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The BEST Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

6 hours 54 min ago

This is the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe!! These cookies are easy to make and they’re so good, they’re always gone in about 30 minutes around our house!

This is the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe!! These cookies are easy to make and they’re so good, they're always gone in about 30 minutes around our house! Click here for the recipe!
The BEST Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

The best part of this recipe is you can make any variation of these cookies that you want. You can leave out the chocolate chips and make them oatmeal raisin cookies instead. You can add coconut, nuts, cranberries, dark and white chocolate or any combination of these that you like.  This is a great basic recipe to mix up and then include any add ins that you want!

People always ask if they can use butter instead of shortening. You can but make sure you know the difference in how each cooks and how it will affect your cookies before changing it.

  • Butter makes the cookies very tasty, but they are flat and crisp.
  • Shortening makes fluffy cookies but it doesn’t give them as much flavor.

To get the best of both worlds, you can combine both shortening and butter to get a nice fluffy cookie with flavor.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup shortening or 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips or raisins or nuts or any combination

Beat shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla together until creamy. Sift together flour, salt and soda. Add to creamed mixture. Blend Well. Stir in oatmeal. Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

 

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

The post The BEST Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe appeared first on - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

“The Best Homemade Cleaners” e-book Free Through Friday!

8 hours 40 min ago

Get Our Best Homemade Cleaners Kindle e-book FREE through Friday September 30th! No Purchase Necessary! Go get it using the link in this post!

The Best Homemade Cleaners e-book
Get Our Best Homemade Cleaners
Kindle e-book FREE through Friday September 30th!

Get The Best Homemade Cleaners Kindle e-book here!

Is buying cleaning supplies mopping up your cash? Cleaning supplies are a huge expense for the average family, but Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper spend less than $10 per year on cleaning supplies!

The Best Homemade Cleaners e-book explains how to use cleaning supplies effectively to clean and save money. You’ll learn which cleaners work best for various jobs so you don’t have to keep a closet full of different cleaners that you never use.

The Best Homemade Cleaners e-book also includes easy recipes for making your own cleaning supplies.

Some of the recipes include:

  • Homemade Clorox Wipes Recipe
  • Countertop Disinfectant
  • Fruit and Vegetable Wash
  • Streak Free Outdoor Window Washer
  • Homemade Stainless Steel Cleaner
  • Homemade Laundry Detergent
  • Homemade Fabric Softener
  • Homemade Wrinkle Release Spray
  • Laundry Whitening Solution

Get The Best Homemade Cleaners e-book, free though this Friday, September 30th, and save money and time on your cleaning!

Get The Best Homemade Cleaners e-book here!

 

This ebook is formatted specifically for the Amazon Kindle Readers and can be viewed on many popular e-book readers. If you don’t have a portable reader, you can download a free app from Amazon.com that enables you to read Kindle ebooks on your iOS or Android device or PC or Mac computer.

Get the Free Kindle reader app here.

 

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Categories: Business

How To Save Money On Toilet Paper

Sun, 9/25/2016 9:40 AM

Stop flushing money down the toilet! Check out these easy tips to help you figure out how to save money on toilet paper!

These are some great ideas for how to save money on toilet paper!
How To Save Money On Toilet Paper

From: Dana

I am having a really hard time figuring out how to calculate the best buy on toilet paper. Do you have any suggestions about the best way to figure this out (e.g. per sheet, square feet)? I have worn myself out trying to decide the best way to figure this out. Any suggestions?

Frankly I gave up on figuring it out! We now buy Ultra Charmin Mega Rolls and just try to buy it when it’s on sale.  Why? Well, I hate the cheap stuff. You have to use twice as much so your hands don’t get wet (sorry for the vivid details :-).

We teach the kids to use less. This is the best way to save money on toilet paper. With my 6 year old, we said, “You need 4 squares to wipe,” so now he counts and knows not to yank off a huge amount. This is one area I try to “just let it go”.  Life is too short to be yelling at hubby to use less if I think he is using more TP than he needs to. 🙂

      -Tawra

Dana,

When you calculate, I would just consider number of sheets per roll. Square feet is too confusing and doesn’t really matter. Some stores, like Wal-Mart now have tags that break it down to show you the actual comparison so it’s easier to calculate.

