Homemade Granola Bars: Build A Menu

Homemade Granola Bars

 

This week’s Cooking With Kids recipe is almost too simple, yet the results are fantastic. It’s also a recipe that is very easy to sub Gluten Free/Allergy Friendly ingredients if needed. They last up to a week in an airtight container, making it super easy to make on the weekend and have ready for snacks all week long! Ready to get started? Check the recipe below for your list of ingredients and then follow these simple steps to make your own homemade granola bars.

Homemade granola bars

Ingredients: 

Healthy Granola Bars from Scratch

Directions: 

  • First, dump ALL the ingredients together in a mixer.
  • Add in any of your favorite ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, etc.
  • Mix well.
  • Spread the granola mix out on your baking sheet, making sure to keep it about the same thickness all the way across.
  • Once it’s done, cut it while it’s still warm because once it cools it’s crunchy and harder to cut. Use a pizza cutter and cut into “bars.”  
  • Let the bars cool on the pan. Separate once they’re cool enough to touch and have hardened.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Print a copy of this recipe from Build A Menu HERE

Build A Menu  is an online menu planning service that makes meal planning and grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly. Not familiar with them? Take a minute to browse the site and see how they can save you time and money, too!

Molly Members get free access to their Dine on a Dime planner and shopping list from the member page – and a special discount to the full service. See benefits here. 

Frugal HOME Friday: Link Up

Frugal HOME Friday

Link up your frugal tips for home and homestead,

recipes, DIY or crafts, and share ideas to inspire others

Featured Participant:

10 Steps to a Clean Oven

10 Steps to a Clean Oven 

 

Please share your own Frugal Home and Homestead posts

You could be our next featured blogger:

Each week we will be choosing a new blogger participant to feature in our Friday Link Up.  Share your posts – old or new – that involve anything HOMEkeeping, HOMEschooling, HOMEsteading, HOMEindustry!

linking up: Fabulously FrugalOrganized 31,Fabulously Frugal Thurs,Sunday Showcase Works 4 Me

 

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De-cluttering Your Home – Creating a Peaceful Environment

De-cluttering Your Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*affiliate links may be present

De-cluttering your home – one step at a time, one room at a time, one day at a time – is the first step to creating a more peaceful environment.

Getting rid of clutter helps you find clarity in mind and emotions. It ultimately relieves anxiety and guilt!

It can be easy to put it off when you are looking at clutter that has built up over time. You can become overwhelmed and end up putting it off even longer.

De-cluttering doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have a plan to help you jump in and get started, and then finish the race like a champ!

Getting Started:

Make a list of the major rooms you want to tackle. Then, break down each room with a list of the most important goals you have for that room, down to the least important.

Make a list for each goal in the rooms. For instance, I have a child’s bedroom that has been used for storage and now needs to be turned into a room suitable for a pre-teen boy. It is a mess.

The biggest problems in the room are clothes that the family has outgrown, and all the toys that they no longer use. Of course, that would be easy enough, but there are clothes in the mix that we need to save for other children, and toys that need to be kept for others.

It has been overwhelming because things have been piling up in that room for a long time – making it most uninviting  – not even a little bit of de-cluttering going on in there.  I have avoided it at all cost!

FlyLady.net

Step number one is to get a bin for clothes that need to be stored and a bin for those to give away, a bin for toys to keep and a bin for toys to give away. It is also important to have a trash can on hand to throw away anything that is broken or clothes that are not worth mending. Turn on your favorite music and jump right in!

Set a timer for 30 minutes at a time and work against the clock to get through the first pile. It is okay  if you don’t make it on time, just reset the clock and keep on going! Take a break in between or at least every hour or so, move on to the next area on your list until all the clutter in room one has been removed.

Pull out your cleaning list until everything sparkles and shines!

Bullet Points

  • Divide and Conquer – use bins to separate clutter into keep, give away, throw away
  • Set a timer – in 30 minute increments
  • Turn up the tunes
  • Check off your list until each section in the room is clutter free
  • Clean the room
  • Move to the next room in the house

One of the best ways to stay on top of clutter is to educate yourself with great homemaking wisdom from The Fly Lady – who happens to be one of the fabulous Molly Green Magazine writers. She’ll help you make a flight plan and divide your home into zones that will keep you from getting behind ever again.

