Budget Friendly: Stocking up

Whenever I`m visiting my parents in the Canary Islands, I always make sure that I`ve got an extra suitcase to bring back home. Living in Norway is very, very expensive, especially when you`re living on student loans and grants. Which is why I usually stock up on things when I`m in the Canary Islands, as there are practically no taxes there, with the price level being generally very low. Take the cans of sweet condensed milk for instance. In Norway, these would cost me 9$ per can. When I bought them on the Spanish Island it cost me 1$/can. That`s a 8 dollar difference! The amount of money I save each year just by buying some products with me is rediculously huge!

This time I stocked up on sweet condensed milk, honey, my favourite chocolate, a jar of peach jam, two boxes of sprinkles, some luxurious goat cheese, Serrano ham (Spanish version of the Italian Parma ham), and some  bio-degradable garbage bags.

I love being able to stock up on things that I use, but only  to a fraction of what it`d cost in Norway. This is one of the ways I save a lot of money each year, as everytime I visit I always make sure to buy certain food items with me.

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What do you like to stock up on when you got the chance?

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My Christmas Goals

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  • Finish my take-home exam next week.
  • Spend a lot of time on the beach
  • Be happy
  • Read a good book
  • Have long breakfasts on the balcony while enjoying the view of palm trees
  • Take long walks with our two dogs
  • Visit the island`s capital, Las Palmas and take a walk in the old town.
  • Make some more Christmas sweets
  • Practice my Spanish
  • Play and cuddle with the dogs; they`re just the cutest ever!
  • Spend quality time with my family
  • Go shopping for some much needed new clothes
  • Plan a strictly food-blog project
  • Drink a lot of ice-cold Diet Coke
  • Have long talks with my mom
  • Go to church on Christmas Eve
  • Write more exciting posts on travelling
  • Take a lot of pictures
  •  Eat a lot of Chinese food
  • Donate christmas gifts to charity
  • Make the Christmas-dinner
  • Plan my 2013 budget
  • Try new recipes and share them with you
  • Help my brother with finding an apartment
  • Eat the best ice-cream in the world
  • Order curricula for the spring semester
  • Celebrate new year`s Eve with my best friends

 What are your goals for this Christmas?

Budget friendly treat; Chocolate covered Walnuts with sea salt

ImageThe other day I had some leftover melted chocolate from making Homemade Bounty bars; and thought it would be a shame to throw it out. I took a good look into my cupboards and that`s when I found a container with walnuts. Enter idea. Why not mix the walnut with the chocolate and then sprinkle some sea salt? It turned out amazing! the texture of the walnut combined with the sweet chocolate, and the addition of sea salt. Oh my, that`s good! It`s the easiest thing to do; it really is a frugal, budget-friendly treat. And to make things even better. I could use the tin container the walnut was originally in, to keep the treats. I`ll actually be taking these with me tomorrow, when I`m leaving the country. With the tin container having a plastic lid, it`ll be easy to handle and they won`t get damaged in my cabin luggage.

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate
  • Walnuts
  • Coarse Sea salt

Instructions:

Melt chocolate/or use already melted, mix with walnuts, spread it out on a tray or a pan. sprinkle sea salt. put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Then break it up in suitable pieces. Voila! bon appetit!

ImageImageand if you`re wondering, yes, “valnøtter” is Norwegian for walnuts!

Inexpensive Gourmet Caramels with Coarse Sea Salt

ImageHave you ever wanted to make caramels, but always come across difficult recipes including a thermometer and many hours of boiling? Search no further! These are the easiest caramels you can ever make. I had never made caramels before I tried this recipe, and it was very successful ! It`s practically fool proof! I would really recommend that you sprinkle with sea salt as it raises the caramels unto an entirely different level. These are gourmet-tasty caramels that will melt on your tongue, and bring a bright smile on every face that tries one!

They`re also very budget-friendly christmas treats! It cost me maximum 12$, which means each caramel only cost me 9 cents. And considering I live in Norway which is one of the most expensive countries in the world, the rest of you can probably make these at a much lower cost! 🙂

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar syrup

2  1/5 stick of butter

1 cup sweet condensed milk

Sea salt

Instructions

Mix everything except the sea salt, in a big saucepan on medium heat, so everything melts together.Image

Stir a lot. Bring it to a boil. Image

This is when you turn on a timer and let it boil for 6-8 minutes. After 6-8 minutes it should look like this: ImageRemember to stir all the time! Pour it into a pan and sprinkle sea salt. Image

When it has cooled off, put it into the fridge over night. Next day you take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before you start cutting it into smaller pieces, this way the caramel get just the right temperature for cellophane wrapping.

ImageImageCut up small pieces of cellophane. I used a cellophane with snow print, which I thought was a pretty nice touch! Then fold the cellophane around each piece of caramel and squish it tightly so that the cellophane sticks. then twist each side. et voilà!

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ImageImageImageand repeat 128 times (that`s how many I got!)