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Organize To Save Time, Money And Stress

10 hours 1 min ago
Save time staying organized
Stay Organized and You’ll Save Time, Money And Stress!

Here are some things to think about that demonstrate why it is so important to get your house in order and keep it that way.

1. Save Time. The average person spends 55 minutes a day looking for something… And you thought cleaning 30 minutes a day was time consuming.

2. Save Money. When you don’t have piles of papers everywhere, you can pay your bills on time, thus avoiding late fees. Let’s see… 30 seconds to file a bill away compared to working 1-4 hours extra to pay for late fee on bill.

3. Save on Stress. We worry and stew daily over what we eat – organic, fat free, sugar free, “food” free (just joking) :) in order to protect our hearts and keep healthy but one of the main factors that leads to heart attack and many serious illnesses is stress. Those few seconds or minutes it takes to clean or put something away are insignificant compared to hours spent in the hospital or at the doctor’s office, not to mention money spent on bills.

Once again it is all about perspective and just something to think about the next time you start to dump something in that pile again.

      -Jill

For easy tips to make organizing and cleaning easier, check out our Keeping It Clean e-books.

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Photo By: Earls37a

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Categories: Business

3 Ingredient Recipes – Chicken Tacos and More!

Thu, 7/31/2014 12:34 PM
3 Ingredient Recipes - Chicken Tacos And More!
3 Ingredient Recipes – Chicken Tacos and More!

Tips:

  • Frozen Yogurt Popsicle  – Stick a popsicle stick into the center of a container of yogurt, leaving foil the lid on. Freeze.
  • Fast Frosting – If you don’t have time or ingredients to frost your cake, lay a paper doily on it then dust with powdered sugar. Carefully remove the doily and you’ll have a sweet topping with a pretty pattern!
  • Freeze Blueberries – Freeze blueberries in the basket they come in. Do not wash them first. Wrap it all in foil or plastic wrap. This helps them keep their color and shape better.

Menu:

Chicken Tacos
Tomato, Mozzarella and Avocado Salad
Chips
No Bake Ice Box Cake

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Recipes:

Chicken Tacos

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package taco seasoning
1 can Rotel tomatoes*

Place all of the ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred and use in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or in a salad. You can also serve it hot or cold so it would be great as leftovers to take in a lunch.

*Rotel tomatoes are canned tomatoes with chopped green peppers or jalapenos. Any brand that is labeled “tomatoes and green chilies” should be OK or just used canned tomatoes and add the kind of peppers you would like.

 

Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese, Avocado Salad

Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese, cubed
Avocado, cubed

Toss tomatoes and cheese with your favorite Italian dressing and chill 1 hour. Just before serving, add in the avocado.

 

No Bake Ice Box Cake

12- 16 graham crackers, enough to cover a 9×13 pan or platter
1 (8 oz.) container whipped topping
 2 lbs. or 4 cups fresh or canned (drained) fruit of your choice including strawberries, peaches or blueberries

Spread the bottom of a 9×13 pan or platter with a thin layer of whipped topping. Layer with graham crackers. Add another thin layer of whipped topping, and then some strawberries (or other fruit). Do this until you have 4 layers of graham crackers and end with whipped topping and more strawberries. Drizzle with chocolate sauce if you like. Chill for 4 hours so the graham crackers can absorb the moisture.

 

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Categories: Business

Save Money on School Supplies

Wed, 7/30/2014 1:41 PM
Save Money on Back To School Supplies

Buying school supplies can be a confusing experience! Try these easy ideas to save money on school supplies and still get everything they need for school!

Save Money on School Supplies

I walked into Wal-Mart today and saw her standing there: a mom. She had two children sitting in her shopping cart, one walking beside it and another clinging to her leg. She had the look of a battle weary soldier, with her feet dragging and her shoulders slumped. Child #1 was punching child #3. Child #2 was begging for a toy and child #4 was doing the “potty dance”.

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As she approached the main aisle of the store she looked up and saw the display there. Her face lit up. She smiled and straightened her shoulders. There was joy and hope shining from her like I had never seen before.

You may ask “What was on that display that caused this mom to break forth in song singing, “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning?” Was it spectacular jewelry or the latest in designer dresses? Oh, no no no! It was school supplies! For decades, moms everywhere have eagerly awaited the day when that first box of crayons and pack of notebook paper make their appearance.

