some of our most beloved vintage linen pieces, such as my wedding dress)... atop one of our larger armoires.  Don't you love discovering solutions that don't cost a penny...and add a bit of pretty character to a room?!
One Potato, Two Potato...

  • After finding out that potatoes, zucchini and bell peppers are included in the "dirty dozen" list of foods to avoid due to pesticides and the like we often spend a little more to buy the organic varieties.  Thus...I am especially diligent and frugal about finding ways to use up leftovers.  Above, I peeled leftover baked (organic) potatoes then grated them onto a lined cookie sheet and froze them to use as organic hash browns!
  • While the shredder was out...I decided to shred the remainder of the farm stand zucchini to freeze for future stews, soups and baking.  As well, the last three green peppers were also washed, seeded, sliced and frozen for future breakfast frittatas and marinara sauces.  

Well my kind friends, like you, there are dozens of other small ways we are trying to be good stewards of our money and resources but I will save them for another I am off to an early sleep.  Mike and I will be up at dawn to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and some bargain hunting at the local yard sales...with our wish/shopping list in hand!

  What things have you been doing to "plug the small leaks in your ship"? 

Sending love and good thoughts to all!


Tracey and Family

The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

A warm Thank You to all kind souls and kindred spirits who generously take the time to leave a comment...your encouragement, trust and support are deeply appreciated...please know that we read each and every message and will respond as time allows.


Frugal Luxuries
is a registered trademark.


"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

After more than a decade, FRUGAL LUXURIES has never been out of print and is now more relevant than ever.

"It's our hope that a new generation, faced with a teetering economy, will also find this information helpful and enlightening."

Sending Good Thought to Our Special Band of Kind and Kindred Souls!

Frugal Luxuries Book I

Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons Book II

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