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Whole Wheat Honey Carrot Cake

2 Jul

Today is my amazing husband’s birthday! And every year he asks for the same kind of cake, honey carrot cake. It only uses honey as the sweetener, no sugar, and has some whole wheat flour in it, plus it’s got carrots, so it’s a healthier birthday cake. When he was a boy his mom always made it for him. So I thought I’d share the recipe:


  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • Nuts and raisins optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour one 13 by 9 in. pan or two 8 or 9 in. pans. (I did two small pans, and instead of stacking them later, just left them separate).

Beat honey, oil and eggs.

Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla and salt.

Then add carrots, raisins and nuts. I just LOVE the bright orange color of the carrots! Pour into pan or pans and bake 30-40 minutes. Once cooled, ice it. Here’s what I used for my honey icing (sorry I didn’t measure the ingredeints):

  • Cream cheese (softened)
  • Honey
  • Butter (softened)
  • Milk

And in case you’re wondering, no Cameron did not turn 7. I didn’t have 28 candles, so I just made them into a “C” shape. Not quite as exciting as Gracia’s butterfly cake.


Unfrugal Photo Friday – Food Waste

1 Jul

Today instead of a Frugal Photo Friday, I have an UNfrugal photo, actually two. They’re both of some wasted food.

Sour Cream that was left out of the fridge way to long, veggie soup that I got tired of eating as a leftover so I just kept ignoring it, and some leftover oatmeal of Gracia’s that I put in the fridge thinking I could give it to her later and forgot.

And these apples are also Gracia’s. I thought if I put them in a bag in the fridge I could cut off any spots she bit into and use the rest in apple muffins or something…but as you can see they’re not yummy apple muffins, they’re still just half eaten brown apples.

The Frugal Girl every Friday posts pictures of food she’s wasted. Her reason is to help her not waste as much. I’ve thought about doing that, but been putting it off, mostly because I’m scared I’ll be too ashamed of all my wasted food, but then again maybe that shame will encourage me to not waste so much!! So I’m going to try really hard not to waste much this month and to share my results you all (not necessarily on Fridays though). I have to remind myself that wasting food isn’t just plain wasteful, it’s also like throwing money in the trash. After all the food I throw away was bought with money, and I claim to be frugal. I guess I should take my own advice on how to not have so much wasted food.

Salmon Patties

29 Jun

Salmon Patty Sandwich

Fish is a healthy protein, but it can be pretty pricey too. This recipe uses canned salmon, which is very affordable. It’s a great source of Omega-3 and it’s low in mercury (for more info on mercury in fish go here). A lot of cans of salmon have a salmon patty recipe on them, I use the can’s recipe and tweak it a little. Here’s my tweaked version:

  • 1 (14.75 oz.) can of salmon
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • lemon pepper (or any seasoning you like)
  • oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients except the oil. Form into patties (I usually get 3 large patties out of one can). Heat up a small amount of oil in a pan then cook the patties in it. Once the patties are golden brown on the bottom, flip and cook on the other side.

You can eat these just as is, on top of a salad or as a sandwich (that’s our favorite way).

Make Your Own Postcards

28 Jun

I mentioned that I’ve been wanting to make and use my own postcards, and now I’ve FINALLY done it!

Making your own postcards can save you money in 2 ways:

  1. They’re a cheap alternative to a card. Even if you already make  your own cards, postcards use half the amount of paper, and no envelopes necessary.
  2. They’re cheaper to mail. It costs $.44 to mail a regular letter, and only $.29 to mail a postcard, saving you $.15. That’s not a lot of difference, but if you mail out a lot of letters it can add up.

When I made my postcards I just used a regular postcard I already had to see how big to cut mine. I used card stock  paper, so it would be thick enough. And of course leave the back blank for writing your note and the address. And if you’re more creative and patient than me, your postcards can look way cuter than mine!

If you want to save even more, Amy Dacyczyn’s The Complete Tightwad Gazette recommends cutting the front picture part off of old cards you’ve received and using that as a post card.