For many, though, the first reaction of joy about school supplies is quickly followed by a second reaction of pure dread. “How am I going to pay for all of this?” I sat last year and watched as a TV news reporter asked person after person at one store how much they had just spent for back to school supplies. I was shocked at the amount of money people were spending. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. How could it cost $1000 for school supplies? Yes, you heard it right — $1000.

Basic school supplies like crayons, pencils and notebook paper cost only about half the price that they cost 20 years ago. In our school district, the basic school supplies only cost around $15 and that includes an inexpensive backpack.

So what was the problem with the people on the news? Suddenly I noticed something interesting. Each person’s shopping cart wasn’t full of school supplies, it was full of clothes, shoes, and the latest in aerodynamic backpacks, some of which cost nearly as much as the first car my husband and I bought.

If you find that back to school preparation throws your finances out of balance, try these tips to help bring school supplies costs back within your budget:

  1. Make sure what you are buying is only the school supplies your children absolutely need and not simply what they want to make them “cool”.Expensive clothes, shoes, purses and lunch pails are not needs but wants. You don’t need to buy the best and most expensive backpacks in the world. One woman said that she paid $100 for her child’s backpack because she felt it would last longer. She was sure she got the better deal. She was proud that it lasted 3 years. Financially speaking, she could have bought two less expensive backpacks each year for three years and it still would have been cheaper than the one $100 backpack. More expensive isn’t always better.

    If the school’s required school supply list calls for a 24 count box of crayons, don’t buy a 96 count box. One teacher begged her parents to send only the 24 count box because the 24 box gives children some choice without overwhelming them. A five to eight year old can spend ages agonizing over what color to color something and too much choice slows things down in class.

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  1. Don’t buy everything at once. I have yet to understand how it could be that, the week before school starts, every child in the United States no longer has a stitch of clothing to wear and needs to have a whole new wardrobe. I think it is one of those traditions that we have followed for decades just because, as far as we can remember, it has always been done that way.

    You have probably heard the story of the woman who always cut the ends off her ham before she baked it. When asked why she did that she said because her mom did it that way. When the mom was asked why she did it that way she said because her mom had done it that way, too. When grandma was asked the same question, she said “because I didn’t have a big enough pan and I had to cut it to make it fit”.

    Years ago, most kids only had one or two outfits and those were generally work clothes. When they started school, they often got new school clothes because their clothes were actually worn out. They needed something a little better and something that wasn’t too small. Since they had gone barefoot all summer and winter was coming, many would get a new pair of shoes. So started a tradition. Most children now have reasonable clothes that they have been wearing all summer and can probably wear to school. If your children really need new jeans, get them one or two pairs now and then, in a month or so, buy them another pair.

    So often we have an all or nothing mentality. I need gas, so instead of just putting in the $15 cash that I have in my pocket right now that would last a couple of days, I think I need to fill the tank and put it on my almost overloaded credit card. (Then later when I get the urge to buy a soda at a convenience store, I’ll rationalize “I’ve got the cash in my pocket, so I can afford it.”)

    You don’t need to buy your children a year’s worth of clothes the week before school. I know there are a lot of good buys just before school, but if you have to charge them on a high interest credit card, they are no longer good buys.

  2. Try to make do with the school supplies you already have. If the kids still have scissors from last year, reuse them. That goes for rulers, pencil boxes and other supplies, too. Go ahead and buy new crayons (they cost 20 cents a box here in back to school sales), folders and pencils. That way your children feel like they are getting something new.

    If last year’s backpack is still good then reuse it. If your child wants something different, then use glue or fusible web and applique it with some fun trims and decorations. If they still insist that they need a new backpack, let them take their own money and buy one.

From A Reader

Thank you for your advice about back to school supplies & buying school clothes. I had already purchased perfectly good clothes for my daughter this summer at garage sales, but like many others, was planning on buying “school clothes”. Why? I don’t know, because it’s just been one of those things people do without even considering why.

When I read that, it was like a lightning bolt – of course, if the clothes she’s been wearing are in good condition, why go & buy more just because school is starting? You saved us a good deal of money, I’m sure, as well as many others who read this advice. It’s all about changing the way we think about things – that’s the real key to saving money. Thanks again!

-Chantelle H.