      -Mike

 

How To Save Money On Toilet Paper
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I have always used expensive toilet paper. I have calculated the cost over the years ( 200 sheets of 2 ply = 400 sheets compared to 300 sheets of 1 ply= 300 sheets. If they are both the same price, then the first is the best deal) and it pays to buy the expensive brand.

Here are some reasons to use more expensive toilet paper:

  • Most people use twice as much of the cheap toilet paper so they won’t get their hands dirty.
  • Using too much cheap toilet paper can clog some toilets. My uncle the plumber said that a good portion of his calls were to unplug toilets clogged with toilet paper, especially in homes with teenage boys and husbands. If you have this problem, I recommend asking your husband to be more careful, especially if you are the one having to clean up the mess. Sometimes the problem isn’t that you have a bad toilet but the wrong toilet paper and a wadding husband, so cheap toilet paper can get to be very expensive. (Mike: Heyyy… I sense an awful lot of  “dumping” on husbands here!) (Jill the mother in law – if the shoe fits???:)
The Best Solution
  • Teach all members of the family to fold their toilet paper instead of wadding it. This may seem like an embarrassing thing to do but if you are serious about saving money and TP, you will do it.
  • If, when you pull the paper, it comes flying off the roll, fix the toilet paper holder. Adjust it so it won’t spin quite so fast.
  • Another way to help teach to use the right amount is on the wall where the toilet paper roll, roll down how much the kids should use and mark a line on the wall where it stops or mark with a piece of tape. Of course this is not set in stone but just gives a guideline to young kids (and some adults)

Most families who “wad” use 50% to 75% more toilet paper than those who fold. Once again, using just the right amount will save money.

Boy, when we say we cover how to save money in all areas of your life on our web site we aren’t kidding, are we? : ) : )

      -Jill

 

For more easy and practical ways to save money and get out of debt, check out Dig out Of Debt and learn more about how to keep more of your money.

 

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Categories: Business

How Wasteful the Older Generation Was

Sat, 9/24/2016 10:24 AM

It seems like the “in” thing today is to talk about being “green” and how we’ve damaged our environment. Did generations past know something we didn’t know?

One of the big pet peeves for mom and I is the big “Green” movement. Frankly, we think it’s a bunch a bologna! I received this email from a reader and just loved it!! Mom has been saying this for years!!!

-Tawra

 

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag, because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right. That generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled so the company could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.

In her day they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diaper, because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a clothesline, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then they had the one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen they blended and stirred by hand, because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for them.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a throw away cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying new pens, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then people took the streetcar or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had the one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a
computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

Isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn’t have the green thing back then?

 

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

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Categories: Business

Farm House Bread Recipe

Fri, 9/23/2016 12:10 PM

This Farm House Bread Recipe is an easy recipe for the most delicious tasting farmhouse bread! It works with or without a bread machine.

This farm house bread recipe is an easy recipe for the most delicious tasting farmhouse bread! It works with or without a bread machine. Find it here!

I tried this farm house bread recipe before we went wheat free.  It was really great! Hubby said it was the best homemade bread he had ever had. I don’t have a bread machine but I did knead it in my Kitchen Aid mixer. I just dissolved the yeast and sugar in the warm water, added the margarine and added everything else with the flour last.

We toasted it in the toaster for breakfast and it was delicious! Enjoy!

     -Tawra

 

From Roxie:

I confess. I cheat. I use a bread machine to do the work for this farm house bread. I bake the bread in my oven in a regular loaf pan, usually while I am making something else for our supper. The bread machine does all of the mixing and the rising and I take the credit. This recipe makes very good rolls too. I have even used it for buns…

Everything should be at room temperature.

 

Farm House Bread Recipe

1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. butter (margarine works fine)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. yeast
4 cups flour

Put the yeast in the bread machine first. Then add the liquids. Next, add the solid ingredients with the flour last. Push button and wait for a wonderful thing to happen. Dough forms.

