Monthly Archives: May 2010

Frugal Friday – Food tips

Some frugal-friendly food tips:

  • Check your pantry to see what you already have. I have purchased items I thought I needed, only to find they were stuffed in the back of the pantry….NEVER AGAIN! 

  • Make a price book, and frequently refer to it. 

  • Clean out your refrigerator, it will help you put away groceries, and again, it will help you see what you have.  Try to do it once a week.

  • Shop alone, if at all possible.  It’ll save you time and potentially a lot of frustration.  (Boy, oh boy, don’t get me started on trying to take my Autistic son to the store!)

  • Make it yourself.  Ban those convenience foods! Make whatever you can make yourself.

  • Use Super Cook.com.  This site is awesome!  You can simply enter the stuff you have on hand and it’ll pull up recipe matches for you. 

  • Grow a garden.  Even if you only have a porch, you can plant a couple of tomato plants….and fresh grown tomatoes are the BEST.  EVER.  Besides being healthier, tastier, and more frugal, it’s also very satisfying to harvest.

Thoughtful Thursday – Friendship

A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.
Leo Buscaglia

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.
Arnold H. Glasow

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.
Buddha

Autism Awareness Store

You can go HERE to shop for all sorts of cute apparel promoting Autism Awareness.  Here’s two of my favorites:

LOL.

Okay, seriously, there are days that I’d LOVE to have those with me.  But here are some really sweet buttons, shirts, and more that I really love as well:

 Isn’t that clock cool?
Check it out!

United States of Autism Documentary

The United States of Autism is going to begin filming their documentary by the same name starting this summer….for those who don’t know, I’m making the official announcement:  our family is going to be one of those that is filmed for this! 

After reading the list of all of the families that were chosen, I have to admit, I’m surprised we were chosen.  There are so many AMAZING families out there that are suffering so much, and working so hard.  I feel like I haven’t done half of what they have.  But I suppose that’s Mother guilt talking, right?  RIGHT?

 Either way, it’s going to be an amazing film.  Truly.  The director is such a good guy, and is painting a very realistic, and BEAUTIFUL picture of families who deal with Autism on a daily basis.  You’ll be amazed by the finished product, of that I am sure. 

So…if they’re filming this summer, I’ve got a month or so to lose some weight, clean the house, and whiten my teeth! ha ha.  Actually, not ha ha, because I’m totally NOT joking! :-)

Go here to learn more about the cause, and here to read a little bit about each of the families to be filmed.

The Right to Lead by John C. Maxwell book review

The Right To Lead:  Learning Leadership Through Character And Courage by John C. Maxwell…what can I say?  I loved this book.  I was expecting a novel style, but instead found a nice compact booked filled with inspirational stories, quotes, and ideas.  This is truly a book I will read over and over again, simply when I am in need of motivation, of inspiration, or simply of escape. 

Divided up into seven sections, John C. Maxwell shares with us different traits that need to be in existence for true leadership to come about.  These include:  Action, Vision, Sacrifice, Risk, Determination, Service, and Integrity.  In each section, a good number of quotes are included, as well as at least one true story highlighting someone who has had a shown a great deal of the aforementioned trait. 

In reading this book, I heard from and read about so many people who EARNED the right to lead others, through courage and character.  As I read, I felt prompted to do my part to be a leader, in my own little ways:  To lead my children as they seek my help and advice.  To lead those few that I work with in PTA, and to inspire them as I do my part.  The book does not tell you how to be in charge of others, or how to get them to do what you want.  It tells you what YOU need to do to earn the right to be a leader.  Then, and only then, will you truly be effective.

This was such an enjoyable read!  Like I said, this is a book that I will happily read time and again, for reference if nothing else.  I’m proud to have this book in my home library!  5 stars, all the way.

*I was not provided with any monetary compensation…the book was provided to me free of charge by BookSneeze in exchange for my review.  The opinions shared are mine, and mine only.

Thoughtful Thursday/Friday

Oh my gosh!  I’m just NOW realizing that I didn’t post Thursday’s Thought!  Sorry….without any further ado:
“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
-Edward Everett Hale
“The true measure of your character is what you would do if you were sure no one would ever find out.”
-John C. Maxwell
“Self-preservation is the first law of nature; self-sacrifice the highest rule of grace.”

-Author unknown

Frugal Friday – powdered milk in your food storage

For the month of May, the food storage item I’m focusing on stocking up on is powdered milk.  I know I’ve mentioned here before that I use it to supplement our regular milk, and make it stretch, but I use it for so many other things too!  
As you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of natural stuff, and cooking more from scratch.  I think powdered milk is AWESOME for that stuff.  Now, I know that there is a rumor that powdered milk tastes completely craptastic, but if you use it right, it really, TRULY is NOT bad!   (I promised myself I would use my new favorite word “craptastic” today… discovered the vocabulary here.)  Like when I supplement our regular milk, I never add more than a quart to our gallon of milk, and if I make sure the gallon is still at least half full, no one notices the difference.  I don’t ever add more than that, because I dont’ want to sacrifice taste, after all!
In cooking, you can easily substitute powdered for the fresh stuff with no problems….and hey, NONFAT dry milk just happens to be fat free! (Thus the nonfat label.)
So…in honor of my food storage item, here are a few fun recipes for using powdered milk:
Sweetened Condensed Milk – You mix some water, sugar, a little margarine and milk powder, and you’re good to go!  View the complete recipe HERE.
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 3 tbsp sugar (granulated or powdered)
  • ⅓ cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • ¼ tbsp salt
  • 1 cup water
Process

First, mix the powder milk with water and refrigerate overnight. The next day, add all the ingredients and blend well. Freeze, until completely chilled and stir after every half an hour. It will take around 2 – 3 hours. When the ice cream is soft, it is ready. Do not freeze solid. Read on homemade chocolate ice cream.

When making mashed potatoes, instead of draining your potato water and then adding milk, save some of that potato water and add powdered milk instead of fresh, then mash those potatoes up…easy, delicious, and you’re saving more of the nutrients from the water that way!
Try making this Powdered sugar replacement.
  Caramel Scones by June look pretty tasty!