Life's too short

Life's too short

Friday, July 9, 2010

Making Bread Saves Dough

With the economy the way it is, most people find themselves tightening their belts, looking for ways to save money.  I hadn't realized that I never really looked at the price of certain items like bread.  I always just bought my favorite loaf and didn't think twice about it.  At some point, I started buying some generic items, which I always thought would be sub-par.  But I was surprised to find that the items I bought weren't bad at all, and really, I couldn't tell the difference.  Here I had been such a good coupon shopper and was totally missing a way to save more money.  So, I started to look at all the items I purchased to see if there was a way to save more money.  I was shocked to learn that my favorite bread was $3.50-$4.00. Sure, there were cheaper breads, but I couldn't see them being as good as my favorite.

I have had a breadmaker sitting in the closet for a while, which I whip out on occasion when the thought comes to mind.  I started thinking that I could just keep that breadmaker out, and make my own bread.  When you figure out the price of the ingredients, it costs about half the price to make a good healthy bread. I even talked a friend of mine into getting her machine out, and she likes it so much she is using it every day or two.  Not only does it cut the cost of the bread in half, but you aren't having to run to the store as often when you run out of bread, and there is less packaging waste. I just keep reusing the same ziplock bag. 
Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker
There are some great breadmakers out on the market now.  This Sunbeam machine at Amazon is similar to mine.  It makes up to a 2 lb. loaf and has 12 cooking functions and 3 crust colors.  This particular model is on sale right now and ships for free.  But Amazon has more than 100 different machines on their site, so there is sure to be one that suits you. 

I also purchased some bread machine mixes in bulk at Amazon.  These are great if you just want to drop it in the machine and go.  This 9-grain bread from Hodgson Mill was delicious!  But I have moved to making it myself with my own ingredients.  I received this cookbook as a gift for Christmas a few years back, and decided to dust it off.  While I originally started with the basic wheat recipe, I have found many wonderful recipes that I have tried or want to try.  The Cornmeal Bread is to die for, and I love the Oatmeal Bread too.  It has been a fun adventure going through the book trying to decide which one will be the next loaf I make. I'm glad that I started the process of reviewing what items I buy and looking for ways to cut the budget. Not only has this been less expensive, but, I must admit, I like my bread better than the store bought variety, and I know that it doesn't have all the preservatives and chemicals in it as well!

Hodgson Mill 9 Grain Bread Mix, 16-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)
  Biggest Book of Bread Machine Recipes (Better Homes & Gardens Cooking) 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Journey To Happiness Begins

The HappyBug is on a journey to find what makes her happy in life. After all, life is too short to not be happy! Think about your life – are you just trudging along, one step at a time, through the mud? Is your life just a bunch of going to work to pay the bills and not much else? That is the path that I was on. Putting up with the day to day, and not thinking about what actually made me happy.

Now, I find myself analyzing what I do, what I buy and who I come in to contact with. What actually brings me happiness? What do I need to remove from my life that takes away the joy? I am hoping to bring you along on this journey. I wouldn’t say that this is so much a spiritual journey, but one that is grounded in the every day life. Through tips, recipes, and insights, I hope to pass along the things and places where I find happiness.

And maybe, just maybe, you might find something that makes you happy too.