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Cheryl's Sensible Cents - 5/01/2006 Newsletter
May 01, 2006

Did You Know?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury first issued paper U.S. currency in 1862 to make up for the shortage of coins and to finance the Civil War. The first paper notes were printed in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 25 cents, and 50 cents.

What's New?

Save even more on groceries. Always use a grocery list.

In this Issue:

Featured Articles
Unique Mother's Day Gift Ideas
Craft Ideas

Scrumptious White Cake
Creamed Chicken w/Confetti Rice Squares
Golden Potato Bake

Money Saving Tips

  • Alternative Uses for Common Household Items: Shoe Boxes, Squirt Bottles, Baby Oil
  • Home Decorating Savings Tips
  • Office Savings
  • Grocery Savings: including a high protein snack recipe

Craft Ideas
Everlasting Leaves

Quotable Quote

He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing. - Benjamin Franklin

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Featured Articles

Unique Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Your Mom is special. Show it using one of these unique gift ideas for your Mother's Day gift. Mom's deserve the best and each Mom is unique herself. Why not give your Mother a gift just as unique and special as she is... Read On

Crafty Craft Ideas

Crafts keep the kids busy and provide some unique gifts for giving. Use these craft ideas to bring out the creative side of children and adults and kick start your summer fun...Read On


White Cake

We tried this white cake recipe to use in making strawberry shortcakes. It is a scrumptious cake recipe. Had to share it with you! Use for shortcakes or frost and decorate for birthdays, or other special occasions.

12 servings
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites
1 1/3 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 nine­ inch round cake pans. (If making for strawberry shortcakes, at least an hour before baking the cake - add sugar to strawberries and let sit to create juice.) Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cream the butter and shortening.
Add the sugar, creaming thor­oughly. Stir in the almond extract, lemon extract and vanilla. Add half the egg whites and beat vigorously until fluffy. Add the remaining egg whites and beat again.
Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately, stirring well. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 23 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans on wire racks.

For shortcakes, cool about 10 minutes, slice and serve warm, topped with strawberries (at least an hour before baking the cake - add sugar to strawberries and let sit to create juice) and whipped cream. For frosted cakes, let cool completely and then frost and decorate.
- Best Home Baking

Golden Potato Bake

Serves 8

Cook together in salted water until tender:
2 lbs. potatoes (about 6 medium), peeled and cut up
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
When done, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drain vegetables, reserving liquid. Mash with mixer on low speed.

Add: enough vegetable liquid for mashed potato consistency (Reserve cooking water when draining potatoes to mash. Sprinkle dry milk powder over potatoes, mash, then add reserved cooking water and other seasonings. Fast, cheap, nutritious)
1/3 c. dry milk powder
Beat until mixture is fluffy. Stir in:1 Tablespoon margarine
salt and pepper to taste

Turn into 2-qt. greased casserole. Dot with additional margarine if desired. Bake 25 minutes.

Option: Stir in 1 c. shredded cheese before baking.


Serves 6
Heat in skillet or heavy saucepan:
1/4 c. margarine or chicken fat
skimmed from broth
Add and saute just until soft:
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped (optional)
Add, stir, and cook until bubbly:
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
2-3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

Heat through and serve over rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, waffles, or Confetti Rice Squares (below)
Option: Add 1 c. cooked or frozen peas

Confetti Rice Squares

Serves 8
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

3 cups cooked rice
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 c. chopped parsley
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. chopped pimento or sweet red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. milk

Turn into 1 1/2 qt. buttered baking dish. Bake 40 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cut into squares and serve with creamed chicken.
- More-with-Less Cookbook

Send us Your Recipes

Need ideas for dinner or recipes?

Best Home Baking: Old Farmer's Almanac Home Library -Go to Recipes & More Section
Recipe Secrets
Free Recipes at ClubMom!
Country Cooking Recipes
E-Cookbooks Library

Money Saving Tips

Share Saving Tips, Recipes, and Frugal Living Ideas.
Send in Your Readers Tips

Visit our money saving tips directory here - Save money everyday on everything you do and buy!

Alternative Uses for Common Household Items

Shoe Boxes

  • Ribbon dispenser - Take a piece of used broom handle, or any round pole or dowel, and cut it a little longer than length of shoe box. Cut two holes (one in each short side of box, near the top of box). Slip your ribbon spools on the wooden dowel and place ends in the holes on box. Ribbon should spin freely when pulled and will be conveniently stored, and easy to use, when needed.
  • Make play bricks for toddlers. - Tape lids on. Color with poster paint if desired to make colorful play bricks.
  • Decorate and make a keepsake box for kids. Any small keepsake item they want to keep will be placed in the box.
  • Create a memory box. - Decorate and cut a long slot in the top. Tape closed. When something happens, good or bad, and your child wants to remember it, have them write down these incidents, feelings, or thoughts and put them in the box. They can choose to open the box as an annual event to review the past years happenings (a good family New Years event) or save until they are all grown up.

