Saturday, August 25, 2012

Homemade Wheat Thins

I'm always evaluating my grocery budget to see where I can cut expenses. Snacks are one food item that I need to cut back on. My husband likes crackers so when I found this recipe I thought it might be part of the answer I'm looking for.  Anytime I can make something from scratch the better!  I made a batch this morning and they turned out great! The ingredients are items I always have on hand. I didn't price it out but I'm confident it definitely didn't cost me $2.50-$3.00! The recipe makes enough to last a few weeks and the recipe was easy and quick.


Serves about 13 dozen crackers.(I didn't get nearly this many).
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • additional salt for topping (Optional)
1. Combine flour, sugar, salt and paprika in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and mix it thoroughly using your fingers, a pastry blender, a mixer or a food processor. I used my hands. Combine the water and vanilla, and add it to the flour mixture, mixing until smooth.(My dough was very dry. I was concerned it would be crumbly so I ran my hands quickly under the faucet water and added just a smidgeon to the dough.)

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.

3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. (I had already taken one ball out to roll). Keep the other pieces covered while you work with one at a time.

Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin and roll the piece of dough into a large rectangle which should be 12 inches square when trimmed. (I didn't measure). I tried using a normal size rolling pin but found the fondant rolling pin (which I've used to roll thin tortillas) worked the best. Keep flipping the dough and turning it to keep it from sticking. Don't use too much flour or it will make it difficult to roll. Keep rolling until the dough is as thin as you can get it without tearing, at least 1/16 inch thick.

Trim the dough to even the edges and use a pizza cutter or as sharp knife to cut the piece into squares approximately 1 1/2 inches wide. Transfer squares to a prepared baking sheet using a spatula; you can crowd them together, as they don't expand while baking.  Sprinkle squares lightly with salt, if desired.

Bake until crisp and BROWNED, 5-7 minutes. Start watching them carefully at 5 minutes.. they bake quickly and can brown to toast! If some brown quicker then you can take those out while the others finish baking. We liked the ones that were browned better than the ones that were not. Remove the crackers from the oven and cool on the pan or on a plate. The crackers will stay crisp for several days, but are best stored in airtight containers.
My husband said they taste like the real deal. Score!!!!!! No more bought crackers.

How to give a HAIRCUT.

I posted this 'how to give a haircut' on my other blog a few years ago. I thought it might be helpful for those trying to save money.

I've been cutting my families hair for over 30 years. I first taught myself to cut hair with my son when he was just a baby. I had a friend teach me a few more techniques when my children were older so I was then able to cut my husband's hair. I've saved  a ton of money. I  will oftentimes trim my own hair in between hair appointments just to extend my haircut a couple of weeks.

Meet my handsome assistant.... Mr Kevin.

Step One: I started at the back of the neck. I combed most of the hair up so that there was just a thin layer of hair at the base of the neck. I made a cut for my guideline and then used that guideline to cut the hair up to the crown.

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Step Two: Pull the hair straight out and cut using the baseline cut on the back of the neck as your guide.

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Step 3: Make your first cut at the front. Use this cut as your guideline. Pull up a thin layer of hair behind the guideline and cut to match the guideline cut.  Continue this technique until you hit the crown.
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Step 4: Decide where you want the hair over the ears and make your guideline cut. Use this as your guide and work up to the crown pulling the hair out to the side.

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Step 5: Comb the hair over the ears towards the eyes and cut as shown.
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Step 6: Shave the neck

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Doesn't he look nice?

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It helps if you can practice on a young child first. I also found instructional videos on U Tube which looked  helpful.

I hope I explained this clearly.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pursuing less

The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I buy at the "Dollar" stores

You really have to know your prices when comparing the Dollar Stores items to other shopping places. Sometimes I know that an item will cost me a bit more if I bought it in a larger quantity at another store but I may be limited on funds and just need a small amount. Peanuts are one of those items. Every once in a while we like them for a snack. Generally the prices are good and the store helps to stretch my dollar.

Do you have a list of items you regularly buy at the "Dollar" stores. I'd love to see it!

Here is my list (and it's growing):

1. Chorizo
2. Freezer bags (occasionally) for large quantities of meat
3. Corn Tortillas
4. Eye Liner
5. Paint Brushes and rollers.
6. Foam brushes for acrylic paint.
7. Gift bags
8. Cards
9. Flowers for the cemetery
10. Bibles (to give away)
11. Frozen vegetables
12. Small bags of nuts
13. Measuring cups
14. Feminine products
15. Hand soap
16. Cheese slices
17. Eggs (depending on the price).
18. Sweet potato chips
19. Pickles
20. Body soap
21. Plastic wrap (I just tried this and it worked great!).
22. Tinfoil
23. Bubbles (for the grands).
24. Craft supplies (for the grands) such as coloring books, paint brushes,
25.Kitchen scissors (they were really sharp).
26. Paper plates
27. Room freshner
28. Laundry detergent (to have on hand if I get lazy about making the homemade recipe).
29. Small bags of nuts. I can't afford the big bags at Costco.
30. Cough medicine