 

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Categories: Business

Frugal Living Tips

Wed, 7/30/2014 9:05 AM

cash money bills

Easy Frugal Living Tips

Here are some easy frugal living tips to help you save more money around the house, including easy menu planning, store pricing errors, quickly getting deodorant marks out of clothes and more!

Deodorant Marks

You’re in a rush and notice white deodorant marks on your clothes. There is no time to change. Grab an old nylon stocking and rub it on the areas. The marks will be gone in a flash.
Suzan

Not So Disposable Razor

I have been using the same razor for months. When finished shaving, I rinse the razor with water and then drizzle with baby oil. This keeps rust, which leads to knicks in the blade, from forming.
Judy

Easy Menu Planning

I put my family’s favorite meals on index cards with the menu on the front and contents on the back. Then when I make up the week’s menus, I just pick out seven cards and make my grocery list of items I don’t have on hand. I set them aside for the week. As I fix a meal, I put the card back in my box. It makes it so easy to see what’s to eat on any day of the week by seeing what cards are still stuck on the front of the fridge.
Vini

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Use for Expired Coupons

I would like to remind people not to throw out expired coupons. Most don’t realize that our military can use coupons on base overseas for up to six months past the expiration date! There are many places to send expired or extra coupons that will ship them over for military use. I send a large package of coupons once a month for less than $2 in postage.
Chrissey in Seattle, WA

Protecting Garden Tools

I have an insulated lunch bag that has finally given out. Since it is no longer usable for lunches, I filled it full of sand and use it to store my gardening hand tools after using them. Since the bag was meant to sit upright on a table, it sits perfectly in my garden cart. Cleaning my hand tools off and storing them in the sand helps to keep them from rusting, prolonging their life.
Renee S.

Nighttime Teeth Guard

My tip is about teeth grinding. My dentist said that I grind my teeth in my sleep and I needed to purchase a mouth guard. These can be very pricey to buy. To save money, my dentist suggested that I use at night the mouth guards that can be bought inexpensively at Walmart for athletes. I buy mine there for under $2.
Claudia in Kentucky  

Manual Solution

Readers who have not carefully saved the manuals that come with appliances can usually download a new one. We have also done this when purchasing an item on eBay that did not come with a manual. Sometimes it is helpful to go online and read the manual before purchasing. It is a good tool for comparing products.
Linda B.

Hosting a Party?

A few years ago, we had a rather large party for my son-in-law’s college graduation. Since we wanted an outside party on a warm California evening, we offered a great salad bar. We used a round aluminum umbrella table (no umbrella that day) and put a very small size inflatable splash pool on top. We filled the small kiddie pool with crushed ice to keep all the salad ingredients cool. Large paper cups (about quart size) worked great. Everyone loved the salad bar, and the kiddie pool kept everything ice cold. It was an inexpensive way to entertain many people. I don’t know if this was an original thought, but it worked for us.
Tommie in Abilene, TX

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Be aware of whether or not the store has a consumer-friendly policy for handling items that ring up incorrectly at checkout. I shop at our local Kroger, and if an item rings up incorrectly, I stop at customer service on the way out of the store and show them the item and my receipt. If the price that was posted on the shelf or in their sales circular is lower than the price that it rang up at, they refund the price paid back to me and I get the item free. The catch is not to bring it to the attention of the cashier (I always go through self-checkout). If the cashier corrects the mistake, there’s no freebie. I average one free item in every trip to the grocery store.

And on the topic of self-checkout, a lot of people are intimidated by the prospect of scanning and bagging their own groceries. However, doing this for myself allows me to take my time and keep a close eye on every price charged. Going through a line that has a cashier almost guarantees that some items will be scanned/charged incorrectly and I won’t have time to catch it because they are moving so quickly.
Judy H. in Jasper, GA

Cheaper Spreadable Butter

Turn one cup of butter into two cups of spreadable butter! Let two sticks of butter soften to room temperature. Using an electric mixer, mix 1/2 cup of room temperature water into the butter. Then, slowly mix in 1/2 cup of canola oil (or you can use 1/4 cup canola and 1/4 cup olive oil). Put your butter mix into a plastic container with a lid and refrigerate.

