Sunday, June 28, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Past Week

Hi there everyone! I hope you had a really awesome week this past week! Our week was pretty terrific, very full of wonderful things, but to be honest, not so full of frugal things...

But even so, I do have some frugal stuff to share with you that I and my family members did to save money this past week.

Here's what we did:

Friday, June 26, 2015

Mock Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe- Gluten Free, Oat Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan

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Ever since discovering that not just gluten, but also oats (even gluten free oats) give me stomach issues, there were certain things I missed, like oatmeal, granola bars and granola. But I figured out how to make gluten free, oat free versions of them, using green buckwheat (see here to learn the difference between green and regular buckwheat), which is a pretty terrific and versatile pseudograin. (See my buckwheat porridge, buckwheat granola bars, and granola recipes.)
The one thing I missed was oatmeal raisin cookies, since I wasn't able to figure out how to make them without oats.
Well, today I made something that, while they aren't exactly oatmeal raisin cookies, since they don't have any oats in them, taste pretty much the same way- and they're delicious. They're made, of course, with my go-to oat substitute- green buckwheat. Healthy too, since they are made with only wholesome ingredients- no refined sugar, and they're vegan too- I used flax instead of egg and coconut oil instead of butter.
I can't tell you how to substitute other ingredients for those- but feel free to play around, and try putting 3 eggs in instead of the flax seeds and boiling water- I can't see why it wouldn't work, even though I haven't tried it myself.

Mock Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe- Gluten Free, Oat Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Really Exciting News To Share!

You might have noticed lately that my blog hasn't been as... I dunno... engaging as it usually is? At least it felt that way to me. The biggest reason being that my mind was just elsewhere- there was so much that was on my mind, almost taking over my whole life, that I couldn't post yet on my blog, and since that topic was off limits on my blog, there was a limit to how much I could write about.

But today, finally, I can share the news!

No- I'm not pregnant.
I bet that's what you thought when you read the post title and the first paragraph.

And no, I didn't get this amazing book deal for my cookbooks- still planning on self publishing those.

My big news is probably totally unexpected to most of you readers. And to be honest, it came as a big shock to Mike and myself as well. A little over one month ago, this was something that Mike and I only dreamed about, but never thought it could become a reality. Just destined to become an unrequited dream.

And then, somehow, within the space of just over a month, everything fell into place, and what I thought never would be possible, today became a reality.

Mike and I bought a house!

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Mike and I signing the paperwork on the house, at the lawyer's office today (with Rose's "help").

For those who are in similar Facebook groups as me, this probably will come as a bit less of a shock to you than to others, since I have recently been asking questions about home buying, and some people said that they can't wait to see my post about how to buy a home with a really low salary in my country.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

Sorry this is a day late, but I've been so overtired and overworked lately that I didn't get around to posting this yesterday.

This past week I was so proud of myself. I managed to do some super cool frugal things, despite lots going on here. For example- I cloth diapered- for 2.5 days straight! Actually, it happened because I ran out of disposable diapers, and I was simply too busy to go run to the grocery store to get more, so I used the cloth diapers we already had at home, and was able to do so since I finally caught up with laundry. And then even once I went out and bought disposable diapers, I still kept on using cloth for another day- so that is something I feel proud of.

So, here's what else my family did to save money this past week:

Money Saving Advice for Parents

I hope you enjoy this post written by freelance writer Indre. 

Parents- save money with these money saving tips tailored for you!

While shopping for your baby, you might feel that you are overspending and would want to control your expenses. Easier said than done. To save money, you need to be tactical with your purchases. So, here are some tips that will help you save money while shopping for your baby.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sesame Noodles Recipe- Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

 photo IMG_0134 Medium_zps4ztskpem.jpgI always loved sesame noodles growing up- my mom used to make them often in the summer- they taste amazing cold.
Now that I'm gluten free, I don't make mine like hers- I don't use regular spaghetti, but rice vermicelli. Rice vermicelli is the cheapest gluten free pasta I can get around here, but the problem is it is pretty bland tasting, so doesn't work well in most pasta dishes. But anything soy sauce based, and it is amazing.
This version of sesame spaghetti is quick to prepare, and is perfect as a side dish for those lazy summer afternoons.

Sesame Noodles Recipe- Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Latest Bulk Buy

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I have to say- I'm just a little spoiled by my bulk buying habits. I am able to get what I buy in bulk for such ridiculously low prices, that when I run out of them and need to buy them at a normal place, even a normal "cheap place" I have such a hard time paying the regular prices, since I am so used to the super cheap prices I generally buy them for.
Then there's the convenience aspect. I love having the food available in my house all the time, and to not need to run out to the store to buy again and again, especially if it is something I use often, like certain spices...

