Graham Cookies

As a parent, it is always a struggle between finding foods my kids will eat, and my desire to have them eat healthy foods. Lately as I have noticed that effects sugar have on my 4 year old, I’ve been working hard to find healthy foods that I can make. And that he will still enjoy haha. One recipe I recently found that everyone loved, is home made graham crackers! These are very easy to do and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:graham cookies

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or flour of choice
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, cold
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender combine the ingredients.
  3. Next put in the chilled butter.
  4. Scoop the mixture onto a piece of wax paper, with another sheet onto and roll out with a rolling pin or cup
  5. Roll dough out and use cookie cutters to make shapes or a cup just for circles.
  6. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

 

To Freeze, simply cut the cookies into shapes and then place them onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then you can place them in a plastic bag and you can freeze them for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake them, just cook them with an additional 1-2 minutes of bake time added on and keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

yuuuummmmy

 

 

 

Dana

Save $400 Off Your Grocery Bills

saving moneyWhen extra money is needed, my first suggestion is to always look at your budget and see where you can make cuts. My family was living paycheck to paycheck and we had a strong desire to pay off all our debt, but with no extra money that was hard to do. A detailed look into my budget showed me my family of 5 was spending over $1000 a month on food. Eating out, snacks, extras, desserts….all those goodies were adding up, and adding up very fast. So I decided to make some cuts. Ok, BIG cuts to be honest, and get our grocery bill down to $400-$500 a month.

 

Is it doable?? YES! I have been sticking to this new plan for over 8 months now and have saved tons of money, and in fact I wrote the whole plan out to help others do the same!! ((you can read more about that at the end plus how to get it for 50% off!)) The hardest part for me is I am a healthy eater, so I needed foods that were cheap, but also healthy for my family. That took some researching, trial and error, and finding bargains. But it worked and we are now able to put at least $400 a month into our savings!

save 400 on food

 

Here are a few of my top tips for eating on a budget, and scroll down to the bottom for a list of cheap, easy recipes!

 

TIPS:

*Plan out your meals for the week. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! If you know what you are going to eat, you will be less likely to spend money eating out

*Make your own snacks. I make all my kids snacks except pretzels. I do homemade cheese crackers, graham crackers, yogurt, muffins, bread….pretty much everything can be made from home for cheaper and a LOT healthier

*PLAN PLAN PLAN: I promise this is the number one tip for staying on track

*Make two nights a week a “veggie night”. Meat is pricey and you can get just as much protein from veggies, but for cheaper.

*Make a grocery list and stick with it! If its not on the list, and you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!

*Go with frozen or canned fruits and veggies. Cheaper!!

*Buy from stores like Aldis, Save A Lot, Costco, or Sams. Make sure to compare prices though as items aren’t always cheaper.

*Buy discount items in bulk and freeze! When I see meat or cheese on sale, I buy a lot and stick it in the freezer.

*PLAN! Keep snacks in your bag so you aren’t tempted to go through a drive thru

*Coupon! But make sure you have your meals planned out before looking for coupons. Otherwise you end up spending more by buying things you didn’t need that were on sale.

CHEAP MEAL IDEAS:1947685_10152074914309576_1158232217_n

*Grilled Cheese

*Cheese Quesadilla

*Veggie Quesadilla

*Soups (chicken and rice, vegetable beef, broccoli and cheese, etc)

*Veggie Spaghetti Sauce

*Chili

*Rice and Beans

*Chicken or Tuna Salad Wraps

*Tacos

*Casseroles (chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese is my favorite!)

*Potato “Bar” Night

*Breakfast for dinner

*Homemade pizza

 

OR take all the guesswork out of meal planning and go snatch up my copy of Healthy Eating on A Budget. (( https://sellfy.com/p/inKs/ )) Over 100 copies sold and thousands of dollars saved!!! Make sure to enter code “ Musings ” when you checkout and get it for 50% off! This program includes:

4 Weeks Of Meal Plans (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)cover
Recipes For the Meal
Additional Healthy, Cheap Recipes
(over 30 total recipes)
Weekly Grocery Lists
Money Saving Tips
Grocery Shopping Tips
Healthy Cheap Foods List
Meal Ideas
Specific Food Tips

And more!!!!

Go read a few of the fabulous testimonials from people who have used this program and saved big!

Dana

Live Like A Girl

adalyn2I am a very structured person. I like lists, I like plans, and I like order. And I have 3 kids under the ages of 5. Having kids has been a great lesson to me on living in the moment, knowing whats important, and getting my priorities in order. My middle child, Adalyn, teaches me that daily!!! At 3 years old she dances to the beat of her own drum, ignores rules and order, is her own boss and lives like a fierce and fabulous girl.

If you need a giggle, here is a normal week with Adalyn.

 

Going into Lowes to use the restroom, she announces “I’m wearing boy underwear today!! I stole it from Will!”

 

De-cluttering my closet, she pulls everything from the trash pile “Mom, can I keep this?? Yes or No.” “No, put it back in the trash” “Mom, Yes or No. But NOT No!”

 

“Mom, while you put Liam to sleep I colored my belly. Its pink!!”unnamed4

 

On what to have for breakfast: “CHOCOLATE!!! Lots of CHOCOLATE!”

 

“For Halloween, Im going to be Astrid!!! Not a princess! A dragon rider!” (From How To Train Your Dragon)

 

On why she was closing all the doors in the house ” BECAUSE I WANT TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

 

 

Her Current Favorite Songs: Timber, Shake It Off, and Let It Goadalyn3

 

Her Favorite Activity: Taking care of her “one baby Liam”

 

On what she wants to be when she grows up “I want to wear Lipstick and give shots!”

 

Favorite Superhero: Pink Ones

 

Favorite Food: Ice Cream and Broccoli

 

 

Spending time with Adalyn reminds me that being yourself is the best person to be.  She is the middle child with an older and younger brother, and boy is she FIERCE! Sure she is only 3, but she sings even when she doesn’t know the words, she dances to her own beat, she dresses like she is a superhero princess, she tries to fly and doesn’t cry when she fall, and she says whatever is on her mind. My wish for her is that she never changes and always embraces every part of herself that makes her different from others. And that she always remembers that being a girl means she is strong, fierce, beautiful, and capable of anything she wants! #likeagirl

 

 

Dana

Skinny Puppy Chow

chexI love sweets. Forget pizza and pasta, sweet snacks are my go to item!! I can eat salad all day long if need be if it means I get chocolate for dessert haha. I’m always on the hunt to find ways to make my favorite treats a bit healthier, and this week I made Skinny “Puppy Chow”. No its not dog food, its peanut butter chocolate covered chex mix. SO GOOD!!!! Its also a great sweet snack for kids!!will and chex

Here is how I made it:

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups Wheat Chex Cereal (you can use regular too)

2 Tbsp Natural Low Fat Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp “I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter”

2 Squares Sugar Free Dark Chocolate

1 Package Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding

1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the butter, peanut butter, and chocolate in a large pot on the stove. Melt over low heat and stir consistently to prevent it from burning.  Once it has all melted, remove from the stove.  Pour the chex mix in the pot and mix it up well. Dump the chex onto a foil lined cookie sheet to cool. Once it has cooled (approx. 20-30 minutes) pour it into a large Ziploc bad and add the pudding and powdered sugar. Shake gently to mix. Store in an air tight container or bag for 3-5 days.

Dana

Becoming A Work From Home Mom

10402444_10152513761944576_8837897643593524145_nWorking from home is a very popular topic! Especially for busy parents who want to treasure every single moment they can with their kids. In this day and age though, more and more parents are finding they need to return to work to be able to support their kids, even though they would give anything to stay home with them. I was the same way!! I went to college full time while raising two young kids, and once I graduated the bills were piling up. But if I went back into the work force, I would never see my 3 year old and 2 year old. Plus the cost of childcare in my areas was super expensive so It wouldn’t be helping us too much. Thus began my exploration into how I could do both, be with my kids and help my husband with the bills. It took time, research,  trial and error, lots of hours of work, getting outside of my comfort zone, and being willing to work my butt off. But now, 2 years later I make a full time income spending my day with my 3 kids! Its an amazing opportunity and something anyone and everyone can do, but you have to be willing to put in the work.

Learn more about how I got started, my recommendations, and balancing it all on a special PodCast Interview with the wonderful Jim and Teresa Adams of Family Matters First

http://familymattersfirst.org/podcast/99/

Feel free to email me with any questions on how you can become a work from home Mom!!

Dana