After the first rise, remove the dough and form a loaf… Put it into a buttered pan and let rise again until double and bake at 375° for 25 minutes.

This makes the best toast. Honest! I like to make what my kids and husband calls skillet toast… Just butter the bread and toast it in a hot skillet…

 

Update with Questions Answered About the Farm House Bread Recipe

Q. Can I leave it in the bread machine the entire time.
A. Yes, if your machine can hold that many cups of flour.

Q. Can use regular milk instead of buttermilk.
A. Yes, but buttermilk or sour milk tastes better. To sour milk add 1 Tbsp. vinegar to 1 cup of milk, let curdle and use.

Q. If I don’t have a bread machine how do I mix it.
A. With a hand, stand mixer or spoon. Just mix 1-2 cups of the flour first and beat for 2 minutes.  Then mix in the rest of the flour. Kneed by hand. Let rise. Punch down. Let rise.

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

The post Farm House Bread Recipe appeared first on - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

How To Save On Laundry Detergent {Why You’re Actually In Debt}

Wed, 9/21/2016 11:29 AM

Does making homemade laundry detergent save money? Easy ideas to save on laundry detergent that you won’t expect but can save hundreds of dollars a year.

Does making homemade laundry detergent save money? Here are some easy ideas to save on laundry detergent that you won't expect but can save hundreds of dollars a year.
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Demystifying the Great Laundry Detergent Dilemma – Save Money on Laundry Detergent

I grabbed the phone and answered it. It was my daughter chuckling on the other end. “We got another one,” she said, “Another laundry detergent e-mail.” For years now we have one recurring question. How can I save on my laundry detergent?

This may seem like an innocent enough question, but when we find out the writer’s story, laundry detergent is almost never really relevant to the problem. What we’ve found is that a person who asks about laundry detergent is usually on the brink of bankruptcy, divorce, or losing a job. It’s like some kind of code phrase or distress signal for “Help Me — I’m drowning in debt”.

Often these people have maxed out their credit cards, have fully mortgaged a quarter of a million dollar home and owe money on several expensive new cars. They have closets full designer clothes, purses and shoes and say ” How can I save on laundry detergent?”

For a person in this situation, asking that question makes as much sense as saying, “My home is burning down — I must go back in and save that $3 carton of milk I bought today!” If it were me, I would say, ” Forget the milk I going to save the family heirlooms, my gold jewelry and the good silver.”

I have tried to understand why in a financial crisis so many people want to learn how to save money on laundry detergent when there are so many more obvious ways they could be saving. Here is what I have finally concluded:

First, by focusing on a trivial issue they don’t have to look at the real, more serious problem. It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a scratch on your finger while you are bleeding profusely from an artery on your leg. They don’t want to acknowledge the real spending problem because then they would have to deal with it.

If you are in this situation and you want to be free of it, YOU HAVE TO ADMIT THERE IS A PROBLEM. You are spending more money then you make. It is important to realize that spending impulsively beyond your means is almost as bad as doing drugs. You get instant gratification and pleasure but over the long haul, it will destroy you.

Second, saving on laundry detergent gets rid of that nagging guilt for a little while. As long as they keep trying to save pennies on unimportant things, they don’t have to feel guilty about spending thousands on the fun things. The problem is that if they are spending beyond their means, it will catch up with them eventually, which will make the stress and damage all the worse.

For those of you who have your finances under control and really do need a way to spend less on detergent, here are a few suggestions. At first I wondered how I could help anyone save money on detergent when a person uses so little of it? For a family of four, a 40-load box of detergent would last me one to two months, which doesn’t give a lot to save on. It isn’t the laundry detergent that people need to save on but the amount of laundry they are doing. It’s seems as if people’s laundry has turned into some kind of monster that is taking over their homes. It’s everywhere. Piles of it on the floor, chairs, tables, and beds. Almost every horizontal surface in the house is covered with laundry — dirty laundry, clean laundry and folded laundry.

By cutting back on the amount of laundry you do, you can save quite a bit on detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener and hot water.

