Many of us have spent money on convenience food whether it was for lunch or for dinner that we could have spent to prepare meals for a few days. A convenience food like pizza can be easily made at home instead of ordering for your favourite pizza place.

Making homemade pizza is not only easy it is also tasty and can become a family tradition if you make it. The best way to go about this is to choose a day when you will make the pizzas. This way, you can make several pizzas with different topping so that you can freeze them for those days that you don’t want to cook or days that the family feels like eating pizza.

If you make homemade pizza you get to select the toppings that you and your family like. You can even make individual pizza for picky family members who don’t like certain toppings. It is also your opportunity to use up things that you have in your refrigerator.

You can also prepare different types of crust.  For example, you can add cheese or spices to the crust.  There is a great pizza crust recipe on this site. If you don’t want to make the crust, you can pick some up from your groceries but why spend the extra money when you can make it yourself.

Just think of the customization that can take place if you make your own crust.  You make small crust or extra large  crust.  The choice is yours. With the pantry staples recommended on this site, you should be able to make your own  crust since you will have your pantry stocked with the important staples.

As indicated above, you can shape the dough to the size or sizes of your preference. Also, make sure that you have a rim on the dough so it contains the sauce.  It is not advisable to put too much sauce on your pizza.

You can either make your own sauce or you can buy sauce from the store. To prepare your pizza, put the sauce on the dough and spread it up to the rim of the pizza. The next step is to put the cheese of your choice on top of the pizza sauce. You might be tempted to buy cheese that has already been grated for you at the grocers but resist the temptation and buy a large  piece of cheese which you can grate. Buying and grating your own cheese is very economical because large block of cheese cost less than the cheese that has already been grated. Not to mention that it melts better.

If you want to experiment with your pizzas, you can add chicken, bacon or even hamburger as a topping. If you like hot peppers, you can add those as well. You can even add spices for a nice flavourful pizza. Putting thyme, oregano or basil on your
pizza will really make it tasty.

To bake the pizzas you can use baking stones or pizza pans or you can even use a convection oven that has a pizza insert. Your family can help with the cleaning up the kitchen while your pizza dinner is baking.

Just remember, pizza is great for breakfast the next morning.

Filed under: Cheap Meal Ideas

Isn’t it interesting that our parents and grandparents always had food on the table no matter how hard the times were while we keep running thegrocery store every few days and end up spending tons of money? Do you think there is a secret for their success in putting food on the table day after day? There really is no secret. The reason they were successful is because they  planned and prepared. Planning and preparation is the key to getting good meals on the table in good times and in bad times. Once we start to plan and prepare for our meals, we will learn how to stretch our budget and learn how to live on less money.

This means that we need to decide which grocery items we need to have in our pantry at all times. Once we have our pantry stocked with staples we will be able to prepare good meals without running to the grocery store so often. All it really takes is stocking your pantry with a few items that you can create healthy meals with. Here are five staples that you need to have in
your pantry.

1. Flour

Flour is the most important item to have in your pantry because most recipes require flour. For example, you can add it to a saucepan of stew to thicken it or if you are frying chicken you will need to coat it in flour, among other things. Flour can be added to water and added to your stews to thicken them or you can use flour to coat meat. Flour is also need for baking. If you are making breads, biscuits or cakes, you need flour. You also need flour to coat the baking pans with if you are baking. There are many uses for flour and that includes making desserts.

2. Rice

Rice is the number two staple because most people around the world eat rice. Some people eat rice every day and some eat rice a few times a week. Rice is a staple because you can make many things with it. You can add other flavourings to it. Rice can also be used to make dessert such as sweet rice or rice pudding. To make sweet rice, all you have to do is to add evaporated milk  and sugar to the rice and warm it up to make a nice dessert. If you have condensed milk, you can use that instead of the evaporated milk and sugar because it already contains sugar. Sweet rice can be an after dinner treat. Another way to use rice is to cook plenty so you have leftovers that you can make casseroles with. To make a casserole, all you have to do is to add leftover meat and some cream soup. Rice has many uses and you will come up with a few ideas to use leftovers to prepare meals for your family.

3. Pasta

Pasta is another great staple that you should have in your kitchen because of its versatility. An example for using pasta would be to buy Manicotti which can be stuffed with things such as tomato sauce and cheese for a nice dish. Macaroni is another type of pasta that can be used to make salads, or you can add cheese and milk to it if you want to make macaroni and cheese or you can even add sauces to spruce it up. The spiral types of pastas can also be used to make salads. Spaghetti is another type of pasta that you can cook and add a meat sauce or tomato sauces it to serve to your family.

