A Frugal and Fun Valentines Day

We are having a wonderful (and of course frugal) Valentines Day.

We started the day with heart shaped french toast compliments of our free Albertsons Bread

Then my husband and two  year old headed off to Lowe’s to build a free Jewelry box

We took the whole family in to Old Navy and each of my daughter’s used their free valentine cards to “purchase” six socks and a ball. Once again Free! (note: the gal at the changing room was handing out $5 off coupons so if you didn’t pick up a card you could go in and ask!)


And of course we handed out our beautiful photo valentines cards (another great freebie)

Total Cost for our fun day thus far: $0   🙂

I hope you are enjoying your Valentines day too!

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Frugal Recipe Friday-whole wheat honey oatmeal bread in your kitchenaid

Frugal Friday Recipe: My favorite whole wheat bread recipe

Making your own bread can seem daunting but it is quite simple once you get organized. This recipe I have adapted from several different recipes to have all my favorite elements, honey, oatmeal, wheat and of course using my kitchenaid. Here are some of the reasons I make my own bread:

1-easy, easy, easy -20 minutes of “prep” and then 5 hours of waiting.

2- Healthy! No additives or preservatives

3-very economical. My average cost per loaf is $1.63 (including electricity) for organic healthy bread. That saves me a little over $1 a loaf for the wheat bread we were buying.

4-Tasty- nothing tastes better then homemade bread, mmmm

Step 1: Gather your ingredients:

2 cups milk

1 cup oatmeal

3 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups white flour

2tbs yeast

1/2 cup honey

oil

salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

Step 2: Heat milk

I heat my milk in the microwave. It takes approximately 6 minutes. You want to heat your milk to just below boiling.

Step 3: Remove milk “skin” from top of the bowl

I just find it makes better bread. Just take a spoon to pull of the “skin” from the milk being heated

Step 4: Add oatmeal and hot milk into kitchenaid blender and allow to sit for about 1/2 hour or until lukewarm to the touch

Step 5: After oatmeal has cooled down to “warm”. Take a  separate bowl and  pour  1/2 cup very warm water, 1 tsp honey and 2 tbs yeast into it.

Whisk these together just until mixed (don’t over whisk). Let rise 5 minutes. Mixture should begin to foam up (see picture) if it does not work try again!

Step 6: Add the yeast mixture, butter, remaining honey and salt to the oatmeal mixture and stir using kitchenaid mixing attachment until mixed.

Step 7: Slowly add wheat and white flour. Stir until mixed.


Step 8: Remove kitchenaid mixing attachment and add kneading attachment. Add 1/4 cup flour and knead on low for 8 minutes

I just do dishes during this part so I have no clean-up

Step 9: Remove ball from the mixing bowl and spray / coat with oil. Place dough ball back in bowl and spray or lightly oil the top of the dough. Place in a dark humid place to rise 1-1.5 hours or until doubled

For this I usually place a small pie pin of warm water in the bottom rack of my oven. I then turn it on to low…and then turn it off. I place the bowl in the turned off oven with the door closed. I cover the bowl with a towel that is damp with hot/warm water.

Step 10: After dough has doubled punch down. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place in greased bread pans seam side down. Re-cover and place in warm dark humid place and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.

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Step 11: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place loaves in oven and cook for 35-45 minutes or until you can tap on the bottom and the bread sounds hollow.

Step 12: Remove from pans and allow to cool completely before eating (if you can!)

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FAQ:

1-How long does your bread last?

My bread lasts 1-2 weeks in a ziplock bag. It lasts longer if I store it in the fridge

2- How do you keep your bread from tasting stale

I slice my bread when I need it, this keeps the loaf moist. I also make sure it is sealed in the ziplock bag.

3- Can you freeze your bread?

Yes! It works great! Then I just defrost and serve. I do this sometimes when I am giving someone a meal, then I have bread on hand to give them with their soup or cassarole.

4- Can I do this recipe in my breadmaker?

I don’t think so, but I don’t have a breadmaker, give it a try and let me know. I do recommend baking outside the breadmaker though in the oven as your bread will taste better (in my opinion). Before my breadmaker died I used it for the first few processes and then I would transfer the dough to bread pans for the final rise and baking process. Be sure and let me know in the comment section what works for you!

5- what size is your kitchenaid?

Mine is just the “standard” kitchenaid not he industrial.

6-Can I make this without the kitchenaid?

YES! Just mix the ingredients by hand, and then knead by hand for 10 minutes (instead of 8 with the kitchenaid).

Have fun and let me know how it works for you!

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Geeky Calculations:

2 cups milk = .26 cents

1 cup oatmeal = .04 cents

3 cups whole wheat flour = $.89

2 cups flour = $,98

2tbs yeast = .33 cents

1/2 cup honey = .21 cents

oil = .01 cents

salt = .01 cents

1/4 cup butter, melted = .19 cents

Oven Electricity usage cost: .32 cents

Microwave electricity usage: ..02cents

Kitchenaid Electricity usage: . .01 cents

Total cost per batch: = $3.27

Cost per loaf: = $1.63