Visit FlyLady.net to learn tips and tricks from a real pro! 

linking with Works for me Wednesday

 

Easy Cheesy Crackers from Build A Menu and cooking with kids

Easy Cheesy Crackers

You will love these Easy Cheesy Crackers – another great guest post and recipe from our partners at Build A Menu.

I like to give my kids recipes that involve them getting their hands dirty. They love to make a mess, love to get their hands right down into the process. So I figure, why fight it? I took a recipe for cheese crackers, ramped up the flavor a bit with some garlic, and tossed the pastry cutter idea out the window.

Who needs a pastry cutter when you have ten fingers ready to stir and squish? And while using cookie cutters might be super cute, with a relatively crumbly dough I knew the frustration factor (hard to move from board to cookie sheet!) would be too high for my children. So I had them just roll it out right on the cookie sheet and use a pastry wheel to cut squiggly lines.

They loved it! When the crackers came out of the oven, I actually had excited children standing by the cooling rack.

This recipe is a keeper!

Easy Cheesy Crackers

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

• 4 tablespoons butter, softened

• 3/4 cup flour

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

Heat oven to 350°. Put the cheese, butter (cut in pieces), flour, salt and garlic in a bowl.

Cracker Ingredients

Use clean hands to mix the ingredients together between your fingers (squish that butter!) until the dough is coarse crumbs, about the size of peas.

Add the milk and use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If you are a 7-year-old boy it is okay to make the dough into a volcano first. This is not a necessary step in creating the crackers, but may be necessary to the creative process; volcanoes often are – if you are a little boy.

Lightly flour a baking sheet. We lined ours with foil because it is an old beat-up sheet, but it proved to be useful as we were able to easily remove the crackers on the foil for cooling. Place the dough on it and roll out the dough until it is 1/8″ thick.

Cross cut dough for cheesy crackers

Cut lines in the dough like a grid to make cracker-sized squares. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Cool on the baking sheet, then break apart into squares.

Yummy Cheesy squares

Build A Menu is an online menu planning service that makes meal planning and grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly. Not familiar with it? Take a minute to browse the site and see how it can save you time and money, too!

Go HERE to check it out and download your printed recipe for delicious Easy Cheesy Crackers!

Molly Members – Access Dine on a Dime HERE- Exclusively for Molly Members from Build A Menu! 

Members Page HERE – New MGM 2014 Issues

Molly’s $7 Suppers HERE 

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Frugal Home Friday: Featured Participants

Frugal HOME Friday

Link up your frugal tips for home and homestead,

recipes, DIY, or crafts and share ideas to inspire others:

Featured Link-Ups:

Do More and Save Money in 2014 – by Mumtopia 

and . . . . .

 

Gluten Free Cowboy Stew

from The Gluten Free Homestead 

GF Cowboy Stew

 Get the Recipe HERE

 

Please share your own Frugal Home & Homestead posts

You could be our next feature!

linking up: Fabulously FrugalOrganized 31,Fabulously Frugal Thurs,Sunday Showcase Works 4 Me

 

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Teach Kids About Work and Money: Free Online Chore Chart

*affiliate links may be present

 

I just love this free online chore chart!

The chore list

The chore list (Photo credit: demandaj)

I’m always on the lookout for specials and free deals to improve our lives on the home front. MyJobChart.com is a valuable resource for families. Teaching kids about work and money is an important part of  family life. Having tools that make it simple can take the sting of chore time as they tend to build motivation.

FREE online chore chart that motivates your kids and earns them rewards that they can save, donate to charity, or spend on toys!

Motivating Your Kids Is Easy: Just 1-2-3:

1) Sign-up for MyJobChart!

2) Assign Chores to Your Kids

3) Reward Your Kids For Great Work!

 

Chores in a children's home

Chores in a children’s home (Photo credit: theirhistory)

A Chore Chart makes it easy to assign chores, and makes it more motivating for children to fulfill them.  It facilitates fun, engaging, hands-on learning and teaches children the principles of sharing, saving, and spending.  MyJobChart.com gives parents the tools they need to instill a strong work ethic and teach financial responsibility.