4. Spices

The fourth staple for your pantry is spices. When I say spices, I do not mean salt and pepper. You need salt and pepper in your pantry but in addition, you need spices. Spices in general taste better than salt and pepper when added to your recipes. You can cut back on the salt when you add spices to your food as spices make your dishes more flavourful if you don’t like bland  food. The following spices should be in your pantry: Chilli powder, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder, just to name a few. When you add spices to your food, it gives your food a new taste and flavour.

5. Beans

Beans are another staple that you should have in your pantry. Just think of all the ways you can use beans. You can add them to salads, make dips with them and they also go well with grilled foods. Beans are also very healthy because they are a good source of protein so if you are living on a budget, beans will be a good source of protein for your family. Beans are very filling and you can add them to soup, to stews, to rice or you can even eat them on their own. An example of this would be lentils. You can cook the lentils, add some oregano and a pinch of curry powder and some cooked onions, let it all simmer and serve as a meals. It is very tasty.

If you don’t have these staples in your kitchen, you need to go out an purchase them. You will probably think of many more spices that you can add to your pantry to save time and money. Simply start with the staples mentioned above and then you can add to them as time goes on.

In summary, above are some frugal living tips that you should employ if you want to same time and money.

 

Filed under: How to Live Frugally

When you are living on a tight budget, you find ways to save money. One of the ways that you can save money is by using up leftover dinners in various ways. Instead of putting your leftover meals in the refrigerator to rot or to be tossed out later, you can learn to reuse your leftover meals in interesting ways to save time and money.

It is true that not everyone likes leftovers. Even though some people might eat leftovers the following days, many people do not want to be eating leftovers for a week. There are simple things that you can do if your family does not want to be eating leftovers day after day. An example of this is:

If you have prepared dinner which included roasted pork and rice one night, most of your family members will probably not be interested in eating the same thing the following night. More than likely, your roasted pork dinner will sit in the back of the fridge if you don’t do something about it. So, here is how you can avoid this from happening.

The thing to do is to serve the leftovers in a different ways so your family does not get turned off from eating the same meal again. Here is what you can do. You can cut up the roasted pork into small pieces. Take out a wok or large frypan and fry the rice in a little olive oil, then add some frozen vegetables, a couple of beaten eggs, the chopped pork and a little soy sauce. Now you have pork fried rice that your family will enjoy.

Do you see how easy it can be to turn a leftover dinner into a completely new dish. If the leftover dinner was made with seafood, chicken or beef, you can basically do the same thing. How, you ask? If it were beef instead of pork, this is what you will do:

For example, if you had hamburgers for dinner, simply chop up the hamburgers until they are very fine like ground beef. You can turn this into beef tacos by adding chilli powder and taco sauce to the heated beaf. Another thing you can do with the chopped leftover hamburgers is to make chilli. You can do this by heating up the beef in a saucepan, adding a can of cooked beans, some chopped red or yellow peppers, some tomatoes and a jar of pasta sauce to create a tasty chilli.

Imaginative cooks can create many different meals from meats and other dishes that they have prepared.

You can easily create two or three meals from leftover dinners. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can even freeze the leftovers for another time rather putting them in the refrigerator to rot. Or you can create a new meals or meals as indicated above and serve them the next day or freeze them until some later date. You simply have to remove the meals from you freezer, when you are ready to serve it, and heat it up in the microwave or oven. The fact of the matter is that this is not a difficult process and you can glean from the information above.

Amaze your family by transforming leftovers to completely different meals. Then again, you family might not even know that you have done this unless you tell them. Just think of all of the money that you will save at the grocers by doing this rather than throwing good food away. If you are living on a budget, try these frugal living tips.

Filed under: How to Live Frugally

Things You Need:

Cooking Oil
Plastic bottle
Water
Blue food coloring

Alka-Seltzer tablet

Method:

Pour cooking oil into a plastic bottle half way. Next fill with regular water the rest of the way. Add 10 drops of blue dye. Next, add 1/2 of an Alka-Seltzer tablet to the bottle. This will fizz.

This is a fun craft for kids.

Filed under: Fun Crafts for Kids

This is a craft for children that you can help them make.

Things that you need:

One ice cube tray

Liquid food color

2 tbsp. hot water for each crayon

1 c. soap flakes

Small bowl

Spoon

Method:

To get started for each color, in a bowl, add 1 cup of soap flakes and two tablespoons of hot water. To this, you will add food coloring to your liking. Next, give the mixture a good stirring until it becomes quite thick.  Don’t rush this because it will take some time.

Next, in the ice trays, you will fill each cube with some of the soap mixture.You will follow the directions above for the other soap crayon colors that you want to make.  The next thing to do is to let the crayons dry.  This will take a day or two.

Loosen the crayons from the ice try.  You might have to bang to the tray to loosen the soap crayons.  If you are planning to give them away, you can now put them in bags or boxes for gifts. These are great gifts for birthdays or for any type of special occasion.

 

Filed under: Fun Crafts for Kids

Ingredients:

1 pkg of dry yeast

2 tsp sugar

1  1/4 cups warm milk (not boiling)

3 tbsp melted butter

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (apx)

1 tsp salt

Method:

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Set it aside and let it rest for aproximately 10 minutes until the yeast foams.  Next, mix the flour and salt together.  Gradually add flour mixture to the wet ingredients with a fork.  When you have added all of the flour mixture, use your hands to incorporate the flour until the dough become firms.

Next, add flour to your work surface and knead the dough adding more flour if dough is sticky.  Knead dough with the palms of your hand for about 5 minutes and form into a ball.

Place the dough back into a clean bowl which has been greased with butter.  Cover the bowl, place it in a warm area and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size which will take about 45 minutes.

Next, you will deflate your dough before you use it to make your recipe.

If you want to flavour your dough, you can add grated cheese, herbs or carmelized onions but you will be adding these when you add the flour.

Filed under: Cheap Meal Ideas

To make the finger paint, you will be using the recipe on this site for homemade paste.  To the homemade paste, you will be adding equal amounts of Ivory liquid detergent.  The next step would be to add one drop of food coloring at a time to the mixture and mix well.

Your children will sure have lots of fun using this finger paint.

 

Filed under: Fun Crafts for Kids

This homemade paste is made from a few simple ingredients that everyone has in their pantry:

Ingredients:

1 c. flour

1/2 c. water

Combine above and mix until creamy. Store in airtight container. This is a no cook paste.  For more durable paste, add 1/2 cup flour to 1 cup boiling water. Stir over low heat until thick and shiny.

As you can see, this recipe is very easy to make at home for your children.

Filed under: Fun Crafts for Kids

Play dough is an easy craft to make at home.  Here is a simple play dough recipe which is non-toxic:

Ingredients:

1 c. salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. oil
A few drops of food coloring (optional)

Method:

Mix all ingredients together in a container.  You can use a large plastic bag or a jar for mixing and storing.  After it is thoroughly mixed, the children can take off pieces of the dough and cut it into the shapes that they desire .  If you have cookie cutters, they can use them for this purpose.

Your kids can also use the dough for painting projects.  What they would need to do is form shapes that they like and let the dough harden and apply the paint after the dough hardens.  To keep the dough from sticking to your children’s hands, the kids can apply flour to their hands before handling the dough.

This is a very easy kids craft project and your kids will have tons of fun.

 

Filed under: Fun Crafts for Kids

There are many ways to prepare rice dishes because of the versatility of rice.

Almost all cultures eat rice so that’s the reason there are many different  variations. If rice is a food that you like eating, you will be happy to know  that there are many ways to prepare it and there are tons of recipes to make at home.

Two simple  types of rice dishes are fried rice or white rice because they can go with  different types of meals. Usually you can serve meat or fish right over rice.

Another type of rice dish is Spanish rice which will be a good accompaniment for  any type of Mexican food. You can also spice it up with different types of  peppers. Spanish rice is usually red and it is usually served with tomatoes.  Since there are several variations of Spanish rice, you will have to look for a  recipe that might interest you.

Instead of making just vegetables for dinner. Why don’t you add some broccolli  and cheese to your rice. Serving broccolli this way is very attractive to kids  as well so this is a good choice. Many people choose to make brocolli and cheese  rice instead of serving plain vegetables for dinner. Children seem to be more  willing to eat their broccoli this way than when it is by itself. You can make  rice with brocolli and cheese yourself or it is available in a box.

There are many rice recipes online and there are also quite a few rice cookbooks. Rice is a simple dish to prepare because it does not take long to  cook and it is also very cost effective because rice is not expensive. As long as  you follow the recipe you will get a good result and, if you are like me, once  you cook it a few times, you will not even need a recipe. All you have to do is  try and if you don’t like it you can get rid of it.

Also, you don’t have to stick to the same recipe because once you become a pro  at cooking rice, you will experiment and add things to your own liking. For  example, you might want to add more tomotaes to your Spanish rice or you might  want to add more cheese to your brocolli and cheese rice. Making changes is good  so you should not be afraid and once you give it a shot you will have tasty rice  that you will enjoy.

Rice can also be use in dessert recipes as well. You have heard about rice  pudding, haven’t you? Sweet rice is another rice dish that you can make and this  will add a twist any meal. If you like sweets, this will probably satisfy your  craving but without all the extra calories of sugar. Sweet rice is also good for  you.

Filed under: Cheap Meal Ideas

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