Homemade Flour Tortillas

The plan for dinner? Soft tacos. I just knew I had flour tortillas in the freezer. So I got all of the other ingredients ready for a “make your own” style flour tortilla night.

I looked in the freezer. No tortillas!

What to do? To the Internet I go! I found this great flour tortilla recipe that I have been using ever since:

Flour Tortillas

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water or milk

1. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
2. Cut shortening into dry ingredients. (I have found a food processor works wonders!)
3. Add milk or water, working mixture together until a sticky ball forms.
4. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
5. Divide into 8-10 ball (for small tortillas) or 6-8 balls (for large tortillas). Cover with a damp cloth.
6. Lightly dust work surface with flour and roll out each ball into a circle or oval about 1/4 inch thick. Don’t roll the dough out more than once or the tortillas will be tough.
7. Heat a dry griddle or non-stick skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side, or until the dough looks slightly dry and wrinkled, and brown spots appear. Do not overcook or they will be hard. Butter and roll up and wrap in a damp towel to keep warm. Serve warm.

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How I Use ExtraCare Bucks

A note on how I spend my ECB’s: I will only spend as many ECB’s as I earn so I won’t ever “lose” ExtraBucks. But if I can whittle my total down with coupons so I don’t have to use as many ECB’s as I’m earning, then I “earn” ExtraBucks.

For example, if a bottle of shampoo costs $3.00, but you earn $3.00 ECB’s when you buy it, then I justify using $3.00 ECB’s on that shampoo when I buy it. But if I have a coupon for that shampoo, say $1.00 off, then my total would only be $2.00, so I only have to spend $2.00 ECB’s, but I still earn the $3.00 ECB’s. That is how you make ExtraBucks, essentially making money (ECB’s are as good as cash at CVS!).

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Free Blu-Ray from Disney!

DMRMake sure to sign up with Disney Movie Rewards and make sure to enter your birthday during registration because they will send you a free blu-ray movie on your birthday!!

You do have to pay shipping, but it is only $2.95.

I received the email on my birthday and I was able to choose from 5 different blu-ray movies. And it’s not the 4-6 week wait… two days after I ordered it, I received a confirmation email that it had been shipped!!

The selection does change throughout the year. For example, when I first learned about this offer the movie choices were different and it was offered as a free DVD; now it is a free blu-ray.

7 Ways to Raise a Money-Smart Kid

As frugal parents, naturally, we want our kids to be smart about money too. Here are seven easy ways to raise a money-smart kid!

1. Expose your pre-schooler to cash

By showing money to kids, they get a better understanding of what you are trying to teach them. Try playing “bank” or “store” for further understanding in a fun way.

2. Ditch the “replace it” attitude

When a toy breaks, have you ever heard your child say, “it’s ok, we can get another one”? When that moment comes, think of it as a learning time. Let them know that it costs money to replace a broken item. Replace that attitude with a “waste not” attitude. Let your child help donate items they no longer use, or have them “earn” a new toy by helping with chores.

3. Encourage delayed gratification

I cannot say enough how many times my mother taught me this. If I saw a toy in the store that I wanted, she would tell me that I would have to earn it. And I did! By doing chores, she would pay me a little here and there so I could buy the toy myself. I also took better care of things I bought myself because I understood I would have to save up again if it broke or got lost.

4. Talk about it

Some parents never talk about money in front of their kids. My mom did, but only to say that we couldn’t afford this or that new thing that I wanted. This helped me to understand that I couldn’t have everything that I wanted. By not talking about money, kids may grow up thinking a debit card never runs out of money and that if something breaks then you can just go buy a new something. Explain where money comes from and that it can (and will) run out if you aren’t careful about what you spend it on.

5. Be a role model

If you want your kids to be money-smart, they need to see you be money-smart. When you go to the bank to make a deposit, take them with you and explain what you are doing. If you are donating or volunteering, get your kids involved too.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

Make some pretend money and play “store” or “bank”. Let your kids pick out a piggy bank to keep up with the money they are saving. Even if they don’t have an allowance, coins they find on the street or in the couch cushions could go right into the piggy bank when they understand the value of saving money.

7. Tell stories, not lectures

If you start lecturing about the importance of saving money, your kids will probably zone out pretty quickly. Instead go to your local library about pick out some books about saving money. For a start, try out “The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money” or “The Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sense,” both by Stan and Jan Berenstain.

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Create a Memory Art Book for 2015

As parents, we tend to want to save just about every piece of artwork our child masterfully creates. But, unfortunately because of the lack of space, we can’t. I recently found an article about how one parent created a Memory Art Book for her child.

Every once in a while, when the child is creating a masterpiece, get out a big sketch book (specifically for this purpose) and have the child draw or paint in it. Make sure you date each page, that way you can track the child’s progression in skills.

Try to find a sketchbook with at least 24-36 pages so your child can create at least 2-3 masterpieces per month.

Another option is to scan artwork into your computer and upload the images to a photo website like Shutterfly and make a photo book. If you choose to make a photo book, wait until I post a Shutterfly deal for the best bang for your buck! I often see offers for a free photo book.

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Cash Back Shopping: Get Paid to Shop!

Do you shop online?

You can earn cash back for your purchases! Ebates and Shop at Home are my favorite cash back shopping sites, and you will want to start by first creating free accounts with each of them:

  • Ebates – Receive a $5 cash sign-up bonus, or a $10 gift card.
  • Shop at Home – Receive a $5 cash sign-up bonus.

Why both sites?

Because each site offers different percentages of cash back for different retailers. By having an account with both, this ensures that you receive the maximum cash back.

How does it work?

When you are ready to shop online, go to Ebates or Shop at Home first, then search for retailers and click on the provided link to go to the retailers website.

After you make your purchase as you normally would, the appropriate amount of cash back will appear in your account a few days later.

You will not see a discount at checkout. Your cash back will appear in your Ebates or Shop at Home account, depending on which one you used to shop.

When Do I Get My Money?

Ebates – You can request your cash back be sent either by check or deposited into your PayPal account when you accumulate $5 or more in cash back, excluding your sign-up bonus. Ebates pays once every three months, provided you have met your $5 threshold.

Shop at Home –  You can request you cash back sent by check when you accumulate $20 or more in cash back, excluding your sign-up bonus. Shop at Home pays 60 days after the end of every month, provided you have met your $20 threshold.

Any Other Reason to Use these Sites?

Yes! Both Ebates and Shop at Home list current coupon codes to use on retailers’ websites. You may use these coupon codes in addition to earning your cash back!

Anything Else?

At first, it took me awhile to remember to use cash back sites when shopping online. But, after awhile, it became routine to go to Ebates or Shop at Home instead of directly to the retailers’ website. That cash back is a great incentive to remember!