Freezer-friendly Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

The fastest way to grab my girls attention is by saying the word cookie.  That’s right, I think this might be the only word I never need to say more than once in my house at any given moment no matter where they are and they start running.  It’s AMAZING! I keep telling Kinley when they grow up, I”m going to their house to break their stuff, eat all their cookies, make a huge mess, say I’m bored and then just leave:)  But until then, I found a pretty awesome recipe for freezer friendly treats that will gain a few brownie points from your littles.  Just pop a few of these yummy treats in the oven and viola your set!

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookies2


1 cup shortening or butter (softened)
1/3 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar (or raw sugar)
3/4 cup sugar (or raw sugar)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (you can also use white flour or half whole-wheat/half white)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats (rolled or quick oats)
1 12-oz. package chocolate chips

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookies

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookies 3

Cream together first six ingredients. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll into 1-1 1/2-inch balls.
To freeze: Place cookie balls on a cookie sheet and freeze for one to two hours. Remove from cookie sheet and place in an airtight freezer bag.
To bake: Pull out the desired amount of balls and place on a greased cookie sheet for 30-45 minutes to thaw. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until done.  Makes approximately 40 cookies.

Homemade Nutella

Nutella is a staple in our house.  We use this wonderful spread on bread, bagels, banana slices and graham crakers, it’s something we pull out for breakfast, lunch and dessert.  occasionally I will find a coupon for this and wait until I find a good deal to purchase a few jars of this goodness.  The price of this wonderful treat will run anywhere between $3 – $7 depending on the size.  It’s totally worth the price, but… because we are such fans and I’m discovering you can make lots of things for less the cost you would find in stores, I decided to make this deliciousness from scratch. The most costly ingredient was the hazelnuts but I figured once I have the basics, I could make twice as much for half the cost.  We haven’t been able to put the jar down since I’ve made this wonderful snack!  Thanks Browneyed baker for this amazing recipe!

Nutella Recipe

Ingredients you will need:

2 cups ( 8 ounces) hazelnuts

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I had a hard time finding this but so I substituted regular unsweetened cocoa powder).

 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon salt

Nutella recipe 2

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spread the hazelnuts out on a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until dark brown and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.  Keep a close eye on them, they can go from perfect roasted to burnt very quickly.  Transfer the hazelnuts to a medium-sized bowl.

Nutella recipe 3

Once the hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, place a second bowl upside-down on top of the bowl with the hazelnuts. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds to remove the skins of the hazelnuts. It may take a few times to get all of the skins off; each time, remove the hazelnuts that have lost their skin to the bowl of a food processor, then continue shaking.

Nutella recipe 4

 Process the hazelnuts in a food processor until their oil is released.

Nutella recipe 6

It should form a smooth, loose paste, it takes between 2 to 5 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl often

Nutella recipe 7

 Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, hazelnut oil, vanilla extract and salt and process until fully incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. The mixture will loosen and become glossy.

Nutella recipe 8

Transfer the spread to a jar with a tight-fitting lid or an airtight container. You can store it in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 1 month.  Enjoy your frugalistic snack!!!

Homemade Freezer Biscuits

I’m tired…Tired of spending money on biscuits!   And when I get tired of doing something I like to find a different way.  So it started with a dream last night of making my own. After doing a bit of research, I came across this easy recipe that also showed me how to freeze the biscuits for future meals! SCORE!  So if anyone ever tells you your dreams are silly, remember there’s some millionaire walking around who invented the Pool Noodle.

ingredients for biscuts

Biscuit Ingredients

4 cups flour

2 Tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening or butter

1 3/4 cup milk

kinley & biscuts

Mix dry ingredients together. Add in the shortening or butter and mix until crumbly.

biscut ball

Add in the milk and mix until a ball forms.

kiddos rolling biscuts

Roll out onto a floured surface and cut into biscuits.  (We used a heart shaped cookie cutter, but you can use whatever your heart desires;)

thumbs up on biscuts

AND…the proof that the kiddos enjoyed it!

freezer biscuts

To Freeze: Freeze on a cookie sheet for 1-2 hours. Then remove and place in a airtight freezer bag.

To Bake: Pull the desired number of biscuits out and let thaw for 30 minutes to an hour. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-12 minutes. You can bake them straight from the freezer but they won’t rise much.

Makes 24 biscuits. Recipe found on Money Saving Mom.

Saving Big with Drugstore Rebates & Rewards

CVS savings

What’s the surest way to pay full price?  Wait until you run out of something.  It’s so easy to stock up on toothpaste when it’s on a deep discount or free than to have to pay $3 for a tube because I’ve run out.   As you might guess I keep a cabinet stocked with shampoo, razors, toothpaste, deodorant, soap and other items.  Drugstore deals make great donations. Charities that serve homeless individuals, families in crisis or rescue situations, and elderly often request personal care items, since they can be fairly expensive to buy at full retail price. Saving then sharing, makes especially good use of strategic shopping.  Here are a few ways I save at drugstores.

