This is how I saved money today..

hapyfrustratedMarch 9, 2009

My grandson asked me to buy cupcakes from the bakery to take to his class for his birthday tomorrow. My first thought was, how am I going to get cc ordered and picked up from Sunday to Monday morning. Then I decided that home baked cc were cheap, easier, and taste better. We baked the CC and will drop them off at school tomorrow.

An added note, where and who is the woman who thought it would be a cute idea to start this ridiculous tradition?? Another person starting something that everyone else thinks they have to compete with. Good grief! I did it because I love my grandson and he doesn't hage a Mom to do it for him. But I did not spend the big money getting bakery decorated CC that these kids are going to scarf down without even looking at them. Sorry, for the rant!

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I SOOOO agree with you! Sometimes I think certain people just don't have enough to do, so they start stuff like this. Having raised two kids and two grandkids, I've run into this a lot! It doesn't stop with the kids.

I worked at a doctor's office where the receptionists kept a record of everyone's birthday. They said treats were not 'required', but they were 'appreciated'. It got way out of hand. Four of us had birthdays within a three-day period and the other three decided that we ought to have a 'dinner'. We had to chip in to buy the meat and then bring a side dish. The last thing I wanted to do was to have to 'whip something up' in the middle of the week, and because I was on a limited budget at the time, it meant I had to spend money on THEM on MY birthday! I dreaded my birthday every year that I worked there.

On the up side, though, I'm sure your grandson will fondly remember baking cupcakes with you. And I'm sure he was really proud to be able to share them with his class. So you did a good thing.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:13AM
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Cupcakes were a practice long before my now middle school aged son started kindergarten and will continue to be a practice long after my 4yo is done with school. I was not the horrible woman who thought it would be a cute idea to start this ridiculous tradition, but I am the one who pipes out candy butterflies & dragonflies in flight to adorn the tops of the cupcakes because baking and decorating cakes is a hobby I enjoy.

As classroom mom, I also organized games & crafts and provided snacks for each of the seasonal classroom parties. I did not do this because I was trying to compete with anyone nor do I expect that anyone else was trying to compete with me. Not every child celebrates his birthday with cupcakes(Jehovah's witnesses don't celebrate birthdays at all) and I don't remember any children making fun of others for not having cupcakes. I volunteered at the school and there was no obligation for cupcakes, cookies, or anything on birthdays. Perhaps you felt pressure not to let down your grandson(a natural response) vs any pressure from the woman who started it. I suspect that as more and more school districts switch over to a "no home-baked goods" rule to accomodate food allergies, there will come a time when the cupcakes I bring to school are more of a homogenized store bought variety.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 8:43AM
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Our school doesn't allow home baked goods either.

I usually don't send anything to school for my childen's birthdays unless the teacher suggests it. I allow my kids to each have a seperate birthday party on the weekend where they invite the entire class. I figure that's enough of a celebration for the class. If the kids make it, then fine. If not, that's fine too. We also do a small family birthday celebration on the actual birthday. Thats almost overkill, but the kids really want a celebration on 'the day'.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 10:52AM
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I don't know of any school districts in the Kansas City area that allows home baked goods. It has to be store bought and brought in it's original packaging. An understandable rule.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:03PM
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I think the no home-baked goods is a silly rule. If a kid can't have home-baked, what is it about the chemical store version that they can have? And if they can't have that, don't eat it. We had diabetics at school and didn't have to change the world for them. They were mature enough to not eat them. Today, people feel compelled to advertise their (whether real or imaginary) allergies so the whole class is bound to know if Fauntleroy is gluten sensitive and Bertha is lactose intolerant.

At that rate, have the school cafeteria make it. Kids that want them can buy them. Kids that don't won't. Or maybe it's time with all the healthnuts to bring celery and carrot sticks for a party. Unless Wilberforst chokes another student with the celery strings.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:45AM
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I believe that school districts that enforce a 'no home-baked goods' rule re: allergies do so because it's easy for the children to check the ingredients list on a nutrition label. Many home cooks may not realize that something as innocuous as eggs may send someone into anaphylactic shock and might therefore not mention there inclusion in a recipe. I suppose cynic has never seen anyone break out into hives, or have their throat close up due to a severe allergic reaction, but it's scary. A good friend is allergic to poultry and eats out rarely. He was out at dinner and ordered the veal parm and specified that it be cooked in it's own pan. The restaurant must not have, because he ended up needing an epipen injection.

I suppose by cynic's definition DS1 is a Little Lord Fauntleroy because he is on a restrictive gluten-free diet. He is very good about reading nutrition labels and knows not to eat unwrapped baked goods that don't come out of my kitchen.

