Make it Cheaper or Make it Better

I don’t know about you, but I have been noticing that every time I go to the store it seems the prices have gone up. The grocery bill seems to get larger every month and the repair cost on both houses keeps going up.

It feels like I make more each year but I spend more each year.

This year we made a Christmas Challenge for the family. Everyone has to buy or make a gift for each person but it has to be handmade.

This got me thinking about Grama again. Grama always said, your generation doesn’t put any work into things. They want convenience and convenience cost money.

It also reminded me of one of the reasons no one ever missed a holiday at Gramas.  She made everything from scratch and nothing taste better than homemade.

As I was shopping today on my way home for work, I went to pick up a jug of Ice Tea. I looked at the price and couldn’t believe they wanted $5.99 for a jug of Ice Tea.

The contents label of the jug read, water, tea, and sugar.

So I made myself another challenge.  Cut down the cost and still have the things we like. This leaves money to spend on the other things we want.

Then I got thinking, which if you ask Husband, he will tell you that is always a dangerous thing to do, and that’s when I thought what a great addition to the blog.

So here’s the new blog posting. Each week I will post a way to make something for less than the cost to buy it and we will find a way to make it better.

Since Ice Tea was the subject of the day, why not share a post I did on how to make Flavored Ice Tea. Their cost $5.99. Mine, under a dollar a jug.

Let’s get started.

Making Iced Tea doesn’t sound like it’s Rocket Science, but to make a good Iced Tea, there are tricks to making it.

The first trick to making a good Iced Tea, is picking your tea.

When you chose your tea, make sure it hasn’t sat in the cupboard for too long, or it will be stale.

For this recipe, I have chosen to use the Island Mango and Peach White Tea.  It’s inexpensive and made by Lipton.  They also make a Blueberry Pomegranate White Tea which also works well for making Iced Tea.

For other occasions, I also like to use a Long Island Tea or Niagara Ice Wine Tea, made by the Victoria Tea and Coffee Company.

PS. They are not my sponsors, just my preference.

You can use any of your favorite teas for this recipe. The end result will be a nice Iced Tea that you and your guest will enjoy.




Island Mango and Peach Iced Tea

64 ounces of boiling water

1/4 cup cane sugar

4 tea bags of your favorite flavored tea

strawberries and lemons to garnish


Be sure to bring your water to a full boil. Tea steeps best when the water is fully boiled. I prefer a glass pitcher when making Iced Tea.

Pour the 64 ounces of boiling water into the glass pitcher and add 4 tea bags.

To get the full flavor of your tea, let it steep for 1 hour. Then remove the tea bags from tea.

If you prefer your tea lighter, you can remove the tea bags sooner, but with fruit flavored teas, you will lose some of the flavors by removing the bags too soon.

Once the tea bags are removed, pour 1/2 of a cup of tea into a measuring cup or shallow pan and add 1/4 cup of cane sugar.

This can go into the microwave for around 1 minute, or if heating in a pan until it reaches a light boil. This is the trick to having your tea evenly sweetened, and not having sugar sitting on the bottom of your pitcher, making the bottom of the tea sweeter.

White sugar can be substituted for cane sugar, but again will make your tea sweeter.

If you are using a sugar substitute, you are best to slowly add your packages and taste test to your own preference.

Once your sugar is fully dissolved, add the mixture of tea and sugar back into your pitcher of tea. Allow it to sit on the counter until the tea has come to room temperature. Once the tea has reached room temperature, chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

For those who prefer a sugarless tea, skip the sugar step and put it in the refrigerator once the tea is done steeping and has come to room temperature.


This is a challenge I would love to share with my fellow blogger.

If you have a way of making something cheaper or better by making it at home, not restricted to food. Send me an email and I would love to post your idea or share your blog.




9 thoughts on “Make it Cheaper or Make it Better

  1. This is wonderful. I hate wasting things which is why I have shopping bags made from old blue jeans and quilts made from my kids old clothes and why I made a bench for my back patio out of old fence boards stained with coffee grounds. I love doing things on my own and it’s a challenge to do it all while buying nothing. I love this post.

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  2. Excellent idea. When I was a child, our family didn’t have much money and usually, we would just drink water. But, my mom started making homemade iced tea. She used regular tea bags, lemon, and sugar. We loved her iced tea. Skip forward to 2019 when ‘sweet tea’ is all the rage. I was in Georgia with my daughter and I wanted to try ‘sweet tea’. I ordered some at a restaurant and I couldn’t believe the taste. I told my daughter that I was shocked because there was nothing special about this tea. My mom always made this tea when I was a kid. I thought ‘sweet tea’ was some kind of new thing and came to find out that I’d been enjoying it my whole life. lol

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  3. I grew up on sweet iced tea in Louisiana. I couldn’t imagine buying amy pre made tea and enjoying it much. Luzianne was always my favorite after I got out on my own. It isn’t murky or bitter. I used to make Sun tea when my boys were growing up. I just used fresh water, four large tea bags in a large pitcher with a screw on plastic top. Set in the sun for several hours. Perfect non bitter tra to sweeten or not, any way you like. These days I love the jars with the infuser insert so that fresh or dried fruits can be steeped in for extra flavor. I stopped using sugsr quite awhile ago for tea. If we want it sweet, we add it in by the glass so that each can choose their own sweetener.

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