Problem Solved – A Story About Crumbs

27 Jun

We have a problem at our house, we eat a lot of corn tortilla chips. But the problem isn’t the ones we eat, its the ones we DON’T eat. It always seems like  a quarter of the chips get left behind in the bottom of the bag as crumbs. I like to use the crumbs as a topping on chili or chicken tortilla soup. The only problem is with all this over 100 degree weather, we haven’t been eating chili or soup. So I had this container of chip crumbs:

And I finally did something about them! First I ground them up in my food processor:

Then I used 3/4 cup in making meatloaf. I usually use bread crumbs made from leftover stale bread and crackers, but the tortilla chip crumbs worked just fine too! I put the rest of the crumbs in a bag in the freezer for the next time I need them. Sometime I want to try using them to bread chicken fingers with. Here’s an article I found with 10 ways to use up tortilla chip crumbs.

Linked at Kitchen Tip Tuesday’s at Tammy’s Recipes. Check out her site for more great kitchen tips. And check out her recipes too! I’ve tried several of them, so far I think my favorite has been her White Chili. Too bad it’s kinda hot weather for it. =(

Do you have any creative ways of using up chip crumbs?

Frugal Photo Friday – Cheap Books, Free Clothes and the Magic of Vinegar

24 Jun

This Frugal Friday Photo I have a picture of Gracia playing with a really cool Arthur book. It has little figures from Arthur and throughout the book there’s slots you can put them. I got it for Gracia at a thrift store along with a coloring book that had stickers in it. Both books were in great condition. The coloring book hadn’t been used at all and I got them both for $1! Another frugal thing in this picture is the outfit Gracia’s wearing. A lady from our neighborhood gave me a bunch of girl clothes last year. Most of them were too big for Gracia then, but she’s starting to grow into them now. The only problem with them is that they smelled really strongly of cigarettes. But I washed them a few times with vinegar and that fixed the problem!

You CAN Afford to Eat Healthy!

23 Jun

Exercise is a part of being healthy, but so is eating right. I’ve heard so many people say that they can’t afford healthy food. I won’t deny that some healthy foods are expensive, but there’s actually a lot of very affordable healthy foods out there. You may even find that you eat cheaper when you eat healthy.

Here’s a list of a few cheap and healthy foods (this is by no means all of them):

  • Oatmeal – Has iron and fiber. Costs $2.24  for a big thing of it that makes 30 servings! Or if you don’t like eating hot oatmeal you can make granola out of it.
  • Potatoes – Keep the skins on, that’s where most of the nutrients are and nothings wasted.
  • Beans – High in fiber and protein. And they’re not only way cheaper than meat, but also a lot lower in fat!
  • Lentils – These are not only cheap, but easy to cook. Unlike beans they don’t need to be soaked overnight.
  • Raisins – I love dried fruits, but most are expensive and some have added sugar. But raisins don’t have extra sugar and they are the cheapest dried fruit I can find.
  • Fruit and veggies – Buy in season, locally grown and on sale to get the most for your money. I find that things like carrots, bananas and apples seem to pretty much always be cheap.
  • Whole wheat bread – It usually doesn’t cost much, if any more, than white bread, or you can make your own.
  • Brown rice – it only costs a little more than white rice, but it goes a long way.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta – I’ve only cooked with this a few times, but you can get it pretty affordably.

Here’s some other tips:

  • A lot of regular grocery stores are carrying health food items, and it’s probably cheaper there than at a health food store, but compare prices to make sure.
  • You may be able to get some healthy foods cheaper at warehouse stores. The cheapest unit price I’ve found on honey is at Sam’s Club.
  • Eat the right sizes, if you eat too much it not only isn’t healthy, it also makes your grocery bill higher.
  • Skip the unnecessary and completely empty calories like soda and candy. There’s nothing healthy in it and the cost really adds up. Save that money to buy healthy food instead.
  • Cook from scratch. You have more control over what goes in, and don’t have to worry about all the preservatives that are in prepared foods. Plus it’s usually cheaper.