Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving And Left Overs

I just really love Thanksgiving it is one of my favorite holidays.  I also love the 4th of July. Anyway back to what I really love about Thanksgiving is the food, and the family.  It is a time of eating and sharing company with others.  No stress about presents yet.  I love cooking once and eating for days to come.  I love being thankful and showing my appreciation to my family. 
I love my family so much that today I made split pea and ham soup, out of the ham left overs and what was left on the veggie tray.  The ham bone still has enough fat on it that I stuck it in the freezer to make with beans in the weeks to come. 
In have not had to eat out all week, I have had turkey, turkey sandwiches, ham, ham sandwiches, stuffing, fruit salad, jello salad.....  my daughter ate all the mashed potatoes and green bean bake, but that is fine with me. 
I made 5 pans of cinnamon rolls and took them to work on Thanksgiving day to share with the poor souls working the holiday. They were a big hit, there were not any left the next day when I got to work. 
I am Thankful for my family and friends....  I am thankful for my job, and thankful I have learned how to budget, pay off debt, and build an emergency fund.  I am thankful for my house and the great neighborhood in which I live.  I am thankful that I live in a wonderful country....  and most of all this year I am thankful that my son is home safe from Iraq. 
I hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful holiday.
Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fabulous & Frugal: Save Money on Black Friday

Fabulous & Frugal: Save Money on Black Friday: Here it is.... drum roll please...... My fabulous strategy for saving money on Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) is to NOT GO SHOPPING...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Homemade Baking Mixes

I am so excited....  I found this post for homemade baking mixes over at the Dollar Stretcher.

I am totally going to make up this recipe and start using it.  Also on another note, lots of baking supplies are on sale this time of the year, and also lots of coupons for sugar, flour and baking items.
Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

How to make your own mixes for less

Homemade Baking Mixes


Everyone knows that commercial baking mixes are useful, but are they practical? The rising costs of advertising, packaging and labor have increased the prices of many of these baking mixes to almost double that of homemade products. So, why do people still buy them? Convenience, as well as time saved in the kitchen, are the reasons that people still buy them. To a busy family, these reasons often overshadow the cost of such mixes. You can have all the benefits of commercial baking mixes, at half the price, by simply making your own in bulk at home.

Homemade mixes give you savings, convenience, versatility and nutrition, which is an unbeatable combination. They can also be personalized to meet your dietary needs. Use less salt, replace sugar with a sugar substitute, use less fat or add whole grains depending on the needs of your particular family.

By preparing ahead in bulk, these mixes will save you time as well. With a mix, food can be prepared in one-third the time it would usually take to assemble and measure ingredients. Add the fact that your own mixes have no preservatives or unhealthy additives, making them healthier for your family. These baking mixes are also versatile, each recipe complete with several variations, enabling you to produce more than one product from each mix.

For a basic mix, which can be used to make biscuits, pancakes, muffins, corn bread, breadsticks, doughnuts and even cookies, assemble the recipe below. You may want to reduce the recipe by half for a smaller batch if your family is smaller. This basic mix can also be substituted whenever a recipe calls for commercial biscuit mixes.

Basic Mix

17 cups all-purpose flour

8 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoon salt

4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups instant non-fat dry milk powder

4 1/2 cups shortening

In a very large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Makes 26 cups. Mix will keep for two to three months. As with any mix, always remember to label and date all containers carefully.


For biscuits, mix together 3 cups of baking mix and 2/3 cup water or milk. Blend well, knead slightly, then roll out and cut into desired shape. Bake at 450° for 10 to 15 minutes. Makes 10 to 12 biscuits. For drop biscuits, add 2 tablespoons extra liquid.

For pancakes, mix together 4 1/2 cups basic mix and 2 tablespoons sugar until blended. Add 2 beaten eggs and 2 3/4 cups milk, buttermilk or water. Mix thoroughly. Bake on a well-greased hot griddle. Makes 13 to 16 6-inch pancakes.

For muffins, blend 2 2/3 cups basic mix and 4 tablespoons sugar. Add 1 beaten egg and 1 cup milk or water. Stir just until blended together. Pour into greased muffin cups. Bake at 425° degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes one dozen muffins.

For corn bread, mix 3 cups basic mix, 9 tablespoons cornmeal, and 1 cup sugar. Blend well. Add 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk or water and 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine. Fill greased 9 x 13-inch pan with batter. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes.

For breadsticks, mix 2 cups basic mix, 1/2 cup cornmeal or flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together. Add a scant 1/2 cup milk or water. Blend to form a dough, then knead until smooth. Form into 12 small logs, about 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes until crisp and well browned.

For doughnuts, blend 3 cups basic mix, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Mix together 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup milk or water in a separate bowl, then add to dry ingredients. Stir until dough forms. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Roll out 1/2 inch thick and cut with a floured cutter or drinking glass. Fry in hot oil, about 375°, turning once to brown each side. Drain on paper towels. Dredge in powdered sugar while doughnuts are still warm.

For molasses cookies, mix 2 cups basic mix, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Blend. Stir in 1 egg yolk and 1/2 cup molasses. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Flatten with a sugar-dipped glass. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 375° for 10 minutes, or until edges are brown. Cool. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Cocoa Cake and Brownie Mix

9 cups all-purpose flour

6 teaspoon baking powder

6 teaspoon salt

12 1/2 cups sugar

12 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Mix will keep for 2 to 3 months. Be sure to label and date.