Baby Oil

  • Make your own bath oil - Add a few drops of your favorite scent of perfume or cologne to about 1/4 cup baby oil in small bottle or other container. Shake well and add to bath. Always add oil after you get in to the bath. You will be sealing moisture from the water in the skin instead of sealing it out.
  • Release a stuck ring - Rub baby oil generously around a stuck finger ring. Work around and under ring rubbing gently. Ring should slip off easily when well coated.
  • Leather Care - Apply a few drops to a leather bag or leather shoes with a soft cloth. Wipe off any remaining oil.

Squirt Bottles

  • Homemade Water guns - Fill with water to use in place of children's water guns
  • Make your own oil spray. - Use to lightly coat cooking pans with oil when cooking or spray on salads for vinegar/oil dressing. You'll save money as compared to "Pam" type oil sprays and use less oil in your salads.
  • Air Duster - An empty bottle can be used to dust small crevices and hard to reach places. Simply spray air into the crevice or small knick knacks to blow away dust.

Home Decorating Savings Tips

1. Use old outdoor window shutters as decorative pieces indoors. Paint or decorate to match decor, then use as screens by hinging together. Or, use as shutters, indoors, place by windows indoors after painting or decorating to suit the room

2. Cover a doorway, that has no door, using an old venetian blind. You'll still have ventilation in the room, but can block the view if desired.

3. Hang curtains from a ceiling to partition a room for various reasons and add color . Partition a dressing area, for a girls shared bedroom; a child's play area; hide an unsightly area or storage furnishings that aren't in such good shape.

4. Old wooden barrels make great barstools if you happen to have some laying around. They can be expensive if you have to buy them.

5. Wreath bases - Use old steering wheels, small window frames, anything that forms a "frame" no matter what shape, to create a unique decorative wreath. Wrap the frame with fabric scraps, styrofoam, craft greenery, etc. as a base for decorating to suit the intended rooms theme or color.

6. Wallpaper samples, or scraps, can be used to cover an unsightly waste basket, small furnishing (instead of painting), or door. Cover the item with the wallpaper as you would a wall, or in collage fashion (if using several different scraps/samples), then apply a thin coat of shellac.

7. Don't throw away left over linoleum. Use to line shelves, benches, or revive an old table top.

8. Save curtains to cut down later and use to make smaller items like throw pillows, chair covers, etc.

Save on Food

Grocery savings

1. With the low carb craze today, high protein snacks are a bit pricey to say the least. Make your own crispy high protein snack
Cheese Crisps

3/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
4 Tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons milk
Mix cheese and butter in a mixing bowl or food processor. Add remaining ingredients: mix or knead until well blended. Form into 1 inch balls, place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

2. Plan your menus for the week and always take a grocery list when shopping for food. Even when I stray from my list, I still spend at least 30-40% less when I take my grocery list and try to stick to it!I've added a printable grocery list to the site for your convenience. Please follow printing instructions for best results.

3. Stock up on BBQ stuff - As summer approaches, now is the time to start watching for sales on, and stocking up, summer barbeque items like hot dogs, hamburger, bbq sauce, chicken wings/legs, baked beans, etc. If funds are available, pick up these items while on sale and freeze for later use at family dinners, picnics, and backyard barbeques.

4. Seasonal Goods - Some stores will cut down inventory on baking additives/goods (cocoa powder, bakers chocolate, evaporated milk). Summer is not a huge baking season since folks usually try to conserve energy and stay cool in the summer by limiting oven usage. This is the low baking season. I recently purchased several cans of cocoa powder for only 69 cents each being discontinued until the "baking season" resumes. Keep your eye out for limited time, special deals, on these items.

Reader's Tips

- Please share your tips

Craft Ideas

Everlasting Leaves

You will Need:
Small branches with green leaves
jam jar/s
tall vase
hot water
glycerin (available at most drug stores)

First, soften the ends of stems. Lightly hammer about 2 1/2 inches at bottom of branch stems.
Fill the jar 2/3 full with hot water and the remaining 1/3 with glycerin
Stand branches in the jam jar for several weeks, leaves will feel very soft
Stand the branches in a tall empty vase and they will last for months. The leaves will gradually turn different shades.
Tip: Can use these preserved branches as greenery for a home made wreath. Make one for Mom!

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