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Posts Tagged ‘money’

So I’m almost there concerning getting myself setup for making/selling jewelry.  Just a few other things to pick up and thanks to the most lovely Rian I have a special giftcard for Michaels to pick up the last few things ^_^  I already have some ideas swirling as for what to make and put up.  So for a teaser like sample I’m going to upload a picture of a pair of earrings I made for meself 🙂  As soon as I get the last few items we should be in business.  So excited 😀

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It’s just one of those days where you know you want to go back to bed and sleep, but you have so much to do.  I made tortillas last night and I didn’t anticipate how long it took me to make them.  So I never got to the kitchen. There are almost no dishes left what with making bread in the morning then tortillas and taco meat in the evening.

But I feel so much better about myself.  Brandon and I are eating MUCH healthier now that I’m making more of the processed food that we’d buy.  It’s cheaper too.  What would have been $5 for tacos is something like $0.30.  We eat tacos on a regular basis also, at least two or three times a week.  If we only eat them twice a week, we save at least $560 on just the shells in a year’s time.  If we only eat them once a week we still save $260.  Since I also make our bread now, I get to save us money there too.  If we eat two loaves a week we save $212 over a year’s time.  Between those too items we’ll be able to save from $472 to $772.  The benefit of making one’s own food FAR outweighs that of buying it pre-made.  It’s cheaper, and if we’re ever in a knot, nice to be able to pick up (in fact, I have a store bought loaf of bread in the freezer, just in case we need it one day for some unforeseen reason).  And so much better for your body.  Brandon and I are going to see if we can find a recipe to make our own taco seasoning so we can eliminate all the unneeded sodium and crap that’s put in it to preserve it’s contents.

Oh and in case you were interested, this is the Tortilla recipe that I used:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons shortening or lard (I used canola oil and it worked perfectly)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 cup water (lukewarm)

Directions

  1. Mix flour, shortening, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  2. Gradually stir in water until crumbly dough forms.
  3. Work with hands until dough holds together.
  4. on a floured board, shape into a ball and knead until smooth. (This part takes a long while and is important.  I kneaded it for about 20 minutes or so.  You need the gluten so that they cook properly)
  5. Divide dough into 12 roughly equal parts.
  6. roll into sphere and let stand for 15 minutes.
  7. Use a rolling pin to flatten into 8 inch circles.
  8. Cook on ungreased griddle on medium heat, to cook, when it starts to bubble, flip it over, when it starts to bubble, pat it down with a clean towel or spatula, when the entire tortilla starts to inflate, take it off the grill.

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Sometimes it’s hard to keep going when dreams and plans get continually dashed.  But then that’s what friends are for.  Brandon and I have been trying to get ahead, saving etc; hoping for a better life and for his business to kick off the ground.  People, myself especially like to be able to control what happens to us.  I get frustrated when my plans don’t work out because of something that I cannot personally control.  I’m realizing bit by little bit that I can’t do that.  That no one on the planet even the richest of businessmen have ever had that ability.  Oh I wish we could.  Life would be so much easier.  Eh?  Maybe it could play like a movie where I have a watch that stops time and thus allows me to change things to exactly how I want them to be.

However, I’m also learning that paths don’t always take courses you want them to.  This doesn’t mean that the plan is killed or stupid.  Just means that it needed improvement or a little change.  I’m thinking of new things to do so we can save money and we can live within our means and still save money.  This weekend I made bread, and I’m planning on making it every weekend.  Not only does it taste better, it is cheaper and healthier.  It’s like killing not only two but three birds with the same stone. I’m seeing if there are other things I can do to be more frugal and such.  If you can think of anything just drop me a line 🙂

This is the bread recipe that I picked up off recipezaar.com.  It’s a simple recipe and one doesn’t need a bread maker for it if you happen to be a student like me and can’t afford such luxuries.