For cocoa cake, bring 1 cup water and 1/4 cup butter or margarine to a boil in a saucepan. In a large bowl, combine hot water and butter with 2 cups Cocoa Cake and Brownie mix, 1/4 cup dairy sour cream, 1 beaten egg, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Blend. Pour into a greased cake pan. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until done. Makes one layer. Double recipe for a two layer cake.

For brownies, mix 2 1/4 cups Cocoa Cake and Brownie mix, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine. Blend well. Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts if desired. Pour into a greased and floured 8-inch pan. Bake 350° for 30 to 35 minutes.

For cocoa cookies, beat together 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine, 2 eggs, and 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon water. Add 2 1/4 cups Cocoa Cake and Brownie mix, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 cup flour and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Blend well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets, approximately 2 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 375°, or until edges are brown. Cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Basic Cake Mix

15 cups all-purpose flour

9 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cup cornstarch

7 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 3/4 cups shortening

In a large bowl, blend all dry ingredients until well mixed. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Mixture will keep two to three months. Makes about 25 1/2 cups mix.

For yellow cake, combine 5 cups Cake mix, 1 1/4 cups milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat well. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each additional egg. Pour into two greased and floured 8- or 9-inch pans. Bake 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. To make white cake, simply use only the white of the eggs.

Don't overlook the other uses of baking mixes in your home, either. Mixes can be packaged and labeled attractively to be given as gifts. They can be taken along on the family camping trip to add convenience at the campsite, replacing costly prepackaged foods. Mixes are also easily prepared by children, making it simple for them to help in the kitchen. Mix away!


Janean Nusz is a freelance writer, instructor and copywriter. Visit her website, Author's Art, at for budget tips, freebies and other information.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fabulous & Frugal: Fabulous Home Made Cranberry Sauce

Fabulous & Frugal: Fabulous Home Made Cranberry Sauce: This recipe is so easy and so fabulous, that you will never buy canned cranberry sauce ever again. Your friends and family will truly be im...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

High Price Prescriptions

I have been suffering from some muscle pain in my neck for about 4 weeks now with no relief.  It really started about 3 months ago but it would come and go.  So I had been using generic Icy Hot, and taking either generic Aleve or Ibuprofen.  Well, when I was so stoved up that I couldn't move my shoulders very good, or turn my head, and was in constant pain... I went to see my doctor.  I am now in physical therapy, and on pain medication.  I did use some of the pain pills last week, sure helped immensely with work and to get through the day. Today being my day off I went to the pharmacy to get my other pills that had to be ordered last week.  Well, to my surprise, my doctor wrote me a prescription for pain patches as well.  They were 50.00 for 30 patches.  I damn near ended up in the hospital with a heart attack.  Talk about a complete shock. 
Upon pondering this prescription, and with my insurance the pills that I got for pain were only 5 dollars for the prescription.  So, I guess that I am just perplexed with the price of those patches. 
Well, as you can imagine...  this was not an expense that I budgeted for.  I am fine, I have money in my savings account, but I have come to the conclusion that my doctor and my pharmacy want me to be broke.  When I go back to the doctor I will be sure to let her know what my insurance covers and what it does not cover for the prescriptions.

I guess the lesson that I have learned here is to ask more questions at both the doctors office and at the pharmacy.  I really feel that if you can use a cheaper medication that works just as well, your pocketbook will thank you.

I really feel for my neighbors and friends without insurance....  I have a job and insurance and these prices are killing me financially.

The moral here is to take care of yourself, and try to stay in the best health possible.  I have spent a fortune on medication and doctors and physical therapy appointments this month.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Not Able to Post Comments On My Own Blog

Linda @ Practical Parsimony~ I have been trying to comment back to you...  but my lovely blog is not allowing it for some reason.  I will research what the problem is.  Here is the comment that I have been trying to send to you.  I appreciate your support and love your blog!!!

Linda ~ that is so great!!  I cash in cans and bottles on a regular basis.  Oregon has the bottle bill for refunds, it is a pain sometimes collecting and saving, but for an hour or less of standing there feeding the machines...  16 bucks is what I average, to me it is worth it.  It is the only account I have that grows with any regularity.  Have a Fabulous and Frugal Day!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Boots and Scarfs

I survived Halloween, 136 trick-or-treaters at my house.  I spent 82.00 total on candy and goodies and that was with sales and tons of coupons.  I have noticed that the packages are much smaller with fewer goodies in them.  Makes me wonder if I will even keep my porch light on next year.  Yes it is fun, and it is cool to see all the kids dressed up but it is sooooooo expensive.

The weather has turned cold here now and we are just waiting for snow, 41 degrees this afternoon on my way to work.  I broke out my boots, and scarf's. There is just no point in being cold.

I have really been watching extreme couponing, and the reruns, trying to learn all the tricks and secrets, for maximizing my cash flow in order to pay off some more debt.  Bad news at my job too, we don't know how much longer we will be here.  Other entities no longer want (or can afford) to pay for technology and service so no telling how much longer I will be employed. 

It is okay though, my plan is to keep paying those bills to the fullest possible potential....  I just paid off the IRS this month and that was a great feeling, It will give me an extra 150 bucks a month to pay on something else. 

I keep reading my frugal books, cooking at home, packing my lunch for work, and hanging in there.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!