How I’m cutting my “Starbucks Budget” in half by making my own lattes

The 4 dollar Cinnamon Dolce Latte you got today at the Bux might not be something you though twice about, but may be burning a gaping hole in your wallet.  It may be part of your commute; a way to pep you up for the day ahead or justify sitting in traffic for over an hour. Either way, 4 dollars every day or even every week adds up quick. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to keep hitting up the drive-thru. In the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee, you can make your own fantastic flavoured lattes.

Here’s my variation of the Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks

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My 50 Cent Vanilla Cinnamon Latte (Makes 3 lattes)
Ingredients:
6 Tbsp ground coffee (approx. $0.88)
1 and a half cups milk (approx. $0.37)
1 tsp vanilla extract (approx. $0.05)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (approx. $0.12)
+ 3 pinches of ground cinnamon to garnish
Sugar to taste (optional)

Directions 
Brew coffee with vanilla extract and 1 tsp cinnamon. In a small sauce pan, heat milk on high heat while stirring constantly. You know that it’s almost done when the milk is steaming foams upwards – remove from heat. Pour coffee into 3 mugs and add milk. Garnish with ground cinnamon on top and enjoy.

 

Free Time Management Printables | Daily and Weekly Planners

I’ve been working on some time management printables. They are, of course, free for download here and in my printables page.

The first is my daily planner available for download here

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And the second is my weekly planner available here

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As the summer draws to an end and I am looking at another school year ahead of me, I will be building printables for myself and for my readers.

Again, the daily planner and the weekly planner are now free to download.

Enjoy!

Pre-Fab Smoothie Package

Smoothies make for an amazing breakfast; they are cheap, quick way to down the nutrients you need to start your day off right. I will show you how to make them even simpler: just add water, juice, or milk, a little bit of yogurt, and blend.

 

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(First Smoothie Package)

 

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(I only had 6 frozen bananas, so unfortunately I only made 6 packages)
Ingredients per package: 
1/2 cup Frozen Berries
1 Frozen Banana; peeled, in chunks
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
2 tbsp Oats
3 Ice Cubes (Optional)

Directions: 
Measure all ingredients and put them in a Ziploc sandwich bag, when ready to make add some water, juice, or milk and a couple tablespoons of yogurt (optional). Hint: To peel the frozen banana, partially thaw (about 5 minutes), cut both ends and then lengthwise, peel as usual.

Reusable Face Wipes

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If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do is spend the remainder of your evening in the bathroom cleaning off dried makeup from your face. Moreover, you don’t want to spend time cleaning up the mess that is your bathroom counter after the dried makeup battle is over. So what do you do? You pay an exorbitant monthly amount, much more than you’re willing to admit, on disposable face wipes in an effort to cut the drama that is your night-time routine.

I’m going to show you how you can still have the convenience of a wipe and the effectiveness of a makeup remover/facial cleanser all while saving your wallet. Did I mention that it’s also friendly on the environment?

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(I ended up cutting the cloths in half while the water was boiling)

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(I added the water to the cloths and started putting the cleanser inside each cloths)

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(Here they are folded and ready for use)

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(I even added a little tag to the top of the container)
What you need: 
7 or 8 face cloths
Water (preferably distilled, but you can also just boil regular tap water)
Facial cleanser of choice
Air-tight container

Directions:
Boil enough water to thoroughly soak the cloths. add enough cleanser for 7 or 8 uses. Store in an air-tight container.
Rinse your face with water, wash your face with the cloth, rinse cloth thoroughly, rinse face. Wash the cloth with a load of towels.

Hearty Mac & Cheese

A recipe to bring you back down to base. This hearty, delicious, and rich macaroni and cheese recipe will have your family coming for seconds and thirds. Those with lactose intolerance beware.

 

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(Most of the ingredients – minus cheese which my fiance is working on in the background)

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(“I need to take a picture of the cheese!” “Why??” “For the blog!!!”)

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(Melting of the butter)

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(Added the milk)

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(Flour and the cheese + macaroni boiling in the background)

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(I didn’t have a large casserole dish so I used two smaller ones)

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(Fresh out of the oven)


 

Ingredients: 
4 cups shredded cheese
3 cups macaroni
3 cups milk, warmed (2 minutes in microwave usually does it, alternatively just heat in separate sauce pan)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup flour
1 packet of original shake&bake or breadcrumbs+paprika

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 400F
In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and stir in salt and macaroni. Shred cheese (or if you’re like me, tell your fiance to shred the cheese). In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and then add milk. Slowly incorporate flour and cheese, stirring constantly. Once smooth and thick, remove from heat and set aside. Drain and rinse macaroni and pour into a large casserole dish, pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and mix well. If it looks soupy, don’t worry, it’ll evaporate while it’s baking. Pour packet of shake and bake evenly over the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered.

Shopping for Glasses: Is Frugal a Possibility?

Yesterday, my glasses broke. Not the I’m-just-going-to go-get-them-adjusted, broke, but the essentially-very-expensive-trash, broke. 

My glasses barely holding together with tape, I am searching online for a cheap sources for a replacement. I’ve found one website, ClearlyContacts who offers stylish glasses at a fraction of the price you’d find in store. The price may in this case, at least for me, not outweigh the fact that I cannot try them on before getting them shipped.

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They do offer free “trials” for certain pairs, but the prospect of having to ship them back and reverting to my scratched up, broken glasses and wait for another shipment of glasses is off-putting, to say the least.  

Out of frustration, I’ve spent the last hour researching laser eye surgery. 

If anyone is out there, where do you go for your glasses?