 

How To Save On Laundry Detergent
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Here are a few ideas to help you cut back:
  • Have the kids wear the same pair of pajamas every night. Before you get upset and say there is no way you would allow them to do that think about this: You bathe your kids before they go to bed so their pajamas go on a clean body. How dirty could those pajamas get while they are sleeping? Most people don’t change their sheets more than once a week. What is the difference between sleeping on the same sheets and sleeping in the same pajamas?
  • Assign each person his or her own towel to use a minimum of two to three times instead of just once. In the case of young children let them use the same towel. Up to a certain age most people toss their little ones all in the bath together so if they can share the same bath water they can share the same towel.
  • When you get home from church or someplace where you didn’t wear the outfit all day, change out of your good clothes and hang them up to wear again.
  • If it doesn’t look dirty and doesn’t stink, don’t wash it. We usually use jeans for a week at our house.
  • Don’t be lazy. Many people get undressed and, instead of putting their clothes away, they throw them on the floor in a heap. They don’t want to iron, fold or even hang them up, so they just throw them in the wash. This makes more work later because they still have to iron, fold and hang them on wash day, but they also use more detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener, hot water and time.

 

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

How To Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Video

Can You Save Money Making your Own Laundry Detergent?

What is Washing Soda?

For more easy laundry, cleaning and homemaking tips to make your life easier, check out our Keeping It Clean e-books.

 

The post How To Save On Laundry Detergent {Why You’re Actually In Debt} appeared first on - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

Maple Glazed Chicken Recipe

Tue, 9/20/2016 10:30 AM

This maple glazed chicken recipe makes a very tasty chicken dinner. It’s quick and easy and certain to please your family and friends!

This maple glazed chicken recipe makes a very tasty chicken dinner for just $5 for the family! It's quick, easy and cheap and certain to please your family and friends!
Maple Glazed Chicken Recipe

1/4 cup maple syrup
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
Salt and pepper (to taste)
4 pieces chicken

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix maple syrup, lemon juice and butter together in a small saucepan. Simmer 5 minutes. Spray a baking dish and place chicken in it. Add salt and pepper to the chicken. Bake 10 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and pour on glaze. Bake 15 minutes more or until juices run clear.

This Maple Glazed Chicken recipe is from our Dining On A Dime Cookbook. For more quick and easy recipes your family will love, check it out here!

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

The post Maple Glazed Chicken Recipe appeared first on - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

Why I MAKE My Kids Do Chores!

Mon, 9/19/2016 8:55 AM

Many parents think they’re doing something nice for kids by not asking them to do chores and “forcing” them to work. Here’s why I MAKE my kids do chores!

Why I MAKE My Kids Do Chores!

Usually, when I write about something I take into account the fact that there are so many different life situations and different people. I usually consider that everyone has his or her own special needs so I try to not be too dogmatic about what a person should do in a situation.

But when it comes to injustices towards children, I do tend to be more – hmm, what’s the word? — As much as I hate to use the phrase, I’ll say “more narrow minded.” In the same way I would react if I saw a child being physically abused,  I’m afraid I do get upset when I see parents who are emotionally hurting their children, too.

One of those areas where I am seeing this problem more and more is when parents don’t expect their children to do chores or to help at home. The sad thing is that parents think they are doing something nice for their kids by not asking them to do chores and “forcing” them to work.

The reality is that many parents, even though they do love their children, don’t love their children more than they love themselves. Before you start screaming, clicking the delete button or having a heart attack let me explain what I mean and see if you might end up agreeing with me just a little, even if what I said sounds harsh.

Jack helping with kids chores
Here are some reasons why parents don’t make their kids do chores.
  • I get tired of fighting with them and telling them to do their chores.
  • I’m afraid the kids will be mad at me and not like me.
  • I’m too busy to keep track of things and remind my children to do their chores.
  • It is easier for me to do the work myself.
  • I don’t know how to teach them.
  • I feel guilty because of my divorce, moving, job loss…..