This butter tastes great and is spreadable right from the refrigerator. Use for a spread or on veggies/pasta. Because of the added water, I do not recommend heating or cooking with the spreadable butter. Stores charge more for their spreadable butter than regular butter, and you actually get less butter for the increased cost. Make your own and save.
Laura in East Liverpool, Ohio

 

Want to live better on the money you already make? Visit Dollar Stretcher to find hundreds of articles to help you stretch your day and your dollar! Copyright 2010 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.

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Categories: Business

Happy Birthday! Tawra’s Theme Song

Tue, 7/29/2014 9:33 AM
Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday! Tawra’s Theme Song

It is Tawra’s birthday today so I had to post her favorite theme song. I think you will find it pretty funny. I am very proud of my daughter. I could go on with a bunch of mushy words but I think when you get my age and can say your kids have done a great job with their lives says it all. Happy Birthday sweet daughter of mine.

 

A friend of mine sent it to me in 2000 after our very difficult and trying from Idaho to Kansas.

Our house had been for sale for 3 years and we couldn’t sell it. Mike lost his job and hadn’t found work in Idaho for 9 months so we decided to just leave our house vacant and move back to Kansas. We rented a U-haul, loaded all our stuff and then discovered it was too small.

Since we were in no man’s land in Idaho we had to wait 4 days in an empty house to get another truck. We  had to unload the first U-haul and put the stuff in a hangar at the crop duster airport across the street because it was pouring down rain. Then we had to take the first truck back to get the second. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

We re-loaded the new truck. We only had my mom, my sister in law, Mike and I to move all of our stuff and watch 4 kids, 3 of them toddlers (My niece and nephew were there too).

We headed out towing a pick-up truck and driving 2 cars. (One was my sister in law’s.)

About 2 hours from home, we came to a place in the roadway where there was no road.  In the mountains in Idaho, the highway department decided to tear out the old road and put in a new one. It took us about 4 hours to go 20 miles on a one-lane dirt “road” that had a huge drop off on the side.

As soon as we were past that, we realized that the pickup was separating from the tow bar. We didn’t know that the tow bar wasn’t quite big enough and by the time we discovered it, only one wheel was still attached. We had to take our ’73 old Beverly Hillbillies truck off of the tow bar, unpack the things stored in its cab, and move people and things from the car to the truck so we could tow our car instead.  We finally got to Boise (4 hours from our starting point) 10 hours later.

During the entire time one year old Elly kept throwing up about every 30 minutes. She was in the car with just me driving. Try cleaning up barf while driving on a narrow mountain road… Let’s say that was a neat trick! LOL

We were all so excited to get into the hotel and into the pool! About 5 minutes after we got in the pool, Elly had diarrhea and it leaked out of her swim diaper, so we all had to evacuate the pool. So much for unwinding.

The next day we got up, got everything and everyone packed and went out to McDonald’s to eat breakfast. When we returned to the vehicles to get going again, the pickup wouldn’t start. We begged a local repair shop to move us to the front of the repair list, explaining that we were traveling with 4 young kids. Even though they graciously did that, we still spent the next 5 hours at McDonald’s with 4 kids, waiting for the truck to get fixed.

We finally left Boise and made it to somewhere in Utah about 8:00 p.m. We just spent 2 days on the road and we were about 7 hours from our house in Idaho. This doesn’t even count the more than a week we had already spent in an empty house before we left waiting for a truck to pack.

We finally made it to Colorado the next (very long) day, with Elly still throwing up all along the way. We got stuck in Colorado for two weeks because she got so sick and dehydrated that we couldn’t go any further. She was car sick.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); After she recovered, we had a big family fight with some of our extended family right before we left. (Why does it always happen when you’re stressed out anyway? :-) Finally, we headed the rest of the way to Kansas. My grandparents ended up coming with us to help us.

We had more problems along the way but finally made the what should have been a 10 hour drive to Kansas in 19 hours, arriving at 1:00 a.m. We pulled into the driveway of the house that I had rented over the phone from Idaho. (NEVER, EVER DO THAT. IT WAS A VERY DUMB THING TO DO!) There was pile of trash about 9 feet wide and 4 feet high in the front yard. The white bathroom was so filthy it was literally black! It smelled like rotten eggs because the house water came from a sulfur well. It was a cheap rental and at the time we were making two house payments on $9 an hour income, so it was what we had to live with.

