Being frugal through the holidays is the hardest thing ever for a lot of people, and for some it can undo all of the hard work they have put in throughout the year. So for everyday for the next 30 days I am going to offer a link/links to help ...
When did thanksgiving become so complicated? Years ago a traditional thanksgiving feast was uncomplicated and did not cost a fortune to make. It still does not have to be expensive, a traditional meal can be made for under $20 if you are careful and chances are good you already have ...
In case you had not notices the price of everything in the grocery store is going up, and it is only supposed to get worse. In our home that has meant that many of the products and foods that we like are on the no buy list, nuts for instance, ...
When most people envision eating on a budget, they think about cheap ingredients and fillers such as white bread, hot dogs, top ramen and a wide range of processed foods that remain cheaper than buying whole foods. The problem with that is that most of us know that it is ...
Being frugal through the holidays is the hardest thing ever for a lot of people, and for some it can undo all of the hard work they have put in throughout the year. So for everyday for the next 30 days I am going to offer a link/links to help you be more frugal through the holidays. These links will help you in the effort to be more frugal but still get the most out of your Holidays.
Since frugal gift giving is the one thing that is most on people’s minds I am going to start this list out with easy frugal gifts you can make. You are not out of time to make gifts for those on your list, but you will need to get started now and they have to be easy, so that is what this list will focus on. I hope you find something that will help you get through the holidays with your bank just a little bit fuller.
Pinterest is one of the hottest ideas going these days for those looking to get creative, this pinner http://pinterest.com/msqueen/frugal-gifts/ has over 80 ideas for frugal gifts you can make for your family and friends all in one spot. This is a great find and you will love the diverse ideas available here.
6 Back to basics ideas your gift recipient will lovehttp://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2009/12/6-frugal-homemade-christmas-gifts/ If you love to be in the kitchen here are some ideas that might make the perfect gift for someone on your list. A lot of people do not have the time or skills to cook so why not take them some nice warm bread or make them some Homemade jam or jelly?
Twenty Five Days Twenty Five items all on one page.http://www.mommysavers.com/frugal-christmas-25-days-of-homemade-gift-ideas/ These homemade and very frugal gift ideas can all be made fast and easy and there is something here for everyone! Most of these can be made in an afternoon and many of them can be made from items you already have at home. This is a great list and a real keeper!
When did thanksgiving become so complicated? Years ago a traditional thanksgiving feast was uncomplicated and did not cost a fortune to make. It still does not have to be expensive, a traditional meal can be made for under $20 if you are careful and chances are good you already have most everything on hand to do so.
A thanksgiving feast is not a feast without a turkey, this will be the most expensive part of your meal, but if you shop around you should be able to get a turkey for less than $12. If you planned ahead some places give turkeys away as loyalty rewards. Final cost of your turkey? Between $0 and $12.
Turkeys do not need anything fancy to cook, you can do a simple brine if you want, all you need is a food grade bucket or XXL Ziploc bag, salt, sugar and spices of your choice. Just use 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of sugar for every gallon of water. Add in any seasonings you want, and put your turkey in with the brine covering your turkey. Some people like to heat the brine up and cool it first, since it helps to dissolve the salt and sugar and infuse the flavors of the herbs into the brine.
Otherwise when I was a kid, a bit of melted butter and the juices of the turkey were all we ever used to baste the Turkey. We seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper and that was it. No big expense, no fancy expensive Turkey just a bargain turkey and a bit of careful attention.
Side Dishes Galore
Again there is nothing fancy about the simple side dishes we did growing up, but we always made them a bit extra special because it was Thanksgiving. Mashed potatoes were dress up a bit with the addition of a bit of cream, or cream cheese and a touch of garlic and parsley. A bag of potatoes if you do not have them already is going to cost no more than$3 if you do have cream or cannot get it on sale milk works just as well. Vegetables were given some sort of glaze but were nothing more than the same vegetables we used every day. Glazed carrots are very easy to make and a bag of carrots if you do not already have them is under a dollar.
The big center piece of our dinner was the candied Yams, that you will find the recipe for here you just need 3 sweet potatoes, a bit of butter and a bit of brown sugar to make these and they taste just as rich and decadent as thanksgiving should.
If you make your own stuffing and gravy from items you have around your house, they should not cost you anything. Here is a very basic stuffing recipe that uses mostly things you have on hand, feel free to substitute seasonings if you do not have the ones listed.
A few Extras
What you see above makes a simple meal, but if you want a bit more for just a little bit of money my bread tutorial makes the best rolls ever for just pennies. the recipe does not have milk or eggs so it is very frugal to make and you won’t miss them.