For me, an effective resource needs to be both frugal and simple to use – in order to be worth the time and effort of using it. As long as you are reasonably familiar with using online services, you should not have trouble with this one. I believe it can be especially beneficial in organizing large family chores.

Once your basic information is in place, it only takes a short time each week to add additional information to personalize any particular week or month for your family.

Do you use chore charts in your home? Have you tried an online version? 

Molly Green Magazine members gain wisdom and knowledge from years of practical application in the arts of household management from FlyLady.com  - Find out more about the extra benefits of becoming a Molly Member HERE. 

 

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Molly Green Magazine: Homesteading 101

Molly celebrates Homesteading!

In this issue, Molly brings you on a tour around the homestead, just in time for spring!

MGM_Mar-April 2014_Cover_X-Sm

Look for these topics and more:

  • In Notes from the Heart, Patricia Hunter talks about using what you’ve got
  • The FlyLady (Marla Cilley) talks to Molly readers about getting started with a system to help life become more organized
  • Sharon White provides a fun, votive candle holder project in Something Old, Something New
  • Gardening from the North and Gardening from the South are sure to give you great gardening tips, spring is the perfect time to begin planning!
  • In Hearth & HomeLisa Barthuly brings you some examples on natural spring cleaning
  • Eric Osborn is back and writes from the male perspective in Ancient Ways in the 21st Century
  • Kids in the Kitchen is just one of the featured articles from our friends over at Build a Menu
  • In Here’s to Your HealthSusan Lyttek shares how to survive ear infections at home
  • Beekeeping 101 is yet another featured article that will walk you through the basics of beekeeping

See why readers love Molly Green Magazine—see what’s inside!

 

Click here for a preview!

Director of Publication: Becky Bleck
Director of Advertising: Lisa Barthuly
Project Editor: Dara Ekanger
Cover Design, Layout, and Art Direction: Ronda Bodenstab

Contributing Writers: Rhonda Barfield, Lisa Barthuly, Karee Blunt, Leah Courtney, Betty Daley, James Duke, Meredith Duke, Sharon Duncan, Lisa Holcomb, Patricia Hunter, McKenzi Knapp, Susan Lyttek, Eric Osborn, April Schroader, Sharon Shirey, Morgan Treece, Anna Vaagen, Amanda van der Gulik, Sharon White

 

Publication: 2014
Pages: 71
File Size: 10.9

 

Spring is in the air with Molly Green Magazine!  Now is the time to spruce up your finances and sweep out the unnecessary expenses. Why not let Molly Green Magazine help you Spring Clean with savings inside and outside your home to get some more green in your wallet. ~ Laura Williams

Subscribe to a Molly Membership and receive all these goodies for just $7.95/mo!

All the back issues (from 2009-2013), 5 Molly E-Books, the new 2014 issues, The Old Schoolhouse Planners, exclusive access to Build a Menu’s Dine on a Dime menu planning, cottage industry market place shops for handmade goods (a networking and selling platform for handmade & homemade items), wonderful new columns from FlyLady, TheCookieLady, and the ladies of Build a Menu to name a few. Molly is spreading her wings to include back yard farming, sustainability, and all things home industry!

For only $7.95 a month (cancel any time!) you receive not only the bi-monthly Molly Green Magazine, but also MUCH more!

Purchase your very own membership NOW!

Molly has a wealth of information and support to share in one easy-to-read, handy resource! Discover for yourself all of the exciting and imaginative ideas Molly has to offer—ideas that could save you big money and needless headaches!

You’ll glean some of the best inexpensive ideas and projects for everyday living that you can find and be inspired to be self-confident, creative, and resourceful too.

For just $4.95, download just the March/April issue now!

 Join Molly daily and follow her adventures in fiscally responsible homemaking at

www.MollyGreen.com.

And then keep watching for the next Molly Green Magazine.

 

Money Matters: Four ways to teach kids to save

Piggy bank from German bank HASPA, around 1970.