I understand why school districts have been switching to this policy, even though it would negatively impact my DS1. I will say that I'm glad our school district still allows home-baked goods. At the start of every school year, I (as classroom mom) would receive a list of which children had which allergies. One year there was a child with a very extensive list that included latex and bandaids. As an active parent, I was also aware of preferences such as Danny S. does not like chocolate, etc. I would plan my party snacks to accomodate all the children. If for a Valentine's party, I was planning a chocolate fountain, I would have plenty of options on separate trays. Melissa could skip the strawberries(allergy,) but still grab grapes, or marshmallows. Laine could skip the angel food cake(gluten,) but have the gf pretzels.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:29AM
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The no-home prepared rule isn't because of food allergies, it's more because of food safety (ie bacteria) issues and the insurance policy the school carries. I was a grad student not too long ago, and the grad student organization had potlucks on occasion. We were not able to use any university buildings for the potlucks because of the insurance policy.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 3:51PM
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i don't think alot of people truly understand the seriousness of some food allergies unless they have experienced it 1st hand.... hence the blanket "no home baked goods" rule. many people think of food allergies as being "sensitivities" which might make a tummy hurt or give a child a rash, etc. some people use the term "allergy" very loosely using it when a child doesn't like a particular food! many parents "forget" about the allergy, even after the reminder papers have gone home in the child's backpack. i found through the years that even though my son was allergic to "tree nuts", that was often misinterpreted/misheard as "peanuts", and things containing tree nuts still were occasionally sent in. however, when you or your child has the potential to DIE because of a consumed allergen you quickly learn that there can be no mistakes. i often offered to be the class baker, since my son was often the only child with a severe allergy. yes, it is important to teach the child to avoid foods.... but when they're young, it is too risky to allow (and no school wants the liability!!!) i still feel afraid for my son (he's in high school now) but i feel he does a good job reading labels and avoiding unlabeled food. "hidden" allergens--- ie: pinenuts in pesto, different nut pastes, garnishes, etc are better understood as the child gets older.
if all classroom moms and teachers were as aware, on the ball and flexible as laxsupermom, moms of "allergic" chilren could breathe alittle easier!!!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 4:08PM
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Since I don't have kids in school these days, I'm not commenting on kids & cupcakes. But, I am with Ilene on the office birthday celebration thing. I retired in January, but my former office started a cake and pass around the card tradition which, believe me, became a royal pita. Most especially if someone was inadvertantly left out. Getting the cake and card to sign required someone making a trip to the store during office hours, passing the card around and announcing to the BD person when all was ready. I'm really surprised the boss allowed it to go on and if he knew his secretary was taking $$ out of petty cash to pay for it, he probably wouldn't have.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 6:09PM
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Stayed home - as I did yesterday.

Same amount of gas in the tank as at the end of Thursday.

Ditto Dollars in the wallet - but I used some power that'll need to be paid for later.

Ditto food - but it was paid for earlier.

Hey - if I'd put it on the "credit" card ... I could have paid for it later, also.

I can't believe the number of folks that put a couple of dollars worth of groceries, a magazine, etc. on the card.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:22PM
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My kids school used to offer a daily "snack" provided by the parents on a rotating basis. Parents sent in a bag or box of cookies, dried fruit, whatever. Some parents would just send in a bag of Oreos when it was their turn. I personally hate Oreos-did you ever see a kid's mouth after eating one? Yuck! When it was my turn, I'd send in a bag of Fig Newtons. Dried fruit, fairly "healthy". Recently a 2 year old choked to death on a baby carrot at a Day care center. Center is now closed.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 11:13AM
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Let's see, made some homemade cream of vegetable soup for lunch, using the broken off stems of the asparagas we had from supper the night before - peeled them, added a bit of onion, carrot and celery (which was also limp and sitting in the fridge waiting to be used) - composted the peelings and therefore no waste. Soup fed three with multi-helpings and was better than just opening a can of something.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 9:15AM
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oh this is a good day for me to answer

I ate homemade granola (bits of bulk items, baked with honey then add milk)

Skipped a shower (hey- don't judge me- I wore deo:)

I rode my bike 10 miles to work.

Filled a water bottle instead of buying one.

When I stopped at Rite Aid I did not buy face wash just because it was on sale even though I would have saved $3.

I brought my lunch and supper to work.

I clipped coupons.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 9:33PM
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First, since again people aren't looking at what's said. This probably should be on a separate thread but food for thought, how does a person with egg allergies react to homemade cupcakes and not bakery cupcakes? The label argument doesn't hold water since virtually every time someone brings external food to a meeting or something, the package is thrown away and most people with such allergies know that cupcakes made in bakeries have eggs in them too. When someone has a serious allergy, is it the world's responsibilty to look out for them or should they bring a treat for themselves that they can have if they want to be safe? Perhaps everyone else is required to stock medications for everyone else so they don't have to bring the meds for their own diseases? I cannot imagine my child having a severe allergy and even taking the chance of allowing them to eat what someone else brings whether from a store or home, school lunches or otherwise. I certainly wouldn't allow it if it was a life-threatening situation. But I guess that's a difference in people.