We couldn’t spend the night in the house like we had planned so thankfully my grandfather, who is ex-military, was able to get us a place to stay that night on base at Ft. Riley. I just sobbed and sobbed that night when I was outside getting Elly out of the car. I think 10 years later I still haven’t recovered!

We had to spend the next day cleaning up the nightmare of a trailer house that we had rented.  After all of this, I told my friend in Idaho what had happened and she sent me this song. Laughter is the best medicine. Now it’s my theme song. I thought you all would enjoy a good laugh and understand why I appreciated it so much after all that.

Tawra

Note from Jill:  Tawra didn’t even begin to describe how bad that house was. I came later after they had cleaned it and it was still awful. The doors had a one inch gap at the top of them so every fly in the state of Kansas decided to make her kitchen their home and there was constantly a pond of gross water in their crawl space with all kinds of critters growing. It was bad

 Note from Mike: The frogs in that pond were nearly the size of soccer balls… Returning the U-Haul to ask for another one was like a scene from National Lampoons Vacation… and I had never seen road workers directing traffic across country before. No matter how strange life gets, it can always get stranger! We definitely need a redo on that part of our lives!

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Categories: Business

Easy Cake Baking Tips

Mon, 7/28/2014 10:01 AM
Easy Cake Baking Tips
Cake Baking Tips

Whether you’re making homemade cake or baking cake from a mix, it’s always helpful to have a collection of tricks that make your baking easier! Try these easy cake baking tips and save time making fluffier cakes!

  • Use chocolate drink mix or cocoa to flour your cake pans when making a dark cake (like chocolate).
  • Homemade pan grease: 2 parts solid vegetable shortening – 1 part flour. Mix and place in a container. I keep a paper towel in mine that I use to rub it into the pan.
  • Add 1 tsp. lemon juice in your cake recipe when creaming butter and sugar to make the cake fluffier. If you keep it on hand, you can also use 1 Tbsp. meringue powder to do the same thing. Meringue powder is found in your cake decorating section at Wal-Mart.
  • Another way to lighten a cake is to separate the eggs, beat the whites and fold them in at the end of mixing.
  • Cream the butter well (5 minutes) when making a cake. This adds air to it and also helps make a lighter cake.
  • Line the bottom of the pan with wax paper. This is an extra step but it makes it so much easier getting the cake out of the pan and really saves time in the long run. To get the right size of wax paper just set the pan on a piece of wax paper and trace around the pan with the point of the scissors. It leaves enough of a mark for you to see to cut around.
  • Soften leftover custard in the microwave for a few seconds and use between the layers of a cake (like a Boston cream pie) or to frost a cake.

For more cake baking tips along with lots of easy home cooked recipes, grab a copy of our Dining On A Dime Cookbook!

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photo by: southernfoodwaysalliance

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Categories: Business

Easy Chocolate Popcorn – Popcorn Recipes

Sat, 7/26/2014 8:25 AM

Easy Chocolate Popcorn Recipes

Here are a couple recipes you can make for company or for party snacks, including an easy chocolate popcorn recipe!

Easy Chocolate Popcorn

2 quarts popcorn, popped
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup peanuts
6 plain Hershey’s candy bars (1.55 oz each)*

Place popcorn on a greased 15x10x1 baking pan. Break candy bars into quarters. Sprinkle marshmallows and peanuts and place broken candy bars on top. Bake at 300° for 5 minutes. Let stand for 1 minute. Toss to coat. Store in an airtight container. * This is a good way to use up some of that Christmas or Easter chocolate.

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Confetti Popcorn

3 quarts popcorn, popped, with hulls and “old maids” removed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 Tbsp. colored sprinkles or colored sugar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine corn syrup and butter. Cover and microwave for 30 seconds. Pour over popcorn. Toss. Immediately sprinkle with remaining ingredients and toss. Transfer to two greased (or covered with wax paper) 15x10x1 pans and let stand for 1 hour, until dry. Store in an airtight container.

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Categories: Business

Butterscotch Apple Crisp Recipe

Fri, 7/25/2014 10:02 AM
Butterscotch Apple Crisp Recipe

This Butterscotch Apple Crisp Recipe makes a delicious homemade apple crisp recipe that is quick and easy to make!

