Make Your Own Salad Dressing, Gourmet Coffee and Buttermilk: 5 Easy Recipes to Save Money!

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Do you ever notice how much you spend on salad dressings, gourmet coffee or other common purchases that you might not pay attention to? This holiday season, frugal is the name of the game. By making your own salad dressings, coffee and even buttermilk, you can save money by investing just a few spare minutes of your time. Here are a few of our personal favorite recipes.
SALAD DRESSING
If you like HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING, try this tasty recipe!
Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh parsley
Mix all ingredients until smooth!
If you like CREAMY DRESSING, try this recipe!
Ingredients:
14 oz. extra-firm tofu, drained, but not pressed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tbs. onion powder
pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use (good for about a week).
COFFEE

Pumpkin Spice Coffee 
There are two ways to make these coffees. Make your cup of coffee as normal and then add the below ingredients (minus the espresso powder in both recipes) or just make it exactly according to directions.
Ingredients:
1 cup almond or soy milk
3 tbs. pure pumpkin (from a can)
1 tbs. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
Whisk all ingredients in a small saucepan, heat on medium-low, and let simmer for about 8 minutes. (If you want a perfectly smooth drink, strain the liquid through a sieve upon serving). Pour into mug and enjoy!
Mexican Hot Mocha

Ingredients:
1 cup plain soy or other nondairy milk
1 tbs. instant espresso powder
2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. Sucanat (or sugar)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. mild to medium chili powder, to taste
1 tbs. nondairy semisweet chocolate chips
Combine the milk, espresso powder, cocoa powder, Sucanat, cinnamon and chile powder in a small-size saucepan. Let chill in the fridge for 1 hour, to let the flavors develop. Bring the mixture to a low boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes, whisking occasionally. Stir in the chocolate chips until melted, and serve. 
BUTTERMILK
Buttermilk comes in handy on occasion, especially when you get the hankering for pancakes. But, if you use just a little, the rest goes to waste. So what to do?
An easy solution is to take 1 cup milk (soy is preferable) and add 1 tbs. lemon juice or 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar and mix. The mixture will curdle and take on the same texture as buttermilk, for 1/4 of the fat and calories! 

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