Grab a cheap pumpkin at the store and bake it off, a can of evaporated milk and some sugar, and eggs and you have a homemade pumpkin filling. Pie crust is equally as easy and inexpensive to make.
A Few Final Tips
Thanksgiving dinner does not have to be fancy and if you are on a budget, just a bit of extra time and effort can assure that your cost for this family dinner is as low as possible.
There is no better time to look for coupons and loss leaders at the store. Get the lowest prices you can on items that are already on sale and then add on coupons to cut your cost even more. Make everything from scratch and keep your meal simply and you may even be able to drop the cost of your Thanksgiving dinner even more.
9 Tips to Help You Deal With the Impulses that Can Break your Budget and Your Waistline
We have all done it, we go into the holiday season thinking that this will be the year we won’t spend too much or eat too much, and we end the holiday season over budget and having gained a few pounds. It is easy to think what’s the harm? Christmas only comes once a year right? But that is EXACTLY the problem!! when you start to add up your indiscretions over the years the consequences are not so pleasant. An extra 3 pounds spread out over 10 years is an addition 30 pounds on your frame, and adding $1000 in debt over 10 years is a whopping $10,000 of debt you have to pay interest on over 10 years.
Add that to the fact that working those pounds off or paying off that debt, no matter how well intentioned you are – is always harder than it seemed when you made those promises, and it is easy to see why it is simply better to learn to curb those impulses.
I don’t know about you but when I make it through the year without any extra weight and without going over budget, when January 1st comes round there is no remorse, in fact it FEELS good!
Curbing Impulse is Easier Said Than Done
That said, curbing impulse is never easier, and at Christmas it is hardest of all. Not only is it Christmas but it is the beginning of a long winter, and of course diet and tax season is coming up…. So why not splurge right?
There are a lot of good reasons not to splurge, think about how fast the extra money add ups in your bank, how many bills you can REALLY pay off this year, and those extra pounds you gain?? They are always harder to take off than they were to put on. Don’t start your year out with regrets and guilt…
Understanding Impulsive Urges
I have just got to have the dress…it will look so great for my Christmas party, and besides it is on sale…. I will never see it again; I will NEVER get it for that price!!
We have all done it; we convince ourselves that if we do not do it now, that we will never be able to… Somehow our brain stops thinking logically, we do not think about how once that giant piece of fudge is eaten, and that plate of Christmas cookies is devastated that there is no going back….
The secret to controlling impulses, the bane of frugality, is to learn to step back, and look at the situation logically.
Make a commitment to not buy or eat anything this Christmas without thinking about it first….
9 Tips to Avoid the Impulsivity Trap
Become Aware of Impulse spending and eating – Recognizing the problem and becoming aware of when you do it is the first step to changing it. If you do nothing but realize you are being impulsive you are half way to eliminating impulsiveness in your spending and eating habits.
Plan ahead – Planning is one of the biggest ways to stop impulsiveness. When it comes to shopping, a shopping list will allow you to get what you need and what you want, and walk away. Plan reasonably; because the more you feel “entitled” the more likely you are to be impulsive. Work a special treat into your shopping trip or the party you are headed out to. Feelings of deprivation will only make it harder to control impulsiveness. If you plan indulgences carefully into your activities you are far less likely to want to indulge.
Create Rules for your Behavior – Before you can create rules you must understand what behaviors you have. Make a list….. are you a bargainer? (I will not eat dinner so I can have goodies at the party tonight, I will not buy this so I can spend 3 times as much money on something else), Do you justify your behavior (it will never be this cheap again, One cookie won’t hurt,), are you an emotional buyer and eater? (It might make me feel better if I buy that dress or eat that piece of candy?) Create rules based on the excuses that you make, If you bargain, make a rule that you can either stick to your list, or buy nothing. Head home think about it, and make a new list and go shopping another day. It is not saying no to what you want, it is saying no to being impulsive. Have a money or calorie budget and stick to it, when it is gone, it is gone. Decide you will not buy or impulse eat when you are feeling down or stressed period, wait until the mood passes.
Offer yourself an Acceptable reward for Compliance – Don’t deny yourself, deprivation is the easiest path to impulsivity. Plan rewards into whatever you are doing, if it is shopping, give yourself a small budget, if it is a party where rich foods are involved, allow yourself to choose 1 or 2 things you want most. Or if you refrain from eating something you know will pack on the pounds, treat yourself to a healthy indulgence later to celebrate.
