Monday, March 30, 2009

Give us this day our daily Bread

I use wheat bread at our house. The kids don't know any different so I never have any arguing. BUT, I am tired of spending $2.00 and something on bread to buy wheat with fiber and stuff that is not horrible.

I remember that I have my bread machine in the basement collecting dust so, why not make my own bread!

I have been searching the web for some recipes and this is what I have found

Wheat Bread for the Bread machine:

1-1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Preparation:Place ingredients in bread pan in order listed or according to manufacturer's directions. When adding the yeast last, make a small well with your finger to place the yeast. This will insure the proper timing of the yeast reaction. Use Whole Wheat or Timed Cycle, or according to manufacturer's directions.

For a little healthier bread with more fiber:

3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Bread Machine Yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. Recommended cycle: Whole wheat/whole grain or basic/white bread cycle; medium/normal color setting. (If basic/white bread cycle is used, add 1 tablespoon gluten to either size recipe - see Tip below on adding gluten.) Timed-bake feature can be used.

Tip: Some bread machines have a whole wheat or whole grain cycle, which comes in handy when making whole grain breads. If your machine lacks this cycle, try adding vital wheat gluten to whole wheat, whole grain, and rye bread recipes to improve loaf height, texture, and structure. If your supermarket does not carry gluten, check with a health food store. Use 1 tablespoon for both 1 pound and 1-1/2-pound recipes.

Nutritional Information: Per serving:Serving size: 1 slice; 1/12 of 1 1/2-lb. recipe Serving weight: 2 ounces (57 g)Calories 130;Total fat 1.5g; Saturated fat 0.5g; Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 210 mg; Carbohydrates 25g; Dietary fiber 2g (1 g / oz); Sugars 2 g; Protein 5g

I can't wait to let you know how this turns out!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I thought I would share this little info I just typed for a friend.
You can use two coupons if one is store and one is manufacturer. So, for example, if crest is 1.00 and you have a coupon for 50 cents and a store coupon (let's say Kroger)You scan your card, they ring up the 1.00 crest, then the 50 cent coupon which doubles to $1.00 (only manufacturer coupons can do this) and then ring the 25 cent coupon so , actually, in this deal you just made 25 cents because the product was a dollar, and you had $1.25 in coupons...Just make sure whenever you have a deal like that you are buying something else!Meijer and Kroger double up to a dollar so any coupon under a dollar would double but a 75 cent coupon only goes to a dollar as well.

Make sense?

Now, at CVS they have Extra Care Card and you get Extra care bucks (ECB) so, looking at the front page of the ad the crest is $3.49 which is what you will be charged BUT you can use your 50 cent coupon we talked about before (hypothetical of course since I'm not sure of the actual coupons out there) and the 25 cent (we'll now say CVS coupon.)So it is 3.49-75 cents so your total is $2.70 but you get an ECB on your receipt for 3.49 which you can spend on pretty much anything! The best thing to do is roll them. So let's say you have the 3.49 ECB in your purse from another deal and this crest deal is next week. You can come in and buy the crest for 3.49-.75 = 2.70 and a bag of jelly beans for 1.00 your total is now 3.70 (after coupons (also called q's) you hand them your ECB for 3.49 and your total is now 21 cents and your are getting the ECB for the crest deal to use on another purchase so you rarely spend out of pocket more than a couple much for you? They key is to use your ECB to purcahse items that will get you more ECB...which is roliing them! you can load coupons to your Kroger card that will come off when you purchase an item and scan your Kroger card. has coupons you can load, just not sure where on the site right now. I always load any coupon I can and treat it like a bonus since I usually forget it is there.

I buy coupons from at this site you can purchase a 50 cent coupon for 5 cents or something like that . I do this on really good deals that I want to stock up on and baby care items. The problem here is if you are trying to work a one week sale you need to order them mon so you ahve them by Fri and can still get the sale.

I save (typically) coupons over a dollar to use at Walmart since they usually have the best price. has one's you can print as does and if you search under the don't waste your money and then you win wednesday (I think this is the link
You can click on things for coupons and samples.
You can get free samples and trials at this walmart site has coupons for local restaurants and other stuff as does the entertainment book website
The buy 10 get $5.00 off at Kroger is a great deal and you can view the ad online. Pair it with items you have coupons for and it is a better deal
Here is the deal I did I have a $3.00 off a $15.00 purchase on Comforts (kroger) brand baby items plus I had 3 $1.00 coupons so, they are part of the buy 10 deal so I bought 10 which was $22.90 automatically get $5.00 off and then the 3.00 off 15 and the 3 $1.00 so $11.00 for a total of 11.90 or 1.19 a box!

oh, another trick like on the CVS cover. The honey bunches of oats is buy one get one. so, let's say it is $3.00 a can use TWO coupons because you are getting 2 items so $3.00 for 2 boxes and then mayb 50 off coupons (2 of them) so you pay 2.00 for 2 boxes!CVS usually has limits on the deals so read the ad.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

car cleaning

We are a "car family". We own lots of cars (with no debt!) and enjoying going to car shows and cruise in's. We went to the local Big Lots ( ) the other day and my husband pick up some car cleaner. As we are checking out I'm thinking, "doesn't this defeat the purpose of making our own cleaning products? There has to be a better way."

After a little research I found that the glass cleaner recipe I posted yesterday can also be used as windshield washer fluid.

You can also get the salt off your car by using a solution of 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar and 2/3 cup of water.

For the good old car cleaner

Wash it off with a solution of one cup baking soda and a gallon of hot, soapy water. This solution will also help prevent rust. Pour undiluted vinegar onto decals, let soak for a few minutes then scrape off, repeating if necessary!

How awesome is that?
Now, the trick will be to get my hubby to return the car cleaner. I'll let you know how that conversation goes!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Green Cleaning

I made cleaning products today and took my stockpile of other cleaning products to the food pnatry at church. Which is kind of funny to me. It is like I am saying the products can hurt the environment and my family so I am going to give them to you to hurt the environment and your family...okay, moving along...

I had to go to 2 stores to find the ingredints and am still looking for the oils but here are my recipes I used (thanks to a friend and the internet)

Floor Cleaner (which I put in my Clorox ready Mop)
1 part Vinegar
4 parts Water
you can also add 15-20 drops of essential oil if you don't like the smell of vinegar

Window Cleaner
1 part rubbing alcohol
2 parts water
you can also add 15-20 drops of essential oil if you don't like the smell of vinegar

and All Purpose Cleaner
2 cups water
1/2 c vinegar
1tsp Castile Saop (get the kind with Tea Tree already in it!)
3/4 c hydrogen peroxide
1 tsp baking soda (not to much or it will foam over!)
10 drops tea tree oli
10 drops lemongrass oil (for smell only)

Good luck and have fun!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Today is Sunday. A day we spend with friends and family. It is also a less frugal day as I LOVE to go out to eat after church. It is the one day I get to sit down and be waited on instead of everyone waiting on me. However, I did have a coupon for a free kids meal so that helped with the budget. The budget is not going well this month but, I did not have the determination I have now.

I mentioned in my first post that I have a few passions. One of which is Angel Food Ministries ( It is SOOO awesome. It started as a food co-op in Georgia and now serves 35+ states. The simple facts are that there is a standard box each month and it changes every month. It cost $30 and you receive $60-$80 worth of food. It is an awesome deal and you can buy as many as you like and they have great specials also.