Butterscotch Apple Crisp Recipe

6 cups apples, peeled and cored
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cook oats
1 package cook and serve butterscotch pudding
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter

Place apples in your crock pot. In a bowl mix other ingredients, cutting in the butter. Then sprinkle over apples. Cover and cook for 5 hours on low until tender.

 

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Categories: Business

Apricot Chicken With Oreo Peanut Butter No Bake Dessert Recipe

Thu, 7/24/2014 1:09 PM
Apricot Chicken Recipe

A delicious easy to make menu including Apricot Chicken, Garlic Lime Asparagus and a tasty Oreo Peanut Butter No Bake Dessert Recipe!

Apricot Chicken Menu With Oreo Peanut Butter No Bake Dessert Recipe Tips:
  • Add peanut butter to chocolate sauce and pour over vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
  • 1 chocolate square = 3-4 Tbsp. cocoa + 1 Tbsp. butter or shortening
  • When going on an outing, keep your baby’s bottle warm by placing it in a wide mouth thermos that has been “warmed” with hot water. Place the lid on it and it will stay perfect until you need it.
  • Try giving your toddler the tablespoon from your measuring spoons to eat with. It has a short handle and a deep bowl which makes it easier for a young child to eat things like soups or cereal.

 

Menu:

Apricot Chicken*
Rice
Garlic Lime Asparagus*
Carrot and celery sticks
No Bake Dessert*

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Apricot Chicken Recipe

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*Apricot Chicken Recipe

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. oil, olive or vegetable
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. onion soup mix

Cook chicken in garlic and oil until brown. Place in an 8 inch baking dish. Combine everything else and pour over chicken. Bake uncovered at 375° for 25-30 minutes until juices run clear. Serve over rice.

 

*Garlic Lime Asparagus

1 tsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium shallot, minced*
1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed
1/4 lime, squeezed (lemon juice works in a pinch)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, cook garlic and shallot in butter and oil for 1-2 minutes. Stir in asparagus and cook until tender, about 5-10 minutes. When ready to serve, squeeze lime juice on top. Then add salt and pepper.

*Shallots are small brown onions that are about 1-2 inches around. If you don’t have one then just use a couple of tablespoons of regular onion.

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Oreo Peanut Butter No Bake Dessert Recipe

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*Oreo Peanut Butter No Bake Dessert Recipe

This dessert is great, especially in the spring and summer. It is quick and easy and won’t heat up the house. It is a rich dessert but I will give you some variations at the end that you can use to modify that. It calls for peanut butter but if you don’t like peanut butter, I’ll also be giving you several variations that don’t include peanut butter.

Crust:

20 Oreo cookies, crushed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine

Mix and press into 9×13 pan. You can use store bought crusts of you prefer.

Filling:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 (8 oz.) tub whipped topping

Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread on crust. Chill for at least 3 hours. You can freeze, but thaw before serving.

Variations:

  • You can add less peanut butter if the flavor is overpowering.
  • Add chopped peanuts or walnuts.
  • Drizzle with chocolate ice cream topping.
  • Leave out the peanut butter altogether and add a couple tablespoons of cocoa. Then serve with fresh fruit like strawberries, raspberries or bananas.
  • Add chocolate chips along with the peanut butter.
  • Leave out the peanut butter and just use chocolate chips, sprinkles or crushed candies.
  • Use a graham cracker crust for a less rich dessert.

 

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Categories: Business

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars Recipe

Wed, 7/23/2014 9:33 AM
cream cheese lemon bars recipe

Here’s another twist on the usual lemon bars recipe that uses lemon cake mix. They are great for any get together – ladies for tea or church potluck.

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars Recipe 

1 box lemon cake mix
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 lemon, grated
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

 Mix cake mix, butter and egg. Press into 9×13 ungreased pan. Beat cream cheese and sugar. Stir in lemon peel and juice. Reserve 1/2 cup of this and chill for later use. Beat in remaining 2 eggs and vanilla into cream cheese mix. Spread over cake mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool and spread with reserved cream cheese mixture. Chill until firm.

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Categories: Business

Is Frugal Living Harming Your Kids?

Tue, 7/22/2014 12:03 PM
Does Frugal Living Harm or Deprive Your Kids?
Is Frugal Living Harming Your Kids?

