The last couple of days I have been recipes to package in individual portion sizes to put in the freezer for lunches and quick suppers. Thru Tuesday, April 16, Hornbachers has 80% ground beef for $2.28/lb in 10 lb packages. This is almost half the per pound price of smaller packages. I ended up getting an 8 lb package.
I made chili, meatloaf, porcupine meatballs in the crockpot and hamburger hotdish. I also made blueberry waffles and blueberry muffins, since I cleaned out my freezer and found some blueberries I had frozen.
I also made Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes that doesn’t use cream soup. These can either be made with frozen hashbrowns or fresh potatoes.
The photo above shows a few of the individual meals i made to freeze. I partially cooked the carrots. I have a glass bowl at work that I use to warm the meals up in the microwave.
One way to save a lot of money is to cook at home instead of getting takeout or dining out. Some people may choose not to cook at home because they don’t think they know how to or it is too much work.
Some ways to make it easier is by using a crockpot or making batch meals to keep in the freezer.
Check your city for cooking lessons, such as community education programs. Locally, the Moorhead Community Education program offers various cooking classes. Also, there is a new business in Fargo, Square One Rental Kitchen & Event Center that is offering cooking classes. Some of their classes are being taught by Tim Rosendahl who used to work at Disney World and Red Lobster.
Another opportunity is the upcoming Taste of Home Cooking School. The Fargo show is Saturday, May 11. You can enter your city of zip code into the website to find a show in your area. It consists of vendor booths you can peruse beforehand and the show is a couple hours of watching a Taste of Home demonstrator cook a number of meals from Taste of Home publications.
I saw a blog post by a 10 year old about cookbooks on Teaching Kids to Cook. It may seem like it takes longer for the kids to help you, but in time they will get faster and be able to help more. It is also good for them to get used to cooking before they get out on their own.
Now that you are done with your taxes, you may be able to get rid of some documents and get rid of some paper clutter.
Here is information on how long it is recommended to keep certain documents. Some items such as bank statements and credit card statements may be accessed online.
Shredding any personal papers that have your account numbers and other information is an important step to take in order to protect your identity.
Secure Your ID Day is an opportunity to have some of your documents shredded for free. It will be held at Wells Fargo banks at 2501 13th Ave S in Fargo and 1050 E. Interstate Ave in Bismarck. It will be from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, April 20. There will also be free cellphone recycling and information on identity theft. You can register to win a personal shredder.
Check out the Better Business Bureau website for more information on the events and for events in your area.
Erin Chase, AKA $5 Dinner Mom has written a number of books and a blog about dinners that consist of ingredients of under $5.
Tonight I made Southwest Macaroni and Cheese and plan on trying the Spicy Quinoa later in the week. With the many recipes available,you can make homemade mac and cheese and other casseroles or hotdishes as quick and easy as the boxed ones you can purchase. By making your own you know what ingredients are in them and may be able to avoid some of the unknown ingredients that in the boxed meals.
It is also a way to use up leftovers you may have. It is also an easy way to make a hearty meal with inexpensive items such as beans and vegetables.
While I was putting this together, I also made a batch of Copy Cat Eggo Waffles with mini chocolate chips to put in the freezer. Again, along with saving money, you know what ingredients are in them.
Recently I made Homemade Tortillas. They were easy to make and tasted great. The mix makes about 8 recipes and each recipe makes about 10 – 12 tortillas.
For the shortening, I used coconut oil. They didn’t take on the coconut taste. The mix will probably keep better and last longer if you keep it in the refrigerator since it has shortening in it.
Following are some ideas to save money when planning a graduation party, or any type of party.
Check out the dollar stores. Some dollar stores have Mylar helium balloon that may be less expensive than other stores.
Also, they have plastic plates, napkins, utensils in various colors and themes. You may also be able to find serving bowls and platters. Also look for party decorations and items that could be used as centerpieces.
If you are in need of serving bowls, platters, etc another place to check out are the second hand stores. Some have various items like this at a fraction of buying new.
I was recently at Heirlooms at 3120 25th St S, Fargo and they had a few tables of serving items, such as silver and glass bowls and trays. Heirlooms is an upscale second hand store where the proceeds benefit the Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Here is the update of the progress of my goals for March.
In March I did Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. I didn’t see much difference on my scale, but I lost inches and went down a pant size. Now I am doing her Six Pack Abs in Six Weeks. To try a variety of programs without buying a bunch of DVDs I have been watching some of them on YouTube.
I have been following the 52 Week Saving Plan and have $120 in saved after putting in $15 for the coming week. Even if you don’t want to participate in this program, anything you can save makes a difference. I have also heard of savings a dollar a day for a year.
I have been following the YouVersion.com plan to read the Bible in a year. I have kept up with it for January thru March.
One of my goals is to write an e-book a month. For March I published an E-Book, Teaching Kids about Money. It includes books, websites and other resources to teach kids about money. Here<.a> are the other Ebooks I have written.
I have also been keeping up with the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks program by reading at least one book a week.
I have also tried several recipes such as homemade tortillas, homemade refried beans and more.
If you subscribe to DirecTv and have a smart phone you may want to check out Viggle.com. Once you download the app you can “check in” while watching shows on certain channels. You also get additional points for watching the show and some shows offer bonus points. You earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards and other items.
I just downloaded the app last night. It may seem like it will take a long time to earn points but I have heard of others earning $20-$40 or so per month and if you are watching TV anyways.
With our weather now, it may seem like summer is a long way off. I stopped at a second hand store near my house on the way home this afternoon and ended up finding 5 pairs of Studio Works capris. They still had the original price tags ($28) and were marked $2.99 each. On the way into the store I saw a sign that the white tags were half off. So each pair of capris were $1.50. So I ended up getting $150 of pants for $8.01. I got 2 tan, 2 black and 1 blue pair of capris.
The half price tags were at the Dakota Boys Ranch store on 32nd Ave S in Fargo. I don’t know how long the sale will be or if it is also at the other stores.
This is one example of not knowing what you will find when shopping at thrift stores. It is not as much of a guarantee of finding specific items as shopping at other stores, but in many cases you can find a deal on brand new or almost brand new items.
Some ways to save on grocery expenses are to stock up on items when they are on sale or buying at bulk stores. It is important to keep an eye on expiration and use by dates. If you spend money on items and don’t end up using them while they are still good, you are not saving money.
Here is a website I discovered recently that gives advice on how long after sell by, use by or expiration dates food items may be safe to use.
There have been stories going around the internet about people getting sick or even deaths from expired cake or pancake mixes. Here is a Snopes report on the stories. It appears there may be difficulties if people have allergies or medical issues but in most cases should not be a problem.
This evening I made a batch of Banana split cookies. They were quick and easy to make and tasted great. I left out the cherries because I didn’t know how they would go over with my nieces and nephews.
I also made Red Lobster cheesy biscuit bread. After I started, I realized I was out of milk. I used 1 cup of water and ¼ cup extra sour cream and it tasted great.