Category: money saving tips

You can have your cake (err…Goldfish) and eat it too!

Goldfish-Crackers

I finally made homemade Goldfish! I wrote this post over a month ago and just found the time to make Goldfish this weekend. It was such a simple recipe and they tasted delicious! ( I made these three days ago and they are pretty much gone.)

There are five ingredients for this recipe. You will need:

  • 8 ounces, weight Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Cut Into Cubes
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cold Water

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The directions say to use a food processor and mix all of the ingredients, except the water, together until it looks like coarse sand. I used my stand mixer and it still came out like the described texture. When it came time to add the water, the pictures show the mixture to look like a ball of dough. Mine was still sandy and loose. I’m not sure if that has to do with using the mixer or not. However, I was able to shape the ingredients together in plastic wrap and refrigerate it.

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When it came time to roll the dough out, it was still loose on the edges.  But I was able to work around that. I used 2 inch cookie cutters because it was the smallest I had. They suggested using the aluminum from a soda can to make a shape.( I do not have soda cans in the house. Nor would I be able to fashion a fish shape. I am definitely not that crafty.) Every time I made shapes and ran out of places to make more crackers, I would just roll everything back together and roll out the dough again. The coarseness of the dough eventually went away.

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I was able to make about 70 crackers. If the cookie cutter was smaller, the dough would probably make around 100 crackers. I also would make the dough thinner when I rolled it out. The crackers tasted just like a real Goldfish. However, they were a little soft in the middle. I missed the crunchy effect!

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All in all I would say this recipe deserves two thumbs up! It was very easy to follow and took less than an hour to complete. My son loves snacking on them and my husband sneaks one in every time he passes the container in the kitchen. For that reason, I know they are good!

Let us know how your Goldfish adventure turned it!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Mother’s Day Project

May is always a month filled with birthdays and fun almost summer celebrations. Not only is my mom’s birthday in May, but my mother-in-law’s is in May as well (their birthdays are a day apart!). Their birthdays also happen to be about a week before Mother’s Day. So, when it comes to finding cute projects made by my little guy, I need to find them in one fell swoop. Grandma’s love homemade projects from their grandkids.

Today’s post is an easy, but really cute, project that any child can do. This is even young toddler easy.  Since Mother’s Day is this Sunday, this could be an activity that you and your little ones can do this week. You can even do it on Saturday  (the day before) it is that simple. I found this on Pinterest and tweaked it a little bit.

Here are the supplies you will need:

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1. Paint ( I used washable since it involves fingerpainting)

2. Thick paper (you can use cardstock or I used Watercolor Paper)

3. Letter Stickers or Masking tape

4. Picture Frame

The steps are as follows:

1. Choose what you want the picture to say. I chose to have it say “Love You Grammy”. The picture on pinterest  shows it says “Love”. Once you have chosen the saying, arrange the letters on the paper. You can get crafty in how you want to arrange them. Since this was my first time trying this, I took the easy route.

**The directions on the site said to use masking tape and create the letters that way. I tried and I couldn’t get the letters right. If you can do it, by all means use the masking tape. I decided on the stickers.**

2. Here is the part your child will love! Choose however many colors you want on the paper (we went with two). Then pour some on a paper plate and let your child dip their hands in the paint. Then let them fingerpaint away all over the paper.

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3. Once they have finished painting, let it dry. The paint I used took about an hour.

4. When the paint is dry peel the stickers off and you have an amazing painting created by your little one. You can choose to frame it like I did. Or you can leave it as is. (The site showed the project being done on a canvas. That may be something you choose to do.)

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There you go! This was such an easy project but extremely cute. Grandmas (and Moms) will love to display this in their house!

I hope you have fun with this project. Let us know if you changed the project in any way. And let us know of any other cute projects you may be doing for Mother’s Day. See you tomorrow!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Mrs. Z’s Kitchen Tip Fridays!

           I want to wish my mom a very Happy Birthday!!! Thanks for all that you do and hope your day is super special!!

 

Here is Mrs. Z’s Kitchen Tip Fridays. Who’s excited? !
My family has taco night….a lot!  Not only is it yummy but it’s super easy to prepare. In the past, I would use packaged taco seasoning to spice up the meat. If you have ever looked at the ingredients on the package, it isn’t pretty.  Here are some examples:

taco-seasoning-packet-ingredients

I found a quick and easy recipe for making your own taco mix. Here it is:
Ingredients
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of salt

Just mix all of the ingredients together and that’s it. You can adjust the amount of chili powder depending on your spiciness meter. Simple and not a bit of processed gunk in it :). Here is another recipe that is slightly different, along with some other good information.
Enjoy!!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Mrs. Z’s Quick Kitchen Tip Friday!