  • Scan weekly sales circulars – many store circulars include store coupons, wich can be combined with manufactured coupons and other offers.  I visit Coupon Mom for my Grocey Store and Drugstore savings.  She does all the work for me by listing all of the weekly and monthly deals.  There are many other sites that provide different scenarios, and I’ve found it helpful to read them and find senarios that best match what my own needs (and coupons) are.  These sites also link to available printable coupons in case you don’t have one from the newspaper.
  • Combine “Buy one, Get one” offers with coupons.
  • learn how to take full advantage of Drugstore rebate and rewards programs.  They are a way to not only SAVE BIG, but to actually make money!

CVS savings 2

Here is a deal senerio I found awhile back at CVS.  Pampers diapers were on sale for 9.99.  I had a $2.00 off coupon and recieved a $4.00 off extrabucks rewards which made my diaper purchase only $4.65.  That’s .7 cents per diaper!

Good luck! May you become a frugal savings champion:)

Recipe Substitutions

Do you ever get started on a recipe and then realize that you are missing an ingredient?


Here is a chart of common ingredients and substitutions you can use in a pinch:

For a printable version click here.




Allspice 1 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Baking powder 1 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartarOR 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 cup buttermilk (decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup)
Bread crumbs 1 cup 1 cup cracker crumbsOR 1 cup matzo meal OR 1 cup ground oats
Broth: beef or chicken 1 cup 1 bouillon cube plus 1 cup boiling waterOR 1 tablespoon soy sauce plus enough water to make 1 cupOR 1 cup vegetable broth
Brown sugar 1 cup, packed 1 cup white sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses and decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cupOR 1 cup white sugarOR 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Butter (salted) 1 cup 1 cup margarineOR 1 cup shortening plus 1/2 teaspoon saltOR 7/8 cup vegetable oil plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

OR 7/8 cup lard plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

Butter (unsalted) 1 cup 1 cup shorteningOR 7/8 cup vegetable oilOR 7/8 cup lard
Buttermilk 1 cup 1 cup yogurtOR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup
Corn syrup 1 cup 1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup waterOR 1 cup honeyOR 1 cup light treacle syrup
Cottage cheese 1 cup 1 cup ricotta cheese
Cracker crumbs 1 cup 1 cup bread crumbs                                                          OR  1 cup ground oats
½ and ½ 1 cup 7/8 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon butter
Heavy Cream 1 cup 1 cup evaporated milkOR 3/4 cup milk plus 1/3 cup butter
Cream cheese 1 cup 1 cup pureed cottage cheese
Cream of tartar 1 teaspoon 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar
Egg 1 whole (3 tablespoons or 1.7 oz) 3 tablespoons mayonnaiseOR half a banana mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Evaporated milk 1 cup 1 cup light cream
Flour–Bread 1 cup 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon wheat gluten
Flour–Cake 1 cup 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons
Flour–Self-Rising 1 cup 7/8 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Ginger–dry 1 teaspoon 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
Herbs–fresh 1 tablespoon chopped fresh 1 teaspoon (chopped or whole leaf) dried herbs
Honey 1 cup 1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup waterOR 1 cup corn syrupOR 1 cup light treacle syrup
Ketchup 1 cup 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1 teaspoon vinegar plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Lard 1 cup 1 cup shorteningOR 7/8 cup vegetable oilOR 1 cup butter
Lemon juice 1 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon vinegarOR 1 teaspoon white wineOR 1 teaspoon lime juice
Lemon zest 1 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon lemon extractOR 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Lime juice 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon vinegarOR 1 teaspoon white wineOR 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Margarine 1 cup 1 cup shortening plus 1/2 teaspoon saltOR 1 cup butterOR 7/8 cup vegetable oil plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

OR 7/8 cup lard plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mayonnaise 1 cup 1 cup sour creamOR 1 cup plain yogurt
Milk–whole 1 cup 1/4 cup dry milk powder plus 1 cup waterOR 2/3 cup evaporated milk plus 1/3 cup water
Molasses 1 cup Mix 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Orange juice 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon other citrus juice
Ricotta 1 cup 1 cup dry cottage cheeseOR 1 cup silken tofu
Rum 1 tablespoon 1/2 teaspoon rum extract, plus enough water to make 1 tablespoon
Shortening 1 cup 1 cup butterOR 1 cup margarine minus 1/2 teaspoon salt from recipe
Sour cream 1 cup 1 cup plain yogurtOR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough cream to make 1 cupOR 3/4 cup buttermilk mixed with 1/3 cup butter
Soy sauce 1/2 cup 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Stock–beef or chicken 1 cup 1 cube beef or chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 cup water
Sweetened condensed milk 1 (14-ounce) can 3/4 cup white sugar mixed with 1/2 cup water and 1 1/8 cups dry powdered milk: Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 20 minutes
Vegetable oil–for baking 1 cup 1 cup applesauceOR 1 cup fruit puree
Vinegar 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juiceOR 2 teaspoons white wine
White sugar 1 cup 1 cup brown sugarOR 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugarOR 3/4 cup honey

OR 3/4 cup corn syrup

Wine 1 cup 1 cup chicken or beef brothOR 1 cup fruit juice mixed with 2 teaspoons vinegarOR 1 cup water
Yogurt 1 cup 1 cup sour creamOR 1 cup buttermilkOR 1 cup sour milk

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