Money Matters

Four Practical and Effective Ways to Teach Kids How to Save

Ages one through six-years-old is the perfect time to teach your kids about money. Teaching them in their formative years about the value of money and how to save effectively will definitely build a strong financial foundation for them. If you’re going to impart lasting wisdom and knowledge to your kids, it might as well be about managing their personal finances.
1) Be intentional. Decide that it’s something you want to teach your kids in the long run. This means you have to plan it out and follow through with your goals. If you truly see the value of what you want to teach your kids, you wouldn’t give up or stop. It’s best to start teaching them about money while you can still influence them. Once your time is up (teenage years), you and your kids might come to regret it.

2) Make it fun. Most people hate math because it’s “boring.” Don’t let your kids feel the same thing just because saving money involves numbers! The only way to make your kids love saving is by teaching them how it could be so much fun.

  •  Books: Who says reading a bedtime story always has to be about fairy tales or your horrible recollections of that embarrassing experience you had when you were 12? You can inspire your kids to save through books that teach them the value of saving money instead. Try the books Dolly Parton’s A Coat of Many Colors, or The Berenstain Bear’s Trouble with Money by Stan Berenstain.
  • Toys: You can buy cash teller machines or cute piggy banks to encourage them that saving money can be a lively and fun thing to do. Play games with your kids. Add little colorful piggy banks at every corner of the house and tell them it’s a challenge to “feed” your house pigs coins to keep them healthy. The possibilities are endless.
  •  Shows: Expose them to television shows that show how important money is, like Cha-Ching in Cartoon Network.  You can search for other resources online.
  • Apps: Do you know a kid who hasn’t played a touch-screen app yet? Kids are definitely regular users of smartphones and tablets, and like you, they deserve apps that encourage the better use of money. Download apps: Life Quest, Kids Money or Virtual Piggy.

3) Trust them. Your kids will love it if you treat them like adults. Trusting them with money and believing that they will do good with it will boost their confidence. This way, you’re effectively showing them they’re more than capable of handling and managing money. Try to be their “savings buddy” saving. Give them challenges or ask them for “help,” anything that would make you and your kids save for something. If you all reach your common goals, then your kids will definitely be more motivated in saving money. Don’t forget to be encouraging and supportive all the time.

4) Finally, practice what you preach. If you constantly teach your kids about saving money and yet they see you indulging in a ton of unnecessary things, you might as well give up on raising money-savvy children. Kids are the best copycats. They look up to you. Mommy and Daddy are their first superheroes and idols, and it’s only natural for them to follow whatever you’ll do — the good things … and the bad. So always be cautious around your children because, most times, they’ll follow your example — even when you don’t want them to.
Your children’s financial success depends on you! The earlier you start teaching them about savings, the better off your kids will be in the future!

About the Author
Jep Barroga is a freelance writer and blogger for MoneyHero, a Hong Kong based finance portal that provide unbiased information on loans, credit cards, and other financial products. Jep will be sharing more information about teaching kids to save money next week. He will share with us his favorite apps to use to make it a fun and memorable experience.

 

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Cheesy Tuna Casserole: Dine on a Dime Recipe

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

 

They had me at cheesy!

Once I read the rest of the ingredients for this  Cheesy Tuna Casserole, I was a goner for sure. Fresh mushrooms, onions, chicken stock, and whipping cream are a few of the top-secret tips that dress up this cheesy tuna casserole. The creamy ingredients add rich flavor and have made it one of my family’s new favorites! I bet your family will love it too.

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

 Ingredients 

  • 2 6-ounce cans tuna, drained
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen green beans
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onion(s), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Cook the green beans as directed on the package; drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms and onion in the butter until very soft and starting to brown a bit.
  3. Add the broth; bring to a boil.
  4. Let the liquid reduce by half, then stir in the cream. Bring back to a boil.
  5. Turn down the heat a bit and cook until reduced and thickened, stirring frequently and watching closely so it doesn’t boil over.
  6. Season to taste.
  7. Stir the tuna and mushroom soup mixture into the green beans.
  8. Add salt and pepper, if needed.
  9. Mix in the cheese; put into a 1 1/2 – 2 quart casserole.
  10. Microwave or bake until hot and bubbly.

If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plans, Cheesy Tuna Casserole is an S.

