Sunday, September 30, 2012

Countdown To Halloween Begin Tomorrow!

Again this year I will be a Cryptkeeper and participating in Countdown to Halloween
at Unique Unusual or Interesting and plan on posting something new every day during the month of October and hope that you will stop by for a visit and check out all of the other participants also.  

I will be posting here also non-Halloween items as my schedule allows:)

If you are interested in participating, you can email to be put on the roster (but he will only email you back if there is an issue as there are so many participants).

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cake Mix Jello Cookies

Combine two favorite desserts into one fun quick and easy treat!

 I had seen this recipe for Jello cookies but decided to try a quicker and easier route.  They turned out a bit heavier than regular cookies but still tasted light and cakey with a slight taste of the Jello flavor (this is the 2nd batch; the first one was devoured before I was able to take pictures of them).

In choosing a cake mix, consider the Jello flavor you want to combine it with and the color of cookies you want to try to achieve.  For the above I used yellow cake, orange Jello and orange juice.  For my first batch I used a white cake mix, blue Jello and water and they came out a lovely light blue color, but less flavor so I used juice in this batch.

  • 1 box cake mix
  • 1 3oz package of Jello
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 juice or water
  • Baking parchment paper or non-stick coating spray.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Line a cookie baking tray with baking parchment paper or spray with non-stick coating.

Mix all ingredients, drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet and bake 8-15 minutes.

The size of your "heaping tablespoons" determines how many cookies you end up with, but I ended up with 24 using smaller (baking 10 minutes) and 18 using huge tablespoons (baking 15 minutes).

Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Saving Money on College Text Books

In getting ready for classes, we found that if we had paid full price for all of the books that he needed for college it would have been several hundred dollars, but instead we were able to find used books to purchase online for under $100 and I thought I would share some of the tools and tips that we used.

1.  Decide if you want to buy or rent
If you can, flip through the book at the campus bookstore or library before making a decision and see if the book would be a good reference for future classes or in the field of study.   If so, it would probably be a better deal to buy it.

If it is not something that will be used or referenced, renting might be the right direction, but be sure to compare costs; sometimes you can buy a used book in good condition for much cheaper than you can rent it.
2.  If more than one edition, check to research the book online
If the book has several editions, check comments online and also check with the teacher to find out if a prior edition could be used.   On the example, a new copy of the 5th edition was $180, a used copy $110+ and to rent around $75.   The only difference between the 4th edition and the 5th is the cover page an few pages added to the 5th and his teacher approved using the 4th edition when asked.  We purchased the 4th edition under $40 used, which includes expedited shipped saving us $140.

3.  Check Finders Cheapers
Finders Cheapers is a site that not only pulls up the prices and compares prices of different text books (you can search by name, author or IBN #) it also pulls up current discounts and the shipping cost to rent or buy.

By using this tool we saved $32 on one book that was needed.

4.  Check and Ebay
Although we didn't find cheaper options using these services, I would recommend checking out and as it might be possible to get a book cheaper off a student that no longer needs or wants the book.  If you do, remember to   be sure to check out the sellers feedback rating and how long it will take to ship.

If anyone else has any other suggestions, please feel free to post them in the comments section:)