Saturday, November 24, 2007

Budget Christmas Gift - Cinnamon Sugar Mix

You definately feel a tight budget at Christmas time. And somehow it seems your list is getting longer while your paychecks dwindle. But even if you don't think of yourself as a crafty person, there are still some homemade things that are cheap to do and will be appreciated too. A mix of cinnamon and sugar in a decorative shaker is fast, easy, and inexpensive.

What you need to make about 1/4 cup mix:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 4 tsp cinnamon

  • Salt shakers from a dollar store

Mix the cinnamon into the sugar thoroughly. Use a funnel to put the mix into individual shakers. You may wish to decorate the shakers as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday Budget Tip: Quick Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

I'll admit it, I'm disorganized. While a lot of people have established traditional recipes to pull out each Thanksgiving to cook, I'm just not there yet. And I tend to procrastinate too, so I'm usually scrambling looking for some last minute fast and cheap Thanksgiving recipes beyond the turkey. I thought there might be some others out there in a similar situation, so here are some recipes I've found that can be put together fast and have only 3-5 ingredients each.

Caramel Apple Dip


  • 8 oz package cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Blend ingredients together in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold with red, green, or yellow apples

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: About 5 minutes
Cook Time: None

Sweet Potato Apple Cranberry Bake


  • 29 oz can sweet potatoes

  • 21 oz can apple pie filling

  • 16 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully fold ingredients in the casserole. Bake until sweet potatoes are heated through, about 30-45 minutes.

Yield: About 4 servings
Prep Time: About 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes

Baked French Onion Rice


  • 1 cup long cooking rice, uncooked

  • 14 1/2 oz can beef broth

  • 10 1/2 oz can French Onion soup

  • 4 oz can muchroom stems and pieces, drained

  • 1/4 oz cup butter or margarine


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine rice, broth, soup, and mushroom pieces in an ungreased 2 quart casserole dish. Dot mixture with butter and bake for 50 minutes.

Yield: About 4 servings
Prep Time: About 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

Easy Berry Crumble


  • 4 cups berries (blueberries, blackberries, etc)

  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

  • 3 1 1/2 oz. packages maple and brown sugar flavored instant oatmeal


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix berries and sugar together in an ungreased 9 inch pie pan. Put the oatmeal packages into a separate bowl, cut the butter into the oatmeal until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle the crums iver the berries and sugar. Bake until topping is golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.

Yield: About 5-6 servings
Prep Time: About 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!