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Posts Tagged ‘saving’

The best things in life are free

August 3, 2011 Leave a comment

So what helps make DIY items even more affordable?

Part of the thought that must go into DIYs is…will it be cheaper to make this myself or will I pay more buying the supplies? Should I just PSE (pay someone else)?

When all the supplies are free, I figure I have to at least give it a try. Enter Freecycle. I love that not only am I getting items (like wine bottles and Christmas lights) that others no longer want, but I have this warm fuzzy feeling of my community giving me a hand. And picking up the items, I see different parts of the city I work in and live in that I normally wouldn’t see otherwise.

And let’s face it, sometimes it’s just fun to see what people are offering thinking someone else might be interested in having it! An alligator head anyone?

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Stopping Unsolicited Mail

March 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Last year I posted about how many credit offers I receive in a day, and what I did with the envolopes inside.

Sure the game is fun sometimes, but when receiving SIX offers from Citibank at one time…it’s getting to be a bit much!

Oh the wonders of Facebook! I posted about how much junk I was getting, and thankfully, my cousin Jeannine offered another solution!

The FTC lists on its website the numerous ways you can stop phone calls, emails, and yes! Even mail!

I’ve already visited this morning to stop both credit marketers and direct mail advertisers. I feel better already! (even though the junk will still show up for several weeks.)

I feel guilty for what this could do to the postal industry, but at least I’ll spend a lot less time taking out the recycling full of junk mail every week!

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Eggless Brownies

February 7, 2011 2 comments

In a genius move, I ordered brownies and M&M’s in my pre-Super Bowl peapod.com order last week.

In a not so genius move…I forgot I’d used up all my eggs during my snowstorm baking disaster.

I’ve used yogurt to make No Pudge brownies in the past, but I’d never winged it with a mix that called for eggs and oil.

After a little googling, I came up with a plan.

1 Duncan Hines brownie mix
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt (you could also use plain yogurt and add vanilla)
3 Tbsp applesauce

I followed the directions (and topped with dark chocolate M&Ms!) and baked at whatever Ms. Hines suggested, but it took about twice as long to cook all the way through (but I was also using a smaller pan, wanting deeper brownies).

They came out amazing!

I’ve never been a huge fan of No Pudge. I think they come out sort of bread-like and dry. But these were super moist! I highly suggest it! (And it’s cheaper to buy regular brownie mix too!)

For one brownie (which Ms. Hines suggests is 1/20th of the mix) using chobani fat free yogurt, the nutritional information is 240 calories, 3 grams of fat, 30 grams carbs, 12 grams protein, 2 grams of fiber.

The Return of Tasty Tuesday – LK’s Taco Stuff

November 17, 2010 4 comments

Yes, it’s Wednesday, but I cooked it on Tuesday! So there!

I wanted to cook dinner last night and I had leftovers from having fajitas at girls’ night last week (I was in charge of toppings – sour cream, guac and salsa).

I’ve been meaning to make Lauren’s Taco Casserole for months now, so I figured this was a good time since I had fresh salsa to use up!

First off, I’m refusing from here on out to call it a casserole. I told my mom what I was making for dinner and when I used the word “casserole” her immediate response was “EW!”

Casserole conjurs up images of Campbell’s Cream based soups, and that just does NOT go with this dish. For this reason also, I simply told my boyfriend we were having “tacos” for dinner because I didn’t want him to not come over because of the word “casserole.”

I’d much rather call it a Taco Pie or a Taco Bake.

Anyway, it’s super yummy and super easy! And really, pretty healthy too. And best of all, CHEAP!

I had the toppings on hand so all I had to get was chips, ground meat, black beans and an onion. All for about $8.50! And I love that this dish could change based on what veggies you have on hand or what types of toppings are already in your fridge.

My ingredients list was:

Reduced fat tortilla chips. I didn’t trust Lauren’s suggestion of 24 chips. I went with closer to 34 (hey, they were reduced fat anyway.
1 lb ground meat. I prefer chicken, but accidentally picked up turkey. Any meat will do.

I used snack packs of Wholly Guacamole to keep from having to deal with brown gross guac if I didn't finish it all

A can of black beans, rinsed and drained.
One onion, chopped. (I love red onions).
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup cheese. I shredded the cheddar I had leftover from the cheese balls.
1 cup salsa. I used the fresh kind that you can get in the produce section. I added a couple of tablespoons of salsa verde to give it more of a “sauce” consistency.
2 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 Tbsp oil (Lauren suggests chili oil. I just used olive.)
Guacamole and Sour Cream to top

Heat oven to 350.

Hint, when Lauren says a “big” skillet, she means a BIG skillet! Do not attempt to use a medium one!

Heat oil and sautee onion and garlic until soft. Add meat, break it up, and brown it. Stir in black beans and salsa, and sautee til bubbly.

Place chips in the bottom of a baking dish and flatten them with your hands so they’re in bite-size pieces. Top with meat and cheese and any other topping you want to heat (Lauren suggests olives, etc. I bet corn and/or peppers would be great!). Bake for 15ish minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Scoop, top with cold toppings (sour cream and guac) and eat!

More finishing for Christmas – Wallets

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

More than a year ago I bought these wallet kits from One Stick Two Stick. I’d completed some pouches and other projects of theirs, but it probably wasn’t until the Blizzard in January that I found and got started on the larger wallets.

The “sushi” that the pattern called for didn’t turn out like I’d wanted them (I cast on way too tight, I know). In fact, they looked almost vulgar.

Instead, I picked out some felted flowers this last weekend at A.C. Moore. I think I like them even more! The green wallet is from the original kit, the striped one I whipped up by using up leftover yarn (while watching The Waltons because I was sick of shoveling). I love the look of felted yarn!

I’m not sure who these will be gifts for yet (or if I might just have to keep one for myself!) but it was such a relief to find my zippers last night and FINALLY finish them!

(Randomly, the zippers were in my trunk. Yes, I bought them in January. Stop judging me!)

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The Christmas Crunch time!

November 9, 2010 3 comments

It’s November, so for a person who makes probably 80% of her Christmas gifts, it’s crunch time!

This weekend I finally sat down and made a list of who’s getting what and what needs to be finished…Only half a dozen or so things left to make. Ahhhh!!

But after realizing that, I did happen to sit down on Sunday and finish a pom-pom scarf I started, guess what, the DAY before. It was super easy, but I was also a rockstar for making that happen. And I love it! I wonder who will be lucky enough to receive it next month…

And yes, it is as super soft and comfy as it looks (perhaps even softer than it looks!). It makes me want to curl up in a ball and take a nap with it.

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Reclaiming Old Projects

August 17, 2010 2 comments

So, I started this blanket for niece/nephew number four or five. I pulled it back out this weekend and maybe I can finally finish it for number 10?

Part of my “save money” “save space” etc. movement has been to try to tie up all these loose ends of the sad sad projects that were begun and never finished.

And on Saturday, I succeeded in going into a needlepoint store and only spending 84 cents. Yep! That’s less than a dollar! I went in for floss for my pillowcases…I left with ONLY that floss. I totally deserve a prize for that! (And I can’t say I wasn’t tempted! They had amazing samplers!)

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