Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shopping, budget, and the MOST AMAZING TRUFFLES EVER!!!

I am constantly hearing my friends talk about how they shouldn't spend any more money this month, or how their husbands have cut them off. Being a stay at home mom seems to cause shopping trips with friends, which causes all sorts of other problems, so today's post was supposed to be entirely about how much I love shopping and the the problems it poses to my families income. But then I found a recipe for something so sinfully decadent and heavenly that I can't not share it with you. Soooo... I'm going to seriously shorten the first part and get to the deliciousness. :D 

I love to shop, not for clothes so much, but for house stuff. I used to pride myself on being frugal, because I only by things at their very cheapest, or with great coupons, or from thrift stores, but then the end of last month came and I realized we didn't have as much left in the bank as I wanted to. I thought it strange, since I didn't really buy "much". Then this month I have a list of small things I want (an umbrella for the back porch, a cheap gas grill, a bird bath..), but have refrained from buying since I took a closer look at our budget and broke it down in a way that made my "small" purchases seem much larger. It's ridiculously simple, but I had never looked at our money in this particular way, so it kind of blew my mind and I wanted to share it with you. 

First, figure out your total monthly income and your total monthly bills. Since we are military and our income is no big secret, I'll use our numbers as an example. 

Income: $3029.18
Constant bills (mortgage, utilities, ect..) :  ~$1177

That leaves $1852.18 which isn't bad at all. Seeing that number has always made me feel like we have a comfortable amount of money to spend. But, if you break it down into a daily budget, you see what you really have. $1852.18 split into 31 days is $59.74 per day.  Take out the $7.50 hubs spends on gas every day, about $5 for his lunches (he eats a TON of meat so feeding him is expensive),  and $15ish for dinner (again with the meat)- add drinks and we'll make it an even $20- that leaves $27.24 per day for spending without even thinking about the extra junk we buy, like..oh.. formula and diapers!

Now every time I want to buy something, like the $100 grill I want so badly, I think of that very small number and walk away. It has actually helped a lot, since I used to think of the decently large $1852 per month. Granted, many days the debit card never comes out, so the number slowly climbs as days pass without spending, but it shoots down just as fast when you make one large purchase. So try this out and see if it doesn't help you control your shopping sprees, or even grocery buying. :) That wasn't very short, was it? 

Cookie Dough Truffles

Super easy, ridiculously yummy. You don't even have to bake. Just mix,chill, roll, freeze, and dip.

It makes a lot.. like..50ish truffles, so you may want to cut the recipe in half. Or just sent some my way. Though, I bet they would freeze quite well.

Cookie dough truffles
1/2 cup softened salted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
So easy:
  • Combine the butter, sugar,vanilla,and sweetened condensed milk. Add the flour and chocolate chips.

Now, you may be able to form this into balls at this point, but it will work best if you chill first. So, throw the dough in the fridge for a while and go do something else. You should do something productive, but 30 minutes does happen to be the length of one tv show...
  •  Roll into walnut sized balls. Place balls in the freezer for 2hrs or so. They won't be upset with you if you leave them in their all day, as long as your freezer doesn't smell like fish or onions. ewww..

  • Melt  12 oz chocolate chips with 1 tbs butter. To melt, place in a microwave at 25 second intervals, stirring between each. Be careful- overheated chocolate can seize up. Just get it till it’s starting to melt and stir away, the chocolate will continue to melt and smooth out.  I have ruined a lot of chocolate in my days- so follow directions. You could also get the little microwave containers made for dipping- they are quite convenient. 
  • Now dip! I think the easiest way is to stick them with a wooden skewer- but you can do it however you like. 
Store them in the fridge and enjoy!!!! Nom nom nom... 

See you tomorrow! Eventually.. we have our first physical therapy appointment in the morning.. :(

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