Do you see how all of the excuses are things that will cause some kind of physical or emotional discomfort for the parents? It isn’t easy being a parent and I, like many other parents before me and after me will at one point in their lives do one or all of the above things. What’s important is to be aware of when you’re doing it and to try your best not to let it happen too often.

Having to do chores, or work at home, is one of the main builders of life skills for kids. Everything including learning how to wash dishes, cook and clean are things we, as parents, are responsible to teach our children.

At risk of sounding harsh, if we haven’t taught our children these lessons we have failed in one very important area of our parenting. Teaching kids responsibility and how to perform daily tasks is an area where many of us have become very relaxed and it’s something we have treated with little importance in the past couple of decades.

If you think I’m being overly dramatic, think about this:

  • Not knowing how to clean a home or wash dishes can lead to poor health for your kids and their families.
  • Not knowing how to cook can be financially devastating. When times are hard and your grown kids can’t go out to eat, they wouldn’t begin to know how to save. How many of you have had times in your lives when you couldn’t afford to go out to eat and needed to cook at home but found that you didn’t even know how to go to the grocery store and shop, let alone cook? How many of you, when you first tried this, had shell shock when you went to pay for the groceries. I know one young woman still living at home who said, “My mom pays very little for groceries – only about $300.” The mom looked at her and said, “Uh… more like $750.” The bottom line is that many older kids don’t have a clue about how to cook and shop for groceries or about many other things they should be learning…

It would take too much room for me to list all of the physical reasons kids need to learn practical life skills but I think you get the idea. 

More than anything, though, I get concerned with how lack of responsibility and knowledge of basic life skills impacts kids emotionally. My heart breaks to see young moms or dads struggling to learn how to do things for their families that should have been second nature to them by the time they reached their early 20’s.

How lack of practical training affects children:
  • Lowers their self confidence and self esteem.
  • Can be very embarrassing, humiliating and painful, especially in the case of a young man his ego.
  • Adds more stress to an already stress filled life. At a time when young people are having to learn to live on their own, they are often trying to deal with all the difficulties of being newly married or new parents. If they are also having to learn life skills they should have been taught when they were 10, it can be much more difficult for them.

No wonder so many 20-something young people are struggling, have low self esteem and don’t want to leave home. How can they leave when they don’t know how to take care of themselves? 

These are some of the repercussions of not having kids do chores. And so many of us thought it was no big deal. Now do you see my frustration in this trend?

I know it is hard. We are tired and overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, but we must teach our children. Being responsible for your children and their needs goes way beyond making sure there is enough money for  food, shelter and clothing. You need to be responsible for their many other needs, too, no matter how much work and sacrifice it is for you as a parent.

In closing, there is nothing more frustrating than to hear someone tell you what you should do but end before telling you how to do it, so here are a few more articles from LivingOnADime.com that include practical ways to help you learn to teach kids’ chores and follow through on overseeing that the chores get done.

Organizing Kids RoomsDetailed information about how to teach kids chores and how to manage and motivate them.

Sample kids’ chore charts to make assigning responsibilities easier.

One other thing that is important is teaching kids about money.

      -Jill

P.S. Even my baby Jack (Tawra’s youngest in the picture above) is trying to help mom sweep. Not because he has to, but because it makes him feel good.

 

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Categories: Business

9 Ways To Make Quick And Easy Home Cooked Meals

Sun, 9/18/2016 5:34 PM

It’s easier than most people think to make quick and easy home cooked meals! You can save money on food and your family will enjoy better meals! Here are 9 easy ways to make quick meals!

9 Ways To Make Quick And Easy Home Cooked Meals
9 Ways To Make Quick And Easy Home Cooked Meals

OK — There’s no way around it. Just accept the fact that tomorrow your family will eat three meals — again. People have been doing it since Adam and Eve started munching fruit in the garden of Eden. Burying your head in the sand and not thinking about it will not make it go away. I know that even the thought of making home cooked meals strikes terror in some of your hearts and the only reason the rest of you aren’t feeling terror is because you are probably so tired you can’t feel terror or any other emotion. But considering that going out to eat is one of the top 3 causes of credit card debt and child obesity and with diabetes on the rise, I think we need to start reconsidering cooking at home. With a little preparation, it’s easy to prepare quick and easy home cooked meals.

