Monthly Archives: August 2013

Homemade…… Yummy!

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are trying to save money is to compare the cost of an item with a homemade alternative.  Around my house, this year has been the year of eating changes.  I try my hardest to not purchase anything processed.  I want all natural and fresh in my kitchen.  So, I cook with REAL butter.  Use REAL syrup.  Eat REAL vegetables.  Bake HOMEMADE.

Let’s compare the tasty Pillsbury Grands to homemade biscuits…..

Take a look at the ingredients…… see the red flags–bleached flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, sugar, artificial color

Okay, let’s look at my recipe for biscuits–

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What’s inside my butter?  um… since it is real….. CREAM

When I am baking, I use Gold Medal’s Better for Bread flour.

It is unbleached.  Yay!!  Unbromated.  YAY!!  Enriched.  AWW MAN!!  The bleaching process used for the production of flour is a Chlorine Gas Bath.  It is like the Clorax cycle when you wash clothes.  It makes the flour whiter.  This process strips the flour of the natural gluten.  Therefore, gluten has to be added to the bleached flour.  Interesting enough that in 1910, bleached flour was labeled unfit for human consumption in Missouri.  Ahem…… I’m  not even going to ask!!  I’ll just shake my head as to why we have bleached flour. (according to examiner.com)

Bromated flour….. potassium bromate is added to help with the dough elasticity and to help bake higher raised bread.  However, potassium bromate has been linked with thyroid dysfunction. (according to examiner.com)

Kinda makes you stop and think, doesn’t it.

Okay. Okay. Okay.  You came here wanting to know the savings.

An eight count can of Grands costs $1.68….. 21 cents per biscuit

The ingredients in my recipe (um…yes, that’s right, I did the math!!) $1.13 for a dozen…. 9 cents per biscuit.

How can you argue with savings like that?

I know.  I know.  I know.  It is faster to open the can.  But, here’s a tip….. on Saturday morning, get up early and make a double or triple batch of biscuits.  Have biscuits and honey for breakfast and pop all the left overs in the freezer.  So, during the week, you just pop a few frozen biscuits in the oven to warm up…… FAST!!

So…..

May God stir up the Suzie Homemaker in you and start baking!!

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.  3 John 1:2 ESV

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Never Ending

When I was a little girl, my family and I visited a friend in Northwest Arkansas.  While we were there, we went to a park.  There was a merry-go-round.  It was our favorite thing to do……  spinning faster and faster and faster to the point when we all got sick.  In fact when we laid down that night, the bed spun and well, we had the hardest time sleeping.

Would it be safe to say that saving money has the same effect?  Whenever you are on the merry-go-round-out-of-control spending cycle, your debt piles higher and higher.  You can literally get sick from the worry and nauseous over the whole situation.  And naturally, our heads spin out of control with anxiety from the financial uncertainty when it is time to lay our heads down for a restful night’s sleep.

Been there.

Done that.

So you decide to take the bull by the horns and get a handle on this financial disaster.  You do the work…… a budget.  You tell the family that this is the deal…..we have only x-amount of money to spend.  The first week goes swell.  You feel like you can conquer this demon.  Then….

BAM!!

The car breaks down.

You react.  You rearrange the budget and Whew…. you barely make it.

BAM!!

Another unexpected expense comes around the corner and plows you over.

You react.  Not as confident as before.  A seed of doubt plants itself in your mind.

BAM!!

Yet another expense is thrown your way.

This time, the hopelessness takes over.  The seed of doubt has become the size of a tree and you are at your wits end.

And then, you throw in the towel.  You make up your mind that if this is the way it is going to be then by golly you are going to have fun.  Then you plop down the  credit card.  All is well….. ahem until the statement comes in them mail.

And the never ending cycle starts again as you climb aboard the merry-go-round.

Well, I am here to tell you…… it is alright…. to feel that way.  But, may I show you something….. before you were budgeting your money, you never thought twice about limiting your spending.  When you made the budget, you put a cap on your spending.  BRAVO!!  Eventually, you will get up on top of that debt.  You will find financial peace and freedom.  It takes one step, one purchase, at a time.

It feels hopeless right now, but hang in there.  Mark my words, you will see a difference in 6 months.  The spending limit will be natural.  Your savings account will actually have money in it and that credit card debt will begin to shrink.

I have a little secret……  That is Satan pulling you down.  He is telling you that it is impossible.  He wants you to be the slave to debt.  He wants to put a damper on your shining light.

Look at it in terms of weight loss.  It has taken a gal like me years….. I mean YEARS to pile on the pounds.  I have always tried to lose weight.  I would go gun-ho until my first slip up…… then I would throw in the towel.  Eventually the weight I had lost has made new friends and all took up residency around my waist.  But, with the strength and power of God, I got over the first hurdle and I haven’t looked back.

Your financial situation can be overcome.  Look, it will be hard and require more work than you have ever imagined.  But, trust me, to have peace and a good night’s sleep is well worth it.  Keep up the good work and I will be praying for a hedge of protection for you.

The Bug

I am infected….. My home is infested…..

It just embarrasses me to no end!

I’ve tried cleaning.  I’ve tried wishing it all away.

I want my home free and clear of this bug!!

It dwindles only to multiply within minutes.

Sometimes I feel as if there is no hope. No end.

Perhaps, I should just throw my hands up and be done.  Or maybe move.  Oh, but this bug will probably follow me….. it’s clinging on me now.

I hate this bug!

Are you infected and infested as I?  Are you suffering like me?  Is every nook and cranny covered……..

with……

the clutter bug??

Clutter multiplies like rabbits…..  Infests like fleas…..  Irritates…..  Crowds us…… Strangles….. Sucks the life right out of a home.

But here’s the thing….

Dictionary.com defines Clutterto fill or litter with things in a disorderly manner.

That is the physical sense….  It is what we see piling up.  It fills every square inch of a counter-top.   That mess scattered from one room to the next.  We climb over it, step around it, and wade through it.

Disorderly….. you know unruly……undisciplined

Clutter–a state or condition of confusion.  

How about that definition?

Would that explain how you feel emotionally?  Can’t find.  Can’t stand it.  Can’t have anyone over.  The shame.  The guilt.  The hopelessness.  It’s like you walk into your home and feel anxious.  Like you want to run.

Is that the way God wants us to live?  Disorderly and confused?

The simple truth is NO.

1 Cor 14:33 says it all…..  God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

So, how do we find that peace?

 

Today's Susie

Yesterday’s Susie Homemaker cooked, cleaned, sewed, canned, baked, ironed, gardened, raised kids, met husband at door with a tender kiss, wore an apron all day, washed, hung clothes out to dry, entertained friends with cute little cucumber sandwiches, polished the appliances and did it all with a smile……

Have times changed?

No, I think we have added so much more to our schedule than our grandmothers or great-grandmothers.  I can not imagine how in the world my great-grandmothers got through the day without washers and dryers and microwaves.  I mean when I clean house I am usually either still in my PJ’s or wearing the good ole ragged jeans!  No pearls on this girlfriend!!

Well, let’s see what image I can Google up that would depict today’s Susie….

Would  you agree?

I guess we could say Susie’s middle name would be Frazzled.  Yep, Susie Frazzled Homemaker. As we take on more and more and more we imagine our selves as Susie SuperMom Homemaker.

  1. Susie SuperMom can handle any situation with sheer determination.  Got a problem, SuperMom to the rescue!!
    Sigh
    Don’t you wish we actually had that cape and the super sonic strength to get everything off the to-do list?
    Did my great-grandmother and my grandmothers secretly keep a cape in her closet?  Nope, she was just as human as this gal writing this blog.  When I look back at the wonderful blessed time I had with my Grandma Cannon whom by the way I have been told by family that I am becoming more and more like her everyday.  Whoop Whoop!  I will be the Log Ride Grandma who can never say no to her grandkids at amusement park!!  My favorite memory was when my brother, cousin, and I convinced Grandma to ride rides at Magic Springs.
    Okay, back on topic……
    Here’s what I have noticed:
    1.  No Clutter
    2.  No Distractions (unless Days of Our Lives is considered a distraction…. oh wait, that is when she crocheted or sewed…. nope no distraction)
    3.  No Debt
    4.  No Frazzled Nerves (unless it was storming…. She was very antsy when a storm blew through)
    And to be honest, I really think #1 and#2 has a direct affect on #3 and #4.  Reason I say that is….. well, if I take a hard and I mean a hard look at my own life there is clutter and distractions that are weighing me down.  It isn’t that I run out of time…… or money…… or nerves….. or space.
    I really think we can make peace and conquer our days, our homes and our lives with a smile without the SuperMom suit.
    So maybe we need to give our Susie Homemaker of 2013 a make-over.  Perhaps incorporating a little more of the ideology and frugality of the Ancestral Susie is the key to keeping the Frazzle away!!