I have not been ordering lately because my upright freezer was SO full! But, I ordered yesterday and have made a list of meal I am going to make with it. I ordered the standard box which includes: ($30.00)

1.5 lb. Ribeye Steaks (4 x 6 oz.)
3 lb. Split Chicken Breast
1.5 lb. Country Fried Steak
Patties (6 x 4 oz)
1 lb. Package 80/20 Ground
1 lb. Fully Cooked Meatballs
1 lb. Mild Italian Sausage
12 oz. Deli Sliced Ham
1 lb. California Blend
1 lb. Green Beans
20 oz. Shoestring Fries
1 lb. Pasta
28 oz. Marinara Sauce
21 oz. Condensed Soup
(makes 5 servings)
1 lb. Pinto Beans
32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk
Dozen Eggs Dessert

The "Mom's Easter Dinner" Side box which includes: ($19.00)
2 lb. Heat & Serve Corn
2 lb. Heat & Serve Green Beans
2 lb. Heat & Serve Mashed Potatoes
1 Brown Gravy Mix
17 oz. Cornbread Stuffing
8 ct. Dinner Roll
1 Dessert

and the Fruit and Veggie Box ($22.00)
3 lb. No. 1 Premium Idaho Baking Potatoes
3 lb. No. 1 Premium North Carolina Sweet Potatoes
1 head Premium Florida Green Cabbage
1 lb. Premium California Carrots (cello-packed)
2 lb. Premium Western Grown Yellow Onions
2 pack Premium Fresh Jumbo Garlic (2 pack tube)
1 Large Premium Sweet Cantaloupe
3 lb. Premium Tree-ripened Valencia Oranges
4 each Premium Tree-ripened Honey Tangerines
4 Large Premium Washington State Granny Smith Apples
3 lb. Large Premium Washington State Fuji Apples
1 each Premium Tree-ripened Mango

Now, if you ask me, that is a lot of food for $71.00 of that $71.00 $1.00 per box I ordered goes back to the church host site benevolence fund.

I have created a list of meals using the food and this is what I have come up with (items in color can be made twice)

Chicken w/ 20 garlic cloves w/carrots
orange chicken bowl w/ rice
Spaghetti w/ Marinara and Meatballs
Baked Potatoes (will use other ingredients as a topper along with the California Veggies)

Ham Omelets
Buffalo Chicken with Sweet potato chips
Country Fried Steak with brown gravy and Green Beans
Pepper Steak w/ corn
Sausage and Sauerkraut w/ mash potatoes
Tacos (ground beef)
Tomato Soup w/ grilled Cheese and Ham
Chicken w/ pasta and Italian marinade
French onion soup
Chicken tenders and fries

Other non main dishes will be
Mango (baby and 3 yr old will have for breakfast)
Cantaloupe (baby and 3 yr old will have for breakfast)
Green Beans (finger food for baby for baby food)

Carmel Apple dip and Apples

Things I will need to buy are shredded cheese, provolone, french bread and cream cheese and that should be all!

So that is 19 dinners plus some extras which makes it less than $30.00 a meal for the family! Now that is a deal! Plus I should have leftovers for lunch!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm starting a blog

I am really not interesting, clever, witty or anything a blogger should be. I just like to share what I learn and talk to others about their ideas. I decided to start a blog about "getting by". Everyone is feeling the crunch in some manner and we are too. We are self employed and in order to pay our staff, my husband cut his pay in half...yes HALF. It hurts and I try to adjust the budget every month but it never seems to add up. So, today, I will start to do things differently.

I went to a coupon class last night (yes, I am one of those obsessed with coupons!) I was actually a speaker about one of my other passions (we'll get to that later) but the one thing that I found so fascinating was making your own cleaning supplies! I knew it could be done but last night, Lori, (I'll see if she has a website later) told us how easy it was. So, today, I start things differently. I want to be one of those mom's that has a garden, cooks from scratch, and yes, makes her own cleaning supplies. I would even like to learn to sew and knit, since I forget how. I want to be THAT mom and wife!

So, this is my blog about living on half a paycheck and how we cut costs.

When the baby wakes up the family will head to the store to but vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol and a few other things to make our own cleaning products. It is cheaper, safer for the kiddos and better for the environment. My stock pile of cleaning supplies is headed to the food pantry at church. I hope you find this slightly interesting and I hope I am not the only one reading this. But, if I am, I will have a record of how far my family has come.

This will be the year I have more than one pumpkin survive in the garden and my watermelon will be bigger than a baseball!