Here are a few easy suggestions to help you get started making home cooked meals:
  1. One of the biggest reasons people hate home cooking is their dirty kitchens. Take the time to clean and organize the kitchen. If you need to get some help, then do, even if that help means hiring someone to help you get it organized. In the long run, it will pay for itself (probably after the first one or two weeks cooking at home).
  1. Once your kitchen is clean and organized, keep it that way. When your kitchen is clean it should only take you about 15-20 minutes to clean up after each family meal. For the $40 or more you would have paid plus all of the time you would have spent going out to eat, keeping it clean and organized is time well spent.
  2. The evening or day before you go shopping for groceries, clean out the fridge and check your pantry. Remember that once it has been organized, if you do minor cleaning and organizing weekly, it won’t take much time. Plan a leftover night that evening (and use up that leftover roast), too. This will help reveal what you have too much or too little of, what you need to use or buy and empty the fridge so you have room for the new groceries.
  3. Make a week’s worth of menus. Sit down with grocery ads, your recipe file and your favorite cookbook (hopefully that is our Dining On A Dime Cookbook 😉 ). This is a good time to throw in one or two of those new recipes from magazines that you have wanted to try. If you get stumped or you need help to get you started, flip through your cookbooks or recipe files. You will be surprised how much this will help motivate you to make delicious home cooked meals!

    • In a notebook, write a weeks worth of menus. You only have to do this for 3 weeks, because at the end of that time you will have 21 menus. You now have almost months worth of planned menus for quick and easy meals (since most people will go out at least once a week to eat and have a leftover night once a week this helps to fill in the days for the rest of the month). You can then just use these same dinner menus over and over.
    • Don’t restrict yourself by saying that you have to have fried chicken on Monday, roast on Tuesday, etc. Instead, list the meals in categories like elaborate (for the days you have more time) and quick meals (for those “nothing has gone right today, so what can I cook when I am blurry eyed and have only 5 minutes” days). I usually make about 3-4 menus for meals in each category.
    • Be flexible. If you get to the grocery store and they have something unbelievable on sale then adapt your menus to save money on groceries.
  1. Plan what you are going to have for dinner the night before or first thing in the morning.
  2. Make sure you have all the ingredients on hand and take out anything that needs to be defrosted from the freezer.
  3. Prepare as much as you can the night before or first thing in the morning to make it quick and easy when you need it. Clean carrot sticks and veggies and make Jello, pudding or desserts. Brown hamburger for a recipe or even make a whole casserole so all you have to do is pop it into the oven. It is much easier and less stressful to do as much as possible ahead of time than to try and do it at 5 o’clock — the busiest time of day (when everyone is tired, fussy and needs your attention). Besides, it is easier to concentrate on preparing 2 or 3 items ahead of time instead of trying to take care of 5 or 6 things for your family meal all at the last minute.
  4. Give yourself a break. You will be saving a great deal of money by eating home cooked meals, so use some convenience foods like bagged lettuce or sliced and buttered French bread. Line your pans with aluminum foil and don’t feel guilty about using disposable pans or paper plates. We are funny creatures. We don’t feel guilty spending money to go out to eat (where people throw away the trash for you), but feel awful about buying much less expensive disposable pans and paper plates. Go figure.
  5. Don’t forget the meal is not finished until the kitchen is clean and left ready for the next meal.

 

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

The post 9 Ways To Make Quick And Easy Home Cooked Meals appeared first on - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

Homemade Pinecone and Sawdust Firestarters

Sat, 9/17/2016 9:35 AM

These homemade pinecone and sawdust firestarters make the house smell wonderful! And potpourri spice mix and hot pads with aroma make great gifts!

