Homemade Peanut Butter - You'll never eat store bought again!

Several months ago, I gave it a try making my own peanut butter at home and I tell ya I will never eat store bought PB again!  The taste is no phenominally better and the health benefits so high I would be crazy to not continue to make this. So I really wanted to share this with you.  It really is so easy that you will wonder why you have not done this sooner (like I did).


RECIPE

1) Peanuts - most recipes use roasted but I have used blanched with equally good results.

2) Coconut Oil - if you don't already have this in your home buy it and google coconut oil for cooking, hair and skin moisturizing (some say it helps with weight loss too).  You will be glad this recipe encouraged its purchase.


3) Agave Nectar - again another great item you may not have but should. It's a plant derived sweetener and healthier substitute for honey. I actually first heard of it on the Dr.Oz show and really love it (I use it on my oatmeal too).

Sugar or Splenda - optional
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Alot of the process is 'eye-balling' it and taste testing to get the desired results you personally like most. 

Important Note:  ALOT of online recipes and how-to's for homemade peanut butter omit telling the reader one important point :  DO NOT add the coconut oil nor agave nectar till the very end or else your peanuts won't blend down properly.  This I have learned from experience lol.

Fill your food processor 1/2 - 3/4 full of peanuts and blend away.  Be patient this step can take a good 4-5 minutes depending on your machines strength. 

In the meantime microwave 1 tbs of coconut oil (naturally a solid oil that melts to liquid form when heated).

Add 1 tbs of coconut oil and 2 tbs of agave nectar and blend again for 1 minute.

Taste test

If you would like to add a little more coconut oil or agave nectar to sweeten it up now is the time.  I have actually in the past sprinkled a little pinch of sugar or splenda.  Remember a little at a time for any additions.

Blend to the consistancy you like.
You will be shocked how much better this is to store bought and it is minus all those funky ingredients they contain.  Remember, if you won't be eating this quickly it is best to keep it refrigerated.  I divide my batch in 3 small jars, keep one on the counter and 2 in the refrigerator.  They don't last long in my house and I don't think it will in your house either...you can thank me later :).

End of Season Shopping Calendar

Buying a pool in February, installing windows in December, or buying a snow blower in July are perfect examples of smart end of season shopping and it is a buying technique we all need to implement more often for our pocketbooks well-being.  However, I will be the first to admit while swimming in my pool I am not thinking I need to pick up a couple shovels but ultimately I should be if I want the biggest bang for my buck. 



Savings Calendar
JanuaryBest time to stock on next year’s holiday lights, gift wrap and decorations.  It is not uncommon to find 80% off sales this time of year.  The end of January many winter clothes and outerwear go on sale so this is a great time to buy your kids school clothes, winter coats and boots for the following school year just upsize them (that's what I do each year).

February – Chocolate lovers rejoice and stock up as Valentine day chocolate is on major clearance! Remember you can freeze chocolate for future enjoyment.  We do it all the time and often thaw and melt chocolate to use for fondues months after Valentine’s (or Easter).  Household items such as bedding sheets, blankets, pillows, curtains and sometimes even carpeting can all usually be found for great bargain prices during the month of February.

March - Winter sports equipment such as skiing accessories and sports coats are great buys in early March.

July-August – Start stalking garden centres for end of season plants, flowers and garden tool.  Come end of August they are almost giving stuff away. Camping equipment, tents, and accessories are traditionally great bargain buys during August. Clearance markdowns of over 50% off the retail price can often be found. If you are looking for a whole new golf set August is the month to do it.

September - October – Good time to buy many outdoor items such as patio sets, gardening tools, pools, interlock bricks and barbeques to name a few.  Summer d├ęcor items are another great find this time of year.

November - Since the colder months are a slow period for home improvements, items like carpeting, paint, bathtubs, sinks, doors and other hardware items are usually good bargain buys in November. So this would be the best time to buy for that spring project you have planned.

So with a bit of foresight and patience to purchase, the pay-off to offseason shopping can be huge - so make it happen smart shoppers!

 Happy Savings,


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