Saturday, January 07, 2012

Frugal recipes: Gluten free bread pudding

Since going gluten free a few years ago, I've found that our grocery costs have gone up. The problem with gluten free foods are that they tend to be 2-3 times more expensive than traditional foods! There are some ways to get around this - try to use naturally gluten free foods more, instead of always heading to the gluten free section of the supermarket.

For now, I realize that I have some Udi's gluten free bread (the BEST gluten free bread around, in my humble opinion) that is sitting getting stale in my refrigerator. So, instead of wasting those slices of bread, I'm going to cube them up, and then make a custardy type mixture of milk, a couple of eggs, a squeeze or two of honey, a splash of vanilla and some frozen blueberries I have and tossing the whole mix together.

I'm going to bake it in a buttered baking dish - and see how it turns out! I love experimenting with food and creating my own recipes on the run. :) I'll post about how my frugal gluten free blueberry bread pudding turned out. Now...if only I had some ice cream to top it with...

Definition of Frugal

What is the real definition of the word 'frugal'? While it might mean many things to those of us who identify ourselves as frugalites, the proper dictionary definition is as follows: "Sparing or economical with regard to money."

I like that. Economical or frugal always sounds a bit nicer, a bit friendlier than that other often used word - cheap. When you say you're frugal, people might roll their eyes a little, but if you say you're cheap, well, you're opening a whole new argument...

So, how do you frugalites feel? Are you proud to call yourselves frugal? Do you agree with the above definition of frugality? Have you always lived a frugal life, or is a new lifestyle for you?

Frugal Gift Ideas: Gift of Your time and help

No matter what type of gift you need to give, many of us frugalites (whether frugalites by nature, or frugal due to necessity - ie: while paying off our debts) worry about the cost of a nice gift.

With that in mind, here is a great gift idea that costs you absolutely NOTHING, not one single penny. Instead of purchasing a gift that your recipient might or might not even need, why not give them some of your time instead?

Ideas for Gifts of Time include:

  1. A free night of babysitting (or petsitting)

  2. Watching their favorite movie together, when they choose. There's nothing better than a movie night!

  3. Coupon for a 'heart to heart' conversation over coffee. Make it more frugal by having your pal over to your place and making the coffee instead of splurging on takeout coffees.

  4. Coupons for a free errand service - offer free grocery shopping service, free drycleaning pickup, etc.

  5. Free car wash - you'll come and clean their car when they choose!

  6. And...with cleaning in mind, why not offer your friend or family member a day of housecleaning service for free? :) I know I'd LOVE if a pal gave me a day of their cleaning services. What a great gift that would be!

Use your imagination and come up with a valuable gift of your time that your loved one will really be able to use and appreciate. You might find this to be an easy way to take care of gifts without spending any money, but just offering a bit of your time.