Put off Impulsivity – Impulsivity is all about the NOW….. Most people when they have had a chance to think about it, don’t want to be impulsive. But there is the key, taking the time to think about it. Set a time, if you want to buy more toys for your child for Christmas and you know it is not in your budget, go have a cup a coffee and write down all of the benefits and disadvantages to spending that extra money. If you go back to spend the money you will at least know that it is no longer an impulsive decision. Sometimes postponing eating something at a party and perhaps taking it home with you, by the time you get home you find it was not the urge to indulge as much as the urge to celebrate or do the same thing everyone else is doing. That rich dessert may not look as good once you get home.
Don’t be impulsive Without talking about it first – Find someone to talk to about your desire to be impulsive. Commiserating with your friend about how good something looks and how much you want it, is sometimes all you need to remember why it is so important to walk away. Choose supportive friends to talk to, ones you know will understand why you do not want the extra calories.
Avoid Situations that Create impulsive behavior – If it is really important to not let impulses get to you, then you may want to avoid the situation all together. If someone you know is having a Christmas party at the Chinese buffet and you know you will not be able to resist then simply do not go. Sometimes it is just better to avoid, if you know that you will not be able to reign in your impulsive urges.
Set a money and food Budget and stick to it – It is ok to set a budget, but make sure the budget is something that is attainable. Think about what your goals are this year, and make sure your money or calorie budget is in keeping with this. Realistic goals feel just as good and are easier to attain than unrealistic goals.
Choose when to Indulge – Not being impulsive means taking control of your urges. It does not mean pushing them away and pretending like they do not exist. If you are craving chocolate and it is all around you then by all means have a small piece of the richest and most indulgent chocolate you can find. Sometimes just knowing what your body is asking for and being mindful of its desires is all you need to kick the impulsivity trap.
Most Importantly of All!
Understand that it might not feel good at the time, but tomorrow it will feel much better – Perhaps most important of all, is understanding that walking away from that great sale, or that huge amazing buffet may not feel good all the time. At least not at the moment when you choose to do so. You might feel deprived no matter how hard you try not to, you might feel like you are missing out on the deal of the century.
For the impulsive person that can feel crummy…. At least at first. But the GOOD feelings will come. Without exception most impulsive people feel wonderful after they have reigned in their impulsiveness, it just may take some time to feel that way. Tonight walking away from all those calories may feel horrible, but when you get up in the morning, not hung over from too much sugar and fat, it will feel terrific. If you can keep that in perspective it will go a long ways to helping you walk away.
These soft fluffy pretzels are easy to make and are a great snack for after school or to tuck into your husbands lunch box. Much more affordable than buying soft pretzels you can freeze these and heat them up in the Microwave later.
*If you plan to freeze these do not put salt on them until after you pull them from the freezer
4 to 4 ½ cups flour
2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cups sugar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons salt
2 quarts boiling water
1 slightly beaten egg white
Sesame seed or coarse salt
In mixer bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast in saucepan heat milk, sugar, oil and 1 ½ teaspoons salt just till warm (115 –120) stir constantly. Add to flour mixture. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for ½ minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in as much of he remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic(6-8 minutes) Shape into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface.
Cove; let rise in warm place till double( about 1½ hours)
Punch down; turn out onto lightly floured surface, cover let rest 10 minutes. Roll into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Cut into 16 strips, each 12 inches long and ½ inch wide. Roll each into a rope 16 inches long. Shape into pretzels. Let rise, uncovered, 20 minutes. Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in the boiling water. Lower 3 or 4 pretzels at a time into boiling water; boil for 2 minutes, turning once. Remove with slotted spoon to paper toweling; let stand a few seconds then place ½ inch apart on well greased baking sheet. Brush with mixture of egg white and 2 tablespoons water. Sprinkle lightly with sesame seed or coarse salt. Bake in 350 oven 25 to 30 minutes or till golden brown.
When making this recipe be sure to knead them well till smooth, don’t let them dry out, and do not use oil to cook them as possible the oil will make them crispy and stiff, rather than the soft you want them to be.
4 cups Flour
1 Tbls salt
pinch of baking powder
2 heaping Tbls shortening
1½ cups hot water
Mix together well, knead until smooth.
Divide into 2 inch diameter balls, and place in a covered greased bowl.
Roll out thin the thinner the better) on a floured table and cook on medium heat in an ungreased pan.
Warm the milk and water in a small saucepan until very warm (125 degrees F/50 degrees C). Lightly grease two 8×4 inch loaf pans; sprinkle cornmeal inside pans.
In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and soda. Stir milk into the flour mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until a stiff batter is formed. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place for until nearly doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool.