Owner/Creator:Anita Knits

Monday, May 31, 2010

Budget Busters!

If there is something everyone can admit is that we are all on a budget ~ unless of course you are Bill Gates!  So I thought I would share some budget buster tips we have established in our home.

Hydro... aahhh the dreaded Hydro bill!  Yuk!  Unless you have gone off the grid (and if you have WAY TO GO!!!  ONE OF OUR DREAMS FOR SURE) you will likely get a [lovely] bill each month!  But like the most of us we use our hydro.. so when you do try to run bigger appliances in your home during the off-peak hours.  That is from 9p-7a Mon-Friday.  Weekends and holidays are also considers off-peak.  When I can't hang my laundry I use my dryer.  But now I only do laundry at night throw in a load at 8:30p and then by 9p it is ready to go in the dryer and off to bed I go.  I also try to run my dishwasher at night as well.  And I've managed to save $20 off my hydro bill.  Now you may consider that to be 'peanuts' of savings.. BUT if you consider what you would save in a year that is $240!  Now that is pretty cool!  Click here (if you live in Ontario of course) for more info.

Another way that I try to save money for our family is by making home cooked meals (and it is better for you anyway!).  Some may say 'I don't have the time or I am not a cook'  but with practice and managing your time you too can whip up a home cooked lunch or dinner in no time!  I'll be honest with y'all I really don't follow many recipes because I just kinda throw stuff together and it just turns out ~ (I've been cooking since the age of 9... so needless to say I have a lot of experience☺)  Here are just some of my favorite 'recipes':

Homemade Hummus
1 can (540ml/19oz) chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp each of cumin, salt & pepper
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic

In processor or blender, puree chickpeas.  Add lemon juice, blend.  Continue to add rest of ingredients, blend well until smooth.  Serve with veggie sticks (carrot, celery, zucchini etc) or crackers.

Buttermilk Pancakes
1 1/2 cups flour (I've used whole wheat or buckwheat)
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (**alittle trick us regular milk & add lemon juice or vinegar to make the milk curdle)
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 lrg eggs
1/2 vanilla
3-4 tbsp ground flax seed (** I like to add this to make them healthier.. and the kids love it)

Mix wet to dry until the batter is smooth but with bubbles.

Chicken Stir Fry

**again I don't measure when I cook.. but here is one I just throw together .. and you can too!

onions, chicken breast until almost cooked
Add carrots, celery, zucchini & broccoli (that has been thinly sliced)
Cook until onions & chicken is browned and cooked, BUT rest of veggies or soft but a bit crunchy

2 tbsp butter
3-4 tbsp soya sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper to taste
pinch of chili flakes if you like it spicy

Serve over fried rice or Chinese noodles

Simple Tomato Sauce

This was a staple growing up in our Italian home!  And if you ask any Italian.. the simpler the tomato sauce the better!

Saute until golden brown 1 large onion in a pot with some veg oil
Add 1 - 19 oz can of pureed tomato's OR fresh tomato's, washed and squished into the pot
Add a couple of fresh basil leaves and leave to simmer on low all day
A pinch of salt

Serve with your favorite pasta.  You can also use this sauce over breaded chicken breast, your lasagna or any where you need tomato sauce.

**the longer you cook your tomato sauce the better it will taste

That's it for now.. just thought I would share these 'tips' with y'all.  Hope you find some of them useful.

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