You know what today is: Mrs. Z’s Quick Kitchen Tip!!

How many of you enjoy eating cheese? I will be honest and say that I love it! I can eat cheese and olives with a nice glass of wine all of the time. However, I am quite sure the popular cheese brands are not non-GMO friendly.

Well, Mrs. Z is here to save the day! I was shopping at Fairway the other day and saw a for sale sign for cheese. What I found got me so excited. The brand of cheese on sale was called Rumiano cheese. On further inspection of the package, I found the Non-GMO Project verification symbol on it! I nearly jumped up and down in the dairy aisle.

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For an 8 ounce package, Fairway charges $5.99. It is on sale for $3.99 until May 1. I bought two packages and I plan on buying more next week.  I went on to the Rumiano cheese website and they also sell their cheeses online. They charge $3 per 8 ounce package. Shipping was $3.95 for me. So, it is cheaper to buy it in the store. However, it is a great option for those who don’t have access to the cheese in their own supermarkets.

As far as the taste, the mozzarella is so creamy and tastes fresh. The Rumiano mozzarella is harder and not flimsy like other brands. I have yet to taste the Cheddar that I purchased. I am sure it is just as great!

I hope this quick kitchen tip was helpful! And here is to non-GMO cheese eating!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com

A great healthy eating article!

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Hi everyone! On my quest to bring to you ideas for a healthier eating lifestyle, I came across this wonderful article. I follow 100 Days of Real Food‘s blog and it is one of my favorites. Lisa Leake, the creator of the blog, makes eating simple and wholesome extremely easy! I had mentioned on a previous post that my family and I try to eat as little processed food as possible. However, it can be a daunting task. Also, prices of all natural foods are pretty steep.

One of 100 Days of Real Food’s team bloggers, Kiran, wrote an honest post about how she tries the best to feed her family natural foods but at the same time is realistic that some foods are just hard to change. It was such a welcoming read to hear that someone else is going along the same path and feels the same way.

I highly recommend you take a look over at the 100 Days of Real Food blog. Tell them Mrs. Z sent you :). Don’t forget to share this with all of your friends. And remember: any change to natural eating is a step in the right direction :). You are all doing a super job!

Mrs. Z’s Quick Kitchen Tip Friday

 

Here is my quick kitchen tip of the day. I use my grilled cheese maker all of the time. However, my waffle iron has been used maybe three times since I have been married.  So,  I can do one or two things:

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1. Make waffles more often. I really should since it is so easy to do. Sometimes the thought of having to clean up afterwards just turns me off.

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2. Or, I can use the waffle iron as a grilled cheese maker!. The picture this link shows makes the sandwich look ooey gooey! The link also says you can use it to make calzones. This is a very good idea!

There are other ideas on the page, so feel free to browse. Have fun making some yummy grilled cheese on your waffle iron!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Easy and cute Spring Project for the kids!

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Spring is here! Well, there was just a little bit of snow  yesterday. But who cares! The warmer temperatures will prevail in a few days. We have conquered the winter!

Since it is spring time and the spring holidays are upon us, I decided to share with you a cute and super easy project you can do with your kiddies.  My friend Tracy did this with her son and shared it with me. (She does super fun projects with her son all of the time and I kind of mooch off of her ;).  Thanks Tracy!)

These are the materials you will need:

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1 – Shoebox (I used one from my son’s shoes. It was a small box.  I’m sure an adult size shoe box is fine as well.)

White Paint (I used Crayola washable paint)

White and green construction paper

Pipe Cleaners

Pompoms or Cotton Balls

Googly Eyes (We didn’t have these, so we improvised with buttons we had lying around the house)

***Some of the items are small. Please supervise any materials used by your child.***

Here are the super easy directions:

1. Paint the shoebox white. (I didn’t bother painting the inside since little treats will cover it up.)

2. While it is drying (The Crayola paint dried fast. But test it before you glue anything on it.), draw the bunny ears on the white construction paper. After you cut them out, let your child color them in. My son is still too little to color inside the lines, so he just scribbled on them. Either way is perfect!

3. While your child is coloring the ears, cut out a strip of green construction paper (or any color of your choosing) for the handle.  Tracy used the top of the box to create the handle. Anything you have is perfect!

4. For the whiskers, I cut the pipe cleaner into two 6 inch pieces. For the mouth, I cut a 4 inch piece. You can adjust the sizes depending on the size of the shoebox.

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5. You can begin to glue all of the pieces to the shoebox. (Use the pictures as a guide for where to glue everything. Or, use your own judgement.) My son didn’t want to use the glue, so I let him go play at this point. I used a hot glue gun. However, if your child is old enough, use regular Elmer’s glue. It will be much safer.

