Saturday, March 14, 2015

So I baked a cake . . .

I was desperate for a chocolate bar yesterday afternoon. I had errands to run, and the thought to stop and pick one up kept running through my mind. Although this would be a treat, it would still come out of the grocery budget.


To save that $2 on a chocolate bar, I decided to bake a cake once I returned home. It's not a fancy cake. Just an ordinary, weekday cake.

Part of the draw to the decision to baking a cake at home is the cake batter. Yeah, you know what I mean! Who here has never baked a cake with the primary motivation being to eat some of the batter?! Cake batter is one of the perks of being the baker, I say.


Since what I was wanting was chocolate with fruit (one of my favorite chocolate bars has chopped dried cherries and roasted almonds in dark chocolate), I decided on a chocolate cake with homemade cherry preserves and chocolate-almond frosting between the layers, and the top and sides covered in more of that chocolate frosting.

I baked two layers. I used one of the layers for last night's cake, and wrapped and froze the other for another day when I'm craving chocolate again.

I handled a craving which would have required me to spend more of the grocery budget, instead with a homemade treat using my supplies at home. I'd say that's a success in the financial column, but a failure in the diet column. Oh well, I'll start my diet on Monday. Yeah, right. . . .

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14 comments:

  1. I've been thinking along the same lines lately...when a need arises, think of using what we already have on hand.

    Today and for the next 5 days, we'll be watching our four grandchildren (of five) for spring break. They look forward to Easter egg hunt every year during their spring break sleepovers. I thought I had over 100 plastic eggs leftover from last year, but yesterday after searching through my storage, I couldn't find any. Then I remembered, last year they made their own cellophane wrapped baskets with the eggs they found plus the usual candy and toys. My first thought, the nearest Walmart is 15 miles from home (that's at least $5 gas) or go to the neighborhood store and pay full retail for about 100 plastic eggs. Then I thought, why does Easter egg hunt have to be with eggs, maybe I can use something else....like marbles. I have lots of marbles! And to make it more interesting, we could turn the usual day hunt into an indoor night hunt with flashlights. So I think I saved over $15, by substituting marbles for plastic eggs. They enjoy the search so much, they ask for Easter egg hunts throughout the year, now we can do it as often without having to wait for Easter.

    I hope I'm not being too longwinded, but I am really enjoying my daily read of some of your past posts and love sharing my frugal thoughts too.

    YHF




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    1. YHF,
      that's a great idea for fun with your grandkids! And you're right about kids just enjoying the "hunt" part. And I'm glad you can save that $15 for something else! Have a good time with the grandkids!

      Another use what you have, for me -- I just found out today that one of my church friends is having a birthday later this next week. I was going to go out and buy a small gift, but then thought to check my "gift stash". I didn't see anything there that seemed right, so checked my preserves from last summer. I had put up some cherry preserves and spiced-fig jam in nice jars that I've collected from thrift shops over the years. I chose a jar of the spiced-fig jam for this friend, and now I'll go make a label from some internet downloadable. A nice little gift, using what I had at home.

      I'm glad to have you reading and commenting. we can all learn so much from each other, and gather inspiration to keep us on our financial paths.

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    2. YHF,
      Do your grandkids turn in their marbles for toys or candy that they might have gotten in the eggs?

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    3. Hi live and learn,
      The marbles are redeemed for dollars that I would have put in the eggs. Last night we had our first hunt hiding 22 marbles. In the dark those marbles were not easy to find. The older two boys found the least, and the youngest boy found 12 by himself. It was fun and they can't wait for tomorrow's hunt. I don't like to buy Easter goodies, because I think the commercial products are a waste of money. Giving them cash seems better. I hope they learn to save it.

      YHF

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  2. Thanks...homemade and handmade gifts are the best to receive!! The jam sounds gourmet and not easily found in stores. That's the best kind of gift IMHO.

    I am a believer in serendipity and intuition leading us to the right discovery. Why we collect pretty jars, and the bounty of fruits from last summer, come together as though there was a reason . Because I create my handcraft using intuition, I learn that I have to trust what I choose and the result unfolds as I go along. I think that is the reason I like your blog a lot, you seem to let your intuition guide, rather than control what you do every minute by schedule, goals, and lists...although we all need some degree of structure, just not a lot. I like to start my day not knowing exactly what I will be doing. Fortunately, we are near retirement, so I hope one day I can really live "everyday is Sunday."

    YHF

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    1. YHF,
      And its just so fun to share the lovely treasures that I find or create with others. This particular friend is one of the gals that I get together with about once every couple of months and we teach other how to make things. So, I know she will appreciate the spiced fig jam.

      I like your philosophy on approaching one's life. It sounds so fluid. I always have a list of a few things that I want or need to accomplish each day, but I liberally add to it as my day unfolds, like the chocolate cake, yesterday, or finding a gift and making a nice label for it, today. If I'd had a rigid schedule that I strictly adhered to everyday, there'd have been no cake, nor little gift to share. And that simply sounds sad. Some of the greatest moments of each week happen rather spontaneously.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    2. You can't schedule creativity...it happens when it happens, so giving yourself space to follow spontaneity is good. I totally agree that some of the greatest moments happen this way.

      YHF



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  3. Wow, your every day cake sounds pretty fancy. I try to do the same thing you do. Satisfy my sweet tooth by baking something instead of buying it. However, I don't always succeed.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      I think it slows down my sweets consumption to take the time to bake something. And that's a good thing for me!

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  4. Looks delicious and the cherry filling sounds so good. I'll start my diet on Monday too. ;) lol

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  5. I do that too! In fact, I don't buy cookies and stuff, because then if I want some I'd have to make some, and do I really want it that much? If I do make some, then I can halve the receipe, or reduce the sugar or something so it's still better for me.

    I get laughed at if I talk about it to my friends though ...... why not just buy a chocolate bar? they say.

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    1. Hi Jessica,
      That, too! I can make baked goods with the ingredients that I know I can handle. Have you ever noticed how sweet some commercial bakery items taste? I know that most of my homemade items have a lot less sugar.

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