These homemade pinecone and sawdust firestarters make it easy to start fires and they make the house smell so yummy! And what a great homemade gift ideas that will make their holidays super special!
Homemade Pinecone and Sawdust Firestarters

Thanks Lois! Tawra

Fun Gifts To Make ~ Easy On The Budget ~ Great To Receive!
By Lois Breneman, Heart to Heart Newsletter, jhbreneman@juno.com

 

Hot Pads With Aroma

Cut two seven inch by seven inch squares of material. Put the squares together with the right sides together.

Sew around all four edges of the square. Leave a two inch space open.

Turn the square right side out. Fill the square with two cups of rice, two ounces of whole cloves and two cinnamon sticks. You could also just scent the rice with cinnamon oil.

Fold the raw edges in and pin together. Stitch the opening closed with a sewing machine. When setting a hot dish on the pad, it will give off a pleasant aroma. I used cotton fabric, with a double layer of white fleece as extra padding, then sewed around, leaving a 3-4″ opening, turned right side out, poured rice between the two layers of fleece, added some potpourri oil and sewed the opening shut.

Potpourri Spice Mix

(A loving little gift to include with cards or to give neighbors)
Contents of package:
1/2 – 1 tsp. or more of each spice of cloves, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Directions: Simmer contents in a potpourri pot or in a small saucepan on the stove, along with about  a cup of water. Continue adding water as it evaporates.
(Note: Spices bought in bulk at a natural foods coop cost as little as a tenth the amount as in a grocery store!)

Pinecone Fire Starters

Melt paraffin or old candles in a coffee can placed in a pan of hot water on the stove. If color is needed, add old crayons. Add a few drops of scented oil to the wax – cinnamon, cloves, orange. Dip each pine cone into the melted wax. You can do that by tying a candlewick or heavy crochet thread to the top of each pine cone to make it easier to dip into the melted wax. Allow the wax to harden, while holding or resting it on wax paper between dips. For gift-giving, arrange pine cones in a basket with a note of instructions: Add 2-3 pine cone fire starters to kindling wood when starting a fire in the fireplace. Light the wicks.

Another version of this gift is to dip pine cones into melted wax several times, without the wicks, using tongs. My one adult son and I gathered pine cones and made these one year over Thanksgiving vacation. He used the nicer ones on his Christmas tree branches and they looked really good!

Sawdust Fire Starters

Fill muffin tins with cupcake liners. Fill each with sawdust. If your husband doesn’t do woodwork, anyone who does would be thrilled to give you as much sawdust as you want. Melt old candles in a double boiler or in a candle warmer. A small amount of candle fragrance would give off a nice aroma. Carefully pour melted wax into each cupcake liner, by pouring into a measuring cup first.

Allow to dry thoroughly and remove from muffin tins. Package into cellophane bags to give as gifts, with instructions attached – “Fire Starters – Toss one or two fire starters into fireplace with logs to help ignite a good fire.” Add the name of the fragrance used – “Cinnamon Fire Starters.”

Quick and Easy Fire Starters

Save your toilet roll cores and stuff them with lint from the dryer.

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

The post Homemade Pinecone and Sawdust Firestarters appeared first on - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

10 Organizing Secrets – Easy Organizing Ideas

Thu, 9/15/2016 5:51 PM

Have you ever wondered why organizing seems so easy for some people but not for others? Try these easy organizing ideas and learn that the secrets of the organized are easier than you thought!  Also if you want more organizing ideas check out Jill’s How To Get Organized: Plan It Then Do It

These easy organizing ideas will help you get it together! Have you ever wondered how super organized people do it? Here are some of their best secrets!
Easy Organizing Ideas Organizing idea #1: Never stop picking up.
  • Try picking up during TV commercials or while you are waiting for something to boil on the stove. You will be amazed how much you can get done in five minutes.
  • Have the entire family spend five minutes picking up the family room or living room before they go to bed. Set a timer for young kids so they don’t get overwhelmed.

    If your family members go to bed at different times then have each member pick up his or her items before bed time. Once this becomes a habit, you will be amazed how much easier organizing becomes.