A couple of weeks ago I hung up the phone after talking to Tawra and was going to post on the blog about the background noise at her house. I always get such a kick out of it. I didn’t get it posted but after a reporter interviewing Tawra about frugal living asked her if she thought her children were really happy living the frugal life, I decided to post what I intended to write before… or I will as soon as I get my laughter under control. ;-)

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If that poor reporter only knew how funny her question was… Why do I say that? Because I love calling my daughter just so I can listen her background noise. Usually one child is singing at the top of their lungs with all the gusto and joy of an opera singer, then child number two is whistling away with another happy song, number three is laughing hysterically at something and last but not least is the baby is saying either “Hi” or “uh oh” or laughing at big brother laughing.

There is absolutely nothing that a grandmother loves to hear more than the singing, whistling and laughing of her grandchildren. It does my heart good to know after many years of hard work and, at times, uncertainty that I have raised two well adjusted, happy responsible kids and the fruit of my labor is seeing them doing such a great job of raising and giving my grandkids a happy home. And guess what? They were raised in a frugal home, too.

What that poor reporter didn’t understand was that frugal living and being debt free is the happiest place for a family to be. The stress is removed because mom and dad aren’t always fighting over money or having to worry about keeping up with the Joneses.

Most families that practice realistic frugal living are happy because they are able to spend more time together as a family instead of away from each other trying to make more money so they will have more money to spend. People who don’t practice frugal living often find that when they have more money to spend, each person goes his own way, spending that money for more activities or on shopping sprees rather than spending time with the family. Boy I got confused just writing that, let alone living it.

The kids in a frugal family don’t feel the tension in the air that they might lose their house because mom and dad bought a house with a mortgage they couldn’t afford. They don’t even notice gas prices going up because living frugally has given mom and dad enough cushion and wiggle room in their budget to allow for these types of things.

They don’t have to depend on someone or something to give them happiness or to help them find joy. The kids get just as much pleasure and happiness from digging a mud hole in the backyard or watching the hummingbirds as they do from playing the latest computer game.

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They have learned at an early age what it takes some adults a lifetime to learn (and many die never knowing)– that happiness is not related to how much money and stuff you have. If you are not happy without money, you won’t be happy with money either.

What that poor reporter didn’t understand and so many others can’t wrap their mind around is – Happiness is love and freedom and when you have debt free parents that love you, you have everything.

-Jill

P.S. They also have a “Nana” that loves them very much too. :) :)

 

The post Is Frugal Living Harming Your Kids? appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

Watching What You Eat but Still Overweight?

Mon, 7/21/2014 9:15 AM

Are You Watching What You Eat but Still Overweight?

We probably know more about health and about what we should eat and not eat than any other generation. We have access to great food but it seems that the healthier we are eating the more obesity is becoming a serious problem.

I personally believe a good portion of the problem is portion (no pun intended) control. I won’t go into a lot of detail about portion control because I have touched on it so frequently in our e-books and in other articles about saving on food. but here are some other things to look for when feeding your family. Just because it looks and says it’s healthy doesn’t mean it is.

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  • Fruit smoothies have as many calories as a Big Mac and often as much sugar as 2 bags of M&M’s.
  • Veggie chips have the same calories as regular chips.
  • Organic cookies have the same amount of calories and sugar as regular cookies.  Organic anything does not have less calories or sugar but many think it does. Some people even think organic means no calories. Being organic has nothing to do with calories or losing weight.
  • Frozen yogurt has the same sugar and calories as regular ice cream and because it is frozen it has none of the active ingredients of regular yogurt.
  • Stick to your ribs. We aren’t eating the kind of foods to stay with us either.I recently saw on TV where they were saying people really needed to get back to eating eggs and bacon for breakfast. They said they are finding people who do that weigh less. Why? Because when you eat one small container of yogurt for breakfast in 30 minutes or less you are hungry again and start nibbling on “healthy” things to fill you up. Once again adding more portions of “healthy” food to your diet then you should.

 

Of course the way you make the smoothies and the brands you buy can make a difference. I am just saying check into things. I have friends who buy frozen yogurt not because they love it but because they assume it has less calories than ice cream. So be careful and watch what you eat and also how much you eat. Just because it’s called healthy or organic doesn’t mean you have license to eat 10 times as much and it won’t hurt you.

Jill

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photo by: ginnerobot

The post Watching What You Eat but Still Overweight? appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

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