Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cheap Cooking!

My mother and I have been discussing ways to save money and put it towards our funds for the family cruise we are going on in April. (Grandfather paid for all of us for he and Grandmothers 50th anniversary, but we still have to get ourselves to port, pay for on board activities and in my case- A new swimsuit!). We have known about the cruise for whole year- and being the debt and money aware person I am have been making sure I would have the funds necessary. My mother on the other hand- is a different story! S unfortunately cannot go due to school, but being for my Grandparents 50th, I can't not go. (and I am one of only 2 granddaughters out of 14 grandkids- and frankly they like me best!). One day I might write a whole post about my crazy travel plans for that week!

Well one way S and I keep costs low is- not eating meat. I love being a vegetarian and it really helps me in my athletic endeavors. An added bonus is it can be very cheap! So fallows is the recipe I adapted from one I found on to utilize and use up some things we had lying around (2 browning bananas and apples sauce I have 8 days to finish!)

My New Favorite: Banana-Applesauce Super Moist Muffins!
  • 2 VERY ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 all-purpose flower
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
Since I totally altered this recipe I will tell you how I assembled in case that made a difference.

Put 2 banannas in bottom of mixing bowl. Mash with fork. Add margarine and also mash with fork to lumpy consistency. Add applesauce, brown sugar (recipe called for plain, so just use what you have), flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Due to the ripeness of my bananas I had plenty of moisture to make a good batter, but if for some reason it was to dry just add more applesauce! Spoon into muffin pans (paper lined for ease, greased and flowered for cheap). Bake at 375* for 20-25 min (I did 22 and they were perfect!).

These turned out really well but I think I could reduce the amount of margarine without effecting the moistness to much. I also added the cinnamon and think that it could use more, just a taste thing. The best part is how easy they were! I made them in the morning and it only took me 5 or so min to assemble and get in the oven before my shower.

S loved these! He ate 3 for breakfast with butter. I ate them plan and hot for breakfast, then plane and cold for an afternoon snack! So fast and so easy! It is such a great way to use up browning bananas!

For some reason I am liking baking way to much right now- so look for more recipes soon!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sometimes You Have to SPEND Money (For Motivation)

There are lots of things I don't want to do right now. One of them would be clean, and the other would be to bathe my dogs. So I went shopping!

Lenens 'n Things is having their clearance sale right now so after I went and deposited my student loan refund in the bank I decided to pop on in.

One thing I have been meaning to by for a long time is bed risers (you know the little blocks that make your bed taller). I missed my chance at the bening of the school year when they were marked down from $15 to $10 but I thought I would just go in and see. Sure enough! They are on sale again! I knew that S wouldn't mind if I got them because we had talked about them for so long.

The next thing to look at was a hand held shower head so that I could wash C-dog easier. I went over to that section and the cheapest one was $20 on sale for $15, but it was pretty cool. I had seen a supper striped down type at Big Lots for just $10, so I kept shopping. While wondering around the store I happened to notice one of their circulars just lying on a shelf! I was one of the first people in the store for the morning so I helped myself to it. With this new development I decided that I could get the shower thing also, so I went back and got it!

I also found these cute little cupcake holders called Cup-A-Cake on clearance from $3 to $1.5 each. They came in clear and pink so I bought 4 clear and 2 pink. I they they would be cute for Valentine's Day (yeah for thinking ahead!).

When I got home the first thing I did was raise the bed. I was so excited that I changed the sheets, made the bed, and even put our pajamas (yes, clean) and stuffed animals (I have a Godiva Bear I got for Valentine's Day 2 years ago and S has a UglyDoll named Bop 'n Beep) on each of our sides of the bed. But for some reason this was not enough. I brought in the vacuum and did all the carpet, the corners, the cobwebs around the smoke detector that have been bugging me for months and even the window seals!

Next I went to our guest bathroom (with an shower-tub which easier than our stall shower for washing dogs) and attempted to change the shower heads. Unfortunately S had taken his tools to work and I was out of luck on that department. But in my search for tools I found a phillips screwdriver and did a few chores I had been needing one for! I am so proud of myself and S was very excited when he saw the bedroom. Now I just need to wrangle and adjustable wrench and C-Dog will be getting bathed quite often!

So I spent about $35 in total. Not bad for a little motivation!