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updated: 11/16/2012 8:03 AM

Frugal living: Storing, and re-growing green onions

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Q. How do I store green onions/scallions? I buy them at Wal-Mart in a sealed plastic bag, but after I open them and use a couple, they go bad quickly. I love fresh green onions, but it can sure be a waste!

Sue, Texas

A. You can stand them upright in a couple of inches of water in a Mason jar and place in the fridge or on a counter. Cut off what you need and watch them regrow within a few weeks. Be sure to change or top off the water every couple of days. Or, use what you need now and chop and freeze the rest to use for cooked recipes, not raw.

Q. I tried making cupcake cones. I filled the cones with batter and baked them, but it was messy. Some of them exploded over the sides of the cone. What did I do wrong?

Tina, Illinois

A. You probably overfilled the cones. Fill the cones about three-fourths full (roughly 3 tablespoons).

Another method is to use cupcake liners in your pan, fill them three-fourths of the way with batter, then insert the cone on top of the batter and bake. Once baked, simply remove the liner and frost. The cake won't fill the cone using this method, though. Sometimes I like to make cupcake cones with a very flat top (fill less than three-fourths full before baking). Instead of frosting them, I can add a scoop of ice cream to the top.

Q. I need a very small gift idea for multiple co-workers. I want the gifts to be all the same, but cost no more than $5. I need something quick and easy -- the gifts aren't for a holiday or special occasion; I just want to give something little as a morale-booster.

Kathi, Texas

A. How about a flowering bulb in a tiny burlap sack? You can wrap it in a tiny gift bag or clear cellophane. Or how about a cookie cutter with a recipe card attached? You can fill a Mason jar with loose (wrapped or unwrapped) candies or dollar-store items such as lip balm, facial tissue or lotion, or fill it with popcorn kernels or coffee beans. You could give large-sized candy bars or boxed theater-type candy, too.

Small sections of gift-wrap can be used as decorative wrappers (rather than wrapping the entire bar or box, simply wrap around and leave the ends exposed), then add a little bow.

• Sara Noel is the owner of Frugal Village (frugalvillage.com), a website that offers practical, money-saving strategies for everyday living. Send tips, comments or questions to Sara Noel, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106, or sara@frugalvillage.com.

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