See, I told you: super easy and super cute! And it will be a basket you can use year after year. I was thinking of leaving carrots for the Easter Bunny in it. We’ll see if he leaves a small treat in the basket Easter morning.!

Have fun making your basket. Post any pictures you may have of your finished project.

You can reach me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Remember when…

remember

Do you ever remind yourself to do something and then when the time comes to do it you forget? And then days later you remember? That was me just yesterday. So, here’s my story.

I have not bought myself clothes since before my son was born. My wardrobe is in dire need of an update. In all honesty , whenever I wind up near a store, I just wind up buying something for my little one. Mommy has definitely put herself on the backburner.

This is where my dilemma starts. I went to Express to buy a few things. I knew I had a $30 off of $75 coupon in my bag. Maybe it was the excitement of getting new clothes that made me forget. The cashier rang up my stuff and I asked if there were any coupons available. She said no. I had this nagging feeling about something. However, I paid and left with the sheer joy of owning new clothes.

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Let’s fast forward about five days to yesterday. I was cleaning out the diaper bag and I decided to go through my coupon holder, which I store in the diaper bag. I make sure my coupons are always handy. You never know what store you might end up at. Anyway, what do you think I found in my coupons? Yes, the Express coupon I knew I had but totally forgot about. Of course, it is now expired.  Epic Fail :( .

I was definitely kicking myself yesterday. I have learned my lesson and will double check my coupons so I don’t lose out again!

What is your epic fail story? Let us know below :).

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Mrs. Z’s Quick Kitchen Tip: The “Dirty Dozen”

Here is a quick kitchen tip from Mrs. Z. Sometimes buying all organic can be expensive.  I know I don’t buy all organic produce. Here is a handy chart of the “Dirty Dozen”.

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Some charts vary in which are the worst and the best. However, the fruits and vegetables are the same on all lists. The “Clean 15” are fruits and vegetables with the lowest of pesticides. If you can’t buy all organic, these are the ones you can buy non organic. It still makes me sad that these are described as having low pesticides, which means pretty much everything we eat has chemicals in them. I guess it’s better than getting a large dose :(.

I hope this was helpful! Cheers to the weekend everyone!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com

Please stop using plastic bags!!

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Plastic grocery bags. They have been a staple in grocery stores for decades. Unfortunately, it is killing our environment. ABC 7, the local ABC news in New York, did a story about plastic bags the other day.  New Yorkers use about five billion plastic bags a year. In one year! That blows my mind! And that is just this city. Now think of all of the cities across the United States.  And all of the cities around the world. We are killing our environment one bag at a time.

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In the same news story, a city councilman was interviewed. He is sponsoring a bill that, if passed, will charge consumers 10 cents when using plastic bags when they checkout at the store. I know this is probably going to come under a lot of fire. However, I do agree with it. If you don’t like being charged 10 cents, then buy 4 or 5 of the reusable bags. They only cost around a dollar at the grocery store. I know the local dollar store near me sells 2 bags for a dollar. I have so many of these bags. I keep 4 of them in my car and when I go to the store, I just take them out. Don’t get me wrong, I have been guilty of forgetting the bags in the car. At that point, I begrudgingly use the plastic bags. I know if they started charging for them, I would make a more conscientious effort to remember.

New York City is currently adjusting to a new mayor after 12 years. Yes, 12 very long years. The teacher side of me did not like our previous mayor. He was not very pro unions and, for some reason or another, looked down on teachers. I do want to admit something, though.  The environmentally conscious side of me thought he was taking this city in a great direction. He improved our recycling efforts, more green buildings that were solar powered were built, farmer’s markets were expanded throughout the five boroughs, etc. I enjoyed all of those efforts from our previous administration. Hopefully these changes will stay and the current administration will create newer ones.

One of those issues I hope our new mayor addresses are the plastic bags. I am hoping to raise awareness by this post. Remember to always bring your reusable bags with you on all of your shopping outings. And remember to be proud when you use them. I went to the supermarket the other day and there was an employee bagging at the end of the counter. I told him I have my own bags and that I would pack my items. Of course, I said it with a smile and very politely. He responded with “Oh, you are one of those people?”. I did not know who those people he was referring to were, so I showed my pearly whites again and said “Yes, I guess I am”. I then went on to packing my own groceries. The cashier also gave me eight cents off of my order. The store I shop at reimburses you two cents for each bag you use. I guess it’s better than being charged ten cents!

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Here is some information on how plastic bags are hurting marine life. Poor babies!

What are your thoughts? Does anyone have any earth friendly tips for us? I would love to hear from you :)

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.