Doin' the Buggy Boogie and Savin' Money Part 3

Dress for success……  Comfy shoes, your favorite outfit, and your Buggy Boogie-Savin’ Money Battle Gear!!

1.  Grocery Ads

2.  Coupons

3.  Grocery List

4.  Clipboard (to hold it all together in the buggy seat)

5.  Calculator and Budget Figure

6.  A Sharp Eye and a Sense of Conquering (I mean we all like VICTORY!!) Don’t be mousy.

Okay, so the goal last week was to shop for $89 or less.  I tell ya….. I had my doubts. I had a few wish list items and high hopes to getting them.

I shop like I drive to work….. the same route each and every time.  I’ve found that if I don’t veer off the course, I won’t spend any extra money.  I get into trouble when I window shop inside Wal-Mart….. or it could be that I have a terrible sense of direction.  Just ask Mark… he loves to tell the story of when he napped in the car while I was driving to Mississippi.  He woke up and I proudly exclaimed, “We are in Louisiana!!” He should have stayed away!!

With every item that goes in my buggy, I plug in the cost on my handy dandy calculator.  I round up of course to insure that I am not shocked at the total when tax is added.  So if an item is 50 cents I plug in $1…… 89 cents, $1….. $1.02, $2.00.

Here’s the best advice I can give to you……STICK TO THE LIST!!!  You have already spent time preparing it….. so use it.  If you do pick up something extra (amazing how many squirrels I like to chase inside of WM)  or that you have forgotten to put on the list (I’m getting older….. now where did I put my glasses?)  put it in a special spot in the buggy….. I usually keep those items in the buggy seat or underneath.

Thinkin’ I’m nuts???

There’s a method to my madness.

1.  Out of sight, out of mind, and on the register tape.  If I just throw it in, then I  intend to purchase it.   Once it is lost in the mix, the harder it is to part with it.

2.  The longer I wait, I may come to my senses.  I mean think about it….. if  you don’t toss it inside with the needed items and staring at me…… AHEM, I can sometimes talk myself out of the extra purchase.  I hate buyers’ remorse!!

3.  I’m lazy.  When it comes time to balance check  and I am way off course, I don’t want to have to dig and dig and dig for that item I have to put back.

Balance Check:  After every two rows in Wal-Mart, I check my balance on the ole calculator.  If I am getting too close for comfort, I make quick decisions.  That way, I can lighten my load of extra pick ups or make quick substitutions.  For example:  Once I had planned for a recipe that my family enjoys Chicken Ranch Pasta.  I use canned chicken.  Well, guess what…… Wal-mart upped the price and if I used canned chicken I was going to be over budget.  In a sale ad, I remembered ground chicken….. it was $1.99 a pound.  One can was $2.25…. and I needed 2 cans.  So, I substituted the ground for the chicken chunk in a can.  The taste was great and it was cheaper than the can.  A Win-Win!!!

I tell ya…. once you start getting closer to the dollar amount, you really begin to sweat.  Your dollar sense kicks in….. and you begin to look for off brands.  Like, coffee creamer…..  I normally purchase from Dollar General but they have been running a little short this week….. like a bare shelf.  So, here I am at WM staring down the prices.  WM brand was more than I could budget.  So, I looked at all my options.  I found an off brand on the bottom shelf for $1.  I grabbed the last one.  Obviously, I wasn’t the only one looking for the better deal.

So, like I mentioned earlier, I only had $89 to spend last week.  I actually made it with some change to spare….. My total adventure was $87.10.  I got everything on my list and wish list except one item.  So, it will go on top of the wish list for this week.

The best part is freaking out the cashier with a victory dance.  I start singing “I’m Savin’ Money!”  I even hugged a cashier once….. I was that happy and she was that freaked out!!  Needless to say, when I am under budget I Buggy Boogie all the way to the car!!

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Not bad at all…..  In fact, you might be thinking to yourself that there is no way you can feed a family of 4 with what is on that table.  Well, you can.  I promise…… because my menu says so!!

You have been so patient reading through this post….. how about a recipe???

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So, now you know how I save money at Wal-Mart.  Tomorrow, I am gonna switch gears just a wee bit and talk about the idea of today’s Susie Homemaker.

Ya’ll have a blessed day!!