This recipe only cost an average of $9 at most major grocery stores and serves four to six, making it an affordable option, before you even consider pulling out the coupons. I haven’t tried yet, but I think a couple of substitutions could be made to save even more on this dish. I’ve been known to make a cream sauce using powdered milk, a bit of butter,  flour and chicken broth (homemade, of course), and though I’m certain the heavy cream is tastier, I could pull this off in a pinch. It’s hard to beat, just the way it is.

Perfect cheesy tuna casserole makes a wonderful meal for a good old-fashioned family dinner!

You can download a printable copy of this recipe right from our friends at Build a Menu HERE. 

Remember, you can enjoy regular menu plans and printable shopping lists from the Build a Menu – Dine on a Dime plan right from your Molly Green Member page! It you haven’t joined the All New Molly Green yet, go here to get the details.

Inspired Bloggers Network – Family Dinner HUGE Giveaway for $800 set of cookware is HERE

Raising Bottle Bucket Calves: Family Homestead link up

raising bottle bucket calves

 

 

Raising bottle bucket calves is a great way to get started on a family farm or homestead. A “bucket calf” or a “bottle calf” is any calf that must be hand fed, by bottle or bucket. Some even just call them “bottle bucket calves” . . . We call them ADORABLE!

Where to Find Them

Dairy farms are a great place to purchase these baby cows. Once they have stopped producing colostrum, the mother cow goes back to work doing her job producing milk for the farm. Often times, a busy dairy farm does not have the time and dedication it takes to care for all of these babies. The calves may then be purchased at an affordable discount. This makes them an extremely frugal choice for a family cow.

Check with your local chapter of 4-H to discover local resources. Track them down through the national 4-H site here. 

Types of Cows

Jersey, Guernsey or Milking Shorthorn may be more affordable choices for a family milk cow than the larger Holsteins. They don’t produce as much milk as the Holsteins, but for the family homestead, 10 or more gallons a day is simply not needed.
types milk calves for family homesteading

The Jersey heifers are known for their creamy milk production, and sweet disposition. They are tan or brown in color are smaller in size, and can usually be found at a much lower cost than the larger breeds.  Guernsey cows are similar, but larger, light reddish brown with white spots. They also make a terrific family cow. The Milking Shorthorn is known as a forage­-efficient, healthy, long­-lived and productive breed of dairy cow. Learn more about various Heritage breeds of cattle here.

Feeding Calves

Much like a human baby, once the mother’s milk is no longer available, there is formula to be had. Mixing the powdered formula with warm water is an important part of feeding the youngest of calves. Although there is some cost involved, overall, feeding your calf is not an overwhelming cost. Of course, if you happen to have a family milking goat . . . you won’t need the formula!

feeding calvesGoat milk is another terrific option and can help avoid any instances of digestive problems. You will have fewer cases of scours and the calves grow quickly.

It is a good idea to begin with a rubber nipple. A healthy calf will always act about half starved! They are vigorous feeders. If you notice any change in this behavior, your calf could be in serious trouble. Pay close attention to any major changes in behavior: unclear eyes or a dirty bottom may be signs of scours. The sooner you get help, the better chance they will have.

Whenever possible, buy your calf from a local dairy farm, where you can observe a feeding, can know that they have at least had several days of colostrum, and have not experienced the stress of travel or shipping. If this is not possible, find out what you can about it. Let it suckle from your finger to simulate a feeding as the healthy ones should be very interested in any attempt at feeding.

Once your calf is home and has been feeding by bottle well for several weeks and is healthy and strong, you can switch to bucket feeding to save time and effort. Hand-fed by bottle or by bucket, the trouble and effort you go through for a small calf is well worth it and can be the perfect way to get an affordable milk cow for your family homestead.

Get more detailed information for raising, feeding and housing your calf from Jackie Clay here

Detailed feeding and care instructions can be downloaded from SavaCaf.com here.

Frugal HOME Friday

Link up your own frugal tips for home and homestead,

recipes, DIY, or crafts and share ideas to inspire others:

linking up: Fabulously FrugalOrganized 31,Fabulously Frugal Thurs,Sunday Showcase

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