The holiday season is one of my favourite times of the year. But don't know know, all that magic means that I am prone to spending way more of my budget than I want!
These few steps will help you not go broke this holiday season!
- Create a Budget
- Set a spending limit on each aspect of Christmas (decorations, tree, food, gifts, etc.)
- Make a List and Check it Twice for all the items you want to purchase for the Holidays
- Add up what you have already spent and deduct from your budget
- Track your spending
- When you hit your target, you have hit your end of spending
- Follow Through
- This is easier said than done
- Make sure you follow through on your spending limits so that January isn’t so hard
- Make a promise to yourself that you will stop when you reached your limit
- Shop Early and Not Often
- Don’t go out if you don’t have a plan
- Without a plan you will spend more than you want
- Shop around as early as you can to ensure you are not emotionally purchasing right before the Holidays
- Stop shopping once you either a) got all you wanted or b) hit your limit
- Shop Around for the Best Deals
- Do research for the best deals before you go out to shop
- The internet is our friend and will tell you where to get the best deals for the items we want
- Use Honey for discounts codes to all your favourite retailers (joinhoney.com/ref/4xzu7w) *referral code!
- Use Swagbucks for online shopping too ---get points to redeem for gift cards (https://www.swagbucks.com/profile/smohlman) *referral code!
- Believe that this year is going to be different
- Know that you are doing your best no matter what happens
- If you believe that this year is going to be different, then it will!
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Honestly, when I was diagnosed with a Wheat, Barley, etc. allergy (glutens), I thought it was the end of the world.
I was devestated.
I thought that I would never enjoy the things I loved again and that I was always going to be deprived.
In reality, it took a lot of learning, but I eventually figured things out. :)
1. Take a Moment to Grieve
You have lost a big part of your lifestyle and grieving is ok. What's not okay is being bitter. Grieve the loss and then get on with it. You dont want to have those feelings for ever weighing on you.
2. Buckle Up
You have a LOT of learning to do. Making sure you read every ingredient list on the products you consume, learning where to dind gluten free foods and learning what arethe best out there is going to take time and that is ok.
3. Find Your Support System
Know that this change takes time and having a support system is beneficial to your overall wellbeing. People that you can trust to do the same things you do (reading labels) and ones that will support you in eating what is best for you is vital to your success. If you have people who encourage you to eat gluten free when that donut is calling will help you keep safe!
4. Cook Your Heart Out
You are going to have to start cooking your own meals. That doesnt mean every day you have to cook everything, but that does mean that cooking your own food will ensure you stay safe.
5. Bring Your Own Food
You might have to start bringing your own food to events, or at least until your support system understands gluten free. Luckily, it has become very popular in recent days and most people know what gluten free is, even if it is just the basics.
6. Gluten Can be in Everything
Shampoos, cosmetics, lotions, and more can have gluten containing ingredients. Make sure to look at your label with anything that is going to be in contact with your skin (your biggest organ).
7. When in Doubt, Go Without
If you are unsure of the ingredients, then dont use it or have it.
Hope these help!
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1. Blend Different Flours and Starches Together
This is important because gluten is the glue that binds baking together. Removing gluten means that you are going to want to blend more than one flour and starch to create a mix that mimics gluten. You are also going to want to add xanthan gum to the mix as it is a binding agent. Also, starches help bring about a fluffier consistency. I don’t love adding most starches because people have a lot of allergies or sensitivities to starches when they are gluten free. This is why I prefer potato starch.
My favourite blend is this:
1 ¼ cups brown rice flour
¼ cup potato starch
¾ cup sorghum flour
1 tbsp and 1 tsp chick pea flour
2/3 cup arrowroot flour
I leave xanthan gum out of the mixture so that I can add it individually to each recipe.
2. Smaller is key!
Make smaller versions of your previous baked goods! Little muffins, small loaves, mini pies, etc. This helps because you need less stickiness in each product and less gum means better baking!
I also find that really greasing your pans or using sleeves helps to get them out of the pan because gluten free tends to stick!
3. Whip it Good
Since there isn’t gluten in your baked goods, you don’t have to worry about over mixing. In fact, whipping your baked goods longer can make them fluffier! I always mix a completed batter for at least a minute after it is completed.
4. Let it Be
When you have completed a baking mix and before you divide it out into the pans, leave your gluten free baking alone for 25 minutes to 45 minutes. This allows the entirety of the mixture to get damp, ensuring that your baking is fluffier and less dense.
These are good methods to help perfect your gluten free baking skills!
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