And BTW, my sister has celiac. So don't give me that, LOL. Being recently diagnosed she's being very careful to stabilize before testing if there's certain sensitivities. But I imagine laxsupermom feels the world should outlaw wheat, oats, barley and malt because of this. Fortunately sis is responsible enough or at least considerate enough that she doesn't require everyone else to provide special things for her at a party, nor does she feel the bakeries should all shut down, farmers quit growing crops or the like. And I applaud her for that. Additionally my friends and relatives who are diabetic don't feel the world needs to ban sugar either.

You called your kid names, not me and that's pretty tacky IMHO. I gave and give no such "definition" you suggest nor suggest anything derrogatory about your son. I wish the lad nothing but the best and in fact I wish him far better than what he has. I will give a definition though, and I'm not talking about anyone in particular, but I think that generally speaking a parent is pretty pompous to say that my kids and my neighbors' kids can't have a cupcake, piece of fruit, cookie or pork cutlet just because theirs can't. What I said and you misunderstood is that sensitive people can simply bring something so they can be safe and still participate. It works. We did that way back when I was in school.

Enough on that, it's off topic. Back to the topic.

I didn't necessarily "save" money, but I did spend a lot less at Target. I needed foil and thought of it while there so I bought a roll on sale and rather than searching and looking and driving for a better price I got one there. I needed a hair trimmer since I broke two of them now, and found one last one for $9.99. Good enough price for me. Then I went past the clearance shelf and there was a far better one on there, but wasn't marked. Decided to check it in case someone left it there and it scanned up at $8.94. That went into the cart. Toothpaste on clearance 3pk for $2.25, and was waiting for a giant towel to go on sale and it was on sale this week so that was $2 off and I wanted two so I got them. Needed Q-tips and was getting the store brand until I went past the clearance rack and the name brand was on clearance cheaper than the store brand. So when I factor in I got things that I probably would have gone elsewhere to get, I may have saved some gas too, though I usually try to combine trips. There was a couple other things I got there too but don't recall offhand.

Oh and I did save over $9 since the cashier charged me for three towels instead of two. I decided to double check that the towels rang in on sale and caught it. Usually I try to watch as the items are being rung in but this store has the monitor in a different position so I couldn't see it. Would have been really annoyed if I would have noticed it at home. Would have been nice to have gotten some compensation for it. Irritated with the cashier's attitude and blaming it on the computer must've scanned it twice. Yeah, it's the computer's fault!

So check your receipts and happy frugaling everyone.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 8:39PM
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Here's the thing, actually:

School is for learning. Your job is for working. Clubs all have their mission statements, many of which do not mention providing food.

So why do people complicate matters, I wonder, by insisting on bringing "treats"? When I was in grade school, there was one student in our class whose mother always brought cake, ice cream and punch when it was his birthday. He was a spoiled brat and his mother did a lot of things "for show". Each Christmas when she would donate hams for the church Christmas baskets, she would insist that "Donated by xxxx" be put on a piece of paper and taped to each ham. But anyway, we as kids loved the chance to lose an hour of school time in order to eat cake and ice cream and drink punch. Not sure how our teacher really felt about it, but since the boy's father was on the school board, the teacher's opinion was moot. Someone always spilled something and of course we were all forced to sing "Happy Birthday to You" to a boy most of us couldn't stand. Had his mother thrown a party for him at her house I doubt anyone would've come and maybe that's why she did it this way.

People are always complaining about the "dumbing down" of our schools and it's true that teachers have less and less actual teaching time. A lot of their time gets taken away with discipline because it seems like children aren't as well behaved as they used to be. They have to spend a lot of time grading papers and keeping records. Then we take more time away from them bringing in treats. If you asked a college professor to give up ten minutes of his instruction time so somebody could pass out treats, I'd think it might be considered an imposition.

I do understand how kids don't always observe their food restrictions, even though the price they pay is a trip to the ER. I have a grandson who has ADD and I'm told, over and over, that it can be made better by eliminating sugar, artifical coloring and flavoring from his food. Try doing something like that. It's impossible unless you home school.

And one other thing that kinda fits in here is this terrible practice of having "Thanksgiving dinners". We get tired of turkey pretty quickly. By the time DGS has "turkey dinner" in the school cafeteria, we have one at work, and then our Church has one, all of which happen before Thanksgiving, a full Thanksgiving dinner at home has lost it's appeal.

But getting back on-topic, I bought a pressure cooker at a garage sale last weekend. I had to buy a new gasket but I fired it up and cooked a chicken in 20 minutes that would've taken an hour in the oven.

Slowly but surely, I'm using up the extra cleaning products that I have in my house. When they are gone, I'm going to use less expensive, more versatile products, such as ammonia or vinegar or baking soda or bleach. Yes I know they are not to be mixed together. I'm also considering buying one of those steam cleaners (they have them at Lowe's and ---- WMT ---- ) to do most of my cleaning with. I hear they're fantastic.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 8:38AM
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