I really have to thank my friend Marion for getting me into bulk buying, who originally clued me in as to where I could buy bulk items locally, when she introduced me to the bulk baking supply store. This store is still my main bulk supply place.
In the past, in order to buy bulk, someone would have to travel to the not so near city, to this store's warehouse, to pick up a bulk order, but Marion figured that if a few people pooled their bulk orders together, they would reach the minimum order amount for this company to make a delivery for free, so that is what we've been doing lately.
I partook in the order that Marion placed, and today went to pick up what arrived at her house.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Amazing Haul From The Farmer's Market Today!

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I had to go to the city today to take my kids to the dentist, and my refrigerator was getting pretty empty, since the last time I bought produce (other than a bag of carrots and a few onions) was 2 weeks ago at the farmer's market, so I decided to take all the kids with me to the market again, and hopefully buy enough produce to last another 2 weeks...

When I first got to the farmer's market, I stopped by my favorite stall, run by a man named Gideon. His business model is buying the seconds and less desirable produce from a nearby stall, then selling it super cheaply. When the merchandise finishes, it finishes, and he goes home. So when buying from him, the trick is to come to him as early in the day as possible, since there is more available then. Gideon's stall is generally the cheapest in the area- he tends to have a large selection of produce for 13 cents a pound- so that is my first stop, and once I see what he has and pick out what I want, then I fill in the blanks and buy what he doesn't have at the other stalls.

Today, Rose was sleeping in the stroller when I got to Gideon's stall, and since I usually put my groceries in the seat where Rose was sleeping, and wear her, or let her walk, I picked out my produce- all 13 cents a pound- some gigantic beets, some terrific cucumbers, some brown bananas- perfect for smoothie making- for a total of 33 lbs and $4.28. Gideon was trying to get me to take some clementines as well, said he'd give me 15.5 lbs for $5.71, working out to 36 cents a pound, so I agreed. I set aside my paid for produce at his stall, and promised him I'd be back once I did the rest of my shopping and Rose woke up.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

Howdy! I know, a little belated- I was out yesterday, so didn't have the change to get this up... Here's where I share frugality in action.

So, here's what we did to save money in our household this past week:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Date Nut Roll Recipe- Gluten Free, Vegan, Easy

 photo IMG_0078_zpssxcai359.jpgEvery Tuesday, the kids and I go to a Mommy and Me type learning session at my friend Debbie's house, where we talk, discussing books on self improvement while the kids play. Debbie usually prepares a little something for us to eat while we talk, usually some baked goods. It is very sweet, but it's hard for my kids, because they see the food and want to eat something, but 3 out of 4 kids of mine can't usually eat it because it is gluten and they, like I, don't eat gluten. So I try to bring along something for my kids to eat while there, so they don't feel they're missing out on something.
This past Monday evening, it was late and the kids were all asleep, and I realized that I didn't have anything gluten free already prepared to bring to Debbie's house. I didn't want to make a big mess in the kitchen, so baking was out, I didn't want to do something that would make a lot of noise which would wake up the kids, so homemade Larabars were out, and I wanted something quick to prepare so I could still go to bed early-ish so I could be well rested in the morning.
Then I remembered something I've seen at a friend's house a while back- a date nut roll, only hers had gluten in it- the dates were mixed with flour or something.
But it inspired me.
I had date paste in the cabinet, and some nuts and seeds as well. I decided to put them together and make a date nut roll. Apparently it is both a Southern American treat, as well as an Indian treat, but the Indian version, khajoor katri, is made with ghee, and therefore dairy, and the American version made with dairy and added sugar. I left out all that, and went with a pure date nut roll.

It was super easy. A bit of date paste (pure pureed pitted dates, no additives- if you don't have that available, just process your whole dates (minus the seeds) until you get a paste- but then it won't be as quiet to prepare), a bit of of nuts, a bit of craisins, and a big of seeds, and voila- date nut roll. Took less than 5 minutes to prepare at night, and a few minutes in the morning to cut it as well.

It was a huge hit. My kids asked me to please make it again and again.
And though it uses nuts, it uses very few, so this recipe is pretty cheap. And can be made with only seeds, no nuts (use sunflower seeds instead of almonds and you're set), so better for allergies and cheaper to boot.
And of course, it is vegan, GAPS legal, Paleo legal, etc... so just an all around perfect treat. Unless you're diabetic or allergic to nuts.

Date Nut Roll Recipe- Gluten Free, Vegan, Easy

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