WHITE BREAD

For the following measures I cut them in half because I just don’t have a large enough bowl and I had no problems.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flechmans dry active yeast (I used the store brand and it worked just as well.  Actually I used the fast rise so you don’t have to let it sit in water with sugar etc.  Takes out that whole step. 🙂 )
  • 8 cups water, lukewarm
  • 15-18 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. In small bowl place the following ingredients:.
  2. 1 cup warm water.
  3. yeast and 2 tbsp white sugar (DO NOT STIR).
  4. let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. In large mixing bowl do the following steps.
  6. Place 8 cups warm water in bowl.
  7. Place remaining 2 tbsp sugar in water.
  8. Place 4 tbsp margarine or veg. oil in water.
  9. Place salt in water.
  10. Add 6 cups flour one at a time and mix as you are adding. Making sure to remove any lumps. Should be smooth before adding next cup.
  11. Pour Yeast mixture in other bowl that you set aside into mixture.
  12. Mix until smooth.
  13. Continue to add flour mixing thoroughly until dough is sticky and forms a ball (note you will have to use your hands to mix it after its too tough to mix with a spoon. It should take only about a maximum of 17 cups of flour.
  14. Take dough out of bowl and place on a flat clean dry surface which was sprinkled with about 1/2 cup of flour. Knead dough with hands for about 15 minutes or so. Dough should be soft and feel light to to touch. TIP: To prevent the dough from sticking to your hands a lot rub vegetable oil on them or take a piece of margarine and rub it into your hands then continue to knead dough. DO NOT ADD MORE FLOUR! It will make your bread dough TOO HEAVY! if you do.
  15. Separate dough in half. Place each half in a bowl. Place a light towel over it and let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
  16. FOR BUNS: Take about the size of a baseball of dough in your hand roll into a ball and place it on an ungreased cookie sheet. Let rise for another 1/2 hour or until buns are double in size. For buns to rise tall place them close together almost touching. Bake at 375°F. (It doesn’t say how long to bake them.  I made buns along with bread and I baked them for about half an hour)
  17. FOR LOAVES: Take a large amount of dough and roll into a roll dough should not take up more than half of the loaf pan. Make sure dough roll is even or you will end up with a lopsided loaf or narrow loaf. Let rise for 1 to 2 hours. Or until Dough is nicely formed above the rim of the loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until golden brown. To test to see if done knock on top of the loaf. If it sounds hollow it is completed baking. It will be a dark golden brown color when finished.
  18. Take Loaves out of oven and take them IMMEDIATELY OUT OF THE BANS upside down. (If you leave them till cooled in pans what happens is the bottom crust gets soggy from the condensation). Brush melted butter over top of loaves to prevent from drying out.
  19. Yield: 4 loaves 2 dozen buns.
  20. TIP: This bread dough is great for anything such as pizza crusts, cinnamon buns, take a bit and roll it out thin and place it in a frying pan with a little oil and fry it and serve with jam or peanut butter.

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Tis rainy and gloomy outside at the moment, with it only being a couple degrees above freezing.  I think our snap of warmth is coming to an end and winter will soon ensnare us.  The streets are ugly again, as if they’re protesting the return of winter.  Mittens and scarves and toques have returned and are here to stay till April.  However, beyond that, there is still some grass showing, even green shoots eagerly looking for sunlight.  Nature is so resilient, it comes back year after year.  After hurricanes, and floods and earthquakes.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Haiti recently had an earthquake that registered 7.0 on the Richter Scale.  Thousands of people are homeless, injured, and so many who are missing, or presumed to be dead.  It’s hard to imagine a catastrophe of that magnitude.  I find it doubly harder to respond beyond the curiosity of the average Westerner who on average doesn’t experience the hardship of those in third world countries.  This isn’t to say that I have no heart of that I’m callous.  I’ve honestly NEVER felt the hardship of a difficult life.  I was born to a middle class family, grew up in a nice house amongst siblings and loving parents.  I’ve never had to worry where my food would come from the next day, or if I’ll be able to survive.  Those who live in countries such as that as Haiti, are to be commended and respected.  I wish that there was something I could do beyond donating, or praying, or spreading the word about.  I want to be able to go amongst the muck and mire and help them rebuild their houses and homes.  To help them rebuild their lives.

These people are like the grass and the flowers.  Even after the most heartbreaking of catastrophes, they are still able to stand up and go on.  They are able to rebuild their lives.  I know that if something like this were to happen to my town, that many would simply give up.  People here don’t know what it’s like to HAVE to do something like that on a regular basis.  We’re spoiled.  I’m spoiled.

I wish that there was more equality amongst the world financially.  However, within the system we have, that won’t happen.  But at least there are organizations such as World Vision and Operation Christmas Child who work on a daily basis to improve people’s lives.  To improve the world.  And I think we as westerners are called, nay, should be expected to give to these organizations.  I’m not saying that we should impoverish ourselves.  But that if we have the means, to give.  $30 a month isn’t much, but it can immensely improve someone’s life.

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