What Are the Least Expensive Ingredients?

Cooking with inexpensive ingredients means that your meals will automatically cost you less, reducing your food budget even before you use coupons. There are a lot of easy healthy foods that don’t cost much money to prepare into full, satisfying dishes, and you don’t have to worry about eating beans every night (although beans should be on the list somewhere since they do provide good nutrients for the cost and can be a replacement for more expensive meat meals). Simple changes are really all that you need to do in order to choose to cook cheaply. For example, choose hot … Continue reading

How to Make Vanilla Extract

Yes, you can make vanilla extract at home. The process is simple and will produce vanilla extra with much more flavor and nuance than the stuff you can buy in the store, so you’ll want to especially use it in dishes and deserts that have a strong vanilla component. Homemade vanilla extract is, of course, wonderful to use in any recipe that calls for vanilla extract. Your version will be smooth and taste pure. Before you get started, you will need a glass vessel of some kind that contains a strong seal. You can choose a fancy container bought for … Continue reading

Three Ways to Earn Extra Money for Christmas without Getting a Job

It will be here before you know it. Already my kids are making their wish lists, and the stores are starting their holiday sales. As I mentioned before, our Christmas tree is more like a “couple of sticks with some green toothpicks on it,” as my son describes, and there is extra tithing and charity. All of these things aren’t normally in the budget. That is why we are employing some strategies to earn a little extra money this year. Some effort now will help avoid great debt later. Because our schedules are already packed tight with kids and work, … Continue reading

Ways to Use Extra Girl Scout Cookies

Extra Girl Scout cookies? What’s that? If you can devour an entire box of Thin Mints in a single sitting, then you might not need the following recipes. However, if you are like my parents, who buy a box of cookies from every smiling Brownie and Girl Scout that comes within a 50-yard radius of their home or office, then you might consider whipping up these simple yet tasty treats: THIN MINT CHOCOLATE PIE Ingredients: 1 box Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies 3 tablespoons melted butter 2 cups cold milk 1 package chocolate instant pudding (6 serving size) 2 to … Continue reading

That Extra Ingredient

The ingredient I left off my recipe for a happy marriage was being attuned to each other’s moods. This never became more obvious than on Tuesday. I was feeling rather flat-I suspect because I’d been confined to the house so much lately. ‘I feel rather flat,’ Mick announced. ‘Me Too,’I agreed. Mick then proposed we take ourselves out for a day date, ‘if you can spare the time from work.’ I’d been thinking exactly the same. As so often we were in tune with each other’s feelings and thought processes, which I comes from having been married so many years … Continue reading

Simple and Tasty Ways to Use Extra Ground Beef

Ordinarily there is nothing remotely close to “extra” ground beef anywhere near my kitchen, but since I committed to making Spicy Sloppy Joes (among other dishes) to take to a football viewing party tomorrow I happened to have a few extra pounds of beef in my refrigerator. As such I was able to prepare two tasty and affordable one-dish meals to feed my family this weekend. (Both can be modified to feed more than four people.) Two other perks of these dishes are their simplicity (all of the ingredients are kid-friendly and take less than 30 minutes to prepare) and … Continue reading

Food Network Gets Extra Helping of Rachael Ray and Jamie Oliver

Just when you thought Rachael Ray could not possibly take on another job the peppy celebrity chef turned talk show host just added more to her plate. Come January you can get double helpings of Ray on the Food Network in the form of a new primetime series called “Rachael’s Vacation,” which follows the chatty chef as she explores, cities, countries, food, and lifestyles around the world. The new series will air in addition to Ray’s daytime show “30 Minute Meals.” The 39-year-old aproned Energizer bunny signed a two-year deal for her new series, and according to Food Network insiders, … Continue reading

Cooking Skills for Kids: A New Mini Feature to the Food Blog

Tuesday was baking day this week. My oldest daughter has decided that during the holidays, she wants to bake something nice and give it away. So we set out to make Nestle Toll House Pie. It was her idea so I really wanted to let her do all the work. So I did. I helped her decipher the directions so she didn’t waste ingredients by ruining something when she wanted to add 1 ½ cups of salt because she missed that the recipe said teaspoon, but when it all came down to it, it was her product. I watched. I … Continue reading

The Let’s Talk Pregnancy Blog Top Ten: Prenatal Eating Tips

This quick list will help you to make sure you get optimum nutrition during your pregnancy with ease. As long as you remember these ten simple things, you should have no trouble maintaining a healthy pregnancy, barring any unforeseen complications such as preeclampsia, etc. Along with your prenatal supplements, there are certain things that your baby will need to get from you while in utero. You could even print out this list and tape it to your refrigerator for a quick reference before snacking. Without further ado, here are the top ten tips to prenatal eating: TEN: If you don’t … Continue reading

Ten Tips to Save a Bit Extra

This may sound like a New Year resolution list, but actually it is the little things I’m going to do so I can save a bit extra money and stretch it really far. My goal is to pay off our debt and still have fun doing it! 1. I’m going to cook at home more – starting with celery, onions and garlic I can add ingredients for home made spaghetti sauce, soups or Mexican dishes – for the whole week! It doesn’t take too much extra planning if I just think about it before I hit the grocery store. 2. … Continue reading