Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are already gone and you are right, there are no pictures....AGAIN!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins:
1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
1 heaping tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup plain pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins (makes 18 medium sized muffins or 9 jumbos). Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix until moist. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into pan. cook for 18-24 minutes depending on size of muffins. Test with toothpick for done-ness. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack. These freeze well and can be warmed in the microwave.

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Pumpkin Muffins on Foodista

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

13 Frugal Tips for Moving

As time draws closer to our interstate move (2 weeks from today), I thought I would share some of the things I have learned and/or done to make this an easier task.
Note: the length of time you have to prepare for a move is key to some of these tips...the longer you have, the better off you are.

1. Start packing early, but beware that you don't pack anything you will need. If you are moving in the summer, pack your winter clothes, your Christmas decorations, etc. If you have a ton of dishes (yes, I am guilty of that) pack your surplus, keeping only your everyday set out. You get the idea.
2. Glean boxes anywhere you can. Moving boxes are expensive if you buy them new. Try your classifieds, craigslist, freecycle, your local grocery store, copy store, even the liquor store. Get creative. I got a bunch of boxes from a neighbor who is a teacher. At the end of the school year, the teachers got in orders of books for the coming year. Those boxes were perfect for packing my books.
3. Packing paper ideas can be just as creative. Save old magazines and newspapers. Ask your friends for their newpapers, too. Call the local newspaper office and see if they will let you have the ends of their newspaper rolls.
4. If you are moving yourself, look into all of the moving truck companies. I initially thought I would go with U-Haul, but when I looked into Penske, I found that I could save hundreds of dollars. I also got an additional discount because I am a AAA member.
5. If you have any sort of food stockpile, start planning menus around what you have. Use that up so you don't have to pack it. I have been buying only milk, eggs, cheese, butter and occasional fresh fruit for the last 3 months!
6. Invest in a tape gun. I can't tell you how much easier it is to seal boxes with a tape gun than picking the end with your fingernail, holding it, cutting it with scissors, etc. You will save so much time!
7. Get your new address as soon as possible. Knowing where I was going, I got a PO box. Although you may choose to have your mail delivered to your new residence after you move, if you have some sort of address, you can save a lot of headaches. My PO box only cost me $26 for 6 months!
8. Change all of the addresses of your magazine subscriptions. Most of these you can do online. Remember that magazines often need 6 weeks to process address changes.
9. While you are changing addresses, change it with USPS, too.
10. Inform your utilities, auto insurance and other bills that you are moving. You don't want to be billed for things you don't use, you want to make sure your car is insured in your new place and you don't want to miss a payment if other bills are delayed.
11. Label your packed boxes well. In big letters, list the contents and the room where the box is going. Later, you will be glad you don't have to go through 10 boxes labeled kitchen just to find your can opener.
12. Take stock of your belongings and purge. If you haven't used something for 6 or more months, do you really need to move it? Have a garage sale, use ebay or your local classifieds or freecycle to get rid of things you don't want anymore. Your local thrift store may also benefit from your surplus.
13. Refill prescriptions as close to your move date as possible. In my case, I have a son who is on 5 different meds. I am going to have to find new doctors and get new health insurance (ugh) I don't know how long that is going to take, but certainly don't want to run out in the meantime. Talk to your doctors and see if they will give you extra refills.

This is linked to Thursday-13 and Frugal Fridays.
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