I recently made Homemade Crescent Rolls.

I forgot to buy powdered milk so I looked online for ideas for a substitute. One website I found said to use milk instead of the water. So I used 1 cup of warm water and 1 cup of warm milk instead of the 2 cups of water the recipe calls for. It seemed to work.

Once you get the rolls rolled up the recipe says to let rise another 1 – 1 ½ hours. I didn’t need to let them rise that long.

Here is another recipe which i have not found. It calls for warm water and warm milk instead of dry milk in the other recipe. This one also has the second rise of 20 minutes instead of the longer rise in the other recipe.

On the Pillsbury website it says that baked crescent rolls can be frozen up to a month and reheated if you don’t use them all when you bake them.

I also put chocolate chips in some of them before I rolled them. They taste like the chocolate croissants I have had at Disney World and on cruises.

I used the second half of the dough to make a couple of other recipes Pecan bars and Cinnamon Sugar Pizza.

If you look online you can find a variety of recipes to make with crescent rolls such as pizza filled, smore, sausage and cheese filled and many more.

They take longer to make than purchased ones but the recipe makes the equivalent of 4 packages that would cost over $10. And they taste a lot better than purchased ones. You can do other things while they are rising. I baked the other two recipes during the final rising of the rolls.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme

On Sunday, January 27, the price of postage stamps will increase one cent to $0.46. Post card stamps are also increasing.

If you use a lot of stamps you can still purchase the Forever stamps on Saturday yet for $0.45 each.

The Forever stamps are good forever no matter how much the postage increases.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme

There was a recent article in the Forum about credit card traps to be aware of.

Coming this Sunday, January 28 there may be another fee to be aware of, Credit Card Checkout fees. Merchants will be allowed to charge a fee for accepting Mastercard and Visa. It doesn’t mean they will, but some might.

They need to tell you or have signs up about it so you know there will be an extra charge. Retailers are allowed to charge a fee that is the equivalent of what they pay for the interchange fee, which is between 1.5% and 4%. The fee only pertains to credit cards, not debit cards and only Mastercard and Visa.

Some experts don’t think most retailers will end up charging this fee unless they are in a specialty business.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme

Following are some recent articles I have written about values that may or may not increase the value of your home.

Home Improvements that will increase the value of your home

Home improvements that will not increase the value of your home

Also, the difference between a credit line and a home equity loan and ways to pay off your mortgage faster.

Is a credit line better than a home equity loan

Ways to pay off your mortgage faster

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme

I found a recipe online this morning for No Bake Granola Bars. I made a batch and they were great.

There are a lot of purchased items I don’t care for the taste because of the preservatives so I have been trying to make more things at home. When making your own items you know what ingredients are in them and can tailor them to your tastes.

With these granola bars you can add baking chips and nuts to add variety to them.

In some of the comments to the original post people used Sunbutter instead of the peanut butter and coconut oil instead of the butter.

They cost about half of buying granola bars.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme

One of the New Year’s resolutions for many people is exercise and weight loss. Some people prefer the accountability and support of a fitness club. However, if you prefer to work out at home there are several DVDs available from a variety of exercises and difficulty levels.

If you want to try exercise programs before purchasing them, there are a couple of ways to try them without needing to purchase them. Many public libraries have a selection of workout DVDs. Another option is to check out YouTube. A couple of weeks ago I checked out a Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD. At our local library DVDs can be checked out for one week. If there is not another request for it, you may be able to renew it for an additional week.

I also found this DVD and others on YouTube. Also, on YouTube I found a segment on a 3 mile walk in 45 minutes at home. It consists of a variety of simple steps that you can do in your home and walk 3 miles. It is especially helpful for our climate where it is difficult to walk outside during the winter. I have completed the session the past two days. There is also a 30 minutes version which is 2 miles.

These are a couple of ways to try DVDs before purchasing them or to have a variety of workouts without the expense and clutter of extra DVDs.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme

I saw the above photo recently on Facebook. I have heard this from other sources recently also. Twenty five percent of Americans are withdrawing from their retirement accounts to pay everyday expenses such as mortgage, credit cards, and groceries.

There may be emergencies that cause you to need to withdraw money from your retirement account. Read the 7 reasons not to withdraw form your 401k to make sure what the consequences are before applying for a early withdrawal.
You need to read the fine print so you what the extra costs are and when the loan needs to be paid back. In most cases, if you get laid off or leave your job you have only 60 days to pay back the outstanding 401k loan. If you are younger than 59 ½ you may be assessed with a 10% federal tax-penalty on the “withdrawal amount”.
When withdrawing money from the account you losing the potential growth and compounding of that money. Even though you pay back the loan, you will still not have as much as you would have without withdrawing the money. It is important to start investing as early as you can to take advantage of the power of compound interest.
It is important to do extensive research when considering withdrawing money from your retirement account.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme

As you are receiving your first paycheck of 2013, the amount may be less than you expected. In 2011 and 2012 the Social Security payroll taxes were reduced from 6.2% to 4.2%. That reduction expired on December 31, 2012.

Here is a post from Dave Ramsey’s blog about what the decrease may mean for you. On a salary of $50,000 that is an annual decrease of $1,000 a year or about $40 every two weeks.

$40 may not seem like a lot of money but if you are stretching yourself thin already, that $40 can make a difference. That is why it is important to live on a budget of what you have coming in and going out. If you had figured your budget with the income you have been receiving it is important to rework the budget to reflect the decrease in pay.

It will be beneficial to start living within the budget of what you are actually bringing in, instead of thinking you will eventually catch up. The longer you live beyond your means the more debt you may find yourself in.

It may seem like a decrease in pay, but you probably have been getting more in your checks the past two years than you would have if the payroll taxes had not been reduced.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme
Nancy Kvamme

Jessica from Lifeasmom.com is hosting a Pantry Challenge throughout the month of January. In some challenges people try not to do any grocery shopping, in this challenge she is buying things they run out of such as dairy, produce and other items to fill in with the items she already has to make meals. The concept of the pantry challenge is to try to make meals with ingredients you already have to clean out your fridge, freezer and pantry.

Over the past week, along with other ingredients, three ingredients I have used in several meals in different ways are black olives, portabella mushrooms and mini peppers. Using these three ingredients in the past week I have made.

Mini pizzas with English muffins as the crust
Lettuce salad on most days
Grilled cheese sandwich with the olives, mushrooms and peppers

I also had a jar of salsa in my fridge to use up. I used it to make Spanish rice and tortilla soup.

There are websites, such as Allrecipes.com that you can enter ingredients that you have on hand and it will list recipes containing those ingredients.

With a little planning, leftovers may be able to be used for meals instead of being thrown away.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme