Note, proper hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs! Hand sanitizer should not replace hand washing. I only made some so that I could bring it on grocery outings. I made an entire quart (32 oz) for $3.87.
To make hand sanitizer, you need alcohol (the FINAL concentration of the alcohol in your finished product needs to be around 70%) and a base, such as aloe vera gel or glycerin. The base protects your hands from drying out.
Aloe vera and glycerin are out of stock everywhere, so I bought a huge aloe leaf at the grocery store. I already had rubbing acohol with an alcohol content of 91%. You can't use vodka or anything from the liquor store because the alcohol content isn't high enough.
I cut up the leaf into segments, as shown in the picture below. It was easy to get the gel out of each piece using just my hands. I got approximately 1 cup of gel.
Next, I added 3 cups of rubbing alcohol, which was the amount needed to ensure that the final product had an alcohol content of 70%. Finally, I used my immersion blender to mix everything thoroughly. You could use a regular blender too.
The final product is...not like the commercial varieties, but it will work in a pinch. It's thin, and the gel didn't mix well; I'll have to shake it before every use. It was fun to make though, and I really didn't have any other options!
cost per batch (32 oz)
24 oz of rubbing alcohol (91%): $1.88
1 aloe leaf: $1.99
total cost: 3.87
I have eaten this almost daily during this period of sheltering in place, but I make it during normal times too. Each serving, which costs $0.38, has 375 calories and 16 g of protein.
Ingredients (serving size = 1)
Cook the pasta and strain it. Add the other two ingredients and mix.
Split pea soup is easy to make, and it freezes well. Each one-cup serving, which costs $0.80, contains 11 g of protein and 14% of your daily iron requirement.
Ingredients (makes 5 cups)
In the olive oil, saute the celery, onion and garlic over medium-high heat.
Next, add everything except for the nutritional yeast, and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for approximately one hour and 15 minutes (or until the peas are very soft). It can take quite a while for the peas to cook, so add more water if necessary as the soup cooks.
Finally, remove the bay leaf, add the nutritional yeast, and puree the soup if you choose to. Add more salt if necessary.
This is a delicious and healthy snack/dessert that costs $1.09 to make. You don't need a fancy blender to make "nice cream;" the trick is to microwave the frozen fruit for about 20 seconds before blending.
Serving size = 1
Microwave the frozen banana and frozen raspberries for 20 seconds, and then blend them until smooth (I use an immersion blender). Top with granola and/or any other toppings.
This is how I've been making hummus. I don't add oil, because the tahini seems to provide enough. This recipe makes around 12 oz and costs $1.82. In comparison, the brand I often buy contains only 10 oz and costs $3.99. Since I've been making my own hummus, it's one less thing I have to buy in plastic.
One batch (approximately 1.5 cups)
Tip: heat the chickpeas! Microwave them or use freshly-cooked chickpeas. They will blend much more smoothly.
1) In a blender or food processor (I use an immersion blender), blend the lemon juice, tahini, garlic and water (or chickpea cooking liquid) for about a minute or until it becomes "whipped."
2) Add everything else and blend until smooth.
I have read that growing your own scoby from a bottle of commercial kombucha is not a good idea. Apparently, home-grown scobies are weak and may lack the proper microbial strains. However, I still wanted to try it! Unfortunately, it did not work.
First, I made a cup of sweet tea (1 tea bag and 1 TBSP of sugar), which I mixed with a bottle of GT's "synergy" kombucha. Then I covered the jar with a coffee filter.
Initially, the scoby grew really well; in 22 days it was about 1/2 inch thick and looked perfect, so I figured it was ready to be transferred (along with two cups of the liquid). I took this picture before I transferred it.
Once the scoby was transferred to a larger jar, it died. After that, new scobies formed and died. Even when the scoby looked OK, the liquid remained sweet, so the cultures were clearly not active. After 2 months, I gave up and bought a starter from a reliable source (and now my kombucha is thriving!).
Other people may have better results than I had, but I would recommend saving yourself the hassle and just buying a starter.
I made this 7-inch customized pizza for $1.79.
Ingredients for one mini pizza
For the crusts, I modified this recipe from Allrecipes.com. I added Italian seasoning, decreased the oil, increased the rise time and added a kneading step.
Crusts (This recipe makes enough for SIX mini crusts; make all six and freeze the extras for easy future meals! Or cut the recipe in half and make three crusts.)
1. In a bowl, stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water, and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and then knead the dough for 5 minutes.
3. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and brush (or spray) the top of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a towel and let the dough rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 F during this time.
4. Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Roll (or press) each piece into a thin circle approximately 7 inches in diameter. Place as many dough circles as you can fit onto a pan, and prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake for 5 minutes at 450 degrees. Repeat until all the crusts are baked.
5. At this point, you can cool the crusts and freeze them in an air-tight container for future use, or you can add the toppings and finish baking. You will no longer need a pan, as the pre-baked crusts should be firm enough to sit directly on the oven rack.
To assemble each pizza
Spread approximately 1/3 cup of marinara sauce on the pre-baked crust, and add 1/4 cup of vegan cheese. Add any other toppings. Note that certain vegetables, such as mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, should be sautéed first or they will be essentially raw on the finished pizza.
Bake the pizza for approximately 7 minutes (or until the bottom is as crispy as you like).
This dish comes together in less than ten minutes. One serving contains 15.3 g of protein and costs $1.20.
serving size: 1
Microwave the diced potatoes in a microwave-safe dish for 6 minutes, stirring once halfway through. While the potatoes cook, steam the broccoli in a pot, and then drain. Finally, mix everything together.
This simple dish contains 15.5 g of protein per serving, and each serving costs $0.87.
serving size: 1
Mix everything together. Top with garnishes if you want.
I bought a bread machine off of Craigslist for $10.00, and it quickly paid for itself. Each weekend I make a loaf of bread for $0.78. Below is the basic recipe that I've been using.
*Note that homemade bread does not contain preservatives, so it does not stay fresh for long. Once my freshly baked loaf cools down, I slice it and then freeze the slices. I take a slice to work each day, and it thaws within a couple of hours.