 

Organizing idea #2: Stop making messes.
  • Keep a trash can in every room. No one likes carrying one small piece of trash from the family room to the kitchen so it usually ends up on the floor. Keep small trash cans everywhere. In our office we have two trash cans, one next to the desk for throwing away regular office trash and one next to the shipping table for throwing away envelope tabs, extra invoices and other shipping trash. If you need two trash cans in a room put them in there. Make it easy to keep things clean.
  • Throw that sticky food wrapper straight into the trash. Don’t lay it on the counter to make another mess that needs to be wiped up later.
  • Don’t lay that dirty spoon on the counter. Rinse it and put it in the sink or dishwasher.
  • As you’re undressing, don’t throw your dirty clothes on the floor or on the furniture. While they are still in your hand, put them in the hamper or if they’re still clean, hang them up.
  • Keep the hamper close to where you undress at night. If it is convenient, you will be more likely to use it and it’ll be easier to stay organized.
  • Before you leave the bathroom, hang your wet towel on the rod. Don’t drop it on the floor or leave it in a pile.
Organizing idea #3: Think ahead and organize for the future.
Organizing idea #4: Never, Never Procrastinate.
  • Keep straightening and organizing things all the time. For example, when you put away groceries and you see that the cans of soup have fallen over, take two seconds to restack them.
  • When you put linens or clothes in their drawers, make sure everything in those drawers is neatly stacked.
  • Pick up as you go. Each time you walk through a room, pick up something.
  • Stop thinking about it! Just do it.
Organizing idea #5: Don’t give up. Practice makes perfect.
  • Train family members to rinse their own dishes and stack them in the sink (or better yet to put them directly into the dishwasher). It may take a while to develop this habit. For kids, you may want to do something like charge each member a dime for every dish not rinsed or make them responsible for doing all the dishes for a week.
  • Remember Thomas Edison? What if he had given up after his first 5, 10, or 100 light bulbs? Where would we be now if he had thrown up his hands and quit at his first failures? The same is true with getting and staying organized. Keep practicing and you will create a productive new habit.
Organizing idea #6: Attitude, Attitude, Attitude.
  • Stop dreading getting organized and taking care of your home and start taking pride and pleasure in it. Think of an organized home as a special gift of peace and pleasure that you are giving your family. A disorganized one causes turmoil and frustration. Besides — You probably spend more time worrying about it than it would take to clean it.

 

Organizing idea #7: Use rooms for their intended purposes.
  • Don’t let kids get undressed in the family room – that’s why they have bedrooms.
  • Eat food at the kitchen table or bar, not in bed. This alone can save a huge number of messes.
  • Fold laundry in the laundry room immediately after taking it out of the dryer and put it away immediately.
Organizing idea #8: Be a wise steward of your time.
  • If you see something that needs to be clean, clean it as soon as possible.
  • If something doesn’t need to be cleaned, don’t waste your time. If there is no dust, don’t just dust because you dust every Saturday.
  • Don’t overbook yourself volunteering at schools, churches or charities. Learn to say “no”. Notice that I didn’t say don’t do these things at all, just control how much you do so they don’t take over your life.
  • Don’t overbook your children with their activities, either.
  • Get rid of fruitless activities. Many of us spend way too much time talking on the phone, watching TV, shopping unnecessarily or killing time on the computer. These are all time robbers when you devote a lot of time to them.
Organizing idea #9: Keep on top of things.
  • If you do small cleaning and organizing tasks every day, you’d be surprised how much you can accomplish. In ten minute increments, you can do each of the following: wash the dishes, vacuum, file a pile of papers or clean your purse. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes for each child to pick up and organize his room before bed and to lay out his clothes for the morning.
  • Don’t let the laundry, dishes, toys and paperwork get out of control.
Organizing idea #10: Don’t be afraid to let go.

         Don’t become so emotionally attached to your stuff you can let it go when it is no longer useful and not needed any more. 

         The less mounds and piles of things and stuff you have the less time you need to spend organizing it, finding a place or it and taking care of it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Don’t for  How to get organizedget to check Jill’s e-book  How To Get Organized: Plan It Then Do It

 

 

 

 

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

The post 10 Organizing Secrets – Easy Organizing Ideas appeared first on - Living on a Dime.

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