Friday, January 16, 2009

The cost of convenience.

We have all been schooled on how to save money at the grocery store such as buy on sale, cut coupons and carry a price book but what about convenience food, all or most can be made for a fraction of the cost even with sales and coupons.

We take alot of things for granted. One of the things we take for granted are many of our foods we buy. Alot of these foods are really convenience items, but over time we have lost the concept of what "convenience" is.

It may not make any sense to cut out all of these items, consider your life circumstances and there is some conveniences that are worth paying for. Many of these items if they are home made will reduce your grocery bill by half or more.

Here are some of the conveniece foods we now see as staples:

  • Bread
  • Pop/Juice (drinks in general)
  • cereal
  • boxed meals
  • canned soups
  • frozen dinners(pizza/tv dinners ect..)
Many of these items can be home made with a little extra time on the weekends. You can Google "home made mixes" and find everything from cake mixes to gravy mixes, and flavored rice mixes. By making batches of these you can cut your grocery bill significantly.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Microsoft pay as you go computing? and are reporting that Microsoft has applied for a patent on , pay-as-you-go computing.

Who would buy this? Pay by usage, I don't care how much or how little I use a computer I would never want some one metering how or what I use.
I don't really call this a service I call this a rip off. Considering that you can buy computers fairly cheap, and can get open source software that will do everything Microsoft can do.
Is Microsoft trying to force feed everyone over like they did to there corporate customers with there "assurance program" requiring hefty annual maintenance fees.

I will buy a mac or go to Linux before I buy in to this scam.

Save some sanity cut the cable

That is right cut the cable. I have gone without cable for about 6 months now, it saves me about 25 dollars a month for the basic package, my basic cable has just the local channels, hardly worth having since I can get them all with a set of rabbit ears. Prior to basic services I had a "promotional package for 85.00 a month."

Here are some benefits that I have seen:

I have 25.00-45.00 more each month, I have needed this since the cost of all my utilities seem to keep going up, (where is the deflation here?)

My kids don't have the I want its anymore.

We have found other things to do with are time such as read, or go for walks.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Last minute easy cookies!!

Easy Last Minute Christmas cookies!

Since I am a working mom I don't have a whole lot of time to cook, but I love to do it. I have a few simple and easy cookie recipes that I make, these are great for last minute Christmas baking or even if you want to give as gifts. There a big favorite in my home, and the guests have loved them!

Peanut butter Star Cookies

1 16-18 oz. Jar of Peanut Butter
1 1/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup of flour enough to make the dough workable
1 bag of chocolate stars or Hershey's Kisses (1 bag of chocolate stars does two batches of these cookies)

Mix together with fork and roll in to balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet
Bake in 350 oven until top get cracks in them
Take out of oven and press the chocolate stars in to the middle

The secret to keeping these cookies from falling apart is to let them completely cool before taking them off of the baking sheet, I live in Minnesota, and it has been cold here so I took them out to my attached garage and set them on top of my freezer to cool off, you could also probably put them in your freezer to let them cool if you have room and want to speed up the baking process.

Mint Christmas cookies
1 box of Ritz sytle crackers
Chocolate chips
Mint extract

I have also used Mint chips with these you can use what you have if you use chocolate chips you just have to add the Mint extract. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or I do it in the microwave, you have to stir it alot and be careful not to over cook, I add Milk to the melting chocolate chips to thin it out. Dip in the individual crackers and set on waxed paper, if you want sprinkle with christmas decor.

These cookies taste alot like the girl scout cookies if you like those.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Homemade Christmas dish towel angel

Dish Towel Angel

You will need the following:

  • matching or color co-ordinate dish towel
  • matching or color co-ordinate pot holder
  • matching or color co-ordinate dish rag
  • ribbon or string

Fan fold dish towel
loop the top to make the angel head
and secure with ribbon

Next fanfold washcloth and tie with ribbon

Fanfold potholder and tie,

Tie the washcloth to the front of the potholder this
will become the arms of the angel. Make sure the loop
of the potholder is towards the top.

Wrap the dishrag around the front of the towel and tie

Next attach a card that says:

An angel in the Kitchen
Watching the stew
Blessing all that you do!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The giving tree

In regards to my previous post I want to give an update of my giving tree picks so far this year,

The first was a newborn baby girl, (Since I can only seem to get boys, 4 of them) I thought I would really have fun with this since now I have a baby girl!!!

The tag said that they needed onesies and diapers. So I purchased a bunch of onesies, of course they were pink ones! And then I had to get her some sleepers. I also put in 7 pair of shoes which she should be able to wear throughout the first year, there like Robeez. I loved these for my kids. One toy of course and some sweat pants, to go with some of the tops. Now all I have to get are some diapers and maybe some socks. I got mom a couple of pair of cozy socks.

The other tag was for a 17 year old asking for some fleece lounge pants and a fuzzy body pillow. So far I have gotten her two pair of fleece lounge pants and a couple pair of cozy socks, I still have to get the body pillow, not sure what else to get? Any ideas?

Don't forget about others this season.

I am getting in to the Christmas spirit a little early this year. I went to a local store and noticed that the giving tree was full, so I picked off two kids this time.

I love these giving trees! And I will tell you why.

(Many, many years ago!)

I started out as a young mom and married, after 8 years of marriage, he decided that there were other greener pastures, and I was left with two kids and a father that was no where to be found, at 25 I worked full time and scraped by, meeting the husband I currently have. I re-married and he took the full responsibility of being my kids new dad, we had a son together right away. We rented a old farmhouse and I stayed home since it did not pay for me to work outside the home with daycare costs. What he made barely paid for the necessities, we received toys for tots and food shelf donations the first Christmas, we had absolutely nothing. I went to trade school for two years and we were broke. Everything we had was used including our clothing. ( I still like garage sales!)

I will never forget these times, we always wondered or worried how we were going to get by another day, but we did. A newborn baby and two older daughters. It is bad enough when it is just you, but I had three kids, and I was always worried.

I look back and wonder how we made it, and I always will remember out of know where a truck came on Christmas eve bringing gifts for the kids(more like necessities), and a box of food for us. And even a little gift for me, came with that, a small glass angel Christmas ornament, except we did not have a Christmas tree because we could not afford one. So I put it in the window sill.

This year I grabbed a newborn and a 17 year old, I went out and had fun shopping for them, I know that they will be very grateful for what they receive. I always get the parents something also, since I know they are down and out. I encourage any one who can to do the same, I know this economy poses some real challenges.

My kids love doing this also, I have them each take a tag off the tree for another child about there age. I have a big family in "today's" standard, (6 kids) but I still find that our kids have more "stuff" than I would have ever had, and I am sure that I had more than my parents. It is hard for kids to understand when they go to school and see all the new, trendy clothing and electronics, there is another side to the story, where there are others who do not even have the basics that they need. By teaching our kids there is more to life than "stuff" we can help them get a better start in life.

Life is not "having" everything, or he who dies with the most toys wins.